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Old January 2, 2017, 11:42 PM   #1
oldscot3
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308 Win brass

I'm still trying to talk myself out of buying Lapua cases. I put out a thread asking about Starline and got some good feedback, now I noticed Swift is producing "match grade" 308 cases.

Their price is just about right in between Lapua and Starline. I wonder if anybody here has bought some yet and could offer first impressions?
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Old January 3, 2017, 12:51 AM   #2
jwrowland77
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Don't buy Lapua, buy Peterson .308 Win Match brass. Much more consistent than Lapua


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Old January 3, 2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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Direct from Peterson, those cases are just a little cheaper than Lapua. Is there another online source that you know of that discounts them a bit?
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Old January 3, 2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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I believe the Swift may be Norma brass, as the Norma data book mentions doing business with Swift, using some of their bullets. Norma produces cases and loaded ammunition for Weatherby. They produce some Federal and Nosler brass, and they do a lot of OEM branded cases for the smaller names as well as sometimes for RWS and other European brands. Norma brass has similar dimensional tightness to Lapua. The alloy may be slightly different, but they test for a minimum of 10 reloads, without annealing, as one of their lot inspection criteria.
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:39 AM   #5
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I use Norma or LC for .308 match grade brass.
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Old January 3, 2017, 12:00 PM   #6
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"...talk myself out of buying Lapua cases..." Too expensive for just a name on 'em. Match grade ammo doesn't need high priced brass. It needs meticulous loading techniques. Mind you, the European stuff is pricey mostly due to import duties and exchange rates.
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Old January 3, 2017, 12:54 PM   #7
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If you want match quality brass but don't want to pay for it you'll need to prep it. That means weighing, finding internal volumes, turning necks and uniforming primer pockets. I've done it, not a big deal just very time consuming and does take some tools that you may not already own. For my 308 I found Lapua brass on sale so I bought 100 and was very impressed by it. It is very consistent and I did not hesitate to buy some 6.5-284 Lapua brand when I purchased that rifle.
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Old January 3, 2017, 09:23 PM   #8
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I haven't had a 308 for a number of years, but recently acquired a heavy barrel Howa. I have a few cases from several boxes of Federal Gold Medal Match ammo. It's working pretty good for my initial shakedown but I don't have more than about fifty cases.

I'd like to have some really good brass just see what my rig's potential is, but I hate to break the bank since my shooting is informal for pleasure and I don't shoot competitively.

I think I'm going to try the Peterson brass and just start with 100. Thanks all for the input, good to know Swift may be Norma, I've had some good loads in the past using Norma.
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Old January 7, 2017, 10:58 AM   #9
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I just started reloading again after years of buying 308 ammo for huntihg. I have 750 once fired brass from varoius manufactures.

Rem
Federal
Ppu
Pmp
Hornady

So far i would have to say federal is just i smidge beter than the rest but i have only tested one batch of loads

10rds of each... f.c. , rem, pmp
Alll the same load seat depth etc.
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Old January 7, 2017, 11:32 AM   #10
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And then there are other options; a builder of very accurate bench rest type rifles called and said he sold a rifle to a shooter/bench rester? that was complaining about loose necks; and I had to ask about accuracy. "How was the accuracy?". Accuracy was not an issue, tightening the chamber neck could be a problem so I packed up a few tools and when for a visit.

Cases are not a problem, deciding which one takes time; we went through a few thousand and decided on 30/06 LC MATCH, I formed the 30/06 LC brass to 308 W, after forming the LC case to 308 W we found the clearance was .002", we formed 400 cases just in case there was something about the reduce clearance that could improve accuracy on a rifle I did not believe could be improved upon. Anyhow, neck expansion was reduced but accuracy did not change.

Choice? Purchases the cases from the builder of the rifle if the builder of the rifle knows how to off set problems created when the chamber is cut. We choose LC MATCH because there was no way he could run out of them in the next 5 years.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; January 7, 2017 at 11:33 AM. Reason: remove n
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Old January 7, 2017, 12:00 PM   #11
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The gun may have shot no better, but maybe the owner felt more confident so he could shoot better. When the barrel finally shoots out, he'll have lost a point of blame to explain it with. You might also consider a line of necklaces made from sealed cases filled with range berm dirt or some other talisman to help adjust the shooter's psyche to produce improved accuracy.
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Old January 7, 2017, 12:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
You might also consider a line of necklaces made from sealed cases filled with range berm dirt or some other talisman to help adjust the shooter's psyche to produce improved accuracy.
I might also consider? The first question I had to answer was; "How could this happen?" and I have to say 'I do not know', and then there is the consideration that must be given to 'how many of theses rifles have been built', no wild guess but I was told there were closed to 2,000. Again, increasing the diameter is doable but when it comes to reducing the diameter of the neck in the chamber it is another matter, and then there is the length, it is much easier for me to increase the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head than it is to reduce the length of the chamber from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face..

Anyhow; the builder was unaware of the difference in diameter between the chamber neck and case neck and had no answer for the proud new owner of the rifle so when I got there it came down to "What am I doing to do?".

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Last edited by F. Guffey; January 7, 2017 at 01:22 PM. Reason: change . to ,
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Old January 7, 2017, 03:54 PM   #13
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The talisman occurred to me because you'd said the rifle accuracy was good either way, so I thought, therefore, the Talisman would have done his scores as much good as you having to put effort into making him a pile of custom cases. (Nice of you to do that to help the maker save face, though). Then I rethought it and decided that if the tighter brass gave the customer more confidence, maybe, from the standpoint of psychology, he actually could. Stranger things have happened.
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Old January 9, 2017, 11:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
hen I rethought it and decided that if the tighter brass gave the customer more confidence, maybe, from the standpoint of psychology, he actually could. Stranger things have happened.
Rational: I agree but as to why? I explained to my friend the brass would last longer if the necks were not worked as much when fired. There is a club in the area with members that own one of the rifles. Every year they get together and compare accuracy. If there was a problem it would not be long before everyone knew about it. The builder wanted to know why no one has ever complained about the problem before, I suggested one of the proud owners could be a member of a reloading forum.

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Old January 9, 2017, 02:59 PM   #15
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Cabellas will put Lapua on sale from time to time. 308 is usually stocked.

Keep in mind, most of the others are selling lots of 50 and you get 100 in the Lapua box.

Double RP, Hornady etc and it will shock you how close it is to Lapua.

I don't know its any better long term, but it is consistent.

You can also get RP once fired and that's my go to for bulk.

Lapua for select shooting and if I think I have a tack driver to possibly improve it a bit.
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Old January 9, 2017, 04:21 PM   #16
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Lapua is truly really good brass. But unless you are shooting a precision rifle with a tight match chamber, Lapua isn't going to be much better than any other match brass. However, if you are, then it's worth it.

If you aren't, other match brass options are out there.

Wideners has IMI Match brass for 325 for 1k lots right now.

https://www.wideners.com/reloading-s...-brass-casings

32.5 cents for quality unfired brass is a pretty good deal.

30 cents per brass for once fired LC LR brass from these guys, never did any business with them but have a lot of respect for LR brass.

http://sleepinggiantbrass.com/7.62x5...20ss%20tumbled

But, no one I know has ever regretted buying Lapua brass.

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Old January 9, 2017, 06:13 PM   #17
F. Guffey
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Quote:
Cabellas will put Lapua on sale from time to time. 308 is usually stocked.
And then there are those chambers that have larger than necessary necks; and there are those chambers that are long from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face. I know Lapua is good stuff, I have a few and I have Norma in boxes that are stamped unprimed cases. I would be proud of them if they made brass for reloaders that know what they are doing; but no, like all other brass manufacturers Lapua makes brass for minimum length/full length sized brass. I do better when shopping for brass at a shooting range. My favorite cases are cases that have been fired in trashy old chambers because manufacturers do not make cases for trashy old chambers.

And then there are forming dies, I purchased thoudands of cases for the sole purpose of forming then. there is nothing like using new annealed cases when forming. There is no chance I will come across a case with more resistance to sizing than my press can overcome.

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Old January 10, 2017, 04:36 PM   #18
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Once in awhile you do get to buy basic brass that has a parent casehead and straight walls so you can form it yourself. I like the idea of maximum rather than minimum size brass, but I'm guessing the manufacturers don't want to deal with the headache of inexperienced folks buying it by mistake and complaining it doesn't fit and that they had to trim too much after sizing it for their chamber.

Anyway, I dropped a line to Starline asking if they'd consider producing at least the basic straight wall brass in a few common casehead configurations. I'm not expecting they'll think well of the economics, but I'll let you know what they say.
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:24 AM   #19
F. Guffey
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cylinder brass

Quote:
Anyway, I dropped a line to Starline asking if they'd consider producing at least the basic straight wall brass in a few common casehead configurations.
Too late? R-P makes a straight wall case (they call cylinder brass) with a 35 Whelen head stamp. The case length is 2.650". In my opinion there is no way I can miss if it is up to me to form the shoulder where I want it. Because forming shortens the case .035" and some .045" the extra length helps. The cost for a box of 20 was $37.00 the last time I checked.

When forming 35 Whelen and 338/06 I use 280 Remington cases because the 280 Remington is .041" longer than the 30/06 case.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; January 11, 2017 at 06:36 AM. Reason: cylinder brass
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:34 AM   #20
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Unclenick, forgiver, thank you.

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Old January 11, 2017, 12:22 PM   #21
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I'd forgot that term "cylinder brass" when I searched. Knew I'd seen photos of it, but couldn't recall where. In any event, the price seems off the wall for something simply diverted from production in the middle steps. Has to be the packaging and inventorying of an odd item that makes it so costly. If Starline did it, I expect it would be cheaper.

I'm still waiting to hear back from them.
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Old January 11, 2017, 04:03 PM   #22
F. Guffey
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Chuck Hawks is the only place I have ever seen R-P Cylinder Brass advertised going back to 2004 or earlier.

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