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mixing brass brands???

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:58 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
mixing brass brands???

I've never yet mixed brass brands when reloading for a specific cartridge BUT...with suplies getting scarcer...I was wondering at what point accuracy is going to breakdown and the effects of using Brand X,Y,Z brass will start to show? I'm guessing scrambling brands would fly in the face of consistancy. Would I be signifigantly better off reloading say 40 rounds of a chosen brand, then 40 more 2nd firing, 40 more 3rd and so on, rather than reloading a big batch of mixed brand brass all other variables being equal? If there is a difference could one chronograph each brand of brass, tune the powder charge thus equalizing the muzzle velocity, getting all the brass on the same page? If anyone has any thoughts on the subject it might save me a buck or maybe put my foolish notions to rest. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:13 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: mixing brass brands???

Different brass has different internal capacity plus a few other things. It will not shoot to the same POI at longer range. Plus what might seem a safe load in one brand of brass will lock up the action in another brand of brass. Even in the small capacity case it can be problem or perhaps it is worse in the small capacity cases because of percentage change of capapcity. BTDT. The only way to know if the brass is comparable is to load and test.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
Re: mixing brass brands???

Thanks for reply. If I do try to mix and match it sure won't be at near max loads.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:09 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 175
Re: mixing brass brands???

I weigh a decent sized sample of different brass brands I have on hand for a given cartridge and keep a table with the results. Way I figure it, if brand X brass is lighter in weight than brand Z, then it has a bit more case capacity. If I had a load that was safe in brand X, I'd use it in brand Z, but not vice versa.

My preferred loads generally aren't at the maximum published load. I know this isn't exactly by the book, but it's worked for me. Your chronograph is the best indicator of pressure you've got. If your velocity is above the published max, then your pressure probably is too.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:35 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bryan, Tx
Posts: 284
Re: mixing brass brands???

Different brands of brass, and even different lots within the same brand vary with their metallurgic properties. Proportions of zinc and copper are just different. These physical properties change the dynamic properties such as brass tension. hardness and springiness. All these factors, not just "cartridge capacity" change the repeatability factor within "accuracy".

Mixing is ok if your accuracy/distance demands are low. If you really want accuracy, then it is not a good idea. Safe idea, but not accurate. Max load or no max load, at long distances I would think you will see a major effect.

Since this website is "Long Range Hunting" I would think it would be inadvisable to use in long distance shooting.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:36 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
Re: mixing brass brands???

Thamks for the ideas NB. Just may end up incorporating a few of these, especially if obtaining unprimed cases gets to be any more of a hassle. Called around today to some of the big name suppliers of brass...NADA! Went down to the range and rooted around in the melting snow and scored a few pieces. Guess a tumbler is next on the wish list.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 746
Re: mixing brass brands???

I have a couple of rifles which will digest Rem, and Win brass loads close enough to the same POI out to 400yds that the differences could only be told using a mechanical rest to hold the rifle.

However, when I worked these loads up, I worked them up individually in both case brands to be sure things were going to work out with pressure issues and accuracy. I have been very fortunate that these particular rifles have shot just about everything I have tried through them with little issue. The loads aren't always top end loads, but a couple have been and they worked fine for my uses.

Your milage may vary, and your ranges might be much further than what I push these rifles to. Either way as was mentioned, it is nice to know one way or the other. Even if one brand has a slightly different charge weight, it might still shoot right along side the other. so you could still utilize the different cases. With my .270 Win, I simply load and shoot both Rem, and Win case identical with the load I worked up. However is I use Federal or Hornady cases, I have to back down around a full grain to keep things working properly. I simply use the latter for practice and in the woods hunting. They use completely different bullets and out to 200yds, with them I don't have to change anything sight wise. They are primiarly for hogs and shots are generally between 10' and 50yds. Howeve rthey do work on out a ways, if needed. The standard loads are top end in Win and Rem cases and have been verified out to 600yds, which for the stock Rem BDL is about as far as I would ever push it. The scope is a Burris with the Ballistic Plex and the loads correspond to each hash mark on the retical. It makes shots on deer out to 300 very easily accomplished and for the further ranged hogs, simply a chip shot given the proper conditions.

Good luck and don't hesitate to try the other cases. The one thing which might surprise you is you could actually get better groups from the other brands.
Mike / Tx

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"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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