WSM Casing life

Snowbird

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i've recently started reloading for a 270wsm, which is my first short mag. I've annealed the norma brass that i originally purchased and picked up some new winchester brass and then federal nickle along the way. I've found good accuracy with all but after a few loadings the winchester (un annealed) have failed at the neck. after one loading i have that issue with a couple federal's as well. my loads are not particularly hot and i'm not seeing any pressure related signs/symptoms.

WSM brass seems hard to come by still for a good price, which is why i'm trying every option. i'm guessing someone here has gone this route before and may have some tips.

i have yet to try remington and it seems lapua does not make brass for my caliber.
 

Barrelnut

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My 300 WSM Winchester brass has a thinner neck than Norma brass. I also believe Winchester is a slightly harder alloy. This allows the neck to expand more in the chamber when fired and could cause the split necks.

I use a bushing die with my 300 WSM brass and have to use a smaller bushing with the Winchester brass than with Norma. Other than that I think they are both great.
 

Daveinjax

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The Winchester brass is tough but you need to anneal the necks to keep them from splitting. My Winchester wsm brass has held their primer pockets like nothing else. Norma on the other hand has given up the pockets in three firings.
 

Snowbird

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The Winchester brass is tough but you need to anneal the necks to keep them from splitting. My Winchester wsm brass has held their primer pockets like nothing else. Norma on the other hand has given up the pockets in three firings.
i did notice between the winchester and norma that winchester's are still nice and tight compared to the normas i have. a noticeable difference with just a couple reloads.
 

Shortmagman

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I bought my first Short mag a Winchester Model 70 in 300WSM about 14 years ago. Since the first one I have added a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 270 WSM, a Ruger Model 77 Mark II in 300 WSM and a Remington 700 in 7MM SAUM, so I have shot and loaded short mags for sometime.

I have used almost all the different makes of Short Mag brass and I have formed a very strong opinion. The best short mag brass that I have used is Norma.

I am still shooting some of the 300 WSM brass that I bought almost 14 years ago. Some of that brass has been shot over 10 times.

Winchester brass is not very uniform. With the proper prep it will work well. I do think it is tough and will last.

Federal brass is very soft and from my experience the primer pockets will become loose after a couple of firings.

The last brass that I bought for my 270 WSM was Norma.
 

Mikecr

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I'm sure Win WSM reloading brass is the strongest of available. Norma, the softest.
How much are you sizing the necks?
The only way I know of to split necks(that are not defective) is excess sizing.
 

Snowbird

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I'm sure Win WSM reloading brass is the strongest of available. Norma, the softest.
How much are you sizing the necks?
The only way I know of to split necks(that are not defective) is excess sizing.
i'm using rcbs full length dies to neck size only. i use lee neck sizing dies for all other belted cartridges that i load for. i've only been reloading a couple of years so it's entirely possible that i'm making a mistake somewhere.
 

bigngreen

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I've worn out 4 270 WSM barrels and the brass falls out like this, Remington hands down toughest WSM brass and not to bad for quality needs a little sort.

Norma is the best quality and by far the brass to use if your searching for accuracy but you need to back the load of because it will run a little high pressures but after the first couple barrels I won't even use any thing else.

Winchester isn't worth it's scrap weight!!
 

AZShooter

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Combine a generous chamber neck dimension with a FL die and the brass will be over worked. Then add the thinner neck walls that Winchester has, which some of the previous posters mentioned. It adds up to short brass life.

Do you own a factory rifle? Who made it?

I (and perhaps others) might like to know just how much things are being worked. What is the OD of the neck of a fired case? What is the OD of the neck of a round that comes out of the FL die without the sizer ball?


Many years ago I decided that neck turning might help my Winchester 284 win brass. I skim turned a couple of dozen to unform the neck wall thicknesses with hopes of more consistency in bullet release. All the necks split in two firings. This happened for the exact reason mentioned above.

The fix? Anneal after each firing. Switch to a neck bushing. Install a new barrel with a custom chamber that has a tighter neck clearance. And an extreme way: form your own brass from RUM or 26 Nosler brass with a ton of forming and neck turning.......
 

FEENIX

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The Winchester brass is tough but you need to anneal the necks to keep them from splitting. My Winchester wsm brass has held their primer pockets like nothing else. Norma on the other hand has given up the pockets in three firings.
i did notice between the winchester and norma that winchester's are still nice and tight compared to the normas i have. a noticeable difference with just a couple reloads.
Tagging!

I too am using WW brass in my .300 WSM -- have some 3Xs un-annealed and still going strong (neck and primer pocket). Loads at are near max and FL sizing with RCBS.
 

JeffVN

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I have over 12 reloads on my current Winchester 7WSM brass. Its still good to go, but I expect it to die in the next few firings (once a batch hits a certain percentage of showing signs of case head separation I dump the entire batch into the recycle bin) I anneal my brass every 2 to 3 firings and trim on the same schedule. The brass itself is over 6 years old and all from the same lot. I use it in batches of 150-200 cases that were prepped together and fired together. The good news for me is that I have an additional 500-600 cases from that same lot sitting in my brass bin just waiting to be prepped and then used. :)

I wish I could get some RWS 7WSM brass, it is supposed to be every bit as good as the best Lapua brass.

JEffVN
 

Mikecr

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The failures folks are seeing correspond with excess clearances and excess sizing.
If you've already put yourself in this position, the only out is to start over, or with the necks you could constantly anneal. If you go the anneal route, be sure to work up a load in that condition, and to be sure the condition is a constant -get the best annealing machine you can.

Sometimes its easier to just start over with a new barrel, finished with better WSM chamber.
 

Timber338

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I used to shoot a lot of Winchester 300wsm brass ... it definitely is tough, but even with annealing and using bushing dies the necks are so thin I wouldn't get more than 5 or 6 firings out of them just because the neck gets worked so much. On top of the necks being thin, the wall thickness uniformity was just awful. Had some brass with a full .010" variation in neck thickness... obviously culled those brass out but reached a point where I was culling and neck turning so much that I just decided to not use Win brass anymore. Just not worth my time. Maybe I was unlucky with the batches I got...
 

Mikecr

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10thou variance huh?
I think you mean 1-1.5thou.......

WIN reloading brass in WSM is not the thickest, but it's as thick as hundreds of other cartridges.
It's NOT too thin.
Grab any 30-06 based case & compare.
 

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