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Old July 21, 2011, 10:29 AM   #1
Eazmo
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Best factory rounds for reloading

I have read some bad remarks about Federal brass not being the best for reloading.
So I'm wondering what your opinions are on when buying factory rounds is there better choices to consider for reloading the brass.

For plinking and practice i have bought from wall mart and some bulk on line when the deal is right but i usually stay with federal,winchester,Remington and there lines American eagle and umc.

I have been saving brass from years of shooting so have tons of mixed brass but just recently started rolling my own.

just wondered your opinions, thanks
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Old July 21, 2011, 11:17 AM   #2
Billy Shears
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Hmm, that's interesting. I actually tend to prefer Federal brass for my handgun loads.

The only major name brand I don't particularly care for in handgun brass is the Remington "R-P" stuff, at least in .45 ACP. I have found it too thin to hold a crimp well, at least when loaded with 230 grain jacketed bullets. I save all the R-P brass and load it only with cast lead bullets or give it away to friends who reload.

Other than that, I've had no problems with any of the name brand stuff. Some of the other headstamps like "Amerc" get automatically thrown out, but for the most part I'll load anything...at least once. I even reloaded a handful of the Russian steel cased stuff once just to see if I could. It shot fine, but was a pain to resize.


Edit: A lot of range brass nowadays is the cheap "Blazer Brass" stuff in the brown and gold boxes. I picked up about 1,500 empties from my local range a while back [one of the perks of being an RSO] and loaded them up. For being so inexpensive I thought they were actually very good quality. So, if you are buying new factory ammo to shoot and save the brass this might be the cheapest way to go.
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Old July 21, 2011, 01:06 PM   #3
BigJimP
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Federal cases are fine ...

the only cases I reject outright are AMERC ....they just don't resize properly(different alloy or something). I pick up a lot of range brass ...and I get a lot of cheap ammo that's been run thru rental guns, etc like S&B ...and some of that is a little aggravating because the primers seem to be glued in or something ...and primer pockets are a little tapered - so sometimes its difficult to seat a new primer - the first time you reload them....but most every head stamp ( if its brass or nickel plated ) work well.

In some calibers ( like .45 acp / there are some non-typical cases - like WIN-NT where in order to be non-toxic they use lead free primers - and in a "small pistol size" .../ so I sort those out as well - in that caliber).

But most brass will not wear out in your lifetime ...so it isn't like you need a 5 gallon bucket of brass to get started reloading either.
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Old July 21, 2011, 01:32 PM   #4
zippy13
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Eazmo, you may have been too general with your question. Straight walled handgun and bottle-necked rifle cases typically operate at different pressures and are as different as day and night. Perhaps if you were more specific about your loads, the replies would be more useful. Like my friend, BigJimP, I've had no problems with Federal cases for handgun target loads. But, based on the postings from other members, I'm avoiding Feds for .223 Rem reloads.
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Old July 21, 2011, 01:42 PM   #5
dcody40
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In other words !

So if you buy it to shoot, and it's brass, then go for it, even range brass, my plinking brass is every headstamp I can find. I only sort to one decent brand/headstamp if I'm loading up a bunch for a match, but otherwise, I just load em and shoot them, and have had more fun with my reloads.
Your the quality control, and consistant loads are the name of the game.
I shoot quite a bit of .308 and 30.06 also, and attempt to get all my brass back, some of the folks even bring them to me from other lanes, what a neat hobby. I also pickup anything good from the dozens of shooting lanes during the shooting breaks after asking if the shooters are keeping their brass, more of them don't keep it, my gain.
I also have enough of the rifle stuff, and quite often find younger folks who are courious about the M1 Garand and M1A. So I'll sometimes let them blast away some also, all part of the fun.

Duane USN/ret
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Old July 21, 2011, 01:44 PM   #6
Doodlebugger45
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My experience so far has been that it kind of depends on the cartridge you are reloading. For revolvers, I don't like the Remington brass for .357, .44 mag, and .45 Colt. It's real thin and that kind of makes a difference in the neck tension and also in the crimp. But it actually lasts pretty well. The Federals work OK I guess, but they are the only ones that I have had issues with the necks splitting. Winchester brass in those 3 has been the most consistent. However, I eventually figured out that the best option was to go ahead and buy brand new Starline brass and gradually cull out all the rest. That way everything is the same.

Rifle brass is a bit different story. Once again, I have had good consistent results from Winchester brass that started life as either new or once-fired from factory ammo. I don't really have any complaints about the Remington brass either. I load for .243, .270 WSM, 7MM Mag, .308, and .325 WSM. However, the Federal brass (all of which was originally factory ammo), gives me some problems. I have more split mouths with Federal than anything else in rifles. Not a real big deal since it's not very many. But a bigger deal is that for the 7 mm and 270 cases, the primer pocket gets pretty sloppy after the 3rd firing in a lot of cases. After that, if I substitute a Wolf Large Magnum primer, I can get a couple more firings usually. I figure the Wolf primers must be slightly larger diameter.

My favorite rifle cases to reload though started out as Hornady factory ammo. I just wish I had more of it.
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Old July 21, 2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Federal is soft. In .45 ACP that's great as it means they are malleable enough to survive many reloadings. I've had up to 50 target level reloads from those and Winchester, both. As Threedogdad said, the R-P's are too thin and their brass work-hardens fast, so I've see them fail to resize enough to hold onto a bullet after just a couple of reloadings.

At higher pressure Federal brass can get into trouble. Federal 10mm Auto is known to split lengthwise and there is one old thread on THR where a head blew out after 10 reloads. Some of Federals hot rifle loads will be found to have loose primer pockets after firing their original factory load. For Federal's medium power rifle brass, like .308, they will crap out pretty fast running maximum loads, but can go on for a long time running light loads.

Unlike .45 Auto, R-P rifle brass has never given me a problem and does just fine as a military case substitute in .30-06 (close to Lake City capacity) and weathers semi-auto ejection better than some. I've had moderate .308 loads in Remington run through 6 load cycles in my M1A without any sign of trouble or pressure ring thinning (though the capacity is larger in .308). Military brass often needs to be pitched after just four reloadings in that gun.
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Old July 21, 2011, 02:33 PM   #8
Rifleman1776
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All fine in my experience. I load 30-06, .243 and .44 mag.
Favorite, however, was military because it used to be free in large quantities.
Free is good.
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Old July 21, 2011, 02:44 PM   #9
Eazmo
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Quote:
Eazmo, you may have been too general with your question. Straight walled handgun and bottle-necked rifle cases typically operate at different pressures and are as different as day and night. Perhaps if you were more specific about your loads, the replies would be more useful. Like my friend, BigJimP, I've had no problems with Federal cases for handgun target loads. But, based on the postings from other members, I'm avoiding Feds for .223 Rem reloads.
gotcha, I was generally speaking of straight walled pistol brass however i am just now moving into loading the .223rem. and after reading these responses maybe it was Federal rifle brass i read the negatives about. I do have a fair amount of fed .223 and have just begun to work up some loads for that.

my pistol loads are never a max load.
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Old July 21, 2011, 03:10 PM   #10
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The only bad brass I've found is A-MERC. (I just throw that away.)

S&B has very tight primer pockets (so I swage them)

R-P is thin, but can be a good thing when using oversized cast bullets.

I've started sorting my brass by headstamps. This also helps give uniform lengths without having to trim them.
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Old July 21, 2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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My experience pretty well parallels Uncle Nicks. Federal rifle brass is prone to some sort of failure from the very first reloading. However their pistol brass isn’t as problem plagued and can usually can be reloaded several times.

Over the years I guess that I’ve probably reloaded just about every brand out there, only occasionally having a problem with some, but Federal bottle necks lead the pack by a factor of X 100.

As an addendum, nickel plated brass has given me a few problems (splitting) in the past, so I no longer reload it.
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Old July 21, 2011, 04:47 PM   #12
PawPaw
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Quote:
I have read some bad remarks about Federal brass not being the best for reloading.
I've heard that too, but I scrounge brass at a local range where the Sheriff's marksmen shoot Federal Gold Medal ammo in their .308's. I've picked up a couple of hundred pieces of it over the summer and it seems to be giving good service. I like it a lot.
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Old July 23, 2011, 08:44 PM   #13
fredneck
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Junk Pistol brass: AMERC rest is OK IMHO

Best rifle brass IMHO

Lapua...the BEST...pricey but good
Nosler
Winchester
Any Lake City military brass...a subsidiary of Federal I believe. Federal is OK as long as you don't tax it with max loads. Been fine in my 308 700 Police with reasonable loadings and neck sizing.
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Old July 26, 2011, 02:15 PM   #14
Paul B.
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For handgun brass, anything but Amerc is fine by me. Never had a problem with Remington .45 ACP but then I only load and shoot my home cast bullets in my handguns.

For rifle brass, I like Winchester the best with Remington a fairly close second place. Last place goes to Federal. Recently I was given 1,100 rounds one definitely once fired Federal Gold Medal Match brass. I decided to load some up to see how good they might be and the primer pockets were already too loose to firmly hold the primer in place. I've loaded federal brass on 30-06 and 308, 30-30 and 270 and in every case, no pun intended the primer pockets loosened up within one or two fitings, that is if they were not already too loose to begin with. Funny thing is some .300 Win. Mag. federal brass that I did load hot is holding up fairly well.

Many people like Norma and Lapua brass but again, I find it to be a bit softer than I care for. I haven't tried Nosler brass yet but I hear rimbling that it too may be a bit on the soft side.

These days, my full power "balls to the wall" hunting loads go into Winchester brass, normal deer type loads into Remington and Federal with the exception of that .300 mag. brass is used for light plinking and gallery cast bullet type loads.

My choices. YMMV.
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Old July 26, 2011, 02:21 PM   #15
jonboyc
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I've had zero problems with federal brass and I've used them to reload nearly 400 rounds. I also particularly like Federal because they seem to clean up better than the other brass I've used which includes just about everything as I'm the guy you see going through the buckets at the range.
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Old July 26, 2011, 04:22 PM   #16
beex215
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i personally dont have any problems with any brass brand but ive found speer to be the cleanest by far.
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Old July 26, 2011, 04:42 PM   #17
Jim243
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Quote:
For rifle brass, I like Winchester the best with Remington a fairly close second place
For loaded purchased ammo to reload the cases, I agree. I do not like the loaded Winchester rounds (too weak) but I do like the cases. Only purchase 7.62x39 to shoot and reload when I can not find new cases to buy. Problem is that Winchester 7.62x39 cases use large rifle primers and Remington 7.62x39 cases use small rifle primers. So sorting by headstamp is not an option but a must.

Jim
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