Spent brass and reloading at bases

HE117

LE
Can I just reiterate..

1. Reloading for a specific rifle using cases from the same batch will produce more accurate results than factory, BUT the ammunition produced is likely not to be accurate or even fit in another firearm.

2. You could set up a bulk loading line in an ISO container or in your back yard, but you would have to use new, batched components with known characteristics. The explosive components (primers and powder) would however attract a higher transport classification than the assembled rounds. For military use you would have to mark and repack the ammunition in suitable containers. This has never been found to be economic..

During the WW1 "shell crisis" Quick Firing artillery cartridge cases were recycled. This was only ever done in extremis and because cases carried a full set of marks and were traceable. Even then cases were heat treated and harness tested between reuse. Each reuse was marked on the case - this would not be possible with small arms cases..

It doesn't work..
It's a duff idea..
Drop the dead donkey..
It's a stiff..
Bereft of life, the idea should be laid to rest..
THIS IS A DEAD CONCEPT!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Can I just reiterate..

1. Reloading for a specific rifle using cases from the same batch will produce more accurate results than factory, BUT the ammunition produced is likely not to be accurate or even fit in another firearm.

2. You could set up a bulk loading line in an ISO container or in your back yard, but you would have to use new, batched components with known characteristics. The explosive components (primers and powder) would however attract a higher transport classification than the assembled rounds. For military use you would have to mark and repack the ammunition in suitable containers. This has never been found to be economic..

During the WW1 "shell crisis" Quick Firing artillery cartridge cases were recycled. This was only ever done in extremis and because cases carried a full set of marks and were traceable. Even then cases were heat treated and harness tested between reuse. Each reuse was marked on the case - this would not be possible with small arms cases..

It doesn't work..
It's a duff idea..
Drop the dead donkey..
It's a stiff..
Bereft of life, the idea should be laid to rest..
THIS IS A DEAD CONCEPT!
Agreed, the military requirements and rules are vastly different to those U.S. Hand loaders work under, however full length resizing should allow the ammo to fit all rifles of that calibre which is why military specs on ammo are a set of tolerances which usually are slack enough to accommodate all of the possible variations
 
There were some scribblings on a US shooter forum a few years ago about bulk military reloading. The author was former US SF and had stayed in one of the hot spots as an "adviser" and in an attempt to maintain his clients ammunition levels was going to resort to bulk reloading. They had ordered, bought, paid for and were awaiting delivery of the reloading gear.

They were expecting to knock out in excess of a million rounds of ammo a month. Thats a lot, I met a bloke in Florida who was doing commercial reloading and he was knocking out 3 million a year....pistol calibres.

I get your point, for a big army it doesn't work. However, for smaller organizations it does as shown by the cottage industry grown up around reloading in the US. I know of police departments who reload their range ammo, only using factory ammo when on duty.

There is bulk processing equipment which makes the task quite simple if you are willing to invest. It includes everything from bullet molding, case cleaning and preparation to actual assembly of components. Small electric cement mixers make good case cleaners.

My bottomline though: Would I rely in a reloaded round in a duty pistol? No! Not even in a competition as one misfire is one too many.
 

HE117

LE
Agreed, the military requirements and rules are vastly different to those U.S. Hand loaders work under, however full length resizing should allow the ammo to fit all rifles of that calibre which is why military specs on ammo are a set of tolerances which usually are slack enough to accommodate all of the possible variations
Oh, I know that Uggs..

..but even with full length resizing, you need to keep your cases consistent.. if you reload from a random mix of cases you are never going to be consistent.. if you are running your process off range or (horror) battlefield pickups you have no idea where they have come from and how many times they have been fired..

Also you have to remember that military ammo has a serious crimp on both the bullet and the primer that needs to be dealt with.. you are working the brass far more than civvie street and would need to anneal all the cases each time. If you try to feed normal civvie reloads through a GPMG you are likely to end up with cocked bullets and blown primers.
 

HE117

LE
. I met a bloke in Florida who was doing commercial reloading and he was knocking out 3 million a year....pistol calibres.

I get your point, for a big army it doesn't work. However, for smaller organizations it does as shown by the cottage industry grown up around reloading in the US. I know of police departments who reload their range ammo, only using factory ammo when on duty.

There is bulk processing equipment which makes the task quite simple if you are willing to invest. It includes everything from bullet molding, case cleaning and preparation to actual assembly of components. Small electric cement mixers make good case cleaners.

My bottomline though: Would I rely in a reloaded round in a duty pistol? No! Not even in a competition as one misfire is one too many.
Yes, for Police departments with pistol calibres they get it to work for training ammo - ammo issued at range and empties collected.. provided you can keep track of the case batches.. they have been doing this since the 1880s! An average US PD will use most of it's ammunition for training and almost none for operations.. even for a seige situation, they are unlikely to go through more than a thousand rounds. Normal cyclic training of policemen will go through that in a day so it makes sense for them to reload.. but I bet they don't do this with any M60s they may have stashed away...

Not for Armies though - military ammunition is made to be stored, because when Armies get serious the usage rate can be huge! Ammunition is stockpiled in huge quantities and has to last for at least twenty years. Armies normally use war stock turnover for training.. It is only because we have been on Ops for the last decade that we have been using specially bought ammunition for training. Once we have had time to rebuild the stockpile, you will see the disappearance of the wooden box ammo and a return to brown boxes with long dates...
 
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Oh, I know that Uggs..

..but even with full length resizing, you need to keep your cases consistent.. if you reload from a random mix of cases you are never going to be consistent.. if you are running your process off range or (horror) battlefield pickups you have no idea where they have come from and how many times they have been fired..

Also you have to remember that military ammo has a serious crimp on both the bullet and the primer that needs to be dealt with.. you are working the brass far more than civvie street and would need to anneal all the cases each time. If you try to feed normal civvie reloads through a GPMG you are likely to end up with cocked bullets and blown primers.
I have re-loaded various military cases in 7.62 and 5.56. The bullet crimps are never a problem because they get "ironed out" on firing. However the primer crimp is a different story. No problems with ex Bundeswehr ammo or with Lake City; however Prvi Partisan 7.62 (not 308 Win) is a nightmare.
On a less serious note, we just cannot have armies reloading their brass. There would be no cases left for me to err, obtain. :-(

My bold.
 

HE117

LE
I have re-loaded various military cases in 7.62 and 5.56. The bullet crimps are never a problem because they get "ironed out" on firing. However the primer crimp is a different story. No problems with ex Bundeswehr ammo or with Lake City; however Prvi Partisan 7.62 (not 308 Win) is a nightmare.
On a less serious note, we just cannot have armies reloading their brass. There would be no cases left for me to err, obtain. :-(

My bold.
Yeah..

but my point was not so much taking the crimp out, but putting it in! Ball breaking crimps are necessary in military rounds.. they keep the round together as they feed through the action in hot and angry guns.. A blown primer or a driven in bullet in an automatic breech mechanism could seriously spoil your day..

Crimps are there for a number of reasons, not just to piss off hand loaders!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Crimps, yes a. Pain!
 

joey magoo

Old-Salt
Can I just reiterate..

1. Reloading for a specific rifle using cases from the same batch will produce more accurate results than factory, BUT the ammunition produced is likely not to be accurate or even fit in another firearm.

2. You could set up a bulk loading line in an ISO container or in your back yard, but you would have to use new, batched components with known characteristics. The explosive components (primers and powder) would however attract a higher transport classification than the assembled rounds. For military use you would have to mark and repack the ammunition in suitable containers. This has never been found to be economic..

During the WW1 "shell crisis" Quick Firing artillery cartridge cases were recycled. This was only ever done in extremis and because cases carried a full set of marks and were traceable. Even then cases were heat treated and harness tested between reuse. Each reuse was marked on the case - this would not be possible with small arms cases..

It doesn't work..
It's a duff idea..
Drop the dead donkey..
It's a stiff..
Bereft of life, the idea should be laid to rest..
THIS IS A DEAD CONCEPT!
I During the days of the blackpowder 45/70 use dby the various trapdoor rifles and carbines the US Army and ARNG reloaded alot of the brass for reasons of economy.That practice never carried over to smoekless cartridges adopted later.
The japanese before and during WW2 did reload a fiar amount of their rifle ammunition from salvaged brass but japanese ammunition quality was rather on the low side , especially seeing as they had to issue lower powered 6,5x50 cartridges to use in their type 96 hopper fed MG's. The quality of reloaded small arms ammo in a field level environment would not be acceptable . The ability to guarantee defect free brass , crimped primers and waterproofing would be more than a field level reload could effect. In the US military range brass is collected and sold for scrap and or in bulk lots to companies that resell it as is or remanufacture it for the open market.
 

HE117

LE
I During the days of the blackpowder 45/70 use dby the various trapdoor rifles and carbines the US Army and ARNG reloaded alot of the brass for reasons of economy.That practice never carried over to smoekless cartridges adopted later.
The japanese before and during WW2 did reload a fiar amount of their rifle ammunition from salvaged brass but japanese ammunition quality was rather on the low side , especially seeing as they had to issue lower powered 6,5x50 cartridges to use in their type 96 hopper fed MG's. The quality of reloaded small arms ammo in a field level environment would not be acceptable . The ability to guarantee defect free brass , crimped primers and waterproofing would be more than a field level reload could effect. In the US military range brass is collected and sold for scrap and or in bulk lots to companies that resell it as is or remanufacture it for the open market.
I had thought we covered all the bases on this topic a couple of years ago.. obviously I was mistaken! however did you read the full thread before responding I wonder? Your points about the Japanese are well made, however they were a very odd army for a number of reasons, and were known for their somewhat haphazard equipment procurement and support strategies..

Please accept my thanks for your observations and be sure to pass my sympathies to your spell checker in the hope of a speedy recovery..!
 

joey magoo

Old-Salt
I had thought we covered all the bases on this topic a couple of years ago.. obviously I was mistaken! however did you read the full thread before responding I wonder? Your points about the Japanese are well made, however they were a very odd army for a number of reasons, and were known for their somewhat haphazard equipment procurement and support strategies..

Please accept my thanks for your observations and be sure to pass my sympathies to your spell checker in the hope of a speedy recovery..!
My apologies to being late to this "fun". I don't use a spellchecker of any sort.... too much trouble for such a techno not savvy yank. I still write and mail off letters in preference to long dribbling emails. Oddly the japanese did not start "waterproofing" their small arms ammunition until later in the war , and they packed their ammo in cardboard cartons in wood crates sans any means of moisture protection. They did not even treat their cardboard cartons with wax . But they did take some care to manufacture somewhat weatherproof cardboard & fabric sleeves for their semi rimmed 7,7x58 MG ammo on hotchkiss clips.
 

HE117

LE
My apologies to being late to this "fun". I don't use a spellchecker of any sort.... too much trouble for such a techno not savvy yank. I still write and mail off letters in preference to long dribbling emails. Oddly the japanese did not start "waterproofing" their small arms ammunition until later in the war , and they packed their ammo in cardboard cartons in wood crates sans any means of moisture protection. They did not even treat their cardboard cartons with wax . But they did take some care to manufacture somewhat weatherproof cardboard & fabric sleeves for their semi rimmed 7,7x58 MG ammo on hotchkiss clips.
It is difficult to research the development of technology in Japan, and understand the reasoning behind some of their decisions, but I think you need to appreciate just how quickly Japan industrialised at the end of the 19th centuary, and how much of their medieval culture and ways of working hung on. The ability of Japanese engineers to copy technology was well known, but I suspect it took a couple more generations for them to gain depth of understanding. I always think the WW2 balloon bomb was a good example of a brilliant use of modern meteorology coupled with medieval technology...

The other thing that you need to remember is that WW2 was a rush job for the Japanese.. their forces were almost fully committed to beating sh1t out of China and most of SE Asia before Tojo decided it was a good idea to poke a stick into Pearl Harbour.. The Japs had lots of reasonably new ships and aircraft , but the rest was mostly all tied up with bits of string and bamboo..!
 

joey magoo

Old-Salt
It is difficult to research the development of technology in Japan, and understand the reasoning behind some of their decisions, but I think you need to appreciate just how quickly Japan industrialised at the end of the 19th centuary, and how much of their medieval culture and ways of working hung on. The ability of Japanese engineers to copy technology was well known, but I suspect it took a couple more generations for them to gain depth of understanding. I always think the WW2 balloon bomb was a good example of a brilliant use of modern meteorology coupled with medieval technology...

The other thing that you need to remember is that WW2 was a rush job for the Japanese.. their forces were almost fully committed to beating sh1t out of China and most of SE Asia before Tojo decided it was a good idea to poke a stick into Pearl Harbour.. The Japs had lots of reasonably new ships and aircraft , but the rest was mostly all tied up with bits of string and bamboo..!
I can agree completely on your points regarding japanese industriousness. The japanese copies of the M1 rifle were well thought out but poor metallurgy and the extensive machining needed doomed them. In general the fit and finish of japanese arms was exceptional prior to late 1942. The early jap aircraft , submarines and torpedoes were exemplary models. It's odd in some disastrous aspects how the japanese did not think things through . For example they had no fire suppresion/control teams on their aircraft carriers , whereas UK & American navies had it as part of their SOP. It cost the japs dearly at midway. The quality of steels used in japanese armaments prior to 1943 was unusually good. Their type 38 rifle were very rugged . The early made type 99 rifles were of exceptional fit and finish too.
Their pistols and SMG's were very lacking in quality & durability.
 

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