lots of federal brass


March 5, 2008, 05:15 AM
I've saved up a boat load of brass over the years with the intention of reloading. Over the years I rake my hands through it admiring the amount I've shot. Anyway, I was wondering which brand of brass is the best. I probally have a mix of 60% federal 10% Black hills 10% rem 10% win, the rest is every one else. I sure hope fed's O.K.

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Jacka L Ope
March 5, 2008, 05:21 AM
To me, it's all good. :p

Rifle, pistol, mixed?

March 5, 2008, 05:47 AM
I was refering to rifle with my % .308,30-06,.223, 30-40 krag mainly. Pistol is well diversified.

March 5, 2008, 06:42 AM
My experience was that Federal Premium was the best, followed by Remington.

March 5, 2008, 07:41 AM
Throw out the A-MERC,watch for crimps and Berdan primed and get to reloading. All four mentioned manufacturers make good brass. Contrary to some opinions I've found Federal to be of a higher degree of precision in manufacture than the others.

March 5, 2008, 08:27 AM
I have heard several opinions expressing the lack of quality in FC cases, mainly that the primer pockets get loose very prematurely. I don't know exactly what they mean by that but I am putting it to the test...lol I have used it exclusively for 243 Win. loads and although I am only on the 3rd time I have reloaded them for 4 shots total out of each case I have not noticed a problem. The load I am using is from the book, almost a full gr lower than the max listed in my book but some here feel it is an over max load so I will not post it again. Anyway, point being, I'm not using really light loads and they are still holding out fine. I would consider them to be good so far.

The Bushmaster
March 5, 2008, 09:12 AM
The federal are no good...Send them to me and I'll dispose of them for you...

March 5, 2008, 09:30 AM
Sell any AMERC for scrap (incredibly poor quality control...I've run across several loaded .223 rounds with no primer flash hole at all! And noticable sound difference between shots...) and enjoy your Federal!

Separate your other cases as there are slight differences in case capacity, brass thickness, and hardness...Lake City probably being the lowest capacity/thickest brass/hardest, Winchester being the highest capacity/thinnest brass/softest. Federal ranks pretty high on the list, probably near the LC. Can't comment on the Remington in that regard, but all, certainly including the Winchester, are fine for reloading.

Military cases are fine for reloading, but swage or ream crimped primer pockets...this won't be necessary for commercial brands.

March 5, 2008, 09:36 AM
I thought it was all good,I just did'nt see as much of it at midway or other catalogs for sale or mentioned much in the gospil rooms of gun forums.

March 5, 2008, 09:40 AM
I've known people who prefer to reload Federal brass almost exclusively.

March 5, 2008, 12:06 PM
Outside of Lapua and Norma, I've always felt that Federal brass was the best. Unfortunately, Federal quit selling brass several years ago, bummer! Hence, I get to use very little of it. The only source is if I find some, very uncommon. I haven't found enough of any but '06 to really use (if I don't have at least 50, I don't feel it's enough to mess with). If you've got a bunch, consider yourself lucky! That said, both Winchester and R-P are good brass, just not as good as Federal, in my opinion. I've also used a good bit of S&W (I think actually made by Hornady) and Herters. The Herters wasn't very good. If I could afford it, I'd use all Lapua and Norma, but ouch! it's expensive!!! Regarding pistol brass, I found some Black Hills .45LC brass. It seems to be fine. I don't know who makes it, I seriously doubt that Black Hills actually does.

March 5, 2008, 12:41 PM
Do NOT use Federal. They are junk. I suggest you ship them to me for disposal.


In my limited experience, I've found Federal to be very good brass, and the case mouth/necks are pretty thick when compared to some other types of brass.

Remington is my second choice.

I've been disappointed in the Winchester brass so far, particularly the .223 that I've fired out of an AR. After the first firing I've had to discard roughly 10% of cases because the mouth split. It is noticeably thinner than the Remington.

I used exactly the same load with the only difference being the brand of brass. All the Remingtons were good to go for loading #2. I had to really sift through the Winchester. 10% were discarded immediately. I'm going to have to sift through the remainder and inspect them again, because some case mouths showed a 'line' that was in exactly the same place as the splits on the discarded pieces.

I have some once fired .223 with a funky headstamp that came from some
Q3131A that look like very good brass.

March 5, 2008, 12:53 PM
I won't shoot federal factory loads in my bushy .223, and if I find federal brass at the range, it goes in the re-cycle bucket!

I used to use it whenever I found it, even bought the American eagle, which shot at least as good as win. white box or rem umc. Since I saw a write up on a forum, where a shooter had problems with the fed brass and loose primer pockets with "normal" pressure loads. He cross-sectioned cases from the major ammo companies, the federal brass had a LOT less brass in the head/web area. This caused the primer pocket to expand under even normal pressure. If used with high pressure/max loads, it could expand enough to lose the primer into the trigger group, tying up the rifle! YMMV!

March 5, 2008, 12:58 PM
Years ago it was stated that frankfort arsonal 57 match brass was dangerous to reload....probably very little of it exists anymore but beware!!

March 5, 2008, 05:10 PM
I like reloading Winchester and Federal Brass equally. Nothing wrong with Remington, Speer/CCI, Black Hills and the other well known commercial manufacturers Brass but Winchester and Federal are probably the best.

Ala Dan
March 5, 2008, 07:15 PM
Federal rifle and handgun brass has always done well by me~! ;) :D

March 6, 2008, 12:40 AM
I recently weighed a whole bunch of 308 brass from different manufacturers
My largest surprise was that Federal brass was by a significant margin the heaviest of the bunch. The standard deviation of the bunch was also interesting.
The following figures are averages in grains, followed by the standard deviation.

Federal: 182.1 / 1.37
Lake City: 179.45 / 2.01
Remington Peters: 171.63 / 1.44
Winchester: 163.1 / 0.64
Hornady: 159.83 / 0.81

Least to most is a 14% variation.
The fact that Federal is the heaviest and more importantly, heavier than the military brass that is supposed to be thicker and with less volume (thus demanding a decrease in charge weight to avoid overpressure) brings to mind the problem that some complain of with loose primer pockets. Perhaps the Fed brass is just giving the reloader higher pressures with standard loads.

Another interesting fact is the std deviations, The larger deviation means a wider range of weights for the series of brass. The wider range of weights means a wider range of internal capacitys which quickly translates to a wider range of pressures. Thus it might appear that Winchester or Hornady might give better consistency.

YMMV but the results of my testing are interesting.


March 6, 2008, 10:54 PM
I am partial to federal in my .308 if I am out of LC. I have not had any bad experiences with Federal pistol ammo either.

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