View Full Version : Hi brass? Lo brass?

Big Caliber
November 17, 2006, 12:41 AM
I'm new to shotgunning. What's the difference between a "high brass" round & a "low brass" round? I'm guessing that the former is used for higher powder charges.

November 17, 2006, 01:34 AM
When I was big into reloading for the trap range, I only used "high brass." Truth be told, it probably doesn't make a lot of difference between high and low brass. I've shot them both out of my SxS doubles and couldn't tell the difference.

November 17, 2006, 04:29 AM
It is purely marketing.

high brass, low brass, dosent make a difference infact most of the time it isnt even brass!

you have to look at the published numbers of the load, there are NO hard fast rules about brass size vs whats inside.

November 17, 2006, 07:00 AM
Nothing but a left over from the days of paper hulls when the "high brass" was your heavy or mag loads and the "low brass" was lighter target or upland loads.
With the change over to plastic hulls in the 1960's it really don't matter. In the late 60's/early 70's we were reloading everything from 1 oz. to 1 1/2 oz. loads in the same hull...winchester double A's.:cool:

Death from Afar
November 19, 2006, 03:38 PM
In theory high brass is stronger. But so little of the strength comes from the brass, its more a way of distinguishing meaty loads. I suspect, however- and this is more a feeling than anything else- that the high brass may be more reliable as there is a reduced chace of the brass pulling off on the extractor.

November 19, 2006, 04:17 PM
The term was originally "high base" and "low base." The original hulls were set up from the blackpowder days, and the base wad was thin, to allow more volume for the bulky powder. When smokeless came along, there was much more room in the shell, which had to be made up with more wads, added during loading. High base hulls made this an easier manufacturing process.

Very shortly after this, the marketing kicked in and it became a matter of prestige to have "high base" on the label.

That's my take on it, from having followed the history a bit. Probably worth what you paid for it. :D


November 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Just like everyone else said, In the day and age of plastic hulls it makes no difference. It is purely a marketing ploy.

November 19, 2006, 10:40 PM
I thought it was a holdover from paper shells.

With low brass paper shells, there can be problems with pinholes being burned through the shells. With high brass shells, not so much.

November 19, 2006, 11:06 PM
I really feel dumb tonight, there was a company that made shells with NO BRASS at all. I just can't remember the name right now, but they functioned fine. The brass is generally brass plated steel and is more for decoration than anything,. I am surprised the ammo companies spend the money to put it on as it really serves no purpose as it is way too thin to hold much pressure. They could lower the cost to us,, or as most companies, increase the profits eliminating the cost of the "brass".

Death from Afar
November 19, 2006, 11:12 PM
YOu are thinking of the ACTIV brand, which I think had a steel washer at the base.

November 20, 2006, 02:48 PM
Yes. It was Activ.. Thank you,,,I just had a case of a brain lockup.I actually loaded some of them yearsd ago and they seemed to work fine IIRC.

Big Caliber
November 20, 2006, 06:54 PM
Fascinating! I do appreciate all the responses. In fact, this entire web site is a treasure trove of helpful tips and information.

November 20, 2006, 07:02 PM
My father shoots a Belgian made Browning A-5 and low brass does not always eject properly. It happends about 1 in 200 times. High brass never gets stuck. Some guys here say it doesn't matter, but if I was shooting an older auto loader I'll stick with the high brass. However, I also shoot the same model gun and I've never had a problem with high or low brass. Go figure. BILLDAVE :confused:

Death from Afar
November 20, 2006, 09:01 PM
Yeah, thats sounds right. The el cheapo brands we buy here, which are loaded in New Zealand, but CHEAP! have very low brass and you do see the odd mangled rim, mainly with autos. But, if you are night shooting and letting go 200 in a night, the cheaper the better! :)