Bargain new brass?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDBennett, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Not too long ago I bought some new brass made in Brazil (CBC) for 50BMG. It was priced right, seemed well made, and reloaded without a problem except.....

    It turns out that the brass was thinner than the standards set for 50BMG cases. The results was the sized brass had no neck tension on the bullets as the inside diameter of the sized cases exactly matched that of the outside diameter of the bullets. Hence no neck tension and only the crimp held the bullet in place. Without buying special dies there was no way to use the brass as the dies even without the de-priming stem installed would not size the throat of the case less than to the diameter of the bullet (no neck tension). I had to discard 50 cases at about 75 cents each. I replaced them with good Lake City MIL surplus once fired cases.

    So be warned that bargain foreign brass may not be a bargain after all. Foreign companies that make the brass are not guided, it appears, by USA standards for brass manufacture. That, of course, does not include all brass from foreign shores as Norma brass is some of the best.

    Just be aware.

    LDBennett
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Only foreign brass i buy is made in Finland. Laupa is the most amazing brass I have ever used.
  3. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Active Member

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    That's good info to know. I have about 250 peices or so of CBC 45acp brass. So far I have not had any problems, but need to keep a eye on them.
  4. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    I've never had any problems with CBC .357mag cases, some have been loaded half dozen times now. Not trying to say that all their cases are good, just that the .357s seem just fine. But I have to agree with whats been said, Lapua brass is great. It's expensive, but it'll outlast any other and it's pretty consistent. At least when it comes to .338 Lapua.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The size difference between 50BMG and 357 brass is huge and if any brass is going to show a problem due to wall thickness reduction it has to be the big 50 BMG cases. I am not saying to not buy CBC but to make sure that it will not create a problem (like no neck tension) before you stock up on it.

    As for foreign brass such as Norma and Lapua, one of the magazine did a comparison of brass case life for a rifle cartridge and found that none of the foreign brass had longevity significantly surpassing the better American brands. I don't have the magazine at hand but the bottom line was all brass they tested had about the same life span. If I can find the article I'll summarize the results in another post.

    A brass cartage case is not as simple as it appears. The head has one heat treatment and the shoulder and throat still another. The alloying has to be just right. Get any of it wrong and you get blowouts. The difference of some foreign brass might be quality control and they may get it right more often but the test I referred to did not seem to show that to be true. And it did not show any economical advantage to buying the foreign brass as the pricing was substantial more for almost the same performance.

    More to come if I can find the article.

    LDBennett
  6. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    As for foreign brass such as Norma and Lapua, one of the magazine did a comparison of brass case life for a rifle cartridge and found that none of the foreign brass had longevity significantly surpassing the better American brands.


    Not trying to argue or discredit the information, but we would get 3 loads (.338 Lapua) with Hornady brass vs. currently on the 6th load with Lapua brass. Same load. I have no other comparisons in that chambering tho, so maybe it was just bad brass from Hornady.
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I don't worry about life I want precision and consistency.
  8. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    I have a bunch of Magtec ammo (.44 Special and .44 Magnum) with CBC head stamps. I purchased some .44 Magnum Magtec brass new, (I believe it may have been through MidSouth) and all brass had CBC head stamp. No probs with new ammo or reloads...
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    bntyhntr6975:

    You know more than one person has said that. I was amazed at the results as presented in the magazine. I'll make a real effort to find the article.

    LDBennett
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Handloader magazine article

    In December 2008 Handloader the author, Gary D. Sciuchetti, set out to find the most accurate 308 load for his rifle. The article is very extensive and the tests seem laborious based on the article, but appear to be pretty scientific.

    To start with the author weighed the cases: Federal plain and plated matched Federal military; next was Nosler; next was Lapua: Norma and plated Remington weighted the same; next was plain Remington; next was Winchestern with Hornady the lightest.

    Accuracy with known accurate measure of powder and a know accurate bullet (all developed through extensive testing) results when only the cases were changed was as follow, most accurate first (average over four five shot groups-all were virgin brass):

    Nosler, Federal plain, Lapua, Remington plated, Remington plain, Norma, Hornady, Federal Military, Federal plated, Winchester. The difference between the worst and the best was 0.25 inches.


    Accuracy with known accurate measure of powder and a know accurate bullet (all developed through extensive testing) results when only the cases were changed was as follow, most accurate first (average over four five shot groups-all were once fired brass):

    Nosler, Federal plated, Winchester, Remington plain, Federal plain, Remington plated, Lapua, Norma, Federal military, Hornady. The difference between the worst and the best was 0.25 inches.


    All were shot until failure. The number of successful reloads without failure follows the brand and the order starts from worst to best for endurance: Nosler and Federal Military-10, Hornady-11, Federal plain and plated-12, Winchester-13, Lapua-14, Remington plain-19 and plated-21, and the winner Norma-23.

    There is a whole lot more in this article and it has to be read to be appreciated but the above is the brass case part. I would conclude that Norma brass definitely outlast all others, Nosler is the most accurate but not durable at all. Note that Winchester lasted only one less reloading cycle than Lapua. And that Remingotn was only two reloading cycles behind Norma and better than Lapua. What is the difference in the pricing? I buy Remington brass when I can get it and settle on Winchester. Both Remington and Winchester beat out Norma and Lapua for once fired accuracy. I will not pay the premium for Norma or Lapua, and not just because of this testing.

    LDBennett
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