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Thread: Korean Surplus

  1. #1
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    Korean Surplus

    I Picked up 500 rounds of 30/06 with a 150 gr bullets I am pulling it down to reuse the bullets and reforming the brass to 308. Anyone know what powder was used then? and if it is a boxer primer is it corrosive I heard it was the berdam or how ever you spell was the problem one. Would be great is I can reuse everything. The rifle I am going to use it has a fluted chamber and the brass will be scrap metal after its shot.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

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    Boolit Master

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    I'd count on them being Boxer and corrosive.
    The 50's era GI ammo I'd had in years past was corrosive.
    If I remember right, non-corrosive primers didn't come along until the mid-ish 50's.
    And the GI Garands that had been carried and fired in the early 50's usually needed a new barrel.

    I've heard a good test is to take a modern primer in a unfired case, and a potentially corrosive one in a empty case.

    Fire both of them onto a piece of bare steel.
    Leave it out side and see if one blast mark rusts sooner than the other.

    Then clean your rifle as if you knew one was corrosive.
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    Side note : would like a little info on reforming to 308 ????

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    Quote Originally Posted by beechbum444 View Post
    Side note : would like a little info on reforming to 308 ????
    In today's world, I would sell the '06 brass and buy .308, or trade it for .308.
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    What's the date in the boxes? I'd sell the 06 and purchase 308.

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    if it's military it must have a head stamp on the brass? If it was made in S. Korea it's very likely PMC. Some is non-corrosive if of later mfg. Bill is right-- that's a lot of trouble to go to for .308 which is normally so available.

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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    To neck '06 down to .308 there is alot of trimming to be done and the resulting necks will also be too thick. Pull down for powder and bullets and sell the primed cases. KA is a common ROK military headstamp. Most likely a spheroidal powder similar to WC852 and non-corrosive if headstamped 1960s or later.
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    KA is corrosive,, PS is noncorrosive, boxer primed reloadable and good stuff.
    I reload PS with my mixed date LC/FA/TW or any other USGI brass for 147/150gr range ammo.

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    Stay away from KA 30-06. Had some that I was firing in a vintage rifle match in my 03A3 and the case ruptured at the primer and web.






    I pulled the bullets and dumped the powder, which was mostly extruded, but found some ball. Some was actually turning into a gooey substance. I saved the bullets and threw the rest in my fire pit.
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    As far as sizing down to 308 I will use my mini chop saw I got to make 300 BO brass from 223 and shorten the OAL then neck size to 308 very little trimming needed after that.
    As far as finding bulk 308 I have been unable to do so I do have 308 brass but its is for my bolt actions. This ammo is for if I get in a pinch and need to get my semi auto which holds 20 rounds a mag. Any think I fire in it is trash afterwards since it has a fluted chamber.
    I did a quick measurement on the neck of a few I have made they do not seem to be any thicker in the neck walls. I have to do a better check to be sure it will not be a issue.
    Mine is KA stamped and you can tell it was on a belt at one time. I pulled 250 so far all the powder is extruded I looked at each one to make sure I did not have a clumpy powder Which I did find 4 that were suspect appears they had gotten damp at one time or another. The primers are boxer never heard of primer fire on a piece of steel I have to try that.
    Thanks for the replies.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grinch View Post
    Stay away from KA 30-06. Had some that I was firing in a vintage rifle match in my 03A3 and the case ruptured at the primer and web.






    I pulled the bullets and dumped the powder, which was mostly extruded, but found some ball. Some was actually turning into a gooey substance. I saved the bullets and threw the rest in my fire pit.
    I had the exact same failure in a Garand and KA surplus. Proceed with caution!

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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    "M" split as shown in photo is VERY dangerous! I would not use those cases.

    I would repeat my caution that in cutting off and necking '06 brass to .308 the neck wall thickness is excessive and will not have sufficient release clearance and it setting you up for a KABOOM~!@!
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    So sell the 30/06 brass if is dangerous why would someone one buy it. So is it the powder charge 53.5 if I remember I do not have my notes with me which looking at load data for commercial brass is at the max levels for powder by my books add that to thicker brass ups the pressure more. Is that where the case failure comes in.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I had a surplus 8mm Mauser round do an "M" split several years ago. it was shocking but it proved to me how well a 98k handles gas from ruptured cases. I was wearing safety glasses as I always do, the only "injury" was a very small spot of broken skin on my forehead, but I pulled down the remainder of that batch of ammo and reloaded the bullet and powder in commercial cases.

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    So any comment on what is the danger the powder charge or the brass if the brass is safe that really one leaves the powder right ? I weight several rounds and noticed they very a few grains so far. Started in on the second box of round and found 3 different looking powders and the weights for each kind stay within a few grains so far but I would say by my books are on the high end of the scale.So where looking at max loads for reg brass and military brass being thicker even higher pressures the best I can tell by the books I have. That being said leans me to thing its more of a powder problem then the brass am I missing something?
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  16. #16
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    Faulty brass from the factory.
    All brass is not created perfect, some have defects, and sometimes there are more defect in certain lots/brands/eras of brass
    that at other lots/brands/eras times.
    Example: 1950's war surplus Korean vs. 2020 commercial manufactured Winchester.
    Modern Winchester doesn't want an expensive lawsuit/witch-hunt.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Military brass is not always thicker, and if it's the wrong temper the thickness doesn't matter.

    Suspect brass, lots of different powders, corrosive primers. I'd pull it all down for the bullets, fertilize the tomatoes with the powder, and move on. I could not even sell that brass with a clear conscience.
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    If it was me id keep it but im also not the smartest either
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP View Post
    So any comment on what is the danger the powder charge or the brass if the brass is safe that really one leaves the powder right ? I weight several rounds and noticed they very a few grains so far. Started in on the second box of round and found 3 different looking powders and the weights for each kind stay within a few grains so far but I would say by my books are on the high end of the scale.So where looking at max loads for reg brass and military brass being thicker even higher pressures the best I can tell by the books I have. That being said leans me to thing its more of a powder problem then the brass am I missing something?
    Sometimes we conceive of a project and it's just hard to get it out of our minds. Kind of like "It is technically feasible, and I know I can do it, so why shouldn't I do it?" I've fallen into this trap before, and I think you're sliding down the same slope. You're wanting to expend lots of time and labor on trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Forum intelligence indicates that KA ammo is not the best in quality of brass, and now you're indicating problems with powder--type and weight. You should reassess the original idea, because after you're all done, what will you end up with? .308 ammo suspect for quality.

    The closest experience I've had to your idea/project was during the great import of Turkish rifles and ammo back around 2002. A friend and I bought a couple dozen of these rifles and several cases of the ammo. Some of the ammo seemed quite hot, and the primers were corrosive. We pulled some of the bullets and weighed the charges and found a great variation running from a low of about 42 grains to a high of 52 grains. That, considered with the corrosive primers made us decided to view the ammo from a salvage perspective. We each purchased 500 new R-P 8mm cases, pulled and salvaged the bullets, salvaged the powder, and trashed the cases. I later regretted having disposed of the cases because during hard times some brass is better than no brass, but nevertheless we dumped several thousands of cases in the salvage barrel at the local gun club after soaking them in kerosene for a couple of weeks to kill the primers. Again though, unlike your situation, no one ever said that the Turk brass was inferior, and to this day I've never heard that. We then loaded our new brass with the pulled bullets and 47.0 gr. of the salvaged powder. The result was very pleasing accuracy and peace of mind. I still have some of the powder and bullets as we pulled more than we reloaded.

    I'm thinking that you might consider a similar course of action here-- pull and reuse the bullets. But, unfortunately, it sounds like that's about all you'll get out of it, as the brass has a reputation for suspect quality, and your description of the powder doesn't inspire confidence either. Do you really want to shoot such remodeled .308 in your rifles?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I think you’ve said twice that you believe that firing in a fluted chamber destroys brass, and nobody has commented on the accuracy of that statement. I expect it’d be fine, anyone have real experience?

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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