Best brass for reloading 30:06


Ron Go
September 13, 2010, 05:03 PM
I was wondering which brass was the best for reloading, specifically which can be used the most number of reloads before having to be thrown away? I know maximum powder charges will shorten the brass life but keeping all things equal, which should be my best choice.

I have heard that Remington brass is thicker than Winchester. I would consider purchasing new unused brass or even buying cheap Remington cartridges for plinking with the goal of keeping the brass for reloading. I know there are premium brass brands such as Lapua and Norma.

I hope the members on this forum might already have great insight into this issue and would be willing to share.

Thanks very much for your comments.


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September 13, 2010, 05:15 PM
Hello Ron,

What type of gun are you planning to shoot it in? I can get several more reloads from my bolt action rifles than semi-autos (mostly due to dinged up cases). I like Winchester and Remington cases the best for American brass as Federal tends to be somewhat soft and I have had trouble with primers getting loose after 1 or 2 reloads. I have also loaded Privi Paritzan, PMC and some Korean brass that has lasted 4 reloads so far and should probably last 2 or 3 more times (most of this has been neck sized only after the initial firing).

September 13, 2010, 05:15 PM
I've seen no difference between Winchester and Remington in terms of durability. Get whichever you can get at the best price.

September 13, 2010, 05:16 PM
specifically which can be used the most number of reloads before having to be thrown away?That all depends entirely on how close you size cases to match your rifles headspace.

Also the type of rifle you have, how loose the chamber is, etc..

I'm not much of an authority on brands, as I'm still shooting GI Lake City Match brass I got lots of in the 1960's when I was shooting for the Army AMU teams.

But I will say your reloading practices & precision setting up your sizing die for minimum case stretch has way more to do with case life then what brand it is.


Ron Go
September 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
Hi Guys,
Good information shared already - thanks.
I am using it in a bolt action Remington 700 XCR.

September 13, 2010, 05:20 PM
Winchester has treated me well. I measure new cases for concentricity and weight sort. Ive used Norma brass quite a bit and found it to be great as well. I cannot find any difference in performance between Win or Norma. Federal brass has disapointed though.

September 13, 2010, 10:15 PM
As far as quality goes, Lapua is hands-down the best brass in .30-06. As far as case life goes, that is more a function of how much you work your brass during reloading, and how close your case dimensions are to your chamber dimensions, as mentioned by rcmodel. Personally, I use Lapua and LC Match .30-06 brass in bushing dies, and they seem to hold up really well.


September 14, 2010, 09:51 AM
I use mostly Remington and Winchester brass for reloading for my bolt action 30-06 rifles. Federal isn't bad either but like said above, it's a little softer than the other 2.

Arkansas Paul
September 14, 2010, 10:25 AM
In the Cabelas catalouge, the Lapua brass says you can load them a minimum 10 times. I don't know how accurate that is or if it's any different than other brands. I've only been doing it a year and haven't tried that many yet. Some brass is on it's 5th or 6th loading and I haven't had any trouble yet. I'm keeping an eye on them though. I have mostly Remington, Winchester, and Hornady brass by the way. This is for .30-06 too.

September 14, 2010, 10:28 AM
I've always used Remington. But mainly because it was easy to get when I started years ago, and I've never had a reason to change brands.

September 14, 2010, 06:57 PM
I have used Remington, Winchester and LC. If you can find some old surplus LC it seems to be the best for me. The LC is very tough. The ones I have been using are from the 1960's but good stuff and never a problem.

September 14, 2010, 10:40 PM
I bought 200 new Federal Gold Medal cases in 30-06 several years ago. Are these soft as well?

September 15, 2010, 12:17 AM
I bought 200 new Federal Gold Medal cases in 30-06 several years ago. Are these soft as well?
Sorry but I've never used those.

September 15, 2010, 09:39 AM
Yep, Federal brass is soft. I believe they use less drawing processes in making their brass.


September 15, 2010, 10:05 AM
I scored 100 pieces of LC 72 Match brass a while back and they seem to be the best so far. I do have a lot of Federal brass that shoots well also. Take care in prepping your brass and don't run Red Line loads and you can get many firings out of it.

September 15, 2010, 10:50 AM
I agree with blackrock: Once fired military brass it probably the best I have used. Standard LC brass has a crimped primer which must be fixed by swaging it out.
The national match brass is softer but works fine. Most brass in bolt actions doesn't wear out if everything is right. The flash hole in the primer pocket is what goes first I think. I have a quantity of military brass and live in washington state. How many do you want?

September 15, 2010, 04:43 PM
I also have had best luck with the military brass. I do take the time to anneal the necks after every other reload and that does keep the necks from splitting with hotter loads. The military stuff seems to have harder primer pocket and therefore lasts longer before blowing the primer pocket IMO. I have just been given some PP brass and will see how they stand up over the next 6 months.

September 15, 2010, 07:41 PM
I have been shooting the same federal brass for 5 years with no problems....

September 16, 2010, 01:44 AM
I'm finding the Greek HXP cases to be wonderfully uniform and built like a cast iron skillet. It's a bit early to tell for sure but it's looking like the HXP will yield 2x the loadings compared to remchester.

September 16, 2010, 11:31 AM
Best I've used has been Norma from the early '70's. Usually I just use what ever I pick up at the range. This is usually a mix of Federal, Winchester, and Remington.

Of these three, Winchester will perhaps give the best overall service. Federal is accurate, but is a tad soft in the head section.

Remington isn't bad, just not my favorite. Since I'm feeding two different rifles currently, I just use the Federal in one, and Remington in the other to keep the loads segregated.

With cast bullet loads, who knows how long they'll last. I get perhaps 20-25 loadings before the cases start spliting or developing the stress/stretch marks in front of the case head with full powered jacketed bullet loads. Trimming is required every 5-7 loadings, except with light cast bullet loads.

September 16, 2010, 02:11 PM
"Best" of anything is relitive; best in what sense? For length of life it's Federal IF the loads are modest. For hot loads, WW or Rem will do a bit better.

Lapua is good but ridiculously expensive for its small advantages, IMHO.

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