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Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Chris89lx, Jun 23, 2012.
Teach me about pros and cons of different brands for reloading for accuracy.
I have tried only Federal, Winchester, and Norma brass. I found the Federal produced good results (accurate, low extreme spread), but the primer pockets became too loose to reload more than a few times. I found the Winchester brass was less consistent and produced less accurate reloads. The Winchester brass also required a lot of trimming.
Then I tried the Norma brass, and I'm done looking around for something better. The brass is expensive (I don't give a crap), but is great. The flash holes are drilled. I measured the water volumes of once fired, and trimmed brass, and they were the best of the bunch. I haven't had to trim the brass since the first time, even after a couple of firings. Norma brass also produced the best results at the range. One thing to note was that the Norma brass in 7mm possess a larger volume, so I had to increase my charges a little to get the same speed as the Federal (about 1 gr of RL-22 in my case) cases.
I used win, rem brass for a lot of years when I was more concerned with keeping costs down. I was always able to make up some pretty damned accurate loads with em. Now though with time constraints and more irons in the fire, I've come to the conclusion that paying a bit more for brass that comes prepped and weight sorted so that I don't have to worry about those details is worth the extra cost, so now I'm buying Nosler cases. But I have seen indications that I may be getting a bit better accuracy with a given known load also.
It doesn't really matter. All brass has pros and cons. The win brass will have shallow primer pockets and thinner necks. The rem will have better pockets and necks but will be beat up from transit rather bad. The fed brass is a balance between the two and is usually as good a choice as any.
I shoot all three brands in my 7mmrem, and all work well. Just check your load in each brass before you load a bunch, as neck tension will sometimes affect a load's accuracy.
The only brass I have tried in my 7mm mag is Winchester. After reading reviews it seemed like the best choice. I am very disapointed in the thin neck. I bought 100 rounds and 1 in 5 split with the first loading! My load is well under max and I have no pressure signs. The brass appears to be weak in the neck and doesn't hold up in my gun.
I've only run win and rem brass in my 7 mag. Although I've never had a split case with either brand, I'm going to make the call that win brass is the WORST that money can buy. The 3 "strikes" that put it out (as compared to rem) are:
Win brass is less consistent.
Win brass stretches more, requiring more trimming.
Win brass has weak primer pockets, which stretch out to where the primers could fall out, after only a few reloadings.
I am having some trouble understanding exactly what was meant by the reply about rem brass getting beat-up in transit though. Doesn't the poster transport his rounds in cases that encase each individual round with plastic, on all sides?
I'm also having trouble understanding why the higher-volume (thicker sides, I would presume - or is it just that the base runs deeper into the case?) norma cases (meaning they have LESS internal volume) need an additional grain of the exact same powder, to get the same velocity as other brands of cases. I don't currently have any norma brass that I know of. But I'm wondering, is ALL norma brass plated? If so, that may be the reason WHY it is better than other brands of cases, right?
Rem brass is beat up when you buy it. A lot more than most of the others anyway. You are loading at dangerous pressures if you are having trouble with win brass pockets. I've got around 2000 rounds of it between different calibers, and it's all been good. Most people who hate a certain brass either had one bad bag so they are afraid of it, or they didn't bother to work up the load(their screw up, not the brass) and blew a few primer pockets being unsafe.
Case volume isn't the only thing controlling pressure for a given caliber. Your flash hole daimeter, the neck tension, the resiliency of the case body, and total case volume all have play in attained pressures. Norma is developing different pressures than the others because something is different, not because the others are weaker.
Well I just finished reloading about 120 rounds of 2x fired Federal brass.
No issues with any of the cases.
Most was load development during the second firing from once factory ammo. I didn't see any pressure signs with any of it.
Picked a 68.8 grain load to be most acurate (69.5 of H1000 was max with Berger 168's, .010" off the lands) Seeing an average of 2950fps across the chrono. .75" groups.
Should I look an anealing the brass soon?
Because I only have about 120 pieces of brass, should I look for some Norma.
An even better option I guess would be to find some Federel brass.
Can it be purchased new?
Some federal brass can be purchased new, but it's hard to find. Natchez shooter supply carries it, but as of today it's out of stock in 7 mag.
A little off topic but what ever happened to PMC brass? I have some some which was manufactured in Korea and they seem to one of the better cases I have used. These were also factory annealed and are now on there 5th firing.
They still have a web site. I haven't shot pmc other than shotshell in years. Good brass in 300 win, but I don't know if all cals are good.
Out of the cheaper brass, (win, fed, rem) this is my experience, if you anneal your cases, I have loaded as high as 73grns H1000 and 69grns 4831sc under 168s in win brass usiing only 20 weight matched cases, no split necks, case head seperation, or loose pockets after 7 firings, but it was the most inconsistent, Rem is good if you buy a couple hundred and sort them and spend a lot of time on prep, full pressure loads will loosen the pockets after 5 or 6 loads, fed is the most consistent, pockets are more uniform as are the flash holes, very good brass for the money, full pressure loads will start to loosen pockets after 3 or 4 firings on the down side.
Now no one has mention it but PMC brass which is owned by rem but made in the Czech repubplic ( I believe) is absolutely the best 7mm mag brass perriod, but good luck finding it!
So after typing all of this save your time and trouble and pony up the money for Norma brass, anneal it, or get someone to do it for you and load them consistently about 15 times!
Sorry Lefty and Steyr didn't see your posts on PMC, I skipped a couple posts.
Found some new Norma brass. Expensive here @ $250/100.
Maybe after my Federal brass is done I'll pick up some.