Once fired brass?


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Oscar 14
March 9, 2010, 06:48 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed before but I'd like to know if some of you guys buy once fired brass and if you have good luck doing so. I don't have a range near and do all my shooting on my place so picking it up is not an option. On a limited budget so trying to get by as reasonably as possible. Thanks.

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Walkalong
March 9, 2010, 06:54 PM
Folks buy OFB all the time. Folks sell it here in the buy sell and trade section, as well as online dealers like brassmanbrass.

Rembrandt
March 9, 2010, 06:57 PM
Like most things, it doesn't always come as advertised. Recently bought 1000 .223 once fired at a gun show....ended up pitching about 25 rounds in the trash. Crushed mouths, a .243, a .204 case, and two Berdan primed cases. Guess it's still cheaper than new......just look em over close.

Bush Pilot
March 9, 2010, 06:59 PM
.....

straitnate14
March 9, 2010, 07:07 PM
I buy once fired brass all the time, still cheaper to load and shoot than buying ammo at the store.

jcwit
March 9, 2010, 07:10 PM
Nothing wrong with once fired brass, once it resized its good to go as long as it has no splits or other defects. Dents usually are fireformed when being shot. Watch for the bright ring just forward of the case head in rifle brass, might indicate case head seperation.

Almost all the brass I reload is once fired and thats not a smarta55 remark, I have new unloaded brass in some calibers thats still waiting for its first loading.

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 07:14 PM
I've never bought any, but I've been using once fired .45ACP, 5.56, 7.62 and .38SPL since the seventies.

Motownfire
March 9, 2010, 07:44 PM
I have reloaded a lot of once fired brass in .40S&W without a problem. I also shoot on my property. I put down a old sheet to my right and it catches 95% of my brass.

351 WINCHESTER
March 9, 2010, 07:46 PM
How does one know it's once fired?

Lee Roder
March 9, 2010, 07:53 PM
good brass but can't reloaded more than once :D

How does one know it's once fired?

primer crimps are a good sign

billybob44
March 9, 2010, 08:01 PM
I've never bought any, but I've been using once fired .45ACP, 5.56, 7.62 and .38SPL since the seventies.
You're saying that Eddie-cause You made it once fired!!??

parker51
March 9, 2010, 08:36 PM
How does one know it's once fired?
There is no way to tell for sure unless you shoot it yourself or watch someone shoot it. All you can do is take their word for it and inspect for damage. There are several web sites that offer once fired brass that was collected from police ranges or they get it direct from ammo testing facilities (Winchester, Federal, etc.,). I have bought brass from several of the folks offering brass on the "for sale" board here with good results. Most state if it is once fired or if they aren't sure if it's once fired or not.

Oscar 14
March 9, 2010, 08:48 PM
Thanks all for the input. Sounds like the way to go for me.

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 08:58 PM
You're saying that Eddie-cause You made it once fired!!??
Acquired in a former life.

Publius1688
March 9, 2010, 09:38 PM
Oscar, what are you shooting? If you are reloading common handgun rounds, don't buy brass unless you have to. Most ranges will have a bucket behind the line---you'll be able to gather enough .45 or .38 to get yourself going.

giggitygiggity
March 9, 2010, 10:34 PM
Brass is brass is brass for the most part. I like leobrass.com. Good prices and good service. All it is is literally brass that someone picked up at a range and sells cheaply. Beats the heck out of buying new brass.

rfwobbly
March 9, 2010, 10:45 PM
LEOs get the best stuff. My last trip to a police range I did more picking up than shooting! Nickel plated Speer was on the ground by the thousands. Wow!

Publius1688
March 9, 2010, 10:58 PM
you are right, wobbly. I hit my range after some fine officers a few weeks ago. They were throwing Speer, as well.

bobelk99
March 9, 2010, 11:12 PM
OFB is generally a bargain, even with a few toss outs.
I have loaded, reloaded and sold many thousands. You can't go wrong if you buy at a decent price.

depoloni
March 9, 2010, 11:16 PM
What caliber(s) were you particularly looking for?

Best thing I could suggest is to deal with someone that can at least reference a number of people here happy with what they received. Partly selfish comment admittedly (heh) but honest nonetheless. I'm by no means a 'big timer' but do have a number of calibers I really, really need to thin out on according to the wife.

wgaynor
March 10, 2010, 02:06 AM
Check out Gibrass.com. Jeff Bartlett is a good man to do business with.

evan price
March 10, 2010, 05:11 AM
Thousands and thousands of brass bought and sold.
One way to tell 1X fired is CBC (Magtech) brass. They imprint a sort of "V" shaped mark on their primers. If you see that, you know it was factory loaded.

Deus Machina
March 10, 2010, 08:10 AM
Everything I load is once fired, at least. I'll either pick up range brass, or build up my stock by buying loaded ammo.

I have 9mm that's on its fourth or fifth go, and completely indistinguishable from the first. I suspect I'll loose it before it fails.

qajaq59
March 10, 2010, 09:40 AM
There are some honest vendors around. You just have to ask around for references. I use blue-star inc. He isn't always the cheapest, but he has been reliable for me. I've ordered thousands of rifles cases from him and never felt like I'd been had. With the "once fired" your best bet is to find someone with a decent reputation and stick with him. Otherwise any savings you might have had are gone with one bad order.

russ45
March 10, 2010, 09:45 AM
Here's a question that's probably been worn out on this forum. I have noticed that I lose functionality with old brass in my 625 revolver, but what about 1911? Does reloading brass dozens of times make a difference? My really old brass still functions 100 percent in my 1911, but I wonder if I'm sacrificing accuracy to save a few cents. How many times do you reload your brass? I've been going until it splits or won't go into my case holder, or otherwise looks bad for 1911.

jcwit
March 10, 2010, 10:03 AM
Unless you're able to shoot 1 hole groups one handed with a 1911 at 25 yards as in bullseye matches "yes I've seen it done", I seriously doubt how old your brass is or how many times its been reloaded that you'll ever notice.

bds
March 10, 2010, 10:34 AM
Does reloading brass dozens of times make a difference? My really old brass still functions 100 percent in my 1911, but I wonder if I'm sacrificing accuracy to save a few cents.

I seriously doubt how old your brass is or how many times its been reloaded that you'll ever notice.

I have brass that I have been reloading since 1995.

Accuracy depends on consistent chamber pressures shot to shot. As long as resized spent cases maintain the case dimensions, they should provide consistent chamber pressure.

My match 1911 and Glock 22 have shot 45ACP/40S&W cases that were reloaded over 50+ times and have no problem maintaining match accuracy (for me, that's 2" groups at 15 yards offhand).

Another factor that may affect chamber pressure/accuracy is loose primer pockets. When I hand prime cases, I mark loose primer pocket case bottoms with "X" using permanent marker. After range practice and case sorting, these get scrapped (saved for recycling). Of course, loose primer pocket cases are not used for actual match shooting, just range practice.

How many times do you reload your brass? I've been going until it splits or won't go into my case holder, or otherwise looks bad for 1911.

Just about. I inspect my cases for damage/excessive wear while I sort/resize-deprime and toss for scrap if I have any concerns. I no longer keep track of how many times I have reloaded my cases. Some here may disagree and recommend that you should toss your cases after so many reloadings. I do not max/over pressure load my cases and use tighter chamber Lone Wolf barrels in my Glocks at 5%-10% below max load - maybe these factors have extended the life of my cases. YMMV

russ45
March 10, 2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks. That's what I figured. Like you, I don't keep count any more. Good tip about marking the brass that has loose primer pockets.

jcwit
March 10, 2010, 11:34 AM
Any brass thats found to be defective I crush and toss into the recycling barrel. That way there's no chance of them going back into the reloadable brass.

762NATO
March 10, 2010, 11:50 AM
Totally new to reloading here, but I've been reading the Lyman manual. One thing it says (among several) about once-fired brass is that there could be a headspace issue (i.e. the headspace of the gun they were fired in differing from the headspace of your firearm). Seems like this would be a non-issue once the resizing die hits it (and is trimmed, if necessary), right? That seems logical to me, but I'm a total newb. Other than this, I would have no problem using range brass, etc once I carefully inspected it.

qajaq59
March 10, 2010, 12:22 PM
Seems like this would be a non-issue once the resizing die hits it (and is trimmed, if necessary), right? If you size it with full length dies I see no problem.

lykoris
March 10, 2010, 01:34 PM
I've bought once fired 9/45/357 from a local gunstore in lots of a thousand...inspecting it in person before buying.

I've bought military 223 brass online twice, once was a good experience and the other was a disaster with nothing but loose primer pockets so I chucked all 1.5k of it.

I wish I could pay US prices for starline brass but here in Europe they love to rape us - EUR210 for 1,000 .45acp starline cases. I paid it to see what all the fuss was about and I'd definitely buy it if I lived in the US!!

when I started out I wanted a known variable until confidence in my reloading technique grew to a point where I was comfortable inspecting range brass.

I'd buy once fired brass again but only ever in person unless I had a reputable source online.

Seismic Sam
March 10, 2010, 06:55 PM
A caveat about buying "once fired" brass online. If you can't see it before you buy it, then DON'T buy it at all. Had a buddy who bought 2k of once fired .223 brass that WAS probably once fired, but it came from a police department range, and whatever guns fired it (possibly full auto) had a HIDEOUS headspace problem, and nearly all of it had incipient case head seperation, with the bringht ring at the base of the case. I sectioned a few and the web thickness reduction at the base was about 50%.

Also, brass that has been swept up from a commercial range may be advertised as "once fired" but as other people have said, if you can't actually see the factory loaded brass being fired in front of you, they you can only take a stranger's word for it that it is once fired. The problem is that people like US may show up with some brass (like 10mm) where the primer pockets are loose and have had the bases marked with a magic marker, and after it's fired it's left in the scrap barrel at the range. In general, ANY case with a TRACE of magic marker on it indicates it has been reloaded God knows how many times by a handloader that was shooting IPSC or something, and wanted to get HIS brass back, or worse yet, marked it so he WOULDN'T take it back.

Bottom line: Buying used brass sight unseen is very bad ju-ju. In general, if you're going to buy used brass, you should know WHO you're buying it from pretty well, and have some good history with them of buying stuff that has never given you a problem.

Deus Machina
March 10, 2010, 07:07 PM
As for the loose primer pocket problems, I do know of a trick for that.

Secure a casing with a brace against the inside. The guy that told me uses a steel rod cut to diameter.
Lay a ball bearing atop the primer pocket.
Tap with a hammer. The bearing will flare the brass from around the primer pocket a little.

I wouldn't do that for anything common (keep it for obsolete brass you can't get anymore) and wouldn't shoot a match or load to max with it, but it can stretch the supply a little.

Eagles6
March 10, 2010, 11:28 PM
Just buy from reputable folks;) Know what I mean?
Very worthwhile especially if you're just starting out.

joneb
March 11, 2010, 02:16 AM
What caliber(s) were you particularly looking for?
That's a good question.
I have some 9x19 brass that I trimmed to 18mm if your interested :evil:

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