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I was wondering if brass by any one manufacturer is better than another.  I was loading some 25-20 Win. cases and the cases seemed to be very fragile.   Not having the die set exactly right I crushed the first three cases very easily.  On one of the shooters forums (I don't recall which) I seem to remember that someone wrote that, particularly for the 25-20, he found one make of brass to be better than others.  I believe he was comparing Winchester, Remington, and Starline, but I don't remember what he recommended, and I can't find the post.  Does anyone have any information on this matter that they would like to share?
 

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D G

There are definite differences in brass.  What you want or need it to do will determine if there is any practical difference for your purposes.

Some brass is drawn, and some is extruded.  Some new Win. .45-70 cases I got recently appear to be extruded.  Years ago while working with a Ruger #3 .45-70 with quite heavy loads I found that Winchester cases would be OK with loads which would stretch the primer pockets in one shot with Remington.  That was about 20 years ago, don't assume this is still the case.

I havn't loaded any .25-20 for many years so I havn't had reason to investigate brass for it.  As a rule, all of the Winchester '73/'92 cartridges are relatively thin and fragile compared to most other calibers.  There is a good reason for this.  The original cases were of the so-called Balloon head which were formed from thin stock similar to what is still used for .22 rimfire cases.  When the change was made to solid drawn cases the necks had to still be thin to fit properly in the chamber necks.  This applies to .32-20, .38-40, and .44-40 as well.  The last three are really notorious for being easy to damage, much more so than the .25-20.

Several sources have mentioned that Starline Brass is somewhat heavier in those three,  For heavy loads, especially, it seems to be preferred.  The real answer is to be careful when loading any of these cartridges in particular, and any in general.  It is much easier than you would think to destroy even a .357/.38, a .44 Mag. or .45 Colt if the case bumps the mouth of the size die or the end of the expander ball.

For most uses any brass from the major manufacturers will be adequate. The usual admonition to not mix manufacturers in a lot or batch of ammunition is still a good recommendation for consistency.  Getting really nit-picky for accuracy reasons as the bench rest shooters do doesn't really make sense with this cartridge or the usual guns it is shot in.

Hope this is helpful.

(Edited by Alk8944 at 8:38 pm on Jan. 29, 2002)


(Edited by Alk8944 at 8:44 pm on Jan. 29, 2002)
 

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Heavy cases.

Heavier cases will generally have less internal capacity thereby creating higher pressures with the same loads.

Generally, lighter [higher capacity] cases can be loaded to higher velocities because they can burn more powder at the same pressure. Heavier cases may last a little longer depending on how much they need to be worked to resize.
 

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Seems most of the "old" cartridges (i.e., 25-20, 25-35, 38-40, etc) that have the long, shallow shoulders have pretty thin case necks and shoulder area. Used to have a dickens of a time loading my brother's 38-40 without a crushed case or two each reloading.

The use of a Lyman "M" die to expand the necks should be much more gentle to the case than the normal expander ball or button. Might give that a try and see if things improve for you.

Without the "M" die, you need the smallest bit of flare to the case mouth. Not having it will certainly cause some crushed cases.
 

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Yep...25.20 is thing, and it's always going to be somewhat thin as chambers are cut for that brass thickness. Same can be said of the 32-20. 44/40, and a few other old timers.

You learn to be careful...to be sure the case mouth is slightly flared (that often mentioned "M die"), that the case enters the shell holder all the way, and that the bullet is kind-of pre-started...and learn that over crimping just accordians the neck.

If you did manage to find some extra thick brass, would need to check that the chamber would allow bullet release and would have to reduce published max. loads apropriately for the volume reduction...all in all, better to just learn to deal with the existing brass.
 

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nostalgia

Nostalgia is a powerful force with some people but not with me. I'll take practical every time.

The .256 Winchester case is far superior to the 25-20 and a .30 based on the ubiquitous .357 Magnum would be superior to the .32-20.

Why doesn't someone chamber guns for the .256 and a '30-357'? I would buy guns for the 'newer' cases but not the older ones because I dont want the hassle of dealing with relatively fragile cases, new shell holders, etc.
 

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I've been real impressed with some 7.62x25 Starline brass I bought. I've picked up Starline loose range brass in a bunch of calibers over the years and reloaded some of it quite a few times. Flash holes are all round and not triangular stampings like all brass used to be. For some reason I just never figured out that *--* was Starline. Even relatively "poor" brass can usually be loaded a bunch of times if the loads aren't too hot. If I loaded for competition like I used to I'd be very picky about using the same brand and even lot in matches. Only bad brass I ever had was some .270 Win Norma about 30 years ago that was unreasonably soft.
 
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