New reloader

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by rcrain, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. rcrain

    rcrain New Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hey everyone,
    I’m new to reloading and have a few questions about primers and case brands.

    I've looked over the forums and books and have not found any information about case brands and how they affect performance as well as primers.
    So my question is, for example the Lyman manual, it says Remington cases are used for .308 test results along with Remington primers. Being new to reloading I don’t want to screw up my first reloads (or me!).

    What I have is .308 Winchester brass, CCI 200 large rifle primers, Hodgdon - Varget powder and Speer 168 grain BTHP bullets. I would load using the Lyman suggested starting grains of 41 with an overall length of 2.81"

    I have the Lyman and Modern Reloading manuals;
    Lyman tests are conducted with Remington brass and primers.
    Modern Reloading makes no reference to brass or primers.

    Does brass make a difference? I know the military brass is different (smaller volume) because of thickness. But would Winchester brass make a difference here and how about the primer brands are the CCI a good choice here? I’m not shooting for absolute performance but rather consistency but I want to be safe about it.

    Sorry for the book
    and thanks
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Your are doing fine with all of that, the cci primers are great and you won't notice a difference until you get into the more technical aspects of reloading. The Lyman manual is a great start -read it several times, more info will pop out at you once you start your loading process. One thing I think you missed ( I did too ) is the 2.81 OAL is the maximum for the .308 not necessarily the correct OAL for your chamber. Look under the 168gr data and you will see 2.775 right underneath. As far as brass I think winchester is fine plinking brass and not match quality - as you get tuned into your press you will see how different grades of brass stretch and "feel" as you resize it.

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Brass life and component changes impact on accuracy

    The most recent Handloader magazine (Dec 2008) has an article on reloading 308 for accuracy. The guy tested every possible combination of components. The article is huge and hard to get through but he did a brass endurance test on 10 different brands and/or types of brass. Here's some of the results:

    Manufacturer/ reloads to failure (head seperation)
    Federal military/11
    Federal plain/13
    Federal plated/13
    Remingtom plain/20
    Remington plated/22

    The best deal going, according to this testing, is Remington brass! Norma, which some claim last much longer than anyone elses brass, is good, but Remington is nearly as good at a huge discount in the price.

    There is all kinds of component testing done and you have to read the article to appreciate it. For instances, the custom bullets by Berger showed the best accuracy but the Sierra Matchkings were very close behind as were the Hornady Interbonds and A-Max. Considereing the cost differentials the Sierras seem to be the way to go, according to this testing.

    His conclusions were:

    Powder changes can impact the group size by 150%
    Changing primers can impact the groups size by 60%
    Changing brass can impact the groups size by 50%
    Changing brands and types of bullets can impact the group size by 400%
    Solid bullets are super sensitive to seating depth and those changes can impact group size by 300%

  4. rcrain

    rcrain New Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Thanks everyone,
    That makes me feel a lot better about my choices.

  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    a good rule of thumb: anytime you change a component start back at minimum and work back up.

    My late mentor used magnum primers in everything he reloaded, since he reloaded nearly everything ever made, it made more sense to keep 4 kinds of primers instead of 8. I know that it says nothing in any loading manual about such practices, but let me assure you this guy had 50 years or more experience. And in 50+ years at the loading bench and behind the rifle, he never had a failure to fire, squib, or inaccurate round. And i would say 99% of his reloads performed best at less than maximum loads, with a great number of those working best near starting, even with the magnum primer.
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