Early In my Thread I mentioned haveing a High pressure load and had
lost interest in loading this way, the rifle was for 1000yrd high power
matches and seamed to like it the hotter I loaded but all that came
at a price and the brass suffered.
Primer pockets would last for 1 shot ,The second shot would normally
blow the primer in all brands except "DWM" I could get 2 shots from
DWM brass. Funny you should mention dwm because I cant find it any
more, The down side to DWM brass was that you had to anneal the
necks to get good life out of it for normal loads.
The reason I like to prep my own brass is that when I find a load that
realy shoots I write down it's weight after prep and can match new
batches of brass to the old weight/volume so I don't have to start
load testing all over again.
The way I understand it now ,The nosler brass is weight sorted to
be consistent within that batch but not all batches will weigh the
same in the same caliber.Is that right?
Hi there. I am new to your forum, although I have read comments regularly. I was reading the comments on Nosler brass, and had to get my two cents worth in on this one because it is a subject dear to my heart.
I have been shooting and reloading for 60 years, and as far as brass goes, I have used every well-known brand of brass available. Since I love wildcats (don't we all?), I spend a lot of time changing the shape of cases. So I need brass that can hold up to reshaping. Here is my strictly personal preferences for brass and the reasons.
Best brass made: Lapua, hands down. Comes already annealed and if sorted by weight and cared for properly, trimmed, chemically cleaned, primer pockets left ALONE, they can be loaded 10 to 20 times depending on what you are loading for. Obviously my 22-243 Middlestead, shooting at 4500 and above, cases are not going to last 20 times. Shooting a little 243 with light loads, you can load them forever.
Second place: Nosler: very good brass that comes weight sorted and ready to load, although running them through the dies is always a good idea. Annealing after the first loading is a good idea with any brand of brass, because, what is the first thing to go on a case...the neck splits. Again, chemically clean them, trim them, anneal after the first or second loading, and leave the primer pockets alone. If you use chemical cleaning, you rarely have any reason to ream out the primer pocket.
Third -place: Norma, all around good brass if cared for as described above.
Fourth place: Weatherby. Good brass if you do all of the above, but not even close to being worth the money they want for them.
Fifth place: Remington: Remington is surprisingly good brass for the price, and maybe should be ranked higher. If you do not want to spend a ton of money on your brass, Remington is a good choice. All the above care applies.
Last place: without a doubt, Winchester makes the worst brass on the market. No matter how well you take care of it, it will not last. I have a Tikka 25-06 rechambered for AI, and tried to fire form cases with Winchester brass. The first one split in four places. The second did the same. I annealed the rest of the lot of 20, and every one split wide open. (I stopped at about eight or ten.) I went to the local sporting goods store and bought some Remington brass, and using the same load as in the Winchester, not one case split.
I own 56 rifles, and I went through all the cases for all of them and pitched every Winchester case into the garbage can.
So what do I use now? Almost exclusively Nosler. I have never had a problem of any kind with a Nosler case. The only Lapua brass I use is for rifles in Lapua calibers. I am not sure how much logic there is in that, but it is what it is.
Thanks for reading this (if you did). As the "Old Teacher," I am used to talking forever. Forgive me.
I respectfully disagree with Old Teacher on a few comments.
Remington brass is by far the worst I've ever worked with or loaded. I tried it for 5-6 years in about 9 different calibers and decided to listen to a few excellent smiths and barrel makers and pitch it because it was junk.
Recently, I tried loading some 270 Win loads for a buddy's new custom rifle. He bought RP brass instead of WW like I told him. We spend a LOT of time working up loads and never could get groups that we knew the rifle was capable of. I sold him some WW brass I had on hand. That's all it took to bring out the rifle's capabilities. He gave the RP hulls away to someone at the range.
Winchester, though lately I've noticed a few bad hulls in some batches in the last 3 years, is a higher quality and more consistent case in calibers I load for above RP by a good margin.
There are but 2 exceptions where I'll use RP brass and that is 7STW and in my 300 RUM and soon my 300-338 RUM.
Lucky for me, I bought about 500 cases in 300 RUM when Federal was available.
Oh man. I just spent a half an hour replying to Derek, then did something wrong and the whole thing vanished. I was better at this while I was still teaching.
But I wanted to make my point, so if you will bear with me, I will try agaiin.
First, Derek, I appreciate your respectful rebuttal, and I offer the following with the same respect.
Since I work with so many wildcats, I judge case quality a lot on maliability (sp)...how much can I change the shape of this case and end up with something safe and functional. I will give you an example. Do you own any rifles that have been rechambered for a Gibbs cartridge? I have a 30 Gibbs. I am sure that the vast majority of readers know the process of creating a Gibbs case, but I will run through it anyway. For the 30 Gibbs, you begin with a 30-06 case. You run it through a sizer die with the 30 caliber expander ball replaced with a 338 expander ball. This, obviously, creates a 30-338 case. Then you run it through the 30 Gibbs sizer which re-sizes about half of the 338 neck back down to 30 caliber. This creates a really goofy looking case that makes everyone at the range take a few steps back until they see that the rifle has not become a grenade. You load this case with a pretty stout powder charge and a really heavy bullet which insures that when the cartridge fires that it expands into the entire Gibbs chamber and you don't end up with half a Gibbs case. The end result is a case with the walls straightened and the shoulder changed from a 20 degree to a 40 degree and moved forward as far as possible and still leave enough neck to hold a bullet. Supposedly you are left with a cartridge that will perform at 300 Win mag levels, but realistically, you get a cartridge that is about halfway between the 30-06 and the 300. This is a violent process that requires a case to make some drastic changes in shape, twice in some places. I have NEVER had a WW case survive this process. They either split at the neck, or in some cases ,come out of the chamber in three or four pieces. I had a good smith check my headspace, and he said it was a perfect Gibbs chamber. RP's survive every time.
But hey, use whatever works for you. My goal was not to change the mind of every WW supporter in America, just to express my point of view on cases.
So take care, Derek, and thanks for your respect and response.
We are talking about 2 separate issues indeed. I'm not referring to wildcatting but a simple comparison of common chambers with different brass going head to head.
Take any common case, such as those I've spent just over 20 years with (a third of your experience), 270, 30.06, 308, 300 WM, 7mm RM, 300 RUM and so on, the RP brass does not satisfy my accuracy standards given the $$ I put into the rifles I shoot. Despite every brass prep I can think of, I have never produced the same level of accuracy with an RP case in any load I've ever done when comparing it to a WW case.
I've not had any desire to make fireforming modifications to multiple calibers. I'm too lazy.
The fanciest I've ever been is a 22-6mm, 270 Allen Mag, and 280 AI.
I do agree that Lapua is king. Norma makes Nosler brass. The only Nosler brass I have experience with is the seconds I found on sale in 7mm RM. I have yet to get a one hole group with a particular 7mag using this brass where I did with WW brass with 2 different loads, and in short order. Perhaps if I bought non-seconds, regular Nosler brass, I may have had a different experience.
I've seen posts on here where other members took close up pictures of their Nosler brass and their batches had odd balls in them with different shaped case head rims, etc.
My vote is Lapua >> Norma >> Federal >> Winchester.
I'm with Derek on this one. Winchester brass has been considerably better over the years then Remington. I have done much the same as you have with the Gibbs and used .300 H&H and .375 H&H brass for everything from a 7STW to a .375-.358STA and have rarely had a issue fireforming but I don't use hot loads to fireform either. I actually use somewhat mild loads and it still pops the cases out fine. The hot loads your using to form cases might be the reason your having issues with Winchester cases. You can't really expect to completely form a case with one firing when you go to another caliber that drastically different. The way I do it the shoulders are still slightly round but they are really close to full size. Now that you can't hardly get Winchester 375 H&H or 7 STW I'm stuck using Remington 8mm Mag and the cases don't last nearly as long.