FC 223 brass

JDLawrence3

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I know FC brass "used to be" awful. Some say that after 2013, it was the same as Lake City. I have access to a lot of FC American Eagle brass. I wouldn't be loading hot loads, and nothing for precision. Just plinking rounds. My rounds do not behave SCAMP marks. Just FC, year, and caliber.

1. Is the brass still junk? (1-2 reloads)
2. Do the primer pockets still need to be swaged?
 

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spife7980

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Primer pocket looks to be crimped the whole way around and not staked.

If all you’re going to be doing it making plinking ammo then it’ll do just fine.
 
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Scttschnd

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Oct 12, 2020
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I am not sure of that head stamp. I have a Fed 223 case lot that has 3 circular marks on it that was Lake City. I used it for service rifle and still have that lot after 3 firings is good to go. Prior Fed 223 I would not use in my service rifles. Not at home sop unable to post a pic of it.
 
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JDLawrence3

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Dec 25, 2021
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I am not sure of that head stamp. I have a Fed 223 case lot that has 3 circular marks on it that was Lake City. I used it for service rifle and still have that lot after 3 firings is good to go. Prior Fed 223 I would not use in my service rifles. Not at home sop unable to post a pic of it.
Yea the 3 circular marks were the SCAMP marks I was referring to. I know those were the same as lake city, just not sure if this newer brass is the same quality.
 

kentuckyMarksman

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May 7, 2018
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I've used that headstamp FC 223 brass for reloading. I haven't had a problem with it. I've just got 2 firings on mine though.

Yes, each piece with need the primer pocket crimp removed by swaging or reaming.
 

Doom

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Often times 223 brass shot in ARs will require a small bases resizing die to chamber properly, especially if fired in a different rifle. Removing the crimp is a PITA, and if staked even more so. To me, it isn’t worth it unless it’s the only thing available.

If this is for a bolt gun I might invest the time, if for an AR I wouldn’t because the brass will probably have a short life.
 
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918v

It’s not the primer!
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I know FC brass "used to be" awful. Some say that after 2013, it was the same as Lake City. I have access to a lot of FC American Eagle brass. I wouldn't be loading hot loads, and nothing for precision. Just plinking rounds. My rounds do not behave SCAMP marks. Just FC, year, and caliber.

1. Is the brass still junk? (1-2 reloads)
2. Do the primer pockets still need to be swaged?

FC military brass is different than their civilian brass. It has a hard case head and lasts a long time if it wasn’t stretched too much during the initial firing.

I prefer to cut the crimp out using a RCBS dual angle cutter. It is easy and leaves a nice chamfer. Swaging at home using conventional tools raises metal around the head stamp.
 

FLIGHT762

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I have a lot of the FC Military year marked brass. It's good brass. The older, commercial FC brass was the softer brass and some lots had the issue of thin webs. I had some of that brass and made a tool to measure the web thickness and culled out all of that brass.

I'm also a fan of the newer, RCBS crimp cutter. I take a power adapter and chuck it into a variable speed drill in a padded vice that runs at a desired speed. With that setup, it takes 2 seconds to cut the crimp out of a case. It's really fast and easy on the hands.

For anyone interested on that old brass, here's a thread about it on ARF

 
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tomme boy

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Federal does not strike the web and head one last time to harden it. It was a cost savings thing as they don't care if it is reloaded again. That is not why they load the ammo.
 

MarshallDodge

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I shoot FC headstamp brass all the time as a lot of it gets left at my range. Primer pockets are crimped. I load them a couple times in the bolt gun then load them one last time for the AR and leave on the ground. If you load them hot then it will kill the primer pockets but they hold up well to 23.2 8208 behind a 77 Nosler CC.
 

tomme boy

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The trick to make them last is to load them with a mid load a few times. After that the head hardens up and will be able to go 5 or more times. If the head did not expand too much on the original firing. And if you did not over ream the crimped primer or swage it too large.

I have buckets of good commercial brass so I hardly ever keep the FC and never keep anything Win. They have gotten so bad the last few years that the primer pockets are completely blown or they have neck splits. Absolute garbage. But their WRA is as good as LC.
 

Doom

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I will add that I came into quite a few FGMM 308 cases that I tested for primer pocket expansion with 43.2 grains of IMR 4064 with a 168SMK and I detected no measurable (>0.0005”) primer pocked expansion.
 

FLIGHT762

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The newer (last 8 years) FC GMM 308 brass with the blue primer sealant, is good brass. Not like the softer stuff from the 70's, 80's & 90's. I used to shoot a lot of that stuff and the PP's would go in 2 or so loadings. The brass was free so, no big deal.