Prepping new brass


February 8, 2012, 12:35 AM
Hi, all.

I have never used new, unfired brass before, but I am planning to reload some new, unfired Remington brass, caliber .25-06, which my dad bought back in the 70s and stuck under his reloading bench. Do you recommend sizing, trimming, or any other steps, or is this brass ready for loading?

Thank you very much,

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February 8, 2012, 01:06 AM
As for myself EVEN new brass I FL size trim, chamfer,ream, and prep the primer pocket before I load then after its fireformed I only necksize but to have not only exact powder I use a FCD die on all my loads anymore I just experience a more consistant varying no more than 35 or less in the crony dept.

February 8, 2012, 01:09 AM
If the brass fits your chamber okay then I would just neck size it. After the brass is fire formed I then neck size and trim.

February 8, 2012, 01:15 AM
I've been told there can be a tab inside case at the flash hole that needs to be removed. I can't verify this personally, but it has come up with some of my reloading buddies. The fellow at the local outdoor megmart suggest a flattened paper clip as a "file".

Does brass develop any type of oxidization over that kind of time. Either way, I suppose a quick tumble would polish 'em right back up.

February 8, 2012, 01:56 AM
Ok, disregard if you are just out to see and here your rifle go bang, if what your after is accuracy to see just how awesome your rifle is and how good of a shooter you are do what you will do after each shooting outting in the end it depends what you are after.

February 8, 2012, 05:56 AM
This again...

That would be a 200 yard 1.5 inch group shot with a scoped handgun using unscrewed around with new brass.

But if you have the time and like to fiddle, size, trim and de-burr to your heart's content.

February 8, 2012, 07:33 AM
I've been told there can be a tab inside case at the flash hole that needs to be removed. I can't verify this personally, but it has come up with some of my reloading buddies. The fellow at the local outdoor megmart suggest a flattened paper clip as a "file".

Yes, there can be bits of flash left at the edges of the flash hole after the punching process. Worse case, the flash could block the flash home, but I have never experienced that.

Generally, not an issue for run of the mill ammunition. Supposedly the flash upsets the flame from the primer that makes for accuracy variation from round to round.

There are tools to cut the flash out and make the flash hole uniform. Mine is from Sinclair. Works well and goes quick. Do it once and done.

Note, I've the flash even in once, and more, fired cases.

February 8, 2012, 08:59 AM
Well, you can cram a pristine bullet base into an out-of-round, ragged edge, un-square case mouth, or you can make that case mouth round by AT LEAST running it over the expander in a fl die. As long as you have it in the shell holder, you may as well run it into the die to FL size it. Then at least inside chamfer it. It seldom is long enough to need trimming, BUT I trim them all to the length of the shortest case to square up the case mouth.

Get a 10X magnifier, look at the mouth of a new case. Would you like to have your bullet scrape past that rough mouth?

If all you're doing is fire forming brass, then any old load with any bullet that fits can be squashed into a new case. Then after fire forming, the full case prep can be done. If it's just blasting ammo for S&G, then okay load and blast.

February 8, 2012, 09:01 AM
Depends on how the brass is shipped to you. If it comes carefully packaged in individual cells so no damage can occur, perhaps you can get results like pictured above.
If you are getting stuff in Winchester style baggies, with dented case mouths and every case being over trim length, yeah, you just might want to fix that before you try to load it. With that type of bulk packaging, I have to resize, trim and chamfer every one.

February 8, 2012, 09:22 AM
With new bottlenecked rifle brass, I simply run an expander ball or mandrel thru the necks, as I have found most of them to have excessive neck tension as they come from the factory. FL resizing them does nothing, as they typically are already sized smaller than what is produced by a standard FL sizing die.


February 8, 2012, 11:03 AM
Thanks a bunch, guys. I appreciate your input. I will measure the case length, and if all is well, I will run the brass over the expander--I've noticed some of the case mouths were a smidge out of round. And then I'll check to see if they need to be chamfered. After firing 1x, I'll then do the standard check to see if it needs trimming.


February 8, 2012, 03:20 PM
If it fits the chamber, and neck tension is normal, there is no risk or harm in just loading it and shooting it.
However, I always FL size, trim, ream & chamfer prior to the first loading. But that's just me, and is probably just my OCD at play.

February 8, 2012, 05:59 PM

Here's another more recent photo to illustrate the usefulness of brass/bullet compulsivity. What you see is a 100 yard 3 shot group out of a cold very clean barrel.

What you don't see:

1. One of the cases was a brand new Weatherby head stamped case I had done nothing to other than prime, charge with powder and seat a bullet in.

2. The other two cases were by Nosler. The plastic tip had come completely out of one of the Accubonds making it a hollow point bullet. On the other Accubond, the plastic tip had been rammed into the distal cavity of the bullet making it also a hollow point with white plastic crunched in the bottom of it. Both of these cases had been resized; probably neck sized but possibly full length sized; I don't remember which since I processed them 2 or 3 years ago.

February 9, 2012, 09:33 AM
Grumulkin, could you answer one question - how is this brass shipped to you when you get it? I can guarantee there were MANY Winchester cases I could not have ever simply "primed, charged, seated and fired", as the case mouths were too badly warped by travel loose in a plastic baggie.

February 9, 2012, 09:56 AM
I just want to be clear that I don't have any problem with anyone trimming, deburring, sizing, etc. to their heart's content; I'm merely trying to debunk some misconceptions.

I inspect all brass I load and, in my experience, an average of no more than 2 or 3 cases per hundred that I receive new and shipped from places like MidwayUSA, Huntington Die Specialties and Nosler are unsuitable for reloading right out of the box. Brands have included Nosler, Norma, Winchester, Weatherby, Remington, Starline, Quality Cartridge and probably some I don't remember. Much of the brass has come in plastic bags and sometimes has come loose in the box during mailing and has rolled around a bit. If the mouths are WAY out of round, if the body has been crunched or the primer pockets are off center the cases are either processed or discarded depending on how bad the defect is.

What you may have to do to new cases also depends on what gun you're shooting them in or what bullets you're using. For instance:

1. Boat tailed bullets are very forgiving regarding mouths out of round and if you seat them in an out of round case mouth, everything will straighten out and all will be well.

2. If a bullet is perfectly flat on the bottom or is a cast bullet, I will chamfer the case mouth.

3. If the case mouths are so tight that shaving of the bullet occurs, I'll chamfer the case mouth. This will hardly ever happen with boat tailed bullets.

4. I have to size new brass to be shot in a 460 S&W Magnum revolver or the bullets will come out of the case under recoil even with a good crimp. In loading for that gun, I not only resize the new cases but also have a Lee Factory Crimp Die I use to secure the bullets (i.e., my loads are not downloaded at all). In loading for my 460 S&W Magnum Encore handgun, I don't do anything to new brass since its a single shot.

February 9, 2012, 03:21 PM
I do full brass prep just like fired rounds. If these are just plinking rounds, you may get by just with neck sizing.

February 9, 2012, 09:32 PM
Anything that I get----new or range brass is inspected and processed as needed to make it uniform to all my other brass the first time. Then I do nothing with straight walled brass. Bottle necked/rifle brass needs to be checked each time and trimmed as needed.

February 9, 2012, 09:34 PM
Might depend on what you want to do. I'm not looking for absolute accuracy all the time so what I normally do is hold a bullet against the case mouth and see if the fit, as is, will be good, then chamber an empty case or two. If all looks good I seat a primer and then load a round. If no trouble seating the bullet, I do a magazine and chamber check with the completed cartridge (carefully since this is a live round - I only make dummies if I'm searching for a custom OAL on a picky gun). If all is well, I prime and load without any changes to the new brass.

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