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Thread: What is your favorite brand of brass ?

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    Default What is your favorite brand of brass ?

    Remington, Winchester, Federal, Starline and I know there are lots of others but I'd like to know what everyone's favorite is and why. How many times do you reload them and do you see it stretch enough that you have to trim it for each reload

    A friend of mine gave me several boxes of Federal Premium 30-06 brass and although I haven't weighed it yet, it sure feels heavier than the Remington brass I've used before. Also, after the initial trim I gave it and a couple of reloads, I haven't had to trim it again. The Remington brass just seems thinner or something. . . Thanks for your comments.

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    I like it all, Remington, Federal, and even Winchester.

    Some claim that Winchester is the best, but that's not been the case, in my limited usage.

    I've used Norma, and Starline, too, and they've not been noticably better for me.

    I've heard lots of wild claims about how great Lapua brass, but I've never used it.

    I honestly don't know which brass is the heaviest/strongest. I've never sawed them open and compared. I'm thinking it might vary with the production run, and sorta hard to pin down.

    In other words, when I hear of someone's bad luck with a particular brand, I don't consider that an indication that ALL of that brand is problematic.

    I wouldn't be at all concerned about Federal Brass. It is good stuff, IME. The only Federal Brass I've used has come from Factory Loads. I dunno if you can buy just the brass alone. I can't recall seeing it for sale.

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I try to be fairly frugal in my reloading pusuits and that is sometimes reflected in my brass choice. Now I'm not saying I only use whatever I find on the ground at the range but I do use what I can get my hands on in quantity for cheap or free. Alot of it comes from the shop I work in when we test fire.

    Here is what I normally use.
    458win= WW that is the most common factory not nickel stuff I've run across up here.
    3006= I use alot of WW cause that's what Hsm uses
    35 whelen= I mostly use reformed Federal 270wcf cases as for some reason I have a ton of them though I've never owned a 270
    44mag= I run Starline as once again HSM does as well
    38 and 357 I use pretty much whatever I can find as I never load them above plinking levels
    45-70= I mostly use Remington cases because a friend gave me about 400 of them
    457WWG= I use starline because that's all there is.

    I trim my Whelen cases about every 4th firing but with most other stuff I don't trim much at all. I don't like trimming brass and most of my rifles have fairly tight headspace measurements so cases don't stretch much. I don't trim pistol brass at all, just throw it away if it gets too long.

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    Lapua brass in 308, Lapua primarily in 6.5x55, Remington/Winchester in .32, Fiocchi in .455 and 7.62 Nagant, Winchester in .32-20.


    For centerfire bolt action rifle I wont use anyhting other than Lapua (or Norma).

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    I don't have a favorite brand and I rarely buy new brass. If it's rifle brass that I'm expecting to get MOA or there about, then I do a fairly extensive initial prep. I have quite a few rifles and a lot of brass for each and don't shoot any one rifle caliber a lot. I also partially full size. For these reasons, brass life, cast stretching and such, just isn't a problem. I occasionally crush the neck or get a split on 22H and 25/20, but I have plenty of those as well so no real concern. I try to get brand matched sets of 50 preped cases for each load but I don't really care which brand of case. For some rounds like the 350Rem Mag, it's difficult to find different brands of brass unless you have really deep pockets.

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    I choose Hornady for price and consistency.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    If I have to buy brass, I get Starline whenever possible.

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    For rifle brass I choose Winchester for performance/value. Overall it seems to be more consistent and re-load friendly than the other brands of similar price range. 90% of my reloading experience has been with 308, 30-06, and 338 Win mag families of brass.

    If I am going to spend more money for brass, I buy Lapua. I have used Lapua for 30-06 and for forming 338-06. It is the best brass by far I have ever used, but you do pay for it. For general hunting and shooting purposes you don't have to pay the extra, but man it sure is good stuff!

    I polled a lot of folks when I started reloading about a decade ago and for the first few years I loaded about what kind of rifle brass they prefer for reloading and the majority said Winchester. After reloading some of most every brand, I now say the same thing. You just can't go wrong for the money. Try Winchester brass and form your own opinion. Pun intended!

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    I've used more Winchester brass than any other for rifles (223, 22-250, 257 Roberts, 30-06, 338WM and 375H&H). I just like it better than Remington...but I'll confess that I have no real data to support that point of view. I do have some Winchester 375H&H cases that have been reloaded so many times that I have lost track and they are still going strong. I use Norma brass for 257WBY and 338-06, and it has performed extremely well. Handgun brass has been more of a variety for me and they all have been pretty good, e.g., Winchester, Starline and even Remington.

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    I perfer Winchester brass when I can get it. Years ago it had a larger capacity than Remington brass but that may have changed. A lot of my brass is range pick-ups or military surplus. I still have a lot of 7.62 National Match brass that is hard to beat for that caliber and its derivitives.

    For what its worth I think Olin still makes the brass material that all of the domestic manufacurers use. May not make Winchester any better but I would think the quality control for the brass may be a bit higher for the Winchester stuff.
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    Lapua is the best brass I've used. It provides long life and excellent uniformity commensurate with its price. I like and use Starline in straight cases and have had zero issues. I must admit that my standards for those cartridges are not the same as for bottle neck ammo, but it is excellent brass in all regards. I've used R-P, W-W & Federal for years and years. I still have some from each of these manufacturers in my reloading wares, but if I can't get Lapua or Starline I now buy W-W.

    R-P is good, but I've had much better consistency with W-W and I think it's a better product for a volume reloader.

    Federal brass is okay, but I've found various issues with Federal after a few firings. If you give me Federal brass I'll load it in some cartridges, but I'd never buy it new again. FWIW, I use to buy Federal Gold Medal 308 brass in boxes of 100, but after a couple of firings split necks were the norm. I gave them up.

    Norma can make an excellent product. I've used them for years in Weatherby cartridges and various other cartridges. IME there is an unusual lack of consistency form lot to lot of Norma brass. I've found some lots so soft that they were completely unsatisfactory. I know that some of their brass is top shelf, but at that price I can't stomach the hit or miss nature of their product.

    There are other manufacturers that I've used a good bit. IME Hornady provides good case life, but at their price I'll spend a bit more per case and buy Lapua. I got a great deal on PMC brass in the late 80s, but my experience with it was much the same as Federal.

    As for my trimming practices, straight wall cartridges sometimes get an initial truing to length, but after that first trim I discard them when they need to be trimmed a second time. Bottle neck cartridges are different. Depending on the cartridge and the particualr rifle I might trim as often as every third loading, but normally I'd say that 4-5 firings is more normal.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    what ever is on sale...
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    I think what is more important is to buy a larger amount of the "Same" brand no matter what it is if you are into precision shooting. For the hunter that keeps his shots to 250 yards or less on big game I am not sure it makes much difference....
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  14. #14

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    For 6.5x55, 308 and 6.5 284 I use Lapua brass. I think its worth the extra money.

    Honestly, Ive never had any problems with remington, WW, jamison/bell, federal or norma/weatherby.

    I have a bunch of lake city 7.62 thats been very durable with multiple reloads.

    I neck size for specific rifles, so I dont have to do much trimming.

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    I like free brass
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    I like free brass
    Me too.

    Price-wise, you just can't beat it.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Me too.

    Price-wise, you just can't beat it.

    Smitty of the North
    I'm with you boys! Whatever brand I can find the most of at the range from the generous non-reloading folks! If I have to buy brass, I usually stick with Remington, Winchester, or Starline. If I ever had a custom rifle built or bought a high end rig, I would probably pop for 100 Nosler or Lapua and meticulously track how many times they were reloaded.

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    I like the kind people leave on the ground at the range, or even better the kind people pile neatly on the benches at the range for some lucky person to come and find! I also have had good luck with Norma, Lapua, Remington, Hornady, Starline, and Federal. I had a bad experiance with Winchester that sort of made me leary about it. Every thing else seems to work ok though. I think that Federal, Norma, and Lapua are probably the highest quality as far as materials, and construction. Just my .02

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    The best brass available is Lapua. It is the very best. I wish it was made in more cartridges. The brass I use is Lapua, RWS, Norma. If Lapua was available for all my rifles that is the only brass I would use. It has very long life compared to the run of the mill american stuff.

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    In 42 years of reloading only had two bad experiences with brass and both have been recent.

    One was with Norma brass in 9.3x74R, experienced a few case head separations with it in one of my double rifles. The other was with Remington 35 Whelen brass as it was undersized.

    I have some Lapula but can't prove it is any better. Have a fair amount of Federal as well and even though I don't like it I can not prove it is junk. I just try to be consistent. Will not mix brass even when loading up practice ammo.

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