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308 brass - life,brands,acquisition

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by pinne65, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I'm new to bottle neck reloading. But have done straight wall pistol for a couple of years. I have 10+ times on my 45 Colt, 4 on 454 Cassull and 10mm. (Starline)

    I'm just curious how much I can expect from 308 cases. I realize it depends on a lot of factors. But I'd just would like to get some sample numbers.

    Also, what brands would you recommend and where do you get it a good price - wish **- had it...

    TIA
     
  2. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    Life will, as you already mentioned depend upon a lot of factors, mainly on two:
    How good the brass was to begin with and how hard you work it in the shooting and reloading process.

    Best brands in order as rated by quality/price/long life.
    1--Lapua
    2--Lapua
    3--Lapua
    4--Norma because it is so expensive.......
    All the major match/BR/F-class/ parts and supply retailers will have both.
     
    tac and spectra like this.
  3. FOWELKILLER

    FOWELKILLER buckley ,wa Member

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    personally ive reloaded some winchester head stamp 308 cases 4-5 times but if you run hotter than 2500fps which i do for my wifes hunting rounds,the brass stretches pretty fast.so if there just target loads keep them moderate use plenty of lube when resizing and just pay attention,i inspect every case i reload very carefully.its no fun pulling a split case out of your chamber.remember to wear those safety glasses;),i trim all rifle cases after i resize its amazing how much some cheap cases stretch.other than that go have some fun,watch for pressure signs.
     
  4. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I agree with the Lapua brass. It can be reloaded a bunch of times. Like they say pay once and cry once:D
     
  5. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I just bought 100 Lapua's at Cabelas for $84, even though I have 200 I currently rotate and >500 sitting in a box. I suspect the Lapua will last 8-10 reloads. Based on my experience reloading them for 338, they are that good. I've also been impressed by RWS and Norma brass. Others I have done: Lake City, Rem, Win, Federal, Hornady and S&B. I get an odd one that I don't recognize once in a while.
    I anneal after 3 rounds, trim when > 0.005" over SAMMI spec, and throw them out when they look crappy or the primer pocket is loose. Have a large coffee can next to the bench that's >1/2 filled with 308 discards - most of those are LC and FC due to primer pockets, dead after only 2 reloads. Another red flag I watch for is the cases where seating the bullet offers little or no resistance. Call it Kentucky Windage, but when it offers no resistance, I pull it, dump the powder and toss. So far, I can remember only a few of those.
    I've never done an analysis of the different wall thickness of the cases, but when you examine the inisde of cases and see what the base looks like, Lapua, Norma and RWS stand high above all the rest in apparent quality.
    In my 338 with the same powder charge and bullet, Hornadys would exhibit a sticky bolt lift while Lapua would not (no other pressure signs).
     
  6. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I never quite understood the need to toss perfectly good brass after a handful of uses.

    I have some 223 brass I've lost count of uses. Definitely between 15-20 times reloaded.

    As for as 308. I've used a set of 50 cases of Hornady brass I think 12 times now. I only neck resize them. I've had to trim them twice. Both times they were not off by much and I didn't shave off a whole lot.

    Then again I've never loaded anything for these rifles beyond anything crazy.

    I do go through 10mm brass quicker though. Sometimes having to toss them after the 1st reload due to pressure signs or cracks. I had a bunch of once shot starling from factory double tap loads. They were nickel plated, they all lasted one reload. I figured the plating made them too hard for what I used them for.

    I'm not an expert, just load and shoot a lot. However, by no means is anyone's reloads the same. Be careful, measure twice, and take it from there. If you don't feel safe using the same brass after X amount of loads, do what you feel comfortable with.
     
  7. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I have Lapua .223 brass with 15 reloads...have not lost a single one. I have Lapua 6mmBR brass with 21 reloads....have not lost a single one.

    Lapua is more expensive up front, but it last so long that it is cheaper over the long haul.
     
  8. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone!

    I was not aware of neck-only resizing until today - very useful info.

    I just reloaded my first batch of 308s and noticed a quite significant elongation on the brass, 2.790 -> 2.818. I'll try to use more lube and less force the next time.
     
  9. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    What brass did you reload?
     
  10. FOWELKILLER

    FOWELKILLER buckley ,wa Member

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    just remember neck-sizing brass SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN THE GUN THAT FIRED IT,as it forms to the guns chamber.so if you have 2or3 or10 308s remember which one the case is from.made the mistake when i fist got into reloading and got some ammo from a guy i know from a reputable reloader he knows and behold my bolt wouldnt close,yep neck sized for his 338.it shure saves your brass though and helps with accuracy.
     
  11. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    It was Hornady, once fired.

    But I think I was really rough on it and didn't have enough lube on. I'm counting on destroying some brass in the beginning. Too bad you can't use carbide dies on the bottlenecks.

    I'll remember to match the fireformed brass to the right chamber.
     
  12. erslll

    erslll Hermiston OR Active Member

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    Wow! That is some pretty long 308 brass. According to the Hornady reloading manual, you should trim your brass to 2.oo5. Those look like loaded ammo numbers to me. I have been loading 150 grains Nosler Ballistic Tips to 2.814.
     
  13. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    DOH - you're right. Need to subtract .8" from that number
     
  14. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Too much lube and you will put dents in your brass around the neck and shoulder area. A little lube goes a long ways. Part of the resistance you will feel is the button coming back the neck, so you may need to lube that up a little as well.

    New brass won't have any carbon inside the necks so that will result in more resistance as well. Dry graphite is a good way to lube these up if you have any.

    If you decide to neck size, it is a good idea to measure the diameter of your brass fairly often with a micrometer or at least a caliper. I've necked sized and eventually the cases started sticking in the chamber. I've gone back to FL sizing my brass. I measure carefully and only set the shoulders back .002 at the most.
     
  15. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Thanks!

    I got some shoulder dents as well. I thought it was because the brass was already a little bit dented to start with. Now I know one more thing to look out for. I didn't think there was such a thing as too much lube.
     
  16. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Those little dents are not going to be too much of a concern. They will fire form out.
     
  17. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Ok - just fired my first reloads. 43 grs of IMR 4064 under 168 grs BTHP, coal 2.80. Should've been around 2550 fps. Didn't have the cronometer out - too damp and dreary. I just wanted to make sure nothing I did would blow in my face. Success! Four 3 shot groups all less than one inch at 100 yds. I think I saw the limiting factor, not the rifle or the ammo.
     
  18. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

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    Congrats on your first rifle loads! Now you are hooked like the rest of us.

    You can also adjust the powder charge to the harmonics of your barrel and improve accuracy.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. pinne65

    pinne65 Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Ha,ha - I'm hooked for sure!

    I'll work up some different loads the next time and run the chrony
     
  20. FOWELKILLER

    FOWELKILLER buckley ,wa Member

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    good job 4 groups under an inch,you should play with some ladder testing to find the right powder and amount,this tells you what the harmonics of the barrel like with that combo, then screw with the oal,and then by different powder do it again,then buy different brass weigh it sort it,shoot some more then buy different primers,then some different boolits,then some more powder.then and then and then and then,congrats on the new addiction;),all i can say is buy what you can where ever you can for reloading,it seems to be around for a while i think stuff is getting normal again then boom its gone for weeks.:mad: just have fun and stay safe,NO MORE POWDER ,IF THE BOLT GETS HARD TO OPEN!:eek: