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Old July 25, 2010, 07:27 PM   #1
bfskinnerpunk
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Buying Ammo, but with "re-usable brass" in mind?

I don't have any reloading equipment yet. Still thinking on it.

In the mean time, I want to buy rounds that will provide good, fresh, re-usable brass.

I don't know anything about reloading, but I have heard that brass can only be reloaded a limited number of times. With that, I guess it would be best to select rounds that come with good brass.

So, do most brass rounds provide good brass or are there things to beware of?

I'm looking at buying 500 rounds of "Federal American Eagle .223 55gr FMJ AE223AF" at $270 (plus $12 shipping) from Palmetto.
Would that be nice brass? Are there big differences between this and the more expensive rounds?

BF
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:17 PM   #2
ir3e971
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Others may provide more clarification later. But the one type to avoid (trust me on this) is AMERC.

It does not reload well.
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:22 PM   #3
bfskinnerpunk
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AMERC? You mean Federal American?

BF
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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Would that be nice brass? Are there big differences between this and the more expensive rounds?
Good enough for plinking and informal target shooting. If you're serious about accuracy and long brass life, it's worth buying Norma or Lapua. Depending on the type of action being used, brass preparation and reloading technique has a lot to do with the life of your cases.
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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AMERC? You mean Federal American?
No, Federal American Eagle is fine. AMERC is American Ammunition Inc, a Miami-based ammo maker with a notorious reputation for general craptitude.
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Old July 26, 2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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I did about the same thing a year or so ago. I wanted to reload for my Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62x39. I did some checking and found that Remington brass was a respectable choice. I found it in Remington UMC ammo with a 123grain projectile. I do think that brass is a round specific choice so do some checking on your own.
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Old July 26, 2010, 09:18 AM   #7
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Ditto on AMERC brass. Also include S&B brass as being crummy for reloading
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Old July 26, 2010, 09:26 AM   #8
810wmb
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i went through the same thing.

i never asked, nor was i told that one brass was better than the other. all i ever shot was wwb or remington.

i started reloading just before last christmas. best move i ever made. i have reloaded 1000's of rounds w/wwb & remington brass, no problems whatsoever.

9mm, 45, and 38 sp - i still haven't had a case split. umm, i have put a couple of primers in upside down though
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Old July 26, 2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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I personally like Remington brass. It can be a bit more expensive but works well. You post indicated $0.45 per round for what I think is so so brass. Shop Walmart and see if you can pick up some boxes of Remington 223 for about $12.00 for a box of 20 (about $0.60 per round) when on sale.

Stay away for metal cases or even copper coated steel cases. Nickle cases are OK but will have a shorter life. When you pick up other peoples brass, take a pickup tool with a magnet on the end and run it through all the cases. Metal cases will stick to the magnet like glue even if they are copper coated. Toss any and all aluminum cases you come accross they can not be reloaded (safetly).

Other than that save your brass, if you do not get into reloading you can at least sell it to someone that does.

Good luck
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Old July 26, 2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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It's been a while since I reloaded .223 so bear with me...
I believe that most Federal Brass has a crimped primer pocket which complicates the reloading process. It is not impossible to reload, just requires one more step.
I would avoid crimped primer pockets as I have never run into a problem using Remington brass with uncrimped pockets.
Just my opinion,
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:18 AM   #11
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Finding any commercial ammo in .223 without crimps is hard to do. Remington UMC is not crimped, and the brass is good. But UMC quality is spotty at best.... Poor neck tension... :barf:

I run any UMC I buy through my crimp die before I shoot it. I'd much rather buy Federal Walmart Bulk pack and deal with the crimp. Federal's current brass is really good.... not like the old wimpy stuff from the 90s.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:22 AM   #12
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I usually anneal every 5th loading. It really extends my brass life. Federal, Winchester, and Remington reload well along with a lot of military brass. 95% of all the brass I own has been picked up at ranges. This of course is just my own observation.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:24 AM   #13
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look for "boxer primed" and "bress cases" for reloading. Steer clear of "Berdan Primed" or "steel case"
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:59 AM   #14
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As a reference...

Most of the major American ammo companies make good brass. Remington, Winchester, Federal, CCI/Speer and even Fiocchi load their ammo in good brass. Some is slightly better than others and certain calibers may, due to design, be tougher to reload (e.g. .32-20, .44-40).

Most also make virgin brass (unprimed or factory-primed) available to reloaders. I've found some Winchester rifle (and handgun) brass to be a little thin in the past, but not the last two batches of .308 I bought.

Surplus military ammo and it's brass are usually excellent choices. The down side is that mil-spec brass uses a crimped-in-place primer. This can require extra pressure to remove the primer (can stress your decapping pins) and an extra step to debur the primer pocket (a tool is made specifically for this).

In rifle ammo, if buying mil-surplus from European manufacturers, look for it to be "Boxer Primed". Any that is "Berdan primed" isn't reloadable on typical presses because it uses two small flash holes instead of the single large "boxer" type.

As mentioned above, Aluminium (gray metal) cases, steel cases and "bimetal" cases are non-reloadable as well. Nickel plated cases offer superior lubricity for feeding and extraction and are less prone to corrosion. But the plating makes the cases less flexible and you'll get fewer reloads (about half) out of them.

When reloading, especially previously-fired brass, avoid max loads to get the most out of the case life. Most max loads are not as accurate as loads somewhat slower than maximum.

If max-accuracy is your game with consistency from shot to shot, make sure you have a good set of calipers to meaure cases, bullets, overall lengths, etc. You'd do well to invest in a powder trickler to get the most consistent loads and a case trimmer to trim the neck sizes consistently. This is in addition to the standard press, powder measure and scale.

The last loads I put together for .223 used DuPont IMR 3031 powder but today there are more powders available. Hodgdon H335 ball powder should be a good choice for its easy measuring. I'm sure others have their favorite powders.
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Old July 26, 2010, 12:22 PM   #15
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You will need a crimp removal tool of some kind. Because even if you don't buy ammo with crimps, sooner or later you're going to find a big pile of crimped brass... and you just don't walk away from free brass.

The dillon super swager is really popular, but I never liked it. I sold mine. The hornady hand tool is what I use. It's like $20 at midwayusa.com, and the bit can be chucked in a drill for large batches.
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Old July 26, 2010, 12:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
I don't know anything about reloading, but I have heard that brass can only be reloaded a limited number of times.
Here are the general rules on brass life. Assuming you're using a mid-range load.

Bottle-necked rifle brass will get about 5-6 loads per case if you FL resize, between 10-20 if you neck size.

Pistol brass will load between 15-20 times before the case mouth splits.

Avoid nickel brass. It will only load a couple of times before splitting.

Again, YMMV, but I've found those stats to hold relatively true.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:57 PM   #17
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Bottle-necked rifle brass will get about 5-6 loads per case if you FL resize, between 10-20 if you neck size.
We should point out that neck-resizing is fine if you intend to reuse the loaded round in the same rifle. It may not chamber easily (or at all) in a different rifle.

If you full-length resize, the loaded round can be used in any rifle of the same caliber given that its chamber is within spec.

Pistol brass will load between 15-20 times before the case mouth splits.[/QUOTE]
Using mild loads, this is true. But as you increase power, beyond midrange the wear & tear on the case increases. The more times a case is reloaded, the more likely it is to fail. Mouth splits are common, not too dangerous. But a well-used case with a stout load can stretch the case head area and the next load causes a separation. In a semi-auto, the result is a stuck case in the chamber.

Quote:
Avoid nickel brass. It will only load a couple of times before splitting.
The best rule-o-thumb I've seen for nickel cases is this...
Use virgin nickel cases after you've worked up your best/favorite load for hunting or SD. These are your "factory" loads, the best you can make. When you re-use the nickel brass, use a different bullet (e.g. FMJ, Lead or obviously different bullet) to denote a lower-powered, but still useful load.

For target shooting, just use brass as it is most economical and there's no need for using more expensive nickel cases.
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Old July 27, 2010, 12:34 AM   #18
ScottRiqui
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Finding any commercial ammo in .223 without crimps is hard to do.
I'm almost positive that the PMC Bronze .223 ammo I got at my range isn't crimped. Most of my other .223 brass is Lake City, which obviously is crimped.
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Old July 27, 2010, 02:08 AM   #19
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What is funny is Amerc brass is made by Starline.
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Old July 27, 2010, 02:13 AM   #20
ScottRiqui
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What is funny is Amerc brass is made by Starline.



Seriously, if Amerc brass is made by Starline, I'd like to know just what the heck Amerc is doing to it to screw it up so badly.
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Old July 27, 2010, 02:16 AM   #21
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I'd like to know too. Every time I ask either Amerc or Starline about it, they hang up on me.
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Old July 27, 2010, 09:04 AM   #22
demigod
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I'd like to know too. Every time I ask either Amerc or Starline about it, they hang up on me.
They might have an arrangement where AMERC takes the rejects at a deep discount.
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Old July 27, 2010, 10:37 AM   #23
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Could be.
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Old July 27, 2010, 04:59 PM   #24
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just to add to this some PMC brass is crimped.traded out some 308 brass that I would not use for some 223 brass one time.when the brass came to me almost all of it was crimped at the primer.so I only got about 100 pcs of brass out of 300 pcs to load up.needless to say I will only load up the brass for plinking loads.so if you want my 2 cents on PMC brass I would STAY away from it if I was you.but hey this is just something I have choose to do or my opinion.remington,winchester will be the better choice for you till you really get into reloading.then after you get good at it and your rifel/loads start to work great for you then you can use Lapua if you want.

reloading is what you make of it.if you make alot out of it then reloading can get into you diet.but if you keep it at a good leavel it will just keep you and your rifel happy.but reloading is the best way to keep an edge on your shooting ability.so it is a great investment for the money.so go ahead and buy the tools to start reloading.you want regret it at all.
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