Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

bkwapisz

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Hello all, chronic lurker here checking in with a simple question, could not find the answer via search. I have been reloading ammo for about 10 years now, but never for long distance precision. I have mopstly RCBS equipment (which I plan to upgrade next week after reading the informative posts on here.) Typically I use Winchester brass (new and used) and also various brands of once-fired, like Lake City, etc.

My question is this: Since I am honing my skills and tooling to reload for precision (at distances greater than 300yds) is it worth it to buy more expensive brass (such as the aforementioned Lapua) or is there really no difference as long as I treat the brass I'm using as precision brass (meaning matching cases, trimming, etc.)

The probablility that I will be shooting over 800yds is pretty slim, mostly due to lack of a place to do it.

Thank you in advance for your expertise, and apologies again if this was already covered.

Brian.
 

Ratbert

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Unless you're trying to WIN a benchrest competition, probably not. Certainly wasn't for me. You might get a couple extra loadings out of it before the necks go because they anneal it at the factory, but unless you are able to re-anneal it (in which case you could do that to any brass) that won't last long enough to get your money back.
 

bkwapisz

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Thank you, that's what I was looking for. Considering I've probably got 8-10,000 casings both new and once-fired, I'll sink my money into precision devices and better dies.

Thanks again.

B
 

Fuzzball

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Unless both you, your load and your rig are quite good already you won't see any difference. (Well, probably not ... just to reduce the howls of random flaming!
wink.gif
)
 

bkwapisz

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Thanks Fuzz. To tell the truth, my "reloading" is basically cleaning and sizing cases, filling with powder from the midrange of the Ballistics tables, and seating a bullet so that it doesn't blow up in my face.

This precision stuff is somewhat new to me, although by trade I am a dentist, and you wouldn't believe the amount of precision that goes into dentalwork. So I think that by cleaning up my act and paying closer attention to details I should put myself into a different realm with what I already have.

Maybe in a few years if I'm still on this precision kick I'll try some higher-end brass and see if it makes any difference.
 

jasonk

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.

Time is money and the ease and uniformity of the Lapua brass makes it worth it for me. Can you do the same with Winchester brass? Probably, but the hours of labor are worth it to me.

You owe it to yourself to buy a box of 100 and try some out. See if it makes your rifle more accurate, if not then you're out $80 and a little time.
 

leadbullet

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I am with JASONK, got tired real quick with brass prep before loading, I get better accuracy straight out of the box with Lapua brass and they last a good while longer.
 

Deadshot2

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

My experience has been that Lapua Brass is definitely better quality. More uniform neck tension, primer pockets, and weight/capacity.

Of course one can also take a pile of Winchester Brass, sort it by weight, uniform the primer pockets, and anneal. This will give you a group of cases that will perform as well as the Lapua cases although Lapua does it "Out of the box".

It's a matter of choice and budget.
 
M

milo 2.0

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I say no. The qaulity is definetly better.
Three years ago I would have said yes, but with their annual price hikes, today it is not. Niether is the price of their bullets.
 

psinclair

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jasonk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.

Time is money and the ease and uniformity of the Lapua brass makes it worth it for me. Can you do the same with Winchester brass? Probably, but the hours of labor are worth it to me.

You owe it to yourself to buy a box of 100 and try some out. See if it makes your rifle more accurate, if not then you're out $80 and a little time. </div></div>

My feelings as well....
 

Leaddog

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I've shot it all and Lapua is very good brass. It's the only brass I use now. Of course, RWS is the best, but hard to get.

I recently gave away about 500 pieces of my other brass (LC, WIN, and Norma).
 

coldbeerchief

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Lapua brass is totally worth it.

I just prepped a bag of Winchester brass for my 223:

4 had split necks
3 had rims too thick to fit the shell holder.

the remaining 93 cases had burrs around the flash hole.

Lesson learned: don't buy any more Winchester brass and stick with Lapua.
 

littlecalm

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

Because of the long life you get with lapua, the overall cost is no big deal. Up front cost is greater, that's all. I also use some FC and Winchester brass, but strongly prefer Lapua. New Winchester brass looks like it fell off a truck on the highway and got run over.
 

SGT TickleFight

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

As long as you treat and sort the brass as you mentioned it should not matter. When buying new brass you will probably have to buy 3 bags of win to get 50 cases that match depending on how anal you are being about weight and case dimensions.

When you buy lapua brass you should have 50 cases good to go right out of the box. Of course, no mfg process is perfect and this isn't always the case but lapua is definitely high quality stuff.

I truely believe that way too much time is spent on reloading specifics. There are probably a couple of handfuls of people in the world that are good enough to notice the specifics we are talking about.

For 5.56 i use assorted lc brass that's all in one bucket and my reloads shoot way better than i do. I know they can shoot about .5 minute out of my ar but my abilities only guarantee under 1 moa with no rear rest and under .75 moa with a rear rest.

In short, yes lapua brass is worth it if you are good enough for it to matter.
 

Tunanut

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

and for some odd reason the Lapua brass takes a second or two or three longer to anneal that cheap brass.
 

K_4c

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I'll spend the extra coin and buy Lupua brass... and not even blink an eye... If you've bought all the other needed items to reload why go cheap on brass. The quality of Lupua brass is exceptional.
 

littlecalm

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I truely believe that way too much time is spent on reloading specifics. There are probably a couple of handfuls of people in the world that are good enough to notice the specifics we are talking about. </div></div>

Very true! Much of brass prep is idiosyncratic to the particular reloader, i.e., the more anal you are the more prep you like to do. I for one am rational and know that much of what I do in prep definitely doesn't affect my accuracy!!
 

repiv

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

I use only Lapua brass and nothing else for my 2 rifles that i consider long range precision. For all the thousands of $$$ I have invested over the years in my reloading gear, guns and optics what the hell is an extra $20-$30 per hundred or whatever gonna hurt. Lapua is more consistent, necks are thicker and I dont trim mine (dont need to), flash holes do not need to be deburred. Lapua is just plain better. There are other "better" things that I can not afford. Like the very best optics, but Lapua brass is easily in budget.
 

clmayfield

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

When you factor in the number of loadings you get out of a case, brass is the least expensive reloading component. It is about on par with primers.

With Lapua, you get drilled flash holes, so no prep there, more uniform case wall consistency, more uniform weight distribution (read case capacity), and better strength, which yields more firings.

The main reason not to go with Lapua is the case wall thickness, which takes away case capacity a bit. If you are overly concerned with it, WW brass is the way to go. But be prepared to prep and cull.
 

turbo54

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Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

For square-range folks, I think Lapua is a fine choice.

I know several people, myself included that were amazed by the accuracy of it STRAIGHT out of the box.

However, for tactical matches, or even the events I go to at Thunder Valley where they're cycling 20+ shooters through a stage, and you can't take you're sweet time scouring the area for brass, Lapua is a headache, and a heartache! It's not fun to lose - especially when you're using one of the cartridges Lapua is proud of, such as my 284 ($1.30 each) or 338 ($2.50 each). Plus, when shooting under time pressure, you never have the opportunity to touch off those "perfect" shots to even make use of the accuracy edge Lapua provides. For those situations, just about any brass is just fine.
 

Niles Coyote

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    I use Lapua and Winchester. Lapua is very consistent and of excellent quality. Winchester is my default brand and it is good enough to do what I need with a little prep work and sorting. So if you have the time it may not be worth it for you to buy brass at twice the price(of course this all depends on which caliber we are looking at). Only you can decide that. But if you want a truly good load and good case Lapua is tops.

    Now does Lapua last longer??? I can’t answer that yet. I have about 500 or 600 each of 308 brass in Winchester, Lapua and Lake City 91. I use the Lapua in my custom barrel and Winchester in the factory barrels, LC91 is used in both. To this point they have between 7-10 firings on all of them and I anneal right around the 3rd or 4th firing with each. I have yet to reach a point where they have become unusable. Sure, some had to be thrown out due to over pressure loads or screw ups in the loading process but that’s no fault of the brass.

    Handloader magazine had a good write up a couple years ago where they tried to replicate the accuracy of FGMM 168 grain SMK loading in a TRG rifle and one of the things they tested was longevity in a lot of ten or twenty of every available brand of brass until they failed. My copy is at home an I am not, but as I remember Lapua was not #1 in longevity. It was near the top though. Winchester was below Lapua but not by much. In this test they were looking for loose primmer pockets, cracked necks/shoulders and indications of case head separation. One thing to note in this test no annealing was done. most of the brands began failing between 12-16 firings, but I will look and see if I can find that article ... Of course this article can’t be taken to the bank as different lots will likely vary in composition and strength. But it does give one an idea of what can be expected.

    So if you were to pin me down on an answer I would say it depends on which caliber. For a 308 I would say no, 223... no, 260... yes, 243... not sure yet but leaning to lapua. Those are the calibers I load for and the only ones I care to comment on.
     

    C23

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    The Lapua brass is worth every single penny.

    High quality,consistent,strong and with primer pockets that stay tight longer. Helps with safety too.

    They don't need much work either.

    Regards
     

    19Scout77

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Bolt gun ...yes

    gas gun...hell no
     

    cega

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Another vote for Lapua. Lasts for what seems forever with proper care and is as stated before basically ready to go straight from the box.
     

    boltgunluvr

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Worth it for some cartridges/applications, but for most situations, I don't think so. No doubt top notch.
     

    Chris Stoneking

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    You will be doing a lot of sorting, inspecting and measuring neck wall thicknesses to get Winchester cases that are as good as Lapua or Norma cases. Whether or not it is worth it is mostly a "time spent" issue.
     

    USMC mustang

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 19Scout77</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bolt gun ...yes

    gas gun...hell no</div></div>

    That sums up my attitude on the subject. I can typically keep track of my brass from my bolt guns, semi-autos not so much. I feel angst when I can't recover all of my Winchester brass during a Service Rifle match. I can only imagine if I was losing Lapua brass.

    It is extremely high quality though, you owe it to yourself to try a box.
     

    RotARy15

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Lets just say this,

    Lapua brass is of such good quality, that you could be blindfolded and stick your hand into a box of unknown brass and know immediately whether it is Lapua or something else.
     

    Hunt

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    I like Lapua brass and bought it at the time b/c I got a great deal. However, I always used Winchester brass prior. There is nothing wrong with Win. brass and it has actually lasted longer for me than Lapua (neck splits).
     

    pdice

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jasonk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.
    </div></div>

    Does the lapua brass already come chamfered?
     

    RotARy15

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pdice</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jasonk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.
    </div></div>

    Does the lapua brass already come chamfered? </div></div>

    No, you should chamfer them. Outside doesn't need chamfer unless you trim the brass.
     
    M

    mtscott

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    I ran Winchester for a number of years. I bought some Lapua and was impressed with the consistency. All I use now in my 243 and 338 is Lapua.
     

    bkwapisz

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Well I think that the "YAY's" have it. And the comment about the amount of money already spent definitely turned me, as well as the link, thank you to everyone.

    I'll go for it, why not, especially at $57/100. Guess the only way is to try it myself. Right now I have an order in at XLR for an evolution chassis and my barrelled action is at the gunsmith for a nice Muzzle brake. Therefore, since I have a few weeks with NOTHING to blow my children's inheritance on, might as well get some fresh brass and start playing with it.

    I really appreciate the expertise here. As I start getting things together and zero in the new setup I'll report my findings for critique by the masses here.

    Cheers, brothers in arms.

    Brian.
     

    X-fan

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Go out and buy Redding or other fancy die sets, fancy presses, fancy priming tools, fancy scales, case blueprinting equipment, or whatever other fancy crap you can think of and show me the money....As in real world improvements in what you gained in accuracy for your dollar spent....

    I own damn near every expensive piece of fancy over-priced reloading equipment imaginable and let me assure you the gains (they do exist) are very small for the dollar spent.

    So here is the challenge for you experienced reloaders.
    Show any piece of equipment that produces more accuracy (every time) for less money than Lapua brass.

    Best of luck with that!
    smile.gif
     

    pdice

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RotARy15</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pdice</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jasonk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.
    </div></div>

    Does the lapua brass already come chamfered? </div></div>

    No, you should chamfer them. Outside doesn't need chamfer unless you trim the brass.</div></div>

    Thanks I have a bunch coming that I need to prep. I also wondered why the outside needs to be chamfered and that makes perfect sense.
     

    WhiteHunter

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Hi, Lapua brass is the best by far (Norma a good second) and considering the time and effort it takes to reload accurately, it's more than worth the money. I've also seen a thread / test that where an identical load was prepared in Lapua brass and another brand - the Lapua produced a better result.
     

    SVG308

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    I'm a big fan of Lapua brass but you can't base much off a test of a given load between two brands of brass. An optimal load in Lapua brass most likely wouldn't be optimal in Win or Rem brass. Internal case capacities will all be a bit different as Lapua brass is thicker.
     

    Paladin2147

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    The 308 is worth it. The 338 is worth it. As for others don't know. I would not "waste" any of it in a gas gun.
     

    Natty Bumpo

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So here is the challenge for you experienced reloaders.
    Show any piece of equipment that produces more accuracy (every time) for less money than Lapua brass.</div></div>

    While I haven't done the experiment to test this, I would think getting a good runout/concentricity gauge would be one of the better investments. When I shoot rounds from the bench to evaluate powder or bullets, I cherry pick the most concentric rounds to shoot for groups.

    Is it more important than quality of brass? I can't say for sure. But I believe ammo concentricity is more important than uniforming primer pockets, sorting brass by weight, neck turning, etc.

    As far as "more accuracy for less money" goes: You can buy a lot of brass for the price of a good concentricty gauge. But the gauge is a one-time investment. Brass is not.
     

    Deadshot2

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Tunanut</div><div class="ubbcode-body">and for some odd reason the Lapua brass takes a second or two or three longer to anneal that cheap brass. </div></div>

    And the heat builds evenly all the way around the case instead of hot spots forming on one side or the other.
     

    steve123

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Along with all the other good things about Lapua brass is that they donate to the prize tables at the tactical matches! Last year I skipped my allotted table and went strait to the next one so I could get those Lapua brass certs! I practically have a lifetime supply now!
    grin.gif
     

    bkwapisz

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    Re: Lapua Brand Brass. Worth it?

    Alright, I'm gonna try it. As mentioned above it's not THAT much more expensive, and when I looked at how much I plan on spending in the near future for other pieces like a heavy, staeady rest, new dies, new powder, new projectiles, Chrony, scale, (holy Sh!t, that adds up) the extra few bucks isn't that bad. Oh, and I forgot about the muzzle brake install, new XLR stock... Whew. I need a chepaer hobby. Anyone find one that isn't ridiculously expensive?

    Maybe I should start collecting dead houseflies instead.....
     

    samnev

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jasonk</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'd disagree with the above posters, I find Lapua brass to be totally worth the money. Some of my most accurate loads have been with brand new, straight from the box Lapua brass. Other brass you should prep, chamfer, uniform, etc. Lapua you just open and load.

    Time is money and the ease and uniformity of the Lapua brass makes it worth it for me. Can you do the same with Winchester brass? Probably, but the hours of labor are worth it to me.

    You owe it to yourself to buy a box of 100 and try some out. See if it makes your rifle more accurate, if not then you're out $80 and a little time. </div></div>

    My feelings as well....

    Same here!!!