Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Jun 3, 2021.
Rarely I have bought brass for handloading cartridges I did not have commercial ammo for.
Off the top of my head, I have bought
_ .38 S&W brass for a BP revolver
_ 6.5x52mm brass necked for .268" bullets
_ .45 AutoRim brass to handload for a cut .455 Webley No1 MkIV
one hundred each of those plus 40 .30-30 and 20 .303 Brit brass I bought new for experimenting in BP cartridge.
That's versus thousands of reloads of commercial cartridge brass fired in my guns.
When I get a new caliber I buy good quality ammo and reuse the brass.
I'm not saying I'm against buying new brass, I've just never had a reason to. If I got into competitive shooting I'm sure I'd want to get some good Lapua or Starline.
I've seen fist-fights between brass chickens on open ranges before. Not my thing.
I'm not retired yet so my time is still my most valuable commodity. I buy brass cheaper online and from the indoor range than my time picking it up is worth. I added up the time it takes to gather all my brass a couple of times and applied my hourly compensation rate to that time. For common pistol calibers, semi-auto not revolver (those I eject into a box and take with me) it cost me more to pickup and process my own brass and everything laying nearby than it costs to buy wet-cleaned, decapped, sorted brass for one caliber online. I leave my semi-auto brass lay at the indoor range as my contribution to the club; and then sometimes I buy it at a discount from their buyer, cleaned and ready to load. Sometimes he's more than my usual online suppliers, though.
I do pickup brass at the outdoor range for my rifles - but just rifles and revolvers. Unless it's old stuff that's on its last loading because of stressed necks or bases. That stuff I leave for the brass chickens to fight over.
With prices like they are for ammo, and components, it's getting hard to tell which way makes more economical sense.
My range has multiple members that show up to police the brass like a full time job, it isn't really laying around for free, I'm lucky if I leave with a much as I brought.
For .223 I keep my own previously reloaded shells for future use, but so far I've always had more than enough once-fired brass that I haven't had to reload any cases a second time. The "Twice-fired" bucket just keeps getting fuller and fuller.
The only brass I buy is 300 AAC. There's hardly ever any to pick up on the range I use, and converting it from .223 is more of a pain than it is worth.
When I think of all the work I put into making that annealer that I've never used... But it was fun making it.
He's to stingy to shoot any rifle calibers, and over the 8 years or so we've shot together, I've gotten less than a batch of 50 of 30-06 and 30-30 from him. When times are plentiful, reloading isn't something he'd consider. Not that he would reload in lean times either.
I've bought new 30-30 brass as well as loaded ammo. I will only use fired rifle brass if it's known firing. Mostly I avoid rifle brass from forums as unknown.
Pistol brass is different though and I'll gladly buy it if it's a good price and I need some. I can always trade some of the free brass I get too. I trade all the 9mm brass, 40, and any of the undesirable headstamped 38 and 45 brass for calibers I need.
I recently traded 500 38 special cases for 250 357 magnum cases.
I buy all of it
Well, not quite. I haven't ever bought .45acp brass. But all the other cartridges are Starline. Most is purchased, and a small minority is from factory ammo which I pick up after shooting.
I don’t discriminate when I’m stocking up...or when I buy a gun in a new caliber.
So now I buy my rifle brass if I need some and pistol if it's a new caliber to me. I have enough pistol brass to last my life time and then some.
I haven't bought factory centerfire rounds in I don't know how long. The factories rarely offer exactly what I want, and all of it is horrifyingly expensive as far as I am concerned.
My local indoor ranges all have "no scrounging" rules. One even has a "If it hits the floor it's ours" rule, meaning that even if you drop a piece of your own brass you're not allowed to pick it up. (I haven't been back since they instituted that silly rule, and don't plan to). That leaves brass from the outdoor ranges: dirty, stepped on, lord knows what it's already been through.
So I buy all my brass. I don't really see any reasonable alternative.
<edit> Every once in a blue moon I will see someone dumping his just-fired factory brass onto the ground. If it's something I use, I'll ask the guy if I can have it, and so far have never been turned down. So I have gotten a total of a few hundred once-fired cases in .357, .44 Magnum, and even 500 S&W that way - but it's so rare as to be negligible.
For the last 3 or 4 years he was in he'd take a plastic trash can and a snow shovel out to the range and collect up brass. Then about once a month I'd ride my M\C down from Greenville to Sumter and fill the saddle bags with brass.
Have plenty of 7.62x51, 5.56 and 45 Auto, just wish I would have grabbed some 9mm.
The 10mm is for another pistol I'm building, and 10mm is HARD to find at the range lol... I found 7 out of about 700 pistol cases I had picked up. Which is most of my stash with the factory ammo cases I've kept. But I always seem to come home with more brass than what I shot...
Bought some once fired from a few members here. I've also bought some new 7,35 Carcano, 45 AR and 50 BEO before... but I've never seen those for pickup anywhere at a range.
Most of my 9 Luger has been from range pick up over the years, the last few years has been slim pickens though. Majority of my .38 Special is from my dad, who got about 800 cases from a local PD practice range back in the late 70s. My .357 and .308 is mostly factory ammo I unloaded. Mixed in the .38/.357 is some I inherited from my Grandpa.
I only buy when It’s all the same manufacturer, all the same headstamp and of course the price has to be inline with what I believe is proper.
For the common - 9MM, 40 S&W, 38 Spcl, 357 Mag, 45 ACP -- plenty on the ground for me to pick up. Even 223, and 308. And it helped that my rich uncle would "give" me some once-fired from the range too.
90% of my .223 is range brass I picked up, and I would be OK with it all being range brass. When you have a lot, been picking it up for decades, you can sort out a pretty nice batch if you need to.
I have a lot of .308 range brass, but bought my "match" (Lapua) .308 brass. My .30-30 brass is range brass, I bought my .35 Remington, my .30-06 is range brass, I bought my .458 Win Mag. I bought my .22 Hornet brass, my .222 brass (No longer have the gun), and my .222 Mag brass.
I bought my 6 Dasher brass naturally. I bought my Hornady 6 Creed brass (Gave the rifle to my nephew to shoot PRS with, and so far he's using factory ammo). I have 100+ 6.5 Creed brass and sorted out 50+ Hornady cases to start loading for my older brother one of these days, and he's saving his factory Hornady brass.
I shoot a lot more pistol calibers than rifle calibers. I tend to be more serious with rifle (Have a purpose), where I shoot pistols for fun.
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