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How much brass do you need and how do you organize it?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Katitmail, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    As others have said, I also pick up all of the brass around me when I am done shooting (Obviously after performing the customary courtesy check to make sure other shooters do not want their brass). I don't reload .40 or .223 but always pick it up because it is in demand and I trade it for other calibers that I do reload.
     
  2. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    Brass

    Coffee cans work for me.I put them in empty kitty litter buckets which stack nicely. IMO,I can't have too much brass in the calibers my son and I shoot especially handgun calibers.:evil:
     
  3. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Plastic bins.

    Do not get them to large or they get awfully heavy to try and move around easily (or even start to crack when stacked).
     
  4. Otto

    Otto Member

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  5. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I sort brass as soon as I get home, by caliber, into Akro bins. Then it's bagged up until I need it. Since I have brass that might be already cleaned, maybe deprimed or have other operations completed, I figured I needed a way to keep track of where I was in the stages of processing. So I started making up paper tags to put inside each container of brass indicating what had been accomplished. Essentially this is what's on the tags and I just either enter data or circle the steps accomplished:



    CLEANED
    LUBED
    DEPRIMED
    SWAGED
    SIZED
    EXPANDED
    CLEANED
    PRIMED________
    CHARGED _____ GR _____
    LOADED ____________
    CLEANED

    QTY _________
    CAL __________
    LOT # _____________

    I enter data for primer type, powder charge and type, and bullet info. This goes into the gallon baggies or whatever the brass is stored in, and may go in the ammo can the brass is stored in later. This keeps me from resizing brass that's already been sized and reminds me what primer or powder I used or the bullet used, all of which is useful information to have.

    I simply generated these tags using Excel and print out sheets of 6 tags per page.
     
  6. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    Need more info on your sorter please.
    Would you sell a set of plans?
     
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    This is what boys aged 8, 9, and 11 are good for. :)
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    A braincell and a bucket. good luck
     
  9. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    I pick up everything I can. Sort it, what I can't use I pass on to fellow reloaders.

    Brass not being immediately used goes into clear plastic bins. Brass going to be reloaded goes into plastic ammo boxes by headstamp and is labeled.
     
  10. mike.h

    mike.h Member

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  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    The main thing those straining pans won't do, is keep .380s out of my 9mms. I might get them anyway.
     
  12. Miata Mike

    Miata Mike Member

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    They make a .380 plate that fits inside of the .40 or .45 sorting pans. Works well, but adds another sorting step. I find that if you sort smaller batches of 9mm/.380 it works better.
     
  13. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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  14. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    I'm pretty anal about my brass. Winchester, Remington, Federal and PMC are all seperated. Misc headstamped brass in another bucket.
    The big coffee containers are fantastic for storing brass, BTW.
    How much brass? I have more brass than I could use in my lifetime. The only brass I pick up anymore is 45acp and 40S&W. I loose a lot shooting competition. 9mm and 38spl aren't going to run out, ever.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  16. Conservidave

    Conservidave Member

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    "I'm shooting 3 semi-auto calibers only. 9mm MAK, 9x19 and .45ACP"

    I thought 9x19 and 9mm were the same....? Is a 9mm MAK different than a 9mm Lugar? I don't mean to redirect the thread but it occurred to me when the OP said he was shooting 3 calibers..

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  17. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    9mm Makarov is 9x18.
     
  18. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    OP Here!

    Guys, couple things.

    1. I don't drink plastic container coffee :) Coffee geek here, buying from local roster fresh espresso beans...

    2. I don't shoot rifle and I shoot competitions and I don't have time. So, sorting by timestamp is not an option. I will have either "dirty" or "clean" brass. Thats it.


    I get some brass fom range after matches and need to take care of it. I don't think I want 5gal buckets of brass, I just need enough to load 1-2k at time.


    9mm MAKAROV is different from 9mm Luger. It's 1mm shorter, otherwise almost identical. Royal PITA to separate. And I really need MAK brass..
     
  19. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I sort out what I reload versus what I use for barter. I then throw them all in. Since I only reload the 9mm's and .44Mag in Pistol calibers, I don't have the issue with the cases getting stuck (unless a .40 gets in there by mistake).
     
  20. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    I need tens of thousands empty cases. I need all calibers. I can't help it. I only reload for 5 calibers but I pick up everything. I hand sort everything then I tumble everything. I have clear containers about the volume of coffee cans lined up by caliber on the top shelf, many calibers then I have ammo boxes crammed full of the calibers I reload for. I can't help it. I open the box and it looks like treasure.
    I scored 3600 Winchester (WSP) Small Pistol Primers today for $100. I keep doing that too, along with all the other gun goodies. Sue me. :uhoh:
     
  21. Conservidave

    Conservidave Member

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    9mm MAKAROV is different from 9mm Luger. It's 1mm shorter, otherwise almost identical. Royal PITA to separate. And I really need MAK brass..

    so how can you tell the case is a MAK without measuring, is it on the headstamp?
     
  22. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Yes, on headstamp. But you have to read each one.
     
  23. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    OP, you asked how much brass do we need and how to organize/store.
    The first answer is how much do YOU need? Keep in mind that brass is the single most expensive component in reloading.
    For some of us -- that is an awfully large number -- to the tune of whatever we can get a hold of and keep somewhere. Space constraints are probably one answer to that. I am by nature a brass whore/hoarder. I actually do believe that in some calibers I probably have more brass than I'll ever shoot. In some, the cushion is not as thick.
    At this point, I am only picking up range pistol brass occasionally instead of on every outing. Now, rifle gets picked up every time and whatever else is around that is fair play.

    Question 2 -- how to organize -- what makes sense to you?
    You mention not drinking the regular coffee swill, but do others around you do so? Work, neighbor, friends? If so, then they can be the source of free storage containers. At my office, the ladies know that I am keeping the big coffee "cans" and the empties keep appearing at my desk for me to take home.

    As you read above, many use some type of scheme that makes sense - keep like calibers in containers, zip lock bags, akro bins, etc. I also use a method as the one described earlier to mark what process that batch is on. There were some sample labels that were posted here some time ago. I modified mine to fit my needs and I print them out on plain paper in MS Word. Cut to size and then tape on the container. My markings use checkboxes and are mostly:
    Caliber
    Clean
    Lube
    Size/Deprimed
    Belled
    Primed

    there are also some for rifle that have a mark for pockets swaged (military crimped brass)

    My process is bring home a bunch of brass, if mostly pistol - toss into the sorter bins from Midway, toss into cans/bins by caliber, then clean in caliber batches. Once clean AL pistol brass goes into appropriate containers (do check/sort 45 ACP for primer size). 38 spcl gets sorted by headstamp, as does rifle. For rifle I use zip lock bags for each headstamp and then stuff those either in a big coffee can or ammo can.

    Hope this helps...
    EM
     
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