Bad .222 Rem Mag Brass?


Jan 6, 2015
As sent to Nosler:

I have experienced a problem with Nosler .222 Rem Mag brass purchased from Graf and Sons I wanted you to know about since it has your name on the head stamp. I am also concerned about people hurting themselves with this brass.

The brass was purchased on April 9th 2016 as two bags of 100 pieces. This did not come in your standard box, but in the packaging you see here:
Nosler .222 Rem Mag Brass.jpg

The brass in question was acquired to fire form into .222 Rem Mag AI for use in a T/C Encore rifle with a MGM barrel custom chambered by Mike Bellm. I have created and used Remington Peters brass this way in this barrel with very good results; including powering max loads under 77 grain Berger OTM’s after being fire formed with mid power loads. Some of this R-P brass has been reloaded 3 times with full power loads and never created any problems.

The brass purchased from Graf was loaded with 55 gr flat base Hornady bullets over 25.5 grains of IMR 4064. The max load for a .222 Rem Mag with this bullet weight according to Sierra is 26.8 gr with a minimum of 24.2 gr. 25.5 gr right in the middle. Hornady doesn’t show a load for IMR-4064 for either .223 or .222 Rem Mag.
The following picture shows what happened to the Nosler brass purchased from Graf when fired in my T/C. Two unfired loaded rounds are to the right created from this same brass.
Nosler .222 Rem Mag.jpg

This looks like a clear case of over pressure, but it is surprising it happened with a mid-powered load. The primers look fine. While it is barely apparent in the photograph, the unfired rounds show linear scratches along the case. Raw cases not sized show these same lines on nearly every round, so this was not caused by the die. You can see on the right piece of brass how the split appears to follow one of those lines.

To test if the problem is with the load, not the brass I purchased Nosler .204 Ruger brass from Bruno’s that came in the regular Nosler box and sized it in my Custom RCBS Full Length .222 Rem Mag AI die. The same load fired 25 times showed no signs of this split in the case, scratches and were effectively fire formed.

From this experience I strongly suspect this brass is defective. I have an unopened package of 100 from Graf & Sons that I would be glad to provide to you to examine. While I have nearly $100 invested in 200 pieces of this brass, my bigger concern is with people who will use this with full power loads in a .222 Rem Mag and hurt themselves.

Thank you

Note, not included in e-mail to Nosler: If I would have been able to purchase .222 Rem Mag brass directly from Nosler, or from any retailer in the standard packaging at the full price I would have done so. I purchased this from Graf's based on a recommendation from this forum as it was all I could find at the time.
Thanks, 30-338. Looks to be the same batch of brass with the same problems. How does this stuff get out of a quality shop like Nosler and into circulation?
Whitesheep":33oyrywe said:
Thanks, 30-338. Looks to be the same batch of brass with the same problems. How does this stuff get out of a quality shop like Nosler and into circulation?

I had a problem last year with some Nosler bullets and I called spoke to Micheal Seay, Customer Service Coordinator and he had bullet picked up my house (UPS) and took care of the problem.

I have a factory Rem 722 in 222mag and had one build with 27" barrel and I fully understand the 222 mag brass problem.

To me as long as they take care of the problem, I'm fine with that.
Once again Nosler shows what a class act they are by replacing the bad brass I received from Graf & Sons. Mike Seay addressed the problem quickly and without any fuss.

Thanks Mike