What is the difference between Norma and Lapua 338 Lapua Magnum brass?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jhegg, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. jhegg

    jhegg Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    Could somebody explain what the difference is between Norma and Lapua 338 Lapua Magnum Brass? Can you use the same loading data for both? Do they use the same shellholders? Thank you in advance for your responses.
    Jim Heggeness
  2. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I have never tried the Norma brass but am sure that it is much softer than the Lapua brass so it will require lighter loads than the Lapua brass can take. There is some difference in the head between the 2 brands I believe the Norma is slightly smaller and may require a different shellholder.

  3. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2005

    Use the Lapua brass it's better for the hotter loads.

  4. buffalorancher

    buffalorancher Writers Guild

    Mar 14, 2006
    I can't speak for the 338 but with the 6.5x284 you are talking two completely different animals. When I started loading for my 6x284 I used Norma and it didn't take much of a load to really loosen the primers. I was sure everyone was full of s**t on velocities until I switched to Lapua.
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Norma brass is notoriously soft in all calibers it is made in. Great consistancy but will not take pressure.

    Lapua cases are very good consistancy, at least as good as norma but have a very hard heat treat on their case head to allow them to handle much more chamber pressure with ease.

    I have also found using the two in my Allen Magnum wildcats based on this case that the Lapua case generally has 2 grains more volume on average over the Norma.

    Kirby Allen(50)
  6. IridiumRed

    IridiumRed New Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Hey guys

    This is my first post here, I just found this website and really like it.

    I'll add my own experience with Norma brass -

    I've got a 378 Weatherby (Mark V) that I used to shoot / reload for (I dont shoot it anymore, I just got tired of it to be honest, so I dont reload for it anymore. Need to sell it one of these days)

    All of the 378 Weatherby brass I've ever seen came from Norma (does anyone know another source??!)

    Anyway, I've shot / reloaded for a number of different high power rifle rounds, and with the .378, it ALWAYS seemed like high pressure signs came way early. As it, a grain or two down from what the reloading manuals max loads gave pressure signs like I'd get with a grain or two ABOVE max for most other calibers (.300 win mag, 338 Rem Ultramag, 7mm Rem mag, etc)

    One of the signs I'd see first is brass flowback into the ejector hole - y'know the bright shiny little circle on the headface

    My buddy has a 338/378 weatherby (on a P17 enfield action, Hart barrel) that I picked up for a good deal and later sold to him. He gets the same results. Max loads look OVER max

    Anyways, years after I started seeing this, I read that Norma INTENTIONALLY makes their brass soft - one opinion on that was that they (Norma) figured that if the brass showed small pressure signals at max loads, then reloaders would know exactly where that limit was and would not go over it

    I have no idea if that is WHY they do it, but Norma brass sure is soft on the head. Its a real pain too, it is disconcerting to see pressure signs, and it also makes the brass wear out quicker (which sucks even more since some of these calibers have pretty expensive brass!!)

    PS. I had a 338 Lapua (Blaser LRS) for a short time and reloaded it with both Lapua and Norma brass. From what I recall, the Norma brass exhibited the same behavior with that round....
  7. Sandwarrior

    Sandwarrior Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    I believe the new Norma .338 is different than the .338 Lapua.
  8. TnRedneck

    TnRedneck New Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Everyone please note:

    There is a .338 NORMA MAGNUM cartridge and there is a .338 LAPUA MAGNUM cartridge. They are different. The .338 Lapua Magnum first came into being in the 1983-1984 time period. The .338 Norma Magnum came into being in the 2008-2009 time period.

    This thread appears to want to know the differences between Norma Brass and Lapua Brass for the .339 LAPUA MAGNUM cartridge. Sandwarrior, you have introduced a new thought here which will introduce confusion to some following this thread.

    Initially, it was found one of the weaknesses of the .338/416 cartridge was the web and sidewall just immediately forward of the web. This is because the cartridge is "unsupported" in this area. Lapua choose to redesign the cartridge by thickening and metallurgically strengthing the case in this area. According to Wikipedia, "Lapua tackled this problem by creating a hardness distribution ranging from the head and web (hard) to the mouth (soft) as well as a strengthened (thicker) case web and sidewall immediately forward of the web."

    As has been pointed out in other posts within this thread Norma does not seem to have taken these steps. As a result you would expect Norma brass cases to be more susceptable to pressure issues and to have fewer reloading cycle (i.e. fewer numbers of reloads before casing unserviceability.)
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    The Lapua brass accepts an RCBS #14 or equivelant shell holder. I believe the Norma brass may need the #37, or 416 Rigby shellholder.