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Old October 1, 2012, 12:05 PM   #1
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Brass rating.

This has been in my head lately. Using a list of brass from various manufacturers, from experience how would you rate brass in overall general use. From everything to longevity, most consistent, AFFORDABILITY, ease of use, etc. Tell me what you think. Before you list the manufacturers, let me know what class of cartridge your are talking about, i.e. revolver, semi-auto handgun, rifle...

Here's a few to consider, but don't limit your list of best-to-worst to just what I list:
FC, RP, Win, LC, PMC, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Starline, S&B, CBC,... the list goes on...

I'm just curious as to what everyone thinks. I'm sure everyone will have their opinions, but I expect to see some general trends to show up if this thread goes on.

Thanks everyone!
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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We use alot of Reminton Peters brass, but I buy and will buy more Winchester brass, Hornady and Lupua and Nosler and the like are too expensive for this hooligan.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:08 PM   #3
William T. Watts
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Mostly R-P because it was free, if I have to purchase it's still R-P because of the affordability factor. I do have some Winchester (older) that I like a lot, the newer cases I find have a problem cracking or splitting in the neck/shoulder. I refuse to pay a buck a case (or more) for Norma or Lapua, ain't going to happen. "The cases that split or cracked were once fired Winchester cases that I found while preping for the 2nd loading." William

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Old October 1, 2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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You might try annealing the brass to prevent the cracking/splitting problem you have.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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I use range brass for most of my handguns (for stout .357mag loads I use new Win brass). I only load for one rifle, a lever action, so I just use the same 100 new Win cases for that.

At my range I find this mix of headstamps in sufficient quantities to use them regularly, listed in order of my preference:


I find half a dozen other headstamps that Idont use yet as I have enough of the above on hand. I will keep building supplies of those and use or trade them later.

R-P is very plentiful but it is easily the worst of the major brass I find. Just doesnt hold up like the rest. I use it but dont go out of my way to retrieve it once its fired. I will not use small primer S&B cases due to the tight primer pockets (sure I could use it but I have more than enough to use as is). The large primer S&B is great.

Last edited by tkglazie; October 1, 2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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I reload for a number of calibers, rifle and handgun, and mostly use range brass, except for some dedicated .45acp for my 625 and a few dedicated for .357.

Of the thousands of cases in various stages of reloading, I have probably close to 100 different headstamps from many different countries, maybe more. They all work just fine, except for A-MERC cases which I toss when I find them. Otherwise no preference. I like them all.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Most of my brass is range pick up. Other than that I would say bang for the buck depends on what I am loading.

.41 Mag the Winchester brass gives me more firings before they split than the R-P brass does. The R-P work hardens faster even with anneling they still split eventualy. Though I have many cases that I have loaded at least once a week for the past 3 years.

.221 Rem Fireball R-P brass is great. Well over 20 reloads with many. They do not stretch, and have not had to be trimmed ever. Though at a cost of $40 per 100 it was steep to pay. Now I reform .223 Rem brass. They tend to give 5 to 10 firings before the case mouth cracks.

I have some Norma brass in 7.62x53 R that have well over 10 firings with no need to trim, and primer pockets are still tight. At $1.50 each they were not real cheap. The PPU that came as loaded ammo have done the same, at less than $1 each as loaded ammo. I would rather buy the loaded PPU, and reuse the brass at that kind of cost saving. As far as how long they last well they have over 15 firings I will let you know when one splits, or cracks.
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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If I was to buy brass it would be Starline, As I only load for hand guns, I'm still shooting brass that has been loaded 8-10 times, Only head stamp I'd slit on me was Win. Only (2) of them had hair line cracks ; )
PS I'v shot

S&B & more I can't recall.
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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The brand of brass I buy generally will be dictated by the caliber and use. If I'm just loading up plinking or hunting rounds I don't have a preference and inexpensive is fine with me. If I'm loading for the best accuracy, I like Hornady, Lapua or Norma.
There is one exception where I'll now only use the expensive stuff. My favorite rifle caliber is 6.5x55, but Winchester and Remington brass isn't exactly the correct dimensions so I've started using Lapua brass in that caliber.
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:51 PM   #10
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8-10 times
I was up to around 18 before 1 or 2 started to show up with mouth splits in .45 Colt. Some now are over 20 reloads and still going. I just replace the split ones and keep loading them .... I shoot almost 100% revolvers ... Starline is my goto brass when I have to buy.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:42 PM   #11
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It changes every time I get a new lot of brass, and on a per-cartridge basis. But, in general, I would rank them about like so for rifle cartridges:
(Preferred, to 'meh'.)
Win (older production -- newer production is down with FC and PMC in the "complete trash" category.)

And, if you can afford a couple extra nickels or dimes per case:
But, with rifle cases, you can bring just about anything up to Lapua/Norma/Nosler quality levels if you're willing to do a little sorting, trimming, and deburring. It's just a matter of time and patience.
(And not starting with trash like PMC or FC.)

Revolver (jacketed or standard lead bullets):

Revolver (wadcutters):
W-W (old production)
CBC (thick case walls don't work as well as other brands)
Starline (thick case walls don't work as well as other brands)

FC (drawn cases)
Various surplus cases
Blazer/CCI/Federal/"FC dot"/"dot FC dot"/Speer (extruded cases)
Speer nickel (cannelured)
I could go on for a bit, with this one. I have more than 60 different head stamps for 9mm, alone.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:57 PM   #12
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I seem to have lots of brass, but dont get much lately, last 3 yrs it has dried up.

I seem to prefer R-P, Winchester is second then a whole bunch of misc make up the last 15-20%.
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