USA –-(Ammoland.com)- You have heard, and probably used, the saying “you get what you pay for.” This age-old term refers to the idea that the more you spend, the better the product. When it comes to Match Brass, though, I can tell you that not all brass is created equally. To prove it, I set out to compare samples of brass obtained directly from the marketplace (mail order retailers.) Buying as an anonymous regular customer ensures that we have not been given any special case lots from any of the providers. My expectation going in is that the results may surprise us, proving that sometimes you can actually get more than what you pay for!
Let me begin by stating that this is not a comprehensive comparison of all industry brands. I would not rule this out for a future project, but to keep the test manageable we chose to focus on four competitors. To ensure that this is a valuable test for our students and readers, I have selected three well-known brands and one NEW-to-market product. I will just refer them as Brand “A”, “B”, “C” and Kinetic Industries, which is the new product. Our goal is to compare the Kinetic product against a set of worthy challengers. Here is more detail on the group I chose to test:
- Brand “A” is a world-recognized PREMIUM match brass maker. Numerous national matches have been won using their products. Their price reflects their market standing.
- Brand “B” is another PREMIUM product sold in 50-count boxes at our highest recorded price per case. It claims that these cases are ready to load out of the box, with no other working left to do.
- Brand “C” is a brass manufacturer that holds many government and military contracts and has been widely used by CMP/DCM competitors for the past 20 years or so. Not sold as match brass but widely recognized and used as match ready.
These companies are all major contributors to the shooting industry. Without their products reloaders and competitors alike would need to spend hours sorting through piles of standard brass to find those rare matching pieces that would give us the degree of precision necessary to win.
And a key point is that they cannot keep up with demand. There are times when availability of match brass can be constrained and shortages cause price gouging and unavailability on store shelves, or even via the largest internet resellers. Having Kinetic Industries expand availability by contributing a new source of high-quality products to the brass market is a win for us all.
Now for the analysis:
In order to be considered MATCH brass, each case has to be consistent with every other case in the lot. This high degree of consistency is what provides the low deviation in velocity needed to form tight groups and win.
Brass “A”, “B” and Kinetic were taken from NEW Sealed packages of 50.
Brass “C”, was taken from a single 43 count box, once fired from the same lot#. New cases were unavailable at the time of testing.
Each piece of brass was precisely weighed on a Sartorius digital scale calibrated to .01 of a grain and separated into .1 grain groups by brand. A count was taken on the number of pieces within each group including identifying the lowest and highest weight pieces. A chart has been provided to show the consistency by weight and range.
Next, each brand was measured on the appropriate tools for case neck concentricity/runout, overall case length, average case neck thickness (thin side and thick side), and headspace measurement. The results of these are provided in the results. I have included both the range of measurement and differences found from low to high.
As you will see in the actual findings below, not one brand came out on top in all areas:
- Brass “B” – Wins on most consistent by Weight (they DO sort their brass by Wt.) this is proven by our results
- Brass “A” comes in second.
- Kinetic – Wins for most consistent Overall Length
- Brass “B” and Brass “C” are a close tie for second.
- Brass “A” – Wins for most consistent Neck Thickness
- Brass “B” takes second place, and Brass “C” and Kinetic tied for 3rd
- Kinetic – Wins for lowest Neck runout/Concentricity
- Brass “A” and “B” tied for second
So when you’re ready to spend your money on Match brass, you can see from this analysis that no one wins in every category. So what do you buy?
The Proof is in the Shooting
The best comparison is based on how they perform in real world conditions. So, for our next article we will load up 10 samples from each company and shoot them. Once you see the results we will then provide you with the current cost per case. Then you can decide how best to invest your cash!
About the Author
David W. Johnson, a regular contributor to the Kinetic Industries blog, is the architect of the Illinois Reloading Labs facility, and the owner and master instructor for reloadinginstructor.com, which offers beginning, intermediate and advanced reloading classes. He has 25 years of competitive reloading experience and 10 years reloading instruction experience. His experience includes 25 Years of international big game hunting and 10 years as a CMP/DCM high power competitor. He is also an NRA-certified instructor and range safety officer.