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Reloading Berger Bullets


Different brass = different results?

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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:23 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 90
Different brass = different results?

Hello, and thanks for reading!

I'm new to LR, and I'm finally ready to start taking some training. My custom rig is a 300winmag that I've developed a custom load to match, but I don't want to take that to my LR Training classes because it's a beast and not as economical to shoot as a .308 that I just finished for the purpose of being a training rifle to learn the craft.

That said, NOTHING is economical right now- everything is either sold out or crazy end of the world priced. I have plenty of bullets and primers for my training course needs, and I should have enough powder if I stick to the load I've been using so far on my current supply of 100 complete rounds. I need several hundred rounds for the training classes, though, and I do not have enough brass. My question (FINALLY!) is this- will switching manufacturers for brass impact my recipe and performance? Ideally I'd keep everything consistent so I can learn at the training courses and not have to worry about variation between rounds, but it's impossible to find the Winchester Reloading brass in .308 to match my current supply. I could pick up some Lapua, but for the number of cases I need that will be VERY expensive.

Thoughts? Thanks again for reading!
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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:46 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wolfesville, MD
Posts: 842
Re: Different brass = different results?

in short, yes. Variables are weight, more weight = less powder space available in the cartridge = higher pressure. Neck tension may be different more neck tension = higher pressure different impact.
Although small it makes a difference when you push the distance further out.

One reason guys try to get their velocity of each round down to single digits, maybe someone else can give exacts for the spread here.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:58 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central AZ
Posts: 1,142
Re: Different brass = different results?

As a general rule, reloaders don't mix brass. With pistol reloading, it probably doesn't make that much difference. But in rifle reloading, where accuracy is everything, brass from different mfgs can make a big difference. Although the outside dimensions of caliber-specific brass should be the same, the interior space varies greatly from one mfg to another. I had a 25-06 where I could use both Win and Rem brass and it didn't matter with the load I was using. But with my 6.5-06 AI, changing brass changes thew whole equation.

Lapua brass is best known for great uniform quality and strength. Depending on the caliber in question, Lapua brass will generally have a few grains less capacity than Winchester, Federal or Remington (again-depending on caliber). Using the load you developed with Remington brass will probably result in higher pressure when used in the Lapua brass, which will change barrel harmonics and accuracy. I know some benchrest shooters that won't even use brass from the same mfg, unless it is of the same lot number.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 09:56 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 9,609
Re: Different brass = different results?

I do not mix and match brass. For my 7Mag I have 20 nickle plated Win brass for my hunting loads (gun absolutely loves them!), and a bunch of Federal brass that I use for range shooting. 7mmSTW I use only Federal Premium brass. My .257 Wby I use only Norma/Weatherby brass. And my .308 gets only Lapua theough it, even though I got tons of Hornady Match brass. But I use that for loading for other friends.
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith

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The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 11:17 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 90
Re: Different brass = different results?

These are all great points...and when combined with the fact that I had some Lapua brass available I decided to go ahead and buy some...at $80/100 pieces + tax it defeated my idea of a cost effective practice option, but if I can get 10 reloads out of them then that'll be good.

Now I have 500 pieces of Lapua on the way, and I have an unopened bag of 50 Winchester pieces, and another 50 pieces of once fired Winchester regular brass and 20 pieces of once fired nickel. I guess I can use the Winchesters for load development and hunting and use the Lapuas at the range for my training classes? Not sure what to do with those Winchesters now, but I'll figure something out.

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