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Case Neck Runout Question

11 Feb 2018
@ 01:48 am (GMT)

Lane Salvato

In an attempt not to bother Nathan with every little question that comes up I wonder if some of you more experienced guys could help me with a question. I got some new Winchester brass and I noticed that the case necks looked like a bunch of elves pounded on them with hammers. I NZ I guess this would be a bunch of hobbits, but I digress.

I neck sized a bunch of new Winchester brass for fire forming and the case neck runout was around 0.006 to 0.010. To me this is wildly high but my experience isn't good.

My plan is just to fire these to get some initial velocities and not worry much about accuracy this first go round. Is it normal to see that kind of runout on new brass? I'm afraid I did something wrong when I neck sized them but I'm using a Lee and it's about as simple as it gets.


11 Feb 2018
@ 04:32 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
The Winchester brass I have bought in the past yearor two hve been really a lot less useful as in prior years. Last fall I needed some loads and bought a bag of 50 brass (ww). Like you said, the necks were not great but the primer pockets on half of them were wy to small for any primers I had here.

I basically tossed out18 of these brass then full length resized the rest and inside neck reamed then fireformed them. After that I outside neck turned the rest and made up my loads, checking concentrictiy as I did so.

THe result was basically not worth ranting about for accuracy/longer range shots etc., but I decided to keep trying and shot the full size loads then trimmed the cases to length and neck sized the entire works. My .308 normally can put lll of its shots into a 1/2 inch group at 100 yards on a calm day, but these held at about one inch groups,

I now use either Petersen or Hornady brass. Priceir yes, but no duds among them.

I found this a bit frustrating since my older Winchester brass did very well right up until even annealing would not help and it was time to toss them.
11 Feb 2018
@ 09:06 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
Hi Lane, not to worry, I can hopefully help with this.

The first thing to understand- Winchester has been behind in production for several years now. Started when Obama came in but for whatever reason, never eased off. Unfortunately, a lot of the bagged brass we are seeing are seconds.

So we have a choice, do we pursue Win so as to obtain that very tough case head for potent loads - or do we try another brass. Well, that really is a personal thing. Some rifles just 'like it hot' with regards to accuracy nodes and need a good tough brass. In these instances, it can pay to go ahead, buy and then cull away the worst of the brass. Having said this, Win is not the be all and end all. Hornady make quite a tough case of a similar capacity which can be equally useful in barrels that have a high node.

Dents are not uncommon in US brass, whether Win or Rem etc. The neck tension is also quite high so by the time you have a loaded round, especially with a VLD bullet run through a standard seater button, the run out is terrible. Not to worry, fireforming will help some of this.

For those interested in long range, I think we are now at a point where if we are to use Winchester brass, we need to consider neck turning virgin brass rather than 'shoot and see'. As many of you know, I try to keep things very simple for readers. Steps such as neck turning can be overwhelming for new shooters so I avoid teaching this as a first step and instead utilize it as either a means of problem of solving or as a matter of interest as we get further into the hobby. Nevertheless, this situation can force us to look at matters from a different perspective.

11 Feb 2018
@ 02:36 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
What calibre are you shooting, Lane? If you are willing to fill out the Form 6, I may have some WW brass from a long time ago when things were good.
11 Feb 2018
@ 05:43 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
Man I just read an in depth thing about neck turning. Did not realise the rabbit hole wentry that deep. Essentially it's a straight forward thing but still. I would not have considered that at all.

I didn't realise Winchester were dropping... does this apply to their factory loads too.
12 Feb 2018
@ 02:51 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
Paul, I'm shooting a 338 Win. Mag. Thanks for the offer regardless if the calibers are compatible that's a nice gesture.

BTW after fire forming the cases the concentricity came way up. No more than 0.002 in all cases, some smaller than that. The concentricity of the loaded projectiles was amazingly tight. Can't wait to get out and shoot these now that I've got some velocity data. I think the groups are going to be really good.

As has been the case every time I owe Nathan a great deal of thanks for helping me with this. I think he's taken about ten years off my learning curve. His reloading book is the best one out there because it skips a lot of the unnecessary rabbit holes as we're calling them and really sticks to what's important for basic work. It's been a lot of fun.
13 Feb 2018
@ 07:04 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
Last lot of win brass I got was via factory ammo for a 243 it's seems fine
if winchester is having lot of issues it might be worth looking at lapua 308 palma brass it's actually not to badly priced
I got some here I have necked down to 243 and fired formed but that's as far as I have gotten with experimenting with it
from what I understand you might be able to claw back velocity loss because it's thicker then winchester because of the fact it's uses small primers and is a tough case.

Just food for thought really.
18 Feb 2018
@ 04:41 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Case Neck Runout Question
I will have to withdraw that offer, Lane. That is my hunting calibre as well, so all my brass goes into my gun.

A while back, my 'smith retired, and he gave me a 5 gallon pail filled with brass. You name it, it was probably in there. Some were even loaded rounds (scary). Turns out, people would come into his shop and just throw what they had into the pail. I had to skim the top and start a second bucket.

There were Herters, RWS, Lapua, Nosler, RP, WW, nickel, steel, war surplus, new, used, and once fired,and some that make you shake your head. I put it out at the gun shows for $10 for 20 rounds and only one person bought a bag. Go figure. Now, I just pretty well give it away to whoever needs it.


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