Beware of new brass

1slow01Z71

Well-Known
Jun 24, 2012
2,404
36
Kyle
I read all the time about people just loading up brand new brass without resizing much less tumbling and as of late with the brass Ive been loading I feel the need to make a PSA. This may be common knowledge for most but Ive been amazed at just how dirty new brass is. I always full length size new brass and tumble after sizing because Im lazy and don't want to take the case lube off individually with a towel.

Hornady brass has been pretty good and takes little effort to resize but I do get quite a bit of brass "dust" in the bottom of my bowl when I dump the brass and SS pins through the strainer. No big deal and I doubt it would really hurt anything should it get shot out of the barrel. Ive been very happy with the consistency of hornady brass, the necks are uniform and have taken some pretty hot loads and are still kickin.

Winchester brass on the other hand, I don't know if I got a bad lot or what but man that stuff is terrible. Just by the eye you can tell the necks are not uniform at all, even quite a few of them have imperfections in the neck
20131127_222218_zps1434724a.jpg

What really surprised me was how dirty the water was after tumbling it. It literally looked like what I see after cleaning fired brass along with a bunch of brown little seed looking things. When I was chamfering the case necks I could feel how inconsistent the necks were as the cutters of the awl spun in the neck. I doubt I will buy any more Winchester. This is for my 300WM which I have plenty of other brass for now but this was intended to get the barrel nice and ready for being stretched out. We will see if the neck problem shows up 100yds or not.

All of this is to say don't take for granted that because its new brass that its ready to go, even after sizing. Im not super anal about primer pocket uniforming or deburring flash holes but the junk in some of the new brass I find is pretty disturbing.
 

Dawico

Uncoiled
Lifetime Member
Oct 15, 2009
34,843
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Lampasas, Texas
Good thread. I am sure many people don't even think about it.

I bought some .308 match brass from Hornady years ago and it sucked. Not only did they short me but the weights were all over the map. Sounds like their QC is doing a better job.

I always buy Lapua if I can and it never disappoints.

I avoid Winchester like the plague but availability has it's merits.
 

1slow01Z71

Well-Known
Jun 24, 2012
2,404
36
Kyle
Im fairly new to reloading so I cant comment on how Hornady's quality was in the past but at least what Ive got seems to be good stuff. Ive gotten outstanding accuracy in my 308 5R from it. I recently bought 2000 more of their brass that is once fired, I need to run it across the scale. It looks to be of the same quality as the 100 that I bought within the last year. I believe the brass I bought is 2 years old or newer. A few years back Ive read of them having soft primer pockets but that seems to have been fixed. Im running 44gr of varget under a 178 amax which is pretty stout and the primer pockets haven't loosened up at all after 3 firings but we will see. I plan on running these 100 to failure so I can see what I can get away with.

I wish lapua made 300WM brass still, Id pick some up. Legend has it Norma made Lapuas 300WM brass which I have 250 new cases of. It is definitely some good looking brass and way better than the Winchester which obviously should be expected for the price difference. Nosler brass has been a bit overrated IMO. Its not nearly as consistent as it should be for the price. I plan to pick up some Lapua for my 22-250 and see what the fuss is all about.

LC 5.56 and 308 has really surprised me for the price. Its hard to beat in those calibers and I don't think Id buy any other brand. Only reason I bought more hornady is I got 200 1x fired for 540 shipped which isn't much more than LC and kept me from having to do load development again.
 

Dawico

Uncoiled
Lifetime Member
Oct 15, 2009
34,843
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Lampasas, Texas
Norma brass is overrated for the cost IMO.

You will be happy with Lapua. When I weighed mine they were all within 0.1 grain of each other.
 

1slow01Z71

Well-Known
Jun 24, 2012
2,404
36
Kyle
Well there isn't a whole lot of choice in 300WM. RWS is hard as hell to find, Lapua no longer makes 300WM brass, so that really only leaves the regular manufacturers and I wanted a bit better quality than that. Norma is really the only game in town for high quality brass as the Nosler stuff has hit or miss reviews. I am picking up 300 once fired blackhills brass to try that is made by federal. Theyre known for softish primer pockets but Im getting it cheap enough that if I get 5-6 firings out of it Ill be happy.
 

shortround

TGT Addict
Jan 24, 2011
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When you order bulk brass from Midway, the brass always comes with a warning note to inspect for irregularities.

I take nothing for granted, and put all new brass into the polisher, then run it through a full length resizing die.

It is also good practice to inspect the primer pocket and flash hole. If ragged, just trim with a flash hole deburring tool.

Does not add much time, but does clean up the brass enough to eliminate yet another variable in the never ending quest for perfection.
 

Texasjack

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Jan 3, 2010
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I've been reloading a long time and I can tell you that most bulk brass has at least some cartridges with dents, severely uneven necks, brass filings, bits of tumbling media, and sometimes blocked primer holes - and it's been that way as long as I remember.

Treat all brass with respect: do your resizing, cleaning, and inspections regardless of the source of the brass. Any brass that's questionable goes in the recycle bucket. I take no chances with something that might damage me or my firearm.
 

Paul5388

Active Member
Feb 17, 2013
460
16
Rusk County
Back a few years, this what we got for bulk (lot# 702105) and I have R-P that is the same age as the Norma.



I have never seen where Norma is any better than the new R-P next to it.
 

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