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Old December 3, 2012, 05:53 PM   #1
Metal god
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Best factory 308 brass to reload for the money

Let me start by saying I do not reload as of yet . I do keep all my brass after shooting and I reliezed I have a lot of different brass from many manufacturers . What I would like to do is start buying only ammo with the best brass for the price . That way when I start reloading all my brass will be quality brass . My round of choice is 168 gr Fed gold metal match . I buy when its on sale for around $20 a box . Im looking to spend no more then $25 a box . What I need from you guys is a few manufacurers that have quality brass in that price range ? I then can buy some of each and find what my guns like the best .

On a side note should I keep all my brass separated by manufacurer . Does it mater if I mix and match them as long as the all wiegh the same ?
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Old December 3, 2012, 07:10 PM   #2
hounddawg
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nevermind I re read your post and you want to buy commercial loads and save the brass. My bad
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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On a side note should I keep all my brass separated by manufacturer . Does it mater if I mix and match them as long as the all weigh the same ?
If you are shooting for accuracy, yes... and even by lot number, as there can be variations in weight, wall thickness, case capacity, primer pocket dimensions and flash hole uniformity from lot to lot.

I understand why hounddawg bailed out on this one.

If you can get Fed 308M regularly, that's the best you're going to get in the price range you're talking about. Price no object, then we're talking Lapua and Norma... both quite a bit more costly than Fed 308M.

Consider this. I don't know what gun you have, but it's accuracy potential may not justify the superb quality of Lapua or Norma brass. If you had a match grade rifle with a premium barrel, then certainly... but if you have a $400 rifle and a $200 scope then it's entirely possible that the Fed match brass is the best you'll ever need.

After you've handloaded your .308 for awhile and think there might be a bit more accuracy left in the rifle, and you've tried all the usual low buck handloaders tricks... buy 20 or so pieces of Lapua brass. If it doesn't shoot any better, then maybe you need to step up to a better barrel and/or gun and/or scope and/or rests and/or etc etc etc.
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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if you want to buy unprimed brass Lapua with the small primer is the way to go. I bought 100 of them a couple of years back and they are on their 11th reload and the primer pockets are still tight
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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In all my reading, more people say remington brass is better than federal than the other way around... of course, federal shot better in my rifle than remington, but i had already bought 8 boxes of remingtons before discovering that.... so I reload remington brass, which has worked great, but I have only loaded them 2-3 times each so far....
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:04 PM   #6
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First off do not mix up the brass its all different by headstamp ( brand ).The inside will come out to be different by the ammount it will hold ( powder charge ).Plus the mix combo to make the brass will be different from brand to brand.Hint they all have their own idea to what makes the brass better.

Now second get a reloading book most say the ABC of reloading is the best,me I had two great guys to keep me straight,now I have the net.

Ok from what I have learned from the past few years is that Fed brass is a lot softer than the rest,now with that said its still reloadable but not so for HOT loads and to be able to get many loads on the brass.You like the 168gn FGMM loaded ammo,so I'd say dig up a copy load for that brass/load when time comes for you to load.Then you should get up to 5 or so loads on the brass,and if you have a lot of the Fed brass you should be able to shoot a lot.Annealing the necks will help out a lot but that needs time to be able to pick it up ( get good at it ) again the book or a fellow reloader to help will be nice or even this site.

Sorry to have gone the other way but thought you should hear it.Now to your question.Loaded ammo ( factory ) would be a choice for your gun.Again you said that the 168gn FGMM was a great load.I am going to say you already have a lot of it.Most here will say Lapua brass but you are only willing to spend $25.The second choice would be Winchester but they don't offer a Match load.Now Nolsler offers a match load in a 168gn and a 175gn bullet and most say the brass is OK/great to use.I myself have put Hornady to the test from brass I picked up at the range I shoot at.Nowing the gun it was shot from gave me an idea,so I put some to use.I have now fired the brass 5 times and annealed it ounce.So fare the brass has been great and I've got some really good groups with it to date ( 1/2" 5 shot at 200 with a 175gn SMK ) So Hornady might be a choice for ya.I've loaded and used Remington at first but think their match ammo isn't all that great,but with reloading the brass it can offer a good load more say to hunting loads.The next Brand would be LC military brass but for me I stay away from it because it has crimped in primers,and this adds another step or two the reloading of the brass.Plus most found if bought would have been shot from a auto not a bolt gun,so resizeing can be a butt.

my top two would be Fed ( you have it and alot of it ) or Hornady ( the brass not the steel ) just thought of something some of the Hornady has crimped primers I think the Superformance does ( 175gn bullet ) but with it being shot in a bolt gun its not that big of a deal to reload other than the removeing of the primes and cutting away of the crimp with a deburring tool.If the Nosler isn't to bad on the buy I'd give it a try but cannot say for I haven't bought ammo in years.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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I think that Federal Gold is great ammo. The local SWAT guys left several hundred rounds at my local range once, along with the boxes. I thought I had hit a gold mine of .308 brass. After several attempts, I gave up on the brass. I could not get anywhere close to the accuracy that I was getting with LC or Winchester brass. I tried changing powder and primers but stuck with 168 and 155 Sierra MK's. Finally gave up and decided to use the Federal stuff for my disposable rounds. Your mileage may vary.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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When I started reloading for my .308 I used once fired brass from Hornady, Winchester, Federal, and PMC. I did not notice a significant difference between them.

Later on, as I became a more savvy reloader, I started grouping by manufacturer, and did see a little more consistency.

In the end though, when I started reloading for 1000 yard ranges, I jumped right into Lapua brass. I will never go back. There is a serious difference in quality with it. I have 300 pieces of it. THe oldest 100, are still as good to go as the day I got them. I probably have 12-15 loads through that brass. My other Lapua brass is less used, saved for matches, but I can run all three lapua brass to the same point of impact, within my margin of error. (translated flier)

Don't get me wrong, as long as you find something consistent and accurate, go with it. But I highly recommend Lapua when you start crafting your own.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Cool thanks for the replys so far . I do plan to shoot for accuracy . I just bought a Savage Model: 10 FCP-K .


I have not shot it yet so I don't know what it likes to shoot . All my guns like the Fed GMM stuff so I was going to start with that .

I will be doing some long range shooting with it 600+ yards . Sure hope it's got the accuracy for it . I still need a scope and other things to finish it .

I have not used this ammo yet but it looks like it the same as Fed GMM but its Remington at the price range Im looking for . I should pick some of this up if the brass is better then Fed
http://www.targetsportsusa.com/p-371...mmunition.aspx

This may sound silly but I don't want to start with the super high end stuff and like it so much I never go back . I'd rather work my way up to it as my shooting improves
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:13 PM   #10
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Don't confuse brass with the factory ammo. Just because fed GMM shoots well doesn't mean that the same load inside of someone else's brass won't shoot better. Of course you won't know til you start loading.

Figure this way, you want to get brass from store bought loads(which you are over paying for) and you're getting sub optimal brass. Or you could stop buying the factory loaded ammo, start reloading, buy the good Lapua brass, and in 6 months be ahead on money if you shoot enough for reloading to save you money in the first place.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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My other Lapua brass is less used, saved for matches, but I can run all three lapua brass to the same point of impact, within my margin of error. (translated flier)
Does that mean the groups ar zero MOA without your margin of error?

What else could "the same point of impact" mean other than the same hole equal to the bullet's diameter?

I didn't know anybody's put stuff together that did that well. But at least here's someone who admits they ain't perfect; only their ammo and rifle are.
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:08 PM   #12
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Hey Bart I went to the range the other day . Tryed calling my shot It's harder then I thought it would be . I was able to keep my eyes/eye open and see the muzzle flash every time but seeing exactly where my crosshairs were is tuff . I was alone and sighting in a rifle at the time so it was not the optimal situation but it was fun . Can't wait to try it at longer range with a gun that starts out zeroed . Just saw your name there so I thought I'd throw that out there .

Oops think I just hijacked my own thread
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Old December 4, 2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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buying factory ammo will run you a dollar a round, a complete hand loading kit will go around 100 - 300 for a kit set. So for about 250 including bullets, primers, powder, brass etc and you can handload precision rounds for about 50 cents a round. The only way to learn LR is lots and lots of trigger time, will you shoot 300 to 1000 rounds in the next couple of years?
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:05 AM   #14
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I have a Savage 10 FCP-K. It is an AMAZING rifle - you'll love it.

I went down a similar path. I chose to buy a bunch of Nosler 168gr match rounds, and my plan was to use that brass to reload. I went with them partly on their reputation and partly because they were running a buy 2 boxes, get one free sale.

What I learned in the process is that my rifle has a "tight" chamber - was getting decent pressure signs from those commercial rounds (worked with Nosler on it, etc, etc, etc). In THAT process, I learned that Nosler brass is on the soft side, so basically I only ended up using the Nosler brass for one - two reloads. That tight chamber is also a lesson on why it is so important to work up loads for each individual rifle (or pistol).

I moved to Winchester brass, and haven't looked back. I'm shooting consistent .5 MOA out to 400 meters with 175 Sierra Match Kings under 42.6gr of Varget. It does great at longer ranges too, but I'm not good enough at wind yet (lots of that here). Note that relatively low charge weight... in MY rifle that's getting me 2650 fps (again - that tight chamber!).

If you're looking for precision, yes - group by manufacturer and work up a load for that headstamp. Capacity varies by manufacturer (therefore the same amount of powder in different brass yields different pressure / different velocity).

If you haven't already, check out the forums on Snipershide also for some great information on LR shooting / reloading.

FWIW, on my 10 FCP-k, I"ve got an EGW 20moa base, EGW rings and a Vortex Viper 6-24x50, SFP mil/mil scope.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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The range I go to now has 300 yard targets so yes I shoot 300 yards now all the time . I can shoot MOA at that distance no problem with Fed GMM and a light hunting rifle . I did find some BLM land thats about 2hrs away that I can shoot 600+ yds . I will most likely be shooting 600 yds as soon as I get the new rig up and running . That is why I wanted to know what factory brass is good . I will be shooting longer ranges well before I start reloading . That being said . I did some research last night and it looks like I'll be reloading sooner then I thought . I found Lapua brass for $70 for 100ct is that good ? If I can reload that brass 10+ times like stated above . that would clearly be the way to go . My other issue is I don't see me have everything I need to reload for less then $500 . For $200 I can buy enough rounds for a couple trips shooting and then hopefully have some decent brass to reload with . I don't know Im still stuggling with this right now .
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Old December 4, 2012, 12:47 PM   #16
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Winchester Brass here also. Seem's to be better in my Savage.
FYI- If you are going to shoot matches and such- Trash the 168 gn and go with 155 Palma or Palma Hybred or 175 Match
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:51 PM   #17
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Lapua & norma are top shelf, a regular good brass I like Winchester
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Old December 4, 2012, 03:04 PM   #18
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Well I had about 200 pieces of federal brass I got from plinking 150 gr .308 cheap walmart stuff. Definitely seems they need more sizing per shot, even in my bolt action. I dont get the feel like they will last over 6 or 7 shots. At the 5th shot I loaded them up with a good moderately hot hunting load that average .6 MOA and plan to toss them after that use.

But for range accuracy and keeping price low I got with winchester. Ive managed .284" as a best and average between .5-.7" groups. Even on the 8th load I'm keeping them under 1 MOA. I would love to try some Lapua and some other high dollar ones but why change what works and what is cost-effective? I have yet to have issues w/ a winchester but have never had a chance to go past 9 loads.... yet.

The GMM you mentioned uses Sierre Match King Bullets, so you may want to start with those when reloading. I use those as well. They do well, along with the A-maxs.

Winchester has my vote on brass. And yes, separate by manufacture and maybe even weight as well as # of times shot.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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My rule of thumb is if it works don't mess with it. That gun has a 1/10 twist so a 168 gr SMK at 2750 out the muzzle should still be super sonic all the way out to 1000. I shoot 155's in mine but it has a 1/12 twist.
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Old December 7, 2012, 01:38 AM   #20
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Does that mean the groups ar zero MOA without your margin of error?
No, it means that if I switch brass batches, I don't have to adjust my scope to get it on target. No perfection is implied, and if all my shots went in one hole "literally" I would show the target to prove it.

When I switch from Lapua brass, to Winchester, or Federal, the point of impact can vary slightly, due to case differences.
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Old January 2, 2013, 05:20 PM   #21
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Brass

Alot of great brass lapua, norma.

But with the 308 Win suggest Winchester Brass and do your prep on the brass.

If u can find Win 92' Palma Match Brass very scarce.

For powder IMR 4895 works great in the 308 Win

Varget and Reloader 15 for newer powders work good.

The 308 Win is not hard to reload for as long as use the same components.
My favorite load that dupicates Fed GM Match load

IMR 4895 @ 43.6 or IMR 4064 @ 43.5
WW brass
Fed 210 match
168gr sierra MK

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Old January 2, 2013, 07:07 PM   #22
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Not sure of the price range it is in. Several guys that come to the range, and shoot nothing but factory, and get honest sub minute of angle groups every time use Hornady .308 Match. They gave me the brass. I gave it to a friend that loads for it. He says it real good brass.
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Old January 3, 2013, 04:52 PM   #23
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I started out shooting my .308 with nothing but Federal GMM; kept all the brass. After 3-4 reloads of the Federal brass, started to feel a lot of variation in neck tension, so I've put all that brass away. Ordered 100 pieces of Lapua. Haven't worked with it enough yet to form my own conclusions, but it's reputation is well deserved from all that one can read about it.

Hornady A-Max and the goofy Z-Max both come loaded in Hornady's Match brass. The Z-Max can be caught on sale for $26 per box (couple days ago from natchezss.com). I've got about 100 pieces of it as well. Only reloaded 20 or so though. The Hornady stuff comes with the primer pockets crimped. After you press the primer out, you gotta chamfer out the primer pocket before you can seat another one. Kind of a pain.

Can't speak to anything else.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:13 AM   #24
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For normal bolt rifle work I like Winchester brass. Although a recent lot of it gave me hard primer seating, so your mileage may vary.

For semi auto rifles I use Lake City. It's a beast to prep, but it is the only brass I can get for cheap enough to justify four reloads and chucking. Anneal, deprime/resize, decrimp, trim.

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