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Selling Bad Brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Capt Roy, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. Capt Roy

    Capt Roy Member

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    Just curios...

    I pick up a lot of range brass. When I sort them there are a lot I don't use and I have just been tossing them in the trash.

    Will metal recyclers buy these? I had a guy at the range tell me he got $1.30 a pound. I should have asked where but I just didn't think about it then.

    I called one recycler and he said there was no market because of the primers.

    Has anyone had experience with this.

    Thanks,
     
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Dont know what the problem is with the primers, they're brass also.
     
  3. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    Just take the primers out.
     
  4. Xfire68

    Xfire68 Member

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    Yes they will buy your brass cases. They will also buy any aluminum and steel cases. You get more money if you sort the metals. If you bring it in all together they will buy it as miscellaneous scrap at a much lower price.
     
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    HUH?....Not even close to the truth.............
     
  6. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Recyclers happily buy "cartridge brass" at a price set just for that item.

    Whoever told you that spent primers in the cases constitutes a problem is wrong.

    e.g.
    http://www.potomacmetals.com/services-drivein.html
    Brass

    * Brass Valves
    * Yellow Brass
    * Red Brass
    * Brass Turnings
    * Brass Shells
    * Brass Faucets

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Then what is the truth?

    They aren't ferrous as there is no magantic attraction.
     
  8. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    Here is what I found. So as I understand it, if the primers are still in there you will get mixed metal price over brass price.

    http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Ammunition.html
    Primers are made of a copper or brass alloy cup with a brass anvil and are filled with an impact-sensitive lead styphnate igniter. The metal parts of the primer are usually nickel-plated to resist corrosion.
     
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Can you cite to a real recycler's web site to support your notion.

    The cite to how-things-work-101 does little support this curious suggestion that you should expect to get screwed on scrap brass prices if you don't knock out the primers before you show up at the recycler.
     
  10. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    First off I was answering the question about what primers are made out of, but what the hell I will play along.
    I don't see how you would be getting screwed. I scrap a lot with my job. If you are scrapping copper it needs to be all copper. Not copper and other metals. For instances when scrapping copper pipe. If there are any joints in the pipe you will not get copper price for that piece of pipe. You will get mixed metal price. Here is another one. Air Conditioner coils, you get a aluminum/copper coil price. If you don't cut off the metal sides holding the elbows in, you will get mixed metal price. It would stand to reason if you are scrapping cases for brass prices they would not want any other metals in there, including copper and nickel.
    If you can cite to a real recycler's web site to support otherwise I would love to see it.
     
  11. GIJOEL

    GIJOEL Member

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    The problem that some recyclers have with the primers is the lead and chemical compounds that are associated with fired brass. I'm sure that the EPA has recycling facility's pinned down with a phone book thick reg book. So I guess you could say that it's not the primer being there, it's the crap it left behind.
     
  12. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    You are going to get whatever they are paying for CARTRIDGE BRASS no matter whether you wash it, dry it, resize it, polish it, or leave it overnight in grandma's underwear drawer.

    Its cartridge brass.

    I have NEVER heard of people removing the primers for the purpose of commanding a better scrap price.
    WHO IN THE WORLD is going to do that?
    The idea is simply ridiculous.
     
  13. TH3180

    TH3180 Member

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    If there isn't any scrap yards in my area that will take them with primers, then yes I would take the primers out to get a better price then nothing. I know as ridiculous as a little work for money over no work and no money sounds, that's how some people do things.
     
  14. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Here we sell primers from depriming. Spent primers by themselves are worth money.
     
  15. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Hold it. Did I miss something? Is this a reloading secret we need to know more about? I didn't see this concept covered on YouTube. :D

    What if it's 20 degrees, you forget to take them out, and granny puts on the undies? :rolleyes:
     
  16. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    OK,....

    So grandma's bloomers hold a thousand 9mm shells.

    That's 8.5# of brass if you do the math.

    At $1.30/lb., you can walk away from the recycler with the princely sum of $11.05 cash money if you can get the rascal to accept your brass with the primers still in it.

    If you gotta knock the primers out one-by-one, you figure it takes about 10 seconds - once you get the hang of it - to pick the casing out of the bucket, set the casing up on something hard, drive the primer out with a punch, or some such, and chuck the "sanitized" case into a separate bucket.

    That's 6 cases per minute.

    Or 166 minutes to finish grandma's bloomers -- assuming you don't have to stop for a sandwich or to use the bathroom.

    Of course, none of this takes into account your time picking up those dirty shells at the range, or your time hauling them to that stingy recycling feller. I think we should add 14 minutes (which really isn't enough) to get us to a round number of 3 hours "prep time" on a granny's-bloomers-load of brass.

    Comes to $3.68/hr. for your effort.

    I reckon that's worth it.
     
  17. hdbiker1

    hdbiker1 Member

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    I take all my bad brass, decapped or not, along with all the knocked out spent primers to the recycler at a current price of $1.40/lb. When I first started recycling brass, I asked about the primers and all they said was as long as all the primers were spent I was go to go. Btw, the most I've ever made was $1.70/lb.
     
  18. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I personally scrap a lot more brass than probably most anyone in this thread has. Right now I have over 900 pounds sitting waiting to be sorted and over 400 pounds of scrap!

    Most recyclers won't accept spent cartridges- AT ALL- because of the possibility of live rounds being mixed in. About half the recycling places near me won't take cartridge brass at all. There are two who will take it but only if it is first burnt or shredded- they cite live rounds as the reason. There are two who will take it as is- one is a specialty alloys company (didn't blink an eye when I needed to get rid of some cadmium) and the other is a smelter who is paying $1.25/pound for cartridge brass.

    The recyclers that DO take cartridge brass will take it either as "Cartridge Brass" at a slight discount over regular brass prices, or as "Yellow Brass" the same as plumbing fixtures, valve bodies, etc...

    I have never, ever been asked to separate primers from cases, or to even remove nickel plated cases from the yellow brass cases. Brass itself is an alloy composed of zinc and copper- a bit of extra copper is no big deal. I dump all my spent primers in with the scrap brass. The spent primer is brass as well. The trace of nickel isn't a problem. The scrap classification "Cartridge brass" allows for trace amounts of nickel as well as contamination with residue from firing.

    The reason the scrappers are probably saying you have to take out the primers is probably A:, they don't want live rounds, B:, they are trying to get it cheaper, C:, it's too much of a bother for them to deal with what is probably a small amount of scrap they don't see very often as compared to #2 copper which they get tons of, so they blow you off.

    Aluminum 'Blazer' cases can't be recycled as aluminum without removing the brass primers. They go as mixed metal scrap. Honestly, my buyers don't even want them at all. So all the aluminum cases I wind up with get mixed with all the steel cases, the clips from smelted wheel weights, the dross buckets, old mower parts, appliance scrap, etc- and those get dumped in cars I take to the shredder, which is right now $240/ton.

    I even save the bullet jackets from smelting range scrap and magnet-sort out the steel ones, then the copper jackets go for #2 copper at the smelter.
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    You know SOME of us here go to the recyclers to BUY brass that can be reloaded. I do it for one.:D They sell it to me for .25 a pound more than they give. That's a deal for sure.
     
  20. howlnmad

    howlnmad Member

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    Since you're sorting it anyway, why not clean it up and put it on the buy, sell and trade of reloading supplies on this board? I think you'd get more out of it that way.
     
  21. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I also sell a lot of scrap brass. I never sort anything except the different alloys: Pure or electrolytic copper 99 - 100%, gilding 95% copper, red brass 85% copper, yellow/cartridge brass 70% copper and a few other alloys. I dump the old primers in with the 70% brass and they have never said a word about it. You will definitely want to separate the alloys if you have more than yellow brass or they will only pay a fraction of the copper price. The higher the copper content, the more you get. They are buying the copper only, really nothing else (nickel, zinc, etc).
     
  22. evan price

    evan price Member

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    @howlnmad: The stuff I scrap is usually Berdan primed military surplus rifle cases, damaged/split/stepped on cases, the nickel plating is peeling off, it turned brown from being left in the mud, rimfire cases, A-MERC brass, stretched rifle brass with rings at the case head- stuff nobody would buy. I also sometimes sell common stuff like 9mm when I have so much of it that it's not worth keeping and the scrap value exceeds the sell price.
     
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