.40 S&W and Federal Champion Brass [Archive] - Glock Talk

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F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 12:25
Reading through various Internet postings, I am getting the idea that reloaders aren't happy with Federal Champion brass for .40 S&W.

I am wondering if that dissatisfaction is limited to Glocks and their relatively unsupported chamber.

I was thinking about loading for a Sig P229 and I have a few thousand rounds of the brass just sitting here. Buying new Starline brass isn't a big deal but tossing thousands of empties seems sacreligious.

Richard

D. Manley
12-15-2011, 12:40
Keep in mind, you have to take everything you read on the "inter-web" with at least, a grain of salt. The problem brass you've read about is largely (but, not completely) long gone. These cases were headstamped, "FC" where the current brass is marked, "Federal". I've had no problems whatsoever with the Federal marked brass and as far as I can tell, its the same as other ATK branded brass...Blazer, CCI, Speer.

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 12:43
Keep in mind, you have to take everything you read on the "inter-web" with at least, a grain of salt. The problem brass you've read about is largely (but, not completely) long gone. These cases were headstamped, "FC" where the current brass is marked, "Federal". I've had no problems whatsoever with the Federal marked brass and as far as I can tell, its the same as other ATK branded brass...Blazer, CCI, Speer.

Good to know. Yes, the stuff I read mentioned FC but I took that to mean Federal Champion as an abbreviation.

Mine is stamped Federal and it comes from Wally World. Still, it's brass and it looks pretty good as it came from a Sig.

Richard

rpgman
12-15-2011, 12:46
Keep in mind, you have to take everything you read on the "inter-web" with at least, a grain of salt. The problem brass you've read about is largely (but, not completely) long gone. These cases were headstamped, "FC" where the current brass is marked, "Federal". I've had no problems whatsoever with the Federal marked brass and as far as I can tell, its the same as other ATK branded brass...Blazer, CCI, Speer.

I use the Brass stamped FEDERAL....but NOT the one stamped with just FC

Colorado4Wheel
12-15-2011, 12:59
Good to know. Yes, the stuff I read mentioned FC but I took that to mean Federal Champion as an abbreviation.

Mine is stamped Federal and it comes from Wally World. Still, it's brass and it looks pretty good as it came from a Sig.

Richard

I have seen some pictures of Glock vs Sig vs Beretta barrels. Glock was NOT the worst.

This entire thing with the Glock and bulged brass is blown WAY, WAY, WAY out of proportion to reality. Problem was Federal made some thinner brass way back when the .40 S&W came out. Glock was a relatively new gun and it was popular to bash on it because of it's huge popularity and unique design. Combine these two events and you have a piling on the weird new guy event that still has a following today because things never fully die in the internet world.

SPIN2010
12-15-2011, 13:03
I reload quite a bit of once fired .40 S&W brass and I can tell you my resized case problems center around Winchester and (S&B) about 90% of the time. I find their bases do not respond well to resizing in my Dillon die (these were shot out of a P229 and reloaded). Federal has been fair up to this point.

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 13:31
I reload quite a bit of once fired .40 S&W brass and I can tell you my resized case problems center around Winchester and (S&B) about 90% of the time. I find their bases do not respond well to resizing in my Dillon die (these were shot out of a P229 and reloaded). Federal has been fair up to this point.

Have you tried the Lee resizing die? It has a smaller radius at the mouth and resizes a little further down. I am using that die in 9mm just for giggles (I pick up a lot of range brass) and it functions perfectly in my 550B.

Richard

fredj338
12-15-2011, 14:14
I am not a fan of ant Federal brass, at least in high pressure rounds. It just doesn't hold up to repeated loadings. I have seen more case failures & early retirement (enlarged primer pockets) w/ Federal in 9mm, 3578sig, 40 & rifle rounds. Even in the low pressure 45acp, Federal would be my last choice for brand name brass.

Steve Koski
12-15-2011, 14:39
I load Federal .40 brass like any other .40 brass. Never had a problem with it.

I have no idea about the Federal Champion brass. Is it heastamped differently? Or does it just stay FEDERAL like the other stuff?

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 14:49
I load Federal .40 brass like any other .40 brass. Never had a problem with it.

I have no idea about the Federal Champion brass. Is it heastamped differently? Or does it just stay FEDERAL like the other stuff?

It's just stamped FEDERAL. It all came from Federal Champion ammo sold at Wally World. I don't know what other ammo Federal might load and brand also having a FEDERAL headstamp.

Richard

rpgman
12-15-2011, 14:51
It's just stamped FEDERAL. It all came from Federal Champion ammo sold at Wally World. I don't know what other ammo Federal might load and brand also having a FEDERAL headstamp.

Richard

there are also ones marked Federal NT...like Winchester has ones marked WIN NT

rpgman
12-15-2011, 14:59
nice little article concerning Brass...

http://www.guns.com/when-it-comes-to-reloading-not-all-brass-is-created-equal.html

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 15:27
I guess I go against the flow of that article. I nominally look at brass when I pick it up. Other than that, it's into the tumbler, media separator and case feeder. I certainly don't separate by manufacturer or headstamp. I just load it.

With this SPP crap I am having to look at cases I bring in from outside sources. That stuff will plug up my 1050 at the primer pocket swaging station.

All of my ammo just makes PF and none of it will ever be used for anything other than poking holes in cardboard targets. Sure, I want a certain amount of accuracy but that A zone is pretty large. If the stuff groups to 3" at 25 yards, that is good enough. I wonder if I can group 3" at 25 yards; offhand and in a hurry?

One thing about making lighter loads for .45 ACP is that you can expect the brass to last forever (or at least a dozen reloadings). There won't be any cracked cases any time soon. Working from 5000 rounds of brass means that any given case is only loaded every once in a while. I'll soon be working from 10,000 rounds of brass so maybe I only load a couple of times per year.

I'll leave the OCD stuff for my rifle reloading. And there I care...

Richard

rpgman
12-15-2011, 15:33
I guess I go against the flow of that article. I nominally look at brass when I pick it up. Other than that, it's into the tumbler, media separator and case feeder. I certainly don't separate by manufacturer or headstamp. I just load it.

With this SPP crap I am having to look at cases I bring in from outside sources. That stuff will plug up my 1050 at the primer pocket swaging station.

All of my ammo just makes PF and none of it will ever be used for anything other than poking holes in cardboard targets. Sure, I want a certain amount of accuracy but that A zone is pretty large. If the stuff groups to 3" at 25 yards, that is good enough. I wonder if I can group 3" at 25 yards; offhand and in a hurry?

One thing about making lighter loads for .45 ACP is that you can expect the brass to last forever (or at least a dozen reloadings). There won't be any cracked cases any time soon. Working from 5000 rounds of brass means that any given case is only loaded every once in a while. I'll soon be working from 10,000 rounds of brass so maybe I only load a couple of times per year.

I'll leave the OCD stuff for my rifle reloading. And there I care...

Richard

I separate mine...did it last night on a 1000 .40 while watchin TV...took about a half hour or so.

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 15:39
I separate mine...did it last night on a 1000 .40 while watchin TV...took about a half hour or so.

But having done it, what difference does it make? You're going to load it all, right? You aren't going to change loads between manufacturers are you?

I can understand paying a lot of attention for precision rifle, I do that. For action pistol, not so much. As long as I can get the head shot at 20 yards, I am happy with the load. If I miss, I can ALWAYS blame it on the shooter.

It is true that I am separating that 3000 rounds of once-fired that I just bought but I expected that. There's a little bit of everything in there. But once I am done, I don't expect to have to look at it again.

Richard

rpgman
12-15-2011, 15:43
But having done it, what difference does it make? You're going to load it all, right? You aren't going to change loads between manufacturers are you?

I can understand paying a lot of attention for precision rifle, I do that. For action pistol, not so much. As long as I can get the head shot at 20 yards, I am happy with the load. If I miss, I can ALWAYS blame it on the shooter.

It is true that I am separating that 3000 rounds of once-fired that I just bought but I expected that. There's a little bit of everything in there. But once I am done, I don't expect to have to look at it again.

Richard

I find differences in case size messing with my set OAL. It was varying too much, now, since I separate the brass coming out of the tumbler, it varies + or - .005

it was varying greater when I wasn't separating. Granted, that was on my Lyman Turret II Press, and I haven't re-checked since I got the xl650 2 weeks ago. It's just a habit now. I should re-check using the xl650.

Greg

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 16:14
I find differences in case size messing with my set OAL. It was varying too much, now, since I separate the brass coming out of the tumbler, it varies + or - .005

it was varying greater when I wasn't separating. Granted, that was on my Lyman Turret II Press, and I haven't re-checked since I got the xl650 2 weeks ago. It's just a habit now. I should re-check using the xl650.

Greg

Why would case length have any effect on OAL? OAL is measured from the base to the nose. The case could be 0.20" short or 0.020" long and it wouldn't have any effect on OAL.

A more likely issue is how well the bullet fits the seating die (or insert) and the consistency of the bullet profile. Maybe a different seating die would provide a more consistent OAL.

I wonder if 'Match' bullets have a more consistent profile?

What I think has more effect is the difficulty of resizing and decapping the case at station 1 and how that bends the press or platform (I'm thinking about the 550, I don't know anything about the Lyman).

Loading on a progressive press is an 'about' situation. If +- 0.005" bothers you, you might still be disappointed with even the new press. After all, it has the same basic design as the 550B. I have been happy with +- 0.010".

Richard

D. Manley
12-15-2011, 16:22
I load Federal .40 brass like any other .40 brass. Never had a problem with it.

I have no idea about the Federal Champion brass. Is it heastamped differently? Or does it just stay FEDERAL like the other stuff?

Older versions of Federal brass were stamped "FC" for "Federal Cartridge".

there are also ones marked Federal NT...like Winchester has ones marked WIN NT

"N/T" stamped brass represents "Non-Toxic". The brass is just fine to use but be aware that some (if not all) the .45 NT brass cases are sized for Small Pistol primers and can be a hassle causing most folks just to exclude them or at least, segregate them so as not to mix with normal LPP .45's.

As to present vintage Federal brass. It's my belief that the only difference in Federal, CCI, Blazer and Speer brass is the headstamp. I do not claim to have any "insider information" about this but they appear the same to me and are all owned by the same parent company. It does not seem logical to me that ATK would have multiple suppliers of a component used by their manufacturing processes and even if it did, the specifications would be the same across the board.

fredj338
12-15-2011, 16:52
Older versions of Federal brass were stamped "FC" for "Federal Cartridge".



"N/T" stamped brass represents "Non-Toxic". The brass is just fine to use but be aware that some (if not all) the .45 NT brass cases are sized for Small Pistol primers and can be a hassle causing most folks just to exclude them or at least, segregate them so as not to mix with normal LPP .45's.

As to present vintage Federal brass. It's my belief that the only difference in Federal, CCI, Blazer and Speer brass is the headstamp. I do not claim to have any "insider information" about this but they appear the same to me and are all owned by the same parent company. It does not seem logical to me that ATK would have multiple suppliers of a component used by their manufacturing processes and even if it did, the specifications would be the same across the board.
Maybe. With globalization, manuf may be subbing out their cheaper ammo line to a foreign manuf for cases.:dunno: My past exp has me not wanting to load Federal brass, even their match brass, in anything w/ higher pressures than say 25K psi. I have had 308GMM & 06 GMM stretch primer pockets in as few as 3 firings w/ my normal loads put up in other brands of brass. I have seen std pressure 9mm loads rupture a case head in once fired, yep Federal brass. So I only sort my brass in handguns for max loads. I use my Federal brass for lost brass matches.:supergrin:

F106 Fan
12-15-2011, 17:12
deleted - started new thread

GIockGuy24
12-15-2011, 17:24
Federal Champion brass, if different, may be like Blazer brass, which is formed differently from the standard methods. Both are owned by the same parent company. The old "FC" cases, like all early American-made 40 S&W cases is thinner than current production cases. The newer, stronger Federal cases are stamped, "Federal", not, "FC." I don't know if Federal Champion brass is different. The original SAAMI specs called for thinner cases than used in current production. It was borderline thick enough and with soft Federal cases would often fail in large chambered pistols, such as the Glocks. Federal then changed their cases to a stronger, thicker design with the, "Federal" stamp in place of the earlier "FC" stamp. All other American ammunition companies followed with their own versions of thicker than original 40 S&W which are now thicker than SAAMI cases standards. The old "FC" Federal cases had the most problems but were within SAAMI specs. The quality of the brass made the Federal "FC" cases fail more often than the other brands but when the problem showed up, the other brands also strengthened their 40 S&W cases designs.

Steve Koski
12-15-2011, 17:36
I sort my .40 and 9mm brass by headstamp.

The biggest benefit is a quick inspection, finding NT cases, NATO cases, AMERC cases, rocks stuck in a case, etc. When you load sorted brass, the press runs like a dream. When load load a mixture containing 3% garbage, you have a lot of interruptions to deal with.

D. Manley
12-15-2011, 18:02
Maybe. With globalization, manuf may be subbing out their cheaper ammo line to a foreign manuf for cases.:dunno: My past exp has me not wanting to load Federal brass, even their match brass, in anything w/ higher pressures than say 25K psi. I have had 308GMM & 06 GMM stretch primer pockets in as few as 3 firings w/ my normal loads put up in other brands of brass. I have seen std pressure 9mm loads rupture a case head in once fired, yep Federal brass. So I only sort my brass in handguns for max loads. I use my Federal brass for lost brass matches.:supergrin:

Who know for sure, Fred? I have no problems at all with it and both Federal and Speer load their duty ammo to +P in it. I tend to use CCI (and now, Blazer) more than anything else simply because I have more of it...never a hint of any problem. My all time favorite is military WCC stuff that needs a little primer prepping but that, I have to buy. Folks tend to have their likes and dislikes and sometimes, choices are subjective. I know of one truly expert shooter and reloader that prefers Speer brass to the exclusion of everything else. That said, if I were loading for rifle, I don't think ATK (or several other popular brands) rifle brass would be first choice for anything other than plinking stuff...there's too many superior choices available for precision ammo that needs less prep work.

ColoCG
12-15-2011, 22:45
I have noticed no difference in performance between Federal, Rem. and Win. in large rifle loads except Win. tends to be thinner than the others.
I also have no problem so far loading federal brass in pistol loads either. Never even realized there might be a problem till I heard it on the internet.:dunno:

Brucev
12-16-2011, 07:34
Maybe. With globalization, manuf may be subbing out their cheaper ammo line to a foreign manuf for cases.:dunno: My past exp has me not wanting to load Federal brass, even their match brass, in anything w/ higher pressures than say 25K psi. I have had 308GMM & 06 GMM stretch primer pockets in as few as 3 firings w/ my normal loads put up in other brands of brass. I have seen std pressure 9mm loads rupture a case head in once fired, yep Federal brass. So I only sort my brass in handguns for max loads. I use my Federal brass for lost brass matches.:supergrin:

Your experience with Fed. GMM mirrors my own. I shot a Rem. 700 SF-VS in .308 Winchester for 15 years. The best brass I found was plain old Remington. Winchester was also very good. I was very disappointed with results using the GMM brass. Accuracy was excellent, but using loads that were not in any way "hot" primer pockets opened up after the second load. It was ridiculous. If they ever get their act together I'll give GMM brass another look. For now, I'll use Remington and Winchester.

fredj338
12-16-2011, 10:49
Your experience with Fed. GMM mirrors my own. I shot a Rem. 700 SF-VS in .308 Winchester for 15 years. The best brass I found was plain old Remington. Winchester was also very good. I was very disappointed with results using the GMM brass. Accuracy was excellent, but using loads that were not in any way "hot" primer pockets opened up after the second load. It was ridiculous. If they ever get their act together I'll give GMM brass another look. For now, I'll use Remington and Winchester.

COrrect, same for handgun brass. The fact Federal loads it in their ammo means nothing to the reloader. It's just flat too soft for multiple high presure reloading. So I shy away form it in rifles & tolerate it in handgun rounds but don;t like loading it in high pressure handgun for anything but midrange loads, even 9mm, it's too soft.

HAMMERHEAD
12-16-2011, 15:30
COrrect, same for handgun brass. The fact Federal loads it in their ammo means nothing to the reloader. It's just flat too soft for multiple high presure reloading. So I shy away form it in rifles & tolerate it in handgun rounds but don;t like loading it in high pressure handgun for anything but midrange loads, even 9mm, it's too soft.
That must be why FC 9mm brass is so much easier to size than WIN 9mm brass.

fredj338
12-16-2011, 18:17
That must be why FC 9mm brass is so much easier to size than WIN 9mm brass.

Probably. I just find Federal soft, doesn;t take pressures well. Had a buddy blow a case head w/ a once fired FC 9mm case & a target load. I don't trust their brass, won't load it in high pressure apps. Run it at midrange, it works fine but does fail sooner than other brands. In rifles, I have had Norma & Lapua, even Win brass go 10 reloads where the Federal GMM fails in 3-4 w/ enlarged primer pockets. Since FGMM is not cheap brass, spending another $20-$25/100 is money well spent IMO.