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Posted: 11/3/2009 7:29:31 AM EST
Sorry in advance for the numerous questions... but I'm in a brass sorting and tumbling mode and I'm trying to figure out which way I want to go. Here's my basic entering argument/assumptions: I'm reloading for a precision AR, I'm NOT worried about blasting ammo, I have plenty of that. So I'm trying to concentrate on the best, most consistant brass of what I have on hand that will require the least amount of work to get it in shape to shoot. Also, I have a LOT of once fired .223 brass of various brands, so running out is not a concern anytime soon. So here goes with the questions to the hive experts:

1. Of these three brands: LC, Federal (FC) and Privi PPU - which would you go with? My 1st instinct was to go with LC, but with the 1st run of reloads I did with them (LC08), I found them to be fairly inconsistant and varied weights a lot even within the same headstamp year. Plus they are a PITA to ream out the primer pocket crimp. I probably have the most of the FC brass from the walmart value packs (50 grn HP), next would be LC but spread over numerous year lots and finally PPU. Should I stick with the LC and if so why? I'm leaning towards the FC because I have so much of it and even if the brass doesn't last as long as LC or PPU, so what? I have not loaded the FC or PPU yet, only one batch of the LC and was not impressed with the consistancy over the chronograph of the brass.

2. Almost all but a very few of my FC brass has a blue primer sealant. Does that imply its also crimped, or is it just a sealant alone? Is there anything special I need to do to remove the sealant or will a normal primer pocket brush take care of it?

3. Same with the PPU brass as the question above but some of the PPU brass is marked 5.56 and came from their XM193 rounds. Am I to assume that they DO crimp those primer pockets on the 5.56 marked brass?

4. I have some cats & dogs misc brass that I picked up on the range that I can't ID. Who makes "WCC", "AP" and "TWC" headstamps?

5. I have some smaller quatities of PMC brass - is it any good or toss it?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:36:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 7:38:32 AM EST by 1911smith]
I can't anwer all your questions. Lake City of what I recognize of what's menrtioned is the best for precision rifle. Don't try and load to hi-side of spec as I'm told there is not as much space inside LC as others. I also keep a hundred rounds of Lapua on hand for loading Sierra Match King 69grain HPBT
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:52:07 AM EST
In my experience, LC is identical to Remington/Winchester commercial domestic. FC used to be heavier and had thin webs, these can be a problem and potentially dangerous. See sticky above.

No experience with imports. I just won't use it, LC once fired is cheap enough.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:21:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Eagle-ReaperDriver:
Sorry in advance for the numerous questions... but I'm in a brass sorting and tumbling mode and I'm trying to figure out which way I want to go. Here's my basic entering argument/assumptions: I'm reloading for a precision AR, I'm NOT worried about blasting ammo, I have plenty of that. So I'm trying to concentrate on the best, most consistant brass of what I have on hand that will require the least amount of work to get it in shape to shoot. Also, I have a LOT of once fired .223 brass of various brands, so running out is not a concern anytime soon. So here goes with the questions to the hive experts:

1. Of these three brands: LC, Federal (FC) and Privi PPU - which would you go with? My 1st instinct was to go with LC, but with the 1st run of reloads I did with them (LC08), I found them to be fairly inconsistant and varied weights a lot even within the same headstamp year. Plus they are a PITA to ream out the primer pocket crimp. I probably have the most of the FC brass from the walmart value packs (50 grn HP), next would be LC but spread over numerous year lots and finally PPU. Should I stick with the LC and if so why? I'm leaning towards the FC because I have so much of it and even if the brass doesn't last as long as LC or PPU, so what? I have not loaded the FC or PPU yet, only one batch of the LC and was not impressed with the consistancy over the chronograph of the brass.

2. Almost all but a very few of my FC brass has a blue primer sealant. Does that imply its also crimped, or is it just a sealant alone? Is there anything special I need to do to remove the sealant or will a normal primer pocket brush take care of it?

3. Same with the PPU brass as the question above but some of the PPU brass is marked 5.56 and came from their XM193 rounds. Am I to assume that they DO crimp those primer pockets on the 5.56 marked brass?

4. I have some cats & dogs misc brass that I picked up on the range that I can't ID. Who makes "WCC", "AP" and "TWC" headstamps?

5. I have some smaller quatities of PMC brass - is it any good or toss it?



All good questions. With precision reloading and shooting, consistency is the key. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.

1. LC is a great place to start. Sorting cases by weight is up to you, but do it after all of your processing, i.e.;
- decapping brass and tumbling
- swaging primer pockets
- reaming and deburring inside and primer side of flash hole (important for consistent ignition)
- resizing
- trimming to length (1.750")
- chamfer inside of case mouth and deburr outside
- weigh and sort brass

Also, how do you know it was brass causing the inconsistent velocities over the chronograph? What are you using to throw and measure your powder charge with?

2. I have about 1k of the same, once fired FC with the sealant. Mine were not crimped, but you will have to inspect the case head after decapping to verify your brass.

3. PPU 5.56 brass is crimped, but again verify with your brass.

4. WCC = Winchester. A P = is Armscor from the Pillipines. TWC = could be either Twin Cities or Tula Cartridge Works. This site here is a great resource: http://www.afte.org/ExamResources/gallery2/v/Headstamp-Gallery/

5. Prep it and find out.

6. Get these books and read them: http://www.zediker.com/books/handloading/hlmain.html
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Shooting-Reloading-Guide-Brennan

7. Be safe and have fun.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:42:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By MeagerMouse:


All good questions. With precision reloading and shooting, consistency is the key. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.

1. LC is a great place to start. Sorting cases by weight is up to you, but do it after all of your processing, i.e.;
- decapping brass and tumbling
- swaging primer pockets
- reaming and deburring inside and primer side of flash hole (important for consistent ignition)
- resizing
- trimming to length (1.750")
- chamfer inside of case mouth and deburr outside
- weigh and sort brass

Also, how do you know it was brass causing the inconsistent velocities over the chronograph? What are you using to throw and measure your powder charge with?

2. I have about 1k of the same, once fired FC with the sealant. Mine were not crimped, but you will have to inspect the case head after decapping to verify your brass.

3. PPU 5.56 brass is crimped, but again verify with your brass.

4. WCC = Winchester. A P = is Armscor from the Pillipines. TWC = could be either Twin Cities or Tula Cartridge Works. This site here is a great resource: http://www.afte.org/ExamResources/gallery2/v/Headstamp-Gallery/

5. Prep it and find out.

6. Get these books and read them: http://www.zediker.com/books/handloading/hlmain.html
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Shooting-Reloading-Guide-Brennan

7. Be safe and have fun.


Thanks for the great answers! I used an RCBS Chargemaster 1500 to throw and weigh each charge, so it should have been w/in +/- .1 grn or better. I was being very anal with the charge weights.

1. Is ALL LC brass going to be crimped or just the NATO headstamped stuff? I have both.

2. Have you loaded up any of you FC brass (with the sealant) yet? How did it do for you and was the sealant hard to get off?

3. Any idea if the .223 (as opposed to the 5.56) PPU brass is crimped? Most of what I have is from their 69 grn HPBT Match loads or the .223 62 grn loads (not M855) and it doesn't have the red sealant in the primer pocket like the PPU XM193 stuff does. Do you have any experience loading up PPU brass? I've heard on other ARFCOMM forums that PPU is good stuff.

Sounds like I'll try the LC stuff again. I guess I'll just weigh a bunch and go from there (what a PITA). So I take it its more important to sort by weight than it is to sort by LC headstamp year? I've got a bunch of LC06, 07, 08 and 09. No problems mixing them up as long as the weight is matched?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:11:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By Eagle-ReaperDriver:

1. Is ALL LC brass going to be crimped or just the NATO headstamped stuff? I have both.


Yes. The NATO cross stamp just means it was loaded with the 62 grain SS109 equivalent bullet originally if said brass was actually used for LC ammo.

Do all prep work then sort by weight.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:19:47 AM EST
All of the Lake City I've gotten a hold of has been crimped. Using RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Combo on all of it and so far so fine. Accepts and seats primers perfectly near as I can see.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 11:01:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Originally Posted By Eagle-ReaperDriver:

1. Is ALL LC brass going to be crimped or just the NATO headstamped stuff? I have both.


Yes. The NATO cross stamp just means it was loaded with the 62 grain SS109 equivalent bullet originally if said brass was actually used for LC ammo.

Do all prep work then sort by weight.

I have some 5.56 NATO marked LC brass that came with 55g bullets in the form of XM193. So not all NATO stamped stuff is 62g. The blue sealant will not pose a problem and most of it is removed when the primer pocket is swaged or reamed.
I get my best groups using LC brass.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 11:44:31 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 12:38:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Buy new Winchester brass. Order at least 3 bags, or better 5 bags. Set that brass aside for use only in the precision gun. Prep the brass, and proceed.

Use the rest for whatever you need to shoot it in.



He speaks the truth

I have always found Winchester to be more consistent than any LC I have processed. I have LC from many different year stamps including the 09 and for max loads and accuracy work, it has not been as dependable or consistent as new winchester brass. I get pressure signs faster in LC brass when loading my max loads for 77 SMK's.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:38:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By toxic:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Buy new Winchester brass. Order at least 3 bags, or better 5 bags. Set that brass aside for use only in the precision gun. Prep the brass, and proceed.

Use the rest for whatever you need to shoot it in.



He speaks the truth

I have always found Winchester to be more consistent than any LC I have processed. I have LC from many different year stamps including the 09 and for max loads and accuracy work, it has not been as dependable or consistent as new Winchester brass. I get pressure signs faster in LC brass when loading my max loads for 77 SMK's.



Another Winchester brass fan here, also no primer crimp to remove. What I prefer to use.

I like LC brass for all things except for precision loads, unless you want to weight cases, and do all the prep.

FC brass, I would measure the webs of each case to ensure it's safe to load.

Top of the page, read up.

Sealant is a give away to crimped primers.

PMC is good brass. Some is crimped, some not. Good for precision loads.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 11:40:04 PM EST
check out 6mmbr.com they have a tab for 223, they also have some info on reloading for accuracy.
If you are really wanting the best, buy some lapua brass, sort them and keep those for your single round load (not mag length) for slow fire competition.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 2:08:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By toxic:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Buy new Winchester brass. Order at least 3 bags, or better 5 bags. Set that brass aside for use only in the precision gun. Prep the brass, and proceed.

Use the rest for whatever you need to shoot it in.



He speaks the truth

I have always found Winchester to be more consistent than any LC I have processed. I have LC from many different year stamps including the 09 and for max loads and accuracy work, it has not been as dependable or consistent as new Winchester brass. I get pressure signs faster in LC brass when loading my max loads for 77 SMK's.



Another Winchester brass fan here, also no primer crimp to remove. What I prefer to use.

I like LC brass for all things except for precision loads, unless you want to weight cases, and do all the prep.

FC brass, I would measure the webs of each case to ensure it's safe to load.

Top of the page, read up.

Sealant is a give away to crimped primers.

PMC is good brass. Some is crimped, some not. Good for precision loads.


Sirs, as usual I find I agree with Mr. AeroE. I don't know if shooting high power rifle in the Master classification qualifies as "precision" reloading for your purposes but I will offer you a few thoughts to consider.

First, as mentioned consistancy of your brass is the key to consistancy on target for a reloader. My goal in reloading is to produce groups of cartridges that will place each and every bullet on target within less than an MOA group at each distance I normally shoot, ie: 200, 300, and 600yds. While I found FC brass to be fairly consistant it is notoriously weak in the web of the cartridge case and accordingly I only reload it once. I've had enough experience with case head seperations that I consider it prudent to avoid the possibility. LC brass is a bit less consistant, I usually sort by year group and do all case prep as described above except to mention that I try to remove the least amount of brass possible when trimming and don't use a primer pocket reamer because both steps introduce a weight variable in each case that increases the lot variation with more cases at the extreme ends of the weight spectrum. Finally I only use this brass for 200/300yd shooting. I get consistant groups well within one MOA at these distances with Sierra 77gr HPBT bullets and that is adequate for my purposes to clean any target at those distances.

For all 600 or 1K loads I use new virgin Winchester brass with VLD bullets. I've found that while JLK bullets are good Berger perform equally well and are more readily obtainable without long waits. Do not ignore the importance of the precision of the rifle and skill of the shooter in the equation that produces precision hits on target. Even the best crafted ammo won't shoot well if the other two factors are not equivalent.

One further note: Lately I've noticed that the match ammo many of our military team HP rifle shooters are using with the Sierra 77gr bullet is made with WCC brass. AFAIK WCC is winchester centerfire cartridge, and the brass is very consistant and I've reloaded it for short range use with good success. HTH, 7zero1.

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 3:05:18 AM EST
I've had good luck with Winchester WCC , PMC, LC , Privi (Both PPU and nny), R-P , MAL , IMI , Hornady , JC and FC. (The FC I have is fairly new and OK in the web area...think the bad stuff was older perhaps...but I still check it out)
Did verify stuff being posted here in the forums...like Amerc is definitely crap !
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 3:12:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:49:59 PM EST

The old FC weak web. I will not shoot FC cases with less than a .185 web, and then only in a Bolt action 223 rifle.

Some newer FC 223 brass I measured was in the .195 range. Haven't loaded, only 25 cases in my lot.



The good stuff.
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