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Thread: Collect your brass!

  1. #1
    Ninja co-Moderator Billy's Avatar
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    Default Collect your brass!

    Hi Gents,

    I imagine that most shooters here already do so, but if you don't collect your brass please do. I'm always amazed at just how much spent brass is lying around my local range with not a soul in sight. Even if you're not interested in reloading the scrap value is worth the little bit of time it'll take to pick up your shells. When this 5 gallon bucket is finally full I hope to either be reloading at that point or scrap it and re-invest the cash into ammo. I'm over 3/4 full and last time I checked it was a touch over 40lbs.



    Here's a good example of brass left by someone at my range; all the 9mm casings (only 6 - 8 .308 shells of mine in there) were on the pistol range in a 10' area:



    CowTown Feed & Livestock ("Your local used cow dealer") is where I buy dog food ... I nearly brought home a stray they've taken in. The shop owner thinks she's @ 9 - 10 months old and is so friendly it was hard to leave. I may be returning on Monday!



    Kind regards, B.
    Last edited by Billy; 05-31-2014 at 16:17.

  2. #2
    Order of the Royal Turkey Guarded by Canines Recumbent with Oak Leaf Cluster bjp's Avatar
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    that's a good looking dog, Billy.

    any idea what selling that bucket for scrap will get you? even if it's only a few bucks, as easy as it sounds like it was to pick up those casings, I suppose it's worth it.

    -ben

  3. #3
    Ninja co-Moderator Billy's Avatar
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    She's a sweety. As for the brass, scrap is @ $1.70 per lbs. I'm guessing the bucket will be pretty close to (or over) 50lbs when completely full. Not a bad return on the little time it takes to pick up.

    All the best, B.

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    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    The ranges around here won't let you pick up brass that goes over the firing line. They police it up after hours, along with the abandoned brass and sell it, either scrap or as reloading fodder....

  5. #5
    Ninja co-Moderator Billy's Avatar
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    Robbery! Time to purchase a brass catcher. The only reason they don't let you pick it up is because it's worth something ... if it weren't worth their time / energy they'd have some rule to insure you took your "trash".

    Kind regards, B.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    Well, everything I have ejects to the 3-4 o'clock in a relatively consistent and tame manner, so I keep my own brass. I don't shoot a G3 which ejects into the next county.....

    (The stated reason is one of safety, only stuff that goes forward of the firing line is theirs.)

  7. #7
    Ninja co-Moderator Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lysander View Post
    I don't shoot a G3 which ejects into the next county.....

    (The stated reason is one of safety, only stuff that goes forward of the firing line is theirs.)
    The G3 ejects its brass in such a way as to cover your right flank; a very clever design which few know about. I understood the firing line safety reason, but they should provide a short period every so often that allows the line to shut down and shooters to collect their brass. Just mho!

    Best regards, B.

  8. #8
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    At my local ranges you can only pick up your own brass and some of the range masters police that rule quite strictly. As lysander mentions the ranges sweep up after hours and sell it for the scrap value. For a busy range that could be a significant revenue stream.

    I have a CTK brass catcher net, which is very useful for the longs guns. Handguns, tend to spray brass over a large area and seems to roll into hidden places. I generally walk away with less then I brought. The 'angels share'.

    If you do get into reloading larger calibre handgun calibres and use range pickup brass, watch out for the primer sizes. Some of the newer manufactured stuff uses small primers, as opposed to the more traditional large primers. Sorting multiple hundreds or thousands of mixed manufacturer can play havoc with the eyes and mind.
    Order of the Invisible Ethereal Electron with Crossed Wizard's Wands

  9. #9

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    Ref that G3 and spread- they may have gotten the idea from the Soviets, had that brass spread issue with my SVT40. Worst one I had for brass throw was my M96 Broomhandle, straight up (and down the neck).

  10. #10
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Reloading is the way to go. 45 and 38 brass lasts forever. You never need to trim it and a 38 might after a hundred or so reloads, split at the case mouth from crimping. I have 45 brass dated from the first WW that is still fine. Until the communists finally ban lead bullets (which should be soon) you can shoot 45 and 38 for $2-3 a box. I reload 5.56 for about 20 cents a round and 30-06 for about 45 a round.

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    Is it really that cheap? I haven't shot in so long because of the prohibitive cost of ammo. Not that I need another new hobby...

  12. #12
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcnanners View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    Reloading is the way to go. 45 and 38 brass lasts forever. You never need to trim it and a 38 might after a hundred or so reloads, split at the case mouth from crimping. I have 45 brass dated from the first WW that is still fine. Until the communists finally ban lead bullets (which should be soon) you can shoot 45 and 38 for $2-3 a box. I reload 5.56 for about 20 cents a round and 30-06 for about 45 a round.
    Is it really that cheap? I haven't shot in so long because of the prohibitive cost of ammo. Not that I need another new hobby...
    20 cents a round?

    I guess that depends on the type of bullets you use. Sierra Matchking bullets are 30 cents apiece alone, 55 grain FMJ, as low as 8 cent each.

    Powder bought by the 8 pound keg = 7 cents per round
    Primers bought by the 5000 brick = 2.5 cents per round

    Then of course you need to amortize the cost of brass (9 cents each) and reloading equipment ($$$, depending on how fancy you want to go) over the expected life.....

  13. #13
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    Reloading, even at a very simple level can also achieve better accuracy than some commercial rounds as part and parcel of that cost.

    I remember my 3rd set of 308 Win reloads - after all ladder testing was complete and I had ironed out all the kinks in my workflow - through my Remington 700 PSS with Leupold glass. Even my eldest son got bored driving the proverbial tacks at 100'. You get the odd flyer, but overall the results were very consistent.

    Some reloaders are very concerned about every aspect as they try to eek out every last drop of accuracy from their components. I don't share their absolute enthusiasm, consistent volume reloading is my goal, but I can certainly see their fascination.

    IAP
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  14. #14
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    My cost per round reflects materials that I've bought over a period of time when bargains came up. For instance: 800 lead 45 acp bullets for $20 at a flea market, bulk Winchester 55 gr FMJBT 5K for $120, recently 150gr FMJBT from Yugo, no steel jackets, shoot very very well, 2K for $200, primers bought years ago for $10 1K, etc. This stuff has an infinite shelf life. I'm using up a tub of Red Dot that is at least 25 years old, left over from my trap shooting days. Red Dot mimics Bullseye almost straight across the board except it is a bit dirty after shooting.

    When my eyes were better, I bought $28 a hundred Sierra Internationals for the Garand to use in NM shoots. I worked up specific loads for my best M1 (168gr Sierra, 48 gr of 4064).

  15. #15
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    4064 meters so poorly, I rarely use it.

    Prefer 4895 in 308 and 30-06...

  16. #16
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lysander View Post
    4064 meters so poorly, I rarely use it.

    Prefer 4895 in 308 and 30-06...
    4064 is just cut into larger pieces thus the rough feeling in the powder dump. It actually meters just as well as the other. I did a lot of load development for the 30-06. The M1 is a weird rifle in that each has its own preference. I found that 4064 grouped tighter than 4895 by quite a margin and was way better than the ball powders. The Army pamphlets say that powder makes no difference but they are building 2-3 MOA ammo not 1 MOA. The 173gr match Army bullets are crap as well. The formula is buy the best bullet you can afford, find the powder that rifle likes and after that, brass and primer have very little effect. I understand that Varget is pretty good but it wasn't around in the 80s. If you talk to old time match shooters with the M1 and 03, most I've spoken with agree that 4064 is best. It gives good velocity with significant lower cpu pressure. I have an old Lyman reloading book that give the cpu pressures and the difference is dramatic between 4896 and 4064. I can't find it now, but I will eventually. 4895 was the original factory powder for M2 ball.

  17. #17

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    Billy, did you ever go back for the dog? Looks like she really liked you. Your fingers tasted good.

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