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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2009 at 22:38
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Optics GrassHopper
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Im new to reloading, and any type of precision shooting, so excuse my ignorance, but what kind of differences should I expect to see between primers and brass?  I can halfway understand a difference in primers, but really dont understand why brass would make a difference.  Is it anything I should worry about, or mostly just for BR shooters??  Any help is appreciated
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2009 at 23:55
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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I don't think you will see much of a difference with either if you are reloading for a hunting rifle. However, to answer your question, some brass makers are more consistent with regard to weight and side wall tolerances. In my opinion, the most consistent brass is Lapua and Norma. Both of these makers drill their flash holes while domestic makers punch their flash holes which can leave a bur. I have also found that Lapua brass is about the strongest of any brass made which allows for more reloadings per case. As far as primers are concerned, I've never really tested them enough to make a determination whether they make any difference regarding accuracy. Again, depends on the rifle and what you are looking for.

Edited by Roy Finn - October/18/2009 at 23:56
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 07:44
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the primer pockets in Lap brass will stay gooder longer, in some cases 2x as long. some primers behave differently in the particular type of load your using. as an example, I prefer to use WW primers in 308 Lake City Arsenal brass as they fit tighter, which makes a difference in semi-autos. Federal Mag primers are "hotter" than most mag primers and work well with large capacity cases. And as Roy pointed out it depends on the firearm. Handguns are more sensitive to different primers, as the force of firing pin varies a great deal more, and head spacing is more difficult.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 09:04
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Lapua is the best of the premium brass and is still available for little more than half the price of Norma. For all the reasons mentioned above, plus better concentricity. I have also saved and reloaded all kinds of Rem., Federal, Lake City, PMC, etc. but just for plinking rounds. None of that has been terrible.

For primers, you will probably get good results with any of the major brands. Just be aware that if you switch from one brand to another, it could change the characteristics of your loads. My advice is standardize on one and worry about other parameters of load development. Personally, I've put the most effort into ladder tests involving only differences in powder charges and that's been where I've seen the most benefit in accuracy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 09:30
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" but what kind of differences should I expect to see between primers and brass?  I can halfway understand a difference in primers, but really dont understand why brass would make a difference.  Is it anything I should worry about, "
 
For most purposes, not a lot.  Both primers (the degree of "blast") and cases (the internal volume) varies a bit between brands and even between lots of the same brand.  BUT, unless you are loading on the ragged edge of a KABOOM you won't go over the safe limits with common brass or correct primers just by changing brands.
 
Between choices of premium cases and more common American cases there is certainly a difference in "quality" but it's not massive and, for use in factory rifles, it's usually hard to detect any significant difference, not enough to justify the difference in cost!   I've used Laupa and Norma in some really good factory rifles but, after some culling and uniforming of WW, Rem cases, I couldn't see ANY difference on targets.  And culling the lightest/heavest American cases was a LOT less costly for some quite good cases.     (Others mileage may vary.)  But, if you want to avoid the culling and uniforming steps, the more expensive stuff may be helpful.
 
Choice of primers is a tweak for good shooting loads.  Changing them might make the load a slight bit bettter - or worse.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 10:54
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If you can get other brass really cheap, then culling and uniforming makes sense...but factor in your time (and patience threshold) and it might be better to just get higher quality brass in the first place.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 18:55
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you will notice more consistency in your loads in buying large quantities of the same lot number than switching between brand.s
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 21:14
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Much depends on what you are loading for. If a mass-produced rifle, then both brass and primers matter much less than if you're loading for a more precision-made rifle.
 
With hunting rifles--including accurate varmint rifles--I have found that even neck-thickness makes more difference than anything else. Most brass can be easily sorted for neck thickness in relatively little time, and usually arouynd 90% of the cheapest bulk brass will normally test out OK (.0015" or less variation in neck thickness).
 
Just one comment on primers: Independent tests have shown that Federal 215's aren't necessarily the hottest "magnum" rifle primers on the market. They were the first of the magnum rifle primers, but that doesn't mean they are the hottest. In fact Federal makes an even hotter primer that isn't offered to the public. They load it in factory ammo such as the .416 Rigby and .470 Nitro Express.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 21:25
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I've  been informed that some Magnum primers aren't really any "hotter" than standard ones from the same manufacturer in terms of temperature or intensity of the flame or "explosion".
 Rather, they contain an element (aluminum?) that holds the heat a few milliseconds longer, allowing a little more time to ignite difficult extruded propellents.
 
Any insight into that aspect of primer performance, if true, John Barsness?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 22:09
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I think Fed uses a different chemical comp. also, but can't remember if lead styphanate , or mecuric fulminate goes with win or Fed. Also some of the indoor pistol mixtures use non heavy metals, but haven't been able to find out what.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2009 at 23:04
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I'm convinced that good brass is one of the most important factors to good loads.  Like JB says, the neck thickness variation is important.  IMO that is the largest contributor to Weatheby's shooting good, all of the Weatherby brass I have reloaded has been excellent stuff.
 
If you start with a large neck thickness variation, even neck turning to the same thickness all the way around will not recenter the neck in a case that was made off center to begin with.  The next new caliber I get a gun in, the caliber will be chosen because of the availability of Lapua brass.  They don't make it in many common calibers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2009 at 19:15
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Another difference, in brass, is trim length of the case.  I bought 50 Winchester cases for my 300 WSM... of the 50 cases, 15 were too short to be trimmed to the correct case length- BUMMER...  I like Norma and Lapua better... I usually get to use all of the brass, no burrs and more consistant weights... You get what you pay for I guess.  JMO. Bandito 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2009 at 20:06
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One nice thing about that expensive Laupa brass is it doesnt come beat up like some of the other stuff does.  If you dont mind spending adequate time on case prep you can load most any brass but lapua will save you much time and effort however it only comes in a few calibers and ussually has to be mail ordered.   Some calibers of brass are still hard to find and primers are still hard to find.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2009 at 20:58
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RONK,
 
There are various mixtures. Some do burn a little longer, or the flame extends further into the powder charge. It;s hard to tell exactly how well any of them work with a specific cartridge/powder charge without trying it, especially in terms of accuracy.
 
I know that sounds very general, but so much depends on other factors than the primer that generality is about it.
 
I do know that so-called match or benchrest primers are the same primers as standard--except they are made by exceptionally consistent workers! So the "charge" in each primer is more consistent than in standard primers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2009 at 22:36
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 Thanks, John.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2009 at 16:42
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

I don't think you will see much of a difference with either if you are reloading for a hunting rifle. However, to answer your question, some brass makers are more consistent with regard to weight and side wall tolerances. In my opinion, the most consistent brass is Lapua and Norma. Both of these makers drill their flash holes while domestic makers punch their flash holes which can leave a bur. I have also found that Lapua brass is about the strongest of any brass made which allows for more reloadings per case. As far as primers are concerned, I've never really tested them enough to make a determination whether they make any difference regarding accuracy. Again, depends on the rifle and what you are looking for.
 
 
Not to be a nit-picker, but Lapua "6BR Norma" brass flash holes are not drilled. They are punched. I can't comment on the other sizes of Lapua cases tho'.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2009 at 17:44
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RONK,
 
Sorry not to answer sooner, but have been hunting now and then.
 
Yeah, some do put chemicals in the primer to lengthen the duration of the flame, which helps in igniting certain powders (especially ball powders) and in colder weather. I suspec Federal does this but am not entirely sure, since it's been a while since I last visited their factory!
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