what is the best .243 brass


April 19, 2011, 04:07 PM
hey guys i want everyones opinion in the best .243 brass out there. will be using it to reform to 22-243 middlestead. what i want to know is the best brass for reload life, accuracy, consistency, and price. rate these different brasses from best to worst.... lapua, winchester, remington, nosler, federal, and norma.

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April 19, 2011, 04:11 PM
Lapua, RWS

Smokey Joe
April 19, 2011, 05:31 PM
Farmer Boy 78--To rate the brass you listed:
1. Lapua & Norma, tied for first place. Haven't personally examined any of the new Hornady competition brass, but it's supposed to be in this class as well.

2. Nosler brass right behind the above 3. Very nice brass.

3. Winchester & Federal: Good brass, but needing a lot more brass prep than the above 4. Have punched, not drilled, flash holes; do not come pre-chamfered inside & outside neck. Greater case-to-case variation in length & volume.

4. Remington: Generally no complaints, and it is probably in a class with W & F brass, above, but there has been some mention of thinner case walls with this brand, which would lead to different case volumes and therefore different pressure curves on firing. If you were to use Rem brass exclusively, this wouldn't be a concern.

With .243 Win you aren't concerned with the various kinds and sources of military surplus ammo.

I have a target rifle in .243, and find that it responds well to being fed the highest-grade brass. Since you're going to the trouble of re-forming the brass, were I you, I'd start with the high-grade stuff there, too.

April 19, 2011, 06:45 PM
smokey joe i dont want to sound like a dumby here, but what reason do you punch the flash holes in the winchester brass? and after all the case prep on winchester brass, does it compare to say nosler?

April 19, 2011, 07:12 PM
Federal is generally pathetically soft.

Winchester has been utter rubbish recently.

Lapua for the win.

Smokey Joe
April 19, 2011, 09:24 PM
Farmer Boy 78--Flash holes are put into cases one of 2 ways by the factory making the cases: They are punched, in cheaper cases, which leaves a "hanging chadd" inside the case, which could interfere with, or affect the relationship between, the primer flash and the powder being ingnited. Or, in more expensive cases, the flash holes are drilled, which leaves a nice clean round hole with no hanging residue. Lapua, Norma, and Nosler drill their holes. I expect that Hornady Competition does, too. Win, Fed, and Rem cases have punched holes.

In prepping cases for high-grade ammo, the drilled-hole cases need no extra treatment of the flash holes. The punched-hole cases have to be reamed out with a tool called a flash hole reamer, that cleans up the flash hole from the inside of the case. Not having to do that step of case prep is one of the several things you get when you pay for the higher-grade brass.

BTW, I don't regard it as a dumb question--You don't know, you need to ask. The dumb thing would have been pretending that you knew, and just remaining confused.

And, if you still think it was a dumb question, well, dumb questions are easier and cheaper to handle than dumb mistakes. :)

As to case prep versus performance, after you've reamed the flash holes, trimmed to uniform length, chamfered inside and outside the neck, and separated them into lots by weight (lighter case=greater volume; heavier case=less volume) and tested 3 lots, light, medium, and heavy, one of the 3 lots of Win brass will perform for you just like Norma or Lapua brass would, straight out of the box. Me, I just buy the high-grade brass to begin with. Life's too short to spend a great deal of time prepping brass, and the good stuff isn't THAT much more expensive.

Can't comment on Atblis' remark above. The Win brass I have is not of recent manufacture, and its performance in my "ordinary" rifles (as opposed to my "serious" rifles) has been quite satisfactory. Same is true of the Fed and the Rem brass I've been using, as far as that goes. My "serious" rifles each have their own lot of high-grade brass.

April 20, 2011, 11:25 AM
Lapua is my #1 choice, it is expensive, but I don't have to chamfer the necks.

Win is my #2 choice, it is cheap, but I have to chamfer the necks.

Rem in my #3 choice, it is cheap, but I have to chamfer the necks.

April 20, 2011, 11:44 AM
Unfortunately for me, no one is in the habit of leaving their lapua brass lying around, I do have 50 of them- they are of great manufacture, but very pricey. ( YMMV on "pricey" )

On the other hand, Hornady makes some fabulous brass "competition" or no.... I have yet to wear out a primer pocket before other case flaws become apparent. As an added bonus people view it as simple throw-away brass, so I get to scoop it with some regularity.

Rem brass is fairly stout, winchester not so much. ( the exception I've found is winchester in .30-30, which is very good)

All the brass that arrives in my home from whatever avenue always receives the same treatment- however the rem brass flash hole uniforming has gotten glitchy once in a while due to some pretty substantial "hanging chads". So a premium price for those features does not appeal to me.

April 20, 2011, 10:43 PM
I have had great results with Hornady brass. I've got both regular and match. I have about 6 or 7 loads on them, and there are no negative signs. Remington brass has been a no-go for me. I noticed that most of the brass I was using had primer pockets that seated the primers too deep.

April 21, 2011, 09:11 AM
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_4_48/ai_83483904/ Brand may not be as important as case prep. Sizing the neck down may require neck turning and/or reaming if a donut is formed. :)

April 23, 2011, 09:44 PM
well i bought 50 pieces of .243 winchester brass and had some issues with the neck thickness after being reformed to 22-243 middlestead. i had one issue when trying to load the bullet in the press and it wouldnt go into the brass right and made the brass collapse and also the other necks were to thick to load into the chamber. 4 pieces out of 50.

April 23, 2011, 10:25 PM
Lapua/RWS, then Norma, then Winchester, then RP. I have a suspicion Hornady brass is made by Winchester.

April 24, 2011, 10:21 AM
the other necks were to thick to load into the chamber. This is very dangerous. You need at least .0015" clearence for the bullet to release freely on firing. You need to know your chambers neck diameter. Your brass would seem to need outside neck turning so the loaded round will fit the chamber.

The Bushmaster
April 24, 2011, 02:45 PM

Minnesota Wild
April 24, 2011, 03:33 PM
I'll be one more that Lapua is the best.

I have also had very good luck with Norma, though I haven't bought any recently...the 50 pieces I have was mixed in with my grandfather's reloading stuff when he died and it's probably at least 30 years old. In the 3-4 loadings I've put on it it's worked well.

April 25, 2011, 05:13 AM
lapua, then rws and norma

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