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I am getting into reloading and need to know what brass I can use and what I should stay away from. The sizes I will be reloading will be, 44Mag, 357Mag, 45ACP, 300Win Mag, 30-06 Springfield, and of course 5.56Nato or 223 Remington. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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AMerc brass sucks. Plain and simple. Old Federal 40 brass isn’t real high up on my list either. Most Federal rifle brass is too soft for me. Starline and Remington are great. GI 223, 308 and 30-06 works fine also. You just have to swage the primer pockets to remove the crimp.

Welcome to the list. You will find no shortage of opinions here and a lot of good experience.

Tom
AF Shooting Team
 

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Agree with Tom completely about the AMERC brass. Toss it, and save yourself a lot of trouble.

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Regards,
AZFred
 

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Starline and Winchester are good. Another thumbs down for AMERC.
 

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All my premature case failures have been with Remington cases, and the failure is always the same: a vertical split, sometimes the entire length of the case.

This happened a lot when I used factory ammo. I reload all my ammo, now.

For practice, a mixed bag. For service rounds, Starline or Winchester.
 

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I've found Remington brass in 45 ACP tends to have thin case walls. The grip on the bullet is not very tight in many instances, even with a good taper (factory) crimp. Remington in 357 and 44 works well with a roll crimp. In 45 ACP, I've had good luck with Winchester, S & B, PMC, and Federal. Federal seems to me to be the most substantial brass. As reported by other respondents, Amerc brass sucks. No data on rifle brass.
 

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Ha! I thought I was the only one that was suckered into buying some cheap AMerc ammo because the brass is reloadable. When I find a piece of AMerc brass on the range, I throw it as far as I can into the woods and wash my hands as quickly as possible.

But seriously, I shoot just about any commercial brass in my pistols as long as the primer pockets are not crimped (PMC, WW, RP, FED, Speer). I buy once fired brass because I am cheap, but for new brass it is hard to beat Starline's quality and pricing.

For rifle brass, I pick a readily available brand and stick with it; I've had good luck with REM and WIN. I do not mix brands of rifle brass, because accuracy suffers when I do that. I start with a good supply of new, unfired brass and go from there. When the batch wears out, I buy another quantity and continue the procedure.

I uniform the primer pockets and deburr the flashholes on all my rifle brass. The practice of keeping separate "lots" of brass prevents me from repeating these tedious procedures after every firing, and makes it easier to monitor case length.

I hope this helps.
 

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I forgot to mention that, in my experience, nickel plated pistol brass does not seem to last as long as the regular stuff. Vertical splits in the case mouth appear more quickly in nickel casings. Don't pay extra for nickel plated pistol brass.

I don't have much experience with nickel plated rifle brass, so I don't know if this holds true with rifle brass. Anyone else?
 

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Originally posted by doctor j:


(snipped for brevity)

Federal seems to me to be the most substantial brass.

(snipped for brevity)

Me, too. I don't buy it new because of poor availability here, and expense. I get my practice brass at the local gun shows, and they're always mixed. I use new brass for service loads only, which I fire once, then put in the practice bag. That gets expensive, so I don't do that often. So, I settle for Winchester or Starline, and spend all my money on primers, powder, and projectiles.

Us poor `uns have to make sacrifices.



[This message has been edited by feedramp (edited 10-17-2001).]
 

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The only advantage to Nickel plated brass is that it makes it easier to pick out your brass from others' brass at the range when it is crowded.

I have also noted earlier splits with Win Nickel brass. However, after 10 reloads, the stuff was due for retirement anyway. So I loaded it one more time, gaged it, inspected each one, and shot it in competition.
 

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Ditto on the AMERC - they should come with a jam guarantee.
In .45 ACP I can highly recommend Starline. Its primer pocket seems to have been made for the Dillon 550B and Winchester primers. The tightest (sometimes so tight they protrude & get tossed) brass in terms of primer pockets - Winchester. Go figure, Winchester primers & Winchester brass should be made to match.
Stay away from steel ammo in semi-auto guns. They are hard on the extractors. Because they are steel they are less malable to shaping in the dies. Hence, steel cases are harder on the dies than brass cases.
 

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Definitely AMERC is garbage. I do hope that people continue to use it here and there since the stupid plastic "boxes" are great for storing my conical bullets with really soft BPG lube.

I personally feel that starline and winchester are all that anyone should use. The rest of it seems like it has weaknesses with different calibers.

Remington, for example doesn't allow for good neck tension with the .45 auto. It splits quickly with .223 loads as well. Now it works perfectly for .308, .303, .38 Super(winchester has a slight edge), and 38/.357 loads.

I have no use for federal at all. The primer pockets get loose and it splits more readily than some others.

PMC is alright but off center flash holes aren't good for decapping pins. I've seen no problems with their handgun brass.

Military cases are usually good, and I've used a bunch of LC. The downside there is the one time primer pocket crimp removal.

I've got nickle .38 Super cases that have been used steadily since the early 80's and have no complaints. I have seen it split a little more than plain brass in .38 and .357 cases. It causes occasional "wierd" problems when sizing in some rifle calibers and I avoid it these days.

I'm just setting up to load for the 45-70 and the first thing on the list was a batch of starline brass. I love the stuff in any caliber and almost get teary eyed when I lose a case.
 

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I like Federal Brass for .308 and .45 ACP and have fired tens of thousands of rounds of both. I have some .45ACP brass that has at least 10 reloads on it with no problem. Federal Match Brass was always a favorite with the Bench Rest crowd for its uniformity.

A lot of guys on the AR15 forums think the Federal .223 Win. is too soft. I haven't fired enough of it in reloads to comment. I have however fired 50 to 60 thousand rounds of "Processed Military Brass" form Scharch Mfg. They supply 1 shot Military alrady sized , trimmed, chamferred and primer pockets reamed for around $40.00 per thousand delivered. Great Deal! Check them out at www.scharch.com.

Hope this helps.

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ACK

"Make the First Shot Count"!
 
C

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Concerning the .223 (5.56) brass, you can't go wrong with USGI, better known as Lake City (LC). If your shooting max loads, you'll need to back off a bit, as the USGI brass is thicker than most. An EXCELLANT source for this brass is River Valley Ordanance (www.rvow.com) I got 3500 rounds of LC brass, trimmed,polished, sized(small base) and crimps removed for $160. AR15 can be picky about brass, especially the high dollar DCM models like mine. Best you get a large quanity from one source so you know it's history, and the LC brass lasts forever!

Edited cause I forgot something: In my book, Federal brass is the worst! This may differ with some other opinions, but I've lost points in matches due to loose primers falling out under recoil. If you check AR15.com, you'll see that it's a common problem with Federal .223 brass. Just my .02

[This message has been edited by cocked&locked (edited 10-23-2001).]
 
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