Brass opinions?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jpfrog, May 24, 2013.

  1. jpfrog

    jpfrog Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    So last November I ordered 400 pieces of new Winchester .308 brass to go with the 100 pieces I already had- I was planning to take a long range class in the spring and I knew I would need at least 400 rounds, hence the order. Then the SHTF and nothing was available, so my backorder that was expected for 2 weeks out turned into backordered for "Unknown" duration.

    Per the advice of some members on this board, I bought 500 pieces of new in box Lapua brass to fill my needs. Well, I didn't get to sign up for the class, and the next one I can make isn't until later this fall, so long story short I never loaded my rounds and they're still sealed in the fancy Lapua boxes (except for 1 of the boxes I opened just to see what made the brass so expensive :D ).

    Well, I was planning on working up a load to make for the class sometime next month, and then today I get an email telling me that the 400 pieces of Winchester I had forgotten about on backorder are shipping and should be here next week....WTF!?! I suppose there are worse things that I could have been emailed about.

    Now I have 70 once fired Winchesters, 450 unfired Winchesters, and 500 unfired Lapuas....what should I do? I originally ordered the Winchester brass because I wanted a cheap load that I could make for range practice...the Lapua was WAY more than I ever thought I'd spend on brass- the price of the Lapua brass could almost pay for my practice rifle! (It's a practice rifle, so it's also cheap- a factory varmit contour Rem700 with a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x42 and 20moa big money is in my custom 300winmag, but long range sessions with that are painful and expensive).

    What's a guy to do? Continue on as originally planned with the Winchester brass and sell the Lapua? Save the Lapua for a rainy day? Load the Lapua and sell/save for a rainy day the Winchester? Load the Lapua for my long range, and load the Winchester with subsonics for my short barrel savage .308 that is threaded and used only for suppressed piggy hunting?

    If I sold the Lapua for what I paid for it, which I should be able to do since it's hard to come by at times, I could put that money toward an M1A1 that's had my attention, but then I'd want the Lapua brass to reload for it. :rolleyes:

  2. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I can't speak to 308 specifically, but I recently bit the bullet and bought some Lapua brass in another caliber. I hear a bunch of stories about 15 reloads with it, but I am only on #2. I will say this - it is waaaaaaay more consistent than Win brass. I was sizing up some Win tonight and the neck thickness variations, headspace weirdness, etc are much more noticeable now that I've tried the good stuff. So:

    If you try the Lapua you're going to like it, and then you'll have to hope to make it economical by getting many more loads from it. Otherwise, sell it, don't find out what you are missing, and keep swigging that screw-cap wine that is Win brass! It's not a bad analogy - it gets the job done the same as the good stuff, just not quite as refined...
  3. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I have shot several thousands of 308's using primarily Winchester, Lapua, and Federal Match brass casings, loaded with 175/168 SMK's at 2700 FPS, in four different rifles. My requirement is .25-.5MOA at 300 yards and use them for competition. My experience has been that there is little if any difference between the Lapua and Winchester cases terms of accuracy, ES, runout, and case life. I have experienced run out and case life issues with Federal. Occasionally I get a few Winchester cases that are battered up perhaps due to packaging, but overall, it's worked out very well and it's what I use with excellent results and can save some bucks. I can't say this for all calibers though. I do get better performance out of Lapua brass in many of my other calibers that I shoot. With today's availability issues with brass I would personally hold on to your 308 brass if you plan on doing a lot of shooting. If you decide to sell the Winchesters I'll buy them from you.
  4. scotsgun

    scotsgun Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    It's weird how folks attitude to brass and reloading components in general can vary, sometimes contradicting each other. Here in Europe Winchester brass is considered very much a 'make do' brand and generally has been proven to be far less consistent than brands like Lapua, Nosler, etc.

    A few years back I bought myself a new Steyr SSG69 and being short of cash bought Winchester brass. Some months later and I could afford some Lapua brass. Well the winchester brass was treated the same; annealed between reloads and with the same charge and bullet (varget & 168gr Hornady A Max) as the Lapua. The winchester reached their life expectancy and have been binned. The Lapua brass is still going strong.
  5. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Reload the Winnie brass till its dead.....then switch to the Lapua.