Buying and Shooting Ammo for the Brass

General RE LEE

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I’m considering buying some Winchester Power X .30 06 for the brass. Anyone else shoot off a couple boxes of sub $30 ammo for the brass? My reasoning was precisely described by the post I found online below:

“If you buy brass, it is not going to be fire-formed to your chamber, so your still going to have to shoot it once in a less-than-optimized condition. You can achieve uniformity by sizing and trimming virgin brass and weighing powder, but the primary objective of the initial firing will still be to seek out your chamber configuration.

If your're buying factory ammo that uses good brass for reloading, I think it makes sense to shoot that and save yourself the time it would take to size, trim and powder-charge virgin brass for fire-forming. If you want to go the Lapua brass route, it makes sense to just buy the brass and start from scratch.”
 

orkan

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The only tough part about buying ammo for the brass is that manufacturers tend to really push their loads to the upper limits. They need to be competitive, and if a different manufacturer can give another 100fps printed on the box, the general consumer thinks its a great thing. As a result, factory brass can often be subjected to a pretty harsh treatment on that first firing.

The headspace is often fairly short, but yet the bullet seated well off the lands... so you end up with quite a bit of web expansion which can lead to premature case head separation. Then, depending on the load... you might only get minimal firings even if you treat it extremely well from that point on.

Several big companies have a reputation for doing this. They expect the largest portion of their customers to dump it on the ground after 1 shot. So they don't worry themselves over serviceability of the cases. If you can find some that is loaded reasonably, you might have a great time. Just something to think about, and I hope that helps a bit.
 

jpfrog

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I did this with Lapua 30-06 ammo for my 30-06AI build. Virgin brass was hard to find when I was looking at the time, but I found 120rounds of Lapua factory ammo on sale, where the price per round was only very slightly higher than it would have cost me to load my own...but without burning through my components or time loading them. It worked out for me in that specific situation, so I went for it.

Got formed brass and a broken in barrel as a result :cool:
 

orkan

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When you buy brass you get 100rds from the same lot or run. Not so sure of what you get when you buy 20rnd boxes of ammo. I guess its possible to locate 5 boxes of ammo from the same lot if you don't mind the expense.
They tend to keep pretty good track of that on the loaded ammo lot numbers. The ammo manufacturers tend to buy large quantities, which sometimes is full lot runs. That way they can track components and their lot numbers which are used for each lot number of loaded ammo. That's how the whole "recall" notification thing functions. If the ammo has the same lot number on the box, (which you should definitely try for) then it likely has the same lot number of brass. Likely, and probable... but it's possible it wouldn't also.
 

jpfrog

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When you buy brass you get 100rds from the same lot or run. Not so sure of what you get when you buy 20rnd boxes of ammo. I guess its possible to locate 5 boxes of ammo from the same lot if you don't mind the expense.
If you buy a bunch at the same time from an online retailer, or even off the shelf (if it’s in the shelf)- you can usually ensure you’re getting the same lot. I know times are a bit different currently and there are quantity limits to deal with, but if you can get 100 rounds it’s usually a good bet it’ll be the same lot
 

Triple BB

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I picked 3 boxes of Nosler 06 brass not long ago. I’m going to fire form them with cream of wheat instead wasting components and putting additional wear on the barrel...
 

MagnumManiac

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I used to do this on a regular basis when loaded factory ammo worked out cheaper by the hundred than unprimed brass.
Finding ammo today is the hard part. I wanted to do this very thing to get 100 rounds for my new 300 RUM….have only found ONE box….Barnes 165g TTSX @ $130AUD. There is another box of 20 180g TTSX at the wholesaler for $178AUD, I’ll pass on that thanks.
Still don’t have dies, the distributor has no brass and was going to use that rifle this weekend (my 51st birthday weekend) but we are in yet another lockdown….just can’t win.

Cheers.
 

orkan

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Dont you have to be careful, especially on break in of "jumping into" the lands on factory ammo.
I wouldn't say so. Jump is generally considered safe. Jammed... that's where you run into trouble. Most factory ammo has the bullet set back to ensure jump even in a SAAMI minimum spec. If a person has a custom chamber with a short freebore, they generally know it, and usually know they can't run factory ammo.
 

TheLongRanger83702

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Winchester for brass? I did that years ago. @30% had neck runout of nearly. 003". Only @ 7% were .0005 . The rest were between .001/.002 .If you like doctoring brass to get it in a condition to reload, fine. I buy Nosler. Every case out of 1700 were .0005" . Just sayin'.
 

rustyshackleford

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I’ve bought factory Nosler ammo and kept the brass and I’m sure lapua would be the same or better. Winchester loaded ammo has been junk in my experience and they put a stupid crimp on the case mouths. Their component brass is dandy though. I got 10 loads out of win brass in 30-06 and none were mild loads. Annealed every 3rd firing and retired them due to loosening primer pockets
 
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