Spent brass and reloading at bases

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by IndependentBoffin, Mar 16, 2012.

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  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?


    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!
  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?
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  3. They phased out muskets some time ago, I think.
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  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.
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  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.
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  6. ...and it's been downhill ever since.
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  7. This is what happened last time they let a grunt reload ammo:

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  8. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    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.
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  10. 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?
  11. The locals pick it up and weigh it in.
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  12. 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!"
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  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.
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  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.
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