best quality brass for .22-250 AI

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by milanuk, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    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?

    Thanks,

    Monte
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Milanuk,

    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)
     

  3. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Comments?

    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 ]
     
  4. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    Milanuk,
    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.
    B
     
  5. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    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.

    Jerry
     
  6. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    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!!!!!!!
     
  7. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    Roper,
    I did not say Rem. and Win.22-250 brass was
    bad I merely stated that it is undersized
    compared to Fed. and Norma and Fed.and Norma
    are more consistant in weight and neck thick
    ness. if you have a reamer made to fit Win.
    brass the way it is supposed to you could never close the bolt on another brand of brass.if you make a reamer to fit fed. brass
    you can still fire it and it work's fine with
    Win. brass but it is bellied out like OPRAH.
    For some reason 22-250 brass varies in size
    more so from manufacturer to manufacturer
    than most other caliber's and no one else but
    me cares obviously,so GOOD NIGHT NOW !!!!
    B
     
  9. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>the PMC cases that LB
    mentioned I found to be the perfect garbage
    can liner in the lot I had. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'll keep that in mind, next time. [​IMG] But, thanks for mentioning your experience with 243 Lapua brass. It sounds like it is not necessary, in a coyote gun that shoots in the low .400"s with junk brass. LB
     
  10. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Brain B, My comment were in responce to Milanuke post and had nothing to do what you posted. If I had a comment as to what you posted I would of address it to you!
     
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I ordered a lot of 500 PMC brass for my 223 Rem and have been extremely happy with its performance. It is heavy brass made to mil specs but with proper loading, it has provided 1/4 moa groups at 100 yards with fine velocity spreads and for very good pricing.

    May also suprise alot of you that some of the very best 50 BMG brass on the market for building true match quality 50 BMG ammo is made by PMC.

    I use only PMC and IMI brass in my 50 and find them to be very similiar in quality. I have to turn my necks for proper fit in my chamber but once that is done and the rest of the prepping is finished these brass will group in the 1/2 moa out to 500 yards in good shooting conditions.

    I know the 50 is hardly comparible to what we are talking about here but the 223 is and I have been happy with the results in that caliber and will continue to use that brass in the 223.

    PMC brass kind of has a Savage type reputation to some shooters, its cheap so they often do not even try it. I can not say all PMC brass is what I would call top quality but there is no brass on the market from a major manufacturer that can not be sorted and prepped into match quality brass, just depends on if you would rather spend mor emoney for pricy brass or spend more time at the bench.

    I personally enough bench work and prepping cases so I will not spend the money on the Norma and Lapua brass. Not that this is not probably the best brass on the market, just can get the same results with a little time and alot less money in my opinion.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  12. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    Fiftydriver,
    You made my night,obviously you never read
    my post earlier on this topic addressed to
    Jerry Teo. when I quit laughing I would like
    to talk about this further.
    B
    P.S.LB and Roper did not mean to offend I was
    just getting a little RED last night because
    no one was paying attention to the topic.
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Brian B,

    I was just reffering to the comment abou tthe use of PMC brass, Like I said, I have never used the stuff in anything but the 223 and 50 BMG so your are correct that this has no relavance in the topic at had.

    I also do not know how this brass would perform as far as fireforming either. It is haevy brass very similiar to mil surplus stuff and some of those hulls do not improve real well.

    I also agree that for out of the box brass, Norma and Lapua are the lone leaders by a long shot, no agruement from me there, your right on the money.

    Back to the topic though, I do feel I can prep a Win Rem case into match grade configuration that will shoot jsut as well as the eruopean hulls, just take more time.

    The comments about the size of the brass is also interesting. I totally agree, I wish the brass makers would get together and make the brass to the proper head diameter.

    In my custom rifles I build usung reamers I design, I will admit rarely will I modify the body dimensions much as I do not want to limit my customers to a certain brand of brass because they vary so much.

    When I chamber rifles in rounds like the 22-250 AI, 22-6mm AI, all the '06's and their AI counterparts, the brass always varies alot and you get that very noticable pressure buldge just above the case head.

    Doesn't really effect accuracy as long as everything is cut true and square but it is unslightly.

    No other case head family has this problem with undersized brass, often by 0.010", why do they not make the brass to a true 0.468"-0.470" diamter?

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  14. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    brian b, the comparison to the use of Norma brass is relevant because there is little benefit for the 22/250AI shooter. The '08 parent brass could be formed to work but would give little to no benefit over WIN/REM. In fact, my experience shows this brand of brass to be 'weaker/softer' for high pressure applications.

    The Fed 308 is exactly the same point. The brass is excellent and would make a great base to form 22/250AI brass. But the volume is smaller so be careful.

    The comments were directed at and relevant to the orig post. Just looking at it from more angles then the obvious.

    Jerry