How much brass is enough?


February 20, 2014, 03:40 PM
Hi All
I have been cleaning up around the reloading bench and finding stuff I didn't remember having. I opened one ammo can (one of the 20mm type) and found three or four K of once fired LC 30-06 brass that I bought years ago. I don't know when the last time I reloaded 06 was.

So I got to thinking. How much brass is enough? I have some calibers that I have more then 10K of brass (not counting the loaded stuff). At what point do I move from good to go to hoarder?


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February 20, 2014, 03:50 PM
These days, judging by what I read about how difficult it is to get components and lot of ammo, you're probably small time. I wouldn't worry about it.

February 20, 2014, 03:52 PM
+1 on this. I have over 75,000 pieces of various pistol and rifle brass waiting to be used, plus quite a bit of loaded ammo. I'm always looking for brass left at the range and even buy it when I find an especially good deal. You can never have "too much" brass. It doesn't eat and it's money in the bank as far as I'm concerned.

BTW I have probably 10,000 rounds of .30-06 brass sitting in cans, just waiting......

February 20, 2014, 03:53 PM
Too much is when you have to move out to make room.
Alternate definition, too much is when the significant other begins to comment on the credit card statements for MidwayUSA and Graf and Sons, and that her sewing room is full of pallets. That might be a sign you may need to cut back.
Otherwise, copacetic, amigo.

February 20, 2014, 03:56 PM
Thank goodness I was worried there might be something wrong with me. Looks like I am AOK.


February 20, 2014, 03:57 PM
It it bothers you, trade some of it for something you have in less depth :-)

I'm constantly "balancing" my component holdings so that I have roughly
equal production quantities of brass, propellant, projectiles and primers for a given cartridge. Brass is tricky, since you can get multiple firing from most varieties. (That of course assumes range usage).

The other way to look at your holdings is how hard would it be to acquire
if you had too little. Primers can potentially be the worse, since projectiles and propellants
seen to flow from offshore much more readily than do primers. There are still a lot of non-reloaders out there who can act as a ready source of cartridge brass...

February 20, 2014, 03:59 PM
Assess what you will actually use over the course of the next three years.

The three-year articles are active.

Everything else is excess, and is subject to purge if circumstances warrant.
Have an expedient plan for purging all excess.

Once fired brass in common calibers sells very quickly on the internet.
But, only if you have a system for posting it in a way that maximizes the value, and also a system for fulfilling customers' orders.

February 20, 2014, 04:08 PM
I don't know when the last time I reloaded 06 was.

It has been about 20 years since I reloaded and shot my 7mm International Rimmed Contender. No way I will get rid of my inventory of 30-30 cases used to form the 7mm International Rimmed cases.

If you got space. I'd keep what you got. It is not like we have to pay inventory tax on it.

February 20, 2014, 04:25 PM
You guys have too much! I have several hundred pieces of each caliber I reload from, and as it gets old, toss it and replenish it with either range pick ups or new. There's no need to store hundreds of thousands of cases with no hope of shooting it. Do you have powder for all those cases? Bullets? Primers? I do. If TEOTWAWKI happens, not only will I have sufficient to satisfy my needs, but any more I need I can take from the fallen. Hoarding hundreds of thousands of pieces only contributes to the shortages and price gouging.

So, after listening to my rant, and feeling bad, you need to make amends. Send me all your excess brass. I'll forgive you your excesses, you'll feel better, and I'll distribute a lot of it to those in need.

Seriously guys, only you can answer if what you have is too much. You asked me my opinion, I stated it.

Stay well all.....

Arkansas Paul
February 20, 2014, 04:30 PM
I probably have more than I'll ever load, but I still pick up every piece I see at the range and dig through the brass buckets as well. It's a sickness I tell ya.

February 20, 2014, 04:34 PM
If you have the room to store it and don't need cash, no reason not to keep it.

If it's something you know you're not likely to ever use though, there's not much reason to keep it. Under that circumstance I'd personally look into getting rid of most of it keeping a small amount, just in case.

February 20, 2014, 04:49 PM
I haven't begun to reach the point where I feel like I should not pick up brass the more the merrier

Arkansas Paul
February 20, 2014, 04:50 PM
^ Absolutely.
Heck, even if you're not going to load it, you can trade it or sell it for extra cash to buy components you do need.

February 20, 2014, 05:22 PM
I have enough brass when I don't need to shoot in order to reload. :)

The only caliber I'm a bit short on is 40SW, of all things. That must be the most plentiful and cheap brass around.

February 20, 2014, 05:42 PM
It's not hoarding, it's recycling.

February 20, 2014, 05:54 PM
I only load 3 cartridges. I have 1K for my hand guns. I think that's all I will need. When I get down to 500 I'll by more. Brass isn't like any of the other components in that you can reuse it several times.

By the way if anyone has any 30 carbine brass I could use it. None to be found new or used anywhere. Used to be you could buy it new for 0.30. Now people want nearly that for range pick-ups.

February 20, 2014, 05:56 PM
Never have to much. I have brass for calibers I don't shoot. It trade fodder.

February 20, 2014, 10:16 PM
I want to have 10k 223 and 45 auto on hand, I guess than 5k or so 308 would be enough. I like not having to look for it when needed. I have the money now and if I find a good deal I'll buy a few thousand, its cheaper today than it will be tomorrow.

February 20, 2014, 11:13 PM
If you might use it, it's free and you have a place to put it, you can't have too much.

February 20, 2014, 11:20 PM
When we recently moved I realized I have 92 pounds of 9mm brass. I don't even have a 9mm handgun, but I can't seem to stop picking it up at the range.

Hondo 60
February 20, 2014, 11:33 PM
I have enough brass when I don't need to shoot in order to reload.

I like that!
This winter has been so harsh I've only been to the range maybe 3 times.
For me, that's HORRIBLE!
I like to go 2 or 3 times a week in nicer weather.
(and by nicer I mean 15-20 degrees or above w/o much wind)

I'm at the point where I DO need to shoot to reload.

February 20, 2014, 11:41 PM
I have a sickness called pickupbrassitis. I never leave any reloadable brass on the ground when I go shooting. Even if I don't have a gun in a given caliber I still pick it up. I started collecting Makarov brass a number of years ago so when I finally got around to picking up a beautiful East German pistol I had about 600 pieces of brass ready to load.

Even if I don't need it, I can trade it for components I can use. Last weekend someone left 40 pieces of 7mm Mag brass along with the factory box. Into the brass can it went and home with me. Beautiful brass. I also picked up about 60 pieces of 7.62 x 39 Winchester brass at the same time. I don't reload that one-- yet-- but the days of cheap imported ammo are looking short indeed.

February 21, 2014, 12:07 AM
When I started reading the thread I instantly thought of Jmorris and his mounds and mounds of brass, his cement mixer tumbler, his home made sorter and his machines.
And of course - he posts the bucket fulls of brass above. Gotta love it!
So, the answer -- when Jmorris and some others tell you it's enough, then you might be there.
medalguy - I think that pickupbrassitis is contagious, it's an epidemic of epic proportions even!
I tell myself that I have enough 9mm brass, that I can stop picking it up at the range, but I bend down pick up one piece and then another and before you know it the shopping bag is full. I can't stop, I think I have the disease!
As they say - 1 is too much and too many is not enough. I think I have to go to a BAA meeting now - brass-aholics anonymous.

February 21, 2014, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by GLOOB
The only caliber I'm a bit short on is 40SW

Just throw a handful in a clean, dry plastic tub, then put 'em somewhere where they won't be disturbed for a while. If you check on 'em in six months, it'll be half full.
If you forget 'em for a year, the tub will be overflowing and it'll have a split in one side.

I'm convinced that .40's are capable of reproduction rates that'd make a rabbit blush.

Winchester 70
February 21, 2014, 08:23 AM
If you might use it, it's free and you have a place to put it, you can't have too much., my friend, have got it BAD!!!! ;)

February 21, 2014, 12:42 PM
It is not possible to have too much. Just when you think you might have enough, you realize you don't.

February 21, 2014, 01:39 PM
It is not like we have to pay inventory tax on it.

Not yet anyway:(

February 21, 2014, 03:49 PM
Not sure I've ever heard a reloader suggest that they had too much brass (or any component, for that matter).

February 21, 2014, 04:36 PM
I got a whole new slant on this last summer. We sold our place in the country (16 acres, two storage sheds, and a 55x60 barn with an 8'x8'x40' shipping container). Also sold my folks place after my dad passed. Thank goodness they had only lived there 30 years, so his 20x20 workshop was not COMPLETELY full. I hauled 7 16' lowboy loads to the dump, gave the guy who bought it YEARS worth of tools, saddles, tack, etc. We bought another house in town and sold our other house in town. After giving kids and grandkids several pickup and trailer loads of stuff we had an estate sale literally giving away gobs of stuff.
Still ended up with a house full and a double garage packed so full I can barely work at my reloading bench.
I packed every bit of the stuff we moved. DO NOT wait until you are 76 to settle in to a new nest.
I realize now that most of what I treasure and hoard is going to the dump when I die.

February 21, 2014, 07:38 PM
That one bucket looks like it could hold a little more.

February 21, 2014, 08:21 PM
That one bucket looks like it could hold a little more.

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing after a friend sent me this photo a few minutes ago.

February 21, 2014, 09:19 PM
:what: Who in the world could collect that much brass!!! :what: That's the most brass I've ever see in one place!! Where could you even find that much brass??
I have a 45 acp and had managed to get up to about 500 rounds of brass. Someone gave me a bunch of steel cases and a I asked a fellow on another forum about reloading steel. He said that was a big no-no. He told me that there are people that will sell me used brass for a reasonable price and recommended a person here on THR.
I was going to order a 1,000 pieces of brass, and I thought I was being wild and crazy and irresponsible when I ordered 2,000 pieces of brass!! And some of you have 10,000!! I'm not even close to being in the big leagues like some of you...

February 21, 2014, 10:00 PM
Guess I shouldn't feel so bad about the 3 gal. sized baggies down by my bench full of once fired '06 cases, all cleaned, primed and rdy to be loaded. I've got about 400 already loaded….. but my Gawd, those cardboard boxesful ! That dude is insane !

February 21, 2014, 10:51 PM
Yeah, even if what is shown in the photo "is all he has" that is around 2 million cases by my guess.

February 21, 2014, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by: jasonsch
Someone gave me a bunch of steel cases and a I asked a fellow on another forum about reloading steel. He said that was a big no-no.

The guy on the other forum told you wrong.
As long as it's Boxer primed and in good condition, there is no reason not to reload steel .45 cases.

I have personally loaded and fired many thousands of rounds of various steel cased ammo.

February 22, 2014, 08:06 AM
I am always collecting brass from here and there. It does add up. As a bonus it is always good when I can give some brass to whomever I teach to reload to get them started if they don't have any/much already. If I have enough reloaded ammo to make me comfortable AND a full 5 gallon bucket of OF brass in a particular caliber ahead then I will be happy and sell off/trade any more I obtain. Also as stated above those calibers I do not reload, I will pass that along as well.

red rick
February 22, 2014, 10:14 AM
As long as you are not buying it and have room for it , I don't think you can have too much .

February 22, 2014, 11:11 AM
And I thought I was getting excessive with my accumulation of brass... I owe a BIG thank-you to those who helped me realize that I do NOT have a problem after all!!!!!

February 22, 2014, 11:20 AM
Never enough.

February 27, 2014, 08:54 PM
medalguy, let me know if you want to get rid of that 7.62x39mm brass...can never find enough of it. :)
Those look like government sale pallets of 5.56mm, but I could be wrong.

345 DeSoto
February 28, 2014, 08:09 AM
I just can't stop snatching up M1 Carbine brass...:banghead:

May 5, 2014, 03:05 PM
His brass in 5 gallon buckets is for little girlz. Real men keep it in 55 GALLON DRUMS!!

May 5, 2014, 03:16 PM
That's a lot of brass.

evan price
May 5, 2014, 03:28 PM
Im in process of moving. Took three truckloads to move the brass in 30 gallon barrels.
Dont even ask about the pallets of lead.
Never thought i would say I have too much.
Still cant say it.

May 5, 2014, 07:10 PM
I pick up everything I can find at the range. If I don't load for it I trade it off for something I do load or give it to a friend. I have for cartridges I have never loaded for and keep several hundred cases because they cost a lot and when I do eventually load for that cartridge I will already have brass. (I know, a little nuts...but)

41 Mag
May 5, 2014, 07:15 PM
Over the years I picked up batches of 1K for every caliber of handgun I owned, and a couple K for some I didn't even have at the time. I figured worst case I would have plenty to last me through my days shooting nice Starline brass. That still doesn't include the range brass or what I have picked up here and there from friends or purchased in once fired.

With my rifles, I grew up under a man who was set on go with his 30-06 and a few boxes of mil-surp ammo. We would pull the ball bullets, neck size the cases and load a 150gr Sierra Sports Master in them for hunting bullets. He got more deer than anyone else so I can't say they were all bad. Little did I realize until after he was gone just how many once fired cases he had squirreld away in the closets. As I got older I remember him telling me that if I should start to look at other calibers I should try and stick with something along the lines of the '06. So as I built my small collection, I picked up calibers based upon that case, as well as the .308 case.

Picking up once fired range brass at one time was really an easy thing to pick up either of these caliber cases. Not to mention some great deals through the years when things were good on once fired military cases.

So for the most part, while I don't have near what some have, I DO have plenty to last me through my time here in this world, and probably enough to last my three grandsons quite a few years into their adult life as well.

Even so I am like most, when I see it just laying there or see someone who is not looking much like they will use their once fired cases I am not too bashful to ask if they are keeping them or not. They will all be used in good time, whether by me or someone on down the line.

May 5, 2014, 07:18 PM
About 10 kilograms of brass per caliber. Rifle casings weight more but you spend them

May 5, 2014, 11:13 PM
Im in process of moving. Took three truckloads to move the brass in 30 gallon barrels.
Dont even ask about the pallets of lead.
Never thought i would say I have too much.
Still cant say it.

When your house collapses under the weight, then you have too much.:)

May 5, 2014, 11:54 PM
"Too much" is not a term that equates to anything related to firearms or hand loading. It's like the stupid comment, "I don't need that"... what is THAT all about?!

May 6, 2014, 12:31 AM
yep Arkansas Paul .. same sickness in South Arkansas too!!

May 6, 2014, 01:37 AM
Common low pressure last forever handgun brass like 45 and 38 I set a goal of 5k pcs. pretty sure I have that quota met for 38 but still have a thousand 45s to pick up yet. This way I have a years worth of range fodder loaded up at any given time and those cases only get worked once a year so unless I live til 100+ (highly doubt that :o ). same goes for stuff like my 380s and 357's. they are hard to find but at about 1200pcs of each, ill only work the cases once a year.

If you get to my range on a crappy day( no one out shooting), its a brass rats dream. one very very cold winter day I managed to pick up 5kpcs of 223 brass in less than two hours.

I still fight the urge to pick up 38 brass even though i have a lifetime supply... its just so hard to resist when there are nice neat piles in front of the firing line from someone dumping their wheelgun. Ill also clean up for other shooters on 9 and 40. I save the 9 for myself for whenever I decide to get a makarov and i give my buddy any 40 short&weak I come across. I also grab any big boy pistol brass I come across like 45 colt, 454, 44mag, 50ae, .500 etc etc. I dont own any of those... yet...

Ive also been caught eyeing 6oz wheel weights on big rigs thinking "what a waste, that could be a few cylinders of 38's!

May 7, 2014, 08:16 AM
Some brass I have in larger quantities than I think I will ever use, such as 308. Others, I only use recreationally, so I need no more than I will likely use in a day at the range. I live in a limited space, so storage is always an issue.

Bush Pilot
May 7, 2014, 10:40 AM
Too much stuff is when you have to use a forklift to move things around. Luckily, I have a pallet jack, a forklift would be nuts.

Jesse Heywood
May 7, 2014, 02:33 PM
Y'all are asking the wrong question.

I can't look and tell When I have too much brass.

But I can see that I don't have enough!

So, if your other half says you have too much brass, you have a good argument. :evil:

Arkansas Paul
May 7, 2014, 03:11 PM
jmorris, I want to do a Ducktails dive into that brass. lol

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