Federal Brass Problem

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by hubee_7j, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. hubee_7j

    hubee_7j Active Member

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    So I recently purchased a .300 WSM and 2 boxes of federal ammo to do my initial sight in/break in. I do not recall the exact ammo, I believe they were a 165 grain Barnes bullet. Anyway while I was shooting I noticed nearly every piece of brass from the first box had some kind of extractor mark or dimple from the bolt face. After all that I take the brass to reload (the main reason I bought the factory ammo in the first place) and every piece I tried to use had an extremely loose primer pocket,most of them just fell out after pressing them in. Out of about 35 rounds I only ended up with 16 rounds I actually loaded and I wasn't even that comfortable with them but had to use them on my recent elk hunt. The ammo from the second box didn't show as much dimpling or extractor marks but still had very loose primer pockets. The ammo seemed pretty fast, 3300 fps over my chrono. I was just curious if anyone has experienced this before? I know there is nothing I can do except maybe call federal and express my displeasure. Oh and the primers were also Federal magnum primers. I may try a different primer and see what happens. Ive already bought Norma brass and will be loading it this weekend. Thanks.
    JD
     
  2. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I never had any problem with them loading .30-06, .270 Win, .300 Win, and .338 Win, using mostly CCI, Remington, Win primers.
     

  3. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've seen some ammo that was rather stout, but loose pockets are somewhat bad. I did get ahold of a few fed 270's last year that were purported to be once fired and some pockets weren't good enough. I also had some win 7stw ammo that showed higher than normal pressure both as it acted and the pressure guage.
     
  4. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    Federal brass is pretty commonly known to be substandard, at least for reloading.

    Get Winchester or Remington, and avoid nickel plated cases.

    Or if you really want the best, Lapua is the way to go.

    FC cases are too soft for repeated use, for most applications...

    Those marks you saw on the case head are over-pressure signs. The FC cases can't stand a lot of pressure, and will often show extractor smudges with less than SAAMI spec pressures.

    Dan
     
  5. Gunpoor

    Gunpoor Well-Known Member

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    Federal brass is known to be soft and the primer pockets expand too easily in a high pressure cartridge like the 300wsm. When you switch to another brand of brass you will need to do a new load work-up because of in-side case dimensions. I always use Winchester brass in the 300wsm without any problems.
     
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    He hadn't even gotten to re-load the rounds guys, the factories destroyed the pockets. That's damn odd, even for fed. brass; which isn't that bad by the way, unless you push your rounds. I do load fed but don't let the round count get away from me with it since I usually only get them as range pick-ups lately.
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    The brass isn't the problem, factory loads trying to gain an ascetic edge over the competition is the issue. End result being that brass is probably junk now.
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I'll sometimes walk around the range when letting barrels cool and pickup range brass, the things I see from factory stuff can be alarming. 80% or more has bolt face impressions, sometimes I'll find it where the rim has started to peal back from somebody try to get a very sticky case out ( not sure if those where reloads or not). But hey for me when I fill up a couple 5gallon buckets of range brass, it makes for a good trip to the recyclers. :D
     
  9. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I can never find range brass in the spendy rounds:rolleyes:... wonder why....
    most of it is 22-250, 270, 7rem, etc. Good for putting around brass if it's in decent shape; if not I'll just leave it.
     
  10. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I pick it up since I can't sit still, and if I'm gonna be pacing and lucky enough to have the range to myself then why not pick it up and throw it in a bucket, almost like free money. But yea you never find spendy brass layin around:rolleyes: lol
     
  11. hubee_7j

    hubee_7j Active Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Lefty is correct all this was factory ammo, Ive only shot a few rounds of hand loads from the few pieces of brass that primers didn't completely fall out of.I'm probably just going to pull the bullets and toss the brass. Does 3300 FPS sound pretty quick for factory ammo and 165 grain pills? I'm not familiar with loading for the 300wsm but that seemed pretty quick. I've got some new brass I'm going to load up and start some kind of a ladder test for the 180gr Accubond. Thanks again.
    JD
     
  12. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the same thing in my 7mm-08 with 140 grain federal fusion, federal 140 grain accubond, and federal 140 grain Barnes TSX. All the brass there was a heavy extractor mark, a very flattened and cratored primer, and the primers pockets were too large to hold a primer. Remington 7mm-08 loads held a primer fine.

    Also noticed the enlarged pirmer pockets, heavy extractor mark, and cratored primer from federal factory ammo in 300 RUM with 180 grain tsx. But, remington power level 3 in 300 Rum and 180 grain scirocco couldnt hold a primer either.
     
  13. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I find kind of funny that in large part (at least to my perception) reloading still has that connotation of being a little bit wacko (like your gonna blow your rifle up) to most of the general public that hasn't been exposed 1st hand to reloading. when in reality an experienced educated reloader won't tolerate their loads being at pressure levels that keep showing up with factory loads.
     
  14. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! I get a little nervous with pressure when i get a slightly flattened primer or a faint ejector mark. The ejector marks i was getting from the 300 Rum fed loads i catch my nail on. Ill try to get a pic up of one.