a hypothetical question for you reloaders......


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rondog
February 4, 2013, 03:09 AM
So, I'm developing a hankering for one of those stainless steel pin wet tumbling kits, with the big Thumbler B tumbler. We've all seen and heard about how well that works, but the kits are pricey. http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/stm-complete-package.html

My question is, if a guy (me) were to buy one of those kits and start polishing his stashes of brass like a madman, do you guys think there would be enough of a market for super-clean, shiny used brass to sell enough to pay for the kit? I'm talking mostly 9mm, .40 S&W, .45acp, .380 acp, .38 SP, maybe some .223 and .30-06 too.

I've got more damned brass than I'll ever be able to load up, let alone shoot them all even once, and every range trip I bring home even more. Never considered selling any, but now I'm wondering.....if it was already cleaned and polished inside and out as shiny as it could be, how marketable would it be? I don't want to make a living at it, I just want to sell enough to pay for the kit, which is about $255 + shipping.

Think there's enough of a market for it?

Thanks!

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ole farmerbuck
February 4, 2013, 03:21 AM
I would think you'd have it paid for in no time.

oldandslow
February 4, 2013, 04:16 AM
rd, 2/4/13

I've been using the SS pin/Thumblers rotary tumbler for about a year now on my pistol (9mm, 38sp, 357 mag, 44sp, 45acp) and rifle cases (270 Win, 30-06, 30/30, .223/556). As you've no doubt read the cases come out shiny-new but a fair amount of work and time is required.

Another poster on a different forum posted your same question. The overwhelming answer was that, for most people, they would want the cases as cheap as possible which they could then plug into their own case-cleaning regimen. This meant buying them uncleaned and not de-primed. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow

cfullgraf
February 4, 2013, 07:26 AM
The capacity of the Thunbler's tumbler is not very large. You will spend alot of time for little gains in price.

I agree with others, if I buy fired cases, I want it as inexpensive as possible as I have all the case processing and cleaning equipment to do it on my own.

bds
February 4, 2013, 07:46 AM
Also, wet S/S tumbling can clean away badly tarnished weathered brass from years of exposure to elements and make them look new again. ;)

It's been my experience that while reloaders like using wet S/S tumbling for their own brass (particularly rifle cases to clean inside the cases to remove carbon residue and primer pockets), most buyers of brass like to see them in uncleaned state which tells them more about the true condition of the brass. I shoot at indoor ranges and collect mostly once-fired brass. They go right into 5 gallon buckets and while they have black carbon fouling on the surface, a quick wipe of paper towel reveals clean once-fired brass. If I wet S/S tumbled old tarnished brass, they will look better than new and who's to know the difference?

Currently, demand for brass in any caliber far exceeds supply but if you want to sell them, I think you may want to do it quickly as things could change fast. Last year, you couldn't give away once-fired 40S&W cases and now they are selling like hot cakes.

FROGO207
February 4, 2013, 07:52 AM
Really I am a cheap SOB and will save the most on raw materials then do all the work myself with my "free" time.:D I am sure other reloaders that have been at it for any time at all will feel as I do. When I first started reloading I actually payed for some "once fired 9MM brass that was cleaned inside and out, sized and trimmed to + -.01, and belled to reload", and it came out to 5 cents more than new brass would have cost me at the time. NEVER AGAIN was my take on that. This is how you learn to do it. So if a new reloader wants a fast way to get bling and is willing to pay for it---you can sell them some, otherwise I feel you will not fare all that well adding the extra effort. YMMV

Just sell enough of your surplus brass "as is" to pay for your setup.:D

35 Whelen
February 4, 2013, 07:57 AM
So, I'm developing a hankering for one of those stainless steel pin wet tumbling kits, with the big Thumbler B tumbler. We've all seen and heard about how well that works, but the kits are pricey. http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/stm-complete-package.html

My question is, if a guy (me) were to buy one of those kits and start polishing his stashes of brass like a madman, do you guys think there would be enough of a market for super-clean, shiny used brass to sell enough to pay for the kit? I'm talking mostly 9mm, .40 S&W, .45acp, .380 acp, .38 SP, maybe some .223 and .30-06 too.

I've got more damned brass than I'll ever be able to load up, let alone shoot them all even once, and every range trip I bring home even more. Never considered selling any, but now I'm wondering.....if it was already cleaned and polished inside and out as shiny as it could be, how marketable would it be? I don't want to make a living at it, I just want to sell enough to pay for the kit, which is about $255 + shipping.

Think there's enough of a market for it?

Thanks!
I'm going to go against the crowd and say, "Yes", very do-able. I've been buying and selling reloading gear and components for years and have learned to NEVER underestimate what people won't pay. I once sold a current production Lyman bullet mould on eBay for more than the cost of a new one. The key is marketing.

If/when you decide to do this, advertise your brass with quality photographs of the product. Be sure that a potential buyer can see that the brass is shiny and spotless, inside and out. When you take a picture of the product, make sure it's a large pile of brass...way more than you're advertising. Use a decent background such as swatches of colored felt material. Experiment with different colors. They can be had at hobby stores for next to nothing. If you have a buddy that's into photography, get him to help you with lighting. A little work up front goes a long ways towards the sale.

With the current craze of buying components, if I were you I'd start right now. Even if you don't recover all the money of the cost, some is better than none!

35W

rondog
February 4, 2013, 12:53 PM
Some good answers and opinions, thanks! I don't want to sell off a lot, that's why I was thinking of selling already polished and ready to go. I have tons of it, but I'm a hoarder that wants to keep it all too.

And photography's a great idea, that's part of my plan anyway. I've been a photographer since 1980, so I can do good photos.

SSN Vet
February 4, 2013, 01:14 PM
If you're just looking to move what you have, you could probably sell it on Gun Broker in a couple weeks. Nows the time to do it, as I'm amazed what some people are paying for brass.

If you serious about running a business (setting up web. site, taking CC orders, dealing with complaints, etc....) you will need to think through how much brass you can get your hands on, and how reliable your sources are.

What seems to you like a hoard, might sell in a week, and leave you mired down, trying to sort, tumble, pack and ship a substantial glut of orders..... only to run out of brass and have people screeming because there back orders didn't ship.

If you are just looking to justify the expense of a new toy, I'd say buy the Tumbler and sell a few thousand cases on GB. The normal going rate seems to be ~$0.09 to $0.10/case for the more desireable cartridges (i.e. .45 acp).

ole farmerbuck
February 4, 2013, 01:18 PM
Heck just list it one here. It'll sell.

rondog
February 4, 2013, 01:52 PM
If you're just looking to move what you have, you could probably sell it on Gun Broker in a couple weeks. Nows the time to do it, as I'm amazed what some people are paying for brass.

If you serious about running a business (setting up web. site, taking CC orders, dealing with complaints, etc....) you will need to think through how much brass you can get your hands on, and how reliable your sources are.

What seems to you like a hoard, might sell in a week, and leave you mired down, trying to sort, tumble, pack and ship a substantial glut of orders..... only to run out of brass and have people screeming because there back orders didn't ship.

If you are just looking to justify the expense of a new toy, I'd say buy the Tumbler and sell a few thousand cases on GB. The normal going rate seems to be ~$0.09 to $0.10/case for the more desireable cartridges (i.e. .45 acp).

No no no, not interested in doing it as a business! I only want to sell enough to pay for the new tumbler kit.

GLOOB
February 4, 2013, 02:56 PM
Personally, no. SS tumbled brass isn't worth more to me.

I purchased SS tumbled brass once, incidentally. The guy selling the brass happened to have cleaned them that way. I didn't like the fact that the cases were already decapped but not sized. Makes them a bit of a hazard to have laying around my shop without being carefully labelled and stored. Also, they started to tarnish right away, and the squeaky clean interiors made my expanders gall. After laboriously disassembling my dies and cleaning/honing the expander, I still ended up having to lube every 5th case... for pistol brass. And I needed to check each case for the occasional stuck pins, where 2 pins were jammed in the flashhole.

I like my brass to be shiny on the outside, only!

FTR, most people who do SS tumbling don't report (or acknowledge, anyway) problems with expanding/flaring. My brass was sorta pink. I think the guy used too much lemishine, or other acid. I understand acids can leech out the zinc, making the brass appear pink. Maybe that alteration of the surface alloy increases the friction.

Searcher4851
February 4, 2013, 04:02 PM
I'd save the time and trouble and just sell enough of your stockpile as is to pay for the tumbler setup. The sooner the better, while panic is still in the air, and prices are up. You should have no trouble getting the money before the tumbler purchase that way. The only shiney brass I'm interested in paying for is new brass. I'll make the used brass shiney by myself.

3006mv
February 4, 2013, 05:54 PM
just sell it as is i think people will buy unprocessed brass.

then you can just buy a small 6# tumbler for small batches.

cfullgraf
February 4, 2013, 06:00 PM
FTR, most people who do SS tumbling don't report (or acknowledge, anyway) problems with expanding/flaring.

I do not have trouble expanding/flaring my handgun cases that get wet tumbled because I tumble after resizing, decapping and mouth expanding.

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