Best Reloading Brass Reviewed and Rated for Quality
From the rifle shop owner to the helpful folks at Cabela’s, there’s always someone around to answer your firearms questions.
But what about more personal questions, like which brass to use? Many hunters think of their brass as something very personal. They might be the ones to chamfer it or to deburr it, giving them a sense of agency and pride over the pieces they’re working with. They might not necessarily want someone yammering in their ear about the benefits and drawbacks of different kinds of brass. That’s where we come in.
This is an important item to take with you on any hunting trip. We’ve compiled 10 of the best options when it comes to reloading brass, so folks can find out for themselves which might be the best fit. From Remington to Weatherby (and lots in between), here are 10 of the best reloading brass options out there.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 211 hrs of research
No trimming needed
Easy to load
Variety of amounts
10 Best Reloading Brass
1. Remington® Unprimed Rifle 50
No trimming needed
Easy to load
Variety of amounts
Some product confusion regarding customer service replacements:
Often sold out
We’re starting our list off with the best of the best. Cabela’s is well equipped to give us everything we need when it comes to rifles, and this is especially true when looking at their selection of reloading brass. The Remington Unprimed Rifle Brass is an excellent addition to any hunter’s kit and will make a good weekend hunting trip even better. The quantity and quality just can’t be beaten.
Some of the reviews mentioned this fact, and we’re very happy to report it here as well. The trimming of the brass is something that many rifle enthusiasts have to do in order to keep it within loadable/fireable regulations. If the rifle changes, the brass has to change as well. That’s why we’re excited that the size listed is the size we get. No trimming required, even though the brass can handle being trimmed.
No, it doesn’t come with a nice hat and shiny buttons. The uniform we’re talking about here is the quality of the brass. No dings and no dents, with all of the unprimed brass being of a similar shape and size. While we’re sure they won’t stay pristine after being loaded and shot out of your chosen rifle, it is a good sign that you’re getting the best of the best.
Cost and Value
Sometimes the top spot on our list is also one of the more expensive items. This is a case where that’s not necessarily the situation, as this brass is very reasonably priced. Coming in a variety of amounts (and, thus, prices) it’s possible to find a box at any price range. The quality is second to none as well, which makes the price point all the sweeter.
2. Winchester® Unprimed Rifle 50
Made from raw materials by Winchester
Variety of amounts
No folding or splitting
Some reports of poor quality
Bagged brass; some dings expected
Well, what else would you expect? If the Remington option came in first, the Winchester Unprimed Rifle Brass had to come in second. Consider these two tied neck-in-neck. Not only do they both have excellent quality put into their creation, but they’re both reliable and effective brass. Cabela’s has done it again by offering the highest standard of brass across many different rifle types.
Full disclosure: we’re not sure if this is actually made in a person’s backyard. We do know that, according to the product description, Winchester makes their cartridge components from raw materials, by themselves and for themselves. That’s a kind of care that can only lead to amazing quality, especially when it comes to unprimed brass.
One of the things that kept coming up in our research was the importance of not having split necks or folded shoulders. It sounds like a doctor’s visit, but trust us when we say that these are very important qualities to look for when inspecting brass. Winchester’s brass is fully formed, with no split necks or folding. This makes for a straight, powerful shot, as well as an easy load!
Cost and Value
A little cheaper than the first rifle brass we looked at, there are also quite a few more mixed reviews on this product. Not only do we find that the good reviews are glowing, but we noticed that the negative reviews are pretty negative. Overall, we’re going to opt on the optimistic side and say that those negative reviews just got an unlucky batch. This rifle brass is solid and excellent for your chosen rifle.
3. SIG Sauer® Unprimed Rifle
Premium Build (Made in USA)
Multiple Reload Quality
Some weight variations within a bag
Bagged; dents might occur
One of the cheaper options on our list, the SIG Sauer Unprimed Rifle Brass is a great choice when it comes to bagged brass. Yes, some people dislike the bag method of packaging because it might result in dings and bends in the brass itself. However, SIG Sauer’s Unprimed Rifle Brass must have some sort of magical power, as it doesn’t seem to get as beat up as other bagged brass options.
Considering the fact that we’re talking about reloadable brass, this might be a no-brainer. However, we want to mention it anyway as this brass specifically can be reloaded multiple times. While some of the other brass on this list can be reloaded once, this is able to be loaded multiple times-- And still work as effectively every single time! That’s the kind of longevity that makes for an excellent product.
How many times did our parents get on our backs about our posture? Well, now you can finally gloat about your proper alignment to them. Though, it’s not postural alignment that’s perfect here. What’s perfect is the flash hole alignment. SIG Sauer’s flash holes are crafted with precision piercing, making them aligned right every single time.
Cost and Value
Sure, it might not be the fanciest looking pack of unprimed brass. However, it’s definitely a very high quality bunch. From the materials to the flash holes, everything about this brass it detailed and taken care of. We love the fact that this brass is offered as a lower price point option. The quality is still high, and it can be reloaded many, many times. This gives us more bang (literally) for our buck, making the value more than worth the cost.
4. Lapua Rifle
Annealed necks and shoulders
No prep needed
Very few misshapen out of box
Lapua takes the 4th spot on our list, but don’t think that that’s a comment on their quality. In the world of rifles and hunting, every huntsperson has their own preferences. Just because someone dislikes one brand doesn’t mean it’s not another person’s favorite. In our case, Lapua is one of our personal favorites. High quality, and with some very special features, it’s hard to go wrong with this brand of rifle brass.
That Extra 10%
Losing the last 10 pounds is difficult. Giving an extra 10% is difficult all around, and it’s no different in the world of manufacturing. Lapua has thankfully crafted this rifle brass with that 10% in mind, as the cases are listed as 10% heavier than other brands’ maybe this is what makes the next featured quality possible, eh?
10 Times Over
On top of the extra 10% weight, this reloadable brass gets nearly 10 times more the reloading options. Lapua lists this product as getting a MINIMUM of 10 reloads! Wow! This is excellent news for the thrifty hunters amongst us. The quality is top notch, and the manufacturing has built these with reloadability in mind.
Cost and Value
One of the more expensive options on our list, this is not brass that bargain hunters will want to look for. However, the value is still worth the cost thanks to the sheer number of reloads you get out of this product. With higher quality and a higher reload amount, we believe that this is an excellent option for serious rifles.
5. Nosler® Custom™ Rifle
Good, sturdy quality
Consistent between orders
primer pockets are quite tight
Of course, we can’t make a list about reloading brass without including the Nosler Custom Rifle Brass. We’re big fans of that fact. Nosler offers a well-made product with a long history of success behind it. While it might not necessarily be made to order, it’s still got that custom feel so many of us love.
Often we find ourselves with a box or bag of brass, rifling through it to find brass of similar density/weight. Weighing our brass is an important step in that process, but luckily for us, we don’t necessarily have to do that with the Nosler brass. They’ve weight sorted their brass, making for both a reliable, consistently-weighted setup and a quality firing.
Locked and loaded
Or, rather, it will be loaded soon, once you order your box of Nosler Custom Rifle Brass. This brass is ready to be loaded, and you don’t need to do a thing. The hole has been deburred already, and the case mouths have been chamfered. This means that the amount of additional work you need to do is next to none; just load it up and take it out!
Cost and Value
In the upper range of our brass pricing, it’s hard to find a reason to choose this make of brass over another range of brass. Those that want a high-quality custom take on brass creation will be happy with Nosler’s technique. However, those that might want brass that they can personalize the chamfer on would be happier picking up a cheaper set. Nosler is worth the value thanks to their detailed handiwork, but be prepared to spend a little bit more.
6. Starline Unprimed Pistol/Rifle
Often come with one dummy round
Thick enough to take some rough handling
Very easy to load
They cleaned up very easily
Bagged; results in some dings
Might need to toss one or two from a bag
The first of the pistol brasses on our list, this is a product that has quite the following in terms of hunters and marksmen who prefer pistol firing. Built to last (and built to be reloaded specifically), it’s hard to go wrong with this well-constructed set of brass. Starline is a company we don’t hear much about, but we’re certainly impressed with this product.
One for good luck
Okay, this might not be the standard, but it’s certainly a review that made us happy. One would expect that a 100 bag would contain just that: 100. However, for one lucky reviewer, it seems that all of the bags they ordered contained 101. Could it be that Starline throws in 1 for good luck? It looks like it, and that bodes well for anyone with an upcoming hunting trip.
Don’t confuse the lack of C’s to mean that their thickness is an average thickness. These shells are well made, and tough enough to hold up to a variety of shots. The thickness means they can hold up to a lot of reloading and offers a little extra weight. While it might mean that we have to use a press to get them firmly in, the benefits are worth it.
Cost and Value
Sometimes people calculate the price of brass based on how many they’re getting in the box. As in, is the brass more than a dollar apiece, or less? If that’s the case, we’d have to say that this brass is definitely worth the cost. With a variety of prices listed depending on how many you want to get, they’re generally working out to be under a dollar a piece. An excellent deal for this kind of quality!
7. Remington® Unprimed Pistol
No trimming needed
Consistency in Craftsmanship
Great customer service
Few misaligned flash holes
Rolling into our number seven spot, this Remington brass is similar to the other Remington brass we’ve looked at on our list. However, this is specifically for the bigger, bulk batches of brass they sell. Small batch brass can be great for someone who only uses a handful at a time, but the big matches are meant for serious hunters. It’s important to take those needs into consideration, and look at them as the separate creatures they are.
One of the things Remington does well is combining the standard of factory-quality with the belief and values of custom made passion. This brass offers you the reassurance that you’re getting a quality product while acting as if it was custom built for your pistol. We don’t know how they do it, but by golly, they did!
This is really one of the highlights of many of these reloadable brass options. Some people might want brass that has a bunch of funky elements to it, but not us. We prefer the straightforward stuff. While having brass that’s built so it doesn’t have to be trimmed is fine, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from trimming your own. This is part of the reason that we like the Remington brass; it’s versatile, and can easily fit your preferred brass style.
Cost and Value
We have some great news, but you might want to put the gun away and sit down while we share it. Right now the Remington packs are on sale, and they’re on for ridiculously cheap. We’re not worried about any negative reviews when they’re this well-priced. Even if they’re not on sale when you go and check, we’re sure they’ll be on again. The Remington large packs always seem to be going on sale.
8. Hornady® Unprimed Rifle
Hornady does bullets and ammo as well as brass
Some issues with belt location off
Length may be irregular (trimming required)
This is the first time that Hornady appears on our list, but we’re sure it won’t be the last time that they find their way into your rifle. This brass is built on a belief the company holds of providing precise, well-tested ammunition no matter what the size of your rifle is. Their variety is large, and their testing through. This is a quality product.
Expansion is Limited
...And that is a very, very good thing. We’re not saying that these will never explode or swell. Rather, these will keep themselves from getting unevenly swollen or messed up after being fired. This is due to the fact that their concentricity is even all the way around, as well as going through a pressure-testing process to ensure even results.
Takes a seat
It takes a seat so well that you might have to invite it to Thanksgiving dinner! This reloading brass is such that it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to load and reload again. Many reviews stated that it seats in the gun very well, with no worries about misfires, difficult pressing, or a weak grip.
Cost and Value
Hornady is actually one of the cheaper options on our list, which is a bit of a surprise. We personally love the fact that these don’t have any frills attached to them, as it ensures us that we’re getting quality over drama or “cool” features. These are definitely worth their low, low cost.
9. Winchester® Small Caliber 100
Specifically for small caliber rifles
Some reports of dents
Variations in weight reported
The second to last spot on our list is reserved for this Winchester brass, which is arguably similar to the one we already looked at. The only reason it’s rated lower than the other Winchester brass option we looked at is due to the fact that this is specifically for the small caliber rifles, making it a more niche product than others.
No, not any sort of emotional problems. The heavy stuff is in the bag, and that bag is what’s holding all of our rifle brass. The issue with buying small caliber brass can sometimes be that there’s less brass to offer a more solid weight. This brass is heavier than other brands’ small caliber options, giving them more oomph when shot.
Quick to Fill
This is true in both the loading of the gun as well as the orders on the company’s end. While the review we saw was listed as referring to the quickness of the company’s order filling, we also saw some reviews regarding the quick loading capabilities. Easily, smoothly filled and quick to reload (as well as arrive), this is an excellent choice for any marksman.
Cost and Value
We hate to say it, but when a product becomes more and more scarce, those that carry that product don’t often feel bad about increasing the price of the product. Luckily, that hasn’t happened in this case. While the small caliber options they offer are hard to find in other places, the price remains a decent, budget-friendly level.
10. Weatherby® Rifle – Per 20
Niche rifle options
Company hugely experienced
One report of a wrong size-- One in the whole box.
The last entry on our list, but nowhere near the least. This reloadable rifle brass is one of the best we can find, especially for the Weatherby. Many of the reviews mentioned how Norma, the company, is the only one to make Weatherby rifle brass that fits a variety of lesser-known and lesser-available Weatherby rifles. This is great news for those that like their Weatherbys, though it might not be as not as great for the folks who don’t have those rifles.
“It Ain’t the Brass”
This quote comes to us from one of their charming reviewers, who so eloquently praises Weatherby by saying “if you have trouble with any Weatherby brass I will almost say for certain it ‘ain't the brass’”. Blunt, yes, but it speaks to a broader feature: Weatherby brass has been around for many, many years. Through those years they’ve given themselves the opportunity to streamline their process and improve their brass, which results in the beautiful brass you get now. Sure, this isn’t quite a feature of the brass independently; but it certainly is a feature of the company, and the benefit holds over into the product.
“Brass” is a pretty broad term, especially with all of the types and varieties of rifles out there. Reloading brass is slightly more specific, but it’s still nowhere near as close to the specificity we need when it comes to getting the right brass for our rifles. Weatherby’s are notoriously hard to shop for brass-wise, but this has got all of the rifles covered. Even the niche and specialty ones!
Cost and Value
Naturally, we just had to end on one of the most premium builds out there. Weatherby Rifle Brass is built to last, and to fill the needs of all Weatherby owners (no matter how unique the rifle. For those that need a niche brass, they might be a little disgruntled when looking at the price tag. However, the quality really does make it worth it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In the world of shooting, hunting, and gun ownership or use, there are a lot of things that folks need to consider. There is an endless amount of perks, parts, and accessories you can purchase and delve into, and it can be crazy daunting. That’s not even touching on the actual gun stuff -- the ownership, the models, the crazy amounts of products -- which is why we make guides like this one. Plenty have asked for them, so we step up and make it.
When it comes to folks that want to reload their shells, and cut out the buying of new ammunition, reloading brass is where to start. The application of these reloading brass products is one of the key features one must pay attention to whilst they shop for options. This, in our mind, means the application of the cartridge or bullet once it is made. There is no point in discussing the process, because there is no real difference (that these products make anyways) in the actual assembly of the shell depending on the product, so the largest difference is the specific applications.
Before purchasing any package of reloading brass, ensuring that the brass you’re getting fits the firearm you’re using is probably the most important thing you can pay attention to. Applications can greatly determine which brass it is you’re looking for, and how much easier the shopping process will be.
There are a lot of aspects of reloading brass that will make the products viable options for your needs, and much like the application, the size is very important. When we (or really anyone else in any industry related to firearms) talks about size, they mean the caliber of the bullet itself. There are, eighteen “common” types of ammunition calibers readily available in North America, and across the globe.
Calibers range from things like 9mm ammunition, to .30-06, and so many more. Unfortunately for everyone, calibers are not interchangeable -- well, they are, but you have to do some modifications to your firearm, and you can only change calibers to other close range -- which means that in order to secure the right kind of reloading brass, you must get the right compatible caliber of brass. This will drastically change the types of products you look at, and considering the fact that you can’t just buy any caliber and use those reloading brass for your firearm, it’s also imperative.
If you need help figuring out what caliber of bullet your firearm takes, maybe reloading your own ammunition is a little much right now, until that stuff is second nature. But if you do know what’s got to go in there, bullet size wise, then starting off by narrowing down your search to the right caliber is absolutely key for success in this mission.
The true value of any product is simply the sum of all it’s parts (the criteria in question), matched up against the currently listed price of the product, and all of that in summation will provide you (the consumer) with a very clear idea of the product’s value. This, is precisely why us laying out the criteria we use to grade these products is such an important part of this guide process. Without it, and there isn’t a whole lot of help in determining the value of all the products on our list.
When it comes to reloading brass, there are a few extra things to consider for value, and that is the value per item, or the value of the boxed whole. These reloading brass, almost always come in large quantities, and that means you have to decide whether or not the quantity adds or subtracts value depending on the amount you need, versus the amount you get, versus the price you pay per piece or the entire bunch. We’re sure you can find loading brass that is sold on a per piece basis, and this might be a fantastic place to go if you’re looking to practice or just get started in the reloading process. But, it’s safe to say that if you’re anyone about to take this seriously, the quantity will determine a portion of the value.
In most industries -- and the firearms industry is also a peak example of this -- value is usually graded on a scale, where the more money you’re willing and able to spend, the better products you’re going to be potentially purchasing. So it’s also important to keep that in mind heading in. As we did, while putting this list together.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Whether you get nervous about the packing, don't know if you can safely chamfer, or perhaps you've never deburred around before, every expert agrees that no one should ever attempt to reload brass if there is any uncertainty at any stage of the process. There are many places that will repack for you, or teach you to use the equipment and do so yourself safely. Otherwise, leave the loading and reloading to those that can do it properly.
Did you know that the brass is the only part of a cartridge that can be used again? Because it's made of a material that can be reshaped it can be used multiple times. That said, this material will eventually become brittle as time wears on so it's important to pay close attention in order to maintain the lifespan of your weapon (and, well, you).
Other Factors to Consider
Let’s just get this out of the way immediately. We’re not talking about how much capacity each bullet shell or round had. When we discuss the capacity of the product, we’re talking about the number of pieces you get within the box. So, the capacity of the box. Some of these products come in many different capacities, and understanding exactly how many you need or want is the perfect place to start narrowing down your search.
Whether it’s a case of 100, a case of 50, or an even smaller number, there are options out there for everyone looking to begin reloading their own ammunition. You may also find some boxes in Cabela’s Bargain Cave, of which we didn’t scour very deeply, so just keep your eyes peeled and you’ll be living the high-life, with the right amount of ammo. Be sure to also factor in mistakes. Unless you’re an absolute pro, you’re going to make a few muck out of that box of 100 shells, so you better not count on getting 100 shots out of 100 pieces of brass.
Yes, we know what you’re going to ask. This is a guide in regards to the purchasing of reloading brass, why are materials important if they are all made out of brass? Well, steadfast learner, and keen observer, when we discuss the product's materials, we’re not picking apart products in comparison to one another with the idea that they may be made of different things.
Rather, we’re concerned that the quality of the materials is of high standards. This is something that is very easy to gauge on products like reloading brass because it’s all in those words in large font on the outside of the package. The brand. If you’re looking to purchase reloading brass of any kind, don’t ever, buy from a company that doesn’t make ammunition. Practicing the recognition test is safe. If a package of reloading brass isn’t made by an ammo or firearm company that you recognize, don’t buy it.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is this new brass?
Believe it or not, some folks do want to know if the brass is new or if it’s already been loaded before. Yes, the brass is all new. Many of it is made out of raw materials, and will have never been put into a rifle before. It’s due to this fact that some reviewers suggest resizing before working with it. However, it might not be necessary on some of the reloading brass that’s built to fit a specific size. In that regard it’s up to you how you go about making your brass work. One of the reasons people ask this question is also due to perceived damage on the product. They open up the package and find dings and dents on a few of the brass pieces, and are concerned that that means they’ve been shot before. Rest assured that that’s simply from the shipping and packaging methods used. The brass is still new, it just got a bit beat up on the road.
q: What primer should I use?
There is no specific answer we can give here, as that question will generally be answered in accordance to which brass you’ve bought. Some of these brass options will require a small primer, while others will require a large. It’s important to not that almost all of these will require primer, however, as they’re all currently listed as “unprimed”. This makes it possible to add the amount you need, though it does make for a separate purchase.