The Home Armory: Loading 7.62x51 ball

The Home Armory: Loading 7.62x51 ball

This is a discussion on The Home Armory: Loading 7.62x51 ball within the Reloading forums, part of the Sniping Related category; Loading ball ammo for your .308 is simple. The brass is prepared in exactly the same way as described in the .223 thread. You must ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    The Home Armory: Loading 7.62x51 ball

    Loading ball ammo for your .308 is simple. The brass is prepared in exactly the same way as described in the .223 thread.

    You must trim, debur your sized cases and swage the primer pockets.

    The exact same tools are used to perform these operations. You will need a .308 caliber trim die or a case trimmer. The Dillon primer pocket swaging tool also works very well for swaging .308 primer pockets.

    To make cheap .308 ball ammo, get hold of some surplus components. GI Brass, http://gibrass.com, carries surplus projectiles. These are 152 grain .308 ball projectiles originally pulled from .30-06 rounds. These slugs sell for $75 per thousand.

    GI Brass also sells once fired .308 brass for $100 per 1000. Now these rounds have been fired in a belt fed machine gun and the rounds will be stretched. So size them carefully and use the Dillon case gage to ensure that you rounds are properly sized and that they will chamber.

    For primers, I would use CCI34S military large rifle primers. These are available from Wideners. http://www.wideners.com

    For propellant, I'd use IMR-4895 or something similar. Sometimes military surplus lots of IMR-4895 become availabe. Current production IMR-4895 is available for $114 for 8 pounds from Wideners.

    And once the round is assembled, you should use a Lee Factory Crimp die to crimp the bullet in place.


    Mad.

  2. #2
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    Jeff Dorr just pointed something out to me in a pm. Lots of military 7.62x51mm brass cases out there are berdan primed. You can recognized berdan primed cases because they have more than one flash hole.

    Don't bother reloading berdan primed cases. If you run a berdan case through your resizing die, you will bend or break your decapping pin.

    It is possible to reload berdan cases, but you need special tools and it it essentially not worthwhile. (unless you have some very rare brass)

    In summary, make sure your brass is boxer primed. You can recognize boxer priming as there is only one flash hole.

    Finally, military ball ammo is either very good or very bad. South AFrican, Australian and Portuguese ball ammo is very good. But Indian ball ammo is very, very bad. Do not under any circumstances use any Indian ball ammo.

    If you get some US GI .308 brass from GI brass.com, then you can make your own ball ammo. And our home-made ball will be excellent ammo.

    Mad.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
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    I've never read anything about this here, but does anyone seal their WTSHTF ammo? Military stuff has some red gunk around the primer, and I noticed the Black Hills .308 Win Match does, as well. Supposed to seal out moisture.

    Is this necessary and how is it done? Never came across it in reloading resources, but since this is duplicating military ball, I thought I'd ask.

    John

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    I'm sure you could do the same trick of sealing your ammo with some red laquer paint.An easier thing to do is to get some surplus ammo in battle packs and bury that for your SHTF cache purposes, and use your reloaded ball ammo to practice for the impending doom.The NATO battle packs are vinyl, and already sealed against the elements. I doubt the home loader would be able to put them in as tough a sealed pouch for as reasonable a price.

    Jeff

  6. #5
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
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    Excellent points! Thanks.

  7. #6
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    Immediately prior to priming, you could apply a very, very thin coat of nail polish around the edge of your primer pocket.

    But you should keep your ammo in a sealed ammo can. If you do you wont have to worry about your ammo and the elements and primer sealing becomes superfluous.


    Mad.

  8. #7
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    A few other notes:

    1. Use the Dillon Headspace guage to set up your sizing die. Your sized case should fit properly inside the guage. When it does, it means that your sized brass will fit any .308 chamber. ( Please read the .223 thread for a more detailed discussion about the Dillon guage.)

    2. The Lee Factory Crimp is a must for ball type ammo. The 152 grain bullet from GI brass has a cannelure; so crimp the neck and cannelure together using the Lee die.

    3. IMR-4895 is an excellent all round powder that is especially well suited to gas-operated rifles. The correct charge will be around 43 grains. But check your manual.

    Thus endeth the harangue for now.


    Mad

  9. #8
    Senior Member Dust_Remover's Avatar
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    Better hurry on your SHTF cache's, because the SHTF next year in 2008. The democrats are coming, the democrats are coming!!

    Branden
    Once you go FDAC, you'll never go back!

    -Me

  10. #9
    Senior Member Stormrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCollins
    I've never read anything about this here, but does anyone seal their WTSHTF ammo? Military stuff has some red gunk around the primer, and I noticed the Black Hills .308 Win Match does, as well. Supposed to seal out moisture.

    Is this necessary and how is it done? Never came across it in reloading resources, but since this is duplicating military ball, I thought I'd ask.

    John
    George & Roy's primer sealant is a purpose made sealer that works very well. You can use it at both ends of the cartridge to seal the primer and the bullet. It has no efect on pressure and seals well.
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