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best quality brass for .22-250 AI

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Unread 09-18-2004, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 806
best quality brass for .22-250 AI

OK. For the sake of argument, let's say the .22-250 AI advocates have talked me into a Ackley, vs the regular version or a .22 BR.

What do you guys use for parent brass, since Lapua doesn't make anything for the .22-250?

I've normally had pretty good accuracy w/ Winchester in other cartridges, but it starts out a bit thin, and kinda short to begin with. Norma is gawd-awful expensive, but thicker (and softer). I've heard/seen good/bad/indifferent stuff from Remington and Federal.

Suggestions, comments?


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Unread 09-19-2004, 10:05 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI


I have used both Win and Rem brass and both have their pluses and minuses.

The Win brass is harder and a bit stronger then most brass on the market. THis makes it easier to machine if you will as it cuts easier because of its hardness.

Primer pockets will also tend to stay a bit tighter for a bit longer with top loads because of the hardness of the case head.

It will also have a tendancy to have slightly higher shoulder splits when fireforming. I say this only to keep it in mind as a properly chambered AI wildcat should have nearly 100% success when fireforming factory or proper level handloads.

If you are getting shoulder splits often, either your using previously fired brass, your headspace measurement is to long or the pressure in your handloads is to low.

Yes, to low a pressure in fireforming cases will result in shoulder splits much more often then high pressure. Keep this in mind.

Remington brass is softer then Win brass by a fair margin on average but will fireform easier then the harder Win brass. It will also loose its primer pockets a bit sooner, just like Norma and Lapus brass.

I recommend sorting by weight all your Rem and Win brass, just makes the loads of brass much more consistant. This is low price brass so you will have to do some of the work that you would other wise pay Norma or Lapus to do.

Sort by weight, turn the necks if needed, trim, debur flash holes and all that good stuff.

I did an experiment a couple years ago using my 6mm-284 with the 107 gr Mk driven to 3500 fps out of my 30" Lilja 3 groove.

I wanted to see if I could get better results with the higher priced brass.

I quickly found out that my sorted, BR prepped Win cases on average shot groups that were nearly 1" tighter at 500 yards then the pricy stuff right out of the box.

Sure, I had to spend some time preping cases but it is easily possible to get true BR quality cases using the Win and Rem brass if you take care to prep the cases like you should.

If you do not want to do that, then spending the extra money will be worth it.

I know full well the Norma and Lapua hulls are arguably the best on the market, still I would prefer to keep my money at home and use Win or Rem brass.

Even Federal brass can be used with good results. Tends to be more in line with Win brass as far as hardness goes but is a little harder to get in bulk.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 09-19-2004, 11:43 PM
LB LB is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 423
Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI

I honestly don't know where it ranks, as to hardness, but I have been using PMC with excellent results, in my 22-250 AI. Eight to ten cycles on the brass, maybe a couple split necks, twenty or so, enlarged primer pockets that were my fault, and no shoulder splits, in four different Ackley's. Never have trimmed to length, never needed.

I fireformed for that gun with a junk barrel chambered with the same reamer as my barrel. Standard load, out of the book, with surplus components.

After chamfering the primer pocket, I cut a length of drill rod of the proper diameter, put a nice centered point on it and parted it off so that there was enough to grasp, sticking out the mouth of the case.

Then, I measured the length, case head to the end of the dowel, and used that as a baseline, and set the calipers accordingly.

Then, I measured every case, and placed them on a prepared board, marked in thousandths. The purpose is to gauge each web, as compared to the baseline, and put it on the board where it belongs, longer than the first case, or shorter, thereby indicating a thicker web and a smaller internal volume.

Once I had measured my 200 cases, I divided them into three groups, -50, 100, and +50. I marked the headstamp with a scratch, in a specific location indicating to which group it belonged, thus: !PMC, P!MC or PMC! Believe it or not, this mark is easily visible after so many firings and tumblings and I don't bother to keep them separated in loading, cleaning, or anywhere else, except they are segregated in ammo boxes when assembled, but my load is the same: 44.0 grains of H414 over a 65 grain Starke and a Fed. 210Match primer. This is my only load; primarily a coyote load @ 3925fps.

Anyway, it might sound like a lot of trouble, but it's my particular MOJO, and after it's done once, it's over with, until you retire the brass.


Good hunting. LB

edit: forgot to mention that I have considered resizing Lapua 243 brass, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary work. Anybody bothered with it?

[ 09-19-2004: Message edited by: LB ]
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: utah
Posts: 302
Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI

This is one subject I have spent countless
hour's on over the last few year's,the first
question I have is what size is your reamer?
the reason I ask is because 22-250 brass
varies in size win.and rem.brass in the lots
I have measure .460 to .461 just above the
base Fed. and Norma measure .465 (so much for
the mythical .473)
The first 22-250 imp. I had made had a very
large reamer down it ,I could not stand the
BIG BELLY OUT on it and made cases out of
Lapua 243 brass because it measures .469,a
hundred hour's later I had brass that fit my
chamber perfectly. the next time I went to
make a 22-250imp. I had my own reamer made to
fit federal and norma brass with a snug neck,
I still can use win. or rem. if I choose but
you still have the belly out problem,plus if
you sort your cases by weight and neck thick
ness you throw away far less Fed.and Norma
than Win.andRem. the PMC cases that LB
mentioned I found to be the perfect garbage
can liner in the lot I had. Fed.and Norma
primer pocket's stay tight longer also.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI

Win brass has worked very well for me over the years, as has Rem. Unfortunately, one batch of 22/250 Win brass was poorly annealed and I got neck splits quite often. Otherwise, I would go with the Win over the Rem because of durability.

My experience with Norma brass (factory Wby brass) was not exciting. Didn't get anymore accuracy and brass life was 1/2 that of the Rem stuff.

I have used the Fed gold medal 308 brass and it is also very good. About the same volume, toughness as NATO brass so would not like to size this stuff much.

Sort by firing - vel and/or group size, and you will have awesome brass.

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Unread 09-20-2004, 08:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: utah
Posts: 302
Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI

Jerry Teo,
I have to respond to your post,you said "my
experience with Norma brass(factory Wby brass)was not exciting" and "Have used fed
gold medal 308 brass". Dude you are comparing
cheese burger's to chicken sandwich's to burrito's. the question was what is the best
quality brass to make 22-250AI not a 30-378wby or 308. if the question would have
been what is the best brass for a 30-06 would
you tell us of your brass for a .222 and a
50BMG it's not relivant!!!!!!!
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,101
Re: best quality brass for .22-250 AI

I must be the odd one as I've had pretty good luck with win and rem cases in the 22-250AI. I agree the norma case are a bit costly but have used them in acouple other caliber I have and they do form up pretty nice. On my latest 22-250AI I got hold of some nickel rem cases and they have some pretty thick neck so all said and done have pretty close to a tight neck with those cases. On my older 22-250AI I mainly use win brass. I have a fireform load that I use on varmits so don't waste the barrels. For me I see nothing wrong with using win or rem brass. Well good luck.
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