308 LC Brass Vs. Match Grade/Premium (HDY, Nosler)


July 23, 2011, 03:44 PM
Here is an inexperienced question, but here goes:
Is LC 308 brass considered comparable with any premium brass like Nosler or Hornady Match grade or is it comparable with commercial RP and WIN? I know the military brass is thicker and will hold less volume, but how does it rate in terms of quality? I have plenty of LC in 308 and would rather not purchase premium brass if this is comparable. I reload for my 308 sps and I am at the point where I need to buy brass or use the LC I have. Thanks in advance.

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July 23, 2011, 07:41 PM
Shoot the LC brass since you have it on hand, and save the dollars. I shoot it at 500 yds and beyond and it performs well.

July 23, 2011, 08:36 PM
I have the Forster tools to neck turn and check neck concentricity so I was planning on doing that anyways, but wanted to determine if I was starting with a good base. Thanks.

July 23, 2011, 08:59 PM

I guess it all depends upon what your expectations are regarding accuracy. While the Lake City manufactured brass is solid and dependable, it is far from being a quality brass. For example, I took some Lake City Match brass, and did everything possible to match prep it (including neck turning), and it still would not perform as well as straight out of the box Lapua brass.


July 23, 2011, 09:29 PM
Sounds like you plan to shoot in matches so you should probably buy match grade brass like the Lapua. I personally use .308 LC for both hunting and shooting paper and find it a lot better than Winchester, Remington and Federal (PMC and Privi is better than FC). I don't shoot matches (any more) so I don't bother with neck turning and checking neck concentricity. If it fits inside a Dillon or Lyman case gage they're good to go. If not, I trim them back to minimum and they're ready to go. Any brass that I can get 6 reloads before it starts to split or primer pockets become too large is great brass as far as I'm concerned. I've gotten up to 8 reloads (not hot) out of some LC brass (crimped) but usually toss it when I get to 6 (as recommended by Lyman). If you are just starting to reload I would probably go with the LC until you develop some loads. Hope this helps.

July 24, 2011, 12:09 AM
I have been reloading for about 2 years. I started so I could get better quality ammo for much less money. I am not going to be shooting in matches but I am always trying to get that extra performance out of my loads. I just recently purchased a concentricity guage to make sure my dies, brasss, and bullets were matched correctly. I had some Nosler brass, Redding dies, and Barnes TSX bullets in my 7MM and concentricity was great. I tried some RP in my 308 and the neck wall thickness was way off, and concentricity was way off after I loaded the bullets. I am goint to try around 20 rounds of the LC and see what results I get. Thanks for the advice all.

July 24, 2011, 01:25 AM
Nothing at all wrong with trying to get the best out of your reloads, I think that is why many of us prefer reloading to buying commercial ammo. Just curious, what kind of groups are you getting with the 7mm and 308? What kind of guns are you shooting? Sometimes you can only do so much with what you have. I shoot Remingtons, Winchesters, Savages, Marlins and Rugers and none of them are match grade rifles. To put that much effort in to match grade ammo I would have to be shooting match grade rifles. It already takes me a lot longer to make a single round then is probably necessary. Let us know how the LC works out.

July 24, 2011, 07:54 AM
Parker51, you are right I do not have the best or at least the most expensive guns, and that may keep me from tightening up the groups even more than I have. I shoot at the same time as a bunch of benchrest shooters. I am always asking them what tricks and techniques they have so I can continue to learn.
The latest combination (Nosler brass, Imr4350 60gr, Barnes TSX 150 gr) in the 7MM produced 5 shot groups .87". Of the 5 shots, 3 of them were within .28. It is out of a Weatherby Vanguard with a Timney trigger in a Hogue full aluminum bedded block. It can shoot better than I can I am sure. I know that is more than good enough for hunting, but continue to strive for the best bullet/equipment combo. The 308 SPS bull barrel is stock (Hogue pillar bedded) and adjusted Rem xmark trigger to 2 lbs. Great 3 shot groupings with sierra match 168 HPBT (.229 is my best). I tried to match a hunting bullet to this accuracy and the closet I came were the Berger VLDs. Afte I neck turn the LC brass, I will weigh the cases and see what kind of distribution I get from the lot. Thanks again.

July 24, 2011, 11:30 AM
It really depends on what rifle you are shooting. I have a gas gun in 308 which is match tuned. GI brass takes the ejection process a lot better than Comm brass. Neck turning for a gas gun isn't done either as it's a poor use of time. I have a access to a good supply of 308 LC match which has served me well. For the 600 yard line I would sort brass by weight. The main difference between Ball and match brass is the match doesn't have a primer crimp. If you plan on shooting a bolt gun there is better brass. I did find the L/C match brrass had fairly uniform primer pockets. M-852 which is the GI 308 match with 168 SMK's won't shoot as well as Federal GM out of a bolt gun. I could load pretty close toGM for the gas gun.

July 24, 2011, 07:30 PM
The Lake City Army Ammunition plant was operated by Remington until 1985 when Winchester took over. Winchester lost the contract in 2001 and now Alliant Techsystems Inc (ATK) is the "lowest bidder" and producing the ammunition at Lake City. Remember the lowest bidder gets the contract and if the cartridge cases do not say "match" they are nothing special.



I have three five gallon buckets of once fired .223/5.56 cases and none of them are what anyone would conceder "match grade". ;) (But they were free) :D


evan price
July 25, 2011, 01:18 AM
This may blow your mind, but Lake City also has "LAKE CITY MATCH" brass, and the long range rifle brass, which is as good as any Hornady or other commercial match brass out there.

Master Blaster
July 25, 2011, 08:20 AM
You have to remember that the Lake City brass you are buying is Govt surplus and most likely has all been fired out of machine guns that have somewhat loose chambers. So if you are buying it make sure its been resized, and trimmed already and processed. Is it as good at $1 a case Lapua or other high end brass, No Way but I have had good results sorting it by headstamp.

July 25, 2011, 04:51 PM
I am new to reloading as well. I just started loading my match grade .308. I have tried different types of brass from Remington, PMC, Winchester, and FC.

Years ago, a friend gave me 1,000 rounds of M852 cartridges. new in the box, never fired. That is some good brass and it is not marked "match" and it is LC. I do also have LC that is marked "match" but it is not as good as M852 brass.

Out of my custom mic'd and built Remington 700 PSS in .308, I can shoot five shot groups at 100 meters that all touch and measure in at about .3 MOA.

The best I ever got from Federal Gold Medal Match was 0.5 to 0.6 MOA.

How accurate do you really want and really get. Are we talking benchrest.? I do not shoot bench rest either.

July 25, 2011, 05:02 PM
I'd consider Lapua premium brass. Remington, no. Not at all.

I vote you shoot your Lake City brass until you've got a few thousand rounds downrange. It's plenty good for what you want to do.

July 29, 2011, 07:16 PM
OK here are the results:
Out of 100 shells, I FL sized, trimmed to the same length , Flash Hole debur, primer pocket uniform, weighed (normal distribution with some outliers), I took 10 shells (within decimal grams of each other) and checked the neck concentricity with the Forster CO-ax case guage (two of the 10 could have used neck turning) , federal primers, AA2230 39.0 grains, Sierra 168 HPBT, seated with Forster seating die to the Max length my magazine would support. After all that I put it on my Hornady L-n-L concentric guage and I had to correct every single one of them since they were > .005 (if I have my decinmals correct). I went to the range this afternoon, the first 3 were .329" 4 and 5 got me to .724, shots 6-9 .323 lost it on #10 to get .677. All in all I not unhappy with the results. I am sure the gun and ammo shoot better than I can. Thanks for your insights all.

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