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Thread: What can I make from .30-06 blank brass?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    What can I make from .30-06 blank brass?

    Just was given a decent heap of fired .30-06 blank brass. What, if anything can I make from it?

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    When I started reloading, I used to (1950's-60's) hear that 30-06 blanks were made from brass that didn't meet specs for some reason, and shouldn't be used for full power loads. I don't know if it was true or not.

    Bruce

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Might be usable for 45ACP shotshells but I's sure use GOOD eye protection if I did that. Unsure on specs on blank cases, certainly, but shotshells don't hit high pressures (We're talking a few grains of WW-231 or the like, certainly not 55,000 CUP!)

  4. #4
    Start with a few blanks, graduated from weak to very powerful. The idea would be to check how the brass expands and/or splits. When they were making blanks, there was no need to go through all that tiresome business of annealing only the neck and shoulder, so maybe they did the whole thing.th

    Buying a .475 rifle or revolver to use that brass as bullet jackets would work extremely well, but is the sort of investment only the single can get away with.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Dog whistle? Duckin' and runnin'. Seriously, bore protectors for cleaning rods.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Low power plinkers with 5-6 grains of a fast pistol powder pushing a 100 grain .312 cast boolit. Been using 30-06 blank brass for plinkers for years with no problems.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You'll probably have a case mouth too small to seat projectiles, if the brass is cut to .45 ACP length. The brass is QUITE thick, 0.895" forward of the rim. I suspect that you'll need to ream the inside of any brass you intend to use in .45 ACP.

    You might try running a few of the blank cases through a 8x57Mauser resizing die, then check case mouth thickness. .30-06 blank brass might ALSO work, if reformed to 7.65x53 Belgian/Argentine/Turk/Whatever Mauser. Again, case mouth thickness may make inside reaming of the necks necessary.

    Failing these, the Gent who posted before me has a workable idea. Ed Harris's "the load", consisting of 13.0/RedDot/150cast should give you ~1500 f/s. 5.0/Unique/150cast will likely produce similar results.
    Last edited by Kosh75287; 10-01-2017 at 12:13 PM.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I recently read in Shooting Times magazine that you can make 35 Whelen cases by sizing up the case mouth on 30-06's. It sounded simple.
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  9. #9
    It is pretty simple if you have good .30-06 cases to do it with. But blank cases may not be.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    A few years back I had several hundred fired .30-06 blanks that I sold to a friend (at a very reasonable price) and then we tumbled and cleaned them, re-annealed them, ran a tapered expander plug into the case mouths, and then FL sized them and loaded them with FMJ bullets as dummy / drill rounds. He uses them for military re-enactments and military displays. Some are loaded in Garand clips and some are in belts for machine gun displays.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I have a BUNCH of 308 blanks that came in a surplus batch of 7.62 I got a few years back. I did a fair amount of research into the same questions you have. Here is what I have learned.

    First, the brass is not from rounds that did not meet spec. Reject brass is reject, goes back to the scrap heap.

    But...That is also not to say the brass is in-spec. All the brass is processed to the point where it has to diverge to be either ammo or blanks. It all goes through the same inspections and it all passes. But, the brass that is diverted for blanks then goes through different, less rigorous inspections from that point forward. As a result, it is possible that a defect may exist in blank brass that would cause it to reject as ammo. However, the reject rate for brass on the ammo track is very, very low. And the reject reasons don't mean the brass would fail catastrophically.

    Based on this information I decided to move forward with processing blanks into ammo. And that is when the real fun/nightmare begins.

    The 308 blanks were of two different types. One type had a crimped case mouth. The other type had the brass left long, and tapered down, with a spot of red wax/sealer on the mouth. The crimps on the crimped cases often extend into the normal case neck area and causes cases split really easily. Perhaps they may work for making something like 6.5 Creedmore where you need to trim the brass back a good bit anyway.

    Which leads to the issue with the second kind of blank. The "neck" was left very thick. As a result, it has to be turned to work...after trimming the long neck/blank brass off the front. Then a second proper trim to length after it is sized, trimmed and sized again.

    After all this, I think I will sell my blank brass for scrap and use the proceeds to buy the brass I need.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Kosh - Wasn't talking about cutting them into 45ACP lengths though; 45 ACP Shotshells can be made with the RCBS die set, among other methods; Links:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...hells-(My-Way) At a glance I'd guess he has that die set but does some things differently.
    http://www.ammochannel.com/45-acp-sh...ls-handloaded/

    These work VERY well; You can load up to 5 in a magazine on a 1911 and they cycle nicely. (I usually just put one in the barrel in rattlesnake territory, not 5 :P) Not had occasion to shoot at a snake with one, lots of paper has become very hole-y with them tho.

    Also thought that a .223 case could probably be similarly turned into a 9mm or 380 auto shotshell, potentially. Maybe some day

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    This has been enlightening. I had no clue there might be a bit of difference between blank brass and "regular" brass. It is easy to see that necking up that little case neck could try ones religion. FWIW, anything based on the 8 X 57 or 308 case can be made from -06 brass. In a pinch it will work for the early Mannlicher/Schoenauer cases such as the 8 X 56 and 9 X 56 and even the 6.5 X 54. Those should at least cut off the little neck and get a fella to a dimension he could work with. As others have frequently stated you might be in for some neck turning and depending on the rifle's chamber perhaps having to remove a couple thousandths from the head area. With smaller calibers based on any of those cases, 6.5 and smaller, it has required too much neck work for me to fool with.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    The difference in brass for blanks was mostly an old issue. Reject cases were definatley used in .30-06 and probably in .30 carbine. .223 blanks are supposed to be made from the same brass as normal ammo. That was a quote from a past admin at Lake City.

  15. #15
    40 years ago I bought 10,000 M1909 blanks for $.01 each with the idea of converting to 7.62 NATO as brass was hard to come by. I dumped the powder [made one heck of a fire] and took a magnifying case to inspect the base of the various cases at random sample. Out of the first 100 samples I found cracks in the base and found several of the cases "leaned" when set on plate glass that was level. I converted some of the cases and loaded as ammo. Shot in my HK-91 were cases that split from the bases. What was weird was that there were some commercial cases in the mix.
    Sam

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I would put them over by the Berdan primed brass you are going to do something with someday... maybe... eventually. And move on to greener pastures of loading bench pursuit. Or into the scrap bucket for cash.

    I have maybe a dozen, I just keep them around because they are sort of interesting. Family checks out stuff like that when they come down to the loading bench.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I played with this for awhile in this thread.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...red-308-blanks

  18. #18
    Boolit Man jeepguy242's Avatar
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    44 automag brass?

    I think 30-06 was the parent case

  19. #19
    Boolit Master paul edward's Avatar
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    You can make almost any cartridge, from 22/250 to 35 Whelan, whose design is based on the 30/06. Some will need a lot of work. Considering how readily available is commercial range pickup brass, why bother?

    In the early sixties, as an impecunious high school kid, I made 7.65x53 Argentine cases from 30/06 blanks. They required annealing but worked well with cast bullet loads (311299 GC with 25 grains of HiVel #2). When I later acquired a 308 Winchester, most of those cares were resized, trimmed and fire formed to make 308 cases. As the 308 chamber was cut to minimum dimensions, some of my older cases needed neck reaming. At some point, range pickup, commercial 308 brass became available and my now ancient twice converted brass was retired.

  20. #20
    8x57,7.7 jap

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