Buying and Shooting Ammo for the Brass

jeb405

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Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Winston Salem, NC
I did this recently for handgun ammo with benefits but different logic. I could overpay from 2019 prices $200 for 1k rounds, or buy 1k small pistol primers for about $150 (2019 value around $40) and have to handload, plus add bullets, brass and powder. Now I save time and components and will have more brass for the hopeful time primers are not so crazy expensive.

JB
 

ntsqd

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Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,175
Location
Upper SoKA
Years ago I got in on a local big box type store closing and bought every box of .30-30 that they had. 6 boxes of Federal 170's. Those hurt to shoot out of a Contender. Got so that every time I took it out to shoot I brought a box and dutifully shot a few of those after the serious shooting was done. Eventually got so that I could hit the 278 yard, 3/4 scale ram with those using "Kentucky Elevation" on the iron sights.
I don't miss having to do that.
 

big johnson

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Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
107
Location
E. Wenatchee, WA. 98802
I've had 6.5 prc brass on back order since January for a new build that will be finished in a few weeks . I also bought 4 boxes of factory ammo. i'll use some for break in and pull the bullets ,weigh the powder charge and save for later. I'll have new brass to work with for load development going with R26 and 156 outer limits.
 

Mowgli Terry

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Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
62
Location
Tennessee
I had traded into a Browning A Bolt stainless stalker that come with two boxed of factory less three rounds of Federal 300 WSM cartridges. I was in high cotton with brass to load after first firing. Wrong! Every one of those once fired cases had very loose primer pockets. No more Federal magnum rifle brass. It was traumatic trashing all those cases. I still have nightmares.
 

MagnumManiac

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Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,961
You didn’t miss much, Federal brass is the worst in the industry.
I thought I got a great deal many moons ago when I was given the opportunity to buy 5 boxes of Federal Safari Grade 338WM 250g Nosler Partition bullets & just $23 a box….shop prices were north of $60 a box. Took me some time to get through the 100, only to discover that not only was the nickel damaging my dies, but every single case had loose primer pockets!
Then, some time later, Nosler brass hit the shelves here. Got a good price on that too…only to discover it was FEDERAL brass with a Nosler head stamp. When I weighed it, the jig was up, exactly the same weight and profile of some Federal brass 300WM I had been given. I was devastated and have only fired 10 of those cases and 5 of them have ejector marks from a middle level load. So disappointed. Never touched the stuff since.

Cheers.
 

Philward

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Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
434
Definitely, when I bought my 257 wby. Bought 3 boxes of their cheapest 100gr softpoints for $39.95/box. Fresh brass was $45/box. Still shooting quite a few of them but I did recently buy 2 boxes of brass then Cabela's had on the shelf on sale. Also did that with a buddies 30 nosler, so he could have ammo for hunting season and for the brass.
 

Mowgli Terry

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Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
62
Location
Tennessee
You didn’t miss much, Federal brass is the worst in the industry.
Much of learning reloading has to do with bumping into stuff. Nickle cases have always been hell on standard handgun sizing dies. I have a coffee can full of the plated stuff from brass picked up at the range. I was given some factory plated factory Winchester 300 WSM that was too long to go into the magazine. It was regulated the scrap pile.
 

Don Titus

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Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
160
Location
PA
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.”
I have lot’s of once fired ‘06 brass which I won’t be using and it’s all quality stuff from US factory ammunition.

PM me if interested…
 

Idaho Lefty

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Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
693
Sad to say, but in the last few Years, Remington has made better Brass than, Winchester !
Bought a Box of, Rem .270 WSM loaded Ammo, to accuracy Test, my New Tikka, BEFORE doing ANY modifications that would Void, the Warranty.
Shot fine ( sub MOA ) and bought 150 more New Rem. Brass for it. Then, I worked on "Lapping" Barrel & Throat area and installed, a New Trigger Spring and Steel Recoil Lug as it was an older, T-3 model ( Aluminum Lug ).
I use Norma Brass, in my new 6 XC and Nosler ( probably made by, Norma ) Brass, in my .22-250 Rem with, NO Problems and NO need, to "Fire Form" the brass for, Varmint shooting, as I am getting, sub 1/2 MOA accuracy with, BOTH Rifles.
Even the Tikka .270 WSM gets, 3/8's to 5/8's inch groups @ 100 yds with, the Rem Brass !
 

moosekiller99

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Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
116
Location
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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.”
I buy IMI 5.56 and use the brass for my competition loads. Fully prepped I find it more consistent than Lake City and other brands. I like the instant fireforming aspect.
 

skipglo

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
2,520
Location
Alberta
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.”
100% on the money...as you hear every minute here....YOUR GUN MAY NOT LIKE...this or that! Well it proves true but YOUR GUN MIGHT LOVE THIS BRASS! You also get to fire it and find out without having to buy 50 or 100 to find out!
 

skipglo

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Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
2,520
Location
Alberta
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.
I tend to disagree with this. Commercial manufacturing companies cannot take the liability chance of hot loads! They must maintain a safety factor and be able to PROVE IT IN A COURT OF LAW! Especially in the United States of America....where people who order a HOT COFFEE...claim they burnt their mouth...and are awarded a 1,000,000.00 settlement! No company will load within 15-20% of Sammi max! Next time the Lady should have ordered an ICED CAPP!
 
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