case question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by ryan42, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Hello,Im new to this forum,seems like theres more traffic on here than most forums wich I like. I reload 45acp and Im going to a military gun show this weekend and I was wondering how you tell if the cases are military grade.thanks for any input.
  2. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    I cant help you there, Ryan, but welcome to the forum. Somebody should be along shortly that will be able to steer you in the right direction.
  3. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    thanks country
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The headstamp will be numerical. For example a commercial federal case will say federal .45 Auto. And a military federal case will say FC 09 for instance.

    I have a bunch of TZZ cases from the 70s. Good brass for the 1911s.
  5. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Ryan;

    Welcome to TFF! I'm just down the road from you in Rushville, and I have a brother who went to IWU in Marion.

    JLA answered your question, but I wanted to chime in and say hello. :)
  6. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    hey camping josh thats only 5 miles from my home I live close to 18 and 69.Ive been shooting for awhile and just started reloading a couple of months ago for a hobby.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    It is a worthwhile hobby. I started out on a Lee anniversary kit and now I have a whole room full of equipment. I learned long ago reloading wont save you any money, but it will put you on the range shooting a wider array of firearms and lots more ammo at your disposal.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I don’t understand the question, myself.

    Federal, to use the company JLA mentioned, makes a run of brass. They headstamp it FEDERAL 45 ACP. They make another run. They stamp these FC 98. They are the same stuff. The one stamped Federal was made for civilian sales, while the one stamped FC was made for military, but they are the same thing.

    Now, supposedly, military RIFLE brass is thicker than civilian brass. But then, Remington brass is thicker than Winchester brass, so maybe ALL military rifle brass isn’t thicker. But, as far as I know, military pistol brass is the same wall thickness as civilian. The flash hole is the same diameter. Aside from the crimp on the primer, that you have to remove, it’s the same stuff.

    So, what exactly is “military grade”?
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum from an "ex patriot-Hoosier". I grew up in Broad Ripple, north side of Indianapolis. You will find a lot of friendly help, general discussion, and good fun here.
  10. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Hey JLA thats what I got for christmas is a 50th anniversary lee press kit.I appreciate the info ALPO,I didnt know if there was a difference ,thats why I asked the question how do you tell them apart just in case there was maybe I should have worded it different sorry,thanks for all the replies.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    As alpo stated, the milsurp stuff will have crimped in primers. You simply resize/decap as normal then cut or swage the crimp out of the primer pocket. Commercial brass doesnt have crimped in primers so no need to cut or swage anything out, just run em thru the dies and load em up.

    For removing the primer crimp I find the inside chamfer side of the case debur tool does dandy, just a couple quick turns and its good to go.
  12. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    SOME military .45 cases will be crimped, but I find that most are not crimped. Otherwise there's no real difference. The crimped cases are usually made around 1970 or earlier, not exactly sure of the date they stopped crimping them. Probably whenever they got rid of the Thompsons and M3 grease guns I suppose.

    Do you know what a crimped primer looks like? Notice the depressed ring around the edge of the primer pocket here

    Attached Files:

  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Not true! Large quantities of military brass are still crimped today, FC and especially WCC.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  14. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    thanks alot now I will atleast know what im looking at,I learned something from everyone of you guys thanks nice picture,big help
  15. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Hey JLA what part of texas you live,my oldest brother live in Keller a suburb of ft.worth,And I worked in dallas 20 years ago
  16. brad87

    brad87 Former Guest

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    <- grew up just outside of montpelier
  17. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Bought a case, a few years back, of FC96 45 ball. Crimped primers.
  18. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Just a 'chirp' from the peanut gallery. The crimp on the primer pocket was done to keep the primers from backing out - especially when used in full-auto firearms.

    Thw military is very serious about tracking and identifying different lots (batches) of ammo. That way, if there is a problem with a specfic lot of ammo received from a manufacturor, it is fairly easy to identify it and pull it from the supply system - without shutting down the whole "kit and kaboodle".

    I COULD very well be wrong, but I've never heard or read anything that states that military brass is stamped from different thickness brass stock than is commercial (civilian) ammo. I've read in numerous reloading manuals to reduce maximum charges for military brass - AND I'M JUST GUESSING HERE - but could that be because they assume that the military stuff would be range-pick-up while they specify new commercial cases (Rem, Win, FC, etc) for the load data?
  19. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Everywhere I've read about "reducing charges for military brass", it specifically says it is because military brass is thicker. This might be an old wives' tale, but it's been around for a long time.
  20. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I reload .223. I have PMC cases that are military spec, and PPU cases that are commercial spec. My load for PPU cases is 24.6 gr. N140, and for PMC cases is 22.4 gr. N140. 24.6 gr. of powder fills the PMC cases clear up to the top of the case and allows no room for the bullet. I did the "fill it up with water and weigh it" test and found the inside volume of the PPU cases to be greater than the PMC cases. In this case the military spec cases are thicker than the PPU cases.

    I suppose you would need to check each type of case...perhaps not all military cases are thicker than commercial grade cases. Forgive the pun, but it needs to be taken on a case by case basis. :)
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