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Opinions wanted: Best .223/5.56 brass for affordable AR-15 plinking

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HOOfan_1, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    Prefer brand new...

    Will not consider once fired brass with crimped in primers

    As it is right now, I bought 200 American Eagle AR223 rounds and after shooting them I have reloaded those cases about 3 times.

    I know some people are not wild about Federal Brass, and the AR223 brass actually seems to be a little different than other FC 223 brass.

    Most of the places I am looking, it seems the Lake City unfired brass, and the Winchester or Remington brass are about the same prices $114-$130 for 500
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Sometimes you will find once fired R-P or Winchester cases. More economical than new and no crimps. But it is once fired.

    Some of the inexpensive domestic ammunition is still crimped so check them out before you buy and expect them to be non-crimped ammunition.

    Outside of shopping around and finding sales, I am not sure you could do much better than what you have listed for good cases.
  3. Etkini

    Etkini Active Member

    Buy Ultramax 55gr rounds - they're $65/250. They're once-fired reloads of LC brass, which is good because the primer pockets are already chamfered. I've been using the same cases for over 2 years now and haven't had any issues; and I shoot a lot.
  4. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Well-Known Member

  5. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    I buy 100% processed once-fired ..223 brass for most of my AR reloading. Picked up about 1k pcs of once-fired .223 brass at the local police range the other day. Been working several hours daily for the past few days decapping, trimming, and decrimping. I'll just spend the $$$ for processed, from now on. Anything I save in the price of the brass I spend on ibuprofen.
  6. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Well, since you're asking for opinions, here's mine. Use GI brass, remove the crimp one time which takes about 1.5 seconds, and it's good forever, it's affordable, it's very readily available, and it probably (in my opinion) outlasts commercial brass. Or use mixed range brass. TJ Conevera is a good source. What's not to like about this?

    Buying new brass for plinking, to me, is like buying a Lexus to take the trash out to the curb and leave it, then drive back to the garage. By definition, plinking is informal shooting where accuracy is not a high priority.
  7. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

  8. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

  9. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    The problem with once fired Win and Rem as suggested above (#2) is there's a lot sold that claims once fired but, when you examine it - doubtful - that's what crimped primers are good for...you're sure it's only once fired.

    Without a doubt the economic way to go is with the Conevera $85 option above ... I used to always start with Scharch (GI Brass) fully processed 1x LC but I've been doing my own since they started mixing headstamps in the lots - - and the price took a jump!

    Crimps are no big deal - Dillon Super Swage - buy once, cry once. 2000 1x LC, all resizing with an X-die, 2 rifles, 1k cases for each - minimum 5, more likely 8 reloads per case (match chambers, minimum shoulder bump on resizing) - good for a long while with a very reasonable initial cash outlay. I'll probably experiment with annealing this winter but not for 223 - too inexpensive as I'm doing it now.
  10. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    I just got in my RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Combo 2. Got to be the most tedious equipment I ever bought for reloading, other than a Toadmaster. I'll either buy 100% processed brass @ $75 per k, shipped, or just do the best I can. I might buy the RCBS bench swager, which looks identical to the Dillon, but not as expensive.

    In addition to being slow and tedious to use, the swager rod broke @ the locknut, after I finished my loading session, while I was talking on the phone. Back to Midway that p.o.s. goes, tomorrow. :confused:
  11. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    Honestly, any brand of brass is OK for reloading plinking rounds. As long as you prep them properly and load them with a consistent charge you will be fine. The secret to getting a bunch of use out of them is to load them to the mild side. I have gotten at least 5 reloads out of common brass like PMC and Winchester this way with no end in sight.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  12. TFL

    TFL Active Member

  13. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Be careful with the Winchester brass, probably over 90% of what I've picked up in the last couple of years has had crimped primers. I've also noticed a large number of neck and shoulder splits on once fired Winchester brass.

    1x Fired Win brass with split necks.jpg

    These cases were pulled out of about 900 total Winchester cases fired at our local range. Admittedly a goodly percentage were fired full auto, but we fired over 1200 rounds of Remington .223 the same day, under the same conditions, and I didn't see one that split like this.
    The Winchester ammo was 64 grain Power Point .223, it all had crimped primers.
    The Remington was 55 grain .223 FMJ, the primers were not crimped.
  14. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Over time......I've picked up more 223 brass at the range than I'll ever use.
    Also, swaging the crimped primer pockets is so very quick and easy, one pull of the handle is all it takes. What's there not to love.
  15. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    At my range. 9mm and sometimes .40 S&W brass is like that. Rifle brass is hard to come by though. People either use the steel cased stuff, or pick up their rifle brass. Mostly what I find sitting on the rifle range is steel 7.62x54R and steel 7.62x39 and a few steel .223

    In 4 years, I've picked up about 40 brass .223 which were not torn all to heck.
  16. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

  17. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    PMC Bronze is my favorite cheap shooting fodder that makes decent once-fired brass if you pick up your empties - no crimped primers and decent neck life.
  18. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    From Google:
    Adjective Inexpensive; reasonably priced

    Just sayin'...

    Maybe for precision loads, but he did say "plinking".

    I can get five reloads from Lake City brass if I'm loading conservatively.
  19. Old krow

    Old krow Well-Known Member

    I found some at http://www.topbrass-inc.com/reloading-supplies/ $200 per 1k. I ordered some (recently), but haven't gotten them yet, so I have nothing to say about their CS or shipping times.

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