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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's cold and snowing and I wanted something to do on the reloading bench.

When you guys sort brass by weight what kind of bracket do you use for high and low. I'm weighing and sorting 223 brass but don't have a good feel for how to establish the upper and lower weight limit to go into the same hopper.

I weighed and sorted a bunch of 221 Fireball brass that I reformed from heavy military brass and it was extremely consistent in weight, less than .2 grains difference in batches of 40-50. Not the case (no pun intended) with the 223 brass I'm sorting, these things vary by as much as 6 grains with the same head stamp.
 

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I sort my 30-06 cases by the weight period. I have alot of brass and if I get a R-P case that weighs 168grains even, I separate them by the hole weight, not the tenths of a grain. With smaller cases the difference may make a bigger difference, so I would look to keep them within .5 grains of the standard. That would be + or - .25 grains
 

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If it's for anything other than benchrest competition, do this: sort it into as many weight categories as you like. When you are done, dump them all back into the same bin and reload them as in the past.
 

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I was working with a bunch of mixed-stamp .223 Rem brass earlier this year. Various military headstamps (each from various years), plus various commercial. I found quite a significant range of weights when I just weighed the cases alone. What I also found, though, was that the case capacities could be remarkably similar between different headstamps, even if those headstamps weighed significantly different (i.e. more than 10 grains) when empty.

If you're getting empty weights of same-headstamp brass within 0.2 grains, it's probably pretty consistent in terms of capacity as well. Still, if it was me, I'd cross-check some fired capacities as well and see whether there's a correlation between empty weight and capacity (which in my experience earlier this year, didn't work out very well).
 

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With your brass there I would sort per grain. a 6 grain spread is quite a bit to be separating by .5's or smaller. If you end up with 75% of those in one group you may think about separating that group into .5's.
 

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L. Kilbourn the inventor of the K-Hornet and other gun
related stuff, separated his brass by shooting it. If the
shot landed within a certain group those would be his
bench rest brass. If they didn't, he would use that
brass for practice or for varmint hunting.

Zeke
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If it's for anything other than benchrest competition, do this: sort it into as many weight categories as you like. When you are done, dump them all back into the same bin and reload them as in the past.
Ha Ha Ha

It's not for benchrest competitoin but I am able to squeak improved accuracy from my factory stock Kimber Longmaster by paying attention to detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think once I get enough sorted I will also look at water capacity of the disparent cases to see how well a case weight correlates with powder capacity.
 

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Flashhole, as you know I'm not a "mark of experience" in this centerfire reloading business, but I have, probably just by accident, had very good accuracy results following Rocky's method.... with one minor difference: I don;t weigh and seperate them before the dumping begins (:)D))

I've noticed up to a full grain difference in 30-06 and 25-06 cases when I was in the "infantile" stages of reloading - when I was measuring and weighing anything and everything to do with reloading, just because. I never ended up seperating them though I thought about it. Now, I realize that you're not doing it because of that - you've got some ulterior accuracy goal in mind - working on the finer aspects of it all, I just mention it in passing.

Maybe I could get even better results by weighing and seperating? Nah. I love the whole process, but not that part of it. :D
 

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I'm in Rocky's camp - only thing I really do is try to keep the brand names together and especially watch out and keep the military brass separate. Working on a heavily used gunrange, my brass is accumulated by the basket full, so I don't have a problem getting enough of any one brand together.
 

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I shot 100 and 200 yard benchrest for 3 years and never sorted brass by weight, but I know the guys who shoot 500-1000 yds all do. I think you will see no difference at less then 200 yds, most of the top shooters did not sort either.
 

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I'm in the head stamp camp, I clean, deprime and prime all together but then they get sorted by brand and if possible by lot. When I shoot I take just one set out so all my shots are from the same brass. If I have several of just a few each brands they get dumped in the hodge podge bag. I haven't found a great deal of difference in group sizes or POI from one batch to the next but it does make me feel better and its easier when I am loading military vs civilian cases vs match brass.
 

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The longer I do this (and I've been at it for 55+ years now) the more I become convinced that we hogtie ourselves in minutiae. We wrap ourselves around the axle with things that make no conceivable difference greater than our own foibles.

By the time we sort cases by weight to the ultimate degree, we'd have 100 bins of brass if we started with 100 cases. And THEN we'd start sorting by primer pocket depth, LOL!

It is entirely proper to sort by headstamp/maker. If it is milsurp, it might be proper to then segregate by year. But beyond that? nah. Just load 'em and shoot 'em, boys. Heck you need SOMETHING as an excuse when you yank the go-lever and miss, dontcha?
 

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I started reloading ammo in 1952 for my then new Winchester 70 .270. I would only neck size ,trim,deburr the case mouths and clean the primer pockets. I would get less than two inch 100 yard five shot groups, some times the groups were about one inch. I shot pronghorn, deer, elk ,varmints, and other unwanted critters with my reloads. Over the years I read about how the benchrest shooters were reloading their target ammo. I,m now retired and have the time to spend preping the cases .I wont the most accurate ammo I can make for varmint shooting. The last batch of 100 ea of .204 Ruger cases average weight was 94.01 Gr..61 ea were below average while 39 were above average. The case weights varried between 93.2 and 95.2 grains--2.0 Gr difference. .There were 17 groups that varried by 0.1 grains.. I put them into boxs that hold 20 rounds by increasing weight groups. I have shot 0.5 inch five shot 100 Yd groups, some time a little smaller with the ammo. Did all this pay off ?, shure did, kept me out of the coffie shop drinking and telling hunting,fishing stories=but not all the time.
 

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Im with Rocky Raab on this one fellas. I've been reloading for 35 + years. I've found that not only weight but capacity can very so unless you are willing to weigh and measure the capacity of each case its pretty much a feel good exercise. I sort by headstamp, ensure each batch of cases are trimmer to specific length (this is where I get picky). With a little bit of tuning and the right rifle it is not difficult to find sub 1 in groups. We reload because we enjoy rolling our own, and if this is part of your process my hat is off to you.

good luck
GF
 

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I don't often sort brass, unless I'm pushing the very upper limits of high pressure. I have noticed a 20 grain difference between Federal and R-P brass in the .44 mag. That's quite a bit. FWIW, I notice that R-P, as a brand, is usually the most "spacious" brass, but also some of the most crudely made, and one of the first to wear out.
 

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I have pretty good luck with RP brass...

Anyway, I don't weigh my brass. I did just buy some Nosler Custom brass that is supposed to all be +/- .3 grain for the batch. We'll see if it makes a difference. I'm only going to be using that brass in my #1.
 

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I don't sort my brass by weight. However, if I wanted to sort out a bunch of .223 brass by weight, I would really need to process it before weighing. To me, I would need to full length resize, then trim to length, and deburr the mouth after trimming. At that point, I would be confident that I have removed all variables in the brass (primarily primer and irregular case length), before weighing. I would suspect that + or - 1 grain would be OK.
But, that is what I would do if I had too much time on my hands. As it is, I process them and load them, and shoot them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The brass I'm weighing is fully processed and ready to load. I had weighed enough to sort by + or - 0.5 grains. I will see if it makes a difference. I think that culling the really discrepent ones (really light, really heavy) may help eliminate fliers.
 
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