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Ammo & Reloading Discussion


Products and Reloading Tips


Postby Grindl » Tue Jul 06, 2021 2:40 pm

After five years of shooting F Class competitions with my custom Mosin , I've tried and tested virtually every case available on the American market and here is my ratings of those cases . Criteria was based on several factors , and the #1 factor for a competition shooter would be quality and consistency of manufacturing , followed closely by reload-ability . Or the number of reloads that can be achieved in the given brand . Another important factor being availability . Some brands are more easily available in certain areas of the U.S. , while others , have to almost be ordered through a supplier , if they handle that brand at all .
#1. Lapua
#2. Winchester
#3. S & B
#4. Norma
#5. PPU

Lapua is hands down the best case on the market for competition , and heavier Hunting loads out there . And it has proven to have the highest number of reloads at the competition level , time after time .
#2 . I rated Winchester at number two for several reasons . It has a higher reloading value than Norma , in that I have Win cases that have 15 Competition reloads on , and the Primer Pockets are still in good condition . And they are very available in my area .
#3. S & B fall right behind Winchester for Competition and Heavy hunting loads . I have used them in Comp , and found them to be a solid piece , giving at least ten to twelve reloads , before the beginnings of Primer pocket failures . And they are being seen as harder to get , due to import issues . S & B does not import cases separately . They can only be recovered from fired factory ammo cartridge's .
#4 . Though Norma cases performed flawlessly ; they failed to live up to their "marketing" , as they began to have failures in the Primer Pockets leaking after four or five reloads . A good way to shorten the life of your Bolt-head . And the PPU case ; though more than serviceable for regular reloading , and normal Mosin loads . Would not tolerate the higher velocity loads used in Competition . I was losing 25 - 30% of every batch of 75 Match rounds due to Primer Pocket failure .

Competition loads are shot at higher velocities ; with heavier powder loads , out of longer barreled rifles , and most generally using heavier weight bullets . So the cases get more pressure , than in standard loads . It is commonly said that F Class shooters load on the edge of destruction and I've found this to be true , for the most part . We are more concerned with achieving a consistent velocity node , even though we know that some of those "Nodes" shorten barrel life . It's all about the X's ! I paid more for my last Barrel Blank , than I did for the first two Mosins I bought . So if you're looking at purchasing cases for that "special" hunting load , for big deer or even Elk . Consider this very heavily tested list . :thumbup:
If not me.....Who ?
If not now ....When ?
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Postby bearrowland » Thu Jul 08, 2021 11:53 am

Those rankings don't surprise me at all Grindl. That's pretty much the best of the best out there.
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Postby Saberists2000 » Wed Apr 27, 2022 1:25 pm

Man I wish I had seen that when it posted.

I don't have Grindl's credentials, but I just learned the hard way about the PPU primer pocket failures. I am putting together some hunting loads for class 3 game for a trip I have coming up - and I had several primers leak on me for loads that weren't otherwise showing pressure signs (3 different powders, 3 different bullets, at different charge weights). On closer examination, about 25% of them leaked. As I typed that I cringed for my bolt face.

When I went looking for remedies, I found this, and a post on 24hourcampfire that suggested that Winchester WLR primers were prone to leaking, so I reloaded using CCI primers. These were my results:

PPU Brass that shipped as loaded ammo that was fired and reloaded - no leaks for any combination of components.

New, virgin, PPU brass loaded with WLR Primers - 25% failure rate using 150gr, 174gr, and 215gr bullets and Varget, H414, and H4350

New, virgin, PPU brass loaded with CCI#250 Primers - No failures after 20 rounds using the same combinations of powder and bullets above

Since I was 800 rounds into this brick of primers when this problem showed up, and had no prior issues with them in .308, 6.5 Creed, or 30-06, it can't just be the primers. My best guess is that it is tolerance stacking; ie the pockets are on the large side of spec, and the primers are on the small side. I cant' account for why it would be different between once fired factory ammo and new-never-fired brass, but I can feel the difference when I seat the primers.

In any case, I have gone ahead and shelled out for some Lapua brass.


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