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Old October 1, 2012, 02:33 PM   #1
browninghunter86
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308 Brass

Just out of curiosity, what type of consistancy in neck thickness/runout are you seeing in Winchester brass out of the bag? I know the weight of cases is all over the place lot to lot, but how good are the other parts of the brass usually?

I know Lapua and other high dollar brass is pretty concentric in all aspects
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Forgive me for commenting and not answering your specific question. As for Winchester brass, I've used it and neck turned it, but have no thickness variation data. What I have seen is that Norma and Nosler have pretty consistent neck thickness, though I still neck turn slightly to trim off the high spots - if any. I'd suppose that Lapua also has very consistent brass, but I don't have any of that.
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Not terrific. You may end up turning the necks on Lapua and Norma cases for what ever shooting discipline you're into... but you'll typically be removing a few tenths instead of the .001" - .003" I've found on some lots of Winchester cases.
Saying that, I got a lot of Winchester cases about 5 years ago that were so consistent and concentric... it was really hard to believe they were Winchester.

I'm sure you know this, but the issue is the difference between the chamber neck dimension and the loaded case neck. If you have to turn off a lot of brass to get concentricity, then you have a lot of needless case neck brass expansion... which really reduces the effective reloadable life of a cartridge case, unless you think regular annealing is great fun.

If you've never tried them, you owe it to yourself, at least once, to try Lapua and/or Norma cases.

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Old October 1, 2012, 03:52 PM   #4
browninghunter86
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Creeper long time since I talked to ya. My current WW brass has a neck measurement using a micrometer of 0.3433" for fired brass. Then a loaded neck measurement is 0.3341".

So I know WW has very thin necks to begin with and trying to determine if I need to neck turn or sort cases by neck runout or what
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Creeper long time since I talked to ya. My current WW brass has a neck measurement using a micrometer of 0.3433" for fired brass. Then a loaded neck measurement is 0.3341".
Howdy-doo BH86... yes sir, a bit of time.


All IMO of course... Based on SAAMI numbers, and my personal preference for minimal case neck expansion, if they have less than a thou or so thickness variation, I'd sort 'em rather than cut them... assuming you want to reload those cases several times, again, without annealing. If they are way out for wall thickness and if you don't mind annealing every other loading, go ahead and turn 'em.
I know some long range target competitors that anneal every loading, 'cause they believe the bullet release is more consistent & conducive to accuracy.

Do what you can, and are willing to do, with what you got. Just be safe about it eh?

Cheers,
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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There was a guy years ago who developed and marketed the NECO case neck gage. He died shortly after he brought it to market. I remember reading some of his writings way back then. One of the salient things I remember from his writings is that he purposefully loaded "banana" shaped cases, but oriented them in the same direction in the chamber and obtained tighter groups than those he had neck turned to the same neck dimensions. IIRC, the way he explained it, the non concentric cases being "banana" shaped, that even if the necks were uniform, upon firing and expansion of the cases, they bent the necks and misaligned the bullets towards the thicker sides of the case bodies.

He obtained non uniform groups this way, and uniform groups with the bananas oriented in the same direction.

So, for my own purposes, if I am shooting for groups, I notch the side of my case heads where the case is thinnest, and orient them the same way with the bolt head before I chamber them. It is a whole lot easier than neck turning brass that will bend in a random direction upon firing. Keep the really uniform cases for use in rapid fire 300, and use the bananas for 600.

YMMV
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Old October 3, 2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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got bored so got out the scale and Excel spreadsheet. Sorted my brass into 3 weight ranges of 1%. Brass was cleaned and prepped then weighed

154-155.7 gr
155.0724138 AVG
156.4 Max
154 Min
0.595831456 SD
0.355015124 Variance
2.4 ES
0.497502973 Avg SD

156.4-158.0
157.2590909 AVG
158.1 Max
156.4 Min
0.486639684 SD
0.236818182 Variance
1.7 ES
0.413636364 Avg SD

158.4-160.0
159.4314286 AVG
160.8 Max
158.4 Min
0.71979222 SD
0.51810084 Variance
2.4 ES
0.607346939 Avg SD


All pieces of brass together
156.8173913 AVG
160.8 Max
154 Min
6.8 ES
2.015042591 SD
1.777618147 Avg SD
4.060396644 Variance
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Old October 21, 2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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my neck thickness so far is 0.013-0.014". Most of the cases fall into this with only a few with 0.002 variance and maybe 5 that were way off. So seems this WW brass is pretty good. Some was new brass and alot was rane found brass. Interesting
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Old October 22, 2012, 09:21 AM   #9
Bart B.
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With any given lot of .308 brass, even with a 3 grain spread in weight and .002" spread in neck wall thickness, one can easily get 1/3 MOA accuracy at 100 yards with a good barrel in a decent rifle with metered (not weighed) charges of the right powder with a 3/10ths grain spread, the right primer and the right bullet for the barrel's groove diameter. Arsenal M118 and M852 match ammo as well as Federal Gold Medal Match does this with brand spankin' new cases and good lots of it will hold 6 inches easily at 600 yards.

If this ain't what you get with your handloads, you might consider doing something different; shooting technique, setup, tools, components, rifle details, etc.

Last edited by Bart B.; October 22, 2012 at 02:55 PM.
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Old October 22, 2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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I started reloading 308 with Remington brass. Changing to Winchester brass was a huge improvement. I won't say that Winchester is equal to Lapua or Norma, but without sorting for weight I'm still able to hold sub MOA groups (from a Savage 10 with the factory heavy barrel).

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Old October 23, 2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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Using Winchester cases and NOT usually separating them by weight. hit below the .5" mark (4-shot group) rather often but usually average around .6" out of a Remmy .308 VTR. Only mods are floated barreled and bedded stock. I like Winchester. I just never had the reason to sink money into Lapuas or some of the other higher end cases
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