Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Brass question

  1. #1
    Member hoose35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    2,891

    Default Brass question

    I am a rookie loader. I was looking at loads in my Speer manual for .243win, it makes it very clear only to use winchester brass because of possible high pressure. My question is, is winchester brass that much stronger than others? Like I said, I am a rookie, and I don't think I am experienced enough to just guess on components, but I don't have any winchester brass, only federal and remington. I have a hard time believing that winchester brass would be that much better.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  2. #2

    Default

    Winchester brass is what was used by Speer to establish that loading data. You can use any 243 brass you have. Just seperate by manufacturer and load in lots by brass manufacturer. Start with the a reduced powder loading of 2-3 grns and work up until you reach max or see pressure signs. Load maybe 12-18 rounds in each lot and check at the range; remembering that other factors affect the velocities and pressures besides just the powder charge.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default more capacity..

    Winchester brass typically has a larger powder capacity that other brands - less material in the thickness of the walls and/or head. This has been a characteristic of Winchester brass for the 50 years of so I've been reloading. I've never heard of any problems with the Winchester brass being thinner - perhaps Winchester knows a bit more about brass since Olin is - or was- the largest brass maker in the US.

    As other say - just drop the listed loads 10% or so and work up to best accuracy. Typically the maximum loads won't give the best accuracy anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    I am a rookie loader. I was looking at loads in my Speer manual for .243win, it makes it very clear only to use winchester brass because of possible high pressure. My question is, is winchester brass that much stronger than others? Like I said, I am a rookie, and I don't think I am experienced enough to just guess on components, but I don't have any winchester brass, only federal and remington. I have a hard time believing that winchester brass would be that much better.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    As other say - just drop the listed loads 10% or so and work up to best accuracy. Typically the maximum loads won't give the best accuracy anyway.
    I have had great accuracy with minimum loads in .223 and .375 H&H, not in all bullet types, actually 2 out of about 10 but its worth checking if your not worried about achieving maximum velocities.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    It has nothing to do with the strength of the brass, as all brass can handle the pressure generated by a .243. Where you can get into trouble is different brass manufacturers configure their cases differently, and other manufacturers brass might have less internal capacity than the brass used to work up the data. The majority of brass I've used in the .243 has been Remington and I've had absolutely no problems with the brass.

    The .243 is one of the few rounds that can be finicky and prone to pressure spikes when seemingly small changes are made to loads, I've heard this is especially true with the heavier bullets, i.e. the 100 and 105 gr. A small increase in powder charge, or decrease in case capacity can cause a significant jump in pressure in the .243. No one knows exactly why, but it is documented by pressure tests in labs.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  6. #6
    Member hoose35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    2,891

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. I went ahead and loaded 15 rounds with 2 grains less powder than speers manual recommended. I am not looking for maximum velocity, just loading some light rounds for my sons .243 for some predator hunting.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Was your load 2grs below their maximum charge, or 2 grs below their minimum? So long as you stay within their published range of charges you should be fine, but sometimes going below a minimum charge can have it's own risks.

    The best way to drop the recoil of the .243 is to use lighter bullets, the lightest bullets have noticebly less recoil than the heavier bullets.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  8. #8
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    684

    Default Case weight

    I don't know if your cases are once fired or new, but I think it's worth my posting a recent discovery with some new Remington brass that I bought from SW. Brass is for my 7mm-08.

    I'd had some spuradic accuracy problems where I'd get some good groups only to have a "flyer" open the group to something around 2". In addition to this happening in a new and light rifle, this was also a new caliber for me. So I was looking at a lot of possible causes. Only recently (a few months back) did I find my Remington brass weight was all over the place. Here's what I found when I weighed 50 sized, trimmed, deburred, and pocket cleaned cases:

    • 36 cases weighed between 160g & 164g
    • 10 cases were >170g and were tossd immediately
    • 4 cases were >164g & were tossed.
    • Of the 36 cases that made it through round 1, I picked 162g as the center weight and kept cases that were +/- 1g from 162g
    • I was able to keep 31 cases that weighed 161g - 163g.
    • That means I was only able to keep 62% of the original 50 and trashed 38%!


    I then loaded those 31 cases and weighed the final loaded rounds. I ended up with loaded rounds that weighed between 348.1g - 350.2g. So the final product mirrored the +/- 1g target too.

    Looking forward to some better weather to shoot, but I'm optimistic that eliminating the heavy cases will improve the consistency of my ammo. I think the heavy cases probably had thicker case walls that held the bullet tighter.

    I thought this was worth sharing on this thread since a lot of folks think there isn't a huge difference between brass brands, but regardless of the brand, I know I will check case weight on new batches and not assume they are made to consistent specs. I have a bag of Winchester brass that I need to prep and weigh.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntKodiak View Post
    I don't know if your cases are once fired or new, but I think it's worth my posting a recent discovery with some new Remington brass that I bought from SW. Brass is for my 7mm-08.

    I'd had some spuradic accuracy problems where I'd get some good groups only to have a "flyer" open the group to something around 2". In addition to this happening in a new and light rifle, this was also a new caliber for me. So I was looking at a lot of possible causes. Only recently (a few months back) did I find my Remington brass weight was all over the place. Here's what I found when I weighed 50 sized, trimmed, deburred, and pocket cleaned cases:

    • 36 cases weighed between 160g & 164g
    • 10 cases were >170g and were tossd immediately
    • 4 cases were >164g & were tossed.
    • Of the 36 cases that made it through round 1, I picked 162g as the center weight and kept cases that were +/- 1g from 162g
    • I was able to keep 31 cases that weighed 161g - 163g.
    • That means I was only able to keep 62% of the original 50 and trashed 38%!


    I then loaded those 31 cases and weighed the final loaded rounds. I ended up with loaded rounds that weighed between 348.1g - 350.2g. So the final product mirrored the +/- 1g target too.

    Looking forward to some better weather to shoot, but I'm optimistic that eliminating the heavy cases will improve the consistency of my ammo. I think the heavy cases probably had thicker case walls that held the bullet tighter.

    I thought this was worth sharing on this thread since a lot of folks think there isn't a huge difference between brass brands, but regardless of the brand, I know I will check case weight on new batches and not assume they are made to consistent specs. I have a bag of Winchester brass that I need to prep and weigh.
    Thanks for posting your experience, I have read about folks weighing and sorting brass but I assumed that was "OCD' behaviour. Your explination makes a lot of sense, i'll have to check some of mine now!

  10. #10
    Member marshall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Near Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,814

    Default

    There is nothing wrong or OCD about case prep but I don't trash cases that are out of spec solely based on weight`alone.

    First of all don't put a lot of merit on virgin brass weights. I do fully prep, (neck size, primer pocket uniform, flash hole de-burr, neck chamfer inside and out, clean and prime). Since they have not been fired yet all shoulders are set back further than your chamber so trimming them all to the same OAL will result in necks that are all unequal length, no worries. Fire these cases then size trim and de burr the necks. Now all shoulders are set to the same distance away from the head and trimming them all to an equal OAL will result in matched external dimensions. At this point weight sorting is worth while. It is now that all cases share the same dimensions and weight is reflective of uniformity.

    Keeping the weight matched cases for your best work can aid in accuracy, no doubt about that. The other cases that are lighter or heavier can be used for first shot fouling, general plinking, letting others target shoot your rifle, etc.

    Any cases that you perceive to be less than perfect are still good cases as long as they are not damaged. They can be used for lots of non precision shooting purposes.

    Cheers,

  11. #11
    Member Ripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    165

    Default

    I agree case prep is important, and not OCD. On the other hand, I doubt that case weight alone will open the groups to 2 MOA. I would attribute good brass uniformity at reducing groups 0.25 to 0.5 MOA. Other issues are at play as well, including bullet uniformity, stock/barrel bedding uniformity, powder charge uniformity, primer ignition uniformity (especially in ball powder where case capacity is not approaching 100%) and windage. 10mph of cross wind is around 2 inches at 100 yds, so it doesn't take much of a gust to throw your groups apart. Are you weighing every charge individually? I noticed a bit of drift with my electronic scale, so now use a beam scale when looking for utmost accuracy.

    Also, if it was the first firing of new brass, I would expect larger groups as there is a larger dimensional discrepancy with brass until it has been fired and resized.

    So, that is just a few thoughts. Sorting brass is a good thing, and keep it up. Just don't be too disappointed when your groups don't instantly fall to 0.75 moa. (Or, be happy when they do! Who knows what the final piece of the puzzle is for your loads?)

    And I'll gladly take that heavy and light brass off your hands for the cost of postage! PM me...

  12. #12
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    684

    Default

    Brass that I reported was fired three times, resized, trimmed, and prepped......I neglected to mention it was fired three times...good point Marshall.

    In my case, time will tell what the effects are on my accuracy. Rifle is a Kimber Montana, and I feel pretty good about its condition. Each powder charge is weighed, and as mentioned, loaded rounds in the last batch reflect the same +/- 1g spread the empty cases presented. That wouldn't have been the case before I segregated the cases.

    I see no issue with using the brass that falls outside the chosen limits for non-hunting and other situations where opened accuracy isn't a problem, but given that I load primarily to hunt and do quite a bit of my target shooting with my other smaller caliber rifles, I don't load a lot of different batches of ammo for each caliber. (I load Barnes 140ttsx and Accubond 140 for this rifle.) I'd rather not have to keep track of different classes of cases too. I also don't mind sacrificing some cases to gain confidence in the precision of my loads. Although, I hope future case lots are more consistent.

    I'm still surprised that one batch of brass has a weight spread that's well beyone 10g....I know it was at least 15g or more....and these are short 7-08 cases. For comparison, I pulled out a batch of once fired, still dirty, Federal 338 brass that weighs 50% more than the 7-08 brass, and it only had a 4g total spread. Plus, the spread beyond 2g was caused by just 3 cases. Big difference.....and that's with bigger, dirty brass w/spent primers in it.

    If this should happen again, I'll post up for anyone that wants to pay for the shipping from Kodiak.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •