cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > properties of different .308 brass

properties of different .308 brass

02 Jun 2024
@ 12:55 pm (GMT)

Hannah Clemen

Hi all,

I'm getting into reloading my .308 after a 2-year hiatus and sorting through some once-fired brass.

I have only reloaded using ADI brass to date, so am used to its characteristics. I also have about 150 pieces of Sellier & Bellot and some Hornady brass. I have weighed some of them and found the S&Bs some in about 10gn lighter than the ADI and the Hornadys about 8gn lighter again.

I am aware the ADI brass is known to be particularly thick and heavy, so wondering what sort of characteristics these 2 other brands of brass would be by comparison?

I am finding case capacity of the ADI is getting problematic with heavier loads of 180gn plus, so considering these other cases as an alternative (with proper load building for safety taken into account).

Any thoughts and advice welcome.


03 Jun 2024
@ 07:50 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Hi Hannah, haven't heard from you in a while. Hope you are doing well.

Yes unfortunately ADI brass is very thick. It is unfortunately quite poorly designed. Although one can 'get away with' 2206h in ADI .308 brass, loads as you may already have found, end up compressed (especially if shooting copper). This brass is not easy to work with and can handicap the cartridge. If you can, bag it up and seal it as a back up only.

S&B is generally OK, lasts well and has a bit more capacity than ADI (just about everything is better than ADI). Nothing wrong with S&B.

Hornady brass has very good case capacity (as does Federal and Winchester). All three are strong enough to handle stout .308 loads and can be made to last for many reloads. These cases are ideal for developing full power loads with ADI powder.

Note that not all Hornady brass is the same. Superformance, Match and Precision Hunter are of a different (slightly thicker) make than the cheaper ammo lines. Both are fine, the only issue is making sure that you don't get them mixed up as results / pressures differ.
03 Jun 2024
@ 10:16 pm (GMT)

Hannah Clemen

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Hi Nathan, thanks very much for the reply!

Yes, it’s great to get back into things… I was very consumed with work, sustained a shoulder injury, and ended up spending nearly a year in the city studying so shooting took a back seat for a fair while. Glad to be back in the country!

Thank you for your insights. The ADI brass works well for me with loads up to about 150gn, but as I push into 180 territory (or coppers around 165), reaching optimal performance is frustrating due to overpressure and inconsistent bullet performance. Unfortunately most of my brass is ADI, but I’ll keep using it for varmint/culling rounds or bulk plinking practice.

Great to know my other cases can serve me well. However, my Hornady brass is mixed up. Most are from Precision Hunter factory ammo so would be match-class, but I think there may be about 20 American Whitetails mixed in. If I weigh out and batch the cases, will the Whitetails tend to show up as lighter?

All the advice you have given me, as well as your books (I have them all!) has helped tremendously in developing my loads for Sambar deer and improving my confidence. My go-to round has definitely been the trusty ELDX 178, it’s very versatile on sambar even at quite close ranges. My hope is to start stretching my hunting legs and get better longer range performance from this projectile with more forgiving brass. I have also taken good sized animals with the Woodleigh 180 PPSN in close bush hunting scenarios. Keen to try the Barnes TTSX 165/168 as well, but have been struggling with overpressure from the heavy brass.

04 Jun 2024
@ 06:46 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Hi Hannah, yes a challenging few years for most folk. Hope that shoulder is mending OK - can be very frustrating getting your form back after such an injury. Baby steps.

Yes - the White Tail weighs noticeably less so it can be sorted out from the others.

All the best.
04 Jun 2024
@ 09:01 pm (GMT)

Hannah Clemen

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Thanks for that Nathan. I get on to sorting and prepping this brass for testing.
Down the track I think I’ll also start investing in some new Lapua brass as my distance shooting continues to improve.
05 Jun 2024
@ 06:50 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Hi Hannah, Lapua brass is also very thick but further to this, it is thicker than others (including ADI) at the case neck. The neck clearance in the chamber is minimal and can raise pressures accordingly.

For what you are doing, I would suggest sticking with Hornady brass. It is capable of the same level of accuracy but with plenty of scope for power development with heavy projectiles as opposed to 155 grain Palma. This is yet another example of how some aspects of target shooting (trends thereof etc) are of limited value to the hunter.
09 Jun 2024
@ 01:55 pm (GMT)

Hannah Clemen

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Thanks for that Nathan.
I will build some new ELDX loads with the Hornady brass and give them a go on my next day off.
23 Jun 2024
@ 07:48 pm (GMT)

Hannah Clemen

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Posting an update with the Hornady brass.

I haven't built a new ELDX load yet, but have worked up a Barnes TTSX 168gn load for close range bush-hunting for big sambar.

In short, I am very happy with the results! The Hornady brass gave me a lot more scope for testing higher powder charges. I found the sweet spot at 43.5gn of 2206H... 2770fps (at 12 degrees celsius) out of my 21" barrel grouping at 0.5" at 100m and no pressure warning signs. I'm happy with that!

Thanks again for your help.
09 Jul 2024
@ 07:23 pm (GMT)

Ben Law

Re: properties of different .308 brass
Does anyone have any experience with Bertram Brass in 308win?


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.