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Thread: G3, Cetme, PTR-91, etc- can I avoid brass damage?

  1. #1

    G3, Cetme, PTR-91, etc- can I avoid brass damage?

    I'm considering loading cast boolits for my PTR-91, but all of my commercial and military surplus brass, is severely dented, and I don't trust it to chamber and extract reliably if I reload it. However, I don't want to purchase new brass, only to throw it away after a single use. So, my question is, how mild a loading is required to prevent my brass from being destroyed? Or, is this a doomed endeavor? I still want the action to cycle, and need a round that I can train with, within 100 yards or so (minute of pie plate accuracy would be the minimum here). I have a bunch of H4895, which I would like to use if at all possible, if only for simplicity (I use it for my other two 30 caliber rifles already).

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure what "severely dented" really means but full length resized brass should be just fine unless the brass is damaged to the point it can't be reloaded. If the neck is dented so that the expander will not enter, it can be ironed out with a tool before being resized.

    Some people think that the fluted chamber of the H&K G3 precludes reloading but that's not the case. The fluted chamber does result in distinctive marking of the spent casing but they resize and reload just fine.

  3. #3
    Well, I am out of town at the moment, or I would upload a picture. When I say severely dented, I mean that, about mid-way up case, a deep dent is present; as if someone had started bending the brass in half, but stopped as soon as the crease got going. It's being caused by the ejection port, which my spent cases impact upon ejection. I have a buffer installed, which reduces how far they fly, but the dent remains. That's why I thought a reduced loading might be in order, so that the cases impact the ejection port with less force. I know not to worry about the flute marks, but I do wonder about feeding, and pressure changes caused by these dents.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Guess depends on the rifle. My CETME, dings the neck, easy to fix. I had an HK33 it put a dent in the middle of the body, no point in even picking them up.

    I made up some cast loads for my CETME, thinking, might not be enough to cycle. No they are violent ejectors for a reason, reliability. Mine runs thru mags of cast loads like it was made to. Way easier to find and little more than the occasional neck ding a sizing die will get out.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    My son bought one of these rifles a couple of years ago and we went through this exact same process so I can help you I think.

    His PTR 91 is very accurate as I'm sure yours is. It is also fun to shoot so likes to shoot it a lot. It handles any commercial ammo just fine. The steel cased Tula 150 gr ammo is deadly out to 300 yards. But like you we wanted to stick to 100 yards. The range that we use the most is only about 125 yards any ways.

    What I did was buy some Lake City 7.62 brass. The commercial .308 brass was getting ridges from the 91's fluted chamber. The Lake City is much better.

    I prepped a bunch of the Lake City brass, sized, trimmed and primed.

    We then packed up the brass with some 150 bullets and powder and my Lee hand press and went to the range. We started at the minimum recommended load and loaded 3 rounds. We went down 1/2 gr at a time until the action failed to cycle. We then went up 1/2 a grain from there and that became our 100 yard load.

    It was very accurate and reliable and as a bonus it is very easy on the brass. We get 5 or 6 loadings from each case.

    We settled on 30 gr of H335. Or 32.5 gr of W748. Unfortunately we did not test any H4895.

    I hope this helps.


    Steve in N CA

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had an HK91 that dented the case as you mentioned. I did reload it at least once, no issues with the dent or the fluted markings. Took some extra time in the tumbler to clean.

    When I loaded for the 91 I used a somewhat fast powder, to have the rifle function within it's design parameters. Reloder 7 and IMR 3031 and 4895 were the ones tried, they worked well.

    At the worst the case has a small reduction in capacity with the dent versus without. You can measure it and adjust the powder charge accordingly if you are at the upper end for the load and powder. I would think a half to one grain adjustment would work.

  7. #7
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    https://www.robertrtg.com/store/pc/H...-POF-p2172.htm or the like is the buffer you are using? That will help the case dings, definitely.

    I found BLC(2) worked rather well for me with 180 grain j-word boolits. Not much muzzle flash even at night, which was good as the classes I was taking were including night firing sessions. (just a few carbon specs barely visible in the dark.)

  8. #8
    Well, this is all very good to hear. I need to purchase new brass anyway, since most of what I have is military surplus, but I am definitely going to try sgharts's method. I don't work strictly at short range (what's the point of a battle rifle, if you aint gonna take advantage of it's cpabilities?), but it's where I am expending lot's of ammo, rather quickly. As time goes by, I'll experiment with some full-power loadings as well.
    MrSheesh: Yes, that it what I have installed. It helps, but is far from a panacea. 180 grains eh? What kind of velocities were you pushing those to? How was the rounds accuracy?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry41 View Post
    Guess depends on the rifle. My CETME, dings the neck, easy to fix. I had an HK33 it put a dent in the middle of the body, no point in even picking them up.

    I made up some cast loads for my CETME, thinking, might not be enough to cycle. No they are violent ejectors for a reason, reliability. Mine runs thru mags of cast loads like it was made to. Way easier to find and little more than the occasional neck ding a sizing die will get out.
    I've been collecting, and recycling them. Every five gallon bucket brings me around 100 dollars. It fills up pretty quickly, especially factoring in all the brass people just leave at my usual shooting spot (a chunk of nearby public land).

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    We shoot the reduced loads at 300 yards occasionally. A little twisting on the rear sight to accommodate for the different trajectory of course.

    I will have to ask my son he has it all doped out.


    Steve in N CA

  11. #11
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    HumptyDumpty - I didn't have a Chrono at that time, they were very accurate rounds for me. The rifle threw all brass in a nice consistent pile, which was also nice. I look forwards to getting out and using the chrono and finding out more

  12. #12
    I'm guessing/hoping that pile wasn't in the next county over, the way it usually is?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have case ejector buffers on both my HK - 91'S and very little or no dents upon ejection.
    Plus it makes the empties fall in one spot.
    Even with hot loads, there is almost no dent.
    The chamber flutes are visible on the casing, but not a problem with reloading.
    If you have dents that dont fully come out when you resize them.
    Fire form them in another .308 then reload them for the HK or clone.
    I get more than 10 reloads out of a case fired in my HK's if I dont loose them first or the Brass Rats at the range don't pick them up.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    i reload brass shot out of my 91 and g3 all the time. the only thing that is sometimes a problem is that the rim can get a little dinged up and make putting the brass into the shellplate (projector press) a bit difficult. i just keep a little flat file handy and file off the part of the ding that is in the way.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Installing an ejection port buffer solved my dented brass with my HK91.

    Three44s

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Or at least, severely reduced the dent in the middle of the case, with the buffer. You can reduce the load a bit too. I used IMR4895.
    Smoke 4320 has a decent price on prepped brass in the S&S

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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