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Red State Rising
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking around at the different caliburs that I am going to start reloading, and I'm wondering if any of you ever buy brass? It seems to me that it's cheaper to buy your first set of reloading brass simply through the means of shooting factory ammo. Most places it seems brass costs nearly as much as the factory ammo. I've been just buying factory ammo for my first round, and saving the brass for futer reloading. Anyone find it cheaper to buy the brass and projectile separate?
 

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I bought some brass from Brass World www.brassworldeshop.com . I paid $7 per 100 for 38sp and .45acp, and $5 per 100 for .40S&W. Very clean, deprimed, and each bag had a few extras in it.

It is recommended by many NOT to buy brass. You don't know where it came from, if it had been reloaded 25 times already.

If you do, make sure you inspect every case before using.

After I bought these cases, I soon realized that I didn't need to because I always get more from the range than I went with. I also have my friends save their brass for me. In 6 months, I have collected 2000 pieces of 9mm and I don't even own one. Good reason to buy one I guess.
 
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Yeah, I have bought brass many times, mostly direct from Starline, some from Midway and other places. Brass has gotten so high that you might be right that it is cheaper to just buy the loaded ammo and save the brass. I guess it depends on what brass you need. .38s and 9mms still seem to be fairly cheap if you buy "once fired" brass. Of course, as 220combat points out, you never know if it really is only once fired or not.
 

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Ruler of Ramnation
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I've bought brass through Midway USA. I also use my own previously fired cases as well. It's been years since I bought any though...lately, I've been selling pistol brass. I don't reload anything but rifle for now.
 

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Old School.
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I am a brass scrounger at the range, as brass is the biggest cost to reloading. I don't reload the .40S&W but I have about 2,000rds just from it being picked up by the kids. The only brass I buy once in awhile is .223cal rifle brass. :13:
 

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Harley Dude
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14,651 Posts
I too will pick up brass out of the range buckets. Usually I will get 50 to 100 rounds every time I go. But it is getting harder to find the stuff since folks are taking it and selling it to the scrap dealers.
 

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Premium Member
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I'm a brass scrounger from the git-go. The only time I buy brass is when a customer has an order that specifies virgin brass be used. Often times, though, once they see what new brass costs, they'll say something like, "Well, just how much better IS new brass versus once-fired?"

I will say that I've been selling the heck out of used brass, lately. The new stuff is just so overpriced.
 

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I am a brass scrounger also. I have bought new Starline for the 400 Corbon. About 4 years ago, a buddy (who owned a commercial reloading operation) and I put a bid on and won a 55 gallon barrel of once fired brass from the County Sheriffs Department. You have any idea how many cases of 9mm and 40 cal fit is a 55 gallon barrel? He took all of the 40 and I took most most of the 9mm sorted by weight. Then we did the same thing at the Air Base for their once fired 2200 pounds worth. It was a mixed lot of 9mm, 45, 5.56, 7.62, 50BMG and some 20mm. Again, I took half and hand sorted them :yikes1:. Then cleaned them up, kept a big bunch and sold off the rest on Ebay and Auctionarms. Now this should explain why I have a cement mixer rigged up as a tumbler. And to keep up with my wife after she goes on a range rampage.

I would still be doing this for extra money, but because of metal the way it is, the commercial metals recyclers pay way more than I am willing to go any more.

Oh I should add that I am not above buying mil-surp once fired or pulled down brass for 30-06 and 308 from places like GIBrass when it could be had. I buy new brass for my other rifle calibers.
 

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Red State Rising
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am a brass scrounger at the range, as brass is the biggest cost to reloading. I don't reload the .40S&W but I have about 2,000rds just from it being picked up by the kids. The only brass I buy once in awhile is .223cal rifle brass. :13:
want to sell me your .40 S&W for a good price? ;D
 

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Banned
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See my thread in "General Gun Discussion" titled "Reloading Cost Breakdown For .223" I did a "cost analysis" of sorts on what it ran for me to reload 2,350 rounds of .223. While brass is the costliest component, there are several ways around it. While more are reloading, many don't simply because they don't shoot that much. I found a fellow on another forum who sent me all of 2,350 .223 cases for just the shipping cost. He picked them up off a police range he shoots at. They were happy he took the time to pick them up! Deals like that are hard to come by, but they are out there. If you reload .223, .308, .45 ACP, you can check military surplus suppliers. www.gibrass.com along with www.patsreloading.com have .223 for as little as $65.00 a thousand. That's not too bad when you consider the cheapest .223 ammo can now cost $10.00 per box of 20. If you take care of your brass, trim it and keep it clean, it will last many reloadings. The more brass you have for each caliber, the fewer times you will reuse it, and the longer it will last. Depending where you live you can even ask your local police dept. If they have any brass that you could have. They can be a good source for 9 MM and .40 S&W brass. Once you do start to reload, you'll become a scrounger as well. My wife and I used to shoot competitive Trap every weekend a while back. Once I fell into a 55 gallon drum head first trying to retrieve empty 12 Ga. shotshell boxes. Everyone got quite a laugh seeing me with just my feet sticking out! They all knew what I was doing. Bill T.
 

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Well, BillT you are pretty much spot on. For those true hard core reloaders or the obsessively annal, you can amortize your brass. Bullets, powder and primers are one time use consumables. You can figure that a most folks can get 5 reloads out of a 223 before cases start getting weird. Take the cost of the bulk load divided by the number will give you the cost per. Then take the cost per and divide that by the number of anticipated reloads and that is the cost of your reload. Now if you really want to go out there, subtract the return of selling off the bad brass from the original cost then run the numbers, that will give you the true cost.

If you do this, you are more a fanatic than I am. But me does the fact that I thought of applying accounting principles make me a fanatic or just nutz?" :crazy:
 

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Now if you really want to go out there, subtract the return of selling off the bad brass from the original cost then run the numbers, that will give you the true cost. If you do this, you are more a fanatic than I am.
You make a good point. And with today's scrap metal prices, you don't have to be too "fanatical", for it to pay off. Most everyone I know who reloads, including myself, threw away old, reloaded brass that was past it's service life. Now it would pay to keep a big box, or plastic garbage can out in the garage, or shed, and save it. You will get more than you think if you let it build up to a hefty amount. Bill T.
 

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Well I was always the ultra-anal one who did keep the worn-out brass and stuff I pick up at the range that turned out to have Berdan primers, and such in a box. I cashed it in when it became full or when I thought of it and used to chuckle at the "free money". Now I go out of my way to pick up the .308 and other foreign brass I see at the range, knowing full-well it's Berdan and not caring. At the price I got for my last box o' scrap, I'm giddy as hell! Same with a large box of 9mm that a friend of a friend asked me to "take off his hands" -- nasty stuff -- and I don't load much 9mm anyway. Well it was 34 lb of nastiness that brought me $50-something dollars (last year) and that was sure worth the trip!
 

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Harley Dude
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I keep all my brass except for 22 cal, but with the price of scap, I think I will start sweeping up the 22 stuff.

I buy new brass for 357 sig, 45 LC, and 44 Special until I build up enough to load up several boxes at a time. Currently I have about everything that I need but will continue to buy 357 sig new until I can swap out my Glock stock barrel for a lone wolf match barrel that I can use to shoot reloads.
 

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I used to buy new unfired brass when it was available. Now everything is getting harder to find. Brass for .44 special, for example, is impossible to find locally. It must be special ordered or purchased off of the Internet.

I sure hope Obam-whats-his-name doesn't get elected! Reloading supplies are tough enough to find already!
 

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I used to buy new unfired brass when it was available. Now everything is getting harder to find. Brass for .44 special, for example, is impossible to find locally. It must be special ordered or purchased off of the Internet.
Have you tried to buy it from Midway or Starline? starlinebrass.com Kinda of pricey, but they have it.
 

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A lot of ranges empty and sort their buckets of range brass and resell them. I usually scarf up from people that left their empties. If I grab brass I don't reload, I can go to www.ammobrasstrader.com, and trade it for brass I can use.
 

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A lot of ranges empty and sort their buckets of range brass and resell them. I usually scarf up from people that left their empties. If I grab brass I don't reload, I can go to www.ammobrasstrader.com, and trade it for brass I can use.
Cool site, just signed up.
 
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I have about 75 lbs of once fired mil. 30-06, 20 lbs of 30 carbine and about 30lbs of 38 spl. left,sold all the 308 and most of the 30 cal. bullets. Still have about 150 lbs of powder to get rid of but i guess i cant ship it anywhere so i will have to sell it at a gunshow or local. Im trying to down size my reloading area, i dont shoot as much as i used to.
 

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RADAR, If you want to tell me where you are, I might be able to help you out. PM me if you'd like.
 
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