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Thread: Mixing Brass for Hunting Loads

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Mixing Brass for Hunting Loads

    I am reloading for my 300 Win Mag for hunting, My question is, Is it okay to mix the brands of brass, Does it make a difference, for hunting loads? I have a mix of brand new and once fired of Remington Brass, Winchester, and Federal. With that said, which would you rate as the better brand of brass out of the 3? I've always loaded and stuck with one particular brand with reloading to be consistent while sighting in. However, with only limited supply of certain items available I'm just wondering if its a significant difference. Been reloading for 3 years now and I'm still learning, just want to get advice from you experts.....Thanks

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    I have mixed brass for hunting loads for the same reason you are considering it and have not seen any difference in performance at the range or on game. just my two cents but I wasn't shooting 1000 yard benchrest compatition.

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    For hunting, I wouldn't worry much. Some people are picky about brand of brass. With Rem, Win, or Fed I use whatever I have the most. If you want to trade one brand for another, I could probably help you out as I have a fair bunch of 300WM brass.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am no expert but I work up loads with a particular brand of brass. I suspect that it matters less on some cartridges than others but if you are loading hot then it will make a difference. For book loads I would pick one and set it up in different brands of brass and see if they all shoot the same.

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    All of mine are mixed.. and have similar accuracy with all of it.. as long as my hunting loads run in max. 1" groups.. i am happy.. most are mid range powder scales..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Shoot groups with each brand and see if any shoot better or worse.

    sent from my igloo

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    An individual case's weight correlates to its volume.

    You are liable to see weight variation between different headstamps, and within different lots of the same headstamp.

    If you work up to a near-max load in lightweight brass and later put the same charge in heavier brass, you might find yourself with a pressure issue.

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    Id's separate your brass into lots of similar brand brass.....then work up your load shooting identical powder charges/primers for each lot of brass. different variations as each lot gets shot up, may require a slight adjustment in your sights or scope. Don't mix it up.

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    I reload with different brands of brass, but I don't mix them with my reloads. Eliminates a potential variable when shooting for groups and seeing what the rifle can do with a particular load. And like Vek said, not all brass is the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    An individual case's weight correlates to its volume.

    You are liable to see weight variation between different headstamps, and within different lots of the same headstamp.

    If you work up to a near-max load in lightweight brass and later put the same charge in heavier brass, you might find yourself with a pressure issue.
    Bingo. Work up your hot hunting loads in light brass on a cold day, then load them in heavy cases and shoot them on a hot day. Ever had to use a sledge hammer to open a bolt?

    No brass mixing for heavy loads in this house. Mild, midrange plinking loads, sure. But I pay too much for hunts to save a few pennies on brass.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Sounds good, I will try to keep the brass separated and load accordingly. Its hard to buy one straight brand of brass with the shortage going on now. Thanks for the info.

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    Don't mix brass brands. They have different case capacities, and they won't all shoot the same.

    You can utilize different brands of brass. Load them in batches of the same brand.

    Sight your gun for the brand you hunt with.

    I would NEVER hunt with loads that are of mixed brass brands.

    I thought that was Hand Loading 101.

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    How many of what brand are you looking for? I have some extra once fired 300WM.

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    My buddy who shot at camp perry and is president 100, I told him I mixed some 3x fired brass with 1x fired brass you thought I screwed his sister... He said stuff like that drives him crazy, he does all kinds **** during his brass prep... John Barsness did a great article in handload er several yrs ago on brass prep... The end result accuracy was the same...

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    Kinda depends too on how hot you're loading it and how long you plan to keep loading it. With mixed history like yours, are you prepared to dump the whole batch once some of the cases start going? I segregate mine religiously so after half a dozen firings with hot loads, I can relegate the cases to moderate or midrange loads for lots and lots more firings. I can make brass last a looooooong time with that practice, but once I start seeing potential failures of cases in a lot I dump the whole lot. I can't do that with mixed-age brass all stirred together in a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Kinda depends too on how hot you're loading it and how long you plan to keep loading it. With mixed history like yours, are you prepared to dump the whole batch once some of the cases start going? I segregate mine religiously so after half a dozen firings with hot loads, I can relegate the cases to moderate or midrange loads for lots and lots more firings. I can make brass last a looooooong time with that practice, but once I start seeing potential failures of cases in a lot I dump the whole lot. I can't do that with mixed-age brass all stirred together in a lot.
    my buddy does the same thing once he gets failures on a lot of brass he dumps it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    My buddy who shot at camp perry and is president 100, I told him I mixed some 3x fired brass with 1x fired brass you thought I screwed his sister... He said stuff like that drives him crazy, he does all kinds **** during his brass prep... John Barsness did a great article in handload er several yrs ago on brass prep... The end result accuracy was the same...

    I chuckled abit when I read this because I deal with this a bit every day. I work and administerDDM (Sniper Quals) down range. My guyswill always ask for a specific lot number that they have been shooting. The problem is that when that lot number isgone itís gone. I did a test awhile backto prove that one lot will do the same as another lot of ammo. Meaning lot-B will perform very close tolot-E and the test proved that. Grantedthe cases were all the same but they were all loaded at different times and by differentmachines. The main difference (as I seeit) with mixing cases is the thickness of the case (as stated earlier) and heatretention or heat transformation. I still agree that for a hunting load whereyou are sending one or two rounds down a cold bore will make very little differenceat 100 to 500yrd. Where a differencemight show is with a hot gun and shooting 600+ yrds out. Because the hotter the chamber and with athicker case you will still have the desired burn rate. With a hot chamber and thinner case could andwill result in some premature powder burn which will affect the shot at longerranges. The average hunting rifle at best is 1 MOA and the average shooter is1.5 to 2 MOA NOTE the average. If you shot better than that then those of youare above average. I am not trying to step on ego here. Easy test would be separatebrass and load the same five to ten rds Lot-A, Lot-B, Lot-C with different brassand same loads. Move to the a 100ydrange and set up a base line with cold bore and target with Lot-A. Let rifle cool down to outside temp and shootnext lot-B and so on. See what the differences are, make sure you try and keepthe small things the same, barrel clean, morning temp, versus afternoon or midday temps. They will all affect theround.

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    Sorry i am not sure why the words run together the way they do it may be because of spell check somehow.

    Sweepint
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    I keep my brass seperate by maker, year (if marked), lot if known, and batch as I load and shoot it. I run a few semi-autos and all the little things I do to the brass may not make the groups any tighter, but it makes me feel better about sending the best hope I can down range.

    One of the guys at the last HighPower match said he's on his 24th loading of Lapua brass. He sings praises for Lapua to all that will listen. I generally only load my brass for 5 matches, then another 5X for practice, then scrap it; or if I loose 10% (usually neck splits), damaged some how or range lost to the Brass God, I'll scrap that batch.

    Some of us get a bad batch of brass and we won't use that brand any more. I bought a bunch of 1X FC and Win brass years ago. The FC was soft and would loose primers. I loaded it one time, because of all the work I had into it, for practice and then scrapped it as I shot it. I don't buy any Federal rifle brass because of that experience. The Win brass has been wonderful and is my first choice for HP match shooting in my mouse guns.

    The guy that got me started in HP shooting bought a bunch of Rem brass (30-06), measured it for a lot of variables, and his reject rate for that lot of brass was over 10%. In his mind Rem brass is junk because of that experience. I never used Rem brass in my semi-autos believing (right or wrong) that it is softer.

    About half my bulk hunting rifle brass is Win and the other half is Rem. Both have served me well in hunting guns. I usually buy Win when I have a choice. When the present famine started I was low on .338 brass and I found a box of 500 Rem at MidSouth...I didn't hesitate a min. in getting it ordered. All my previous .338 brass is Win. The brass will be kept seperate and seperate loads worked up for each brand and batch.

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    One other story to share: Years ago I was helping out at our club's site-in days. Guy sits down and pulls out his ammo. Different brands and bullet weights all mixed together. Got him "in the black" at 100 yards and he was happy. I was thinking the guy most likely gets more meat in the freezer than I do.

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