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A look inside: Lake city 1954 30-06 AP ammunition

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Zeliard
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A look inside: Lake city 1954 30-06 AP ammunition

#1 Post by Zeliard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:01 pm

Originally posted by carteach0.

Ok, readers choice this time. I bumped the LC-54 30-06 to the front of the line.
Another snow day today, so away we go>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This mornings subject is Lake City 30-06, dated 1954 and armour piercing black tip.
I happened to have about twenty rounds of this, and now ten have been given to the cause.

I'll admit to having enough nationalistic pride that I expected this Lake City ammo to become
the standard by which other Mil-surp ammo is measured. The truth turned out to be pretty
close to that mark, if not right on. That said, I tried my best to be clinical and unbiased
as I weighed and measured. I even swore in French once just to make it fair.

Adding to the battery of measurements, this time I extended the investigation to unfired
case dimensions. I applied my Mic to the base width, neck width, and case length on each
sample case.

Our sample subjects, torn down:

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The powder is a medium extruded grain that appears like IMR 4895. I happen to have
some old cans of IMR and Hogdons powder from that era (not sure why....) and I took the time
to compare. It's not 4350 nor 4064, but looks pretty much exactly like IMR 4895. I did note
the powder from the LC cartridges was actually in better condition visually than the old
samples I have in the original cans. Compared to a new and fresh sample of IMR 4895 it
appeared to be the same dimension, but did not have the shine nor odor of fresh IMR powder.
If I found this in my can today, I might load it for plinking rounds but not for my
best accuracy loads because of the visual indications.

Image

The bullets are a FMJ Spitzer design with an indented base. They were well sealed
to the case and required two hands on the press handle to pull. I doubt they could
have been removed with anything less than the RCBS collet puller. On the plus side, they
all seemed to pull with equal force. none being easier than another. Short of mounting
a torque wrench to the press handle I'm not sure how to measure that.

The bullets have a canalure and the case mouth was crimped pretty tightly
into the groove. The bullet was not compressed or marked in any way by this
so the crimp appears Juuuuuust Riiiiight.

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To make the dimensional measurements on the bullets I needed to clean the sealer
off the bullet. I found it wiped off easily with nothing more than carb clean on
a rag. I have yet to find a sealer that would not come off with the same method.

Image

Now, to the numbers:

Powder: high of 49.7 grains and a low of 49.1. It should be noted that every sample but the two
extremes was exactly at 49.3 grains. That is excellent control, and well within the spread of
a manual powder measure (why I individually weigh every charge I care about).

Cases: Here I found the widest weight variations, with a high of 206.4 and a low of 197.6 grains.
The high number is so much out of the range that I suspect my own measurement. I'm just too
lazy to go recheck. Take it for what it's worth. The case dimensions were pretty decent, with
the case bases ranging from .465" to .467". The case mouths on the other hand all measured
at exactly .335", which speaks well of the neck wall thickness non-variation. The case lengths
ranged from 2.481" to 2.486". This is not an surprising spread in my experience, and I have seen much
wider in brand new virgin commercial brass.

Bullets (almost forgot this!): Weight varied from 162.6 to 163.6 grains, with most centered around
163.4 grains. Their diameters ranged from .3076" to .3081". A variation of .0005" with military
armour piercing bullets is pretty decent. I note they are slightly undersized by typical .308
standards. Would this effect accuracy? It certainly should if the rifles bore is over
nominal dimensions by much at all.

Some of the data charted for your enjoyment:

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Conclusions....... I have nothing to shoot this stuff with !!! AArrrgggg.....
That colors everything I might say. Just judging by the components I would think
the ammunition should be excellent in any decent firearm. It's consistant in
weight and dimension with what appears to be excellent quality control.
I suspect the powder could be in better condition, but I also suspect that is more
a past storage issue than anything else. I now recall I found this ammunition
in an upper room of an Amish barn. Dry, but hot.

I have a few rounds left which I would love to shoot over my chronograph.
Does anyone have a nice 03 or a garand they'd care to lend me for a while? (lol)

Image
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timbo1955
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Re: A look inside: Lake city 1954 30-06 AP ammunition

#2 Post by timbo1955 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:16 pm

I found some 42 lake city , wanted to check inside , but for the life of me , couldn't pull them with out breaking the bench I feared

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Re: A look inside: Lake city 1954 30-06 AP ammunition

#3 Post by Rapidrob » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:58 pm

You would be hard pressed to pull the bullet. The AP bullet must be able to reach its intended velocity no matter what conditions it was used in. The bullet is sealed into the neck not only by a crimp but also asphalt sealant. The pull of this bullet is more than the standard M2 ball of WWII. It is at least 60 pounds of force and I have seen some close to 80 pounds of force. This using a gripping or collet type bullet puller. You will break most kinetic pullers trying to dislodge these bullets.
The bullet is not blown out of the neck. The neck expands and releases the bullet when fired. The asphalt does not foul the bore as one may think.
I have fired hundreds of these bullets out of M-1's and M-14's. They are very accurate.
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