When is being stubborn being too stubborn?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BillR, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Ok, one of my buddies gave me 700 rounds of LC .308 brass as I shoot a lot of .308. This was a good thing right. ..........WRONG........
    First thing I did was tumble all of it as it was a bit (LOT) dirty and I didn't want to get all that crap on my lube pad and in my dies. Ok that took up one day ofe of changing the brass in and out of the tumbler. Plus it pretty well ruined one bag of media and a half a bottle of polish additive.
    I then went to buy some Imperial case wax and yup, didn't have any so I looked around and ended up buying some Issio spray case lube. Yup its right like the label says. Washes off easy and does not dry greasy. Problem though. I stuck a case on my 5th case I tried to resize. Grrrrr. Off to the store to buy a stuck case remover. Another Grrrr. Some poor sucker evidently was needier than I as someone had stolen the tap out of the bag (could even see the hole they had poked through the side of the bag) and it was the only one in stock. Big GGGGGGGGGrrrrrrrr. So I bought another set of .308 Lee dies, the cheap ones, and headed back home to resize the brass. Want to hear someone Bitch. That would of been me as on the second case I went to resize I stuck another case. &%$&%* &^*^ **^
    Well after my wife calmed me down a bit I headed off to Manards and bought a 1/4X20 tap and drill bit and socket head 1" screw and headed back home with it. Took the 1/4" drill bit and drilled out the primer pocket and then threaded it with the tap and put a 5/8" socket on top of the case and then screwed in the screw and cranked on the hex head wrench and POP out it came. Worked great. Did the second set of dies and back to work I went. :)
    About the 10th case I stuck another one. :( Ok change dies. 6 cases later I stuck another. Grrrr
    After 100 cases I got very good at unsticking the brass from the die but started investigating why this was happening. I could go down on the case about 3/4 of the way and then it got very hard to push down. I finally found that if I stopped there and relubed the case I could go about another 1/4" and it got really hard again. Then I would pull it out and lube it again. It takes about 4 strokes and lubing to complete one case sizing in my Rock Chucker. About every 8th or 9th case though when I hit the bottom of the stroke no matter how hard I tried I would peal off the rim of the case and I would have another stuck case. :(

    About that time I started doing some research and found on a number of sites that if you are trying to resize LC machine gun brass that it is a real bear to and most give up before they get very far. DUHHHH I call my bud that gave me the brass and grilled him about the brass and told him the problem I was having. His comment was Hmmm maybe that was why the guy that gave it to me did so but he never said anything about it being machine gun ammo. Well it seems I was about the 4th owner of this brass by the time I got to the bottom of it. Seems everyone else gave up real quick on it.

    I now have 350 of the brass resized.
    So far I have 1 extra set of dies invested. (I have the tap I bought broke off in one of the cases and have yet to be able to get that one out.)
    Broken the decaping rod in the first set of dies when I could not get it out and ended up bending it and destroying it trying to get that case removed. Took out the decaping pin on the second set of dies before using it so I saved that one.
    Die was spinning in my vise so I tightened it down some more. Still spun, as it has smooth jaws, tightended it down. POP broke my vers-a-vise. I now own a huge vise with 6' jaws and it holds the die very nicely with little trouble. Buddy thinks he can weld my vise as he has two of them he has welded and they both have never broken again. I asked him if he has been resizing machine gun ammo. He just blinked at me.
    Rounded off the hex wrench and ruined the socket head screw and had to buy another one of each.
    Gas and time to go get all that STUFF
    I have given up. The rest can go to the garbage. I haven't saved a dime by saving this brass and could of bought Lapua brass and been done with it and done it cheaper and would still have a whole mind left.
    So the moral of the story is, if your looking at a gift horse shoot it before you look in its mouth.
    No I mean if you think you have brass that has been fired in a machine gun, sell it to the closest junk man and run in case he decides to resize it.
    Well I guess I mean don't do it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  2. raedr01

    raedr01 Member

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    You know that saying "learn from another mans mistakes"? ......lesson learned sir!! Sorry for your headache, but thanks for sharing!!
     
  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    One day I bought some once fired 17 Remington brass. Apparently had been fired in a 17-223 chamber. What a mess.
     
  4. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    BillR,
    Dang, my blood pressure went up about 20 points just in sympathy response to reading your post. I have experienced similar trouble with once fired brass, just not to that extent. Rest assured, if I ever buy any more fired brass of any cartridge I will first ask if it was fired in a machine gun.gun):D
     
  5. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    I feel your pain . . . to quote another Bill who we won't go into here.

    LC makes some pretty decent brass, but you want to stick to the stuff that you know has been fired in a bolt gun, or an M14/M21 at the very worst. Anything run through an M60 or an M240 is perfectly fine, just so long as you want to sell it by the pound, as scrap brass.

    Anytime you need that Lapua brass you mentioned . . . :)

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Cases get stuck for one reason; improper lubing. Bad choice of lube and/or imoproperly applied. I reform .30-06 to .22-250 and that's much more difficult than resizing "machine gun" cases but I don't do it with a poor lube.
     
  7. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Talk about intestinal fortitude...damn I'd a gave up on the 2nd trip to the store.
     
  8. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Hey I learned something. I can now remove a stuck case in under 4 minutes. :)
    Also I have another trip to the store today to replace the broken 1/4X20 tap I broke.

    Just one question, does shooting that ammo through a machine gun heat the brass up a bunch. They sure do tear the rims off easy.
    Least I can still laugh about it.
     
  9. Johnboy

    Johnboy Well-Known Member

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    hey I feel your pain.but if I may add to this I will.next time you go to Wal-Mart get your self a big can Of Mink Oil shoe polish.I think its the same as Imperial wax but you get alot more for the money.and I have yet had a stuck case useing it.

    but hey like you said at least you can now laugh at this.
     
  10. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thought. The brass could actually be dangerous to shoot but that is not likely - just possible!

    Machine guns are designed to be fired in bursts not continuous and there is supposedly a spare barrel that gets put on when the first barrel gets hot and even a leather glove to do that with. In reality that seldom occurs. A machine gun can be fired continuously until the chamber becomes red hot and the rounds literally cookoff from the temperature and fire before the bolt closes and the firing pin hits. Flame starts coming out everywhere and in the end it ruins a barrel. The classic demonstration in infantry school is in "live night fire" when the barrel and action become so hot as to be translucent. The closing act is when the instructor walks over and lights his cigarette off of the redhot barrel.

    A piece of brass that had been "cooked off" would have been subjected to such extreme heat that it likely would be ruined as far as hardness and the case head would fail the first time it was fired again.

    Here is two videos but they are not of the M-60s which will cook for hundreds of rounds and you have to break the belt to stop them.


    YouTube - M249 cook-off


    YouTube - M249 Round Cookoff, 2 Melted Gun barrels


    Here is a dutch mg with the barrel hot enough to cook but it doesn't for some reason.

    YouTube - Dutch Machine Gun is shooting like hell

    You would not want the brass from any of those guns.
     
  11. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Good vids. You'd think they would know better, it doesn't take alot of rounds to get it really really hot.
     
  12. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Bill, I havent laughed that hard since reading Royinidaho's thread on using superglue to hold primers in blown out primer pockets. And his following thread about replacing a battery cable.
    Im sorry you had to go thru all that, but thanks for sharing your experience. Im sure theres someone out there who'll bennifit from it for loading purposes, but laughter is a great thing to share too.:D:D:D
     
  13. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Oh you haven't heard the end of it. I finally decided that enough was enough and quit trying to resize the rest of the brass. This was after I broke off a tap in one of the cases which yes I can get it out and hopefully without ruining the die with a wire welder set on its highest setting and feeding the wire slowly which once you get it hot enough you can take a punch and whack it and it will shatter and no problem. Least it did the last time I tried. :)
    Anyway to move onto the rest of the story. I have 350 rounds resized but not De-primed. So I again lubed up one of the cases and went to run it through the sizing die and I felt something weird. Pulled the case out and WTF????? It (the de-priming and neck expander) had pushed the neck down into the case. I thought hmm thats weird. (Go back and read the part where I ask if shooting in a MG will get the brass too hot) So I take another case and this time I make sure that it has plenty of lube on the inside of the neck. I ran it into the die slowly this time and I could feel something gritty going on and then a pop. I pulled the case back out and it did it again. ?????? So I take the die apart to check for dirt or something in it and I notice something I hadn't seen when I put the expander/de-caper rod back in. It has little machine marks going around it. So I chuck it up in my drill and spin it and take some 600 grip sandpaper and give it a light sanding and then 0000 steel wool and really put a polish on it. Lube it up good and put it back into the die. Lube up the neck good and slowly pull the ram up and can this time feel it smoothly slide into the case like it is supposed to. I continue till it deprimed the case this time and then go to back the case out except that POP it peels off the rim of the case sticking the case into the die. Ok this sucks. I go to drill out the primer pocket but the depriming pin is sticking into the primer pocket and cannot make that work. Hmm I turn the die over and about this time I am becoming a bit pissed with all the problems I have been having. I take a hammer and whang away at the depriming pin stem until the case pops out of the die and then I take a hack saw and cut the case all the way around which in turn free's up the stem and I can get it out. EXCEPT whanging it with a hammer has sort of spread the end of the stem on the lee depriming stem and it won't fit into the collete that holds it in the die.
    I've had enough. The next trip to the store will be to buy some new .308 Lapua brass and this stuff is going to the garbage can. I don't have anyone I dislike enough to give it to.

    As an added note: When a person gets as old as me you learn one of life's great secrets. You learn to laugh at yourself, your really funny to watch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  14. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    Before you "round file" all that brass you might give Lee or RCBS a call and explain the problem.
    I have a friend that does .308MG brass quite a bit and he had a FL die made that has been honed and polished on the inside. The ID of it is about .0025 larger than the standard die. That way it only resizes the brass about half way, so he uses this die first in a 2 step resizing process.
    It's a hassle to resize twice, but he says the die paid for itself in the first 1k rounds or so, because he usually gets the brass free (or close to it). It goes fairly quick if you have a second press.

    Good luck!