TexasMac's Web Site
By Wayne McLerran
Updated 8/13/15

While attending an annual NRA Meeting & Trade Show, I dropped by
the Starline booth and picked up a couple of samples of Starline .45-
70 brass.  Starline has a reputation of making high-quality brass
which I found is cheaper than either Remington or Winchester, at
least from the sources I buy from.  Since I also have some new
Remington and Winchester cases on hand I decided to section a
couple of new cases of each brand and make some measurements.

Starline is very nice looking brass.  The primer flash holes are uniform
with no rough edges inside which are evident in Remington and
especially Winchester.  Since, to date, I’ve predominantly use
Remington, deburring the flash holes is a normal step in my new brass
preparations, which may not be necessary for Starline.  Measuring
the primer pockets depth, the Starline averaged 0.129", Remington
0.127" and Winchester 0.125”.  BTW, Remington rim thickness
averaged 0.066”; Starline averaged 0.065" as did the Winchester.  
The next step was to check out the neck wall thicknesses.  I used
0.5” as the neck length measurement limitation since I never seat
bullets any deeper.

Using a tube micrometer around the perimeter of the neck area, the
Starline average thickness varied from 0.010” to 0.0105”, for an
overall variation of 0.0005”, which is about half the variation I have
found in Remington or
Winchester brass.  Measuring from the lip to
0.5” down into the case, the Starline and Winchester wall thickness
do not vary or taper.  Remington walls tapered
from the case lip to
the rim.  At 0.5” into the case the wall is approximately 0.002”
thicker than at the lip.

One can debate that tapered case neck walls are a positive or
negative depending on the dimensions of the rifle chamber.  The
Browning .40-65 BPCR chamber length from breechblock face to
transition step averages 2.125” and it has a well defined (constant
diameter) 0.5” long neck.  Therefore, striving for uniform bullet neck
tension, case necks should have no taper, so I outside-neck-turn
Remington cases to remove the taper.  When fire-formed the necks
will conform to the chamber dimensions, resulting in a constant
inside diameter (no taper) and uniform neck tension.  Knowing what I
know now, if I were purchasing new brass for my Browning .40-65, I’d
start with Starline .40-65 brass and stretch it 0.025” using Tim Smith-
Lyon’s .40 cal. case stretcher (sold by Tim or Buffalo Arms).  Another
option is to use Starline .45-70, then reform and trim it to .40-65 in
order to match the Browning chamber length.  Since the Starline
neck does not taper, neck-turning is not necessary nor recommended.

The chamber in the Browning .45-70 BPCR from breechblock to
transition step averages 2.118” and has a constant taper from rim to
the transition step.  Therefore, an ideal case should have a tapered
wall that matches the chamber taper, resulting in fire-formed cases
with a constant neck inside diameter (no taper) and uniform neck
tension.  Hence, Remington brass, stretched 0.015” to 0.020” with
Tim’s .45 cal. stretcher would be the ideal choice.

Based on the photo and dimensions below you can see why it’s well
known that Winchester carries more capacity.  Note the Winchester
thinner wall thickness and the relatively sharp inside corner radius
from the web to the walls, which is also the reason Remington has
more capacity than Starline although the Remington walls are slightly
thicker.  By the way, the web is defined as the thick portion of the
case that surrounds the primer pocket and flash hole.  The head is
the end of the cartridge case in which the primer is inserted and the
surface upon which the headstamp identification is imprinted.

As noted earlier, I always deburr the primer holes in my Remington
brass to ensure even distribution of the primer flame.  Based on what
I found when sectioning the cases, I definitely recommend deburring
Winchester cases.  I checked several Winchester new cases and the
burrs in all were significantly worse than Remington.  Notice the
ridge sticking up in the primer hole in the Winchester case. It
extended 3/4 of the way around the perimeter of the hole.  Due to
the uniform smooth edge of the primer hole, Starline may not need
deburring at all.
Wishing you great shooting,