Who makes the best rifle brass, in your opinion?


Ben Shepherd
May 17, 2007, 09:05 AM
Guys, a request:

I have my own very strong opinions about the best pistol brass based on a lot of personal experience. Up till now I haven't shot enough rifle rounds to really form an opinion on rifle brass. I plan on changing that, and would like to learn from others with more knowledge/experience.

I understand that brass from norma, lupua, and a few other companies is a premium product with a premium price tag. This isn't what I'm after.

What I'm after is bulk. Like 5,000+ pieces each in 223, 30-30, 308, and 30-06. Good brass yes. But not so high end/premium that I'll lose sleep over the 10 rounds the FAL threw in the weeds that I couldn't find.

So, who is it? Remington, federal, winchester, someone else?

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The Bushmaster
May 17, 2007, 09:08 AM
Good morning Ben...You just can't beat Winchester for what you are after...

Ben Shepherd
May 17, 2007, 09:14 AM
Here's my delima:

In pistol brass, federal and winchester are 2 of the top three in my opinion, the other being starline.

With rifle calibers? Winchester has been the most consistantly innacurate stuff I've shot, at least factory loaded rounds. And I've heard consistant rumblings that federal rifle brass doesn't hold up to more that 4-5 reloads.

So now what?

Jim Watson
May 17, 2007, 09:34 AM
I have loaded Winchester .223 brass exclusively in the AR I am trying to turn into a Long Range target rifle. Accuracy is very good if I put in the work loading and shooting it.

May 17, 2007, 09:55 AM
check out www.brassman.com.
If it's cracked, has quite a few expansion marks or is out of spec, throw it out. He's got the cheapest prices I've seen on brass, but I've never placed an order from him.

Since you want 5000 pieces (yikes, that'll take some time to handload) I'd suggest taking about anything you can get your hands on that is still in good enough condition to be fired again.

Also, you could scope out ebay or your local range if you've got a pretty keen eye for bad brass. Used brass is kinda like a box of chocolates, after all.

May 17, 2007, 09:58 AM

winchester, federal but the best


May 17, 2007, 10:47 AM
but the best....Lapua....IMHO.

But not for general use, which is what Ben wants. I think he wants the best "reasonably priced" brass. :)

Plus 1 for the Brassman (http://http://www.brassmanbrass.com/). I have dealt with him on pistol brass and have been pleased.

Ben Shepherd
May 17, 2007, 10:55 AM
Let me clarify here: I'm talking buying brand new brass.

Expensive? Hell yes. That's why I want to buy the best "bang for the buck".

May 17, 2007, 10:55 AM
Hey KellyJ, I think you misspelled something because I got a colon info site..
sorry, Walkalongs works once you delete the extra http

May 17, 2007, 11:19 AM

Using .308 as the standard for discussion. I have found brass quality to run:

1) RWS
2) Lapua

the above are expensive to very expensive, below is reasonable cost.

2) Winchester (takes a good bit of prep but comes out fine)
3) Federal (takes work but is too soft resulting in a short life)
3) Remington (too inconsistant in neck/wall thickness to be useful)


Ben Shepherd
May 17, 2007, 11:31 AM
L.Puckett, that is exactly the kind of post I'm looking for!! Thanks.

Anyone else?

May 17, 2007, 11:45 AM
Ben Shepherd,

I personally don't believe you can beat military brass once you get it properly swagged. It thicker and resist splitting or primer pockets becoming loose longer then any commercial brass I have used. So Lake City has been my recent go to brass lately for .223 and I am still shooting old military brass I got 25 years ago in my 30-06 some of which has seen over 15 reloads.

May 17, 2007, 11:52 AM
I think their brass is strong and consistant. What more can you ask for. For bulk, the only brass that I buy in bulk is .223/5.56. For that I look for Lake City once fired stuff. For pistol, just about anything will do for practice loads, but for full house .357 (most powerful pistol that I own) I like Starline.

Ben Shepherd
May 17, 2007, 11:56 AM
Agreed on the milsurp, Idano. I have some 30-06 brass from the Denver arsenal from 1943 that's still going strong.

Here's what I'm looking at: Buying new, buying once, and never having to buy again. That's why I'm talking about quantities at or above the 5,000 mark. Right now the wife and I have no kids, and no bills other than the house. We plan on changing the no kids thing next year. And when we do, we'll need a different vehichle as well. Therefore, discretionary income is going to go way down. I want to stock up now, while I can afford it, rather than getting down the road a ways and having to skip lunch just to buy 100 here, 100 there.

May 17, 2007, 04:08 PM
Ben Shepherd,

Then I would strongly recommend going with surplus military. I also recommend using RCBS X-Dies to resize (not the small base) since they are easier on the brass and eliminate the need for trimming once they have originally been trimmed to .020 below maximum. I have got .223 LC brass that been reloaded at least 15 times and I have never had one split, the primer pocket usually gets loose first.

May 17, 2007, 04:43 PM
I have been most pleased with surplus brass first, then Remington brass.

I have found Winchester to get too brittle after about 5 loadings through my M1A. Federal seems to get softer and softer after each loading, and for some reason every stuck case I've ever had in a sizing die has been a Federal.

I haven't measured any of the neck thickness as mentioned by L.Puckett, but I have had very consistent lifespan out of the 100 Remington brass I have been using thus far. No loading irregularities, no accuracy irregularities. Just nice and consistent and re-usable.

I have yet to wear out any of my NATO surplus brass, but I've only had the rifle for about 2 years.

June 21, 2007, 11:22 AM

June 21, 2007, 11:31 AM
I know you are looking for new but I have had good results with buying once fired .223 and .308 brass. Some of it military and I had to remove the crimp but the price of the brass was about 1/5th of new.
Most of the brass was WCC (Winchester), FC (Federal), and LC (Lake City) headstamp.

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