Bulk Brass Purchasing Question???


April 13, 2009, 06:27 PM
I have a question for those into reloading and such.

I have noticed a couple of government auction sites that sell once fired military brass.
I crunched some numbers and figured 25 once fired .223 casings weighs approximately 1 pound. I noticed some of the auctions were reaching dollar amounts that made no sense. Even if scrap brass prices were two dollars a pound it does not make economic sense.

I am I missing something here?

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April 13, 2009, 06:43 PM
Umm, I just weighed 25 fired and deprimed 223 cases.

149 grams
.328 lbs
5.25 ounces.

So I don't think that 25 223 cases = 1 pound.

April 13, 2009, 08:05 PM
Not de-primed.

April 13, 2009, 08:07 PM
I doubt if 25 primers weigh 10 ounces.

April 13, 2009, 08:17 PM
Correction- It was 25 cases is approximately 5.25 ounces. So approximately 75 per pound.

April 13, 2009, 08:33 PM
so which government auction sites did you see this on?

April 13, 2009, 08:41 PM
The prices are usually pretty high on government auctions for fired brass because the lots are so large. I've seen them that were over 10,000 pounds of brass.

By the way, the current prices for scrap brass are so low, the local scrap dealer won't even buy it. He tells customers to hold onto it until the price goes back up. The last time I checked, which was last month, they were paying .15 cents a pound for yellow brass, if you could get them to take it.

Hope this helps.


April 13, 2009, 09:30 PM
Thanks Fred.
Wouldnt you think the prices would be lower since they are buying in large poundages. It just appears they are paying more than they could possible get in return unless there was some sort of dynamic at work I am not aware of.
I remmeber a year ago I was getting $1.75 per pound for yellow, those days are long gone.

April 13, 2009, 09:41 PM
For the most part, the bidders on those large lots of brass aren't bidding on the scrap value. They're looking at the investment, and return, on reselling the once fired cases, which will bring much more than scrap value.

For instance, I'm seeing .40 S&W brass selling for as much as $40.00 per thousand, but the scrap value is only about $1.65, give or take a few cents. It's the value of the finished product they're bidding on.

Right now, once fired .223 brass is going for roughly $100.00 per thousand, plus shipping, if you can find it. The scrap value is roughly $2.10 per thousand. That's why they're bidding so high.

Hope this helps.


evan price
April 14, 2009, 02:25 AM
Right now today I am getting $.55 a pound for scrap yellow brass at the foundry. That's down from $2.10 a pound this time last year and up a nickle from last month. Word I hear is that the only reason it is so high is because of demand for ammo otherwise it would be down around $.20 a pound.

The thing to remember about the DRMO auctions is that there is often a lot of .50 cal mixed in and that stuff is several dollars per case.

Plus .308 is going for a quarter a case sometimes. Commercial reloaders buy the stuff in bulk for ammo, if they can't get it they don't sell reloaded bulk ammo.

I've bid on and won several auctions for brass but anymore with the time involved in sorting & cleaning & inspecting & shipping it is best left to the big dogs. I've seen 22K# of it at one time.

The largest lot I bought was 4700# of mixed small arms brass and it still had steel ammo belt links, shotgun shells, garbage, old hardware, wooden slats, gravel, etc. mixed in.

PLUS, the Dempsey-dumpsters it was stored in didn't come with the sale so we had to come out with totes and shovel it all into our totes to get it off of the base. No forklift. No power equipment. Dirty job.

April 14, 2009, 02:58 AM
Evan, about how much did you pay for the brass and what did you bid and win on? I'm just curious to know how small those kind of auctions can get.

April 14, 2009, 03:01 AM
And no one has said anything about the $10,000 deposit that's on most, if not all mil auctions.

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