Opinions on best brass for general shooting and long range hunting

Drjones65

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I know what they say about opinions.... and I know if all of us were around a hunting camp fire and we were discussing what truck was best it would get wild in a hurry soooooooo...I will preface my request with I am not a competition bench rest shooter. I hunt and I shoot long range for fun.

I do like accuracy and I like to get the best results I can get. I buy what I think are quality bullets and I use what I think are quality primers.
(Some of you will have your own opinion on bullets and primers but that is another discussion.)

I have, in the past purchased new Lapua, Norma and Nosler brass. I see on other posts guys have strong opinions on these particular brands of brass.
For my 300 WM's ( I have 3) I load Lapua, Norma and Hornady.

So, the local range here are brass hawks and police the brass thoroughly. They in turn sell the range brass.
I just bought a large bag of 30.06 range brass (several hundred pieces) for $0.19 each - mixed headstamps.
There is lots of the various Remington brass (R-P, Peters, UMC, etc.), Various Winchester brass, Federal brass, Hornady brass, and a small amount of other odds & ends brass.

1- How much difference does brass play in accuracy in shooting? (If any real discernable difference?)
Is the average guy reloading going to see any real difference between headstamps?
2- Of all of the various commercial brass out there, what is the best to worst in general opinion?
When I load, I like to load all of one thing top keep the variable to a minimal. I will sort out all of the brass and probably only keep two headstamps.

Thanks for sharing the wisdom and knowledge to this inquiring mind.
 

Mark37082

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Not sure you are going to get great wisdom from me, but I like to eliminate variables when I am hunting or shooting longer range. For plinking or shooting pistols or AR’s I really don’t think it matters as I don’t measure my results in sub-MOA. For rifles used for hunting or precision shooting I want the best brass I can find. I’m a fan of ADG, Peterson, and Lapua. I’ve never tried Alpha, but hear good things about it.
 

Eric H

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What I wouldn't do is using various headstamps in obtaining the desired accuracy. Pick one and stick with it. I wouldn't go with Lapua since they're suspending production of certain calibers and will become scarce. I haven't used Peterson or ADG but folks on here seem to get good results.
 

HSmithTX

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I have never shot mixed headstamp brass in rifles other than 556 for short range, 100 and in with low middle book loads it has worked fine. I am not a fan of Hornady or Nosler brass, I would send that down the road pronto. I have had really good results with WW, Fed, RP by weight sorting it. +/- 2 grains sort on the brass works well for range ammo and general hunting loads. You can spiff it up if you want uniforming primer pockets and deburr flash holes etc, I haven't seen that it helps but it certainly will not hurt anything. I have also had good results with WW and Fed for match and long range loads by tightening the weight sort up to +/- 1 grain and doing a good prep on the brass. It in a few rifles I use this in it shoots to the capability of the rifle, Lapua and Norma shoots no tighter at any distance. It also lasts a long time at reasonable pressures. I keep the sorted brass separate and labeled, and most of it collects dust because you really don't need a lot of brass to do a lot of shooting and I shoot the first batch selected for several loadings at least. I don't have a lot of ADG brass but what I have has been excellent, primarily 28 Nosler and 300RUM. Lapua brass is the standard everything else is judged by it seems and I don't have a lot but it has been excellent too, mostly 6.5CM, 284 and 308. When I have done exactly what you are doing with bulk once fired brass I have kept WW and Fed for Winchester cartridges, RP and Fed for Remington cartridges. I usually have at least two bullets for each cartridge and I will work up one bullet for one brand of brass and another for the other bullet, get the load done, cases formed to my chambers and load up 50 to maybe 400 depending on what it is.
 

PddPdd

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I believe it comes down primarily to brass case volume. The more the case volume varies between brass brands the more likely you will not get the same velocity or accuracy when switching between brass brands with a given bullet/powder load/primer combination. The case volume in a given chamber will primarily be affected by the brass thickness which is controlled by the brass manufacturers machines and process control. I've seen 2 grains of capacity difference between Winchester and Petersen brass in 7-08. I had to re-develop a new load when making the brass switch to go from 2 MOA back to .5 MOA.

If you have the time. bullets, powder, primers and brass quantities to develop different loads to deal with significant variances in brass brand/case volume, you can make it work but the component cost is greater in my opinion that buying and developing loads with one brand of brass.

I'll let others who have used more brands of brass than I, provide their opinion on quality of brass by brand.
 

Varmint Hunter

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How much difference does brass play in accuracy in shooting?

It all depends on what you are looking to achieve. I'd test matching loads in premium brass (Lapua, ADG, Alpha) against some regular brass (Rem, Win, Hornady) to see what the difference is on paper, at the ranges you would hunt. Then you can see exactly what the difference is and if it would be worthwhile to continue buying all premium brass.

I did this myself comparing fully prepped standard grade brass against Lapua in a highly accurate LR varmint rig. The difference was measurable. But it's important to remember, I'm shooting at rather small targets over distance. If I was shooting biggame the difference wouldn't have been a hit-or-miss issue.

As someone else posted above, high quality brass can "often" withstand higher pressures and will usually last longer. If you pay twice as much but get twice the service life, then the premium brass doesn't cost any more.
 
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59FLH

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Mixing head stamps can have an unpredictable and an unwanted effect on ballistics. Id recommend you load equal charges in different cases and see which ones if any shoot the same. Which ones shoot best and go from there.

I shoot the cheap brass, it works fine for my application and keeps my head in the game. Emptying a mag in the heat of battle shooting $2 + brass would causes me stress. I was in my stand once, reached into my pocket and dropped a $5 and two $1‘s. I climbed down and picked them up.
 

Capt RB

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Brass for the life of the barrel or 2. In 308 I use lapua because when I started peterson adg and alpha were not around. I still have 500 in the gold and black boxes with 200 in circulation 100 are turned to .013 and the other 100 are not turned. I also have 400 m118 lr all sorted in 50rd batches for the same rifle.The good thing for lapua in 308 is FGMM has the same volume so I can use that to test different powder lots or primers. I know the turned brass has 15 loadings and the out of the box brass will be on 5 next time i load. The GI brass I use for training/teaching students. When it goes to my bench it will be the 8th loading.
The rifle is running 42-43 grains of Rl15 equivalent. Es and sd are never above 15fps if I adhere to watching the temp and what lot of brass.
After sorting and turning mostly win brass for years then only getting 4-7 firings its a no brainer.
 

Flintlock shooter

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I personally am a fan of Alpha Munitions brass. I feel the quality is as good or better than Lapua and they are an American company. If there is a drawback to Alpha, it would be that they don't offer a wide range of calibers like other companies do. The stuff they do make is top shelf!!
 

Elkmann

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I'm just an average Joe. I don't do any of the long range stuff and follow these forums mainly for the reloading as these guys know what they are talking about.
That said I use R-P, WW, FC and Hornaday. Mostly R-P I would say and I also don't mix headstamps within each load.
 
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