5.56 once fired blank brass for 300 Blackout conversion

| January 6, 2014 | 4 Comments

.300 Blackout has some ballistics advantages over other rifle calibers, especially in shorter barrel lengths. Unfortunately, it has one massive weakness: factory made ammunition is extremely expensive in comparison to 5.56×45, 5.45×39 and 7.62×39. It’s considered a “deal” when you can find .300 Blackout practice ammunition for $0.60 a round. Defensive rounds are well over $1.20 each — if you can find them in stock.

The price and availability of .300 leads me back to reloading — for the third time.

It’s even hard to find .300 Blackout brass. Luckily you can resize 5.56 brass by cutting the neck off of it and running it through a .300 Blackout resizing die.

This has spawned a cottage industry of people who convert 5.56 brass and resell it to .300 handloaders. There are several of these up and running on the Internet. You can tell that some of the people doing this are retirees from crazy ass professions; there’s a guy who is a former engineer and has all sorts of QA requirements on the brass he creates.

Processed brass sells for between $0.18 and $0.25 per, depending on who did it, how exacting they are, and if they anneal the case necks or not. Shipping is not included.

Or if you’re cheap like me, you can process the cases yourself.

This is where Everglades Ammo comes in, with their once-fired 5.56 blank brass.

You can buy 2000 pieces of brass for $100 shipped. That’s $0.05 delivered per piece.


2000 rounds of once-fired 5.56 Lake City blank brass from Everglades Ammo.

Now, here’s the thing about blank brass. It has a reputation on the Internet as being weaker than “real” brass. Some say it’s thinner, some say it’s made from different materials, and some say it is made from regular brass that didn’t make a quality control cut.

This fellow did a comprehensive test with 5.56 blank brass that he reloaded for use in his 5.56 AR-15. He fired his brass several times without failure, despite some severely cracked necks.

The 300 Blackout round has a less pressure than 5.56×45 round, so I’m less concerned about using the blank brass than the people on ARFCOM.

I’ll start processing the brass once all of my equipment arrives, and I’ll update the blog accordingly.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

4 Comments on "5.56 once fired blank brass for 300 Blackout conversion"

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  1. Damon says:

    Have you had the chance to test this? I bought some from a local (phoenix AZ area) brass processor and a good deal of the brass appears to be blanks converted from 5.56. I have some factory ammo to shoot up yet, but I was trying to have some stuff on hand when I start to reload that round.


    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Hi there! Yes, I shoot it exclusively during training. No problems with the brass so far, and I’ve fired about 1500 rounds so far this year.

      One thing about how I convert my brass (whether it would be made from blanks or not) is that I do not anneal the reformed necks. This will reduce the life of the brass. I do fight-focused training that involves movement and being close to other students, which means that my chances of getting all of my brass back is slim anyway. Not annealing saves me some time, and I didn’t have to buy an annealer.

  2. Juddie Burgess says:

    Thank you for your writing on converting 556 blanks to 300 Blackout. I have done well over 600 cases so far. I am on Facebook on several groups and their are a lot of nay sayers and I have been trying to set them straight. I have compared, measured (to the best of my ability) 556 Lake City brass cut to 300 BLK and 556 Lake City blank brass cut to 300 BLK and have found no real difference. I have only shot a few hundred so farm, shooting supersonic loads, and I have had no issues.

    Again thanks for your article.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Thanks for reading! We’ve fired over 2000 rounds formed from blanks in multiple firearms with no signs of trouble. Glad you are having success using blanks, too.

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