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homemade brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kush, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Kush

    Kush Well-Known Member

    I was just thinking about how some gun control people say that they should just ban ammo and I was thinking, I know it is possible to cast your own bullets and make your own black powder and have even heard that you can pound the dent out of a primer and refill the primer with the white heads from matches, but can you make your own brass?
  2. Chicken-Farmer

    Chicken-Farmer Well-Known Member

    With millions upon millions of used pieces of brass i see no point in making your own brass. If you are worried about the "man" taking away your ammo then start saving your brass now. Re-using primers is ridiculous in my opinion. The great 2009 scare is over and components can readily be found again. Stock up so that you don't fall victim to another scare. Don't waste your time grinding up match heads to "reload" primers. Even up here in the wilds of Alaska it costs me $3.50 for 100 primers of most any type. For $35 per thousand i'll buy my primers instead of reloading them.

  3. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    You can machine brass cases. To do it right you need a lathe, a lot of brass, and a lot of time.
  4. colonelhogan44

    colonelhogan44 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, everything but .357 brass! you'd think it was made of gold how scarce it is.
  5. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    Aint that the truth:what:
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    That's why you learn how to reload the obsolete .38-44 High Velocity cartridge, using .38 Special brass (appropriately marked with a Sharpie, of course :D). You won't achieve .357 Magnum performance, but you can get within 10% or so, and few shooters use full-power .357 ammo all the time anyway.

    It might not be a good thing to have lying around just waiting to end up in an alloy-framed lightweight .38 revolver, but it's a good thing to know how to do in case you ever find yourself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse™ without the right ammo (that would really suck.)
  7. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member

    Guys, it is a little $high$ but I just bought 500 new Starline nickel .357 brass about 4 weeks ago and they had lots of it in stock.

    Blue Star Cartridge & Brass


  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    Well now the primers are mostly in stock they have to complain about SOMETHING.:rolleyes: BTW I have 5K+ once fired 357 plated brass that needs reloading.:D Might be a good weekend project.:cool:
  9. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Well-Known Member

    Way too much trouble for an inferior product. Drawn brass is considerably stronger than something off the lathe. There was a spate of articles in the late 80's or early 90's that brought this to my attention including an article in one of the gun magazines which documented case failures of close to 100% in the first firing. And no, I can't recall which magazine/magazines or which company made the product.
    Apart from the functional issues of turned brass- do you KNOW what the specifications are for a primer pocket? This to include diameter, depth and radii AND the related tolerances? What about the diameter, depth and radii and wall thickness of the interior? And let's suppose you find and understand the specifications on every dimension for your straight walled handgun round, how will you QC your product? Will you inspect every dimension of every case? Ask any lathe guy out there- onesy twosey's are reasonably easy but what happens when you make thousands? Ask the lathe guys what their scrap rate is and how bad product was found. Are you prepared to indicate every piece of brass when you do the second side? Else your primer pocket could be off center and out of square to the bullet end. What about the metalurgic properties? Are you prepared to properly, no guessing now, anneal your cases? And to top it all off, you have to make each one as perfectly as possible. Your fatigue or daydreaming about Sue and her .......?
    are no excuse. What will you use as materials? Say you go with free machining brass. Your chips would weigh well more than your finished product. And be useless. At what cost? Your money would be far better spent on acquiring cartridge cases now. And should you decide to make something plain jane as a 30-06 case, the questions on specifications start taking on an even more ominous tone. Do you really want 50,000 psi going off a few inches from your eyes when you don't KNOW everything there is to know about making cartridge brass?
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    For true SHTF readiness?

    Two word-pairs.....flintlock rifle, flintlock pistol

    True 'old school' shootin' and enough proven power to bring down every animal in North America; four-legged or two.
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    Forget about the brass and start up a tin-foil hat production line.
  12. SpamHandler

    SpamHandler Well-Known Member

    To answer the OP's question....

    ...yes. Here is a production shop doing so. http://www.rockymountaincartridge.com/page9.html

    Smaller scale operation with manual lathes is also possible, but is VERY labor intensive and production is slow.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Please note that Rocky Mountain Cartridge only makes obsolete Black Powder brass using lathe turned brass bar stock.

    It is not suitable, or safe for smokeless powder high-pressure loads.

  14. thorn-

    thorn- Well-Known Member

    Here's a much simpler solution that coming up with plans to make your own brass:

    Buy 5K new starline cases, 5K cases, and bullets (or 10K, whatever). Don't load the brass at all, and rotate your stores to ALWAYS have 5K fresh components on-hand. If ammo is ever downright BANNED, there's going to be a limit on how much you can shoot before you're either arrested or killed anyway.

    It's not as if you'll just be going down to the shooting range with your banned ammo and practicing double-taps all afternoon in such a political environment. Ammo would become precious, not a hobby.

  15. jbrown13

    jbrown13 Well-Known Member

    Here is another place to find .357 Mag brass in stock. Never heard of "Jamison", but I would hope Graf's checked it out before offering it.

  16. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Jamison International bought all the old B.E.L.L. (Bell Extrusion Labs, Ltd.) case making equipment from PMC. They set it up in Sturgis, SD, and make a good quality product. BELL used to make the .45 Basic brass (3.250") for RCBS, which is the .45-120 Sharps case. PMC was supposed to make it, but they converted all the machines to making 9mm and .45 brass, but kept the dies in storage. When Jamison International bought the equipment, they also got all the old dies.

    Hope this helps.

  17. Kush

    Kush Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information. The part about the chips weighing more than the finished product really made the point.

    You probably wouldn't be practicing your double taps, you would be putting your practice you to use.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  18. thorn-

    thorn- Well-Known Member

    True words, that. ;)

  19. thorn-

    thorn- Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  20. SpamHandler

    SpamHandler Well-Known Member

    More to the point, RMC makes brass for obsolete firearms which require low pressure loads. That having been said, drawn cases are work-hardened at the case head by headstamping and primer pocket swaging, a process that doesn't exist in a turned product.

    This isn't nearly as important as case strength isn't nearly as important as the strength of the action (again, obsolete firearms can't support higher pressures). Case in point (pun intended) is the use of .45-70s in trapdoor Springfields (around 28000 psi working pressure) and the same cartridge in a Ruger #1 where 40k psi is allowable.

    Lastly, the OP seems to be using 'brass' as an interchangeable term for 'cartridge case'. Why limit the materiel to actual 'brass' when yield strength for aluminum is twice the value of brass and alloy steel has 4 times the strength? Both materiels are commonly available and are better candidates for turning operations.

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