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Is Brass More Easily Scrounged Now Or Is It My Imagination?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by otisrush, Aug 1, 2018.

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  1. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    The last few times I've been to our club's pistol range I've noticed more discarded brass than normal. For a number of years I'd look in the buckets and find nothing. Occasionally I'd see some stuff worth picking....and I'd pick them out one-by-one until it looked like I got what was there.

    The last few times I've been there there has been so much I've just used my hand to scoop out tons of stuff - knowing I'd have to pick out the steel and .22 when I got home. Today there was just too much good stuff in there to warrant going through it at the range. So my bag got loaded up.

    With ammo prices dropping, and having seen a variety of threads like "Is 9mm worth reloading?", I'm wondering if we're seeing the logical outgrowth of price drops and people just buying ammo - that being tossing the brass rather than keeping it.

    Are folks seeing more than the usual amount of discarded brass where they are? We talk frequently of "stocking up" when things are good (bullets, primers, powder). I hadn't put brass in that category of something that needed stocking up.......but I am now.

    OR
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    its a good thing to get range brass none around here. its hard to say why some are using more or just not keeping it. im kinda crazy about picking up brass ill look for 10 min to find the one case that fell after shooting a deer lol. ps. if u find ant 7mm wsm brass id like to but it from u or 44 mag and 45/70
     
  3. CLP

    CLP Member

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    9mm, 5.56, and 7.62 aren't worth reloading for plinking for me currently. But they're still worth collecting. With deals on sites like lucky gunner, the price difference between loading plinking ammo vs buying means that stuff I find at the range gets stuffed in a sack. I'm sure I'll get around to sorting and loading them someday.
    However, the only brass I typically find is 9mm, 40 S&W, and 5.56. I don't load or own 40 S&W but I collect it anyway. I find the occasional 45ACP, 44 Mag, and other rifle brass that folks usually missed when they collected their own brass.
     
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  4. bbqreloader
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    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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    Thinking complacency..times are good..that's all they know. I started reloading a few years ago during the "lean times" when components were hard to find. So I haven't hoarded, but think I established a nice supply to get me through a four year drought, at least for brass. I don't pass up brass when the the RO's or other people at the range slide it down my way, give em a smile and a thank you. Take everything home, sort it, bag it and store it. Done a few PIF's here with extras that I have accumulated that I don't shoot or reload for, but heck it helped another member out and that's what counts!
     
  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    My theory is A) there are more new shooters that do not reload and B) the last shortage has become a dim memory to most shooters now that supplies and ammo are more plentiful. Heck I have seen on here even, some selling their reloading kit (s) because they think it is a pain to reload again in times of plenty. Really short sighted IMHO. Most of us that have been in the reloading game for many years (40+ for me now) can tell you that the drought will return again and again so buy cheap and stack deep is a good hedge against increasing costs and future supply problems. Rimfire ammo and primers are the two biggies for my stack.:thumbup: FWIW extra brass might be trading materials in the future if CA style laws on ammo purchases are expanded elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  6. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    In hindsight, maybe one of the fortunate experiences in my reloading life is having started it during the last drought. I remember when I had all necessary components and equipment to load 9mm - everything - except powder. I looked and looked for powder. I made a list of my approved powders on my phone and I'd go into stores every time I drove by one - on the hopes I'd find maybe just 1 lb of the powders I'd previously researched and put on my list. Between that experience, as well as not being able to buy .22 for a year, it became burned in my head that droughts are not fun and, yes, they will come back. It's just a question of when.
     
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  7. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Brass must be readily available just based on prices I see. I knew I would be buying a 45 acp so I accumulated supplies. The brass I could buy so cheaply that I won't cry if I only recover half at every session.
     
  8. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    This year especially, I have to pick up 100-150 9mm brass just to try and reclaim my 380. Some 40s and 45s in the mix. I already have a healthy supply of 9s. But figure one day I might talk my son into reloading.
    FROGO207, I think you are right. People forget easily. History does repeat itself.
     
  9. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I think there is more brass. Not a lot more, just more. Don't know why, but I can only speculate that there are more new shooters, and some reloaders are not bothering with the common calibers like 9mm.

    I used to pick up everything I could find, being a fairly new reloader. Then I started getting picky, just looking for 45acp. I am somewhere in between now, I pick up what is on the ground when it is convenient. The indoor range where I am a member, they will sweep brass up against the wall for me, so I get an abundance of 9mm.

    I do reload 9mm, but I have my own brass that I try to keep separate, since I have already inspected them for stepped cases, 380 cases, NATO crimped primer pockets, etc. Any new brass that is not mine, I dump into a separate bucket.

    I recently sold a bucket full of 9mm to a friend for less than the scrap price of brass (about $1.65/lb in this area), it came to $100 for the 5gal bucket. He has a couple of full-auto 9mm he has to feed. ;) I think it took me a little over a year to collect it. So, even if I don't use it myself, at least someone else gets use out of it and I get a little money to spend on more bullets or powder.
     
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  10. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    You are talking to a guy that has 3 five gallon buckets of 9MM brass just because it was there for the taking over the years. My 45 ACP, 223/5.56, 308, and 40 cal are not that far behind either. Can't see leaving money on the ground when I can just pick it up.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Absolutely free brass is more plentiful now since the craziness is moistly recovered. People were sitting on ammo, shooting less, more people were saving the brass, but now once again people are leaving beautiful once fired brass laying on the ground for us scroungers.

    I have actually stopped picking up .40, I have several buckets of it, and recently gave both of my kids a five gallon bucket full. Now that it is showing back up part of me hates to leave money on the ground, but the other part of me leaves it for the ones who need it more than I.

    I still get giggly when someone leaves nice once fired .38 Spl & .357 brass on the ground. I don't find it as often and certainly don't have five gallon buckets of it. About a half a bucket of .38 and maybe 1K extra .357.
     
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  12. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    Yeah, the revolver guys should throw their brass on the ground like everyone else. :p
     
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  13. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    At the range I'm a member of, there were guys that that would come just to pick through the brass. It was somewhat lucrative cash at the time. Some were members, some were not. Now we have a card swipe gate and cameras.
    I do try to encourage a new shooter to collect their brass, that they may decide to reload one day.
     
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  14. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Yes after searching weeks on end for powder when we found a pound we would do an Irish Jig to celebrate! So yes the wise among us have a stock of what we need and use.

    Likewise I have (3) 5 gallon buckets 9mm and about 10 cat litter jugs full. I'm at the point now where I really don't want to pick up brass unless it's lying on a tarp or if it's in a pile. I rather buy 6000 pcs of tumbled range brass which I could if I wanted for $120.00 shipped. I'm planning on shooting some production and using up some of my range brass. Like you I separate calibers and use it for trades.
     
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  15. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    During the shortage, I would go to every gun show to see what I could find. I would buy a pound of whatever pistol powder I could find. I've tried lots of them, see how they worked, used up what I did not like (still in the process of doing that) and stocked up on what I did like when it was available again. I've got more than enough to keep me busy for several years now.
     
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  16. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    The outdoor range where I go, everyone is supposed to pick up their brass and dump it in the buckets. Once in the buckets, it is off limits. People generally sweep up the brass on the concrete, but not in front of the firing line, so I sometimes take the time during cold range to pick some up.

    I like to strike up conversations with the other shooters, and mention that I reload. Sometimes they offer me their brass. If they show any interest in reloading, though, I tell them to save their brass.
     
  17. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I think, more than anything else, that there is not currently any economic incentive for people to pick brass and then re-sell it. The for-profit brass pickers that panics/shortages/bubbles encourage are extremely thorough... just as thorough as the for-profit .22lr buyers-and-resellers were. These are the clowns who show up at the range (or Wal-Mart for .22lr) at 6am to pick everything clean. They currently cannot make any money doing that, so there's plenty of stuff around. As soon as a shortage re-occurs, they'll be back, making the shortages worse and longer.

    I'm not a fan.
     
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  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Not at my gun club. Brass does not stay long on the ground.
     
  19. Snoopz

    Snoopz Member

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    As mentioned in a lot posts, new shooters, cheap prices on common factory rounds,
    and those places that stocked up when they tried to speculated on price increases like
    "futures" on the stock market. Some places / people just don't want to deal with the
    common calibers, seen a lot just dump it for scrap than waste time reloading it. Then
    again when the "panic" hits, it will be high prices whether components, brass etc.all
    over again, then it will be "I wish I had picked up my brass or started reloading" Me I
    have enough to last a long while, even have a few coffee cans full of .22LR cases to
    make .22 cal bullets, the molds for the cores, and core wire, even copper jackets.

    -Snoopz
     
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  20. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    My best source of high-volume brass is doing reloader yoga after cops train at my local range. Provides all I could ever use.

    Supply hasn't changed since the last shortage, but interest in picking it up does seem to have waned.

    I just wish more cops shot 45 ACP...or 357 mag.
     
  21. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Now is the time to gather all the components you use while the demand is low.
    Ten year supply of powder and primers, those I can’t make. Cases and boolits I can handle. I only shoot lead boolits now!

    Let’s see, how many shortages since 1989? No 2400 and bullseye and primers———

    But the thing that is really scary today is the deterioration of the brain to mature and accept losing! Yes it really is scary!
     
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  22. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I'm finding more brass lately. I think its mostly because ammo is plentiful again. I've been through several shortages and have learned to keep some components in stock. I did not have to quit shooting or pay inflated prices during the last shortage or the one before that. I probably have a lifetime supply of brass but I still pick it up. I'll save the desirable head stamps for my use or to help new reloaders. The lesser known brands either get scrapped or polished up and sold at gun shows during shortages. I guess its kind of addictive.
     
  23. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I once bought 60 pounds of police range brass at scrap junk price from a friend in an effort to obtain some 45 acp cases. I got 1 1/2 pounds of 45 and 1/2 pound of 38 spc, 15 pounds of 223 and the balance 9 mm. That’s 43 pounds of 9mm. Bad buy!
     
  24. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I suspect that newer shooters who are not into reloading are the ones leaving a lot of brass, usually .223Rem or 9mm, the common calibers picked for plinking or self-defense.

    Is Brass More Easily Scrounged Now Or Is It My Imagination?
    I save brass for reloading, and what I don't reload I cash in at the metal recycler and stop at the gunshop on the way home to buy primers for the next season.
    I will scrounge brass abandoned at the range, and sort it out when I get home.
    Most past seasons I did well to accumulate one gallon ziplock freezer bag full for the recycler.
    Last season I turned in two gallon bags.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  25. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    That's close to the ratio I pick up at our range.
     
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