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Start a used brass business?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bimmerboy, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. bimmerboy

    bimmerboy Well-Known Member

    Anyone ever had ideas of starting a used brass business? Collecting police range brass and then reselling? Does this seem worthwhile? I want to go beyond the Ebay businesses.
  2. The Law

    The Law Well-Known Member

    Are you thinking a buy/sell kind of thing?

    I'd be worried about keeping up my inventory.
  3. HeedJSU

    HeedJSU Well-Known Member

    seems like alot of work to me. most of the stuff you get on ebay is tumbled and deprimed, and then you get 1000 rounds for 35 bucks plus shipping (plus minus whatever)

    If you have alot of brass at your disposal, collect what you need, MAYBE keep stuff that people might trade you for, and send the rest to the recycling.

    That being said, If you do get started, I'll take some .38 special brass on a trial basis so I can attest to the high quality of your product! :D :D :D

    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    If you have a reliable and consistent source of brass then it might be a good idea. Remember, an online business will require a very large inventory so that the wait time for shipment isn't too long. That means you will need storage area which doesn't come cheap.

    IMO, you would do better if you sold reloads rather than the brass.
  5. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    Not so sure it'd be worth your time to start a business.

    Not that policing the brass left at the range and selling it isn't a bad idea.

    At my range, not many people collect their's, so I have a stockpile of all kinds of brass, even guns I don't have...Just so in the future, if/when I do, I'll have plenty of free brass to reload.
  6. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Most indoor ranges already have arrangements to sell their brass. I'm sure this includes PD's as well.

    Right now scrap metal prices are so high that I know people who scrounge brass at outdoor ranges to sell by the pound.
  7. vis-à-vis

    vis-à-vis Well-Known Member

    I take empty sherbert containers when I go to the range and scoop up all sorts of brass. I've just started so I only have like 1k various rounds. Mostly 9mm and .45 as these seem to be the most popular. I'm mainly saving them for myself for when I begin reloading my own.
  8. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Maybe as a side-business, but don't quit your day job. As has been mentioned, most places already have arrangements in place. Storage is expensive. It is also time consuming to sort through multiple calibers, let alone multiple headstamps. Look at what www.brassmanbrass.com and www.midwayusa.com charge for used brass as well as Ebay. I recently paid about $70 for 3000 9mm cases off Ebay. It was clean but not deprimed.

    Here's what you do: keep a 5 gallon bucket in your car and put any and all brass you find at the range in it. Once it's full, sort it by caliber, separating any non-reloadable cases (steel, aluminum, berdan-primed). Count it too, then see how long it took you. Depriming is optional, but certainly a good value-added service. Now, load it into a tumbler and clean each batch. You'll have to pay for tumblers and polishing media. Don't forget the cost of electricity to run the tumblers. Be sure to account for the wear and tear on a tumbler, they won't last forever, especially cleaning hundreds of rounds a day. Now, bag it and box it, then check the postal rates. Before you set a price, be sure to check current market prices by looking at your competitors on ebay, brassman, and midway. Pony up a few more bucks for ebay listing costs, paypal fees, time & gas to the post office, and packing material. If you have a website, you'll need to pay for site design, hosting, maintenance, and merchant fees for credit cards. You've been keeping track of every hour and nickel spent on this so far, right?

    You'll also have to pay your accountant a little extra to fill out a Schedule C, 1065, or 1120S every year. It's also illegal to run a business out of your home in certain areas without the proper licenses or permits. Pony up a few more $$$ for those permits.

    Oh yeah, and your wife will be pissed because there's dirty, smelly, toxic brass all over the house. Your kids will forget your name and your fingers will turn black. You'll also gaze at your bank statement wondering WHY you aren't making money at this!

    Still wanna sell brass? (And this was all for a dinky brass selling operation! Next time you meet a successful small business owner, pat them on the back.)

    My advice: scrounge what you can, even calibers you don't shoot. Once you have gallon bags full of a caliber, then sell them on ebay or give them to friends. Trade with other THR members. Don't bother with making it a business.
  9. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Close friend runs a recycling yard and has brass by the 55 gallon drums. He cannot sell this to the chinese, but they buy everything else. He has invited me to come out and buy as much as I want at scrap price, what he gets for the scrap, not what he would pay you or me. Remember, he is the middle man. Apparently he gets a lot of .308 from Ft. Jackson, and a lot of police dept. brass. I need to get by there, and soon!
  10. The Law

    The Law Well-Known Member

    You could make a killing selling it on Ebay!
  11. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    It's right at $2 a pound right now.
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    I think the liabiility would kill you in short order the first time someone blows up a gun with brass you sold them.
  13. Mainsail

    Mainsail Well-Known Member

    Here you go, this will get you started.

  14. vis-à-vis

    vis-à-vis Well-Known Member

    ^^ Lol! Thats 26, 783 LBS of .50.

    I say go for it. If you fail at selling cases at least you could start up a tuba or trombone factory.
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    As already noted, sorting is by far the biggest PITA. Go to e-bay and see what it's selling for, then subtract out scrap value. This give you the margin you have to work with.

    My local range has maybe 40 5-gallon buckets of brass. You can buy any or all for scrap price. Ought to tell you something.
  16. bimmerboy

    bimmerboy Well-Known Member

    I'm actually considering it more as a side business. And as pictured above... brass is available "pre-sorted" in military calibers at least. Only thing is that is seems the market does not want the military brass as it has crimped primers... this would mean extra work and/or equipment for civilians.

    I'm mostly hoping to get together with a police range... most of their brass comes from civilian cartridges. I've called a few police departments within an hours drive from me. Seems the hardest part is getting a police range to sell their brass to you instead of the other guy!
  17. bimmerboy

    bimmerboy Well-Known Member

    As far as the government liquidation page... it has a bunch of brass that you could probably buy cheap but in .223 they are advertising 5.56. I know they are similar but I wonder what the headstamp would have on it.
  18. Steve N

    Steve N Well-Known Member

    I pick up used AA, Nitro Express and STS hulls at the trap range and sell them on Ebay. It has brought in a few bucks to buy some nice extras. Its not worth even sorting out any other brands, etc, no one wants to buy them.

    At least there is a scrap market for used brass. If you get it for free, and don't value your time very highly, you can try to sell some on ebay. Make sure you mark it up high enough that you get more than scrap price, and make sure buyer pays shipping plus some handling charge.
  19. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    Anyone remember this post?

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=248673&highlight=brass+vulture http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=265449&highlight=brass+vulture

    In Calgary the police department reloads.

    Brother! Maybe we aren't related, but at the very least are you kin to any farmers?
  20. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    at the range i go through they reload ammo there and sell used brass. anytime you reach your hands in the buckets you will get someone telling you to put it back.

    kinda sucks

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