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Thread: Federal Brass

  1. #1

    Federal Brass

    I was just doing a bit of reloading and thought I'd try using some different .223 cases to see how the POI changes when using the same load, trim length etc.

    I primed a load of SAKO brass no probs. Prvvi brass, no problems. Federal brass, the primer wont fit in the pocket without deforming, I even chamfered the hole slightly but that made no difference. It looks like the primer pockets are off centre on some and most are under sized!

    Not very clear in the pics but here they are anyway.
    Note the ring around the primer pocket on the Federals.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails primer pockets.jpg  

  2. #2
    WOW! i know I feel federal is a bit sloppy, but THAT is insane! in some of those the primer pocket is way off centre! bin them and order some lapua or norma brass, you'll be able to keep it for ages.

  3. #3
    The primer pocket doesn't have a ring round it. It's actually an eccentric crimp stamped into the primer pocket shoulder to keep the primer from backing out under recoil, and jamming semi-auto/gas-operated rifles.

    It's a miracle you've managed to prime these cases at all as the crimp needs to be reamed out before priming. If they are forced in the primers get mangled, and you get erratic the grouping is usually dire. I've reamed out and used hundreds of these cases. They are fine once treated, and as consistent as any other makes except Lapua.

    The brass you've got probably has a headstamp 'FC .223' and is used in Golden Eagle 55gr or 62gr FMJBT loadings. It's the same spec. as the Lake City U.S. Armoury 'L C (yy)' headstamp....again made by Federal. Our own NATO Radway Green 62gr Ball is also loaded in similar crimped cases.

  4. #4
    "The brass you've got probably has a headstamp 'FC .223' "

    Ahaa! So thats what a primer crimp looks like! I managed to seat one primer and it didn't look or feel right so I threw that one. I found a small piece of swarf in the primer seater that came off the case or primer as it was pushed in....I had my eyes closed and was looking away at the time so was perfectly safe.

    I noticed these F.C. cases were also a lot shorter and didn't need trimming, about 1.745 if I remember correctly. Plenty of tolerance in them.

    A lesson not to use cases of uncertain provenance


  5. #5
    I had the same type ring appear on my .223 was like a half moon shap that appeared on some but not all of the case. They primed with ease but I took to a leading reloading shop, they had never seen this and didnt know what it was so I ditched the lot to be sure.

  6. #6
    Federal .223 are good cases, and cost 25 - 30 a hundred new. Most folk haven't got the kit to deal with crimped pockets but it's cheap and easy to add reamers to an existing set up.

    My local police TFU kindly provided me with a bucketful of these, and it only took a couple of hours to convert 500 or so. If you've got a ready supply hang onto them, as it may be worth getting the proper tooling should brass prices go any higher.

  7. #7
    Had the same problem, ordered LAPUA brass .223 never looked back.

    Last edited by black lab; 03-03-2011 at 16:49.
    Your a long time dead, enjoy every day like it's your last!!!

  8. #8
    Thanks chaps. I'll dig out all the cases I picked up from the range and see how many FC ones I have. I'm sure I've got some lying around from a box of Accutips I bought and they're crimped the same. Strange for civvy ammo I think! Do you just ream them out with a drill or is there more to it than that?

    Anyway had a play at the range today and blasted a few rounds off at 200yds. 1.5" high zero at 100 gives these results at 200.
    First pic is SAKO brass. 2nd is PRVVI brass. I was a little rushed and fired all 5 off pretty quick but I'm no benchrest man with my 223CZ Ebony so a 2" group off a rucksack at 200yds I'm happy with
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 223sakocases200yd.JPG   223prvicases200yd.JPG  

  9. #9
    Commercial Federal ammo isn't 'secure crimped' you'll find.... or the Yanks would squawk.

    I take it your CZ Ebony is a 527 variant, as I've got the Lefthand American 527. They are very accurate, particularly with Federal freeby brass.

    Primer pocket reamers come in hand tool form (hard work) or as attachments to case trimmers - manual or power-operated. No drill!

    As for Lapua brass, things are worse than I feared. No fox I know would condone this sort of expense.


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinistral View Post
    As for Lapua brass, things are worse than I feared. No fox I know would condone this sort of expense.
    Well said. I would stick with PPU brass, reasonable price, excellent performance (proven in the pics above; tight group), and lasts for many reloads.

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