New Brass or Range pick


Metal Tiger
January 1, 2012, 01:50 AM
I was just reading the comments on a recent post, "Who makes a better cartridge case" at and wondered how many of us buy new brass and for what cartridges.

With so much 9mm and .45 ACP lying around the ranges, I do not seem ever to have to buy new brass for these cartridges. For revolver rounds like .44 magnum / special I find I buy new brass exclusively and of course reload them. Rifle cartridges seem to be the same. I have not found too much .45-70 lying around.

So who buys new brass and for what cartridges and why? Thanks, and as always, its a really pleasure to read all of your thoughtful comments.

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January 1, 2012, 01:58 AM
Most rifle I buy new except for 223 Rem. When was the last time you saw 338 LM, 405 Win, 45-70 or 260 Rem on the ground at the local club? Never! Plus some guns need the best (IMHO) to really showcase the load (6PPC, 243AI, etc)

Pistol I scrounge....hell, I'll be the first person in the dumpster most days. ;)

Shotgun; 12 gauge I scrounge, 20 and smaller I buy new and reload.

January 1, 2012, 02:14 AM
I'm an inveterate scrounger. If it's brass, I pick it up, even if I don't load it, though I do load for 31 different calibers at the present time. Scrap brass prices have been over $2.00 a pound for about the last year, so what I don't load, I turn into money for more components.

The only brass I buy is .45-70, 9x23 Winchester and .45 Basic Brass (3.25"), for my .45-120 Sharps. The rest I'm able to get from the range.

Hope this helps.


January 1, 2012, 09:01 AM
Particularly handgun, I used to scrounge and shoot what ever I found. But, most of the public ranges I shot at, and the number is few, discouraged customers from policing any brass other than their own.

Most of my shooting has been done at private clubs or out in my back yard. So, not much discarded brass around that I did not generate.

I have on occasions purchased once fired brass or received brass from friends that new I reloaded.

Presently, my inventory of cases is pretty good, and I have decided that I would rather work with new brass. So, I pretty much only buy new when I need some extras. I watch for sales and stock up if needed.

For rifle cases. most of what I shoot is not main stream and even when I went to public shooting areas, you rarely, if ever saw any fired cases.

When I shot lots of Skeet, I preferred on type of hull. Most of what was on the ground was a hodge podge of different brands. I did not want to fool with changing my set up for different hulls. Also, by the time I discarded a hull, it was pretty well used up. So, I figured if I saw any of my brand, it might also be "used up". I shot alot of 28 ga and .410. You do not see many of those any way. Finally, I shot only new factory loads in matches and that was enough to keep my inventory of practice shells at a reasonable level.

January 1, 2012, 09:34 AM
I'm a scrounger, to a degree.

I load .40S&W, 9mm, .38 and .44SPL to moderate levels, so there's no problem with pick-up brass for those. But I've never found a .44SPL on the ground.

Some of my .357 and .44 magnum loads are in the high power range, so for those I use new brass or my own or my buddies' fired brass only. If I do pick these up at the range, I segregate them for lighter loads since I don't know their history.

I load pick-up .223 to moderate levels only. Other rifle brass I load is either new or my own fired brass. Truth be told, I will probably never wear out the rifle brass I have now.

This year I plan to learn trap, so I guess I'll start picking up 2-3/4 shells.

January 1, 2012, 10:44 AM
I'm strictly a scrap guy (either range pickup or buy very cheap used) as I only reload for 9mm Luger, .45 ACP, .270 Win (did buy some used brass that I got at a great price), & .223 Remington (got 4k @ ~$35/k shipped).

I've also bought used brass for 40 S&W (again, very cheap), .44 Mag, & .308 Win (have nearly 2k which I found great prices for) which I don't currently reload for, but am set up to do so.

When I get a caliber that is less common, then I might buy new. But even some of the less common (ex: 45-70), you can always (if you are patient) find 1x fired brass for.

January 1, 2012, 12:36 PM
If you are picking up my brass on the range, I'd beware, I didn't pick it up for a reason.
Unless you see someome dumping ammo out of factory new boxes, picking up range brass doesn't seem like a safe practice.

January 1, 2012, 04:22 PM
I reload factory I've bought and shot, new brass or range pick-up that I inspect. Had too much trouble with bought once fired.

A Pause for the Coz
January 1, 2012, 04:33 PM
Most all my guns are purchased with Brass availability in mind. Have to be able to shoot them cheap. I look like a stork walking around the range collecting any thing shiny. EWWWWWW SHY....Knee. Pluck..

January 1, 2012, 04:35 PM
I like loading nickel brass for pistol almost exclusively. I don't find much of it at the range, but sometimes I will get lucky. I usually pick up anything that is reloadable, clean it up, inspect it, and trade or sell it to enable myself to purchase new or once-fired nickel brass.

January 1, 2012, 04:43 PM
If I run low, I just buy super cheap ammo. I find you can get loaded ammo for what a lot of schmucks are selling EMPTY cases for. New brass, one free load included. Pretty good deal.

Arkansas Paul
January 1, 2012, 04:57 PM
I only buy new brass when I absolutely have to, and with the rounds I load, that isn't very often. I have bought new .45 Colt brass, because you usually don't see any of that. I'm a scrounger at the range though. I'll pick it up even if I don't load it. Just give it a good inspection after tumbling. Check for split necks and such. I've never had a problem.

January 1, 2012, 05:21 PM
Same here. I don't ever have to buy 9mm or .40 brass. Not so for my high powered needs though.

Metal Tiger
January 1, 2012, 05:48 PM
I like loading nickel brass for pistol almost exclusively. I don't find much of it at the range, but sometimes I will get lucky.
Gotta love that nickle plated stuff. Thats one reason I buy Starline brass is for all that shine.

January 1, 2012, 06:53 PM
I seldom shoot at a public range, though I did pick up a bunch of 45 auto a while back. Mostly I buy new factory ammo to get new brass. I did just buy some new 222 and 44 mag brass. I have never seen any 222 brass laying around and prefer my reloads over the factory stuff. The 44 mag I bought because of a new gun and I didn't have much hankering to buy factory since I cast and can load them for about 8 cents a shot. (not counting brass) I doubt the new 44 will ever shoot any factory ammo.

January 1, 2012, 06:53 PM
WOOHOO! Free brass!!!

January 3, 2012, 08:40 PM
When I am at the range I tend to scrounge for 5 to 15 minutes after I put the wheel guns away and just grab up whatever is not too weathered that I might eventually reload (meaning I have a weapon in that caliber, even if I don't currently have dies). If I have been including banging away with things that eject the casings then I probaby double that time, maybe even longer if the weather is nice.

January 3, 2012, 09:58 PM
Unless its an oddball, 458 socom, 7mm BR and such, I just buy factory and use once fired or use range brass.

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