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Different makes of brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by lovig214, Dec 2, 2010.

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  1. lovig214

    lovig214 Member

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    I am starting to pick up brass at the range. Is it important to sort the brass by brand or is it OK to just make sure they are all uniform with one another?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I shoot mixed range brass all the time. My loads with mixed brass outshoot me 90% of the time or better.

    Shooting Bullseye? Yes, match your brass.
     
  3. lovig214

    lovig214 Member

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    Thanks Walkalong that's what I needed to know.
     
  4. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    If you're reloading for plinking, it doesn't matter, mixed head stamps are OK.

    It's only when you get into reloading for competition that head stamps matter.
     
  5. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    Are you kidding me. Do you know much time I have wasted sorting brass by head stamp? I truely thought it mattered. Dang it.:banghead::cuss::mad:
     
  6. 918v

    918v Member

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    In large capacity low pressure cases, it don't matter. In small capacity high pressure cases it does matter. I have found a 1" POI variance based on headstamp alone, and that's within a batch of cases which weigh nearly the same.

    I have also found a pressure difference between hard and soft brass. For example, Starline cases are very hard in comparison to FC cases. FC brass will take as much as half a grain more powder before pressure signs show themselves. I think this is due to the softer cases filling the chamber more quickly and easily, thereby increasing the chamber volume sooner than hard cases do.
     
  7. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    If you don't sort, more power to you. I tried not sorting, but I can't stop myself. I reloaded a batch of mixed brass the other day in a caliber where I didn't have enough of any one headstamp. I patted myself on the back for not being obsessive. Then an hour later, I sorted the finished bullets by headstamp. :)
     
  8. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    If your gun is capable of only so so accuracy, then head stamps don't matter a lot.

    For accurate guns, you can see noticeable change in impact points with changes in head stamps, changes in primers, using full length sized cases vs neck sized cases and even with different methods of cleaning.
     
  9. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    And it makes a little difference if you're shooting rifle or handgun stuff too. ??
     
  10. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    handgun it isn't so important, but if a 'match' gun then it's advisable.
    rifle is a different matter - if you shoot for 'groups' or in matches useing the same brass prepped the same is important.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Good point. I answered as if it were handgun brass. Rifle brass is much more critical for consistency and therefore accuracy. Even then mixed .223 brass can do pretty well. If one is shooting cheap FMJ for plinking they don't shoot well anyway. When buying good bullets separating cases can make a difference.
     
  12. Clark

    Clark Member

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    There are lots of accuracy rituals in the gun culture mythology.

    I have shot a .46" 5 shot group 223 33 gr Vmax moly with mixed brass.
    My friend has shot a .3" 5 shot group 223 40 gr Vmax moly with Win brass.

    He makes fun of people who use mixed brass.
    I think the real reason his group is better is that he lives in the third lowest population density county in the lower 48. He can shoot in minutes if there is no wind at sun up.
    I share King County with 1.9 million people and typically shoot in 6mph wind.

    But who knows?
    Controlled testing in accuracy?
    That doesn't happen very often.
     
  13. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Range Brass - Mixed Headstamp

    Trim Length-Brass will grow/get longer & need trimming in some calibers. Each different headstamp* may grow at a different rate. :uhoh: Pressure- Some brass will produce an over pressure load, when using your safe tested loading that works with othter brands of brass. :uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  14. 918v

    918v Member

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    I can 'splain that:

    223 cases are all the same, pretty much weighing @ 94 grains. Military 5.56 cases weigh from 93 to 103 grains, mostly @ 94 grains.

    Maybe you got lucky and used similar weight brass.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Sometimes shots "blow in to" a group, instead of out. Besides, 918v is right, much of the .223 brass is very similar in weight. Heck, I can shoot a bad group with meticulously prepped brass, no problem at all. I can shoot a .347 and a 1.142 at 200 yards back to back with the same everything. :eek:
     
  16. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

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    I don't worry about mixing head stamps. I've never had any problems.

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and my Kimber shoots mixed head stamps just as well as sorted head stamps. For pistol or revolver ammo I've never had an issue. I don't sort .223 cases either. I do sort everything else though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  17. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    ^^^+1 What he said..
     
  18. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Have I got an example of that. 10 years ago, I used to buy 1940's Rem510 22LR single shot rifles for $60, drill and tap them, put a couple of #43 Weaver mounts on the receiver, and a used $20 4X 1" tube high power rifle scope on them.

    I was shooting 5 shot groups at 50meters with a scope that has parallax set for 100 yards.
    I was trying to compensate for that by moving my head.
    I was not very good at it, and introduced more error.
    But in one case, MY errors canceled out some of the rifle's inaccuracy.

    The groups looked like:
    1.85" 5 shots at 50m
    0.15" 5 shots at 50m
    1.18" 5 shots at 50m
    1.1" 5 shots at 50m
    1.02" 5 shots at 50m

    The second group would suggest this is a 0.3moa rifle, but it is not. These rifles are 2.0 moa rifles.
     
  19. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    [​IMG]
    For target shooting make an aperture type scope cover for the eye piece lens. :)
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I cannot hold hard enough with handguns to tell a difference between mixed and matched handgun brass.

    About 30 years ago I bought a bunch of WWII 30-06. All headstamps, years, makers and weights. The weights were all over the place. My recollection was that there was an extreme spread of 20 grains in case weight. All over the place.

    I shot a random mix of the stuff and it was not that accurate.

    I reamed all the pockets to depth and that did not make much of a difference.

    I sorted the stuff by weight. That actually improved the accuracy. But the groups were still not as good as a group made with a lot of Federal or Winchester brass.

    Let me say that accuracy could be outstanding for small groups, but I was never certain if the flyers I got on "bad" groups were due to the brass or me. And I never got as consistant groups as I got with good commercial brass.

    I will shoot mixed headstamp standing and sitting rapid fire. If I lose the cases in the weeds I don't cry, and I don't need the level of accuracy which you have to have at 300 and 600 yards.

    I don't know any target shooter who uses anything but same headspace brass at 600 or 1000. Often very particular guys weigh cases. Still, the state champion just buys good brass, loads them and shoots them.
     
  21. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I am quite anal about not mixing brass. Different brands have their own capacity and it can vary quite a bit. I have checked mixed brass for h2o capacity before, and it can be 1.5gr difference in the smaller capacity rifle calibers. In my quest for accuracy, why would I add another variable, when I can control it?
    In my mind, you add to a wider variation of pressures and velocities by using mixed brass.
    Unless you are just plinking or using pistol loads, using mixed brass is not a good idea.


    NCsmitty
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I make a similar point often Clark, one group means nothing. :)



    Many fine points Slamfire1

    A world class pool player can whip most folks using a broomstick, as can a world class shooter cutting a corner or two.

    Case prep will make a difference, but is one good enough to prove it on paper?

    Well, the big boys can most every time, and us little dogs on occasion. :p

    I have two Benchrest targets around here somewhere. I keep them as a reminder to myself how important concentration is on every shot. They were fired back to back in a registered match. One is a nice group with all shots in the group, and one is a 4 in and 1 out (destroying 4 good shots and blowing that aggregate of 25 total shots [5x5])). Argh.... Can't bring the shot back, and there are no mulligans in shooting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  23. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    For me, it depends on what I'm shooting. For SD/social work loads in .38, I use Win cases. For pop can control and paper punching I use everything else. As was stated above, it probably does make a difference in accuracy, but I'm not good enough to tell the difference.
     
  24. mboylan

    mboylan Member

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    It matters a great deal for rifles. Brass thickness changes pressure for a given load.
     
  25. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Unless you are running near max loads, various headstamps won't matter a whit in rifle - as it pertains to pressures.

    Case capacity in most calibers varies very little from one headstamp to another.
    Any velocity differential arising from the minute differences won't be noticed unless you are a high master shooter.

    HOWEVER,... the big problem with mixed headstamps in rifle is when you are shooting gas-operated semi-autos. (e.g. AR-15, M1-A, M-1, etc.)
    You cannot expect to get many firings from your brass in these guns, as they stretch brass badly. If you don't know how many times a case has been fired, you are asking for case-separation malfunctions. While a separation is usually harmless, it is always an inconvenience. I shoot competitively, and I have no time for that sort of malfunction during a match.
     
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