Worst brass?

desertcj

Handloader
Sep 27, 2010
839
81
What's the worst you've seen? Best? Options are very limited still right now so we use what we can get. Winchester is the worst I've seen/used personally. I've had some good Winchester, but the last two batches of Winchester were pretty bad. Best I've used is Lapua, but I haven't had the chance to to try Norma, ADG or Peterson which I hear are all great.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,924
699
I used to buy Winchester and Remington brass long ago, when the new brass comes in and I usually see the case necks all beat up and dented. I have stopped buying those brass and stuck with premium brass, of course, it will cost more, but you get what you pay for. I usually use Lapua, Nosler and Norma. Those are the only brass I have been using but havent tried the Alpha, Peterson or the ADG yet, probably one day I'll try them out. They weren't available at that time I was looking. I have had 308 Lapua brass on 20+ firings and kept ticking. Instead of tossing the old brass, I save them for testing annealing times on my Bench Source annealer.
 

CEG17

Handloader
May 12, 2022
37
61
Worst I have ever used was Winchester, hands down. The best I have used was Norma. Hornady has been pretty good but not as good as the Norma brass I have used.
 

ElmerThud

Handloader
Jul 16, 2011
769
15
Norma is excellent. Remington/Peters has been pretty good. PPU the worst I've encountered.
Life expectancy depends very much on diligent case prep. regime.
 

xphunter

Handloader
Sep 15, 2005
578
941
I don't know what is the worst. I tend to use better brass: Lapua, Peterson, ADG, Norma, Alpha, RWS, Nosler, and I use Hornady
 
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ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
3,101
2,040
Worst I've run across is the newer red/black bag of Winchester. They got me once, will not again. Was good enough brass for reloading but took a ridiculous amount of prep to get them ready. The older blue/white bags of Winchester brass is as good as any other non-premium brass in my opinion, maybe better than average.

I use a lot of once fired Remington brass. No complaints.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,338
2,303
Remington has had some pretty rough brass. I've just run them through the sizing for , chamfer the mouth and it's good to go.
Best brass I've used is Nosler. Just load and go.

JD338
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
1,143
1,364
Worst I've run across is the newer red/black bag of Winchester.
Without a doubt this ⬆️
The worst from Winchester was a red and black bag of 7mm Rem Mag my son bought , it had multiple style headstamps in the same bag.
 

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,661
837
Have used a pile of Federal, Remington, Winchester back in the day. Newer Federal doesn't last as long before the primer pockets start losing up. Winchester nickel plated has given several loadings with no problems. Haven't tried the new bag stuff. Hornady ok. Norma, Lapua give the best of the premium brass that I've tried so far. Lot depends on the chamber, loads and reloading practices used that determine brass life. Of course, if it's not good to start with there's no fixing that. Dan.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,715
2,683
In my more recent experience, Winchester brass requires quite a bit of preparation before it can be used. Remington brass tends to be brittle. I prefer for my own work, premium brass such as Norma, Lapua, and RWS. Typically, European brass is more ductile and requires less preparation before using.
 

Heavy Barrel

Beginner
Apr 3, 2015
76
72
What's the worst you've seen? Best? Options are very limited still right now so we use what we can get. Winchester is the worst I've seen/used personally. I've had some good Winchester, but the last two batches of Winchester were pretty bad. Best I've used is Lapua, but I haven't had the chance to to try Norma, ADG or Peterson which I hear are all great.
After getting a hold of some 308 Win that the case mouths were quite crooked, if at all possible, I avoid them like the plague. Luckly...the Winchester cases I have for my .270 didn't need much prep work.

Still sitting on some nickel-plated Remington from my early years of reloading, that was before they stopped selling reloading components. Though the prep work on those can be quite daunting. Every time I've had to use some, I ended up having to replace the cutter on my case trimmer.

Now it's either Nosler or Nammo/Laupa for the most part. Had great results so far with Hornady for my Creedmoor.
 

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hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,790
1,916
The worst I've ever experienced was some Federal 223. Winchester is decent if you don't mind a bunch of prep, which I do. Hornady is ok stuff, but it's hit and miss. RP tends to be ok and last a while after some prep. Norma, Nosler, are the best I've used. Haven't experienced Lapua or ADG, but I'm certain they are fine.
 
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desertcj

Handloader
Sep 27, 2010
839
81
I guess I'll explain my Winchester fiasco. 2 red/black bags of 7mm-08 with shallow primer pockets....had to cut them to work. No problems other than that, not too bad.

2 bags of red/black 7mm rem mag, 4 or 5 culled right off the bat for forming wrinkles in the shoulder or neck. A few with elongated flash holes. A couple with un-even/short necks. Had to cut the primer pockets on all of these. 1 firing and found 3 split cases, not necks...split at the body shoulder junction down into the body. All of the primer pockets are on the loose side after 1 firing and it wasn't from hot loads. I'll never buy Winchester brass again! Coincidence, it's not available and hasn't been for years at least that I've seen? So, problem solved apparently...lol
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
1,143
1,364
The worst I've ever experienced was some Federal 223.
I wont use Federal brass for 2 reason.
One it is way to soft , I’ve seen their factory ammo brass that wont hold a primer after one firing.
Two , over the years their weight changed drastically.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
1,143
1,364
I guess I'll explain my Winchester fiasco. 2 red/black bags of 7mm-08 with shallow primer pockets....had to cut them to work. No problems other than that, not too bad.

2 bags of red/black 7mm rem mag, 4 or 5 culled right off the bat for forming wrinkles in the shoulder or neck. A few with elongated flash holes. A couple with un-even/short necks. Had to cut the primer pockets on all of these. 1 firing and found 3 split cases, not necks...split at the body shoulder junction down into the body. All of the primer pockets are on the loose side after 1 firing and it wasn't from hot loads. I'll never buy Winchester brass again! Coincidence, it's not available and hasn't been for years at least that I've seen? So, problem solved apparently...lol
Are the headstamps the same on your brass?
 

nhenry

Handloader
Feb 7, 2022
324
449
I don’t know about worst… but I use Hornady 25-06 brass and Nosler 280 Ackley brass and both of those options are solid for me. Haven’t chosen a 7-08 brass yet, but I have Hornady, Nosler, and RP
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
3,101
2,040
I've heard many times about Remington brass being brittle, and it is, or can be. But I've found that even just a single annealing session to start out will take it through the life of the brass where eventually it gets pitched because of getting too thin ahead of the web. Ideally it should be annealed I'd think every 2 or 3 loadings, and I do at times, other times I don't. I get great life out of it. Without question my favorite brass without going to premium.

If you don't anneal at least once, then split necks from getting brittle start showing up. As it is, I never seem to pitch Rem brass from split necks or loose primer pockets, always from eventual thinning. This is from once fired factory brass I've picked up over the yrs, not from bulk brass, so don't know if there's any difference.
 

TXbaldhunter

Handloader
May 12, 2007
298
67
I buy a lot of Winchester and Remington once fired brass and I really cannot say anything bad about it.I cannot say the same for the new unprimed cases from both manufactures.I've had some batches that really was crap.Norma and Nosler brass is OK but it tends to run a little soft so you have to keep your pressures down a little to keep from getting case head expansion an loose primer pockets.I haven't used too much Lapua brass but the little I used it seems to be among the best.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
1,143
1,364
W-W super
Although the font is slightly different among them, looks like 2 different styles.
If I remember correctly his letters were different sizes. I don’t understand how they sell it like that. A bag should be of the same lot , not sweepings off the floor and bagged up.
 
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