Best Reloading Brass for 9mm, 45 ACP, and 223 – Reviews 2020

best reloading brass, best brass for reloading

Photo by Richard Topalovich / CC BY

With the growing cost of commercially loaded ammunition, and an ever growing interest in handloading for accuracy, many people have taken up loading for three of the most popular rounds out there: the 5.56mm/.223, 9mm and ever popular .45 ACP. The wide variety of available projectiles makes these cartridges suitable for everything from punching paper to the grittiest law enforcement or military use. Many shooters, seeking to get the most “bang” for their buck, have turned to reloading to stretch their budget and increase their trigger time. Bottom line: they seek the best reloading brass, which is plentiful for reasonable prices online.

The Best .223 Brass for Reloading

This round is good enough for Uncle Sam and our allies the world over, and it’s certainly good enough for you. Law enforcement and sport shooters alike consume untold millions of rounds of this powerful and accurate little rifle cartridge, and the popular AR-15 has become the modern day Winchester. It seems like everybody who needs a handy carbine has one, and sooner or later, a lot of those people start reloading to get the best possible accuracy from their rifle. For most shooters, the subtle difference between 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington will make little difference. Any rifle chambered in 5.56 can take .223 brass, but you should NEVER run 5.56 in a .223 chamber.

The Best 9mm Brass for Reloading

After you’ve take care of your rifle, you’ve still got the problem of feeding your handguns. The 9mm Luger has been popular since the early 80’s, and shooters burn through millions of rounds a year. Rather than buy expensive factory ammo, get the best 9mm brass for reloading and you’re set. Using salvaged range brass that has been cleaned has become a popular way to get scarce reloading components at a fraction of the price of new brass. If you want prepped 9mm range brass, check out this offering.  This product is cleaned, deprimed and ready for immediate use, just like brand new factory brass, and might be among the best reloading brass products.

The Best .45 ACP Reloading Brass

Since the early 20th Century, the .45 ACP has reigned supreme. John Moses Browning’s famous model of 1911 is still going strong, and is a favorite of elite military units, law enforcement and for personal protection. As with all “old school” ammo, the .45 has, with modern bullet materials and propellents, given a second act, especially with +P loadings. Make sure your brass can handle the extra explosive force if you want to load your ammo hot. This particular brass is for those who want their .45’s to behave more like .44’s (an exaggeration, we admit, but you get the idea) with thicker and stronger sidewalls to handle the excess pressure.

The Best .38 Special Reloading Brass

Like the .45 ACP, the .38 Special is old school--so old school, it was originally a black powder round! Yet, like all other geriatric bullet designs, there’s life in those old bones yet, especially with all the modern hollowpoint designs (though, personally, I still prefer the humble wadcutter for personal defense in my Smith & Wesson 642). Whatever bullet you want to load, you can’t go wrong with this product. You want to load your .38 Special almost to a .357 Magnum and not have your brass crack like a watermelon dropped on the sidewalk? Well, this is the product for you.

Reloading is Fun and Economical

When finding the best brass for reloading, you have the choice of purchasing brand new, never loaded brass cases, both from major ammo manufacturers, or companies that just make brass, or the ever popular used brass salvaged from military and commercial firing ranges. While you can collect the brass from your ammo purchases, sooner or later, you will want to purchase bulk brass to start reloading with. Regardless of if you use new or used brass, the cost savings that come from loading your own ammo will quickly pile up.

One final word on purchasing range brass, since reloading components are still sometimes hard to find, many people happily purchase whatever brass they can find. Inevitably you wind up with “mixed headstamp” lots. This simply means you have a mixture of different brands of ammo and may have minor case capacity differences between headstamps (markings on the bottom of the case). For most shooters looking to load up a bulk quantity of mild range loads, this is not a problem, and barely worth noting. For others, looking to develop performance loads, you may wish to either buy new brass, or sort the range brass by headstamp, and make sure each lot holds a consistent charge size.

Case wall thickness may vary slightly between brands, and so affect the amount of powder you can load in a case by a fraction of a grain. Again, unless you are seeking high end performance loads, this will not be a problem, and if you are, you already know about sorting your brass and using the same brass on the same load.

Reloading can be fun, relaxing and save you a good bit of money. Commercial loads can run as high as a dollar per round for premium self-defense loads, or even upwards of a quarter per round for range ammo. But reloading allows you to reduce that cost to a mere few cents per round. Even purchasing premium bullets can save you fifty percent or more on the cost of purchasing commercial ammo.

By reloading for a particular gun, you can also tailor your loads and bullet type for maximum performance in a given application. You can reload for speed, for better accuracy, reduced muzzle flash, to try out different bullet types, or to accommodate different barrels and barrel lengths. No matter why you choose to reload, you will save money, and add a rewarding and often relaxing aspect to the fantastic hobby of firearms ownership.

And if you enjoyed this article on the best brass for reloading, please check out our website’s other categories above. Especially reloading since we’re quite the experts on reloading presses. 🙂 Happy shooting!

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