Vanishing Brass Day


September 29, 2008, 11:42 AM
Last week I went out to my local range and came home with a bonanza of good brass. Some was in calibers I reload, some not. I picked up a bunch for use or trade.

Well I was out in the same area this weekend so I thought I'd stop by again.

Hrrrmph, the pistol area looked like the park service used a big vacuum cleaner to sweep EVERYTHING up. :mad: Still there were a few random bits around and while I was picking them up I heard some shooting past the berm over in the rifle area.

"Ah HAH" I thought to myself "I'll get some rifle brass out of this". So I did some pistol shooting, recovered my own brass and headed over to the rifle area to see what was going on.

Do you know that every person sighting in there was using a MUZZLELOADER!
:banghead: :D

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September 29, 2008, 12:09 PM
Not every day is a good brass day. :(

September 29, 2008, 12:17 PM
Heh... you might have gotten some kind wads?

September 29, 2008, 12:28 PM
well we're in tough times; brass fetches nearly 4 times per pound what aluminum does at recycling centers; some people gather what they can to supplement incomes...especially retired folks on fixed incomes; I find myself caught between keeping brass for reloading (if we ever get our equipment set up), shipping it to MasterCast ( ~~ good reloaded stuff that costs less than store bought stuff...even with shipping costs on both ends), and recycling it with my aluminum cans to offset the cost of gas for runs to and from the hunting camp (lots of cleaning & improvement projects on the building that we will be sleeping in & turning into a 'house' of sorts ~~ including the reloading area);

in simple big vicious cycle :o

evan price
September 30, 2008, 01:17 AM
Yeehaw- stopped at one of my favorite ranges today- haven't been there in a while- it looked like it had rained brass. Took me 2 hours to get it all picked up! Filled a 5-gallon bucket to overflowing. Hundreds and hundreds of .30-M1, .223, .308, .30-06, 54R, X39, 8mm, plus any flavor of pistol from .25acp up to and including .50 AE.

While there, a group of LEOs dropped by and set up a tactical course. I figure on going back tomorrow for their brass.

September 30, 2008, 01:50 AM
Damn, they often did. What's the allure of brass? It ain't exactly GOLD. I'd give them 1 MPC to stay off the range, but often to miniscule effect. Many Americans don't bother picking up their OWN brass that too many beautiful Korean kids would gladly die to retrieve. America's land-of-plenty is slowly-turning into American children risking life-and-limb to scour up the "brass." To avoid this scenario, we Americans must concentrate on educating our children. cliffy

September 30, 2008, 02:01 AM
Remember, brass is 70% copper. And copper's gone insane the last few years.

September 30, 2008, 08:53 AM
evan price, if you'd care to get rid of some of that brass, I'd be interested.

September 30, 2008, 10:36 AM
I know the feeling. I think on the public ranges in my area there are brass lurkers just waiting in their cars to race out and grab up all the brass as soon as someone steps off the line. If you go out there on a Saturday afternoon and scrounge for brass, you'll find nothing but Wolf steel cases and .22 LR. Like you said, it looks like someone used a vacuum cleaner out there.

The price of brass right now probably has people not even into reloading out there picking it up for scrap.

September 30, 2008, 10:53 AM
If you go out there on a Saturday afternoon and scrounge for brass, you'll find nothing but Wolf steel cases and .22 LR. Like you said, it looks like someone used a vacuum cleaner out there.

Except I'm being literal, there was every sign that the maintenance crew used one of those big "leaf vacuum" ( monsters to just suck everything up. Glass, plastic, leaves, brass...everything. (Either that or there had been one HELL of a windstorm <grin>).

September 30, 2008, 02:51 PM
I was out working an event at a local outdoor range. It was drizzling as we set up the targets for the guests and I saw like 2-3 nice piles of .223 brass just laying there in the grass waiting for me to snag. I took a 3 minute break and got it all. Mostly R-P (yay!) and the rest PMC. Tumbled it all and de-crimped the pmc stuff. Plus I got paid to work the range for 6 hours... cant beat that!

September 30, 2008, 03:38 PM
I know the feeling. I think on the public ranges in my area there are brass lurkers just waiting in their cars to race out and grab up all the brass as soon as someone steps off the line. If you go out there on a Saturday afternoon and scrounge for brass, you'll find nothing but Wolf steel cases and .22 LR. Like you said, it looks like someone used a vacuum cleaner out there.

Yeah, I'm one of those "brass whores" who will pick up brass even if I don't load for it, knowing full well that sooner or later I'll wind up loading yet another caliber soon (and I do).

That being said, I only pick up brass when I happen to be in a lane alone and nobody waiting. The Brass Lurkers at the range where I shoot will rummage in the trash can beside you while you shoot, and even wander downrange while you're loading mags. :fire:Just as bad, some of 'em will want to stop and talk :fire: All these behaviors bug me as much as a blabbing photographer irritates a golfer ready to swing one for the championship. :cuss::cuss:

Which is why.... I bought a 7mm TCU barrel for my Contender. I've noticed the range lurkers don't usually wear good hearing protection.....:scrutiny:

"Sure, stand right there, I'm trying out a new load..." Remind me to get a muzzle brake for that barrel.....:evil:

September 30, 2008, 04:24 PM
That's one of the great things about being a member of a club - only members come around for the brass (usually, at least during the day... and us members don't leave much for anybody else ;))

I usually only go out on weekends, but I always try to pick up 100% of what I shoot and as much of what I can find as possible. A day where I come home with just 20-40 more pieces of .223 Rem brass is a good day in my book... but the BEST is when some cool guy comes down with his brand new AR carbine, blasts at the 25m lane for a half hour, then packs up and goes home... I always keep a close eye on him, and ask him before he heads to his car, "Do you pick up your brass?" I usually get a suprised "No - should I? Is it ok to leave it there?" :D To which I kindly reply "NO PROBLEM AT ALL! If It's ok with you, I'll pick it up for you - I'm a RELOADER you know!"

I love it when that happens... and it happens all the time. :)

September 30, 2008, 09:07 PM
yeah, at todays brass prices, i even have the kids pick up spent 22 shells! hey, its easy for me, and a pound of brass, is a pound of brass.

evan price
October 1, 2008, 03:27 AM
Well, the LEO's left me lots of .40 and .223 plus some 9mm, .45 and .357 SIG, about a gallon bucket worth total.

My wife says I am sick in the head. I say I am just being an environmentally-conscious individual.

October 1, 2008, 08:32 PM
I know them well, I shoot sometimes at a range on national forest so it is not supervised. I have noticed there is one older gentleman there who does not shoot, he simply sits in his truck and waits and then walks around picking up brass. I think he sells it on ebay or whereever, he has offered to sell me some before.

He will stand behind the shooters and patiently wait for them to finish so he can use his pecan stick and pick up their brass.

October 1, 2008, 08:59 PM
This is like those that wander around the perimeter fences of Golf Courses. You then see them in the parking lot with "Big Name" balls in egg cartons for sale from the hood of their car/truck. I live next to a Golf Course and these "geezers" will actually wander in front of traffic to retrieve a ball sliced off the "1 Tee and into the roadway.

October 1, 2008, 11:34 PM
One good thing about being an "employee" of a range is Every day I work is always a good brass day. Especially if I show up 3hrs early to "clean up" from the day before. :D:D:D:D

October 2, 2008, 01:44 AM
Yeah, the brass lurkers are hitting our public range pretty hard as of late, though I usually still come home with more brass than I left with. Even so, it's usually nothing but steel cases littering the firing line nowadays - even the .22 empties are pretty scarce out there.

October 2, 2008, 08:53 AM
Yeah, I pick up all my brass and anything else left around - and I sweep up my spot on the range and throw out my trash like a good Boy Scout. ;)

I don't mind the Lurkers that pick up brass while a range is empty, but it really steams me :fire: when some old fart is downrange on his hands and knees with his gunny sack, and I KNOW that the guy doesn't shoot anymore, just comes to the range to scavenge. It'd be fine if you didn't have to rack a mag or something to get the guy's attention to please CLEAR THE LANE because I CAME HERE TO SHOOT. :cuss:

Same dude who dumps the trash cans behind you to sort the brass from the trash while you shoot. Grrrrrr.:mad:

October 2, 2008, 09:05 AM
Well, I've only recently become a brass rat, but I only do it when I've got the range to myself like when I come out REALLY early on a Sunday. Some days I miss out (as in post #1) and some days I score some nice brass.

Haven't really had any trouble with "lurkers" who do such boneheaded things while I'm shooting and I have no intention of becoming such a person myself.

I can think of one exception though where we shut down a line briefly so one guy who needed to leave could get his brass. Forgot what it was but it was RARE and we could all understand why he wanted to make sure he got it back for reloading.

Sam Adams
October 2, 2008, 06:36 PM
I reload, and I'm very happy to pick up the brass that others leave on the ground - but only if it doesn't bother others. I have little use for the very selfish people who constantly bother others looking for a few pieces of brass that they didn't shoot. I usually only pick up brass that I reload, although an occasional piece of an oddball caliber will find its way into my collection.

Just out of curiosity, what's a pound of brass go for these days? Also, is it really worth selling 20 rounds of some caliber on Ebay?

October 3, 2008, 08:22 PM
I use the time my barrel is cooling off between shots to pick up brass.

October 4, 2008, 01:38 AM
EvilBay stopped the sales of brass and bullets sometime around July of 2007, IIRC.

It really torqued off a lot of us who were buying and selling cast boolits, extra brass, you name it.

They said it was because of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Yeah, right.

Regardless, if you're scrounging brass now to sell on eBay, good luck.

October 4, 2008, 09:20 AM
I hit pay dirt this week. I talked to the owner of a local indoor range and asked him what it would cost me to be left alone in his brass room for an hour with a bucket. All I was after was .45 ACP.

He said, "take all you want you're a good customer". DOH!

SWEET! I'm set for a VERY long time. Plus, I can go back any time I want. Oh man, it is a sickness. :p

October 8, 2008, 04:11 AM
All this talk of scrounging brass prompted me to snag a good bit when I was last at the range.

I'm surprised at the apparent load popularity in my area.
From this one day's gleanings, I found approximately 30 rounds of .454 Cassull, 40 of .45 ACP, 242 of .40 S&W, 51 of .380 auto, about 50-60 each of .38SPL and .357 Mag, as well as about 20 of 9mm.

The entertaining part about the 9mm were the 8 rounds that I separated that someone seems to have loaded VERY hot. blown primers in half of them, deformed webs, and flattened to the point of being nearly unreadable head stampings.

The down side of this little project in shooting demographics is that I'm now considering whether or not I go find a gun to feed one or more of these loads to!

Evil, all of you and the brass at the range as well! :D

October 8, 2008, 08:42 AM
The public range I go to has really cracked down on the brass scroungers in the last year. It is no problem to pick up your brass or If someone else says you can ahve their brass, but some hispanic guys were hanging around picking up empties. 2 of them started crawling out in front of a HOT fireing line to get brass. Long story short the ROs caught them and run them off so no more massive brass retrival operations. I personally like the way it is now since you don't have the scroungers aggrivating the crap out of everyone. Plus we used to have some commercial reloaders hang out at the range on the weekends, and they had a deal with RO to collect brass so they would get frequent cold ranges to go get brass. That was freaking annoying having to stop all the time so these guys could get free brass. I did get in an argument with a commercial reloading guy that was trying to pick up my LC brass with "match" headstamp

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