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Old August 9, 2015, 02:08 PM   #1
Brutus
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Favorite handgun brass

Just read a post about buying bulk ammo and who made the best. As a reloader my concern is more about the best brass. Typically when purchasing store bought ammo to replenish my brass supply I stick with Federal or Winchester with a leaning towards Federal, for some reason. Never cared for Remington as the cases seem softer and I shy away from other makers.
What are the thoughts of other folks out there?
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Old August 9, 2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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I load a majority of 9mm and Federal brass seems to fail the fastest for me. Winchester stands up well, Blazer is a good bang for buck and Remington isn't bad either. I'm not a fan of Hornady or Speer. Lots of other brands that have been great.
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Old August 9, 2015, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
What are the thoughts of other folks out there?
With this folk, pretty much the same as you.

The brass from Speer ammo (usually nickel plated though) is pretty good too.

Because I load and shoot so much 38 Special, I've chosen to buy a bunch (4K) of Starline brass for the sake of consistency (I shoot competitively). I have a bunch (~2K) of Winchester 38 brass (from WWB 130gn FMJ) too, but they have been put in reserve and the Starline gets front line duty.
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Old August 9, 2015, 07:03 PM   #4
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Of the big three, first choice is always Federals (or Starline), then Remington and lastly Winchesters. Federals always seem to be the heaviest and most durable. Same applies to rifle brass except rifle brass not hardly available, the last I knew, from Starline. Federal brass seems especially good for the finicky 9mm's.
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Old August 9, 2015, 09:29 PM   #5
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the only semi auto handgun I load is 9mm. I prefer Hornady, then PPU and then federal. but they all work fine to be honest.

win seems to have a shallower primer pocket and S&B is just strange all around. even AMERC with their odd offset pockets seem to work just the same for me though, I am not too picky. I do have a foreign brand that has some tough primer crimps, which I never take precautions for when loading 9mm, so those suck of course.
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Old August 10, 2015, 12:15 PM   #6
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S&B is just strange all around
Which makes it a top choice for use in lost brass matches.

(Unless it's a match where I'm working as SO. Please use Starline at those matches.)
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Old August 10, 2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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For kicks and giggles a few years ago I measured case lengths and weight of 20 piece samples of 40S&W Winchester cases had the highest average weight at 69.71 grains with a min/max spread of 2.2 grains. Blazer was running a close second followed by Remington, while Federal drug up the rear with average weight of 65.98 grains and a whopping 5.9 grains min/max. The min/max for Blazer and Remington were 2.2 or less.

This doesn't really mean much of anything due to the small sample.

I think the caliber will come into play also. It seems there are times that good cases from one maker in one caliber are not as good as another make in a different caliber.
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Old August 10, 2015, 11:06 PM   #8
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I guess it would help to identify what traits make certain brass "favorites". with handgun brass, my favorites are the ones that have slightly thicker rims as to not get deformed upon extraction and of course primer pockets that take just the right amount of force to seat a new primer, also needs to be able to have an extra long bullet seated inside without being prone to splitting.. rifles, I like softer brass that is easier to work and also less prone to splitting a neck when shoving a fat HPBT into it, I have found that PPU seems to be more workable than others without giving up the integrity for dozens of reloadings. obviously there is a pro and con to being soft, but PPU seems to hit that middle ground for most of my reloading. I could stop being lazy an anneal my cases properly, but I haven't yet gone there, but I may soon with 54R brass being so difficult to find. the differences in pistol brass are much less profound, only comes to play when loading obscure calibers that you really need to get the most out of the brass, or when dealing with cases that have totally different thicknesses, enough to make a difference, or cases that have strange characteristics like off-set pockets or thin case walls creating a lack of tension when using a normal sized die, or my least favorite, cases with a cannelure or an actual super-thick case walls half way into the case to prevent "set-back" and not allowing a different loading.

all in all, with almost all commercial pistol brass in the common calibers, you will not likely notice much, if any, difference in shooting characteristics unless it's one of the anomaly cases I mentioned above. some last longer than others before splitting, some are more prone to hardening and some deform the rim easier than others. just keep an eye on your "bullet-hold" and the force needed to insert your new primers and all should be well. I rarely even think twice about what kind of pistol cases I am using unless I am working up accuracy loads, and even then, I only care if the headstamps match and the thickness is appropriate for my bullet. I don't like to "create" neck tension with my crimp, it should have decent hold before the crimping step.

but now that we are talking about it, what makes a pistol case an "ideal" case for reloading in your eyes? I am jus curious what others desire in a pistol case and why.

all I am saying, is inspect your brass, pay attention to anything that seems unordinary and always work up loads properly while checking for over pressure signs. good luck
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Old August 10, 2015, 11:15 PM   #9
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Case wall thickness that I find with both handgun and rifle Federal brass resulting in strong bullet neck tension rates a high priority.
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Old August 10, 2015, 11:28 PM   #10
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Winchester for 9MM and 40 S&W, Remington for 45 ACP, 357Mag, and 44Mag. Just my favorites but I reload most all pistol case brands.
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Old August 12, 2015, 09:09 PM   #11
Ole Joe Clark
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I never sorted brass for revolvers or pistols until I started loading .40 S&W. I have no preference on brands, but I usually throw out the ones for .40 cal I'm not familiar with and put them in a container marked "mixed".

The brand I really like is the free ones I pick up at the range.
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Old August 13, 2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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Best brass

My favorite is the free stuff I pick up at the range. After inspection and rejection of bad pieces, I find the balance shoots just fine. For me all the name brand brass is excellent.
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Old August 13, 2015, 10:52 PM   #13
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I reload only and often mix head stamps. But, as of late, I have only bought Starline and rediscovered how much I really like it. God Bless
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Old August 13, 2015, 11:14 PM   #14
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I don't shoot at a commercial or organized range. My range is pretty much outback and close to nature. Therefore, my favorite brass is the brass I can find after a shooting session.

I never seem to damage or wear-out brass. I simply loose it first. Maybe, this is the reason I am not too concerned about head stamps as long as it is usable brass.
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Old August 15, 2015, 09:37 AM   #15
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My fave is barrel brass. There is tons of it at the range. I have few types I put into the scrap can to return to the barrels at the range. AMERC, and S&B (brass is just fine, it is just the primers are crimped. There are too many that are not crimped so I will not waste my time removing crimps.



For my semi autos I do not buy brass to reload for them. I would loose too many of them.
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Old August 20, 2015, 05:28 AM   #16
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If I have to buy pistol brass its Starline all the way. If I were to buy once fired or make my own once fired and have a choice as to the headstamp, I like Winchester. They seem to hold up and pockets stay pretty tight.
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Old August 20, 2015, 05:38 PM   #17
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You might find this blog post interesting. This guy kept reloading brass to failure and I was quite surprised by the results and how many reloads he got out of some of them.

Oct. 2011 blog post results...

http://headstampfinebrass.blogspot.c...ading-how.html

... and a later posts of other brand cases in 2012, including HPR ammo, March, that rated highly.

http://headstampfinebrass.blogspot.c...1_archive.html

You can't really say it's the end all, be all, of in depth methodology as he only tested 2 cases to failure but it's a start for the OP on what to buy for bulk practice ammo.
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Old August 22, 2015, 01:45 PM   #18
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I prefer the free brass I find at the range. If its Boxer, it gets reloaded.
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Old August 22, 2015, 02:21 PM   #19
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I wonder how many times I can reload 30-06 brass
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Old August 22, 2015, 02:35 PM   #20
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When I started hand loading in the late sixties, a problem with the rim thickness on Winchester .44 Special brass was being discussed in a gun magazine. I did not have a .44 Spl. at the time, but I had a S&W M58 .41 Magnum. I found that Winchester brass in .41 magnum varied in thickness...Remington did not. Then, 20 or so years later, I got a .44 Spl. and decided that because it had been so long, Winchester surely would have fixed the problem with varying rim thickness. Foolish me, I found that I had to thin the rims by rubbing back and fourth on a file before they would not rub against the recoil shield (some resulted in the head stamp being removed almost entirely before they would work), in my .44 Spl. where as Remingtons were so not effected. Take it or leave it.
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Old August 22, 2015, 02:52 PM   #21
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The best brass is the FREE kind...
Why buy ammo for the brass to reload? Just buy some starline brass to begin with...
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Old August 22, 2015, 03:31 PM   #22
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Sometimes I don't have time to reload so I buy a couple boxes of white box which helps to replenish my brass supply in semiautos don't lose any when shooting revolvers so I always reload those.
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Old August 23, 2015, 05:45 AM   #23
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Free brass is the best kind...
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Old August 23, 2015, 03:24 PM   #24
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Love Starline
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Old August 23, 2015, 03:42 PM   #25
Brutus
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Went to the range this morning and had the misfortune of having a brass rat next to me.
This guy would shoot ten rounds then cover the entire range picking up everything on the floor. Told him that I was also saving my brass so he started darting around me.
Finally gave up and put my pistols away, fortunately I had a couple revolvers along.
Some folks are all brass and no class.
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