Ridges on .308 brass?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by buckrod73, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. buckrod73

    buckrod73 New Member

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    I ran onto an interesting bunch of used brass today. It all has ridges running down the neck, shoulder, and the length of the case. In appearance they would be simular to rifling marks and had to be made when they were fired. They are of various headstamps such as WW and LC. What gives?

    Buck
  2. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    I've seen markings like that before. The brass was fired from a military rifle, likely a German-made HK.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yep, either an HK or a CETME, or one of their clones.
  4. nadroj

    nadroj New Member

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    Saw the same kind of brass today at the range. Fired from a German made H&K, as mentioned before. My question would be, can this brass be reloaded?
  5. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    It is military brass. Has the Berdan primer pocket, not boxer type. The primer pocket needs to be swaged to accept the standard (boxer) primers. Then it should be good to go bang!
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    >It is military brass. Has the Berdan primer pocket, not boxer type.<

    How would you know that? Civilian 308 ammo gets fired in HKs all the time. It's neither military nor berdan. And I have quite of bit of NATO ball that is boxer primed.

    Nadroj, there are usually two things that people don't like about the brass.

    When it is ejected, it hits the side of the ejection port, putting a helluva dent in the side of the case. If it's just a "dent", it's fine, but on some guns it hits so hard there is a sharp crease at the bottom of the dent. This is not safe to load.

    The other thing is the flute-marks running the length of the case. These are not deep, and do not destroy the integrity of the case. I, personally, would not reload them to refire them in an HK, but to shoot in a bolt gun, they are fine. The creases iron out when you fire them, and then they can be loaded again, and shot in anything. You might get a shorter brass life. I haven't loaded them often enough to know. If they just have the flutes, it might not hurt to reload them and shoot them again in the HK, but if the side-dent is there, it needs to be shot in a bolt gun first, to have that dent ironed out.

    My opinion, and worth, absolutely, what you paid for it.
  7. nadroj

    nadroj New Member

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    Thank you Bruce and Alpo for your info. The head stamp on the 308's is GGG. I did not see any dents. The brass is very dirty(looks like powder dirty). After I clean them up I will look a little closer. Checked inside the case and it is Boxer primed(one hole). I have a M1A and a Savage 308 bolt action. Just for fun I think I will reload a few and try them out on the Savage. I have only been reloading for less than a year but I have seen quite a lot of different types of ammo. This is the first time for the ridges. Very lucky to find someone talking about it on the forum right away.
  8. desertfox2001

    desertfox2001 New Member

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    GGG marked 308 brass is boxer primed. it is really good brass. it is from Lithuainia (sp?). after you polish it, and pop the primer out, you will need to run it through a Swage (like dillions super swage 600) inorder to reload it..............

    That being said. I have never tried reloading brass that has been abused by a HK style firearm. but I do have atleast 4K pieces of the Lith brass I plan on reloading.
  9. islenos

    islenos New Member

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    Also Lake City (LC) Military Brass is boxer primed as well. Good stuff!
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Active Member

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    Bruce FLinch:

    I hope you didn't mean what you stated in your post:
    "The primer pocket needs to be swaged to accept the standard (boxer) primers."

    Berdan primed brass is totally different from Boxer primed brass and you cannot make Berdan primed brass into Boxer primed brass with a swedge tool, to the best of my knowledge.

    Primers use an anvil to crush the priming compound. Berdan primed brass has the anvil in the bottom of the primer pocket IN the brass. Boxer primed brass has the anvil as part of the primer itself, NOT in the brass. You get the anvil as part of the Boxer primer.

    Most Military brass, whether it be Berdan or Boxer, swedges the edge of the primer pocket in the case so the primer won't fall out due to rough transport or handling. Once you remove the primer after firing, a new one will not go back into the primer pocket of the brass until you remove the swedged over metal around the rim of the primer pocket. Primer pocket swedges, and cutting tools remove the small ridge so that new primer can be installed. The swedge tool does not remove the anvil in the bottom of the primer pocket in Berdan brass. A cutting tool MAY but I think such modified brass, if possible, MAY be unsafe to use (??). But this is not the accepted way.

    In my experience Berdan primed brass is a throwaway, as the Berdan primers are extremely tough to remove (RCBS use to make a tool and others have used hydraulic means to remove them) because there is no central hole in the bottom of a Berdan primer pocket. Also Berdan primers are next to impossible to buy here in the USA.

    Maybe what you suggest is possible (Are the Berdan and Boxer diameters the same???) but you probably would have to use a cutting tool, not a swedge, to remove the anvil in the bottom of the primer pocket. I don't have access to dimensions of Berdan primers to decide for sure if it is even possible. Another little difference is that the Berdan primer uses two offset small primer holes in the bottom of the primer pocket whereas Boxer priming uses a central larger hole.

    Is what you possible (with a cutting tool)? I don't know for sure. I have never heard of anyone doing it this way (???). Are you on to something?

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The 'flute' marks on the .308 cases are from a small gas channel that is present in the cambers of german made Hk rifles and the Cetme rifles and thier copies. This channel sort of 'floats' the cartridge out of the chamber.

    Boxer primers in a berdan case should NOT be done. I know there is a guy on you tube that does it but its NOT SAFE and id be willing to bet the erosion on the boltface of his rifles is awful. Berdan primers are just a tad larger in diameter than boxer primers. Making a boxer primer fit rather sloppy in the pocket. This requires the use of some sort of adhesive to seat the primer. Not to mention depth is probably not to spec either. Just save yourself the trouble and use boxer primed brass...
  12. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    Oops, got my brass mixed up. Thanks for catching that LD. I get confused w/ the Militay brass that needs swaging verses the Military brass w/ Berdan primer pockets.
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