Spent brass and reloading at bases

#1
Hello folks!

Good day to all of you!

I am curious why the military does not do reloading of spent brass at bases. AIUI someone here mentioned that spent brass is shipped back to the factory for reloading. Why not do it in theatre?

Ammo Load Worldwide, Mark L - Automatic Rifle Ammunition Loader

Ammo Load Worldwide - Automated Ammunition Loading Machine - YouTube

That machine can reportedly reload 3600 rounds per hr.

This way logistics would only need to ship bullets, primers and propellant to bases.

Is it an issue of Quality Control?

Thanks.

Right Folks Ugly here, the reason this is a sticky is for the quality of responses received so far from the better educated (and trained) members of the community, I am happy to leave this open unless it gets repetitive so read and digest before you ask please!
Thanks
Uggs
 
#2
In theatre blokes dont pick up empty cases - more pressing conerns.

In camp blokes dont relaod ammunition for hours on end - more pressing concerns.

It isnt cost effective to own a machine for the sake of four hours work during the two field firing camps a year.

Have you met a squaddie - would you trust the new lad to operate the machine or do you think the ammo NCO would do it, (really?)

How many bags of black powder do you want lying around the ammo bunker behind a 6 foot rusted chain link fence?
 
#4
Blokes I served with and myself included couldn't be trusted to reload their mags!
god forbid they were given technical stuff to do.
 
#5
Pillager’s points have merit.

Note also that a processing facility dealing with loose propellant would need to comply with the full gamut of JSPs, A&ERs – by the time it got planned and built we would be out of there.
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#7
This is what happened last time they let a grunt reload ammo:

[video=youtube;zsTRxXvQY0s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zsTRxXvQY0s[/video]
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#8
Nope, AIUI we already destroy as scrap (in theatre) far, far, more Ammo than we can use, and I would be astonished if we even considered taking any SAA back to the UK. Ask anyone who has been to Bastion how often the Controlled Explosions take place :)
 
#9
Bulk propellant and primers would be far more complex to store, transport and handle than 1.4S. The job would probably fall to RLC Ammo Techs who are too far stretched already.
 
#10
Nope, AIUI we already destroy as scrap (in theatre) far, far, more Ammo than we can use, and I would be astonished if we even considered taking any SAA back to the UK. Ask anyone who has been to Bastion how often the Controlled Explosions take place :)
You mean we destroy unused SAA of our own? Or is this captured arms and ammunition?

So what exactly happens to the spent brass from remote FOBs and bigger bases like Kandahar or Bastion?
 
#12
Nope, AIUI we already destroy as scrap (in theatre) far, far, more Ammo than we can use, and I would be astonished if we even considered taking any SAA back to the UK. Ask anyone who has been to Bastion how often the Controlled Explosions take place :)
Yup... the spare SA ammo at the end of Telic was destroyed in situ because it was cheaper to destroy it and "waste" it than ship it back to the UK and recondition it. It was a matter of pence per round, which mounts up dramatically.
 
#13
So what exactly happens to the spent brass from remote FOBs and bigger bases like Kandahar or Bastion?[/QUOTE]

Spent brass? Do you think blokes go round picking it up after a contact and putting it in sandbags? Don't forget the post contact declaration "I have no live rounds or empty cases because I've unloaded them into Terry, sir!"
 
#14
Firstly this machine only loads the cases that have been prepared, ie cleaned, resized, de-primed, trimmed to length and inspected. that's a lot of man hours. Then there is the logistics of shipping, it is easier to ship the finished item complete & ready to use rather than ship the components...........what next, ship the components for everything the Army uses and have them assemble everything in theatre. Hear you go lads, one Landrover, in 161 pieces, please assemble as required.

AFAIK spent brass is shipped back for disposal, not for reloading.


PS as a Civi shooter, it really pees us off to see good Ammo destroyed rather than offer it on the Surplus market; lots of civilian shooters would love to get their mitts on the stuff that gets destroyed.
 
#15
Independent Boffin,

the 7.62mm is berdan primed and thus a BITCH to reload.

Picture this: bunch of battlefield pickup boxer 5.56mm comes back in from the sangers.

First it has to be hand-sorted.
Then cleaned.
Then lubricated.
Then sized
Then trimmed (can be done concurrently with sizing)
Then reprimed
Then the primers have to be crimped for mil use (civvy ammo doesn't need it) and lacquered.
Then filled correctly
Then bullets need to be seated correctly and sealed
THen crimped correctly.

Then the sizing die or crimp die goes out of whack & a bunch of guys go out and find out halfway through a contact that nobody can chamber a round any more.

Read Homage to Catalonia for the effects of poor factory-reloads on rifles in the Spanish civil war.
 
#17
We don't dem SAA. We used to burn it in SAA burn tanks, but no longer do due to concerns with release of toxins into the atmosphere.

The correct procedure for dealing with unserviceable in an operational theatre is as follows.

1. Loose SAA is packed into a H83 upto a max of 19Kg.
2. The H83 is sealed and marked with the following:

19KG Loose SAA below 12.7mm
Cond D2
1.4S
UNS **** (appropriate United Nations Serial Number).
BKI N/K
NEQ
Cartridges Small Arms
PKD *** (*** = AT's unique identity code).

3. The H83 is then placed inside a H50 (1) or C238 (2)

4. The same markings are applied as (2) with the weight amended as required.

5. The ammunition containers are palletised and consigned back to the UK for contract disposal.
 
#18
Independent Boffin,

the 7.62mm is berdan primed and thus a BITCH to reload.
Not entirely true Radway Green is Berdan primed but any issued 7.62 with a cross in a circle on the headstamp is outside contract ammo and is in the main Boxer primed, well i've never seen one that was not boxer yet. Reloading in theatre is a crazy idea for all the reasons mentioned, you need peace, quiet and time to avoid mistakes, I have to lock the wife out of the shed when I'm reloading, amongst other things !!!!.
 
#19
You're mistaken.

The cross in a circle on military ammunition does not indicate that it is outside contract.
 
#20
We don't dem SAA. We used to burn it in SAA burn tanks, but no longer do due to concerns with release of toxins into the atmosphere.

The correct procedure for dealing with unserviceable in an operational theatre is as follows.

1. Loose SAA is packed into a H83 upto a max of 19Kg.
2. The H83 is sealed and marked with the following:

19KG Loose SAA below 12.7mm
Cond D2
1.4S
UNS **** (appropriate United Nations Serial Number).
BKI N/K
NEQ
Cartridges Small Arms
PKD *** (*** = AT's unique identity code).

3. The H83 is then placed inside a H50 (1) or C238 (2)

4. The same markings are applied as (2) with the weight amended as required.

5. The ammunition containers are palletised and consigned back to the UK for contract disposal.
Take it your ATO.
 

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