Anyone using Alpha Munitions 6.5 brass?

j5r1d1

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I recently got 400 pieces of Alpha 6.5 Brass. Finally got to the range for a bit yesterday and fired a few loads with it. Traditionally, my go to load was 42.6 grains of H4350 with Hornady Brass which got me right at 2800 FPS out of my MPA with 140 grain Berger Hybrids. I loaded the Alpha to 41 grains, figuring the reduced case volume would allow me to use less of a charge to get the same velocity. Well, the 41 grain charge was very close to 2800, right around 2785 avg, but the bolt lift was hard and the primers were a bit flattened.

Question is, to others using this brass, what have you had to reduce your charge to in comparison to other brass you have been shooting.
 

AuburnBLK

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Tagging for later. Mine arrives friday.

I have been running 42.8 in converted Lapua with the 140 hybrids. Hopefully will start development (at least looking for max) this weekend and will have some results to share.
 

j5r1d1

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I loaded another batch up at 40 grains this weekend, no over pressure signs. Rounds grouped well at 400 yards, did not hook the chrono up though.
 

Silverjay

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I was running 142 SMK's in Hornady brass over 42.0 of H4350 and getting 2866fps. When I switched to Alpha brass I also switched to 140 RDF's. I settled on 39.4 grains of H4350. Looks like ~2790, haven't finished trying it up yet. Could go up further, but it shoots REALLY good.
 

j5r1d1

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I just got a box of the RDFs myself, hopefully get to the range with them soon. Are you Chamferring and deburring the case mouths on the new brass?
 
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Blanman

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I really wanted my Alpha brass to work, and the company was responsive in addressing concerns, but myself and a friend couldn't get it to work in 4 different rifles (two Tikkas, a Rem 700, and Ruger RPR) and with 2 different reamers. I had a charge of 40.2 grains of 4451 going 2730 and still had very stiff bolt lift and shavings off the case head. Switched to Lapua and haven't had a problem or looked back since.
 

iSherman

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Nope, in fact, I talked on the phone with Bob from Alpha today about some tests we ran here in Florida. The Brass IS DIFFERENT but if you take your time finding your load. We got better results than Lapua on a blind test. 4 out of 6 magazines were better. What dies are you using?

Also, whats your BTOL allowed in your chamber? cuz I did not have to reduce charges at all. Please use bushing Dies and the right diameter if your not. 80 percent of do not know how to adjust for proper neck tension. Not saying you did that... just a thought.
 

iSherman

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BTW, I do get better results with less H4350 with Alpha brass but when using 42.+, it does not show any signs of extra pressure.
 

Silverjay

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Alpha necks are thick. I had to turn them to get rid of neck diameter induced pressure. I chamfered all of them.
 

thrusty

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Been using 6.5 Alpha brass with great success for awhile now. Keep in mind that if you're switching to new brass, you should always reevaluate and do load developing by working up.

It's very stout and robust - with that said, the internal volumes are less than what you'd see in Hornady or even Lapua because the brass is thicker. That's not necessarily a bad thing though,as I've seen that less powder will yield the same, if not more, velocity than what you'd see in other brands. You'll want to reduce your H-brass charges by about 7% and work up to be on the safe side with Alpha brass.

As far as working in other chambers -- we had no issues shooting the 6.5 Creed brass in a SAAMI spec'd GAP chamber. If you have a custom chamber or possibly a factory chamber that is on the tighter side of tolerance, yes it is very possible that your brass could be having expansion issues in the neck area -- so, you may need to turn the brass. For me personally, this is not something I'd be upset with the brass manufacture over.

We've also been necking down to 6 Creedmoor with this brass (aka 6 Alpha). Been having outstanding luck and great chrony numbers with it. There's a video on Team Area 419's Facebook page if you'd like to see the process.
 
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thrusty

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I really wanted my Alpha brass to work, and the company was responsive in addressing concerns, but myself and a friend couldn't get it to work in 4 different rifles (two Tikkas, a Rem 700, and Ruger RPR) and with 2 different reamers. I had a charge of 40.2 grains of 4451 going 2730 and still had very stiff bolt lift and shavings off the case head. Switched to Lapua and haven't had a problem or looked back since.

I'd be interested in the reamer drawings of the 2 that you used if you have them.

Do you happen to have a measurement of your fired neck diameter in these chambers from Hornady brass (something thinner)?

Did you happen to try turning the necks of the Alpha brass about 0.001" at a time to see if your issues were resolved?
 
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AuburnBLK

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Sooooo finally made it to the range to finish load development.

Virgin 6.5 Creedmoor Alpha Munitions Brass
Didn't turn necks - they seem silly consistent, and my chamber isn't tight
Camfered/deburred
Didn't fire form or resize, tested straight out of box
It was annealed from manufacturer

Rifle/Setup:
-Defiant Deviant
-26" Bartlein
-SiCo Spec War
-Magnetospeed V3

Load Tested:
-H4350 - Charge weight: Various
-Berger 140 Hybrid
-CCI BR-2
-Loaded neck OD with Hybrid is 0.296 (and crazy consistent across the 15 test rounds). I'll be ordering a 0.294 neck bushing for FL resizing in Redding Type S. For comparison - My converted Lapua .308 is running a 0.291 bushing.
- Max runout read on 21 century concentric gauge = 0.001 (coax, whidden micro seater)
-Chargemaster - tweaked on gempro
-OAL? I don't know.. Loaded to max it will feed out of AISC mag. Works great with Lapua load, i'll tweak it if results stink this coming saturday.

Ladder Results (charge weight, velocity, node)

1 - 38.6, 2632, Node 1
2 - 38.9, 2661, Node 1
3 - 39.2, 2665, Node 1
4 - 39.5, 2696, Between Node 1 and 2
5 - 39.8, 2704, Node 2
6 - 40.1, 2726, Node 2
7 - 40.4, 2723, Node 2
8 - 40.7, 2785, Between Node 2 and 3
9 - 41.0, 2768, Node 3
10 -41.3, 2792, Node 3
11 -41.6, 2838, Node 4
12 -41.9, 2832, Node 4, Ejector Swipe
13 -42.2, 2858, Node 4, Little Heavy bolt lift? No swipe
14 -42.5, 2852, Node 4, Heavy bolt lift for sure, no swipe
15 -42.8, 2879, Node 4 to the right (shooter?), Heavy bolt lift, swipe

Lapua is running average 2886 with 42.8 H4350.

I've loaded (50) at 41.6 with the Alpha.


Now I need to decided if I'm driving 5.5 hours to Georgia for 1000 yards on Saturday

Or 2 hours to Mississippi for 600 yards.

Saturday results to follow!




 
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Blanman

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I'd be interested in the reamer drawings of the 2 that you used if you have them.

Do you happen to have a measurement of your fired neck diameter in these chambers from Hornady brass (something thinner)?

Did you happen to try turning the necks of the Alpha brass about 0.001" at a time to see if your issues were resolved?

No reamer drawings on hand, sorry I can't be of help there. Fired neck diameters are all around .2945" for multiple brass types. Turning necks is a no go for me, no time or equipment to do it. I have since dumped the Alpha brass and moved on. I have a feeling it may be something with factory actions since another shooter with a Surgeon and barrel chambered with the same original reamer initially reported not having any issues. One shooter tried turning necks and said that reduced the problem but didn't quite eliminate it. He has also moved on.
 

ChaseCO

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The brass is very consistent, but you absolutely need to back off your loads by probably 1gr or more. It’s robust enough that you will likely only see ejector swipes and a small amount of primer cratering when you’re way over pressure...like for the 1st one or two firings. Then at the 2nd or 3rd, at the same load, you’ll KNOW your wayyyyyyy over pressure...like hard bolt lift, blown primers, and notions of incipient case head separation. As an example. With virgin Alpha brass I loaded a ladder from 41.2-43.2 w/ H4350. All I got was ejector swipe and a small amount of cratering. Had a good load at 42.2. Loaded up 30 to test seating depth. Shot those no prob. Same swipe, same crater. Loaded up 70 more and the cases that were one their 3rd firing I had some scary stuff going on. Needless to say I had to chuck that batch in the trash. I’ve got 100 more virgin pieces and I’m going to rework everything starting at 39gr. Glad the shit was thick and I didn’t get fucking hurt.
 

Kinetic Moose

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Margaritaville....
I had some as well as my shooting buddies and we had nothing but problems out of it, I spent alot of coin on 750 cases, spoke with them several times, did several tests, even sent them some of my cases, end result was they basically said they didn't know, so it must be my rifle, but heavy bolt life was a major issue, to the point that I was banging the bolt open in the middle of matches,,, I cleaned them up and mailed them off to another member here and wrote it off. Couple matches later, another guy was having issues with his 6 creed, and low and behold.. Alpha...
So great guys to talk to, but I buy lapua exclusively now, happy with it and wont look back.
I hope they get their stuff together, but the case heads were too soft in my opinion, I had to drop my speed 150 fps to stop the heavy bolt lift. In addition, I never had flat primers, pressure signs other than the case head extractor/ejector indents...
 

rustyinbend

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    I had some as well as my shooting buddies and we had nothing but problems out of it, I spent alot of coin on 750 cases, spoke with them several times, did several tests, even sent them some of my cases, end result was they basically said they didn't know, so it must be my rifle, but heavy bolt life was a major issue, to the point that I was banging the bolt open in the middle of matches,,, I cleaned them up and mailed them off to another member here and wrote it off. Couple matches later, another guy was having issues with his 6 creed, and low and behold.. Alpha...
    So great guys to talk to, but I buy lapua exclusively now, happy with it and wont look back.
    I hope they get their stuff together, but the case heads were too soft in my opinion, I had to drop my speed 150 fps to stop the heavy bolt lift. In addition, I never had flat primers, pressure signs other than the case head extractor/ejector indents...
    Interesting ... thanks for that. Never used Alpha, but I got a great deal on 500 6.5 cases from Peterson. I'm on my 4th firing and they're as good as new ... the only case that died was the one I sacrificed to the AMP to get the right Aztec code. BTW ... I anneal after every firing.
     
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    Kinetic Moose

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    Margaritaville....
    Interesting ... thanks for that. Never used Alpha, but I got a great deal on 500 6.5 cases from Peterson. I'm on my 4th firing and they're as good as new ... the only case that died was the one I sacrificed to the AMP to get the right Aztec code. BTW ... I anneal after every firing.
    I anneal too, and probably should after every firing, but lazy i guess. Fighting other things right now... need better seating setup etc.... Peterson is Legit though, never heard any complaints and know lots who use them. I am going to try ADG next, need some 300 PRC brass...
     

    rustyinbend

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    I anneal too, and probably should after every firing, but lazy i guess. Fighting other things right now... need better seating setup etc.... Peterson is Legit though, never heard any complaints and know lots who use them. I am going to try ADG next, need some 300 PRC brass...
    For over a year I used factory cases after firing the ammo for my 300-PRC, and put 100-case backorders of Lapua brass in three different vendor systems thinking I'd cancel two of them once something showed up. In November, all three shipped within 48 hours so I now have 300 cases of 300-PRC Lapua brass. I'd rather be "lucky" than "smart". Still working on a righteous load, but the brass is gorgeous ... no complaints on Lapua or Peterson ... I use Lapua for 338-LM and 300-PRC, and Peterson for 6.5-CM and 300-WM.
     
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    b6graham

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    there's a reason they have OCD brass now...

    i won't expand on the numerous issues with their early brass. the info is out there even if alpha does their best to blame the reloaded or rifle for explosions
     
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    264Proto

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    I have nothing but positive comments on Alpha LRP 6.5 CM brass

    Yes, you need to drop any established loads at least 2 gr and work back up.

    Hodgdon's "lawyer load" data for 147 ELDM lists a max charge of 46 Gr of 4831 and lists a MV of ~2695

    My experience with 4831SC, 147gr ELDM, #34's and Alpha LRP brass yielded ~2700 MV with 44.8 grains 4831SC at temps up to 65* so far.....a few FPS less with observed temps down to about 10 degrees.

    Its a compressed load just like vendor data shows for 46gr in "standard" brass....its compressed enough that I dont think I would consider attempting to go any higher than 44.8gr

    44.8gr yields no swipes/marks on brass, no heavy bolt, primers that are flattening a bit but no cratering or other signs of pressure on primer strikes.

    ~2700 fps MV more or less matches Hornady's factory loaded match ELDM loads and shoots a lot more consistently in my experience.

    Its a load that my tikka likes a lot and puts a smile on my face.

    The folks at Alpha were super nice, suggested tumbling brass in corn cob and flitz before loading and its made a huge difference in reduction of handle pressure when seating projectiles along with tapping charged brass to help powder settle better/move around the projectile as its seated.

    YMMV....always work up your own data......