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#6006176 - 11/02/15 09:11 AM Best Brass for Precision .223
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
It is time to purchase new brass for my heavy-barreled .223 bolt gun.

I would appreciate suggestions and experiences, both pro and con, on the various brands of .223 brass.

I've been using Federal with no complaints, but if something else is demonstrably better, then this would be the time for me to switch over.

Also, discussion on advanced case preparation would be enlightening and interesting.

My rifle has the 1-12" twist. My current pet load pushes a Hornady 52 grain HP at 3050 fps, using 25 grains of 748. The bullet is seated at .015" off of the lands.

smile


Edited by charlesb (11/02/15 09:13 AM)
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#6006183 - 11/02/15 09:17 AM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
Cast Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
I get LC brass whenever I can. It's a chore to get it worked up and ready to load, but you just do that once and then it lasts a good long time. I kinda doubt a 1:12 223 will benefit much from expensive brass, it's gonna shoot anything you feed it.
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#6006627 - 11/02/15 12:57 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Winchester, Nosler, Norma, Lapua would be the first olace I would look for brass for a precision .223. Military brass I have played with for .308 was far less consistent, and far heavier than commercial brass. Therby raising your powder column, and Chad reccomends backing off the load for military brass. It is what I will use in my AR for hog hunting in the thick woods because I know I will lose it. I would not use it for a bolt action, because there are better options.

If Winchester is more your budget, you will have to put in more work than the other brands. FL size, trim, chamfer/ debur, and flash hole ream. After the brass has been fired, set your FL sizer die to "partial FL size" the brass .002" shorter than the fired length at the shoulder. If the brass grew a significant amount the next loading with a .002" bump can gain velocity, on the same powder charge as the virigin brass.
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#6006759 - 11/02/15 02:06 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
603Country Offline
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Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4867
Loc: Central Texas
When I order new brass, I go for Lapua and Norma. The reason isn't what you might expect, and the reason is that I don't feel that I have to do any prep on Lapua and Norma (and the same with Nosler). I have a bunch of Winchester and Remington that is still 'in service' and it's all fully prepped and shoots just as good as the high dollar brass. When I say "fully prepped", the brass is weight sorted, lightly neck turned, primer pockets uniformed, flash holes deburred, chamfered, etc. I admit that I finally just got tired of all that brass prep.

And Fireman is so right about not wanting to lose the good brass, or even the well prepped brass. I only shoot bolt guns these days and I hate to lose even one piece of brass.

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#6006959 - 11/02/15 04:10 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
tenyearsgone Offline
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Registered: 04/21/13
Posts: 1213
I use LC brass mostly, because it usually holds more powder than a lot of the other brands. I like loading heavy bullets to magazine length.

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#6006964 - 11/02/15 04:13 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: FiremanJG]
tenyearsgone Offline
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Registered: 04/21/13
Posts: 1213
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Chad reccomends backing off the load for military brass.


Even for LC .223? Military brass has been proven to actually hold more powder than most of the other brands.

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#6007004 - 11/02/15 04:32 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: tenyearsgone]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: tenyearsgone
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Chad reccomends backing off the load for military brass.


Even for LC .223? Military brass has been proven to actually hold more powder than most of the other brands.


It depends. 308 Yes. The 308 LC and WCC brass is heavier than Win and other brands, and has less internal case volume. The 223/5.56 brass depends. I just weighed some Winchester cases and they were 97.50 grains, and the LC brass was 95.2 to 95.6 grains. So, the LC I have should have more internal case volume than the Win brass. But a simple water test of how much volume of water weight each has will tell you which has more/less room to alter your load.
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#6007034 - 11/02/15 04:55 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
I enjoy doing brass preparation, to me it's enjoyable as long as I'm not doing more than 50 cases at a time. More than that, and I start getting tired.

Trimming the LC brass is quite a chore, usually they are pretty long in the neck when I get them, and the primer pockets have to be de-crimped. I have tons of LC brass, but I found that I had better luck with the Federal factory brass when I tried it.

This is what got me to wondering what brands might give me the best accuracy. Case life is not a big issue as I do not push the pressure limits at all, usually loading for around 3,000 fps or so. Some of my loads loaf along at 2,100 fps, but currently the powder I use for that is not available locally, and ordering it online almost doubles the price.

The Nosler brass worked OK for me with a 7mm-08 that I once had, I might look into getting 60 rounds of that.

My rifle is still being built, the new stock will not arrive for another week or two, and I'll have to sell a few rifles before I can get the scope rounded up. Right now it's shootable, enough for me to see its potential but it still has a way to go, yet. The 16oz Rifle Basix trigger made a significant difference.

I found a cheap scope for .223 use that is good for the money, the Nikon P-223 4-12x40. - A very good scope for the money, it will get me by until I can do better. Later on I'll stick it on an AR or something.

The rifle is a Howa 1500... Howa sells a detachable magazine kit for around 100 bucks, but it replaces your floorplate and trigger-guard with a plastic unit. I'm glad that I waited on getting that, as I recently discovered that PTG has detachable magazine kits for the Howa that has aluminum bottom metal and trigger guard. They cost a bit more, but I'm willing to pay a bit more for metal instead of plastic.

The discussion of case weight reminds me that I need to get a second scale for things like that.


Edited by charlesb (11/02/15 05:10 PM)
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#6009648 - 11/03/15 08:35 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
jorge Offline
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Registered: 02/01/11
Posts: 3943
Loc: Lake Jackson, TX
Lapua or hornady match. With that said once i prep my lc cases i cant see a difference. That prep is a biotch in time spent though.
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#6009680 - 11/03/15 08:48 PM Re: Best Brass for Precision .223 [Re: charlesb]
mikei Online   content
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Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 1261
In my particular bolt gun in .223, Lapua brass produces the most consistent groups for me. What your particular rifle likes will be discovered as you work up different loads for it. I have tried many, many different manufacturers of brass for the .223 and found the loadings I make with Lapua brass present me with fewer "surprises" on the range and in the hunting field, in both my bolt actions and my AR platform rifles in this caliber.

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