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Mixed vs. Sorted Brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dhgeyer, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. dhgeyer


    Jul 15, 2011
    Loading 9mm for a Glock, has anyone noticed/tested and found any significant accuracy difference between rounds loaded with mixed brass as opposed to brass sorted by manufacturer/lot/markings etc.? I know there are dimensional/capacity differences, and I know that loading for accurate rifles it does matter. I just have never tested to see if they actually translate into a difference I will see shooting a pistol unsupported (Not off a rest).

  2. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    No difference or at least not enough that you would notice. I just no longer use Military, A-Merc, and S&B brass. The rest is mixed together. Not worth the trouble.

  3. M24C


    Oct 31, 2002
    I have not noticed any difference between mixed brass in Shooting. I would agree 100% with unclebob some brass don't even bother with. S&B is a pain, I just throw it away especially with 9mm. So much of it on the ground at the range.

    If you are worried about sizing case gauge all, the loads you have for the important stuff. Use the rest for practice.

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  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Define significant. If you want the most consistent ammo, then you should sort brass by at least headstamp. The accuracy diff for most shooters @ most distances just isn't going to be realized. If you & your gun can hold 2" @ 25yds, then you might get it down to 1 1/2", but most guns & fewer shooters can do that. If I were shooting 50yd bullseye, I would sort my brass by headstamp.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  5. sciolist


    Nov 11, 2009
    I'll sort it for function, but not accuracy. For example, once-fired brass usually gets used for match ammo. Most of the (rare) malfunctions I have are from funky range brass.
  6. FLSlim


    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    Used to, but couldn't tell a meaningful difference. I keep a separate stash of one-fired +p brass just in case I someday decide to "load up" but that stash will probably never be used :).
  7. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I have noticed no difference using Win and FED over the chrono. But the oddball stuff just feels very different when I load it so I avoid the oddball stuff in a match. I use mostly sorted brass (fed) now.
  8. dhgeyer


    Jul 15, 2011
    Thanks Folks! Much appreciated, and about what I would have guessed. I don't have any "oddball" brass, as I don't shoot the ammo that comes in it. All I have is Win (from WWB), R-P, and Fed. Oh, and some nickle plated Speer from Gold Dots, but I haven't messed with those and probably won't. Said to be harder on the carbide ring, and no real need since I have thousands of brass cases.
  9. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Don't know were you got that nickle plating is hard on carbide rings. Matter of fact they are easier.
  10. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    I sort my brass. Dirty brass goes into a white bucket, clean brass goes in an orange one.
  11. dhgeyer


    Jul 15, 2011
    Actually I think I got that from the instructions that came with a set of RCBS reloading dies many years ago. I think it was not long after they started making carbide dies. It was conventional wisdom at that time. Funny how conventional wisdom changes.
  12. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    There isn't any discernable difference when you're just using the ammo for range fodder. If, as Jack would say, there's folding money on the table, you might want to sort the brass. Then again, most shooters can't shoot accurately enough for it to matter.

    That said, I always sort out enough of one headstamp to use when developing loads, and try to do so using Win brass. When you're trying to establish a functional and accurate round, you try to eliminate as many variables as you can.
  13. I use a variety of range brass in my two .45s. I'm not a competition shooter and even with mixed brass, the stuff is more accurate than I am.

    However, there have been reams of threads devoted to whether or not to reload for defensive purposes. I've seen enough range brass with subtle damage from extraction to recommend that if anyone plans to load their own defensive ammo, they should use virgin brass such as is available from Starline.

    I've seen lots of range brass that would not easily slide into a Lyman shell holder. Careful examination disclosed the rim bent outward slightly from the extractor. Easy to miss with the naked eye. I discard any shell that won't easily slide into the shell holder while using a universal decapper.