Author Topic: Which headstamps are best  (Read 928 times)

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Offline copemech

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Which headstamps are best
« on: July 28, 2017, 11:53:42 PM »
We recently touched on case wall thickness, and yes I know it effects bullet tension and retainment, but honestly I do not normally sort cases for range fodder and I should probably figure this out because I need to start working up really good defense loads in an effort not to totally waste the 600 rds of 115gr XTP bullets the Hornady company has sent me in rebates.

I know from working the single stage press that case tension on some brands was less than great, but honestly I have never narrowed it down further, possibly the Fed that was kinda loose? Then there is some case with an A on it that is always a pain it seems,

I do not mind doins some sorting, so what would you consider the preferred ones, Win perhaps? :-\

Offline 1SOW

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 01:18:23 AM »
For ME with 9mm:
#1 WIN 
#2 R&P
#3 Speer #4 FC  (both made by the same company but the Speer seem a little stouter than FC)
#5?  PPU  Really good stout brass, but the primer hole is just a little snug on some presses.  I've had minor primer seating problems with some.

For my SD loads,  I match the nickel cases to the bullet manufacturer,  usually Hornady & Speer.  These don't tarnish and stay good to go.


I'm sure there are other good all brass cases,  but these are available as range pick-ups where I shoot.

Offline painter

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 06:29:45 AM »
Geco.
I had the right to remain silent...

but not the ability.

Offline robert1804

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 10:17:59 AM »
I sort most 9mm brass and mainly keep WW, R-P, Federal and a few others. I do this to get uniform case tension. My favorite is WW because it's a medium thickness and gives good case tension with both .355 and .356 bullets. R-P is thicker so I use it for .355 bullets. FC is the thinnest and works best with .356 bullets unless I use a U-die. I use a Lyman M type expander that is slightly sanded down for all 9mm. I use a Redding T7 so I can really feel the difference if a stray brand of brass gets mixed in. I also sort for all .40 and 10mm and most 45 auto for case tension uniformity. I'm considering going to a Dillon now that I think I've got the case tension thing worked out.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 10:15:13 PM »
The ones you get free !

 ;D
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Offline Smitty79

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 11:37:26 PM »
For ME with 9mm:
#1 WIN 
#2 R&P
#3 Speer #4 FC  (both made by the same company but the Speer seem a little stouter than FC)
#5?  PPU  Really good stout brass, but the primer hole is just a little snug on some presses.  I've had minor primer seating problems with some.


I'm not a fan of PPU.   It thickens nearer the case mouth than most head stamps.    I have to load some bullets fairly deep and the loaded round won't chamber reliably.   PPU is one of these.   CBC is the worst of these.
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Offline 1SOW

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 11:59:14 PM »
Smitty I don't doubt that at all.  With 124/125 gr .355/.356 bullets I haven't had that problem seating to .230-.235 - ish.
I suspect the larger diameter or longer/ deeper seated bullets could be problematic with PPUs.     

Offline copemech

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 12:48:48 AM »
For ME with 9mm:
#1 WIN 
#2 R&P
#3 Speer #4 FC  (both made by the same company but the Speer seem a little stouter than FC)
#5?  PPU  Really good stout brass, but the primer hole is just a little snug on some presses.  I've had minor primer seating problems with some.

For my SD loads,  I match the nickel cases to the bullet manufacturer,  usually Hornady & Speer.  These don't tarnish and stay good to go.


I'm sure there are other good all brass cases,  but these are available as range pick-ups where I shoot.

Yes, I am with you along those lines it seems and that agrees with my feelings, although as stated, I have not really studied this until now. I will add that I think the Perfecta (itialian) goes along the same lines as the PPU. Finding Starline as range pickup is rare, but they seem good.

Offline 1SOW

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 12:54:24 AM »
Because I load single headstamp "at a time",  I don't pick up Starline because there are so few at places I shoot. :(

Offline recoilguy

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 12:42:48 PM »
A couple others I find often around my (not my range but the one I frequent) range that are nice.

Blazer brass - loads like butter, shines up great with corn cob and runs through the dies with ease and consistency.
PMC brass also loads nicely, consistent strokes on the pull, every finished bullet seats to with in +/-.005 in my experience. I have picked up about 800 empties of those 2 brands in the last weekend.

Somewhere around here must have had a sale on those brands.
From guys who only buy prepackaged and don't roll their own......my favorite range guys!!!!!

The Others poster ideas and reasons are all very good. When loading you can feel the difference in different brass if you do it correctly.
The RCBS dies are sensitive to variation but load consistently through it.

Just my opinion on this.

RCG
........Its that you shoot!

Offline Moken

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 04:23:01 PM »
I only keep the brass ones! In other words......................................LOLOL

Offline Cesar

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 03:55:37 PM »
I like Blazer and Speer the most but use most any free range pickup, I get the brass at indoor range where I'm an RO.

Offline hceuterpe

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 12:06:10 PM »
Hate to resurrect this.  But it feels reassuring that what I'm seeing "isn't just me".  PPU, CBC, Geco (not as bad), and even IMI all appear to exhibit similar issues to me.  They seat way longer, and typically fail my gauge with concentricity issues visible (and I have a Redding comp seater of all things).  CBC at least did not seem to have this issue when I was loading the same bullet longer in something other than a CZ.  Oddly, I'm left almost entirely with only domestically produced brass and my scrounged stash contains a TON of CBC (almost a third)   :-\

Otherwise, it seems there are two categories of brass.  One loads about .005" shorter on average than the other. 
Longer: RP, Win, PMC, GFL/Perfecta/Fiocchi
Shorter: Blazer, Speer, FC (with the dots), and regular FC.  Basically whatever used to be ATK. Exception is Speer that is marked 9x19

Offline streets ahead

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 03:33:25 PM »
I got tired of sorting and loading by headstamp. There's plenty of great brass, but sorting it all out to maximize consistency was frustrating. Just for the sake of convenience, I picked WIN and FC as the only two headstamps I load.

To me, the convenience trumped the savings I'd have using all my random range pick-ups. Plus, I'm a member of several Facebook reloading groups with people selling sorted brass at really good prices, so I know where I can buy more if it comes to that.

But now I have to figure out what to do with all this extra brass. Maybe I should start up a headstamp trading group...
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Offline Roger Vick

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Re: Which headstamps are best
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 03:00:40 PM »
Free range brass works best for me  :)