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Old May 14, 2012, 12:37 AM   #1
Nate Shult
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Best brass

Alright let me start out by saying I know Norma and Lapua have really good brass for reloads. I would also like to state that I do not own my own press or any of the components needed for reloading; I do however have a very nice older gentleman I work with who is more than willing to let me use his set up and he has a die set for the caliber I am looking to reload for (.270 Win.). I am looking to do some shooting in the near future with my gun with some factory ammo, and plan on saving the brass for some reloads. What is everyone's opinion between Remington and Federal brass? Am I going to make semi-accurate handloads with either of these casings to at least figure out what my gun like/dislikes for powder/bullets with the brass from either of these companies? Once I get settled I do plan on purchasing some nice brass, but can I get a decent load out of either of these casings, or should I just start out right from the beginning with some really good brass? Thanks for the help guys I appreciate any advice you can give to a new guy.
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Old May 14, 2012, 04:36 AM   #2
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I can see this thread getting long already!

I haven't tinkered with .270 brass, but what I do load for- I've come to like Hornady, Winchester, Privi Partizan, Remington, and Federal pretty much in that order. With weight variances, primer pockets loosening up early, flash hole burrs (or no flash hole) I just don't have much interest in purchasing Remington or Federal these days.
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Old May 14, 2012, 07:55 AM   #3
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I don't have much of a preference. For my 30-06 I used whatever I had, usually scrounged or purchased used. I did separate lots. Military brass is thicker and will not hold quite as much powder as commercial brands. Winchester is thinner than others and holds more. That is what I used for my max-max loads. Others fall in between. Performance wise I never saw a real difference. BTW, I am a finicky loader and neck turn so all mine would have been very accurate.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Well, some military .30-06 brass is heavier than some commercial .30-06 brass, but that's mostly a significant issue with .308 Winchester. The reverse is often true in .223, and in .30-06 most Lake City .30-06 brass is in the range of 192 to 197 grains. HXP runs a couple of grains lighter. On the commercial side you can find old Winchester-Western (1980's and earlier) that weighs as much as 215 grains, while modern Winchester I've bought is as light as 185 grains. A lot of the Remington brass I've weighed is a virtual match to Lake City in internal capacity, and I favored it for a long time because loads for it were the same as for Lake City. But both vary lot to lot, and as years go by and outsourcing gets more common, you can't count on commercial brass to follow its past patterns, so you have to measure eac lot over again.

I hadn't heard newer Remington brass primer pockets were getting big early. Federal is famous for that because it's so soft. If Remington has switched to softer brass, then that's an unfortunate turn of events since the last time I got any in bulk (the mid-90's). One way in which military brass differs from commercial brass is that SAAMI doesn't impose a hardness standard but the military does. The NATO STANAG drawings I have of .308, for example, have a half sectioned case profile with hardness specs for different points in the section. This is why military brass is often tougher than its commercial counterparts.

If I had to buy commercial .30-06 brass today, I suppose I would go with Hornady or Winchester. Winchester has a lot of weight variation, but it seems to hold up to reloading well, and you can sort it by weight. If you sort into groups that are all within a 3 grain span, that's about equivalent to ± 0.1 grains of powder variation and you likely won't notice it in most instances.
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Last edited by Unclenick; May 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Old May 14, 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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I agree with the general consensus that winchester and hornady seem to be the best American made brands. Remington ammo is well made but the brass is not long lasting with reloads. A few years ago in Ft. Worth, Texas at a gun show I bought what was supposed to be 100 pieces of brass for 22-250. It was all remington and the method they used was to weigh it out instead of counting or having precounted bags ready to sell. When I got home instead of 100 pieces I instead had 177. It made me wonder about the thickness of the brass. I used the stuff and it worked fine but did not last as long as winchester brass that I also had. 77 pieces seems like a really high number so I suppose it is possible that the guy weighing the stuff made a mistake and nearly double dosed me. But the remington still doesn't hold up as well in my experience.
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Old May 14, 2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Buying factory loads and reloading them is common practice.You can do that,and you're OK.

I don't anymore.

Why?If you start out with WW.then next time the store will be out,but the guy will proudly show you Fed or Rem.

Do you:Not go shooting,or drive around searching,or buy the alternate?

I like to shoot what I am sighted in with.Changing around means each range session begins with tweaking sights on the bench.

As you accumulate brass,likely you will load 40 or 60 your first batch,run out,buy some new,they will get mixed in,eventually,some of your brass has been reloaded 6 times,some twice

Part of the time/effort of reloading is setup,the dies,powder measure,etc.

Loading 100 or 200 at a time is not that much more time/effort than loading 40.

So,I'm saying,make the transition,forget factory loads.If you do not shoot a lot,100 brass will get you by,or maybe 200.

Buy MTM plastic 50 rd ammo boxes,at least 2.

Bullets come in boxes of 100,so do primers.

Once you have the load developed,think lots of100.

Now,you may want a box of 50 (or 100),that is the one you are shooting out of,while the other gets processed and reloaded.That way,you don't run out.

You can keep records,and as you get split necks or stretch rings,the whole lot of 100 has the same experience,so finding a few defects means buy some new brass,scrap the old.

Also,you are fortunate to have a mentor to get you started.If you quit buying factory loads,soon you will be able to afford a modest setup of your own.Even a Lee hand press with ram prime and a good powder scale ,a load manual and a couple loading blocks and a chamfer tool ,maybe a Franford arsenal cheap set of calipers will get you buy and fit in an ammo can.
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Old May 15, 2012, 02:23 AM   #7
Nate Shult
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My dad has always been my mentor but we hunt in a shotgun only zone for deer with no other big game. He has given me every opportunity to duck, pheasant, and deer hunt. But this other gentleman has filled in the gap by helping me a lot with high powered rifles and also bowhunting. And I will always be extremely thankful for the use of his equipment. He works construction so he is extremely busy here in Minnesota right now and I don't quite know enough to attempt starting to reload by myself, and I don't wanna bug him while he's working 70 hours a week. He has free time in the fall and winter and that's when we're gonna hit it hard. As for target shooting right now.. factory ammo will have to do, but like you said it's easy to save the brass and use them for reloads.
Thank you for all of the advice I will definitely take all of it into consideration. I did get out tonight with some cheap Federal factory loads and after I got the scope mounted properly the gun was pretty much right on the nuts. I got it on target and shot a 1.04 inch group at 100. That was after 17 rounds through the barrel and in a little bit of wind so I'm hoping with some nice handloads I can shrink the group up a bit.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Nate, Welcome to reloading. Hopefully you'll get to the point where you enjoy it and get your own press.

I picked up, bought and scavenged 30-06 brass for a few years before I even owned the gun.

My nephew just bought a .270 and he has gone through my scrap brass bucket and picked out about 30 cases he can reload.

If you are shooting loads near the high end or max loads, then I would say buy new brass and only reload that. You can sort your brass by head stamp, even if the cartridges are from different lots you have purchased or picked up.

Load them and see if they make a difference in your gun. I have not noticed a difference in my 30-06 between the head stamps.

(Some cases will weigh more than others. If the outside diameter of these cases are the same as the other cases, and they should be, it means the brass is thicker and the inside diameter of the case is smaller. A smaller inside diameter will give you higher pressure.)

As you can see, there are different opinions on this subject and each of us have given you the advice that worked for us.
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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I'm a Norma fan (haven't used any Lapua) and use that when and where I can. It just seems to shoot a little bit better and has a long life. But right now I have Winchester brass for my 220 and it shoots great. The 260 is using Nosler brass, which so far has been impressive and not much prep is needed. Hornady and Nosler are what I'm using in the 223 and I can't see any diff in accuracy (I keep them in separate MTM boxes), though the Hornady took a little more prep work. The 270 is using Norma and I'm very happy. I'll switch the 220 to Norma when the Winchester brass shows signs of being old, and I'll probably do the same with the 260.
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Old May 15, 2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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I tend to stick with Winchester, Remington, & Hornady. I've
yet to have a problem with any of these brands.
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Old May 15, 2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for the post. I am new to reloading and one of my questions was which brass to buy. Lucky for me I ordered Winchester brass. It also never occurred to me to shoot thru the brass I have until they start to show signs of wear, [B]then[B] replace them with new brass. I have been keeping track of how many batchs I have done with my current brass. Thanks for the info guys.
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