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Thread: Prepping New Bulk High-end Brass ??

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Prepping New Bulk High-end Brass ??

    Ok, got my first order of Norma Brass in the mail, have only worked with once fired Factory Federal stuff so far so am pretty jacked about how this stuff measures out and the overall build.

    Now, on prepping it, I've obviously measured them, Very Uniform, done the Chamfer/Deburr, but should I Flashhole Deburr or not? They look really nice in there, I think they were drilled not punched (one reason I sent for 'em) so should I not mess with that? and the primer pockets are gorgeous, should I uniform those or just start pressing in primers and see how they seat? I ran the uniformer through a few and very little brass shavings, if any at all, were cut out. They seem ready to go completely, so am I missing anything?

    Then also, do I need to FL size them to start or can I just start necksizing them?
    maybe Chamber a few to see how they fit or how are they "Fireformed" to my rifle?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    I neck size only, then check overall length. If any of them are obviously too long, I trim them back to the middle of the range, then save my trimming of the full lot till after first firing. But then I always trim them to uniform minimum after first firing.

    One thing I always do too, based on one bad (very bad) experience with new brass, and yeah, it was Norma. I chamfer the mouths inside and out. Admittedly I was firing the rounds in a rifle with a custom minimum chamber, but geeze. There was enough of a "lip" on the cases that it caused the case mouth not to completely release the bullets on firing. My "starting" load blew the first three primers! Picture yourself pulling the remaining 247 bullets in the fully loaded lot, as well as throwing away those first three cases, and you get my drift.

    As for the primer pockets and flash holes? Not on my bench.

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    Member BrentC's Avatar
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    Norma brass is as close to ready to load as it comes. No need to mess with primer pockets Prime them and go. I would run them through the sizing die to remove any dings or dents in the neck and clean up the case mouth a bit with a deburring tool. No need for anything fancy with fresh Norma brass. It's really good quality.

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    The only time I've used Norma brass was when they were the only ones who made it, and I didn't notice a difference from the other brands. There might be some for all I know.

    I would go ahead and Deburr the PP holes, and Uniform the PPs.

    With NEW UNFIRED brass, you might as well FL size it, because, you will barely touch the body or shoulder anyways. I've even sized NEW UNFIRED brass without using any Lube, but I stuck a case once, too, so no promises.

    I've also, loaded it without sizing, but nowadays I resize it, for the sake of uniformity.

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    there is no need to do anyhting to new Norma or Lapua brass other than look at it, smile, and load it

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Even with Lapua, you can't assume it's absolutely perfect. I recently received 1000 rounds of new Lapua brass and it's very pretty, but it's not perfect. About 80% have a small amount of brass partially obscuring the flash holes. True, they're cut and not punched, but either the tooling stop was set just a hair shallow or the case head thickness on this lot was a hair thicker than average. So, for this batch, a tiny bit of flash hole deburring is in order. The bottom line is that it never hurts to eyeball those flash holes before stuffing primers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Even with Lapua, you can't assume it's absolutely perfect. I recently received 1000 rounds of new Lapua brass and it's very pretty, but it's not perfect. About 80% have a small amount of brass partially obscuring the flash holes. True, they're cut and not punched, but either the tooling stop was set just a hair shallow or the case head thickness on this lot was a hair thicker than average. So, for this batch, a tiny bit of flash hole deburring is in order. The bottom line is that it never hurts to eyeball those flash holes before stuffing primers.
    I agree.

    We're Handloaders, not Koolaid Drinkers.

    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Even with Lapua, you can't assume it's absolutely perfect.
    Really? I have eyeballed over 6,000 rounds of the stuff and other than a dinged neck (shipping) have just...loaded it. Your Koolaid figure may vary

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'll use this thread to ask this question as it pertains to the high end stuff Norma purchase,

    Now that I am getting some loads finaled out with this stuff, all the development using Norma Brass and Neck Sizing only,
    Can I switch over to Federal Brass to load up the finals for my hunting stash?

    You know, I really have a fair amount of that Federal Factory stuff around, don't really want to use the new Norma stuff, to load hunt rounds and leave in the hunt pack.
    don't have that much of it, and want to keep reloading it for a while, nearing 5th time Neck Sized now,
    expecting a lot more loads per batch.

    If I were to try that, switching brass, would there be any major difference in performance of the Norma load,
    or not enough to worry about ??
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  10. #10

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    Are your loads near max? If so, I would back off and work up to the load in the Federal. I have become a new convert to Lapua brass. I don't do the flash holes, but I still FL size (old habit) and chamfer mouths and of course measure. All other brass I do the flash holes and all other preps before loading.

  11. #11

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    Forgot to add too, have you thought about keeping the Norma for hunting and the Federal for range time? I've gone this way for those calibers I run Lapua brass in.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Treat it like any other brass and prep so you eliminate issues at home were they can be fixed in advance. With any luck your work will go fast since you are dealing with a premium product. Checking is always a good thing, after all, it's a hobby so do your best.

    Just my .02 worth...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Can I switch over to Federal Brass to load up the finals for my hunting stash?
    Weigh 5-10 fully prepped pieces of each brand to get an average weight. If they are the same weight your load will be similar. My guess is the Federal will weigh more and have less capacity, therefor a different recipe.

    With my .308 there is a 0.4gr difference in RL-15 between Hornady Match brass and Lapua to get the same velocity. The Lapua cases weigh more and hold less but each recipe when adjusted to 2595fps in that rifle preforms great.

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