Old 02-15-2012, 05:14 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: canada
Posts: 257

ive played around with brass in my .308 the most so when i refer to various brands, take note of the caliber. i trim short, i know 2.005 is min spec but i bring everything to 2.000 on the nose. my process is to fire once,deprime, tumble, neck size, trim, chamfer neck, debur flash hole then i can get 5 neck sizings (including the last one) from that point but tumbling every time. my neck sizing process is to deprime using a universal depriming die then tumble then lube and size. i do this before every sizing, including full length. after those 5 neck sizings i full length size, fire, neck size, trim, chamber neck and get another 5 neck sizings (including the last size). i do this for 15 neck sizings because i feel that i am loading hot, but not so hot that i am stretching the case to its limits. fyi 44.3 grains of n150 with 168 a-max and cci br2 primer. i also feel that 15 is not enough to cause enough brass migration/flow to cause a dougnut in the neck to i dont neck turn or ream. nor do i feel annealing is needed at 15 neck sizings.

hornady match has actually been a very good performer thus far. i have found that the neck tension has stayed very consistent when seating bullets. when both full length and neck sizing i have found hornady to be the most consistent after the first firing. as expected specific batches (ie 5th sizing, 7th sizing, etc) have there own tension and apparent hardness characteristics and thus i use specific firing batches for specific bullet weights. i havent actually tested one batch against another to see in there is a accuracy difference but given each batch feels slightly different through the die or when seating the primer i just keep batches appart for precaution. i have found case weight after prep to be very consistent at about +/- 5 grains in a box of 50 and about =/- 15 grains overall across serveral lots. i really feel these tolerances are tight when i look at other brands. one thing that i like about hornady is that out of the box i can make a load to fire form to the chamber without needing to run the die.

winchester has about the same case capacity as hornady maybe a little less overall. case tension is very consistent, although i havent tested win as much as hornady. primer pocket tension is not as consistent as hornady but winchester gets better with time. without a rockwell hardness gauge, i believe the necks to be harder then hornady and the heads to be softer. weight tolerances after prep seem to be actually pretty good, right on par with hornady but i have found a few in the batch that were way out. with winchester,fresh out of the bag i always run them through a full length die to remove imperfections in the neck.

i have used very little of remington in my .308 so i do not feel i should speak on there part, but in both 308 and 243 case capacity is smaller. about 2 grains of water in both 243 and 308. that is why i use if for my 308 varmit loads and in most 243 loads. if someone is going to use a reduced load, remington might be a good option. remington also requires a run thought the die for the initial firing

i also have a single bag of lapua .308 (not palma) cases. i have done very little work with these but without a doubt lapua takes the cake. they run smooth and consitent thought the die. my chamfer tool doesnt chatter when im chamfering. my trimmer doesnt squeak or grab when im cutting the case down. i also dont get as bad of a burr when i trim the case. primer pocket tension is perfect. stangely enough the lapua case has a slightly thicker neck then other brands, or at least the few i measured did. after prep work, the case weight tolerances were almost perfect. +/- 3 grains from my single batch which i know is ALOT better then what lapua averages but that is just what i have found. case length is 2.010 average +/- 0.002 before trimming. without checking my notes i remember lapua having less capacity then hornady, maybe a little more then winchester and more then remington.

i will be trying federal soon but time is short. cant get any lake city or ivi localy so logistically they are not a option. i may soon try norma or rws but right now i am very happy with using mostly hornady and winchester brass.

Last edited by dylan_b; 02-16-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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