Rifleman Q&A: Bullets For Blanks

posted on April 1, 2022
dummy and blank bullets

Q: I have boxes of Lake City Ordnance blank brass, Caliber .30 M1909. Most of the cartridges are LC 57 and some RA 56. I took the red seal card out and removed the blank powder (spherical type). Can I use this brass for reloading if I remove the crimp, straighten the neck and run it through a full-length sizing die? Also, can the original primer be used?

A: What you are asking about has been done, albeit with inconsistent results. The question usually comes down to variability in the hardness of the case head and the brass thickness of the neck, since this process requires reaming, or turning, to achieve dimensional correctness.

I have personally never made the attempt to load blanks with bullets and would generally advise people not to make the effort. Quality checks for conventional ammunition and blanks differ greatly. The resulting product is always suspect and certainly takes away from the joy of shooting. Brass for the .30-’06 Sprg. is often easily obtainable without all the effort and questionability. Other uses can be made of the brass, however.

A number of people utilize it to make “snake loads” for .45 ACP-chambered guns. It can also serve as parent brass for a number of obsolete military and commercial cartridges that share the same case head. Use caution, however—such loads should always remain in the low-pressure arena.


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