Best Brand of Pistol Brass?


Chris Rhines
April 14, 2007, 10:03 PM
I'm buying a bunch of once-fired 9mm brass for my Minor PF loads. I want to get one brand of brass, mainly to avoid having to sort out S&B, Fiocchi, and other trash. I have the choice of Remington, Speer, or Winchester - same price whichever way. Which should I get, and why?

If it matters, load is a 147grn. Precision Delta FMJ at ~132PF, 1.125" OAL.

- Chris

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Brand of Pistol Brass?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 14, 2007, 10:12 PM
I've found Winchester to be very high quality for 9mm brass. I usaully only save the Wins when using range pick ups because they seem to require less "culling".

April 14, 2007, 10:14 PM
I like Winchester as well, although I don't cull any except Amerc when scrounging. Winchester just seems to hold up real well. :)

April 14, 2007, 10:21 PM
For minor PF loads, I doubt anything will matter other than consistency. I use Win. and Rem. interchangeably. I have no problems using S&B or Fiocchi, though. My loads are mostly +P and if I had a source for new S&B brass, I'd buy it. Some don't like the tighter primer pockets, but I do, and they stay consistent longer than most brands I've tried. I use Starline also and it's always been good. S&B ammo is used by CZ to accuracy and function test their pistols. The reason it's cheap is because of the $ exchange rate with the Czech Republic. Ditto for Fiocchi, but made in Italy. If I had to choose one, I'd probably pick S&B over all of them, but a good primer seal is important to me and my loads that are primarily defense oriented.;)

Chris Rhines
April 14, 2007, 10:57 PM
I have no objection to tight primer pockets, but the S&B ones seem to be out of spec for US primers. I've popped two primers trying to seat them in S&B cases. I'm not taking chances on them anymore.

- Chris

Matt Dillon
April 14, 2007, 11:06 PM
+1 on S&B brass - I like using it, the primer pockets are a little tight, but I clean the primer pockets real well, and have never had any trouble with S&B brass. Of all of the above-mentioned brass, it usually has the cleanest primer pockets of all.

April 14, 2007, 11:37 PM
I like Winchester 9mm brass also. I quit counting how many times I've reloaded it, if I had to guess maybe 10x.:)

April 15, 2007, 12:20 AM
I'll take WCC MilSurp over any other when I can find it.

April 15, 2007, 12:50 AM
Chris: I failed to mention that I hand prime. I haven't found any reason to suspect that S&B cases are out of spec, just the opposite actually. I use CCI-500s as well as WSP primers for 9mm. The WSPs are a little easier to prime in S&B cases.;)

Redneck with a 40
April 15, 2007, 12:54 AM
I wouldn't call Fiocchi brass "trash". The cases I have loaded have been excellent performers. In my opinion, Fiocchi makes the best target ammo out there.

April 15, 2007, 01:48 AM
I agree. Their cases have been very good in my experience. I haven't fired a lot of their factory ammo, but what I have fired in .45 ACP, had to be one of the cleanest factory loads I have ever fired. It was the 230 gr. Match load and was the most accurate load we used to break in my Shooting partners Commander length S&W 1911 Sc a while back. He bought it spur off the moment and I didn't have any handloads prepared, so I think he bought a box from every manufacturer that makes a 230 gr. FMJ load.;)

April 15, 2007, 02:16 AM
I've used a ton of Remington, Winchester, Federal, Speer, military over the years, but I really like Starline brass.

R Lewis
April 15, 2007, 02:27 AM
Of your choices, I like Winchester best. I too like Starline Brass.

April 15, 2007, 02:32 AM
My favorites are Starline & Winchester. My Indepence (*I*) is holding up pretty well. Remingtons are good to the lighter loads, but dont seem to last as long.

Guy B. Meredith
April 15, 2007, 02:42 AM
Another vote for Starline. That is the only brand I've used for the last 20K reloads.

Smokey Joe
April 15, 2007, 06:34 AM
Chris Rhines--Another vote here for Starline as the BEST in pistol brass. However, of the 3 choices you indicated, IMX Winchester is the most consistent. Now, having said that,I want to get one brand of brass, mainly to avoid having to sort out S&B, Fiocchi, and other trash.Most pistol shooters of my acquaintance shoot enough and reload enough that they'll take any brass they can lay hands on. With pistol shooting the differences between the various makes of brass just isn't a factor in accuracy. I have that from the champ of my Bullseye league, who is also a state champ at Bullseye. FWIW, I did a shoot-off myself between a set of Starline reloads and a set of mixed-brass reloads: Results: No discernible difference in accuracy.

The only brass that is truly junk is Amerc--every reloader who has ever expressed an opinion has said to stay away from that particular brand.

However Amerc DOES make perfectly good brass scrap, and at >$1.60/lb I'm fine with that!

April 15, 2007, 09:45 AM
S&B is good stuff. Tight pockets, but that's good. I have never had a problem priming them. I have 10% or so in the batch of .45 I am shooting. :)

April 15, 2007, 11:14 AM

Remington, Speer and Winchester are all good brass and I have had good luck with all three. However, I would vote for Speer, the reason being when shooting at a range with other shooters you will easily be able to identify your brass.

April 15, 2007, 11:26 AM
I have an assortment of just about every brand of brass known. I have not noticed much difference between brands, but I mostly reload 9mm and 38 special.

I have an occasisonal issue with pickup brass with missing a crimped in primer and not opening it up first.

April 15, 2007, 01:48 PM
I agree. I sort out the Amerc into the scrap bucket and everything else gets reloaded.

April 15, 2007, 02:44 PM
In 9mm, it isn't going to make that much difference, unless you're punching paper in bullseye or PPC. That said, I prefer properly prepped Military 9mm brass, since it's thicker and takes hot loads better than commercial brass. The only brass I won't load for plinking is A-Merc.

I do sort my 9mm brass by headstamp and load it in batches of 1,000 at a time. You won't go wrong with any of the commercial brass mentioned, but I don't consider Fiocchi, Speer or S&B trash. S&B is good brass and the primer pockets don't loosen up near as quickly as some of the others. When S&W was marketing loaded ammunition under their name, when they were owned by Bangor Punta, it was made by Fiocchi.

Hope this helps.


April 15, 2007, 08:18 PM
I like Winchester (seems like good quality and their pocket are snug but not tight).

I currently HATE S&B. I can't see how you guy like them. I have some 9mm brass that's S&B. I even chamfered the pocket a bit to help seat the Winchester primers I use but the pockets are still REAL tight. I've literally almost CRUSHED a bunch of the primers getting them in the case. I've used a RCBS handprimer AND my Hornady LNL. Unless I get a swager I'm not likley to reload this ammo any more. FWIW I've never had this problem with any other commercial brass.

April 15, 2007, 08:25 PM
Let's keep the Starline votes going:D

April 16, 2007, 04:57 PM
Chris, Remington is the most consistent and holds up the best in Major loads. Go through some brass that you have with the calipers, check rim diameter, rim depth, groove depth, etc. You should see the differences between brands pretty quickly. Winchester and Speer are very good too, just not quite as consistent. I personally like loading Speer the best, it just loads a little smoother.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Brand of Pistol Brass?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!