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After 50 Years, the Army and Marine Corps Are Closing In on Dumping Brass-Cased Ammo

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3 hours ago, 10X said:

I do NOT want to lose the option to reload.

That's another thing I was thinking will polymer casings be able to be reused?

and although minimal won't environmentalists complain that they are not recyclable.

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43 minutes ago, Bklynracer said:

That's another thing I was thinking will polymer casings be able to be reused?

and although minimal won't environmentalists complain that they are not recyclable.

Probably is going to be recyclable. 

I see MAJOR issues with this tho... 

Polymer... in a hot chamber? good luck. especially at "battle" temps. 

Not to mention it's probably gonna cost a lot of money... 

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I read an article at some point a year or so ago that the army was specifically asking for ammo cases that couldn’t be reloaded. Apparently in the Middle East the6 would get into fights and afterwards people friendly to the enemy would collect the spent cases, reload them and the next fight they’d be shooting them back. 
-Jim

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On 4/5/2020 at 4:13 PM, JackDaWack said:

Probably is going to be recyclable. 

I see MAJOR issues with this tho... 

Polymer... in a hot chamber? good luck. especially at "battle" temps. 

Not to mention it's probably gonna cost a lot of money... 

Apparently the chamber doesnt reach those higher temps with the polymer. 

From the article:

Quote

"Brass is a conductor of heat, and our composite case is an insulator," Hogan said. "Brass conducts the heat during the ballistic event; the brass superheats and then transfers that heat to the chamber of the weapon, whereas polymer insulates the chamber from that heat."

Excessive heat buildup can cause ammo to cook off or explode in the weapon, a problem True Velocity's case technology has licked, he said.

"Anecdotally, we have run cook-off tests through some of the belt-fed platforms and, in order to get the gun even hot enough to be in a position where you could even have a cook off, we have to run brass ammo through a gun to get it hot enough where you can really test our ability to withstand cook-offs," Hogan said.

 

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12 hours ago, deerpark said:

Apparently the chamber doesnt reach those higher temps with the polymer. 

From the article:

 

Thats "wishful" thinking... 

The entire barrel can get cherry red under sustained full auto... let alone the chamber.. that has nothing to do with the casing..

I'm more concerned with the integrity of polymer in a barrel chamber that can reach temps over 700 degrees.

People have caught handguards on fire from full auto mag dumps... and their not even IN the barrel. Granted they just dumped ammo in until the barrel hit over 1,400f

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24 minutes ago, JackDaWack said:

Thats "wishful" thinking... 

The entire barrel can get cherry red under sustained full auto... let alone the chamber.. that has nothing to do with the casing..

I'm more concerned with the integrity of polymer in a barrel chamber that can reach temps over 700 degrees.

Yeah, I think they did not give an accurate explanation as to what causes a round to "cook off".  They said "Brass conducts the heat during the ballistic event; the brass superheats and then transfers that heat to the chamber of the weapon, whereas polymer insulates the chamber from that heat." 

 The case is extracted microseconds after the round is fired.  I think the entire barrel getting hot under sustained fire is the source of the chamber heat.  Once the chamber is hot enough, you chamber a brass cased round and it can "cook off" that round by heating the case and igniting the powder. 

Because polymer is a better insulators of heat over brass, I think what they want to happen is you can chamber a polymer round into the same temperature hot barrel/chamber weapon and the polymer insulate the heat from the powder charge and prevent the round from igniting unintentionally.  

I see two immediate problems with this: 

1 they should have been able to explain that better than they did and B, the failure of the weapon will be the next piece/part that is unable to withstand the excessive heat of continuous fire.   

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12 hours ago, GRIZ said:

No, sold as scrap.

I did not know that.  Any idea why it changed?  When I was in, they reloaded everything in a training environment:  5.56 brass, 7.62 brass and links, even shotgun shells.

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51 minutes ago, dilbert1967 said:

I did not know that.  Any idea why it changed?  When I was in, they reloaded everything in a training environment:  5.56 brass, 7.62 brass and links, even shotgun shells.

 When were you in?  What branch?

I was AD, NG, and Reserve Army from 1967 to 2009. I never encountered any reloaded ammo anywhere during that time.

I said sold for scrap.  I should have been more specific.  It was sold as "scrap" to mostly commercial reloading companies.  Thousands of pounds at a time.  This was reloaded by them and sold on the commercial market.  Not back to the military.

There was a period of time during the Obama administration that they changed the category of fired cases and no longer could be sold as such.  They started to shred the brass so it was really scrap.  I believe they changed this and continue to sell to commercial reloading companies.  Many market it as remanufactured ammo.

Marksmanship units often load their own ammo for competitions.

The NG had 1911s for some time after the M9 was adopted.  I remember at one point, before we got M9s, we got Israeli 45 ACP ammo for quals.  Never any reloads.

 

 

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17 hours ago, GRIZ said:

 When were you in?  What branch?

I was AD, NG, and Reserve Army from 1967 to 2009. I never encountered any reloaded ammo anywhere during that time.

I said sold for scrap.  I should have been more specific.  It was sold as "scrap" to mostly commercial reloading companies.  Thousands of pounds at a time.  This was reloaded by them and sold on the commercial market.  Not back to the military.

There was a period of time during the Obama administration that they changed the category of fired cases and no longer could be sold as such.  They started to shred the brass so it was really scrap.  I believe they changed this and continue to sell to commercial reloading companies.  Many market it as remanufactured ammo.

Marksmanship units often load their own ammo for competitions.

The NG had 1911s for some time after the M9 was adopted.  I remember at one point, before we got M9s, we got Israeli 45 ACP ammo for quals.  Never any reloads.

 

 

1982 - 2008.  NG.  I remember working as part of a detail turning in brass, links, and shells.  One of the younger members asked what they did with the brass and the civilian accepting it said they reload most of it.

Never had much luck with re-manufactured ammo.  Dick's sold a re-manufactured brand years ago that was just so-so as range ammo.

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9 hours ago, dilbert1967 said:

1982 - 2008.  NG.  I remember working as part of a detail turning in brass, links, and shells.  One of the younger members asked what they did with the brass and the civilian accepting it said they reload most of it.

Never had much luck with re-manufactured ammo.  Dick's sold a re-manufactured brand years ago that was just so-so as range ammo.

I'm sure what the guy meant is that it was sold to be reloaded commercially.  Not reloaded for military use.

I checked my Ammunition Handbook of the era you served.  There is no DODAC (DOD Ammunition Code) for any reloaded ammo.  DODACs are assigned to all ammunition available to all branches of the military.

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On 4/5/2020 at 5:13 PM, JimB1 said:

I read an article at some point a year or so ago that the army was specifically asking for ammo cases that couldn’t be reloaded. Apparently in the Middle East the6 would get into fights and afterwards people friendly to the enemy would collect the spent cases, reload them and the next fight they’d be shooting them back. 
-Jim

I'd be interested to read that article if you can find the link.

Sounds dubious at best.

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I do know links have been reused at times.  The Army was recycling links from training ranges in Vietnam in 1968.  As the troops were being more and more issued M16s there was a lot of 7.62 NATO in ammo dumps that weren't going to be used in M14s.  They reused the links to use this ammo for M60s.

The Vietnamese would pick up abandoned brass.  Not to reload but to use as the raw material for other things.  That brass Buddha a GI bought as a souvenir was very likely made from melted down 50 caliber brass.

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5 hours ago, 124gr9mm said:

I'd be interested to read that article if you can find the link.

Sounds dubious at best.

Not worth my time to attempt to find an article I read in passing a year ago. Probably couldn’t find it again in a few hours of digging so I’m not even going to try. 
Sorry...

I’m not sure what sort of rifles were in use by the enemy in Iraq but it wouldn’t shock me if they used 5.56 since it’s used by NATO everywhere. They were making IEDs from household goods and reloading cases is not rocket science so it’s not beyond them in any way. It’s probably not a main reason to move away from brass but it’s not impossible that it’s on the list of reasons somewhere.
 

Probably much more likely weight considerations are higher on the list. I’d guess polymer cased ammo is far lighter than brass especially in larger calibers. 
-Jim

 

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I didn’t read this whole thread so maybe this was mentioned 

 

when brass cases are fired they expand to seal the chamber. When the pressure drops they spring back which gives clearance for positive extraction 

 

that’s why the army has had such trouble using polymer and steel. If we had super tapered cases like the 7.62x39 then maybe but I don’t see any large scale direct swap-out for brass until the chambers and/or rest of the gun are re-designed for it.
 

A case glued to the inside of the chamber sucks for an open bolt gun and might be a disaster for closed bolt

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8 hours ago, JimB1 said:

and reloading cases is not rocket science so it’s not beyond them in any way. 

During the "Arab Spring" in Libya, I saw video of [rebel] children reloading 50BMG on a sidewalk with a block of wood, a screw driver and a hammer.  Can't get less JPL than that.

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