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Thread: LC71 blanks turned to loaded ammo.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    LC71 blanks turned to loaded ammo.

    yes it can be done, as long as you do not get carried away with the loading, and provided they are the correct kind of blanks.. do not think you can get away with this using the plastic blank cases or the super thin ones that have the star crimp. and please do not use the powder from the blanks, this stuff is more like flash powder than gunpowder and is too fast for loaded ammo. also if you decide to try this then you are doing so at your own risk. by attempting the here mentioned information you agree that the CastBoolits website, owners, moderators, and everyone connected, and the author of this thread will not be held responsible for any damages, deaths, injuries occured by doing said project. if you do not agree to these terms then do not attempt. by attempting then you agree to the terms outlined herein.

    but down to business. im using the LC71 blanks that have the extended case.
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    i then saw off the extension right in front of the case mouth where the thing necks down.
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    i then deburr with a few twist of a countersink tool with a 60* taper, lube them up, then run them through the FL die with the decapper backed up just enough where it does not contact the primer... the expander ball is needed in this step to iron out what little bit of crimp is left and to make the neck uniform.

    after the first time the case is run through the FL die, the entire expander/decapper is removed and the cases are then run through the FL die again so that the outside is the correct size but the inside of the mouth is now too small. the case needs to be reamed.
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    im using my lathe on the lowest speed to ream the cases with. you want to measure a factory case to get the dimensions to ream the case to. i measured a WRA69 7.62X51mm NATO case for my dimensions.

    after the case are reamed then you run them through the FL die one last time and then trim the cases to length.

    the only thing you might run into as far as the brass quality i have found is that blanks are usually not annealed and can crack at the newly formed mouth. i usually anneal them after the first firing as i hate to waste the primers that are already in the cases. if you are not intending on using the primers then you can just pop them out and anneal the case and then reprime.

    but after trimming the cases to length you can clean the cases up if they are a little tarnished. not a requirement, but they look a lot better if you do. do not use a vibratory tumbler if you intend on using the primers that are already there. i used my rotisserie motor tumbler with rice as the polisher. just left them in overnight.

    but if everything has gone well then you can load them up like normal.
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    these are some new 130gr Hollow Point Flat Base bullets that i swaged out with a new die.

    the cases still need a little more polishing. need to replace the rice as it is saturated with **** from the thousands of jackets i have run through it. im gonna wait till i fire them as they are just discolored and not corroded. ill just anneal them after the first firing and polish them and they should be good to go.

    but they fire just fine.
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    you can see there is no splitting and the primer looks like it should with the loading im using. i even too measurements off the cases b4 and after firing, the things expanded to fit the chamber and that wa as far as they went.

    the target below was at 50m to see if there was any deviations from these rounds and the ones i have been using.
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    there is hardly any difference in the POI at all. maybe about 1/8-1/4in down and about that to the left. i might have pulled a little on the windage. not sure as i was just propped up on the fence. but each square is 1inch and has a line at 1/2inch. for my rifle the 1/2in line is about correct for a 100m zero at 40m/50m. so really not that much difference at all. but still got to take into account that these were different swaged bullets using a new die too. so in reality the POI is not that bad for not even touching the sights for the new loading.

    the loading was just 47gr of vintage H414 (i say vintage as it was bought in the early 90s). according to QuickLoad that should be around 40,000psi and 2,656fps.
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    a good velocity for my area and not so much that i am hammering the rifle or eroding the barrel with every shot.

    but as to the question of "can it be done?" id say yes.. yes it can be. and the performance is not that far off from the regular rifle brass from what i can tell.

    but as to the "that is too much work and is time consuming" and the "why don't you just buy the brass already made, derptiy derp derp" crowd.. not really that much work or time consuming. 20rnds don't even take an hour from beginning to end, provided you have tools. now if you are doing it all by hand then it will take a bit longer to do. and i do it because i can, and because i got a 5gal bucket full of blanks that are doing me no good like they are. like i already have them, so why the hell not convert them.
    Last edited by Mauser 98K; 05-09-2018 at 09:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Interesting work.

    I had the impression that the type of blank cases you used (I have a pile of 1980s vintage blank cases) were thicker than “normal” GI 7.62 cases. It looks like Quickload - and your results - disagree with my impression.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    some might be and some might not be. the only way to tell is by sectioning a standard case and a blank case and comparing. these were not that far off from what could tell. i compared with a WRA69 case.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    but this here is an example of the blanks you do not turn into loaded rounds.
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    if the cartridge at the case mouth split then it would be bad enough, but some blanks also have a Cannelure just above the base of the cartridge. in theory this could cause head separation if loaded to high pressures.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    here is a good post at the AR15 forums about loading up blank ammo with real bullets.

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/armory/C...eo_/42-362105/

    he does a load to destruction testing on some M200 5.56 blanks and there is a lot of good info there..

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Back during the drought, I picked up approximately 6500 Hertenburger 7.62 blanks for 4 cents apiece plus shipping from AIM as I recall. I removed the star crimp with Dillon RT1200, and dumpped the powder. I took the last little bit of crimp out with a standard RCBS 308 FL sizing die with the neck expander expander tapered from the begining of the expander ring to the tip. The case mouth was then chamfered and loaded as usual. A primed case for 4 cents and alittle labor.

    These were ran through a Rem 700 PSS, a SCAR 17 and a CENTME. As typical, case neck splits are at almost 30% but for shoot and leave laying brass who cares.

    Now with plans to build an induction annealer in the coming months, I will try annealling the once fired and possible unfired brass with the induction method for longer life. You say unfired, yes. The heat cycle is very short with induction compared to flame allowing less time for heat soak. Time will tell.

  7. #7
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    The old story about blank brass being rejected brass and thus loaded to blanks is an internet myth. Yes I know nobody said that here, but I want to clarify some stories about blank brass. Many years ago Starmetal contacted that actual engineer in charge of 7.62 blank brass at the Lake City Arsenal. He said if they used reject brass that wouldn't say much for their the quality of their brass case manufacture. He said they are made from the same "coin" as the brass meant for loaded ammunition, the only different is that they are extruded longer and are thicker. Like mentioned by Mauser 98K they aren't annealed as there was no reason to do so.

    We've been shooting prepared blank brass for years with no problems. A reason to use blank brass is if you are one striving for the most accuracy they give you a very thick neck to work with and thus can be turned to best dimension for your neck area of your chamber.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    "The old story about blank brass being rejected brass and thus loaded to blanks is an internet myth."

    Not entirely correct. It applies to M1909 30-06 blanks. Refer to the attached TM paragraph 53, b.

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    However, 7.62 blanks (the older M82) were not made with rejected brass. They were, however, not annealed as Mauser 98K mentions.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  9. #9
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    ....and who was talking about 30-06 blanks Mr Gibson?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    i took the ones i fired yesterday and annealed them. soft as butter now. should be good to go for a few more loadings b4 i have to do it again..

    but yea, the old 30-06 blanks were rejected brass. they in theory could still be cut down to make 8mm or .308 though, depending on what they was rejected for..

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    I purchased some 308 de-milled blanks and cut them down for 45 ACP shotshells. Most of the primers went bang as expected. As nearly as I could tell the brass was identical to all the rest of the commercial I nad converted with the exception of the elongated nose.
    Since up to a certain point in drawing, all the procedures are the same why would the mfg use different brass material or treat them differently? All brass is end trimmed to length including blanks. There is simply less waste with blanks.
    the blanks I salvaged had aneling discoloration so unless to a different degree, it was the same as production ammo.
    Last edited by mold maker; 05-11-2018 at 11:03 AM.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    ....and who was talking about 30-06 blanks Mr Gibson?
    To answer your question; your 1st sentence states; "The old story about blank brass being rejected brass and thus loaded to blanks is an internet myth." That infers no blank brass (and is therefore inclusive of 30-06 blanks) were ever made from rejected brass and that such an "old story" is "an internet myth". The information in the 1961 manual definitely counterdicts that inference in your statement that was quoted. That TM definitely provides contrary evidence that rejected brass was used for blanks and was published well before the advent of the "internet".

    You then went on by specifying 7.62 NATO blank brass. I concurred that 7.62 NATO blanks was not made from rejected or defective cases. I use such blank brass myself for a couple applications and did not disagree with anything the OP or you mentioned.

    As I stated the inference (you just said "blank brass") in your 1st sentence is not quite correct. Had you stated " The old story about blank 7.62 NATO blank brass being rejected brass and thus loaded to blanks is an internet myth. would have been entirely correct.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 05-11-2018 at 10:19 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  13. #13
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    Outside neck turning provides a more consistent neck wall thickness then reaming on a lathe. The only reamer setups that I saw that do as good job are the ones where there is a special reaming die that lets the reamer cut a new path rather then follow the neck inside neck diameter. On a lathe you push the irregularities to the outside of the neck and ream the inside living a non consistent neck wall thickness. This is if you only want the most out of accuracy and may not concern the original poster.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    i can stick my calipers on the outside and the inside of the case and there is no noticeable runout when i turn the case. and i cant get further than around 400m-500m in my area, so whatever minute inaccuracies that may arise is not really that big a problem.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check