Range Finds (with pictures!)


April 9, 2013, 09:22 PM
Stopped at the local range today to test out some loads and the brass gods were shining on me - netted some .223 brass.


Also found, what I suspect, is some child's pile of bullets that they pulled out of the backstop. Looks to be mostly 40 / 45. Has anyone ever tried reloading once-fired bullets? Has it come to that?! I only found one that was fired through a polygon barrel - the rest are still round, just grooved from the rifling.


Oh - and you can tell how long the snow has been on the ground in these parts of WI. Found three 7.62x39 that were thrown off to the side. They look to be wolf or tula, have the red sealant on the case mouth and the primer. These guys have been sitting in snow and water probably before the 2012 election!

Anyone want to be the first to shoot them?!

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Tolkachi Robotnik
April 9, 2013, 09:29 PM
The bullets would have little value, unless you melt them down and cast something new. The guilding metal is likely to come off in your bore and cause problems. This does not mean it might not work a little, but I would also not expect a lot of accuracy. They could be recycled and would have scrap value.

I would sort the brass pretty carefully by headstamp, some of it might not be reloadable upon close inspection. It is worth some money just as scrap even if you decide not to use it.

April 9, 2013, 09:32 PM
Looks like I'll have to get into casting one of these days...

RE: Brass - most of it was frozen in the snow, exactly as it fell. Was like a little ice age struck as someone was firing their AR (probably for the first time). Checked the head stamps and it's all the same stuff.

April 10, 2013, 12:47 AM
I have taken plated 45 cal bullets and sized them down to 44 cal with a lee sizing kit in a RCBS Rock Chucker press and reused them with OK results. Some say that you will hurt/scratch your barrel but I saw no problems with what I used (over 50 of them).

April 10, 2013, 12:57 AM
just curious where in wi?

April 10, 2013, 11:28 PM
frankenstein406 - I'm in the central part of WI. Are you local(ish)?

April 11, 2013, 12:05 AM
Wow, I feel real lucky now when I go to my range. With the current reloading situation, many guys are just letting it fly. I politely ask them if I can snatch it up and they say "no problem". I often leave with 3-4 times the amount of brass that I shot up. Unless of course, I have the range all to myself, and then it is hard to complain about the entire complex to yourself.

April 11, 2013, 01:05 AM
Good find! Any free brass is always good and worthwhile.

Last time I was at our range the guy next to me was plinking away on a 30-30 lever gun and the cases were bouncing over to me so I picked them up and handed them to him and he tossed them in the bucket. I asked if he didn't mind etc etc(You know the drill) and that night I walked out with 100 cases of it. :D

My best free brass pick up to date.

April 11, 2013, 07:09 AM
Where I shoot you can have all the .223, 9mm, .40 S&W you want free for the picking...

I take all .38/.357, .44 spcl/mag, .30-30 that I can find...I also take loads of rifle brass that I have no use for, but know will come in handy for trading...

In all my time picking brass over the years, I have found exactly 1 (one) .45 Colt case...

Very telling IMNSHO about the type of people that shoot them...

April 11, 2013, 08:42 AM
In all my time picking brass over the years, I have found exactly 1 (one) .45 Colt case...

I've probably picked up 500 45 Colt cases in the last few years. Don't think I ever saw one before that.

Usually get them 20 at a time from someone who just bought one of the "Judge" or "Governor" monstrosities and is trying a box of them out.

Arkansas Paul
April 11, 2013, 08:49 AM
Has anyone ever tried reloading once-fired bullets?

No, but I do dig them out of the backstops frequently. I cast, so I just smash them with a hammer and toss em in the pot.

April 11, 2013, 09:14 AM
With the snow (finally) starting to receed in my part of the world, the last 2-3 range sessions have been quite productive in revealling de-glaciated brass. While a lot of it has some surface corrosion from a winter's worth of ice & mud encrustation, a quick cycle in my stainless media tumbler makes most of it look like new.

Arkansas Paul
April 11, 2013, 09:53 AM
While a lot of it has some surface corrosion from a winter's worth of ice & mud encrustation, a quick cycle in my stainless media tumbler makes most of it look like new.

You know, I've not gotten in to the stainless tumbling b/c I don't want to go to the trouble of having to dry brass.
However, using it for range pickup brass that's pretty dirty would be the PERFECT application for it. That alone may make it worth getting into it, as a lot of my brass comes from the ground at the range.

April 11, 2013, 02:22 PM
Paul - That's exactly what got me into the SS tumbling. I think it was a worthwhile investment. It was cheap for me though, since I had a Model B from brass tumbling years ago.

April 12, 2013, 02:22 AM
I go to an indoor range with very high range fees.
The beauty of it is that very many people don't reload and I find all types of brass in decent quantities.
I have found any type of brass that you can think of with only one exception .338 Lapua.

April 12, 2013, 03:45 AM
My Chicago range would only let me police my own brass, but not pick up anyone else's that they left behind, as the store likes to resell all the lazy shooter's brass by the five gallon bucket. Nice finds though!

April 12, 2013, 06:27 PM
i LOVE scrounging around looking to see what i can find. i keep a cardboard box in my truck just for bullets and brass others leave behind. besides those, and a probably 2 dozen live rounds over the years, i have found lots of oddities. quivers, boats, hundreds of car parts, lots of scrap wood (that i use for target boards), some poor guys paycheck (that i sent back to the company he worked for), several plastic ammo boxes, magazines (not the paper type), compasses, knives, an almost full box of clay targets, rope,scarves, jackets, shovels, 1 full bottle of booze (seal intact), several cans of beer and soda, quite a few tools. but not one gun, yet. just have to keep your eyes OPEN.

April 12, 2013, 08:29 PM
I feel lucky, last time I went scrounging for 223 brass, I found 3,500 pieces in a two hour period. Not an indoor range, just a public outdoor range littered with all the brass you could want.

April 13, 2013, 01:01 AM
Wow - you guys have some nice ranges with that amount of brass laying around!

There's still a ton, I mean MASSIVE tons, of 40/9mm/45 brass at our range but it has snowed and iced since the last melt. There's probably enough .22lr brass on the ground there to melt down and refinish most of the domed churches in Europe...

Some day I want to roll out there with a big magnet - probably enough steel cases to melt down and build a ship that would sail the aforementioned brass over to Europe.

Speaking of weird finds - last time I was out I picked up a 5.7 case and a BRASS 7.62x39.

April 13, 2013, 11:20 AM
I always check my desert range area when i shoot..

last monday... I saw/heard some guys next door (300yds away) plinking... so when i left... to my surprise... about 100 .223 Brass was on the grounds


I get lucky like that every couple weeks... find alot of 9mm, .40 and .45ACP... and LOVE the .223 Bras Finds

April 13, 2013, 05:01 PM
We went to shoot some trap today and the rifle range is close by. We saw two cars come in, one with out of state plates, and the suddenly it was like all heck had broken loose with gunshots. Then nothing and we saw their vehicles leave.

So we went down after blowing away a 270 clays to shoot some pistols and those out-of-town'ers must have had a new AR with them because their was .223 everywhere, all fresh on top of the snow. BONUS! They must have let loose with about 200 rounds...

Hondo 60
April 13, 2013, 09:47 PM
nice find Anmut.

My last trip, I found about 2 boxes of 9mm & a dozen or so 40 S&W.
The bullets, for some reason, don't like the snow.
They stop pretty fast. ;)

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