The Zediker option: Buy quality brass or sub-par brass and neck turn?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by fatelvis, Jun 15, 2019.

?

Which option?

  1. Buy top tier brass

  2. Buy lesser brass, buy neck turner, and turn brass necks

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. D.Stone

    D.Stone

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    The only two answers for across the course are to either

    1. Get good brass that you use for every yard line. I like this option because I save time reloading. (Contrary to popular belief...Lake City brass is pretty good...especially the 5.56 brass. I know when I used to shoot for the Army, our 600 yard loads used Lake City cases with a different primer. They might have been a little bit above average if they all came off the same machine, or as part of the same lot...but I never cared to look into it. We also shot a lot of the Black Hills 77 gr ammo at 600 as well, and there is no reason you can't score in the high 190s with it, but it's just not as forgiving on the wind.

    2. Get good enough ammo for the 200,300 yard lines, and save your premium stuff for the 600 yard line. Lots of people do some variation of this, where they will shoot Lake City brass at the short range stuff, and then break out the Lapua for the 600 yard line.

    If I were going to do it again, I would just get Lake City Brass if I was shooting Service Rifle. If I was shooting a match rifle, I would probably do some form of 6BR/6XC/6.5 Lapua in a bolt action, and just suck it up and buy 500 pieces of Lapua, Alpha, or Peterson brass.

    I remember being told that Lapua brass is intended to last 10 firings without being annealed again, so that means 500 pieces will get you 5000 rounds before you have to think about getting new brass. I think the National Championship is 3 80 Shot matches plus sighters, which works out to around 250 rounds, and throw in a team match or two, and 500 pieces should be plenty.

    I went down the neck turning rabbit hole with 260 Remington. I thought I was going to neck down 308 brass and neck turn it...I got through 50 rounds before deciding it was a waste of time. Until someone comes up with a neck turner that is like an electric pencil sharpener I am not ever going to bother with it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  2. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

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    Here ya go...
     
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  3. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    The Gracey neck turner might be fine, I’ve heard good and bad reports. I know a K&M will turn necks straight and true. You can run those under power too. But in any case it is still a LOT of work to do the quantities needed for Highpower. Even for 600 alone. The NRA championship is 240 shots. I typically shot 10X that during a season. Job and other time constraints meant that I needed to load during the off season. This was before progressive presses. So from October thru March I was cranking handles. Since I was loading for M1As, trimming was required every other time. No time was available for neck turning.
     
  4. Laurie

    Laurie

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    Most 'run of the mill' brass is pretty good these days, so much so that it's often difficult to see much of a difference at shorter distances between rounds loaded with it and that employing pricier stuff, if there is any difference at all. One significant recurring weakness in it is often found in the primer pockets and flash-holes. Recent Winchester seems to be actually worse here than older production lots with oversize and elongated tending to oval shape flash-holes, concave pocket floors and variable depths. Many makes have extensive 'flashing' left at the outlet end of the flash-hole (ie inside the case) after the hole is punched through - but that's easily fixed with a flash-hole uniforming / deburring tool. (Often the holes are oversize to start with so the tool just deburrs the outlets and doesn't do much hole uniforming if any.) Lapua, Norma and RWS (Peterson too in my limited experience with just one box of its 260 Rem cases) are very much more consistent than most Remchester, PPU etc cases in this department.

    I'd like to suggest the long-range precision shooter is going to see noticeably better elevations from 'quality' brass ..... but in the absence of rigorous testing of alternatives actual performance may not live up to expectations here.

    I've been surprised at just how consistent some Remington brass I've used recently is and how well it shoots at shorter distances. It is usually thinner wallled than Norma / Lapua and has a bit more internal capacity too if that's important for packing enough powder in. However, I'd confidently say that most people will see more use from the European / Peterson brass especially if they are running full-pressure loads.

    In the UK, the price differences between Lapua and Remington / Winchester have been much reduced in recent years so if the former is available in whatever we're loading, it usually works out considerably cheaper in the long run for us now. The US situation is likely rather different in this respect I imagine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  5. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    Buying sub par brass and neck turning is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Spend the money on quality brass and neck turn it. Use moderate loads and the brass will last forever.
     
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  6. rwh

    rwh Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am surprised to be the only one voting to neck turn inexpensive brass. The last batch of lake city brass I bought was .10 cents per case. I got 2000 and neck turned them to use for XTC. I only culled a few. Then I turned the necks to .12 and sorted by weight into .5 grain batches. I am shooting in the 470-485 range and have never suspected that the brass was to blame when I dropped a point. As an added bonus I don't lose sleep when the brass falls into deep grass and I lose a few cases.
     
  7. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    ^^ exactly. You gotta know your game.
     
  8. LVLAaron

    LVLAaron Gold $$ Contributor

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    Buying "expensive" brass solves a different problem than neck turning.

    I've always measured the H20 capacity of fired cases... (if for nothing else other than my own curiosity) Alpha has had the best consistency... Cheap brass is all over the place. Long story short, neck turning cheap brass only wins half the battle. Not to mention brass life.

    Having said that... If you want inexpensive brass that is really consistent, don't be afraid to try Sig and Starline rifle brass.
     
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  9. Scott Harris

    Scott Harris Gold $$ Contributor

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    You DEFINITELY want to buy high-quality brass for any discipline requiring extreme accuracy. You can't do better than Lapua. As mentioned above, Lapua is actually NOT expensive when you factor in how long it lasts: that is win-win-win. I necked turned for many years because I was told "you need to" to get best accuracy. After doing some extensive testing between turned and no-turn brass, we find no difference in accuracy at 1000 yards in F-Open/F-TR. It's nice to be able to eliminate tedious, time-consuming tasks...better late than never!
     
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  10. LVLAaron

    LVLAaron Gold $$ Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Although, that is not the same as saying that cheaper brass will not shoot extremely well, double negative notwithstanding.

    Lake City, for example, is excellent brass for some types of shooting. It is also not an arm and a leg to just get lost in 5" grass on the firing line.

    I can 100% confirm for you that AR-15's can shoot 1/4 Minute with Lake City brass. Done it enough to know, and owned several ARs that agg in the 4's to 6's for load tests.

    I only ever used Lapua while I was shooting Long Range. Extremely accurate it is, but for that use, it was really about trying to keep primer pockets together. It's amazing in that regard...my highest pressure load wouldn't blow pockets on the Lapua up to 10x firings where I quit trying due to boredom. Those were gauged with pin gages after each firing, for go/no-go. I just knew I'd never fire that brass 10 times.

    As a comparison, similar loads in Winchester brass (2014 season) blew 10%+ of the pokcets on the first firing. And Winchester is good brass.



    If you're a BR or F-Class person, well, maybe cheaper brass doesn't make as much sense.


    But brass is still just a gasket. I'd spend on barrels and bullets first.

    -Nate
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  12. MakeSawDust

    MakeSawDust

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    Diving down the rabbit hole of precision reloading is enjoyable for some. Some use the latest gadgets to load faster and shoot more. There are a few shooting disciplines that you can fair very well at with a great deal of skill and cheap equipment.

    I will try to approach this from a position of humility. If I would work harder at making more money and spend less time shooting, I could afford better guns and better reloading equipment and components. I shoot regional prs type matches. The only points I feel like I give up using cheap equipment are the tiny targets at the end of the kyl rack that I usually pass on even when things are going really well. I know it is possible when the MD hangs a half moa target out there, and I try to shoot it with a half moa gun, there is a good chance I could miss it. Every other point I have lost all season has been from poor stage planning, bad wind calls, or bad trigger breaks. I figure until I can consistently finish in the top ten percent, better equipment is going to make a lot less difference in my improvement than a lot of practice. For that reason, I tend to devote the most money to barrels, bullets, powder, and primers.

    If I was financially successful enough to be able to afford all the bullets I could shoot, a nice gun, and state of the art reloading equipment, I would certainly invest in better equipment. Until then I'm going to focus on what makes the biggest difference. It is amazing how many $8k-$10k set-ups get beat by guys with $2k set-ups that know how to use them. That said, I should also state that the guys at the top usually have both good equipment and skill levels, as they have invested a great deal of time and financial resources in perfecting their craft.

    High quality brass will make some difference. Whether or not it is worth the cost depends on the game you play and the level you want to play at.
     
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  13. mgunderson

    mgunderson sling shooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    Mr Zediker's writing is funny and informative. Please keep in context that the sports have changed and matured in the about 20 years since the HP books were written. I believe he also helped Mr. Tubb in the writing of his early books.

    There is always the trade off between time and money spent. That is the balance of resources we all use to make decisions. Most shooters at the high-master level have figured out what works for their caliber selection...
     
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  14. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

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    That has always been my take-away. To me, reading Zediker is like being able to find a High Master level shooter that is both chatty, *and* knows what he's talking about. The writing style is very 'conversational', and it seems some folks prefer more 'authoritative' (i.e. dusty, dull) prose where it's 'just the facts'.

    As for him needing an editor... I understand not liking his writing 'style', but folks might want to read up on his non-shooting credentials ;)
     
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  15. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    It’s not his chattiness, it’s his style.

    The first few sentences from this article are a case in point. http://www.zediker.com/articles/portable_loading.pdf

    He leads with a two sentence paragraph that should have been incorporated into the second paragraph.

    “There, therefore, is no fully reliable reloading data.” is awkward. How about “Therefore, there is no fully reliable reloading data.” ?

    Wordiness in written prose is akin to rambling or “prattling “ in spoken communication. If he talks like this, he’s prattling.
     
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  16. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    Thanks all for advisories about future reading selections.

    Happy to be a casual shooter and a fan of cheap PPU brass neck turned by chucking case in a cordless with RCBS neck turning tool - sort of like a pencil sharpener; concentric cases are only part of the reason for this - I don't use an expander for subsequent loading and form brass by necking down. I have a 6.5X47 Lapua and have spent lots of time looking for brass tossed out into the weeds - but the Lapua brass seems to last for a real long time. I will select Lake City brass with no hesitation to make .20 P's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  17. CT10ring

    CT10ring Gold $$ Contributor

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    I really enjoyed his books & learned a tremendous amount. I'm not a competitor & know nothing of his credentials. Seemed to be alot of bona fide info, learned 1st hand. That said; I had to re-reread quite a few passages to discern what actually was said. :)
    Reading an entire chapter in one session helped.
     
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  18. Laurie

    Laurie

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    100% with you on this. I like his books, own most of them and agree with much of what he writes. However, the writing style really turned me off initially, a case of the content being weakened by the language and sentence / paragraph structure. I did get 'used to it' after reading a fair few sections and at that point went back to the beginning to now absorb fully what he's saying .... or in some cases what I believe he is trying to say.

    (You and I will likely be labeled as paid-up members of the 'Grammar Gestapo' now! :) )
     
  19. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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  20. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

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    One of my English teachers in High School after grading one of my papers told me I spent too much time playing with my dangling participle. This same English teacher always said to think about what you are writing and to not write what you are thinking.

    That being said Mr. Zediker in the two books I have still managed to pass on what he had learned about shooting and reloading. "AND" I did not fall asleep reading his books.

    And I'm now always impressed by the well written postings in forums by people who didn't fall asleep in English class.

    Bottom line, be thankful that Uncle Ed never wrote any books and thank goodness for computer spell checkers. And watch out for non colonial rebels who spell color with a u (colour) :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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