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Thread: brassy brass brass

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    Default brassy brass brass

    just wondering if people have seen or think there are significant differences in brands of brass. for instance, if one was to buy a bunch of bulk pmc .40 cal ammo (which would be cheaper than, say, black hills ammo for the same caliber) would there be a difference in the brass's ability to be reloaded multiple times or be able to withstand higher pressures from hotter loads? i know guns have preferences for types of bullets shot, amt of powder used, type of powder used, or even primer; but could a gun have a preference for the type of brass used in the load as well?

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    or is brass just brass no matter what brand it may be

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    I've reloaded PMC 44 Mags, many times over, with no issues.

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    A lot depends on the round you are talking about. With a 38spl and only about 17,000psi, any brass will last a long time. The 40S&W runs somewhat higher pressures but is still going to give pretty good results with about any brass. When you get into rifle brass running 60,000+ psi, some brass is better than other. Usually there isn't so much the gun liking one type of brass over another ( assuming proper brass prep) as there is brass life. Also some brass comes from the factory much more consistant than other brands. I have had pretty good luck with most brass but I'm not as picky as some.

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    For 40 S&W I would just buy once fired buk brass from the guys at the gun show. Run them all thru a Lee "bulge buster" carbide case die and march on... the thing with a 40 S&W is that you will betossing your brass every were, and then loose some, step on some, and of course mix it with all the other 40 brass laying on the ground at the range. You will no doubt end up with mixed headstamp brass anyway if you plan on picking yours up! Make sure you tumble your 40 brass along with a bunch of 45 ACP and 9MM... its really fun when they imatate Rusian nesting dolls and you get to pull them apart by hand...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    For 40 S&W I would just buy once fired buk brass from the guys at the gun show. Run them all thru a Lee "bulge buster" carbide case die and march on... the thing with a 40 S&W is that you will betossing your brass every were, and then loose some, step on some, and of course mix it with all the other 40 brass laying on the ground at the range. You will no doubt end up with mixed headstamp brass anyway if you plan on picking yours up! Make sure you tumble your 40 brass along with a bunch of 45 ACP and 9MM... its really fun when they imatate Rusian nesting dolls and you get to pull them apart by hand...
    Yes this, I just did this for .380 and 9mm and I'm super glad I did.

    I will say that S&B, mag tech and Pmc brass seemed way tougher to size than Speer, blazer and federal.



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    When I was reloading .223 I stopped picking up PMC because of dealing with that red ring of primer sealer. I didn't get any misifres with it, otehrwise it seemed to be perfectly fine brass. Just running a batch through I would find little slivers of red gunk all over my bench and in my shell holder and who knows where else. .223 is also plentiful enough that I leave the NATO stuff with the crimped primer pockets for someone else to pick up.

    In general if I am buying new brass at the big box store I'll pay a little more for the bag that says "Starline" on it, but I haven't bought any new brass and not felt like I got my money's worth out of it.

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    how about rifle brass...anyone notice any differences between brass there (i.e. winchester, remington, federal, etc)? i have often wondered if manufacturers make their own brass or if there is a larger distributer they buy it from and then just stamp their own name on it.
    limon32: you have any theories why you think some of that brass is tougher to size than others?
    i guess coming from a background of shotshell reloading where hulls play a significant role; i'm approaching brass similarly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-fang View Post
    how about rifle brass...anyone notice any differences between brass there (i.e. winchester, remington, federal, etc)? i have often wondered if manufacturers make their own brass or if there is a larger distributer they buy it from and then just stamp their own name on it.
    limon32: you have any theories why you think some of that brass is tougher to size than others?
    i guess coming from a background of shotshell reloading where hulls play a significant role; i'm approaching brass similarly.
    Not really, but I figure if its easier to work when re-sizing it is likely easier worked by the firing process and may not last as long. I could be way out in left field here, really just an observation at this point. I have up to 4 firings from .223 PMC brass with no signs of trouble and 4 with Federal .375H&H brass also with no signs of trouble.

    Hopefully others will chime in here, I haven't been reloading long enough to offer anything more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-fang View Post
    how about rifle brass...anyone notice any differences between brass there (i.e. winchester, remington, federal, etc)? i have often wondered if manufacturers make their own brass or if there is a larger distributer they buy it from and then just stamp their own name on it.
    I like Remington brass the best for rifle brass. It's cheaper, and works as in sizing, trimming etc. better than Winchester, or so it seems. Maybe, I'm just used to it.

    I like Federal rifle brass too.

    There are other brands that are reportedly better, but I wouldn't know, since I've never tried them. I don't mix brass brands,. I load them in batches of the same brand.

    I'm not wild about Winchester brass, but some folks claim it's wonderful.


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    My favorite is free brass as in the stuff I find at the range when non loaders shoot and leave their brass. The last time I bought brass was about 5 years ago when I got a new to me Rossi 92 in 454 and didn't have brass for it. A friend and I split 500rds from Midway and I don't remember what brand it was nor does it matter to me. That's how picky I am about brands of brass.

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    OP: there was a similar talk on here called "Soft Brass vs Hard Brass" a short time ago. I recommended an article: "Cartridge Brass Alloys Revealed By X-Ray Spectrometers" found on bulletin.accurateshooter.com. Just type in the article title in your search and you should be able to find it. It doesn't say what is good or not so good brass, but you can see some difference in the make up of brass. You have to draw your own conclusions.

    Brass will also have different thickness that creates different internal volumes so you can get different pressures when fired.

    I split up all my brass into bags so the brand, headstamp, stage of prep., times fired, etc. is the same for all that brass. I also mark my loaded rounds with a sharpie; a red and black cross means it's an active match load, a black and black cross means it's retired match used for practice, etc. Same for my hunting type loads.

    1X brass can be wonderful. I've used a lot of it. Be careful with pick up brass from any source. Inspect it all to be sure it is reloadable brass and it wasn't left behind because it'd been reloaded so much it was at the end of its life.

    Edit: once you figure out what brass you like, try to get in in bulk. It'll always be the same brass, it'll cost you less per round, and you'll have it on hand when you need it.

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    I should have been a little more clear, brass thickness does change with brands of brass and even lots of brass.

    Since I hand load my rifle rounds for accuracy, I do separate brands and number of loadings of my rifle brass.

    My handguns I more or less load to go bang, I'm not shooting them off a rest and I don't carry handloads so I pretty much load them with enough powder to cycle or ensure proper firing and call it good. For that I will used bulk purchased "range brass" of mixed headstamp. It is imperative to inspect it, I do that as I am sizing.

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    I use whatever brass I can get my hands on for practice and plinking. For hunting with my .300 WBY i started using Nosler custom. I would have bough Lapua if I had seen any. The Nosler is weight sorted and so far very consistant. I can also load this brass several times before needing to pitch. Range brass is free but can cost you in the end. Inspect it very carefully and be sure to tumble. I spend a lot of time on case prep and make sure I inspect every piece through every step.
    A lot of military brass is thicker and has less capacity and can cause higher pressure spikes when reloaded. I read once to start your loads 3% less then standard brass to check for pressure signs. I havent run into any problems with .223 charging it about in the middle of min and max. That seems to be where they shoot the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-fang View Post
    just wondering if people have seen or think there are significant differences in brands of brass. for instance, if one was to buy a bunch of bulk pmc .40 cal ammo (which would be cheaper than, say, black hills ammo for the same caliber) would there be a difference in the brass's ability to be reloaded multiple times or be able to withstand higher pressures from hotter loads? i know guns have preferences for types of bullets shot, amt of powder used, type of powder used, or even primer; but could a gun have a preference for the type of brass used in the load as well?
    In my experiance the lower end brass such as PMC seems to have many more pieces of brass with off center flash holes and the weights and water weights vary considerably more. I have also measured much more run out with it... I have shot Nosler custom brass and remington and winchester and starline and it is all good quality brass as long as you do your part with prepping. IME properly prepped remington or winchester brass shoots just as good groups... as the Nosler Custom for 1/2 the price.. I sort my cases by weight trim it all to length uniform primer pockets and debur the flash holes..depending on my mood i might even turn the necks..Then I wait for a full moon and Then I hop on 1 leg while holding my foot with one hand I simultaneously rub my belly with the other hand and chant in tongues...

    Then I go to the range and test until i get the results I find acceptable to at that point... I pretty much call it a day.

    For pistol rounds I just inspect it..... then I load and shoot it.
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    IMO there are two type of brass for rifles, Lapua and everything else. If I am working on a rifle that I expect should shoot under a 1/2 MOA I'll buy Lapua for it (if they make it for the caliber) and go from there. Lapua brass will not promise me I'll get the accuracy I am seeking but it removes the brass from possibly being an issue as to why it might not be performing as I like.
    All my other rifles will get whatever is the cheapest whether it be Rem, WW, or Fed.

    Will add that I will never mix up brands. Some old habits are hard to die.

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