Melt vs Save


February 4, 2007, 12:12 AM
Gorgeous day at the range today-I was long overdue to take the rifles out. Every time I go to the range I police my brass. Inevitably, I end up gathering brass that looks like mine, or might be in my caliber, or that looks intesting, or was just laying there...:o

I'm a bit of a brass scrounger, I guess. I make certain I'm not picking up someone's painstakingly reloaded cases, but other than that, I just pick it up. Besides, the price of scrap brass is pretty good right now, and shooting isn't cheap. Which is a roundabout way of getting to my question:

What brass is more valuable in case form than as scrap?

For example, I picked up a lot of .223 and .308 Win today. I don't shoot either caliber, so I don't plan to keep it. And there millions of rounds of it out there, so it goes in the scrap bucket. I found a lot of 30-.06, too (sitting just to a Garand shooter's right, maybe I should say it found me-I have a couple of small burns on my left hand!)

But I also found stuff like 325 Winchester Short Magnum, or 300 Win Mag, and 300 Weatherby Magnum. They are each a big chunk of brass, but the complete rounds are very pricey. Whenever I go to gun shows I see vendors selling components. Do they buy brass too? And if so, what is worth taking?

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February 4, 2007, 01:58 AM
In general just about any boxer-primed (one central primer flash hole, reloadable) case is worth at least 5 cents...the more unusual cases such as 8-mm Mauser, .30-30, .35 Remington, .300 SWM, 6.5-55mm, .45 Colt to name a few, are worth considerably more, up to about 15 cents each depending on caliber.

Consider all Berdan-primed (two small primer flash holes) brass, steel, aluminum, and .22 rimfire cases as scrap.

February 4, 2007, 08:46 AM

Here's a suggestion for you, if you're coming up with brass you're not using and want to make good money from it as brass.

1. Deprime and tumble until clean and shiney.
2. Package up into ziploc baggies of 100 each or 50 each. Take digital picture of brass in packages. 1 picture for each size.
3. Box up in individual small boxes, suitable for shipping.
4. Take one box to post office and see what it costs to ship to the farthest location in the United States from your area.
5. Put brass on ebay with the price you got from ebay as your shipping charges.
6. Set a minimum bid of 99 cents.

When auction ends, ship brass to winner of auction, collect money.



February 4, 2007, 08:53 AM
I second the eBay idea.

February 4, 2007, 10:25 AM
I have a tendency to leave my brass on the range after I feel like its life for reloading purposes is over, i/e. it might be one more load away from a head separation. I don't go there any more but there was an indoor range where the only ammo (45ACP) I shot was end-of-the-reloading-road stuff. Half of it went over the wall and you couldn't get to it to pick it up anyway. I picked up the empties on my side and tossed them over to make sure no one picked them up with a eye to reloading.

Perhaps some of you can look at a piece of brass that's be reloaded and tell how many uses it's had but I can't. For that reason and because I know guys sell pickups on ebay I don't buy there. As far as selling in ebay, I'd hate to know I caused someone stuff who was just getting into reloading or their kid(s) or their stuff harm trying to make a couple of extra bucks on ebay.

Now, having said that, I would and still do pick up once fired stuff at the range but only when I have eye balled the shooter and have been able to see he was shooting factory. That's just me however. YMMV.

I just started saving all my worn out brass, including rimfire and the stuff I pick up but don't have a use for recycling. When I get enough I'll take it to the recycler.


cracked butt
February 4, 2007, 10:38 AM
For the reasons Selfdefenz stated, I don't buy used brass. I would consider bying once fired military brass that still had its pimer pocket crimped- that way you know that it was only fire once.

February 5, 2007, 05:33 PM
Honestly, I don't to get involved in the hassle of ebay selling. I don't have a tumbler yet, although depriming isn't a problem.

February 9, 2007, 12:39 PM
Ok, depriming IS a problem, since I can only deprime the brass I have dies for. Is there any sort of universal deprimer?

February 9, 2007, 12:43 PM
I'm sure that a lot of us will buy the brass, especially .223 and .308 Check the price new brass of those less common rounds,it would be well worth it to stick them in a box and sell them to someone here.

February 9, 2007, 12:53 PM
Ok, depriming IS a problem, since I can only deprime the brass I have dies for. Is there any sort of universal deprimer?

Yes. Lyman and others make a Universal Decapping die.


February 9, 2007, 01:16 PM
Lee also makes one...check Midway.

February 9, 2007, 01:18 PM
Lee also makes one...check Midway.

However, you must still have shell holders for the cases. Fortunately, one shell holder is normally good for several different cartridges of the same size case head.

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