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Thread: New brass prep?

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    I find Nosler brass to be somewhat soft as well. Remington brass IMO is pretty dang good.
    How many of you are annealing your brass? Since I started annealing my brass has been A LOT more consistent and lasts a bit longer also.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cahunter805 View Post
    I find Nosler brass to be somewhat soft as well. Remington brass IMO is pretty dang good.
    How many of you are annealing your brass? Since I started annealing my brass has been A LOT more consistent and lasts a bit longer also.
    I'm reluctant too because I've read how critical it is to get exactly the right temperature.
    Fear the beard....

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2TRKYS View Post
    If you're happy paying a premium price for subpar brass, then go for it. I'm not, so I won't buy Lapua brass unless it's on sale for the same price range as other brass.

    I suppose it depends on how you define subpar. There is no brass cheaper than Lapua that has drilled flasholes. Just eliminating the step of de-burring flasholes is worth $10-$15/ per hundred to me. Next issue is primer pockets. Lapua only takes a light cut to cleanup the rounded corner on most peices, and while there may be a few that take a little more to reach the right depth, itís a quick easy process. Iíve not used any domestic brass that didnít take 4-5 times as long tonuniform primer pocket depth. I admit that I havenít used Remington brass in MANY years because it was sooooo bad. They may have improved their game in recent years if you think theyíre okay. Federal is extremely soft. Winchester take way more time to prep and the weight variation is usually tremendous. A dent in the neck or body because it got shipped loose does not equal subpar to me. Iím going to full length size before I trim to length anyway, and Iím also going to fireform all my brass before I use for a comp gun or during load development and sight-in on a hunting.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I'm reluctant too because I've read how critical it is to get exactly the right temperature.
    I messed up some perfectly mediocre 7MM cases doing it in the pan w/a propane torch method for the first time. I think you need to be pretty good with the torch, & have a good understanding of the process before doing it yourself. A teacher would be a good thing for annealing, but it's worth doing.

    I've also had very good luck with Remington brass, RWS & Lapua. I've got some Norma 8mm Mauser cases that are over 50 years old and still going strong, even though they're only on their 4th loading of moderate loads. I've shot sub MOA groups with PMC, S&B, Winchester, Federal (FC) brass.

    Consistency is the key. Consistency is the key. Consistency is the key.

    It's consistency, that's the key.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

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    I didn’t know about RWS brass so I looked it up. $53.60 for 20 pieces of press is ridiculous for a deer/elk rifle. Unless, that is, you bought a lottery ticket in South Carolina recently.

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    I didn’t know about RWS brass so I looked it up. $53.60 for 20 pieces of press is ridiculous for a deer/elk rifle. Unless, that is, you bought a lottery ticket in South Carolina recently.
    I loaded cheap stuff for years. Never thought twice about it. RP & Winchester brass did fine for me. I still load RP & Win for my 338, 30-06 & 35 Whelen. I seem to get longer case life out of Remington (RP) than Winchester.

    Most reloaders split hairs at the bench so they can split hairs at the range. If you're looking for Minute of Deer, then use what you want and develop the load that you want.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImBillT View Post
    I suppose it depends on how you define subpar. There is no brass cheaper than Lapua that has drilled flasholes. Just eliminating the step of de-burring flasholes is worth $10-$15/ per hundred to me. Next issue is primer pockets. Lapua only takes a light cut to cleanup the rounded corner on most peices, and while there may be a few that take a little more to reach the right depth, it’s a quick easy process. I’ve not used any domestic brass that didn’t take 4-5 times as long tonuniform primer pocket depth. I admit that I haven’t used Remington brass in MANY years because it was sooooo bad. They may have improved their game in recent years if you think they’re okay. Federal is extremely soft. Winchester take way more time to prep and the weight variation is usually tremendous. A dent in the neck or body because it got shipped loose does not equal subpar to me. I’m going to full length size before I trim to length anyway, and I’m also going to fireform all my brass before I use for a comp gun or during load development and sight-in on a hunting.
    I don't have the issues with primer pockets and flash holes as you do. My other loosely shipped brass doesn't have the denting issues like Lapua does. Seems odd to pay more for something that can't get to my house in as good or better shape than the cheaper stuff. I load hunting rounds. I haven't noticed enough of a difference in brass weight to worry with that. Now, weight sorting bullets is worth it for me. However, for hunting even it's not that vital.
    83% of all statistics are made up.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cahunter805 View Post
    I find Nosler brass to be somewhat soft as well. Remington brass IMO is pretty dang good.
    How many of you are annealing your brass? Since I started annealing my brass has been A LOT more consistent and lasts a bit longer also.
    Yeah for hardness based just on my experience and not any special testing I would rank them like this:
    1. Lapua
    2. Winchester
    3. RWS
    4. Most other companies including Norma/Nosler
    # last-Federal

    I anneal occasionally, mostly when mixing batches of brass that have been fired a different number of times. I donít mix brands. Lapua and RWS definitely come with the necks already annealed which does yield more reloadings without splitting a neck or having to anneal. Norma/Nosler may anneal as well. I really donít remember. Winchester definitely does not, and thatís another reason to spend a couple extra bucks in my book. Yeah that one step doesnít take THAT long, but the steps add up and even at $10/hr all those extra steps can $30/100 pieces pretty quickly. More than that if you take your time. Lots of people just do it watching TV etc., but Iím self employed and married and working on a kid and frankly I donít have all that time to waste. I find premium brass to be worth the extra in my book. That said, if you have to or just want to, you can make cheap brass shoot just as well if you put in the work and do the sorting. It might take 200 pieces of Winchester to get just as many perfect pieces that are just as close in weight as you would get from 100 pieces of premium brass. Thatís also another cost if youíre buying a normal sized batch. Some of the more serious competitive shooters buy 1000 pieces, and when you do that you can weight sort even the worst brass into useable groups with close weights, so that kinda kicks things back in the favor of cheaper stuff, but I donít buy that much at. A time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    I didn’t know about RWS brass so I looked it up. $53.60 for 20 pieces of press is ridiculous for a deer/elk rifle. Unless, that is, you bought a lottery ticket in South Carolina recently.
    It’s not that expensive for every cartridge, but I would by no means say it’s going to be worth it to most people or that it’s required for excellent accuracy. It just happens to be one of the only two options that won’t require much/any prep for people whothink Lapua is subpar. I got 90% of mine on clearance or on the secondary market. It is the best unless you have to have the hardness of Winchester or Lapua.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2TRKYS View Post
    I don't have the issues with primer pockets and flash holes as you do. My other loosely shipped brass doesn't have the denting issues like Lapua does. Seems odd to pay more for something that can't get to my house in as good or better shape than the cheaper stuff. I load hunting rounds. I haven't noticed enough of a difference in brass weight to worry with that. Now, weight sorting bullets is worth it for me. However, for hunting even it's not that vital.

    Weight sorting is more of a competition thing, and I tend to use the small groups for hunting ammo and large groups for matches, so I’m sorting either way. For hunting guns in a cartridge I don’t have a comp gun in, I don’t weight sort. That said, if you’re going to benefit from weight sorting, the outside of every case has to be the same, so primer pockets all have to be the same depth and burrs have to be removed from flasholes. Norma, Lapua, and RWS use drilled flasholes and take very little time to uniform primer pockets. Most of the rest use punched flasholes so you have to knock off the burr and uniforming primer pockets can take an hour or more on the cheap stuff, instead of 15 minutes in the good stuff. The same story occurs with trimming to length. You only have to knock a few thousandths off the good stuff to make it all the same, but Winchester varies wildly and requires removing a lot more material. Then if you turn necks you’ll find that the cheap stuff is also much less consistent. That inconsistency runs down the whole case wall. Then when I weight sort I’ll get 5-6 groups out of 100 pieces of Winchester and 2-3 groups with the same weight disparity from Norma, RWS or Lapua. One group from Nosler because they already prepped and sorted Norma brass.

    Are you getting dents in the body or the shoulder? The neck and shoulder dings in Lapua that aren’t there in the cheap stuff is most likely because Lapua anneal their necks, which results in quite a few mor ereloads before the neck splits. That softness allows them to dent more easily, but it’s actually a great benefit. Norma and RWS polish off the annealing stain, but Lapua leaves it there as a sign that they did it.
    Last edited by ImBillT; 10-31-2018 at 07:34 PM.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImBillT View Post
    Weight sorting is more of a competition thing, and I tend to use the small groups for hunting ammo and large groups for matches, so I’m sorting either way. For hunting guns in a cartridge I don’t have a comp gun in, I don’t weight sort. That said, if you’re going to benefit from weight sorting, the outside of every case has to be the same, so primer pockets all have to be the same depth and burrs have to be removed from flasholes. Norma, Lapua, and RWS use drilled flasholes and take very little time to uniform primer pockets. Most of the rest use punched flasholes so you have to knock off the burr and uniforming primer pockets can take an hour or more on the cheap stuff, instead of 15 minutes in the good stuff. The same story occurs with trimming to length. You only have to knock a few thousandths off the good stuff to make it all the same, but Winchester varies wildly and requires removing a lot more material. Then if you turn necks you’ll find that the cheap stuff is also much less consistent. That inconsistency runs down the whole case wall. Then when I weight sort I’ll get 5-6 groups out of 100 pieces of Winchester and 2-3 groups with the same weight disparity from Norma, RWS or Lapua. One group from Nosler because they already prepped and sorted Norma brass.

    Are you getting dents in the body or the shoulder? The neck and shoulder dings in Lapua that aren’t there in the cheap stuff is most likely because Lapua anneal their necks, which results in quite a few mor ereloads before the neck splits. That softness allows them to dent more easily, but it’s actually a great benefit. Norma and RWS polish off the annealing stain, but Lapua leaves it there as a sign that they did it.
    I haven't seen any burrs in any of the flasholes. The dents I'm seeing are in the case necks and the body of the cases. Pretty pathetic for a supposedly highend brass. I've never had any new brass, regardless of brand, that I had to trim before my first loading.

    I haven't gotten anymore loads out of Lapua brass than I have any other brand.
    83% of all statistics are made up.

  12. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by N2TRKYS View Post
    I haven't seen any burrs in any of the flasholes. The dents I'm seeing are in the case necks and the body of the cases. Pretty pathetic for a supposedly highend brass. I've never had any new brass, regardless of brand, that I had to trim before my first loading.

    I haven't gotten anymore loads out of Lapua brass than I have any other brand.
    Are you looking inside the case at the flasholes or from the outside? The burr is on the inside. You have to look through the case neck to see it. Also, they may shoot out. I really don’t know, but they’re in new brass, but I can’t say I’ve seen them in range pickups. I don’t know if the factory deburrs flasholes on loaded ammo or if they just shoot out.

    I put over 30 firings on my last batch of Lapua .308 before I retired it. I can’t do that with any other brands because they require more sizing to prevent a stiff bolt close.

    If your only problem with Lapua brass is that some of them have dents in the neck or body, then your definition of subpar has absolutely nothing to do with the reasons that people like Lapua brass. The reason you trim to length has nothing to do with a case being to long. It has to do with all the cases being a different length, and you want them to all be the same length and have the same amount of grab on the bullet, so you size them all, then trim them to the same length and now they all have the same length neck. Primer pocket depth uniforming is a similar story. Primers seared to different depths can yield slight increases in velocity spread, which is important to a comp shooter. Also, different depth primer pockets involve different amounts of brass being weighed on a scale during weight sorting, but because the extra brass is on the outside of the case, it isn’t related to the case’s internal capacity. You have to make them all the same or your weight sorting didn’t do anything but waste your time. Until you go through all the steps of uniforming brass you won’t ever see the big difference in dimensional uniformity between the cheap guys and premium guys. For minute of deer shooting, it’s not required, and I never said it was. But what guys are paying for when they buy premium brass is something different than what you’re looking for. That’s why I asked what your specific complaints were.

    Just buying Fed/Rem/Win brass and loading it isn’t gonna make you miss your deer. You can probably shoot it a few times before it has to be trimmed for safety reasons. It’ll probably go 5-10 reloads with no special treatment depending on the cartridge and how hard you push it. In a hunting gun starting with 100 pieces of brass that’s a fair bit of shooting, and with no time spent prepping it there’s not much investment, so it won’t hurt your feelings to throw it away after 5.
    Last edited by ImBillT; 11-01-2018 at 11:22 AM.

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    In a 6.5SAUM of my buddies Remington brass lasted 23 firings before it split at the neck/shoulder. Primer pockets were still tight. Most people oversize and overwork their brass way to much due to following the basic general directions that come with most die.

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    WOW! You guy's must all have sub 1/4" thousand yd rifles. I tried that debur the flash hole trick, didn't change one thing. I don't uniform primer pocket's and still manage to get rifle's to go 1/2" now and then. I don't champher case mouth's for the pure joy of doing it, never ever found not doing it a problem. Never noticed that ammo from shinny case's fired better than the same from new case's or even dull case's for that matter. Been my experience that so long as the length of the case's wasn't that critical unless the case was over length. Some of you guy's really make a chore out of loading case's! And in the end most of you still aren't gonna get a one hole group!

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
    WOW! You guy's must all have sub 1/4" thousand yd rifles. I tried that debur the flash hole trick, didn't change one thing. I don't uniform primer pocket's and still manage to get rifle's to go 1/2" now and then. I don't champher case mouth's for the pure joy of doing it, never ever found not doing it a problem. Never noticed that ammo from shinny case's fired better than the same from new case's or even dull case's for that matter. Been my experience that so long as the length of the case's wasn't that critical unless the case was over length. Some of you guy's really make a chore out of loading case's! And in the end most of you still aren't gonna get a one hole group!
    Winters are long in the Northern Rockies, and I'm too old to have kids or try more than once a day.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  16. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
    WOW! You guy's must all have sub 1/4" thousand yd rifles. I tried that debur the flash hole trick, didn't change one thing. I don't uniform primer pocket's and still manage to get rifle's to go 1/2" now and then. I don't champher case mouth's for the pure joy of doing it, never ever found not doing it a problem. Never noticed that ammo from shinny case's fired better than the same from new case's or even dull case's for that matter. Been my experience that so long as the length of the case's wasn't that critical unless the case was over length. Some of you guy's really make a chore out of loading case's! And in the end most of you still aren't gonna get a one hole group!
    Name:  JPEG image.jpeg
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    100yds, 5 shots, .308Win, 6X scope.

    I’ve shot my share of 2”-3” groups at 500yds. It’s been about five years, but I used to shoot F-TR in a club match at 530yds and in NRA mid range and long range matches. Mid range is 300, 500, 600, and the long range match I shot in was 1000yds only, but I believe some shoot 800, 900, and 1000. I usually placed about middle of the pack, and was not being beaten by people who did less prep. Many of them did even more prep and sorting, but could shoot well enough at 200yds with the methods I was using that the ammo was not my problem. I really needed more practice to learn to shoot long range, but at the time the only decent local range was 100yd and 200yd benchrest club. I can use small batches of weight sorted match prepped brass that is in too small a group to complete a match with in my hunting .308’s, and 6.5-257AI and I can size down .308 and use it in my .243, so why not use it? Is it that important? No, but I’ve shot 5 shot groups that measured under .300” just checking sight-in with the .243. The rest of the hunting guns shoot about .5MOA. None of my posts claimed that all that was required to hunt, but when a guy is saying that he can’t tell the difference between Lapua and the cheap stuff, he’s most likely not doing any of the things that reveal the differences.
    Last edited by ImBillT; 11-01-2018 at 02:35 PM.

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImBillT View Post
    Are you looking inside the case at the flasholes or from the outside? The burr is on the inside. You have to look through the case neck to see it. Also, they may shoot out. I really don’t know, but they’re in new brass, but I can’t say I’ve seen them in range pickups. I don’t know if the factory deburrs flasholes on loaded ammo or if they just shoot out.

    I put over 30 firings on my last batch of Lapua .308 before I retired it. I can’t do that with any other brands because they require more sizing to prevent a stiff bolt close.

    If your only problem with Lapua brass is that some of them have dents in the neck or body, then your definition of subpar has absolutely nothing to do with the reasons that people like Lapua brass.
    If you like paying premium prices for piss poor QC, then that's your business. I'm not gonna settle for it. I get as many loadings with other brands as I do with Lapua.
    83% of all statistics are made up.

  18. #43
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    Peterson brass has been treating me really well, I have no reason to buy lapua anymore IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
    Winters are long in the Northern Rockies, and I'm too old to have kids or try more than once a day.
    Best response yet!

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
    Winters are long in the Northern Rockies, and I'm too old to have kids or try more than once a day.
    Don't they have little blue pills in MT?
    "Freedom is NOT Free"

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImBillT View Post

    I put over 30 firings on my last batch of Lapua .308 before I retired it. I can’t do that with any other brands because they require more sizing to prevent a stiff bolt
    So is this only if you neck resize? Would you only get 10 reloads or so with a full resize?

    I'm adding up the cost per round to start reloading again with a .308 this time. Plan on standard pressure manual loads with 180 bullets.

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    Appreciate everyoneís input. I ended up with the Hornady because it seems everyone is out of the high end 7mm Rem brass. This bunch will get me thru load development and a few years. I am hoping to get 5 cycles out of it.

    I need to order a LE Wilson case gauge for it so I can trim them to length.
    I've got one of those file type trim dies in .30-06 from a long time ago. I just used it to make one dummy case of the proper length and use it to set up my Forster trimmer for all of my .30-06 based cases which are at this point a .25-06 and a 6.5-06. Necks on something like a 6.5-06 Imp seem not to grow at all and will likely never need trimming.

  23. #48
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    I just finished up the batch last night. I ended up with 95 cases machined to match. I cut the primer pockets, resized, trimmed to 2.490, chamfered the mouth, and deburred the flash hole. I buggered up the first 3 setting up the trimmer and then had 2 of the batch that had minor defects. I will use those 5 for break in, sight in, and load testing. All total I have a few hours at the bench working this brass. I can see the argument for the better brass if your time is in the equation. I just found that that there is a satisfaction in working it and knowing that they are exactly the same.

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    All new brass has the possibility of having some issues. It is called a manufacturing process. I have been reloading for over 40 years and I have never de-burred a primer hole. The primer pocket-yes-because some brass is crimped in and needs to be swaged. Most all new brass should be run through a full-length sizing die and checked for length. If you are a hair-splitter, target shooter, then every little thing can make a difference. Mostly, for field use it is not necessary.

    I have never owned a rifle, that I could not get to shoot moa, or less with whatever brass that I chose. I like the Hornady brass just fine and currently use it in .308, Creed, and .260 (.308 necked down). I have tried Lapua and others and do not see any super advantage to spending that kind of money for brass. All of my rifles shoot 1/2-moa groups with once-fired Hornady brass (I have never bought new) , so I will stay with it.

    Some people tend to make this more complicated than it is.
    You did not "seen" anything. You "saw" it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhooper View Post
    All new brass has the possibility of having some issues. It is called a manufacturing process. I have been reloading for over 40 years and I have never de-burred a primer hole. The primer pocket-yes-because some brass is crimped in and needs to be swaged. Most all new brass should be run through a full-length sizing die and checked for length. If you are a hair-splitter, target shooter, then every little thing can make a difference. Mostly, for field use it is not necessary.

    I have never owned a rifle, that I could not get to shoot moa, or less with whatever brass that I chose. I like the Hornady brass just fine and currently use it in .308, Creed, and .260 (.308 necked down). I have tried Lapua and others and do not see any super advantage to spending that kind of money for brass. All of my rifles shoot 1/2-moa groups with once-fired Hornady brass (I have never bought new) , so I will stay with it.

    Some people tend to make this more complicated than it is.
    I tend to agree for a hunting rifle. I just have time while I wait for my back ordered scope rings. So, I gave them the full monte at my current skill level.

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