Snider Brass Scrounging

Back in days gone by, the choices of brass for reloaders of the Snider cartridge would have been pretty well limited to Kynoch's cases. Until recently they were Berdan primed making the reloading process even more involved than most North Americans are used to.

Today we actually have more choices than ever.
Kynoch is once again producing brass. And this time it is Boxer primed!
From Australia, rather expensive but apparently very high in quality is Bertram brass.
From Brazil, a company called CBC produces 24 gauge brass shotgun cases that can easily be formed into Snider cases. These cases are Berdan primed though but they apparently can be converted to use #209 shotgun primers quite easily.
Coyoté presently is selling converted cases, ready to fire that started out as CBC 24 gauge shotgun brass.
No longer produced but very nice brass that often is found at shows is BELL brass. This is head stamped .577NE but if it is 2 inches in length it is Snider brass.

All the above choices are manufactured with the familiar "drawn brass" process. But there are other manufacturer's that produce quality and durable brass that is turned from solid bar stock.

I gave this process a try on my little Unimat Lathe and it was very labour intensive. It's amazing that such a process can be made commercially viable.

A company called NDFS in England had been producing all sorts of obsolete cartridge brass for years. The company was a one man operation run by a fellow named Jim Goodwin. Unfortunately he has now retired. But, his equipment was sold to another firm who I have just heard is now turning out some brass as well.

Another small firm in the USA, Rocky Mountain Cartridge, having heard that NDFS was shutting down, also started producing some turned brass. I have not seen their product personally but I did here some initial good reviews.

I have found that each of the brass makes listed above vary widely in case capacity and therefore vary widely in how they end up being loaded which boils down to the fact they all will shoot a bit differently.
It's wise then to try and stock up on a large enough amount of one make of brass. That way you can eventually settle on one load that will be consistent. Or at least as consistent as old Snidey can ever be!

From what I have seen so far, the turned cases have the least case capacity while the converted shotgun cases hold (by far) the most powder capacity. With heavy compression I can stuff over 80 grains of powder in the NDFS cases. I have heard of over 110 grains of powder being held in the converted CBC brass!

Another factor to consider before you hunt down brass is whether or not you will ever experiment with smokeless powders in the Snider.
When done properly this seems to be a excellent practice but keep in mind that the makers of TURNED brass usually state that their brass is not to be used with smokeless...I know people are doing it anyway but I think a reminder is always a good idea when safety is the subject.

Again, the bottom line of this topic is to get a good supply of which ever brass you wish so that you can develop one consistent load over a long period of time. Any of the brass mentioned here is capable of doing the job but all will require slightly different loading practices.