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OntarioHunter

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I have finally finished all the upgrades to the 30-06 WWII Springfield my dad built for me back in 1962. Receiver/barrel/trigger guard came back from the bluing shop on Tuesday and I've been trying to get it zeroed at the range. Had a few issues with bedding that needed to be ironed out. I recently bought a new pair of aftermarket trigger guard/action anchor screws (GIs chewed up the slots in original screws) and the rear one was too long. The hole is drilled all the way through the trough for trigger sear on bolt's striker rod. However, it was NOT tapped all the way through ... for obvious reasons. A too long screw would go into the trough and prevent the bolt from cycling. Anyway, I didn't get the screw shortened enough and groups were erratic because the screw bottomed out without securing the back of action. Fixed that yesterday and went back to the range. Better but not good enough. 2.5" group at 100 yards with 165 gr BTSP Hornady bullets powered by 55 grains of IMR 4350. Only a light breeze from my back and a good solid setup. I have quite a pile of casings to pick from. Decided to switch off Federal brass and loaded several Winchester cases with 56 grains and some with 57 grains. A couple shells in both loads went into Remington brass. At 100 yards this afternoon the first shot with 56 gr went wide left about three inches out of a dirty cold gun. Hmmm. Second shot was in the bull. What was that? Winchester brass. First one was RP brass. Loaded up five more Winchester brass loads and all in the bull. Last of the 56 gr bunch was in Remington case and it also went wide left and higher. Now the 57 gr bunch were up. Winchester cases grouped okay (but not as good as 56 gr). The two Remington brass 57 gr loads at the end went high about four inches and split about three inches. Ugh! It was cooler today with a better breeze from my back and I took a lot of walks downrange so the barrel stayed fairly cool. No mirage issues. Next load attempt will be 56.5 gr. I'll be digging up all the Winchester brass I can find. 20220609_104344.jpg in the case.jpg
 
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cahunter805

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You should never mix different brands of brass. They all can have significant differences and thus a good load in one brand can be dangerous in another. Also mixed brass doesn’t lend itself to the tightest groups due to these differences.
Stick with the Winchester and keep the rest for something else.
 

OntarioHunter

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You should never mix different brands of brass. They all can have significant differences and thus a good load in one brand can be dangerous in another.
Stick with the Winchester and keep the rest for something else.
From what I've read about IMR4350 and 165 gr 30-06 bullets, no load 57 gr powder or less would be approaching dangerous no matter the brand of brass. Just watch for signs of pressure stress which is routine. I also trim every case after every shot. The inconsistency in brands is baffling. I have a huge pile of military brass that I know will shoot differently because the walls are thicker. I'm thinking about starting them at 54 gr powder and see how they shoot.

I typically go to the range with all loads in the same brand brass, and same primers. Tonight I wanted to see if there would be a difference in performance changing brass and all other factors being the same. It was an education.
 

ImBillT

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While your issues might not be because of Remington brass, they might be.

Remington brass SUCKS.
 

cahunter805

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From what I've read about IMR4350 and 165 gr 30-06 bullets, no load 57 gr powder or less would be approaching dangerous no matter the brand of brass. Just watch for signs of pressure stress which is routine. I also trim every case after every shot. The inconsistency in brands is baffling. I have a huge pile of military brass that I know will shoot differently because the walls are thicker. I'm thinking about starting them at 54 gr powder and see how they shoot.

I typically go to the range with all loads in the same brand brass, and same primers. Tonight I wanted to see if there would be a difference in performance changing brass and all other factors being the same. It was an education.
Different manufacturers use different grades of brass. This effects things such as neck thickness, wall thickness, primer pockets, flash hole size etc. All these factors cause different pressures and change the pressure curve and harmonics of the load. This is why for good accuracy and quality loads you stick with one brand of brass for your load.
 

OntarioHunter

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Different manufacturers use different grades of brass. This effects things such as neck thickness, wall thickness, primer pockets, flash hole size etc. All these factors cause different pressures and change the pressure curve and harmonics of the load. This is why for good accuracy and quality loads you stick with one brand of brass for your load.
Yep. That's what I learned. Federal brass wasn't doing a satisfactory job with three different powder charges so I tried some different brass and powder weights. It appears Remington brass pushed up the velocity a bit (higher on the target and more recoil) but erratic grouping. Federal brass produced similar elevation above bull but slightly better group (albeit still unsatisfactory). At this point I'm looking for the best group. Getting close. Then I'll adjust elevation and windage for 200 yards.
 

ImBillT

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Yep. That's what I learned. Federal brass wasn't doing a satisfactory job with three different powder charges so I tried some different brass and powder weights. It appears Remington brass pushed up the velocity a bit (higher on the target and more recoil) but erratic grouping. Federal brass produced similar elevation above bull but slightly better group (albeit still unsatisfactory). At this point I'm looking for the best group. Getting close. Then I'll adjust elevation and windage for 200 yards.
@cahunter805 is correct, and that’s exactly why I said that your issue might not be because the brass was Remington. If you have a tuned load, and change brands, it will usually go out of tune at least a little. HOWEVER, generally Remington brass is TERRIBLE.

Federal is usually good for American brass. If it wasn’t shooting as accurately as Winchester that’s likely a load tuning issue. Federal is soft though, and won’t handle higher pressures.

If you don’t have to be cheap just buy Lapua and be happy. Norma and RWS are usually more uniform, but Norma is quite a bit softer and sometimes more expensive. RWS is not quite as hard, incredibly uniform, and incredibly expensive.

I use RWS at every opportunity, but depending on the project and the timing, I can’t always afford it or justify it. Lapua is my second choice due to its durability, and Norma is my third choice because while it isn’t as durable as Lapua, it’s quite uniform, so if I happen upon an good sale I’m more than happy to use Norma for a gun I do not intend to hotrod.
 

OntarioHunter

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@cahunter805 is correct, and that’s exactly why I said that your issue might not be because the brass was Remington. If you have a tuned load, and change brands, it will usually go out of tune at least a little. HOWEVER, generally Remington brass is TERRIBLE.

Federal is usually good for American brass. If it wasn’t shooting as accurately as Winchester that’s likely a load tuning issue. Federal is soft though, and won’t handle higher pressures.

If you don’t have to be cheap just buy Lapua and be happy. Norma and RWS are usually more uniform, but Norma is quite a bit softer and sometimes more expensive. RWS is not quite as hard, incredibly uniform, and incredibly expensive.

I use RWS at every opportunity, but depending on the project and the timing, I can’t always afford it or justify it. Lapua is my second choice due to its durability, and Norma is my third choice because while it isn’t as durable as Lapua, it’s quite uniform, so if I happen upon an good sale I’m more than happy to use Norma for a gun I do not intend to hotrod.
Right now I pretty much have to load whatever components I can get my hands on. Slim pickings. Thanks for the advice. I'll pass on Remington brass. I have quite a bunch of Federal brass. Maybe I'll keep trying to make it work. Should be able to put together two boxes of Winchester reloads for Africa. I still have to zero the new optional iron sights I just added.

Any thoughts on the military brass? I understand it's not the stuff for pushing the envelope due to thick walls adding increased pressure. I have no interest in turning this 1940s gun into a hotrod.
 

cahunter805

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Right now I pretty much have to load whatever components I can get my hands on. Slim pickings. Thanks for the advice. I'll pass on Remington brass. I have quite a bunch of Federal brass. Maybe I'll keep trying to make it work. Should be able to put together two boxes of Winchester reloads for Africa. I still have to zero the new optional iron sights I just added.

Any thoughts on the military brass? I understand it's not the stuff for pushing the envelope due to thick walls adding increased pressure. I have no interest in turning this 1940s gun into a hotrod.

If the military brass is Lake City that’s some good quality brass. If it’s anything else you are better off using the Winchester brass that’s shooting ok in your rifle currently. Winchester 30-06 brass is pretty common and I’d bet you could find another bag of it.
 

ImBillT

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Right now I pretty much have to load whatever components I can get my hands on. Slim pickings. Thanks for the advice. I'll pass on Remington brass. I have quite a bunch of Federal brass. Maybe I'll keep trying to make it work. Should be able to put together two boxes of Winchester reloads for Africa. I still have to zero the new optional iron sights I just added.

Any thoughts on the military brass? I understand it's not the stuff for pushing the envelope due to thick walls adding increased pressure. I have no interest in turning this 1940s gun into a hotrod.
The only military brass in 30-06 I’ve used is LC and IMI. The IMI is quite good. Yes thick walls. Also a little soft. The LC depends on the batch. Some is quite good, and some is questionable. Also thick walls and soft. LC match is probably all good. The stuff I had was good. Plain LC was hit or miss depending on year. Everything I had was very old.

I don’t know when it started, or if still goes on, but not that long ago, the Lake City Arsenal was run by civilian manufacturers. Companies would bid on contracts to operate the plant for the military, and they were basically allowed to manufacture as much as they wanted, give the military whatever ammo the military needed at the agreed upon price, and sell the rest on the open market. The quality of what came out of Lake City depended heavily upon who was operating the plant that year.

The majority of what I’ve shot through my 30-06 was IMI or Frderal, and the only thing I’ve shot in my 30-06AI is Norma 7x64 that I got on the cheap and necked-up.
 

std7mag

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30-06 brass was made all over the world.
I had some (200 if i recall correctly) range pickup that was made in Greece in 1971.
Did the standard work up from start loads & found it shot quite nice.

I've got Fed, Win, Rem, Norma, Hornady, Frontier ( older Hornady), PPU (PVRI Partizen) in all different cartridges that i shoot. Got some Peterson on the way.
In hunting rifles, i haven't found one to be more or less accurate than another on paper.
I've noticed some difference over the chrono with ES & SD numbers.
Thus far, the PPU brass has had the most consistent & lowest ES/SD.
Fed has been the softest, having more taken off everytime i trim.

Choose a brass, do a ladder test, then seating depth, go forth & hunt.
 

OntarioHunter

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Thanks fellas. You're a big help. Yes, I noticed a lot of trimming on Federal brass. Winchester showed hardly any after a firing. I'll Google identifying the military brass. Looks like WWII vintage judging by the cartons and stripper clips. I used up the ball ammo years ago shooting at paper and gophers ... and yes I scrubbed the barrel afterwards. Anyway, that barrel was pretty much pooched when Dad got the gun in '62. I put another barrel on it last year.

I went on line to check for recipes and Hodgdon didn't have much for 165 gr bullets. Just two for fancy bullets that are unobtainable right now: Partitions and Berger VLD. They list primers but nothing for brass. I guess that's why they have starting and maximum powder charges. To climb the ladder. I really had no idea the difference different brass could make on paper. This would explain another reason why factory ammo shot better out of my gun. The manufacturer tuned the various components before marketing.

As I recall didn't Frontier use military brass? I seem to remember buying a couple of boxes when I was a kid. Coast to Coast sold them I think.
 
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OntarioHunter

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The bulk of my military brass is indeed WWII. 1940 from Twin Cities Arsenal. They were stamped FA40 but carton says Twin Cities. Presumably FA = Federal Arsenal? A few others are from early fifties, either Twin Cities (TW), Lake City (LC), St Louis (SL), or Denver (Den). I'll do some research and maybe work up some loads (as in work up from the listed minimum powder charge). However, they won't be going to Africa. I have been warned about trying to take ammo into the country with stamped caliber that doesn't match the rifle. The brand on the ammo box should also match the brand on the cartridges.
 
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Don Fischer

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You should never mix different brands of brass. They all can have significant differences and thus a good load in one brand can be dangerous in another. Also mixed brass doesn’t lend itself to the tightest groups due to these differences.
Stick with the Winchester and keep the rest for something else.
Ya know, I agree with that, but. I decided to weight brass looking for the best lad ever years ago and if there is anything not even close in weight, it's the brass. No idea why rifles shoot as well as they do after weighting brass! But in the end, never mix brass!
 

44hunter45

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... Tonight I wanted to see if there would be a difference in performance changing brass and all other factors being the same. It was an education.
If you didn't weigh the empty cases and sort by weight, everything else is not the same.
Without nerding out on alloys and density... Sized in the same die+trimmed to same length+same weight= (approximately) same internal capacity.
 
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44hunter45

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Ya know, I agree with that, but. I decided to weight brass looking for the best lad ever years ago and if there is anything not even close in weight, it's the brass. No idea why rifles shoot as well as they do after weighting brass! But in the end, never mix brass!
+1

You beat me to it by that much!
 

Don Fischer

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If the military brass is Lake City that’s some good quality brass. If it’s anything else you are better off using the Winchester brass that’s shooting ok in your rifle currently. Winchester 30-06 brass is pretty common and I’d bet you could find another bag of it.
Best shooting brass I had in my old 308 was LC Nat match brass. Generally I only use military brass in cast bullet loads but now and then I waver just for grins! have a bunch of LC brass right now and all necked down for a 243. seems to work well!
 

44hunter45

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I used a lot of IMR4831 over the decades for 180 grain .30-06 loads in my bolt guns. I would again if that were all I could get.

My Remington 742 will only eat 56.0 grains of H4350 with a 180 grain bullet, Small Base sized. Through the rules of natural selection, that rifle has migrated to the back of the safe.

I can't seem to find Alliant powder, so when the 5,000 rounds in the safe are used up, I may go back to 4831.
 

OntarioHunter

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If you didn't weigh the empty cases and sort by weight, everything else is not the same.
Without nerding out on alloys and density... Sized in the same die+trimmed to same length+same weight= (approximately) same internal capacity.
Yes. In that last small lot of Winchester brass reloads was one new nickle case. It jumped out of the group in the bull but not by much.

Thanks for that. I have a good electronic scale/dispenser. I checked my shotgun loader bushings and bar loads with the digital scale so presumably it can handle weighing brass.
 

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