Virgin brass, or once fired!

Tac-O

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Apr 28, 2019
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Utah
I still have had great results with Winchester, but I prep it too. I run it through a FL die (the neck is resized, just barely off the shoulder) I ream the primer pockets, deburr the flash holes, I use a Sinclair VLD inside neck deburring tool. I also crimp all my loads with the LEE FCD. I had one new WW cases in the 300 WSM that I had to cull. The round would feed through the magazine, but just inserted into the chamber, it would not allow the Kimber 8400 Extractor to snap over it. I chunked it hard, far away from my sight, with muttered words of hate, mixed with relief that I had discovered it at the range, and not in the field Aargh! Can't stand that, ha. ( Did I mention I was OCD for reliability? :))

Now, recently, I bought some RWS .270 & 300WM. I still ream the primer pockets ( it just flattens the bottom of the pocket) run them through the FL die, use the VLD deburr. I don't weigh/sort the brass, I also crimp them. Both rifles, with the loads they like, give "outstanding" accuracy! Winchester factory loads in both grouped two to three times bigger! For Me, I use alot of Nosler ( but not for the 300s) and for the WinMag I've had good luck with Jagemann and Sig Sauer. If a new, prepped case groups well, consistently, I will load 20-50 loads in new cases and set aside, just for hunting. I then use the fired cases for practice or trying other bullets I am just playing with.

Rev,

I do nearly the same exact thing with my brass! Long live the Lee FCD.

So in saying you've had great results, are you saying your virgin brass loads group about the same as the once and twice fired?

I always do load workup on new brass, and it seems to work out sometimes and other time it doesn't... But I think that is because I'm a pretty poor shot.

Do you anneal at all? How many firings do you get on your Winchester brass?
 

RevJim

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Dec 25, 2014
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671
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Sandy, UT
I "normally" use new, virgin brass for load workup. There has been a few times when my once fired brass did not reproduce the same results, but not often. What I like to do is, after I've found a repeatable, accurate load in virgin brass, I will load up 50 new cases and set these aside for hunting. I then will load the fired cases for practice, etc.. I don't anneal and I look to get about 3-5 firings per magnum cases, and 4+ with standard. I don't try to get every shot out of each one, I'm far too "spooked" about reliability for that, ha. I do use a LEE Case Trimmer though and closely inspect my cases as I go along. Of course, some Lots of brass, in any brand, seem to have the primer pockets loosen up fast. I just go through them, and if a pocket "feels" too loose, I chunk it. I use a Lee Hand Primer for standard cases and a Sinclair Hand Primer for magnum cases. Hope that helps? Good luck to you pard! Rev Jim
 

Tac-O

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One really big one I want to figure out is what adjustment to make going from virgin brass to once fired to twice fired in order to maintain as nearly the same accurate group as possible, if worked up with virgin brass.

I think part of the reason it works sometimes for me, is that I usually FL size all my virgin brass, the same as I would if it was fired several times. But what is the factor I need to adjust to have consistent success?

Coal? Charge weight? My skill? 😂
 

camodave7

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May 12, 2021
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Canada
Okay, this is my .02 cents. I find that ALL my rifles shoot way more accurately with once fired reloaded brass. I don't believe I have ever had virgin brass shoot as well as any of my once fired brass. Now full disclosure. I am 69 years old and don't have the memory like I used to.
When I was less well off than I am now, I could not afford to just buy virgin brass. I would buy factory loaded ammunition and then use the once fired brass to reload. I always did the prep work before I loaded the once fired brass, mostly trimming to make sure I had a good OAL.
I am 69 years old too. I was going to buy a 28 Nosler at one point. I was cheaper to buy loaded ammo here in Canada than to buy Nosler brass. About that time I realized I really did not want one. Brass here is 5 dollars each.
 

camodave7

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May 12, 2021
Messages
117
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Canada
Just a little real life story about how critical bullet weight is.

A friend set some Canadian records which still stand shooting McCracken bullets made by our friend Al. As puppies in the 80s we often got bullets called folds from Al at discount prices.

We were shooting at night for good conditions and in the morning Al asked Ken what bullets he was shooting to which Ken replied those folds you sold me. Al asked if he had sorted them by weight because some were 68 and some were 70 grains. Kens small group was a range measured .070 and no he did not sort them. Bullets with good bases in a great rifle will all shoot in the same place.
 

MagnumManiac

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Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,150
One really big one I want to figure out is what adjustment to make going from virgin brass to once fired to twice fired in order to maintain as nearly the same accurate group as possible, if worked up with virgin brass.

I think part of the reason it works sometimes for me, is that I usually FL size all my virgin brass, the same as I would if it was fired several times. But what is the factor I need to adjust to have consistent success?

Coal? Charge weight? My skill? 😂
You will find that once, twice and thrice fired brass is faster with the same load as new brass and may drop out of the node. I often see an increase of 50fps in once fired brass, sometimes less and sometimes more.
A drop in charge weight bringing the velocity back to what the virgin brass produced is often enough to get back in the node. Sometimes it doesn’t work and you have to re-do the load work up in the fireformed brass.
I have also experienced high pressure scenario using the same load on virgin brass and using it in twice fired brass...so this needs to be watched for also.

Cheers.
 

blueprairiedog

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Feb 9, 2012
Messages
224
Location
suffolk va.
My opinion has changed to once fired equals my gun/chamber new brass will only be new one time so I try to get my best loads out of fired brass because I can not make it new again but new brass shoots good in my 6creed but I cannot keep buying new brass it’s bad enough to find Bullets (105 Berger hybrid) I don’t think I helped you much but that’s all I have
 

blueprairiedog

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Feb 9, 2012
Messages
224
Location
suffolk va.
Let me know your bullet needs. My friend is a direct Berger dealer. All it takes is a phone call.
Down to my last box of 100 of the 105 hybrid target I think the number on the box is 24433 and a box of 500 is 24733 would like to get either one at the end of this month I am in the middle of closing on a home and should be done by the next week or two
 

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