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Rifle brass: best value

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tony k, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    What rifle brass do you think is the best value?

    Currently, I use all different kinds of once fired and range pick up brass for 270 Winchester. I use it in my favorite deer/eIk/steel sillouette rifle I recently ran into an issue with loose primer pockets with federal brass. It had only been fired twice.

    I consider Federal, Hornady, Remington, and Winchester to be "standard grade" brass. Here's how I rate them

    Federal: decent except for recent premature primer pocket fail.

    Hornady: good. Higher case capacity.

    Remington: soft, thin brass that splits more frequently.

    Winchester: good.

    I consider Lapua and Nosler to be "high grade" brass, though that might just be that you pay for them to come fully prepared to reload. I have limited experience with these.

    What one do you favor? Does the extra price for Lapua and Nosler translate into noticably longer life or better accuracy? I'm considering moving to using only one brand of brass for this rifle.
     
  2. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    To me, free is the best deal.
    So what I pick up, clean, resize and use is the best deal.

    In other words if it's usable and didn't cost anything it's the best value.

    That said, I'm still a fairly new shooter and reloaded so I'm not worried about .0000000001 MOA at a zillion miles ;-)

    So if the brass gives me decent groups I'm happy.
     
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  3. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    I'm not that experienced either. Been reloading since 2012?

    Up until now I've been of the same mindset. I'm getting tired of trying to work up loads with my brass hodge podge. Now with this loose primer pocket deal, I'm looking to remove a variable.
     
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  4. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    Pistol brass I don't sort. Rifle brass, I have been using Prvi partisan for a lot of my military surplus rifles and it is good brass. I generally fire factory ammo and then reuse the brass by neck sizing (except for the semi autos). I generally avoid Remington but have had good luck with federal, winchester, and hornady. Lapua and Nosler, I do not shoot one cartridge enough to warrant getting the brass although Norma's .223 brass is pretty good.
     
  5. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Are all of the primers loose or just some? I've been watching that thread but don't have anything to offer so didn't comment.

    IMHO sorting sucks. I do it for 45 ACP as there are small and large primers otherwise I haven't had an issue with 9mm and 223 other than having to swage mil primers
     
  6. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    It's a big percentage of my federal brass as far as I can tell. I'm just gonna scrap all the federal for now.

    I'm leaning towards buying--yes actually buying--270 new brass. It's new territory for me lol. I'm leaning towards Hornady.

    I don't sort pistol except to sort out small pistol primers 45acp, and to sort out fiocchi brass in 380 because my cw380 doesn't like it.
     
  7. 444

    444 Member

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    I am only concerned with accuracy, so I buy the higher quality brass.
    Peterson, or Lapua. I did recently buy 100 Norma brass.

    I don't even pick up brass at a range.
    I am not trying to be an elitist. That is just what pulls my chain about shooting. I am not really a hunter, I enjoy shooting at paper and steel and a related secondary hobby is trying to get as much accuracy as I can. I try all kinds of stuff to get better accuracy and one of those things is to use top quality brass. I started out sorting brass by headstamp. Then I started sorting brass by weight. Eventually I realized that if I just bought really good brass, it was all very close to the same weight to begin with.

    I have been asked countless times if reloading really saves you money. And I honestly answer that I have no idea because saving money isn't why I reload and I never actually figured out what I am paying for my reloaded ammo. So, saving money by using whatever brass I can get isn't really my thing.

    Another issue about buying good brass is, how long does it last ? I hear all kinds of people with all kinds of answers but in short: I don't think most people shoot anywhere near as much as they think they do. I probably should qualify that by saying people shooting bolt action rifles. In other words, if you have a real reason to worry about how quickly your brass is wearing out, you are shooting more than probably 95% of gun owners.

    FWIW: I am not shooting benchrest matches. I am shooting "regular" guns, just trying to see how much accuracy I can achieve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  8. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    Whatever the used brass merchant sends me that isn't berdan, dented or has a collapsed case mouth.
     
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  9. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    I really don't know as it runs with what day of the week is this? I shoot more rifle than anything else with a focus on .308 Winchester followed by .223 Remington in several assorted rifles. A few years ago I bought several thousand LC 13 and several thousand LC 10 cleaned, polished and swaged and all of that, especially the .308 Winchester has done very well, I bought it from Brass Bombers. When I want really good stuff I buy Lapua but any time I see a good deal on brass as in commercial I tend to buy it. There is likely enough brass around here that my wife will be giving it to grandchildren after I am gone. Oh yeah, as to commercial stuff I have a good pile of Federal Gold Medal Match that a SWAT team gave me one day at the range. THey must have given me 500 pices all placed back in the boxes they shot them from. Real nice guys. :) Overall though the LC and WCC stuff has always worked out well for me.

    Ron
     
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  10. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    I like LC brass too. Wish it was available for 270.
     
  11. Dwb1957

    Dwb1957 Member

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    Federal is a little softer the Laupa is the best in IMO if you don't want to spend the extra cash on the Laupa I would go with the hornady or win. Haven't used nosler brass yet that is suppose to be some good brass from some of the stuff I've read. I have some Laupa brass that I've fired about fifteen times but if you need to be able to re-anneal the necks at least every four or five firings if you are going to keep it with the proper neck tension.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  12. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    IMO the best value is free brass at the range recycle bin or from once fired or a friend.
    I like to segregate the batches and use the soft brass and hard brass for different applications.
    In terms of nr. of reloads one can get amazing nr. of reloads from lapua if not loaded hot and annealed cared for properly.
    Also depends on the caliber but although more money at first might become cheaper in the end.
    But there is great once fired brass like lake city NATO cases that along with WCC are pretty durable, great for reloads and for example
    in 5.56 many years have the highest capacity to work with.
    Unlike federal that in 223R is much softer brass and it looses pocket tension in just 3-5 reloads.
    The thing with lapua is not only the durability but the amazing consistency they have and why is great for precision type of work.
    But one can get military brass segregated and well prepared and achieve very good consistency too.
    If time is important to somebody one might have to factor that in the value/cost.
     
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  13. joneb

    joneb Member

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  14. Bugster

    Bugster Member

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    I don't shoot for extreme MOA myself. I have gotten some very good shot groups with my 30-06 and 22-250 with range police brass. I'm more of a hunter and as long as I get a good shot group in a circle the size of the kill zone on a critter I'm happy. That being said, I was raised using iron sights on lever guns and I like to see how small a shot group I can make with iron the iron sights on my Winchester Model 1894 in 30-30 and two Mosin Nagant 91/30's. I do shoot a lot of factory also but I use Federal as well as Remington, Winchester and Privi factories. As yet I haven't had any loose primers or premature split cases. But thanks for the info, I'll keep watching as I inspect all of my brass 3 or 4 times during the process.
     
  15. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    I've always been a brass hound since I started reloading. It's part of the attraction to put to use something that someone else discarded. I load for 5 pistol calibers and 4 rifle calibers. I've never purchased new brass for any of them.

    That being said, Im never satisfied with the rifle loads unless they are sub moa. Is that necessary for deer at 100 yards or elk at 250? No, but it sure gives me some piece of mind.

    Accuracy is about repeatability and consistency.

    With IMR 4350, I've noted that Hornady brass has about 3 grains more case capacity than federal. That seems like a significant inconsistency to me.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    This is key. Run high pressure? Brass won't hold up. Run lower pressure, brass will last longer. Run low pressure, brass can last a long time.

    Another key is how big the chamber is and how much the brass gets sized each time. The more the brass is worked, the sooner it work hardens. Moving the shoulder too far? It won't last. Using an expander type sizer? It won't last as long. That said, annealing can prolong brass life, but even that can depend on these other factors. It won't help incipient case head separation if you are moving the shoulder too far, and it won't help loose primer pockets if you are loading fairly hot. It will help avoid problems in the shoulder area and neck splits, as well as help keep neck tension more stable.
     
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  17. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Best value? In a rifle, I want good quality or better that has been processed only by me and only in MY rifle chamber. Over time and several reloads, that is a better value to me than any brass of unknown history. The waste is in the other components used up in firing the questionable bargain brass. Maybe I didn't completely understand the original question, but if you start out with high qual brass and load and process carefully in the same chamber you have better value over time.
     
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  18. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    I've been loading for my 303 Brit using brass from factory loads I bought and fired. PRVI seems to be nice quality and good value for the price. Herters also seems to be holding up well after several (4-5) reloads. Only have one reload on the Wolf and Remington so don't know how long it'll last just yet.

    Got a bunch of S&B brass from my brother. Other than having very tight primer pockets, it seems to be holding up well after 3 loading. Plus it was free! :)

    Loading between 39 and 43.5 gr of IMR4895, depending on the bullet weight typically slightly below max listings.

    I only use a collet neck sizing die, haven't done any full length sizing.
     
  19. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    Right now I'm working up a non lead load with Hornady gmx 130s. Powders I'm trying are Imr4350 and IMR 4451. To ensure expansion with this bullet, I'm more biased toward high velocity than I am with my normal sgk 130s.

    I full length size every time. As I type this, I realize I've been remiss in not getting a neck sizer. It's on the list now, especially if I invest in high quality brass.
     
  20. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    You have the essence of what I'm pondering about purchasing brass. You make a strong case for going with the best you can afford.
     
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  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I would suggest a bushing type FL sizer instead.
     
  22. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    How about PPU? The loaded ammo is cheap and offers marginal accuracy, but the brass appears to be of excellent quality.
     
  23. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    I like ppu brass. If I could get just the brass, I consider using it.
     
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  24. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    When it comes to commercial brass, I've reloaded mostly Remington and Federal. I've experienced enough premature loose primer pockets that I tend to shy away from Federal. Unlike some of you, I always thought that RP (rifle brass) was pretty good stuff. In fact, I have a batch of RP .223 brass that I've been loading since the late 90's. I only use it now when there is a good chance I'll lose a lot of my brass, but its still going strong. I'll bet there are between 15 and 20 reloads on it to date.
     
  25. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Lapua and Nosler to be "high grade" brass..." Are high priced because they're European made and nothing else. U.S. has duty on their stuff too.
    Federal brass is known for being softer than other brands. Only means it doesn't last as long.
    "...How about PPU..." That's Prvi Partizan. Good stuff, but not exactly in reliable supply.
    "...dented or has a collapsed case mouth..." Dents don't matter and collapsed case mouths are easily fixed with needle nosed pliers.
     

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