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Buying Used Brass??

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Lowjiber, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Lowjiber


    Jan 26, 2012
    Las Vegas
    I reloaded (rifle cartridges) many years ago and am seriously considering getting back into it to feed my (and wife's) 9mm's.

    I've done a lot of homework and read the excellent stickies in this forum. I'm developing a pretty good spreadsheet to evaluate the ROI, etc.

    That said, I only have one "issue"...lack of brass to get started. I hate to think of the thousands of cases that I've swept up and discarded at the range, but that's water long gone under the bridge. Buying new, unprimed brass seems pretty stupid as the cost is around $0.25 each...I might as well keep shooting and collecting spent casings at that price.

    My question is: Does anyone have any advice about buying used brass on-line? I realize this is open to speculation, but welcome your thoughts.

    Thanks much!
  2. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas

    I have had good experiences with paolo at, especially when I was building up my stash of .357SIG & .45GAP.

  3. Fear Night

    Fear Night NRA Life Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    Sweet Home Alabama
    I don't trust "once fired" brass. I have no way of knowing if "once fired" is actually the truth without my own documentation of factory new brass or my own once fired brass. The Lyman 49th manual also recommends against using used brass that isn't your own.

    At the moment, I only obtain brass from 2 routes:
    1. Order factory new brass from Starline. Right now they have 1000 9mm brass for $118.50 (11.85 cents per). They make exceptional factory new brass and offer free shipping.

    2. Buy factory loaded ammo, shoot it, and save the brass. I also have friends and family that save their factory brass for me.

    Both of these options have more cost up front, but you can have confidence your new brass can be used for a LONG time. 1000 brass could probably get you 15-20k+ total cartridges; I doubt I've shot that many of any single caliber in my life.

    From what I've seen, used 9mm brass isn't that much cheaper than Starline at 11 cents per round. It just isn't worth the risk for me.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  4. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Yes. Brassman Brass is the company I've dealt with most. They are very professional and provide fast shipping. Good prices, too.
  5. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    I'm not a big fan of "buying" brass especially 9mm brass, with so... so much of it just lying about at the range. In my opinion the real issue for you is your brass cleaning & inspection process. I'm sure you remember from when you were reloading before that you and you alone are your quality control department.

    If you take the time and clean and inspect your brass properly, their is no reason why you should go through the expense of buying used brass - which you will most likely have to clean & inspect anyway.

    Of course it's your call and if you feel more comfortable buying "once fired" brass, I would recommend buying locally. That way you can see/handle before you buy.

    Good luck.
  6. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    For 9mm I would start out and buy a 100rd pack of Winchester white box ammo. Then if possible when going to the range start picking up range brass.
    The only pistol brass that I have ever bought were 44mag and 45gap just because you don’t find too many lying around.
    I have shot and used many thousands of pistol range pickup brass and have not had any problem with any of them. Rifle I buy new.
  7. ColoCG


    Mar 18, 2011
    I agree with UB. If you need some brass to start buy some cheap ammo, then start picking up range brass. There is nothing wrong with used brass if you inspect it before you load it. There is a ton of 9mm brass just laying around and most is once fired.
  8. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

  9. Fear Night

    Fear Night NRA Life Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    Sweet Home Alabama
  10. SigFTW


    Nov 4, 2010
    10mm I bought new (like I would find any at the range:crying:)

    All the resat, 9mm, 40S&W, 45APC, 45LC, 38/357, are from friends and pickup at the range. All my friends that don't reload give me their brass, I just ask if they don't mind picking up their brass when they go to the range. I have a ample supply now, not 10mm though:crying:.

    I have never had a problem with range brass. As for rifles I do take the extra time to fully inspect the two type I shoot, 7mm mag and 223.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  11. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have bought used brass for .45 ACP and .223. I would do it again!

    When I needed to start loading 9mm, I just went ahead and bought 1000 pieces of Starline brass. I have also bought some Starline for .45 ACP.

    Brass lasts a long time. Some of my .45 brass is going on 30 years old. I don't know how many times it has been reloaded and don't particularly care. It will last forever.

    9mm may not last quite as long. I don't have enough history with 9mm to know but I would expect it to last through 10 reloadings. Even new brass only costs about $121/1000 or $0.12/each. If I get 10 reloads, the cost of brass is $0.012 per round. That's less than 1/2 the cost of the primer!

    So, there's two ways to look at buying new brass: First, cash flow is ugly! You have to pay real money. Second, the cost per round is trivial. It just isn't a factor in the cost of reloading.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  12. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Even if it's not "once fired".... 9mm stuff can be fired 10 or so times.

    If you don't have any, I'd be more than fine buying a few thousand of just range brass and trying to add to it over time. It shouldn't be too expensive. You will find several ads here on GT of folks selling brass.
  13. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
  14. I disagree... i just bought some used 9mm brass for
    2.4 cents each... quiet a spread from your 11.85 cent new brass... just buy from a trusted seller/dealer with the option for return if not as advertised..
  15. Lowjiber


    Jan 26, 2012
    Las Vegas
    Thanks to everyone for the rapid responses.

    The range/club I belong to (Boulder City Rifle & Pistol Club) asks members to police their brass after firing. Admittedly, some don't, but there usually isn't a lot of the shiny stuff laying around.

    I just got a nice offer via PM from a GT member (I won't mention his name unless he wants to say so.) and he's going to send me some brass to get started. Heck, I haven't even ordered my press yet, but it won't take long. Meanwhile, I'll have plenty of time to thoroughly inspect each one before loading it up.

    I'm amazed at the new presses on the market when compared to the one I used to use for rifles. My wife is a gun nut too, and she'll likely be doing a lot of loading for us...NICE!
  16. Fear Night

    Fear Night NRA Life Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    Sweet Home Alabama
    At that price I could definitely go for, 2.4 cents per is exceptional.