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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#5711233 - 04/22/15 08:29 AM Federal brass?
redchevy Online   content
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Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23446
Loc: Texas
Seems like I have herd that federal brass was hard/prone to cracking?

I have some brass I saved from federal factory ammo I have been shooting in my 243 win. This weekend I fired the brass for the third time, once factory loaded and two sets of handloads.

I had 4 cases have a crack/split in the neck after firing. Is that normal/characteristic of federal brass? Ive gotten a lot better use out of federal 270 and 280 brass.

Guess ill be buying some 243 brass sooner than I thought.
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#5711254 - 04/22/15 08:41 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
deewayne2003 Offline


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 4167
Like you said.....I've had really good luck with using .270win federal brass, and never had splitting issues except for the nickel plated ones I had years back.
They seemed to crack fairly quick.

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#5711285 - 04/22/15 09:02 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9426
Loc: Lewisville, TX
2 things are happening here.

First- The main one is your necks are getting work hardened from shooting and reloading 3 times, and have become brittle. You need to anneal the case necks after about the second firing before sizing. This will prevent the neck cracks. When I shot my 260 Rem, I had to anneal the case necks to keep them from work hardening and keep good consistency in the necks. The over bore rounds (small opening with lots of powder), like a 243 or 22-250, will need annealing sooner than a larger opening case.

2nd- Federal brass is decent brass, but is fairly soft. The primer pockets generally open up very easy after a few loadings. So, there is more care needed for this brass.
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#5711335 - 04/22/15 09:29 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
dee Offline
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I've had horrible luck with Federal brass. Split necks on factory loads or once reloaded.
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#5711361 - 04/22/15 09:42 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
redchevy Online   content
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Registered: 10/25/04
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Interesting.

I have never annealed any brass ever. I have some Winchester, Remington, and federal 270 win and 280 rem brass ranging from 5-6 firings on them and no problems what so ever. All moderate loads. I have been running some of the 243 stuff a little harder than I normally do but still seems like premature failure to me. Ill have to pick up some new stuff and see what gives. Maybe ill get lucky and some of my family who shoots one and doesn't reload will hook me up that would be RP or winchester banana
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#5711419 - 04/22/15 10:13 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
tth_40 Offline
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Registered: 04/05/10
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Loc: North Texas.
I've got 7mm08 Remington, .270 Winchester, .30-06 and 8mmJS Mauser brass in Remington and Winchester that have gone from 4 to 8 loadings with no issues. The most I've pushed Federal brass typically is 3, and by then a few pieces have already split. +1 on Federal primer pockets as well.
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#5711593 - 04/22/15 12:04 PM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9426
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: redchevy
Interesting.

I have never annealed any brass ever. I have some Winchester, Remington, and federal 270 win and 280 rem brass ranging from 5-6 firings on them and no problems what so ever. All moderate loads. I have been running some of the 243 stuff a little harder than I normally do but still seems like premature failure to me. Ill have to pick up some new stuff and see what gives. Maybe ill get lucky and some of my family who shoots one and doesn't reload will hook me up that would be RP or winchester banana


The 270 and 280 calibers you mentioned above are not as overbore as a 243 is, plus they have much longer necks. I have my 270 Win brass that I have never annealed also. It has MANY firings on it. But the necks are very long, and the angle of the flame from the powder burning is totally different than a 243. The 243 has a relatively short neck, and a small opening. There's a lot of flame coming through this small opening. The smaller the area with a good amount of slow buring powder will require you to anneal much sooner than other calibers.
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#5711857 - 04/22/15 02:46 PM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
603Country Offline
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Registered: 07/03/12
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For years I used and reused Norma brass in my 220. Don't know how many reloads I did, but it was a lot. Had a few neck splits, but not many. Recently used some Nosler brass, which I believe to be Federal brass that is held to higher standards of consistency, and I had quite a few neck splits in 260 and in 223 brass after 5 or 6 reloads. Nothing mentioned above was ever annealed.

For what it's worth, the powder in the 220 and 260 was mostly IMR 4064. In the 223 it was H335 and AA2230.

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#5712249 - 04/22/15 07:07 PM Re: Federal brass? [Re: 603Country]
RDub270 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 204
Loc: Fort Worth
Originally Posted By: 603Country
Recently used some Nosler brass, which I believe to be Federal brass that is held to higher standards of consistency


First I've heard of this. How did you come this belief?

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#5712510 - 04/22/15 09:50 PM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
bigjoe8565 Online   content
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Registered: 06/30/08
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I've never had any issues with Federal in my .308. I bought factory ammo, shot it and have 2-3 reloads on the brass. Not sure how long it will last, but so far so good.

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#5712654 - 04/23/15 05:57 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: bigjoe8565]
dawaba Offline
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Often, there is so much variation in DIFFERENT LOTS OF THE SAME BRAND of brass that you would swear you've bought a different brand altogether. So, about the time you settle on a favorite brand, say R-P, you'll run into a batch of Remington that will be too soft, or too brittle, or too short-lived.

As a rule, European brass (RWS, Norma, Lapua) tends to be more consistent from lot to lot, and the flash holes are drilled, rather than punched.

In this day of chronic brass shortages, a casual reloader would be crazy to shun a particular batch of new brass just because he's had issues in the past. And for the general hunting and target shooting that 98% of us do, most any brand will be more or less acceptable, just so long as you try to avoid mixing different brands and lots in the same reloading session.

Now, if you are a competitive shooter or LR gong-ringer, you will be more discerning in your approach to brass procurement, as well as in every stage of your reloading process.
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#5712727 - 04/23/15 07:19 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
redchevy Online   content
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Registered: 10/25/04
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Well im trying to get to that proficiency at long range. Im not partial to any one in particular and do my best to stay consistent in preparation and loading.

Ill run the federals till they don't go no more and ill probably switch to RP because I can get some once fired freebee. If for some reason that doesn't pan out ill just have to see what I can find.
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#5712862 - 04/23/15 08:50 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: 603Country]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: 603Country
Recently used some Nosler brass, which I believe to be Federal brass that is held to higher standards of consistency


Nosler brass is Norma brass rebranded. If you have them side by side, and weigh them, they are almost identical. It is fairly common for brass mfg's to make brass for other companies with their company head stamp.
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#5712867 - 04/23/15 08:52 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: Lewisville, TX
Federal brass is decent. It's just really soft. You will have to trip the brass more than other brands. The primer pockets will also open up much sooner, and they can not last as long with a stiff load. But FC brass will work just fine. I was given about 400 pieces of FC brass and have loaded it up several times. It works fine and shoots good. It just needs a little more TLC.
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#5712887 - 04/23/15 09:09 AM Re: Federal brass? [Re: redchevy]
603Country Offline
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Registered: 07/03/12
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I got my info as to who made Nosler brass from a Varmint magazine article that was testing brass. Supposedly the Nosler brass was hand selected from big lots of Federal brass, and picked for consistency of weight, wall thickness, and such as that. Whether or not the magazine was correct, I don't know.

Just from my use of Norma and Nosler brass, and failure rates of each, I tend to not believe that Norma makes Nosler brass. Of course, my 'research' consists of shooting and reshooting, and I got more neck splits from the Nosler. Quite a few more neck splits. I don't think the two makes of brass are the same. I could be wrong. I have no concrete knowledge of who makes Nosler brass, other than what that magazine article said.

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