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Processing 3000+ 5.56 LC brass and losing my mind! Login/Join 
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After the Sandy Hook, CT panic began back in December 2012; I was convinced everything and anything to do with guns would be outlawed. I started buying every possible cartridge component, reloading part I would need for making my own ammo. One of the cartridge components was 3000+, once fired, LC, 5.56 mm brass. It seems to be taking forever with my single stage press!. I sized and decapped with RCBS small base dies. Sometimes I used too much case lube and dented about 50 cases. Sometimes I didn't use enough and ended up with stuck cases. I trimmed with Dillon's RT1200; that seemed to go o.k. I am now tumbling and checking each one with case gage. Found a few out of spec. Still have to de-crimp and clean primer pockets. AT this point; I'm wondering if it's worth all this work. Any comments, suggestions or similar high volume reloading experiences?
 
Posts: 60 | Registered: January 01, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Knows too little
about too much
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Yeah, I started down this road before the election. I gave up when we won.

RMD




TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
 
Posts: 18512 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I prefer to load in small batches. I load when I'm bored, nothing on TV, or just want to load a while. I usually size maybe 100-200, then trim and swage, tumble to remove lube, and then prime and load. I hate doing one step to 1000 or more cases. I get more satisfaction ending up with 100-200 loaded rounds, then start another small batch. I do use two single stage presses. Size on one, swage on the other. I use the two presses seating on one, crimping on the other, etc. Plus, loading this way is easier on my arms and fingers, mixing up reloading steps rather than sizing or trimming for long periods.
 
Posts: 92 | Registered: May 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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I'm a perpetual brass prepper.
I prefer to do it in stages, so that I end up with a ton of ready-to-load brass. I'll usually do a few hundred at a time, and have a system that continually cycles my brass depending on how many times they have been reloaded. Each pile of brass is staged in bins that move toward the end goal of finished brass. That way whatever mood I'm in I can do whatever stage I want.

Deprime and tumble.

Primer pocket swage and clear/deburr flashholes....usually just to get the tumbling media out.

Lube and resize.

Tumble to remove lube.

Measure and trim/chamfer/debur....this was made much easier with a Giraud trimmer.

Finished.
Then I can prime/load whatever batches I want on a progressive quickly when needed.

I have a large stash of once-fired brass that has been completely prepped, and small batches added to it throughout the year. However I have a habit of prepping a few thousand cases that I'll shoot exclusively several times through the year until I get to 4 or 5 reloads before I toss them into the recycle bin.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26496 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On your lube problem try using Lee lube. But cut the lube with hot water and put in recycled spray bottle, shake well. Spray on and let dry, then size.


davemercer
 
Posts: 919 | Location: NE USA | Registered: July 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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I went thru that,I sized two medium flat rate boxed of mil sap once fired .
I did it in batches over months and months.
This was done on a RCBS rock chucker I got in the sixties.
They were all loaded after a full workup on the Dillon 550 though over time
No dents or sticking cases,because I use my home made spray stuff.
 
Posts: 21135 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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quote:
. I started buying every possible cartridge component, reloading part I would need for making my own ammo. One of the cartridge components was 3000+, once fired, LC, 5.56 mm brass. It seems to be taking forever with my single stage press!.


With a single stage, it is going to take a lot of time. I'd loose my mind doing 3000 too, if I were to try and get them all done in a single sitting.

If I am going to sit down and prep a 5 gallon bucket of 223 it's going to be in front of a case fed progressive running a trimmer too. Pretty easy to size/deprime and trim 1000/hour and my fingers don't hurt afterwards.

 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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^ There are a couple more steps the way I do it.
How are you de buring champer and chaffing the necks and that nasty crimp thing.
 
Posts: 21135 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ed308
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A Dillon 550 or 650 would've been a better choice. I enjoy reloading but don't seem to have a lot of time for it. Thats why the 650 is used for 5.56, 6.8 and pistol caliber. I also use a Gracey trimmer and Dillon Super Swage as part the my process. Both made quick work of 5000 once fire LC cases I needed to prep. My single stage press is for .308, M1 Garand and my 270AR.
 
Posts: 521 | Location: DFW Area | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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I recently found about 500 pieces of LC86 were splitting even after annealing...

I had about ten gallons of LC brass in 556...I did it all on a RCBS Rock Chucker....I did it a 100 at a time. If I got tired or bored I quit and kept notes on a ziplock bag showing...

de-capped
cleaned
sized (added annealing)
de-crimped
trimmed
throw int he bag until use was needed



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers


 
Posts: 4674 | Location: 35-46.02N 077-55.54W | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Before the turn of the century I used to do that, buy lots of once fired junk. What I would then do is fill a couple of boxes worth of cases and then process the boxes individually; 100 rounds at a time. I would use these boxes until the brass was used up and then replenish the box from the big stash.

I certainly would never consider prepping the whole 3000 cases at one time.

Later on, I decided once fired was really crap and switched to virgin brass and never looked back. At least for rifle. I stopped loading for handguns, except for .41Mag and .45 and the former is from virgin, while the latter is from factory ammo that I bought.
 
Posts: 2654 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a supply of LC brass in 5.56cal of about 5000. The measurements of that brass is so consistant and all the flash holes are drilled not punched. They are all once fired and I found them in a trash barrel at an outdoor range that is used by a local Prison for training. The only thing I have had to do to them is put them in a polisher. I have shot many groups at 100 yards that are no bigger than an out of round hole. Lucky Me.
 
Posts: 1572 | Location: owosso,Mi. USA | Registered: August 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
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3000? That's not a bad start.

Single stage press?! You done lost your mind! If you expect to process that with anything resembling speed, you need at least a 650 & a super swage. A 1050 would be better.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You are allowed to buy the once-fired brass already processed and ready to load, including already primer de-crimped. I would never get involved with doing the processing for brass that has crimped primer pockets unless I had new factory ammo and I was the one making it once-fired.
 
Posts: 667 | Registered: June 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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quote:
are a couple more steps the way I do it.
How are you de buring champer and chaffing the necks and that nasty crimp thing.


They don't have any burrs on them out of the trimmer.



The pockets are swaged on the load pass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La83ZVKnBzw
 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
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Thanks,those look nice.
being on a fixed income I cant afford the nicer things.I am stuck doing my old way but I built a machine that in four steps with a piece of brass in hand go thru the steps .
Works for me and so much faster than I used to have to do.
 
Posts: 21135 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The "old way" works just fine, just more work and not as fast.
 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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If your time is important, buy once fired prepped brass. Then all you do is trim to uniform length & reload. I use a RCBS X-die to size, never have to trim again.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7650 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Music's over turn
out the lights
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I process on a single stage and reload on a 550, do small batches of few hundred and you will get through it.


David W.

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. -Sophocles
 
Posts: 2711 | Location: Winston-Salem, N.C. | Registered: May 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wouldn't process brass on a single stage. That would take all of the fun out of it for me. Unless you have the extra time and enjoy it. You can send your brass off to have it processed or sell that brass and buy already processed brass.


___________________________________
No, it's a cardigan... but thanks for noticing
 
Posts: 4345 | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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