Cleaning up brass from yard


March 27, 2004, 12:33 PM
Okay guys here's the story:

I have enough land to have a .22LR shooting range in my backyard. However, I shoot from a variety of positions and locations about the yard, and rarely pick up my brass.

Lately I've noticed the yard is beginning to look a little "white trash-like" and something needs to be done with these thousands of .22LR brass lying about.

I've been thinking about using one of those contractor magnets that's attached to a long pole like a metal detector and sweeping the yard for a couple of hours to pick all of this stuff up.

Except I've been shooting for a couple of years this way, and some of the shells are hidden under a half inch or so of dirt.

Thus I've been browsing the internet the past couple days looking at "uber magnets" that might potentially be able to suck up the shells straight through the small layer of dirt.

Any suggestions?

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March 27, 2004, 12:46 PM
A magnet won't pick up brass shells.

March 27, 2004, 12:46 PM
Brass .22 cases will not be picked up by a magnet.

March 27, 2004, 12:51 PM
A magnet won't work, but an industrial shop vacuum might. Also, talk to the guys at a Skeet & Trap range about how they "mine" for lead shot. Good luck.

March 27, 2004, 12:58 PM
Shop vac ...lawn sweeper.. a lawn vac will work but i wont guess the longeivity(sp) of the cutter blades :)

March 27, 2004, 01:15 PM
I remember a long time ago I asked my dad about a "brass magnet". He couldn't stop laughing. :D

March 27, 2004, 05:42 PM
I use my Simplicity riding lawn tractor with the four foot deck. That sucker (literally) will pick up most of the brass, shotgun shells and a good amount of the broken clay pigeons. Yeah, such use tends to wear the blades out pretty quickly, but blades will take a new edge and the time saved is worth it.

March 27, 2004, 07:12 PM
:scrutiny: :scrutiny: :scrutiny:

Even Wolf .22 ammo isn't magnetic.

March 27, 2004, 07:38 PM
Ask the neighbor's kid if he wants $1/lb to pick it up. Its worth a shot. :)


March 27, 2004, 08:08 PM
"I'll take one brass magnet and a case of elbow grease along with the one foot yardstick." :p

Vacuum or new topsoil will get rid of your problem.

On the other hand, having a yard that is close to impenetrable for metal detectors maby isn't such a bad idea, if the time comes to bury something.... :scrutiny:

March 27, 2004, 10:27 PM
Are you sure you don't also want one of these Metric Adjustable Wrenches?
They are a must have with all the foreign stuff nowadays. :D

Shanghai McCoy
March 27, 2004, 10:39 PM
Mayhaps he could pick me up a bucket of steam and a couple fathoms of chowline.:)

March 27, 2004, 10:50 PM
In the wire pulling buisness we were always looking for sky hooks and wire stretcher! Also could use some smoke in a can so I can put the smoke back in any electronics I accidently let it out of!!

March 28, 2004, 02:21 PM
Keys to the Hummer.

March 28, 2004, 04:35 PM
Maybe use one of those pet hair brooms that they sell to use on carpet--they have very closely spaced bristles.

March 28, 2004, 04:44 PM
I'd say leave it and put another couple inches of soil and new seed. You WANT metal bits scattered all around... just in case.

March 29, 2004, 04:08 AM
Leave the brass there. Be sure to shoot some Russian steel-cased rounds. leave those down, too. Cover with a lalayer of fresh topsoil next year. Repeat. When the time comes that you must cache your AK and a few spam cans in a sealed pipe to prevent it's seizure by the Feds, your yard will be a metal detecting nightmare.

:D , :uhoh: , or :what: ? You decide.

March 29, 2004, 04:21 AM
Id recomend the vacume method. Although simply adding topsoil would work too. Its just more work that way. And don't forget to pick up some blinker fluid while your getting that magnet. You WILL need it.

March 29, 2004, 08:25 AM
Can of prop wash and a coil of flight line. :D

Mal H
March 29, 2004, 09:39 AM
I like the vacuum idea, it should work. As for the ones already buried, why bother? From now on use a giant tarp strategically placed - easy to set up and easy to dump out at the end of the session.

I once sent a newbie to the plant stores to pick up a standard liter of neutrons since we were starting to run low. The counter man gave him a stainless steel bucket with a lid and told him to keep it upside down on the trip back since the neutrons tend to float up and leak out!

March 29, 2004, 10:04 AM
Dude! Leave 'em in the ground, cover carefully with potting soil and water occasionally. Next Spring bright shiny new .22lr rounds will sprout! Harvest early, if you leave them on too long they will leave more lead in your barrel. Depending on birds in your area you may have to cover with cheesecloth. The crows are the worst cuz they know what those bullets will do! Tie the cloth down with 50' of shore line. Grab some caulk to fix the break of dawn. Pick up some glue if there has been any heart break.

March 29, 2004, 10:40 AM
Best answer yet! :neener:

March 29, 2004, 02:57 PM
I always wanted to find those massless strings and frictionless pulleys that my engineering professors kept referring to. Oh, and in my business, we are always striving to discover the mystical unobtainium.

Seriously though, my Snapper bagging mower will suck up almost anything. I can run it on the driveway and it will suck up anything within about a foot of the mower deck perimeter.

March 29, 2004, 03:22 PM
I would leave a nice long answer but I'm quite busy. you see, I have to grease the exhaust bearings on my new truck and then check the headlight fluid, and then change the spark plugs on my old deisel. I had a long day too, went to every rental place in town looking for an 18" I beam bender and a shelf stretcher. never did find one.:banghead:

March 29, 2004, 03:24 PM
I keep my brass magnet in the same box I keep my carton strecher. :D

March 29, 2004, 03:53 PM
Just think of it as a very large tin-foil hat for your yard. :D

March 29, 2004, 04:36 PM
I doubt they'd use metal detectors but the gain can be adjusted to ignore trash metal and hit on larger masses. They could always go with ground penetrating radar if metal detectors are not possible.

My guns may someday be buried, but not without me to join them.

Mal H
March 29, 2004, 05:20 PM
What we've been doing to poor old WhiteKnight reminds of what happened to a poor soul who got hopelessly stuck in a cave.

True story:
I was on a cave rescue about 6 years ago where a fellow got himself completely stuck in a passageway that way too small for him - he was on the, uh, 'portly' side. We were discussing the best method of extraction. Someone suggested using an air hammer. His eyes got a little wide at this suggestion. I suggested using dynamite to break up the rock face. He got downright scared and was almost going to cry, but still didn't say anything. (We were kidding of course.) We broke out the hammers and chisels, placed a blanket over his head and goggles on his eyes and began chipping away.

Several hours later and before he was completely free, the leader said to him, "I've got to apologize to you in advance."

The young man said, "Apologize to me! I should apologize to you all for having to go through all this."

"No, no. You don't understand. We're going to have one helluva good laugh later on at your expense over some beers!"

And we did. Still laugh about it to this day whenever we think about the look on his face.

March 30, 2004, 04:21 AM
They could always go with ground penetrating radar if metal detectors are not possible.

Depends on the conductivity of the soil. If the soil consists mostly of clay, or you live close enough to the ocean that the groundwater is unusually salty, you could theoretically get it deeper than radar can penetrate. But in that case, I might worry more about corrosion than the .gov finding it.

March 30, 2004, 11:24 AM
Hell, in my neck of the woods, the topsoil aint but 3" deep. After that, its red clay for about 3ft, then blue clay/shale. That is some tough crap to dig through with a post hole digger, let me tell you.

Where do you put muffler bearing grease if you have no mufflers? I generally pack my Muffler Bearings (made with Unobtainiumâ„¢) in congealed blinker fluid anyway. :D

Harry Tuttle
March 30, 2004, 11:39 AM
rent one of these:

March 30, 2004, 11:48 AM
Sorry it took me so long to reply I was out looking for a can of squelch and a box of grid squares. :D

March 30, 2004, 12:11 PM
If anyone has a brass magnet let me know. I'd trade my left handed metric hammer for one. I used it in the Army when I would look for soft spots on the armor of my Bradley.

March 30, 2004, 12:34 PM
Ok, I think enough fun has been had at WK's expense, along with a smattering of helpful suggestions.


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