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A lesson in economics and reloading.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ZeSpectre, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Mentor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Deep in the valley
    I came back from the range this weekend with a (rough count) of 960 pieces of brass for the various calibers I reload and another 150 that will go into the scrap bucket.

    I was sitting in the "man cave" chuckling to myself and inspecting the cases before I tumbled them and my wife wandered in to see what I was doing. "GOLD!" I said, "I struck GOLD".

    She just looked at me :rolleyes:

    "So what's the big deal" she said, "Yeah you don't have to buy brass for a while but it's nothing to get THAT excited about".

    "Well," says I "if I bought this brass new (say from Starline) it would run me between $0.11 and $0.13 for each piece. So if we just average let's say $0.12 for each piece. that means you are looking at roughly $115.00 in brass that I just picked up for FREE"!

    So she thought that was nice, but then something struck me. I've only been reloading for a short period so I guess this particular thought had never bubbled to the surface before.

    Grinning I said to her "and there's more! Each piece is reusable, probably several times with my light loads and assuming I don't loose any of them".

    "In fact, I can probably get 5 or 6 (or more) reloads out of each of these cases! That means I'm saving that $0.12 EVERY TIME until the brass is unusable! Since I'm not buying new brass that means that, to me, this pile of brass has a total "use value" of about $575.00-$690.00 vs buying new ammo!"

    Suddenly my wife sees that little pile of dirty brass in a whole different light :D

    So once again I'd like to send out a huge THANKS to the folks who don't reload. Without you I'd be shooting a LOT less!
  2. Jason M

    Jason M New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Central Florida
    I think your epiphany is the same one every reloader has at some point. And it is a nice one to have, too.

    I have to agree about the non-reloaders. I was given about 100 .30-30 casings at the range Saturday. I don't reload, shoot or own a .30-30 rifle, but I know those who do. The brass I picked up is worth someone buying me a spot of lunch for it or something. I have in total about 200 .30-30 casings now. I pick up brass for numerous calibers.

    You can use your same epiphany to justify new brass purchases, too. New brass with light/medium loads will reload at least 5 times, too. So $22 for 100 .243 casings is really $4.40 for 100 casings (if you value spent brass as highly as new brass prices--and in this market these days, I nearly do).

    Fortunately, those shooting at my local range are not shooting economists; they routinely leave all their once fired Federal and Winchester .223 brass laying around. I could get at least 200 casings each weekend--at least.

  3. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Mentor

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    Went to the range yesterday with a co-worker in the USMC reserves to do "speed reload drills" with my AR.

    We burned through 150 rounds in about an hour and a half....

    There's no way I would ever enjoy this kind of shooting if I had to buy factory loads.

    Yet because I reload, it cost me <$20
  4. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Senior Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    The Land of Northern Hospitality and Southern Effi
    That settles it! I am setting up my reloading bench tomorrow night!
  5. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Active Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    My range does not have that much use so only once in a while do I see any used brass. But when I do i pick it up! Even brass that I don't reload yet! I figure just because I don't reload it now I may in the future. I love finding 223 brass because I'm currently reloading it. I agree it's like finding gold!
  6. JustAnotherPlinker

    JustAnotherPlinker New Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    have to be caseful tho, sometimes that "free" brass is the stuff the last guy left after loading it x10... Ive found some .45 acp brass like that.
  7. kennedy

    kennedy Active Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    southern Ind.
    since our club closed our range to out siders, brass is hard to come by as most of the members reload. But we do get some and trade it around. saves everyone a lot of money. I shoot and reload .40 and in the last 6 months been given over 2000 pieces of brass from club members that have picked it up over the years and don`t reload for it.
  8. Five of Clubs

    Five of Clubs New Member

    Jun 1, 2008
    My club has five matches (IDPA,USPSA X2,steel,ICORE) per month and NOBODY picks up their brass. Once they finish a stage, they move on to the next lane without picking anything up. Since I have started reloading I go there nearly every Sunday afternoon, shoot for a while, and pick up every case that looks like it can be reloaded. I finally had so many that I just sold some cases in calibers that I don't reload. Now, thanks to free brass, I will be shooting that much cheaper for a while.
  9. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Mentor

    Feb 6, 2007

    ......you have no-one to blame but yourself when she comes home and tells you of all the new clothes she bought with the money you saved.:banghead:

    just sayin'.:D
  10. VonFatman

    VonFatman Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Just a Smidge outside of Kansas City
    Heck, I have so much .45 ACP brass it's crazy. I never load the stuff hot and will NEVER EVER use it all. Never once did I buy new brass for: .45 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special or .357 Magnum...

    I can't help myself, I still pick it up...that way I don't feel so bad when I'm in a hurry and don't pick up every last piece!

    I just wish I'd find more .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt,
    45 AR etc.

    Sometimes I trade my used/range brass to others...mostly I just hoard the stuff...I'm sick.

  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Elder

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    I agree with everyone, reloading is a necessity if you want to shoot a lot, especially with today's prices of factory ammo.

    Most stores are charging $15.99 for a box of Remington UMC .38 Special.

    At the current prices of components I can make 50 rounds of .38 Special for $4.02.

    Instead of shooting only 100 rounds a week I can easily afford to shoot 300 or more rounds a week for the same price. I am very happy I reload!!!
  12. evan price

    evan price Mentor

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    I brought home 38 pounds of mixed brass this weekend from the range. It filled a kitty litter bucket. After sorting out the scrap brass (which was about ten pounds) I have all the rest to tumble and hoard. My wife thinks I am crazy. She sees the brass buckets and asks me why I need more. "Because it's there!" is not something she understands.

    What totally makes it awesome is that so far I have been shooting for free. I have lately had enough brass surplus that I have been able to sell it from time to time in order to use that money to buy primers, powder and bullets.
    I traded 7000 9mm cases for a .223 AK. Tell me that's not cool.
  13. Springfield_1911SS

    Springfield_1911SS Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    1 state with no CCW
    I can not recover as much brass as I'd Like, When I got to the family farm I can recover about 50% of the brass we shoot, because we shoot in short grass. When I shoot at my uncles Last time a shot at my uncles farm I found 3 out of 300 .223 cases in the long grass(thats why I use wolf steel there now). When I go to the local indoor range people are pretty good about sweeping up after them selves and putting that brass in the range bucket(you can't take from it) and I only can usually recover about 85% of what my buddies and I shoot

    Instead of buying new brass I buy it once fired(that what the label says at least) brass I can get like 250-300 rounds for less than price of 100 new ones

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