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Old 01-01-2021, 12:48 PM
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Default Old 223 brass any good?

I picked up some old 223 brass a while back, because it was there, and started going thru it this morning. It appears most are dented in various degrees similar to the pic with some being very minor.

I don't currently shoot or load 223 but was thinking of starting. I'm assuming most of these are no good to load. What about the ones with very minor dents or scratch's.

Just curious as to what causes this?
Old 223 brass any good?-old-223-brass-jpg
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:59 PM
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I have a Saiga Sport .223. When I shoot it the fired brass cases hits the end of the charging handle causing a dent in the middle of the case like the brass in your photograph. The end of the charging handle will have brass marks on it. I donít like to reload cases that are dented like that so I only shoot steel case ammo in it.

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Old 01-01-2021, 02:19 PM
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You can clean it and then size it, for one more go round, if you don't feel uncomfortable doing it.

It will fire form but the case might also get overworked, which could lead to problems.

A Kahr 9mm that I loaded for also beat up it's cases on ejection.
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:43 PM
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I'd run it through the sizer and then make the decision based on how well it irons out the dents. One firing will take any remaining dent out. If it doesn't then I'd be inclined to toss it rather than reload it again. If it does, then its good to go.
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:47 PM
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Size them and shoot them. The dents will be gone like they were never there. If they were mine, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:50 PM
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Reload with a light fire-forming load. Should iron right out. Not that top one though.
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Old 01-01-2021, 03:58 PM
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Do you know if the primers are crimped in? Once fired brass in .223 is plentiful and relatively cheap. It's not worth spending time to correct problems on cases unless your time is worth nothing and you like experimenting.
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Old 01-01-2021, 04:16 PM
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The dents are most likely from the deflector hump on the receiver as the cases get thrown into it upon ejection. better that than hot cases in the face. Once you clean deprime and size a couple of cases, see if they chamber without sticking. If they chamber okay, load them up, they will fire form when you shoot them. Of course, if your rifle does the same thing as whatever gun they were originally fired from does, they may get dented again. Unless it actually creases the brass, or happens in the bend at the taper, they're generally reloadable.

If the primers were originally crimped you can try priming a resized case and see if it is difficult to seat. If so, lightly ream the primer pocket's edge with a mouth reamer or pocket reamer to cut the crimp. I reload my M1A exclusively with once fired NATO brass, and have to ream the primer pockets in order to seat them properly.
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Old 01-01-2021, 05:14 PM
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Default Minor dents and scratches...

...don't bother me a bit. The worst ones need a judgement call. I don't think that blowing out one dent will work harden a case. If it had to be done repeatedly, yes. I'm not looking for max performance anyway, so I don't load them heavy.

Nowadays I'm reluctant to toss any salvageable case.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:13 PM
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Sounds like I have more usable brass than I thought. I'll go back and resort them and save all but the worst. Looks like the majority are stamped LC or PS with various numbers, eg. 71,73,76... and a few Remington as well.

Looks like the only thing holding back my 223 reloading is finding primers.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:18 PM
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Plenty of brass out there if those are to beat up or you need more. I looked and Everglades reloading has new 223 brass for sale. I am sure it can be found other places and someone here may have some to sell. Now primers are a different deal all together.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:58 PM
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Post war brass does not go bad unless it was washed in an acidic compound to clean it. Don't worry about dings, dents, etc, as they will disappear unpon firing. Inspect brass to make sure it is not cracked, split, or berden primed. If foreign military brass, do not use it as the primer mixure was corrosive, and may have weakened the brass to the point that it will fail upon firing.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:26 PM
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I'd only be leery about the top one with the shoulder badly dented. I'd still probably run it through the sizing die and see what happens.


You do know the military brass has crimped primers, right? Some folks swage the pockets. I just stick a deburring tool in there and give it a twist.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:30 PM
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Most AR's will show a small dent in the spent case because of the hot case hitting the deflecter. Check out Deflector Brake, online. They market small rubber pads that stick on the deflector so the spent round bounces off of it. It not only reduces the distance the case flies but kicks it forward, out of the way, making easier to pick up your spent cases.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:43 AM
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Reminder to measure the case length. I have a bunch of LC brass and most all of it was way beyond maximum spec.
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