I’ve heard brass bullets wear barrels out quickly. Is this true?

Emphatically not true. Brass is about the kindest high velocity bullet material in rifled barrels. See the technical section for more detailed information. Do not use full bore diameter solid slugs in choked shotgun barrels, though. They cannot pass through the choke without ruining something in the process.

I’ve heard brass bullets leave a yellow tinge in the barrel. Is this true, and if so, how does it affect the barrel?

Generally, it’s true. Some brass alloys do, and some do not. The yellow tinge is actually proof that the barrel wears the bullet – and not vice versa.  The yellow does not build up, and it does not affect the barrel at all. See the technical section for further details, and for the cleaning procedure.

Why would one choose a brass bullet?

Generally speaking, high quality brass bullets provide superior accuracy together with low barrel friction, minimal (if any) deformation upon impact and very low barrel fouling.

I’ve heard lathe-turned bullets are sometimes measurably out of round. Is this true, and how is accuracy affected?

It is true, yes. The spindle of the lathe needs to be able to turn, requiring very slight play, sometimes resulting in slight out-of-roundness in the product. In a lathe-turned monometal bullet, this does not affect accuracy at all. See the technical section for a detailed explanation.

Do brass bullets require special reloading techniques?

Only one – ensure that upon firing the bullet will have a clear jump of at least 2,5mm out of the case before it engages the rifling. This is explained further in the technical section.

The bullets of my rifle creep into the case in the magazine of my rifle. How do I stop this?

Those bullets in your loads should be crimped in the case. See “crimping” in the technical section for an  explanation and techniques.

Should bullets be crimped in the case? If yes, why, if no, why not?

Crimping serves one purpose only – to stop the bullet from moving deeper into the case while in the magazine, under recoil of firing. If uncrimped bullets creep into the cases in the magazine, that load in that rifle needs crimping. Crimp the case into the cannelure or crimping groove in the bullet. It stands to reason though, that loads for single shot rifles do not need crimping.

Crimping can, and often does, have an adverse effect on accuracy. So avoid crimping then, if possible.

There are two exceptions to the rule. The 22 rimfire is crimped – because there is too little of the bullet in the case to hold it by friction alone. And some loads in centrefires need the powder so heavily compressed that it tends to push the bullet out of the case. There crimping is indicated.

See the technical section for more information and techniques.

Should cases be length trimmed?

Most definitely, yes. They grow longer as brass flows forward in the firing and resizing processes. (See the technical section for an explanation). It is strongly recommended that all cases be trimmed as part of the preparation process, every time they are loaded. It is essential that they all be the same length if they are to be crimped, and it is vital that not even one case is overly long so as to cause either failure to chamber properly, or, even if chambering properly, that the chamber crimps the bullet in the case, causing excessive and potentially dangerous pressure. Rifles have been destroyed and shooters have been injured in this manner.

Brass bullets are relatively expensive. Why is this?

Material costs are high, to start with. The computer-controlled precision lathes used for bullet production are very expensive, as is their tooling. The quality control techniques used by reputable manufacturers are hands-on all the time, and the measuring equipment is expensive. The technical section has more specific information on the processes used.

Why are there so many different models and designs of brass bullet? Is this really necessary?

Different strokes for different folks! It is not, strictly speaking, necessary. There is an optimum for every calibre. However, riflemen have their own ideas, their own likes and dislikes. To bring a new model into the lineup requires a new computer programme for the lathe, and some testing. It does not require extensive new tooling, as other prodution methods do. Each manufacturer has his own styles, doing the jobs required of them.

How do I choose a brass bullet model?

Firstly, decide what you want it to do. Then approach  a trusted supplier for advice. Alternatively, join our forum!

How do I get answers to questions that baffle me?

Join our forum, or phone Pieter du Plessis on 082 801 5744

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