Record-keeping/inventory nightmare?


January 31, 2010, 12:37 PM
I'll pick just one caliber (out of many that I reload) .223 Rem (5.56x45) :

Over the years, I've collected many thousands of brass which have 15-20 various head-stamps. I try to keep good records of which brands had how many "times fired". After many trips to the prairie dog fields, rifle range and just testing loads in the "back 40", I've found that I can no longer keep track of this mess. I have L.C. brass with anywhere from once fired to 7 firings so now, instead of 15-20 lg. boxes/Zip-Lok bagsful, I now have well over a hundred small bagsful! Some bags only have 20, 30 or 40 brass in them and it's just not feesable to work up loads when all I have is 20 L.C. '04 w/4 times fired.

What do you folks do? Does this present a problem to anyone else? Does anyone just toss ALL the brass into the tumbler at the same time and reload all as if they're the same (after examining the cases for integrity, of course)?

Do you just sell off most of your brass and then buy lots more with just one H.S?

I'm at my wit's end trying to do a good job of record keeping but I now wonder if it's all worth while or just paranoia(sp?).

If you enjoyed reading about "Record-keeping/inventory nightmare?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 31, 2010, 12:45 PM
I sort and keep seperate by headstamp.

Try to buy in large lots of the same thing when possible.

I inspect each case when I get ready to load a batch, especially looking for any signs of stretch rings.
Those in question get checked inside with a L-bent paper-clip.

Usually, by the time a case has been fired several times, you can tell it by looking at the flattened out head-stamp markings. By then, primer pockets may be getting too loose.

I find that when priming and I notice no or little resistance when seating primers with a hand primer tool.

Odd's & ends of range pick-up brass get loaded for blasting ammo in the woods where it gets quickly lost anyway.


January 31, 2010, 12:50 PM
Try to buy in large lots of the same thing when possible.

But do you separate that one H.S. as per # of times fired?

Odd's & ends of range pick-up brass get loaded for blasting ammo in the woods where it gets quickly lost anyway.

Do you just load all of the "odds & ends" from the range as if it's one lot?

January 31, 2010, 01:01 PM
But do you separate that one H.S. as per # of times fired?No. Whenever possible I go through it all before starting over again.

"odds & ends" from the range as if it's one lot?
Yes, small quantities of mixed range pick-up brass is loaded as one lot and usually lost in the weeds.

Do not mix rifle brass if you load hot or max loads however.

As long as you stay below max, it will cause no problems other then possibly a decrease in gilt-edge accuracy.


January 31, 2010, 01:36 PM
I use only one brand of brass. I buy 500 of say the 30-30s, size it trim it, and put 100 in each bin. When bin one is empty i put it at the end of the line and that is where the fired brass goes so I can size it at my leisure. I fire all of the bins in order until I have fired all 500. Then I start again. It costs a bit to start, but the brass lasts a long time before I need to trim and anneal it. And I don't have to fuss with records.

January 31, 2010, 01:51 PM
to rcmodel & quajaq59 -

Thanks for the tips. I think I may try both of your suggestions.

How about the rest of you? I'm thinking that many run into this same problem.

February 1, 2010, 09:44 AM
Buy one lot of matching HS brass. Load a few and find your load. Load them all to that spec. When you run out of loaded cases run the batch through and load them all again. So much easier that way. Use all the small qty stuff for playing where you might loose it with no worries.

February 1, 2010, 10:58 AM
I do a mix. Some of the rounds I load I keep meticulous records of firings, annealings, and are kept sorted. Other ammunition is just all treated the same and culled when the case will no longer do its job.

The requirements for bench rest are totally different than say 3-gun. One discipline you need a hole in a hole to win the other 1-2 MOA is more than enough accuracy you just need bucket fulls to remain at the top of your game.

February 1, 2010, 07:25 PM
I have 22-5 gal buckets of sorted brass.:what: I stopped keeping records other than what caliber is in what container!

February 1, 2010, 08:23 PM
With 3k loaded,no way to keep track during 3 gun matches.

February 1, 2010, 09:11 PM
I normally top my brass supply off with once fired range pickups. It all gets mixed together, and some gets lost plinking in the woods etc. Most of the time it gets 2-3 firings before any given piece of brass disappears into the weeds, at a match where I can't brass up, etc. The only rounds that I really keep track of are my HP service rifle rounds, and my .308 precision loads. Those are all kept together by firing. New brass is done by a whole lot as the old brass get's tossed. I normally just have about 200 pieces of .223 and about 100 pieces of .308 to keep track of. Not terribly difficult to do.

The rest of my brass is just all in 5 gallon buckets, just sorted by caliber.


February 2, 2010, 01:23 AM
Each 223 firearm (two bolts and one AR) has a favorite load that I stay with. All brass is LC that was once fired. I have an ammo container for each rifle with two compartments. One side for loaded rounds and the other for spent cases. The neck sized cases for the bolt guns last a long time. The AR brass gets sold for scrap after 5 loadings. I only reload in batches when the supply is exhausted. (which doesn't take long shooting those prairie doggies!)


February 2, 2010, 02:09 AM
I don't worry about how many rounds a particular piece of brass has been shot. As long as it isn't split or the primer pocket isn't loose and it still drops into the gauge block it get shot again.Some of my rifle brass has been shot over 10-12 times and still looks good.

February 2, 2010, 02:33 AM
I quit trying to keep track of it. My procedure is just careful inspection and toss anything that isn't up to snuff.

February 2, 2010, 06:03 AM
Depending on the brass I try to keep things sorted in large zip-locks by the times fired. Then after cleaning, priming I mark the base with a wide colored sharpie marker. green for 2nd firing, blue for 3rd, black for 4th and red for 5th

Usually reserve the black/red for plinking ammo that will go into the salvage bucket.


February 2, 2010, 09:38 PM
I just pile it in a bucket by cal and use as needed inspecting after tumbling. For max loads and what I don't shoot often (>300 cases) I will keep track of firings. Otherwise I will prep completely in large lots of 1K or more each time. Less stress and as stated above the primer pockets blow out before more troubles appear most times. Some of my brass has lost it's headstamp as it has been fired so much.

February 2, 2010, 09:54 PM
For .223 ammo that HAS TO BE 100% dependable, and is fired in an AR-15, I buy large lots (at least 1000 pieces) new brass, and load it three times.

I generally discard it after the third firing.
Beyond that, primers start falling out, and case-head separations start happening.
Don't need that aggravation.

Revolver brass just goes until the neck splits.

I won't usually chase auto-pistol brass.
I've taken to buying steel-case 9mm, so my conscience is that much clearer after a range trip.

Mama say I'm not allowed to bring no more orphan brass into the house.
I still sneaks some in now and then.

If you enjoyed reading about "Record-keeping/inventory nightmare?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!