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Thread: The use of .308 brass VS .358 Win Brass ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master JesterGrin_1's Avatar
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    The use of .308 brass VS .358 Win Brass ?

    Like many people I like to use brass that is stamped correctly for the caliber of the firearm. But .358 Winchester Brass is much more expensive than 308 Win Brass. And depending on how you look at it lol. I do not own a .308 to get the ammo confused with.

    And yes I know that 308 Win brass can be made into .358 Win brass but is there any drawbacks in doing so?

    And if not and I wished to purchase new brass than I could purchase standard .308 Win Brass or Nosler and so forth for more consistent brass.

    A semi question about 308 VS 358 Win brass was brought up in another thread.

    I noticed that now Hornady has .308 Win Brass. Has anyone used it or to say which maker of brass would be preferred to change from .308 Win to .358 Win Brass and is it even worth the savings in doing so over just purchasing .358 Win brass to start with?
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    SciFiJim's Avatar
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    I just looked on Midway for price comparison. Looks like .358 brass is almost twice the price of .308 brass. If it was me, I would go with the .308 brass and convert it.


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    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesterGrin_1 View Post
    Like many people I like to use brass that is stamped correctly for the caliber of the firearm. But .358 Winchester Brass is much more expensive than 308 Win Brass. And depending on how you look at it lol. I do not own a .308 to get the ammo confused with.

    And yes I know that 308 Win brass can be made into .358 Win brass but is there any drawbacks in doing so?

    Thin necks but not really a problem.

    And if not and I wished to purchase new brass than I could purchase standard .308 Win Brass or Nosler and so forth for more consistent brass.

    A semi question about 308 VS 358 Win brass was brought up in another thread.

    I noticed that now Hornady has .308 Win Brass. Has anyone used it or to say which maker of brass would be preferred to change from .308 Win to .358 Win Brass and is it even worth the savings in doing so over just purchasing .358 Win brass to start with?
    All most all of my 358's are from once fire 7.62x51 Military Brass. Works great and inexpensive.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    especially if you can buy the once-fired surplus 308 cases for about 3.5 cents apiece.

  5. #5
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    I have only converted a few cases (have a .358 and Redding dies and now a mold but never shot the rifle, yet). The thing that impressed me was how darn easy it was. I did lube the inside of the necks and you should too, but I noticed NO difference in force from sizing a normal .308 case in .308 dies. The .358 cases look so cool, too. Made me wonder why I hadn't gone this route much sooner, and of course, the rifle was always the hang-up. Not many .358s floating around out there.
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    Boolit Master JesterGrin_1's Avatar
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    I understand that one can use probably any type of 308 Win Brass but is the extra cost worth it for such brass as Lapua,Nosler Or Hornady over standard Remington or Winchester brass?

    I Fully understand that many wish to get there components as cheap as possible so the question of quality VS Initial funds outlay for Quality components.

    Or to say the Most BANG for the Buck.
    Last edited by JesterGrin_1; 10-03-2012 at 03:16 AM.
    If one sits in thundering quiet the soul dies slow instead of yell to the heavens for all to hear and behold the righteous and upstanding and ones of which should be held with tales of woe. By C.A.S. <--- Thats Me lol.

  7. #7
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    I would use the military brass. If you think spending more for commercial is the way to go, by all means, go for it. You won't get any better results and the military case life will be better.

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    I just finished sizing and priming about 100 LC match brass to 358 winchester last night. Its good stuff once you get it sized, but let me caution you to use plenty of case lube for your first sizing of military brass! These were fired from a rifle with a very generouse chamber, and they took quite a lot of effort to push into, and extract from, the FLsize die. The truth is, I ripped the rims off of three of them and had to get them out of the die with a few judicious love taps on the depriming pin rod.
    Also, one possible drawback is that sizing these military brass up to 358 shortens the neck, so if you plan on paper patching you will have paper rings to contend with. They are supposed to be 2.015 and all of mine are about 2.002 after resizing.
    I have bought and traded with members here for 358Winchester headstamped brass, and although the headstamps are correct, the quality of the brass was kinda shoddy. Definitely low end.
    Once I finish cracking the necks on these 100 LC. I am going to buy a couple hundred Hornady and be done with it. I found one at the range (308) and I was very impressed by the clean, accurate flash-hole amongst other things.
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    You may need to anneal those cases after forming. I took some NEW 8x57mm and expanded them up to 35cal for my 9x57mm, and I've been surprised as to how many have split on the first firing. It may have been a bad batch of brass as I've also taken NEW 30-40 Krag cases and expanded up to 40cal for 40-60 Maynard and only lost a few while forming. These were fired with BP and barely resized, but never split while shooting.

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    Ive necked down alot of brass to make cases for a few different wildcats and some factory calibers that were hard to get brass for with compleat satisfaction ! Necking up from 30 to 35 caliber ? some problem with this is the neck wall thickness being to thin after expanding & shortning of the brass COL ! since the 358 Win brass is avalible pay the price ! and save the extra work + the correct headstamp. If you decide to size up 308 to 358 you will have to buy at least a tapered expander stem to do the job from the die manufactuer such as redding to fit there dies for about $22.00 or what ever brand dies you use.

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    I resize from .308. Easy to do, lube inside the neck, and one pass. I have seen no accuracy difference in my rifles from various makes of brass. I also have .358 Win head stamp, no difference there, either.
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    If you decide to size up 308 to 358 you will have to buy at least a tapered expander stem to do the job from the die manufactuer such as redding to fit there dies for about $22.00 or what ever brand dies you use.
    Or you could talk to a guy like me, or you could grab your handy dandy drill motor, and your handy dandy belt sander, followed by a light touch with the 'ol emery paper to lay a small taper on the nose of your expander ball.
    I made a separate die with interchangeable mandrels. One mandrel is the first time expander (about a 1" taper) and the other is an M die of sorts. My 358 set has a severely undersized expanding ball (.354 or .355 IIRC) so the M die gets quite a workout. Anyway, it isn't hard to make a small 1" long taper that screws into a 1/4-28 all-thread rod that will replace the original.
    Even a home hobbyist with a good hand drill could do it I would think.
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  13. #13
    Jestergrin No problem if you use a tapered expander and anneal the brass after. Much .308 brass is of much better quality than .358 (even Win. 308 brass is better even though they are the only ones you can get .358 brass from anymore). To anneal the brass make SURE that at least 1/2 of the brass is under water when heated (unless you want to wear your bolt as a head ornament!)

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    i like to use once fired military brass for my 358 also.
    the case necks are expanded some for me and they have a good anneal to them.
    the only ones i use from commercial cases are federal, i give them a quick anneal and expand them up then full length size them.
    yeah, working the case necks a little bit.

    i use my rem and win for cast loads in my 308's
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  15. #15
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    Have not made any 358 in years, because I foolishly sold my 99 Sav (Ya I know a really dumb move). That said found it an easy conversion, with tapered expander.
    I did it in two stages with annealed 308 brass. I went with a 32 cal expander, and then a 35. Lost very few.
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    I shoot both and mark the 358 with nail polish on the base. I also have some 35 Whelen that started out as 270. & 30-06. The nose is easy to tell but a dot of nail polish is easy when you are just looking @ bases to sort.
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  17. #17
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    A question about expanding up to a larger caliber. I see reference to annealing after expanding. I understand this is to relieve the work hardening. Would annealing before expanding make it easier to expand and reduce the possibility of cracked necks?

    Carl

  18. #18
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    Yes, you can anneal before necking up, I sometimes do. Especially if the .308 brass has been fired a couple times. The only difference I can see is that my necked-up .308 comes out a little shorter than the 358, (the neck is a bit shorter), but that is no problem at all, it is a very small amount.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master beex215's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho Sharpshooter View Post
    especially if you can buy the once-fired surplus 308 cases for about 3.5 cents apiece.
    where?
    my feedback. ive done a few more but never get feedback.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...hlight=beex215

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesterGrin_1 View Post
    I understand that one can use probably any type of 308 Win Brass but is the extra cost worth it for such brass as Lapua,Nosler Or Hornady over standard Remington or Winchester brass?

    I Fully understand that many wish to get there components as cheap as possible so the question of quality VS Initial funds outlay for Quality components.

    Or to say the Most BANG for the Buck.
    To my way for thinking the 358 is not a long range proposition. I think the greatest need for consistency is when ranges pass say 300 yards. I use Nosler brass in my 260 Rem. I wouldn't and don't go to that expense loading my .358. I too prefer GI brass.
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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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