Typical sort: 5-gal bucket of brass


March 12, 2012, 10:12 PM
Anyone ever manually sort one from an indoor pistol range? What would you say is the typical mix?

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March 12, 2012, 10:17 PM
I am sure it will vary from range location but this is what I usually get from the range I shoot at:

~ 40% - 45ACP
~ 30% - 40S&W
~ 20% - 9mm
~ 10% - .380/.357 Sig/.38/.357/.44/45GAP, etc.

March 12, 2012, 10:52 PM
I would say:

70% = 9mm
15% = 40 S&W
10 % = 45 ACP
5 % = Other

March 13, 2012, 12:44 AM
11 years ago from a 25 gal barrel:

4 gal .22
11 gal 45 ACP
7 gal 9mm
1 qt 380 ACP
1 pt 9mm MAK
2 gal 40 S&W
less than gal everything else

Today, the only change is nearly a reversal between 40 S&W and 9mm. Do you realize how many .22s there in a 4 gallon container? And how many rounds of all calibers are unfired?

I had a homemade motorized sorter that did an excellent job of sorting by size except for some of the smaller calibers getting caught inside the next size up. Worked great until a spark from a welding job ignited several pounds of unburned powder a few weeks ago that had accumulated on the concrete floor under the sorter that I normally kept blown off. A short burning but hot fire resulted that has stopped any future sorting under my carport and anywhere else in the future. It melted the 9 mm sorting sieve and drew unacceptable attention from the wife. Though I won't have to sweep those cobwebs that accumulate in the rafters of the carport this spring, just repaint.

March 13, 2012, 07:39 AM
I finished my 69-lb bucket and found these approximate results (by estimated count, not weight):

42% 9mm
21% .45ACP (not yet sorted by LP/SP)
23% .40S&W

14% something else: more .380 than anything else but a fair number of .357Sig, 7.62x25, .38Super, 10mm, and 7.65. I might sort these further at some point, but I don't shoot or load these so there's no rush.

There was a handful of .38SPL, two .50AE, one .357Mag. Nothing in .44 at all.

Maybe a pound of non-roadable stuff. I got really lucky in terms of steel, aluminum, shot shells, and .22LR; there wasn't much of any of these in the bucket. Every split case in the bucket was 7.62x25.

Hint for those who will ever sort a bucket in the future: if you have a media separator, run the brass through it a little at a time before you sort. This will get out most of the dirt, powder, and other icky stuff, and the majority of the .22s.

Then you're left with the decision of whether to try to separate the .22s from the dirt.

evan price
March 13, 2012, 09:49 AM
I just did two 5-gallon buckets and total net wt was 138 pounds...
24 pounds of scrap (17 & 22 rimfires & Berdan 7.62x39, 8x57 and 7x57, berdan or crimped 9mm, damaged cases, etc).
13 pounds of 45 auto, 45 GAP and 44 mag/45 colt mixed.
7 pounds of 40 S&W.
6 pounds 38/357, 30 carbine, 7.62 Nagant, and a couple 25 auto.
2 pounds 7.62 tokarev, 357 sig, 10mm, FN 5.7x28.
40 pounds mixed 9mm, 380 and 32 autos.
12 pounds of mixed Boxer primed large rifle calibers (308, 30-06, 270, 243, x39s, x54Rs, etc.
30 pounds of 223.
2 pounds of dirt & trash.
1 pound of loaded rounds of various sorts (mostly 22 LRs and steel-case stuff but a few nice items)
1 pound that vanished..? Probably rounding error on the buckets' tare.

March 13, 2012, 11:11 AM
My experience mimics jim243's.

March 13, 2012, 12:25 PM
What do you do with the loaded rounds?

Since I don't know their status (were they reloads?), I don't ever shoot them. I add them to my "display" collection, or, if I don't need that caliber for the collection, I take them apart, toss the powder into my junk powder jar, add the bullet to my lead jar, and let the brass join its buddies.

March 13, 2012, 04:18 PM
I get probably 75% 9mm, 20% .40, 3% .45 and the rest a mix of weird stuff.

March 13, 2012, 07:25 PM
I would love to get a 5 gallon bucket of 44 magnum & 500 S&W magnum brass then i would be a happy reloader lol

March 13, 2012, 09:02 PM
Yep, my experience mimics Jim243's too. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, 9mm is almost as cheap as .22 rf. I despise 9mm, but do like .45 and .40. My feelings on the 9mm is the ammo companies have it shooting to light of a bullet. It works well for me with a 147 gr bullet.

evan price
March 14, 2012, 09:24 AM
Re: Loaded rounds:
It depends on if they are obviously factory ammo or not.

If they are obvious to me 100% for sure factory ammo that got dropped I wipe them off and put them in the target practice box of mixed ammo. If it is any doubt whatsoever they get broken down, powder dumped in the fireplace, and the other components recycled as possible.

I get thousands and thousands of 22 LRs and anythat look damaged get broken down, lead goes in lead bucket, brass gets toasted in a pan over a fire to pop the primers, powder gets dumped in fireplace.

I also get lots of damaged ammo- jams, or light primer strikes usually. Break them down and salvage what I can.

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