Best brand of brass?


September 20, 2005, 07:55 PM
What is the best brand of brass for 357 magnum, 44 magnum, and 45 ACP? Im looking for strength and ability to be reloaded the most amount of times. Thanks-

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The Bushmaster
September 20, 2005, 09:00 PM
Brass that you can get for free??? Why Winchester, of course....

September 21, 2005, 07:53 AM
Starline sure has good reputation for case life and serviceablility! That being said, I shoot mixed headstamp brass in my USP. I seperate brass for the 625.

September 21, 2005, 11:27 AM
lot of people like norma. i only have 50 norma casings though and i dont reload hot but they seem good *mine are older then i am, my dad gave em to me*

September 21, 2005, 11:49 AM
For .45 pistol, any range pickup will do.

For .380 auto, Winchester hands down is the best and will take my overloads.

September 21, 2005, 01:56 PM
I never get too concerned about pistol brass, expecially in .45. I have a huge supply of range brass in .45 (3/4 full 55 gal drum). I usually figure I will loose brass before I fatigue it. With the wheel guns, I have much less, about 10,000 pieces each of .44, .357, and probably 1/2 that for .41 and .32. With a straight case and moderate loads, I get about 30 or so loads out of most brands.

September 21, 2005, 04:15 PM
any non amerc free brass

September 21, 2005, 04:49 PM
Starline or Winchester.

I have some Winchester nickel plated brass that is 25 years old and has been reloaded so many times (sometimes HOT loads) it's ridiculous. Just now starting to have some split cases and some loose primer pockets.

Have some Starline 44 Mag brass almost as old and just starting to lose some to split cases.

September 21, 2005, 05:37 PM
I like Federal brass. The primer pockets are just so uniform. Has worked well for me for years. :)

Ben Shepherd
September 21, 2005, 07:44 PM
Shoot LOTS of 357 and 44- good heavy loads, so here goes best to worst:

Anything else domestic- exept remington- it's JUNK in pistol calibers.

Get a redding "profile crimp" die, it's easier on your case mouths than a standard crimp die.

September 21, 2005, 08:18 PM
Maybe more information than you are looking for but my brass experience has been as follows:

I have loaded most headstamps in pistol calibers and find just about all of it works (AMERC being the exception).

My preference is Winchester if range pickups, if I'm buying new brass, Starline without a second thought.

Hornady brass is a little 'stiff' compared to other brands (in my experience), CBC/Magtech is glass smooth to reload. Winchester lasts virtually forever, depending upon your load levels, CBC has been good for 15 (so far) reloadings without any splits or problems.

I haven't loaded too much Remington, since I don't see it too much at the range where I shoot, but what I have loaded has been ok, except for those marked with the UMC headstamp. I toss those.

Aguila is the Dr. Jekyl/Mr Hyde of brass. Some of it is excellent, some of it is crappy. Armscorp is unusually good in 9mm, but one of the worst in 40 SW. UltraMax is hit or miss too. The 45 ACP brass isn't exactly uniform by a long shot (in my opinion).

MFS (Hungarian) seems to be decent quality, but I have loaded it in 45 ACP only.

Federal I can take or leave, not great, not terrible. Independence has proven to be pretty good.

FC, WCC and WRA brass all work well and seem to hold up as well as any other I have loaded.

TZZ/IMI is outstanding brass, but much of it is crimped. Not a big deal, if you do a thorough inspection prior to loading.

Speer is average, both brass and nickel. The nickel plated cases are reputed to start flaking after a few reloads, but I haven't seen it. I have about 8 reloads on a batch of Speer 40 SW loaded to mid-range levels with no problems so far,

Santa Barbara ammo from Spain is some of the best available, and the brass is top notch for reloading. I have loaded both rifle and pistol using it and it has proven to be excellent. Uniform in every respect and still has good neck tension (in .308) after dozens of reloads on it. Never had a split case using it. I am still loading the brass from a batch of milsurp I picked up from Eric the Ammoman about 10 years ago.

Hirtenberger from Austria is also very, very good, but only available as loaded ammo (initially) as far as I know. It has been hard to find for the last several years.

PMP (South African) is as good as any available. Nothing special, but it does load fine and hold up well.

Portugese ammo can be hit or miss, like many others of unknown origins, but the brass loads, trims and holds up well, even with full house loads.

LC in all it's incantations is pretty good for the most part. I have had a questionable batch or two over the years. If you get a good batch, hoarde it like gold.



The Bushmaster
September 21, 2005, 09:29 PM
I was going to go into a long speech on various brass and it's reloading quality, but BigSlick beat me to it. :neener: I will add that I have been loading both brass and nickle plated Remington cases, hot and mild and have never had anymore trouble from them anymore then any other brass...In fact Winchester and Remington/Peters (R-P) are my two favorite cases. If you can wear out .45 ACP brass I want to see it. By the way "TZZ Match '62" is some of the best .45 ACP brass around. I still have a whole bunch of the stuff...

September 22, 2005, 11:09 AM
I have good life with Federal Handgun brass, but I tell you 223 brass just does not work out compared to WW or LC/WCC. I have a lot of Lapua 308 brass that has 10 reloads on it! The primer pockets are snug as if they were brand new! So, for rifle brass Lapua wins!

Paul "Fitz" Jones
October 6, 2005, 12:43 AM
Is GI WCC 77 I traded Navy ship shooting teams Saeco molds and Star Reloaders for a hundred thousand of their brass and 25 years later some of my friends are still using some for target loads.

October 6, 2005, 10:19 AM
I don't understand the lack of respect for remington.
Sometime back in '95 I bought 6 boxes of remington .41 magnum ammo, at $30 a box.
I only had one gun until 2001, and that gun was a .41 mag.
I've hot loaded those same 300 cases so many times it boggles the mind.
None of that brass has split. (Lost a bit of it over the last ten years though.)
Matter of fact, the only cases I've ever seen split was on new 9mm blazer aluminum.

But as for any pistol cases, starline wins , hands down.

Ben Shepherd
October 6, 2005, 07:08 PM
In 357, 41 & 44:

Remington brass doesn't split so much as it loses all ability to hold any decent neck tension after just a couple loads. This raises hell with extreme spreads and accuracy.

It has caused me enough trouble I threw it all away a while back.

The Bushmaster
October 6, 2005, 08:56 PM
Ah Ben...Like caz223 I have been reloading the same Remington .357 magnum cases sense I first bought my Colt SAA in .357 magnum. That was in 1966. I still have around 100 of them left and they are still going strong including bullet tension. I started with around 600 cases and they were all nickle plated. I agree with caz223 that Remington gets a bum rap, but if you don't want your Remington cases in.38 Special, .357 magnum, 9mm X 19, .45 ACP, .30-30 and .30-06. I would be very glad to take them off your hands... :D

Matt Dillon
October 8, 2005, 10:38 AM
I have found S&B and PMC to be great brass, as well. Many times reloading and very easy to work.

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