for .308 who makes the "best" brass?


April 14, 2007, 05:33 PM
I normally buy Norma brass for my rifles. However the price is to high for me to buy it this time around. I was wondering what people around here feel is the "best" in terms of consistency and duration. When loading .308 for example what brass have you found to have the most uniform weight after case prep? Which brand takes the least amount of case prep to be uniform? Which brand lasts through the most reloading cycles at high pressures? At the moment I am leaning towards Nosler or Lapua but I have also heard that Hornady and Federal are good. Anyone who has tried a few of these especially in .308 your input would be most helpful.

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April 14, 2007, 05:39 PM
Lapua - Norma - Hornady has a great rep but I have not shot any of theirs.

Buy the Lapua, I think you will be very happy with it.:)

April 14, 2007, 06:52 PM
Lapua and Norma are said to be the best. Federal match is one of the best production match ammo available, I had 60 Fed Amer. Eagle cases I kept 28 for reloading the rest I tossed. I recently pick up 100 Nosler factory 2nd (blims) of the 25 I've loaded they seem very good, they come ready to load and shoot and are trimmed to 2.005 and chamfered, the primer pockets have been addressed as well. The .308 Win Nosler brass weight varied +or-1grain of the ones I loaded. The case wall thickness is consistent as well as the case's concentricity.

April 14, 2007, 08:07 PM
For commercial I like Federal Match. I really like shooting military LC brass. I do not shoot competition so I am probably not as anal as some, but for my use on a 200 yd range it works perfectly fine.

April 14, 2007, 09:49 PM
Hands down, Lapua are the most consistant in weight and require zero case prepping. Norma, while good, are softer and are not particularly consistant in their weights.


April 14, 2007, 10:34 PM
I would never buy winchester rifle brass ever if I were you. I bought two 50 round bags of .308 from two seperate stores and approximately 1/2 of it had dings and damage to it. About 1/4 were horribly dented. CCI primers (right size) would also not seat very easily. They required far too much pressure for my tastes.

I bought some remington brass and it was in perfect condition and seated wonderfully. Winchester has lost my business.

April 15, 2007, 12:17 AM
I'll take Lake City MilSurp over any commercial when I can find it.

April 15, 2007, 01:35 AM
Lapua brass is impressive, BUT, the problem again, is price. I haven't tried any S&B factory rifle loads, but I'm tempted, just to see if their rifle brass is as good as their pistol brass. And, since that will take care of fireforming to a specific rifle chamber, might be worth a look.;)

April 15, 2007, 09:27 AM
Lapua will last a long time if you treat it well, with good sizing habits and possibe case neck annealing.

WW or BHA (WW mfgr) works well too, and it probably the second best choice.

Federal brass flat out sucks, it is soft, so much so that after a few firings the primer pockets are shot!

RP is okay!

The problem with LC brass is that most once fired was shot out of a sloppy chambered machinegun! You will need a small base die to resize it before using it.

Take down LC is good choice especially if shooting the 308 in a gas gun!

IMI woud be my choice for a gas gun!

Nosler shoots okay, I too got 50 seconds. They case wt spread was only 2grs for the entire 50.

April 16, 2007, 02:03 AM
Having reloaded 308 brass for 20 years, I think LC brass is too much work. They have been expanded like a pregnant hog, takes a lot of effort to resize them. The primer pocket takes a lot of effort to get the crimp out, and the new primer in. Then, you have to trim them, because they are so thick, then load down 2 to 3 grains of powder, and hope to get the same point of impact.
I heard Winchester is too hard, remington is too soft, federal is too light, and hornady is too hard to get....
Unless you are shooting matches, any good commercial brass will do.....

April 16, 2007, 05:33 AM
Not to steal the thread but, I heard Nosler brass is winchester with a different stamp on it? Any truth to this?

April 16, 2007, 08:48 AM

Have not heard that one. Some people once told me that Hornady brass was made by Winchester. I called Hornady, and they said No, their brass is made in-house. However, Black Hills brass is made by Winchester.


April 16, 2007, 09:14 AM
Just an observation; not ALL LC brass is necessarily shot out of a machine gun. LC Match is going to be shot from either a bolt gun, M14, M1A, M1 (converted to .308 of course), etc because it comes in 20 round boxes and I don't know of anyone who has time to pick up M60 links, link it, and turn it into machine gun fodder. I have a couple cans of LC 90 Ball (not match) that I shoot from my M1 for the 200 yard off-hand in Highpower. Once fired, I ream the primer pocket and they're good to go for reloading. LC Match primer pockets are not crimped, of course.
And whenever I sell LC on eBay and I always list what kind of firearm was used to fire it, but not everyone does that.

Navy Vet

April 16, 2007, 03:38 PM
I am shocked to hear people say they like Federal brass. This is actually the first time that I've heard of Federal brass being good for anything other than scrap.

I prefer Lapua and Norma brass for my high end reloading, but I will normally use Winchester brass.

Silent Sam
April 16, 2007, 04:23 PM
Nosler brass is prepped Winchester with their own stamp. Hornady makes their own.

April 17, 2007, 02:34 AM
I've been a big fan of Remington brass for my .30-06 loads. I like it so much that I even sent them an email complimenting them on their high quality, and received a response the next day saying "you're welcome" and saying my message had been forward to the folks at the factory floor.

I emailed Winchester complimenting their 147gr .308 caliber bullets which I love for plinking, but received no response. Go figure.

I haven't used any of the fancy stuff yet, but Remington brass sure seems to work for me.

April 17, 2007, 11:52 PM
NORMA is da shieeeeeeet. well worth money spent. when they last soooo long give good results. very consistant with their product. i wish others were like them. TWO thumbs up to NORMA

April 18, 2007, 02:05 AM
i agree i think norma is very good. but based on what i am reading here i will be geting a few hundred lapua for each of my riffles as my norma wears out (it already has for my .308 and 300wm). i like norma but at $85 per hundred vs $45 for lapua the quality would have to be much better to be worth it. i guess i wil find out if thats the case. i was thinking about getting the nosler as it is $65 per hundred but then i read the post about it being the lexus to winchesters toyota. not wanting to be subject to internet rumor i emailed them asking if this was the case and got the following response:

Our brass is made for us to our specs by another company
that cannot be released. Once the brass is here, it is
trimmed to length, flash-hole deburred, sized, and case mouth
chamfered. Once this is done we then weight sort each box to
+/- .5 grains.
Nosler, Inc.

sounds fine until you consider that "each box" is only a 50 ct. the last thing i want to have to do is keep my lots in groups of fifty (not to mention pay twice as much for a winchester case). when cleaning 300 cases that would be a pain. so nosler is out and lapua gets my business this time around.
thanks for all your input.

April 18, 2007, 05:11 AM
Nosler brass is prepped Winchester with their own stamp. Hornady makes their own.

Till SS can prove it on paper with details there is no way I will believe that. I just went and weihged a few Nosler 308 brass is 20grs heavier then WW 308 brass....... I doubt severely that WW would make a different brass composition for Nosler..........

Talk about internet misinformation :banghead:

April 18, 2007, 08:10 AM
Nosler brass is prepped Winchester with their own stamp. Hornady makes their own.

Till the OP can prove it on paper with details there is no way I will believe that. I just went and weighed a few Nosler 308 brass is 20grs heavier then WW 308 brass....... I doubt severely that WW would make a different brass composition for Nosler..........

Talk about internet misinformation


If the Nosler brass is 20grs heavier, then I tend to agree with you. Winchester makes Black Hill's brass for them, but it falls in the same weight range as Winchester brass.


Sam Adams
April 18, 2007, 02:28 PM
IMI woud be my choice for a gas gun!

Where can you get any of that lately? I've checked Wideners repeatedly for months, without luck. No other site I've seen has any.

April 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
ok so if winchester does not make nosler then who does? unless its norma i can't see the cost being worth it for most calibers. does anybody KNOW who makes nosler brass?

April 18, 2007, 11:43 PM
Geesh, I hope it's not American :barf: I visit Nosler about once a month, I'll ask them.

April 19, 2007, 09:46 AM
Not sure who makes the Nolser brass, but...

The Nosler weighed around 176gr and the WW weighed around 157gr or so..... I doubt that WW has different brass for Nosler.......

April 20, 2007, 11:11 AM
This may not mean much, but out of my Remington 700 VS factory barrel, I got better groups - not much, but better, with new, not sized, just out of the box WW brass than neck sized Lapua.

Out of a similar gun with a custom barrel and action truing, I'd probably stick with the Lapua.:) But that guy has money to burn! ;)

April 20, 2007, 07:32 PM
Sidenote on hardness. Federal = butter, Remington = hard, Winchester = slightly harder than rem. As a reference to my previous post, win brass sucks IMO.

June 8, 2007, 04:01 PM
as i recieved many responses to my question i decided to buy a 100 round batch of each of the following brands of brass, norma, lapua, federal, hornady, nosler, and remington. i first checked them all for wieght, then dents that would require a fire forming shot to uniform the cases. then i checked neck wall thickness, primer pocket uniformity, and for burres in the flash hole. i then fl sized them and checked neck wall thickness again to be sure. after all that i will say hands down that lapua is the best. it was the most consistant in weight, with only 3 cases being out of my +/- .5 gr field (they were +/- .08gr). all the primer pockets where the exact same dimention and reqirud no uniforming, the flash holes where deburred at the factory, and the necks only needed about .0005" tunrnings to be consistant. and at that cutting depth 96 of 100 shined up all the way around the neck. the list of who makes the best brass in order of the above listed specs is:

lapua (hands down the best with very little prep time)
nosler (close to lapua, needed more neck turning and wieght was +/- 1.3 gr)
norma (weight was +/- 1gr but had flash hole burres and dented cases)
hornady (like buying bulk brass but the weight was +/- 1.8gr but no dents)
federal (weight was +/- 2.6gr, cases dented and needed ALL prep work)
remington (weight +/- 5.6gr case very dented needed ALL prep work)

on a scale of 1 to 10 i would rate them:

lapua: 10
nosler: 9
norma: 7
hornady: 5
federal: 4
remington: 2

so there is my info for all you debaters out there. i will now take 10 case from each lot, load them with my favorite load, and fire them until they start to fail. i will aniel five from each lot when i feel they need it and keep five to factory specs. i will post back when i have the results of those tests.

June 8, 2007, 10:09 PM
Good post, jr81452. Don't overlook current USGI M118LR brass. While the weight variance is quite a bit more than commercial brass, judicious sorting by weight can produce some spectacular results.

(Shameless plug) I also just happen to have some of this once-fired brass for sale in the classified section of this site.


June 8, 2007, 10:19 PM
Lapua - exceptionally consistent from case to case.

Glad to see you discovered the same.

I'm sitting on a few thousand pieces of Lapua "7.62x51" headstamped brass, and hoard it dearly. It won't get fired in my Cetme, trust me.

June 9, 2007, 01:57 AM
so USSR are you saying you have weight sorted the brass you have for sale? if thats the case, i have a friend who would be happy to buy i few k off you:)

June 9, 2007, 11:33 AM
so USSR are you saying you have weight sorted the brass you have for sale? if thats the case, i have a friend who would be happy to buy i few k off you


Not saying that at all. That's simply what I do with my own brass for LR work with precision rifles.


June 9, 2007, 11:37 AM
Hirtenberger makes really nice brass, but difficult to find/get and expensive.

June 9, 2007, 12:30 PM
I think you will find that unless you are reloading on the upper edge of the powder range, or shooting bench rest, or at long ranges, the chances of noticing much difference in accuracy between different brands of cartridges is slim.

OTOH, when I was more serious about rifle shooting and reloading, I preferred the military stuff for 30-06. Most of the HS were from the 50s. Was stuff I bought for next to nothing at a gun shop many years ago. Some of them I must have reloaded 10 or 20 times, and rarely saw much in the way of case lengthening. Of course they had already been reloaded how many times before I got them, so maybe they were just worked out. I only had to trim maybe one in ten or twenty. I shot mostly mild loads in my 03 and 03A3 so no doubt that helped. The commercial stuff did not seem to last as long.

But, I also was shooting 303 British and was getting a neck split about every 5th case. don't recall what brass that was. Most of it made its way into the trash can.

June 12, 2007, 12:07 AM
I get no respect I've been supporting Nosler for 20+ years and they won't divulge who makes they're brass :confused: and if they did, I couldn't share anyway :( But I will say if you knew who made Nosler brass you would not be discouraged from they're brass in that price range, it's the old you get what you pay for thing.

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