Case capacity in different brands of brass

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by longbow62, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. longbow62

    longbow62

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    I recently bought two different brands of .17 Remington brass. I bought Remington and Nosler. All loads I can find are shown loaded with Remington brass with 25gr. bullets. The Nosler is much higher quality brass. The problem is the Nosler brass has approximately 4grs. less capacity than the Remington and weights approximately 18grs. more!

    My question is how many grains do I need to drop loads if I decided to use the Nosler brass? I would assume with 4grs. less capacity there is no way to get near the maximum loads shown using Remington brass. Typically I would always use Remington, but it's getting hard to find. I now feel like I wasted my money buying the Nosler seeing it's vastly different than the Remington in weight and case capacity.
     
  2. jackson1

    jackson1 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    305
    longbow62, you are already ahead of the game. Like you for many years, I have used Remington brass for my 17. Have some Nosler brass, but have not used it as of yet. So thank you for the heads up. Would have probably loaded the Nosler brass with my go to Remington load. Yes foolish on my part. Four grains is substantial in a case that small and my current load is as hot as I care to shoot. Your observation is an intelligent start. I would start low and work my way up. Probably find an accurate load with a lower charge weight. All rifle barrels are a law unto themselves. No substitute for careful load development. Predictions can get us in trouble. Don't think you wasted your money. Good luck.
     
  3. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,444
    You have highlighted an issue that can occur due to differences in brass from different manufacturers. As a general trend, the heavier a case is for a given cartridge, the less internal volume it has. Brass thickness can vary widely among different manufacturers, even Lot-to-Lot from the same manufacturer. The smaller the cartridge, the more the difference in case capacity between two different types of brass is likely to affect pressure/velocity with a given powder, potentially even causing safety concerns, as in your situation.

    I might think about trying to use some percentage of the lightest charge weight in the manual, and being very conservative initially. You could fill both different types of brass to the top of the neck with your powder of choice, dump them out, and then weigh each powder sample to make a crude estimate in grains of the powder capacity of each case. The heavier case with smaller internal volume will have been filled by only some fraction of the powder that it took to fill the larger, lighter case...95%, 92%, 90%, something like that. I'd start with with whatever that percentage of the lightest charge weight suggested in the manual was, then back that off [at least] 2-3% more.

    Alternatively, QuickLoad software from Neco (https://www.neconos.com/category/Software-2) can be very useful in such a case. You can easily measure the internal [water] volume of the different cases as an input for the program, which will then allow you to adjust charge weight to estimate velocity and pressure before actually even loading any rounds. In addition to expediting the reloading process, QuickLoad can also sometimes be very helpful with regard to potential safety issues such as this.
     
  4. Bill K

    Bill K

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    829
    My question is how many grains do I need to drop loads if I decided to use the Nosler brass? I would assume with 4grs. less capacity there is no way to get near the maximum loads shown using Remington brass. Typically I would always use Remington, but it's getting hard to find. I now feel like I wasted my money buying the Nosler seeing it's vastly different than the Remington in weight and case capacity.[/QUOTE]

    I believe most all loading manuals state something like reducing loads 10% when you change anything, and work up again. Better to be safe than sorry.
     
  5. Straightshooter1

    Straightshooter1 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Messages:
    408
    Another case (pun intended) for having and using the QuickLoad program as it can take a lot of the guesswork (not all) out in trying to figure where to start when one finds such a divergence. :D
     
    linedrive301ft and LGKLAS like this.
  6. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,785
    "Vastly" different? How is that possible with SAAMI-compliant cases, unless you don't know the definition of the word? More likely "significantly" or "marginally" depending on the actual measured (vs supposed) difference.
    -
     
  7. rammac

    rammac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    363
    ????

    Your post makes no sense, the OP weighed the cases and found that they were different by quite a bit. I would hope that you aren't wasting everyone's time by trying to argue with the OP's use of the word "Vastly".
     
  8. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,427
    Before we get too carried away we need some internal volume measurements. All the op needs is some fine ball powder and a digital scale (we dont need 2 decimals either). The nosler brass could be different in the extractor slot by that much.
     
    jamesh, JSH and brians356 like this.
  9. JSH

    JSH

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    531
    You may have to swap powders this get back up to speed, but I doubt it.

    I fooled with a wildcat some years back when the Federal GM brass came back. I had been using LC. Yes, I was the opposite of your situation, had to burn more powder in the Federal brass to get accuracy to come back
     
  10. Lefty Trigger

    Lefty Trigger Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Messages:
    885
    I found that Norma 6BR brass has less capacity than the Lapua 6BR brass. Had to back off my load by .5 to keep things equal. I now try to keep things the same and stick with matching pieces until working up a new load, my notes now specify brass brand even with handgun loads.
     
    SPJ likes this.
  11. Sieg

    Sieg

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Messages:
    249
    I think Nosler brass comes from Norma. FWIW.
     
  12. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,427
    Not in quite a few years
     
  13. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,785
  14. Sieg

    Sieg

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Messages:
    249
    Figures, do you know approximately how long it's been?

    I have 5-6,000+ .223 cases from Rim Rock who was a commercial loader located near Nosler. I bought 55g Vmax Varmint ammunition from them for a few years. I'm guessing Rim Rock was sourcing their private stamped brass from Nosler and based by these cutaway comparisons, then measuring and weighing cases it was Norma/Lapua quality. Their ammunition was more accurate than Black Hills Red & Blue Box.

    [​IMG]

    If you're curious about the brass you have it's quick and easy to take a few pieces to a belt sander or disk sander.
     
  15. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,648
    Using QL with a load I have shot using Remington brass

    - the pressure was calculated to be 51179 PSI at 3944 fps. Velocity measured was 3960 fps.

    - If I reduce the WC by 4.0 gr, I need to reduce the powder charge by 1.7 gr to get the same calculated velocity.

    I have new Nosler brass I haven't yet fired. So I could only measure the water capacity before it was fired. And comparing new Nosler to fired Rem, I only get 3.0 gr WC difference. And after firing it will be less than 3 gr different.
     
    Zero333 and brians356 like this.
  16. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,427
    Around 2015 or so they bought silver state and started making their own brass. I dont shoot nosler brass in my br rifles or anything, but its real good for mainstream brass for prs, gongs, varmints, etc.
     
    Sieg likes this.
  17. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,785
    I'd wager < 2 grs difference.
    -
     
    Zero333 likes this.
  18. Zero333

    Zero333 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,494
    Quickload rough estimate is like 2.4 gr to generate the same pressures and closer to 2 gr to generate the same velocity.

    That's comparing brass that has 26.5 gr with brass with 22.5 gr H20 capacity.
     
  19. longbow62

    longbow62

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    I had time to revisit. While there is a what I call vast difference in case weight, approximately 17-18 grains between the Remington and the Nosler. When I measured the capacity of the cases with a fine ball powder I only came out with a 2.2 grain larger capacity for the Remington brass. So not as bad as I first assumed. I guess when trying to weigh with h2o I botched something pretty bad with the measurement. So thanks for the push to remeasure from those who thought it should not be as high as 4 grains difference.
     
  20. olddav

    olddav

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    134
    Your measurements using water are probably accurate due to the density of water as opposed to powder.
     

Share This Page