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Thread: Question on milsurp MATCH brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Question on milsurp MATCH brass

    I was sorting through one of my many 5 gallon buckets of brass of 308. And I came across a bunch of LC brass marked MATCH. I separated them, but my question is... they are all different years going from 69-71. Should I separate them into different years to sort them out as match(because I would like to use them) or does the year not really matter?

  2. #2
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I've got some match GI Match .30-06 of different birth dates.
    They have to meet some fairly tough criteria for the govt. contract for them.

    If one year of manufacture to another makes a difference:
    I can't load Sierra Match Kings and/or shoot well enough to tell.


    The real way to know is eliminate as many variables as ya can.
    I'd take about 10 of each:
    FL size, then trim them.
    The only variable left is case volume due to wall thickness and that influence on pressure & speed.

    Weigh them by head stamp, and get a average weight for each one of that batch.

    If the average weight is the same---- they'll shoot the same.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 06-23-2020 at 03:30 PM.
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  3. #3
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    lake city match brass can vary quite a bit. I don't worry to much about it because im not trying to shoot any better then moa. But a bench rest shooter would surely separate it by not only year stamps but by lots.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinchesterM1 View Post
    I was sorting through one of my many 5 gallon buckets of brass of 308. And I came across a bunch of LC brass marked MATCH. I separated them, but my question is... they are all different years going from 69-71. Should I separate them into different years to sort them out as match(because I would like to use them) or does the year not really matter?
    I shot thousands of 7.62 LC Match rounds and even more using the cases to reload match rounds (including with cast bullets) over the years in M14/M1As, bolt guns and even a single shot. I am still using quite a bit of it. The years you found would be from M118 "white box" match ammunition. I have found the LC Match cases from M118 "white box" to be pretty uniform year to year and lot to lot. If you are loading for a moa or less capable rifle then sort the cases by the year. If not then just use it as is. BTW; the primers were not crimped in in LC Match cases. As a matter of fact I just finished sizing some LC 72 Match cases for use in my suppressed Savage Hybrid M12 Competition with a Palma barrel on it.

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    I load 42 gr IMR4895 under a Hornady 168 Match bullet which runs 2750 out of the 29.5" barrel. It gives 3/4 or less moa accuracy with 10 shots at 300 yards.

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    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 06-29-2020 at 07:53 PM.
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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I've had similar experience with cal. .30 Match brass. I separate the FA from the LC, but otherwise don't worry about sorting by year in loading for the Garand. All good. I load 46.5 grains of IMR4064, RL15 or Varget with the Sierra 175MK with Winchester WLR primer. Use the same load in my Winchester Model 70 target.
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  6. #6
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    I use Varget under the 175 MK in my LC Match loads for my 308W M70 Target rifle as it has a 12" twist barrel. The Savage (pictured above) has a 13" barrel and doesn't handle the 175s as well as the 168s even at 2850 fps with the Varget load.....
    Larry Gibson

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The "MATCH" head stamp means the ammo is loaded with bullets that might not be suitable for combat use. For example, 7.62 NATO ammo loaded with 168 gr Sierra HPBT match bullets was prohibited on the battlefield at one time. They have since been designated as non-expanding bullets, but that's another discussion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    The "MATCH" head stamp means the ammo is loaded with bullets that might not be suitable for combat use. For example, 7.62 NATO ammo loaded with 168 gr Sierra HPBT match bullets was prohibited on the battlefield at one time. They have since been designated as non-expanding bullets, but that's another discussion.
    Not quite complete. Back when the M118 (M852 actually) was prohibited for combat use with the "LC MATCH" headstamp the cases also had a knurl around the case just ahead of the web for identification. About the earliest M852 I have seen and used was some with a headstamp of LC 82 NM which was used at Camp Perry. All issued M852 I used had "MATCH" on the headstamp.. During that time all LC MATCH cases w/o the knurl were loaded with the 174 gr FMJBT Match bullet. Once M852 became the standard Match/sniper load the older M118 with the 174 gr FMJBT Match bullet morphed into M118 SB (Special Ball). The M118SB cases do not have "MATCH" on the headstamp and have crimped in primers. They also are loaded with ball powder.
    Larry Gibson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post

    I load 42 gr IMR4895 under a Hornady 168 Match bullet which runs 22750 out of the 29.5" barrel. It gives 3/4 or less moa accuracy with 10 shots at 300 yards.
    That's an impressive velocity Larry! Yes, I know it's a typo but I couldn't resist.

    I've certainly shot my share of "Special Ball and Match" ammo also. Some was pretty good, a lot not so. The brass is typical military from my experience, some excellent and the other about average. Certainly not in the class of Lapua from my experience, but an excellent choice for M1a's and Garands due to the stouter construction that holds up better on repeated reloading.
    NRA Endowment member, TSRA Life member, Distinguished Rifleman, Viet Nam Vet

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynC2 View Post
    That's an impressive velocity Larry! Yes, I know it's a typo but I couldn't resist.

    .....
    Wow, I was impressed with that too..... ......unfortunately, it was, indeed, a typo. I've corrected it and have to be content with just 2750 fps.....
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    the match brass seems soft. so it made a good base to make 338-06 never had a case split. FC all run in the .01/03 weight range LC i could see up to .15 and few even more
    bottom line is the brass dont have much to do when the bullet exits the barrel does then

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Even within a year there can be variation, brass is made in lots and the data sheets for the entire round will have the data for brass, powder,primer and bullet lot numbers. This is to allow a lot to be suspended if there is a critical failure. Example would be an M split in the case, knowing the lot allows suspension of only the ammo made with that case lot as opposed to all ammo in that years production. Component lot tracking is done for ammo/munitions in all calibers, even the big stuff.

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