Purchasing Brass for Reloading (new/once fired, etc?)

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Eye_Peeled, May 11, 2012.

  1. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    Let’s talk about brass. I have been doing some research on NEW brass.

    It appears that you can buy big name new brass (Hornady, Federal, etc) in .45 ACP for between .30 & .37 each in a quantity of 100.
    Cheaper Than Dirt: Federal brass 100 ct $29.99
    Sinclair (a subsidiary of Bownells) and Midway: Hornady brass 100 ct $37.49

    Then I came across this! Top Brass has new brass with a “Top Brass” headstamp (their brand). Their price for .45 ACP is $81.99 for 500 ct! That’s just .16 per case! This is a significant difference but is it good brass? I don’t know.

    Does anybody have any opinion of this brass or any opinions/suggestions on brass in general? New vs. once fired? Is there a significant savings in buying once fired? Where do you buy?

    For the one who will inevitably ask “Why don’t you just pick up your brass?” My answer: I will. I haven’t saved brass in a long time but will start now that I have decided to start reloading again, however, I know when I get my reloading equipment I’m not going to want to wait for my spent brass to accumulate. I’m going to want to start reloading right away, like a kid who doesn’t want to wait for batteries for his new Christmas present.
     
  2. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    For what it's worth, here's what I know.

    I have never purchased brass for reloading. It has always been my own previously-fired brass, or range brass, and range brass that I know is once-fired is always a treasure.

    That being said, my good friend and former next door neighbor asked me to load a bunch of .223 for him. For his he purchased Remington .223 brass, new and unfired. When I checked the brass (5 bags of 100ct each), more than 2/3 needed to be trimmed to length. In my mind, new brass should be to spec and ready to load. I told him never to buy factory new brass again, just collect what he has fired or what he has picked up at the range.

    I have zero experience with factory new pistol brass, or any other kind of factory new brass other than mentioned here.

    My concern is not so much cost as it is quality and conformity to established standards. I spent way too much time trimming all that factory new brass to justify the cost of buying it for whatever consideration.

    Now, would I buy new brass? If I ever ran out of brass to load, then YES, but until then, NO.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers!
     

  3. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    That's good info. I guess my concern is whether brass you could acquire at a range would be good brass or the uncertainty of how many times it has been shot.

    I guess since I'm concerned with that I need to buy a couple hundred rounds and shoot it for the brass. Do that a few times and I would eventually have enough brass.

    I guess it makes more sense to buy ammo at .50 per round and have the brass when I'm done. Rather than buy just brass that's gonna run me 30 cents or so. I know you don't reap the savings until you've hand loaded a few times. Decisions, decisions.

    As always, thanks for your input.
     
  4. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Some ranges will sell the used brass they`ve collected off the floor from other shooters.

    The big range in Las Vegas does this.

    It`s cheaper than buying live ammo, but it`s mixed brands and calibers. Since I collect brass from our range (about 500 miles north of Vegas), I would not buy like that, but I can see reloaders in Vegas doing so. I think it is sold by the pound, and if I recall correctly (this was about 3 years or so ago) it was something like $5/lb for small pistol brass (up to 9mm). I may be wrong, it`s been so long ago.

    of course, there is no way of knowing the quality ad condition of the brass until you`ve cleaned it and inspected it closely, and maybe not even then. However, if collecting brass off of the range floor is not possible, this is an option.

    Just throwing that out for consideration as another possibility....

    Cheers!
     
  5. Augi

    Augi New Member

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    Midway has .45 once fired brass for $44.95 per box of 500. That's less than a dime per. Unfortunately, it shows that is backordered. Maybe if you appeal to your local police. You know, a little less Tazing and a little more shooting. :D
     
  6. jonm61

    jonm61 New Member

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    I bought some new brass for .40 and .45GAP, but I haven't even opened the boxes yet. I expected to not have much to worry about with new brass, but clearly I need to rethink that.

    I would be ok with buying once fired brass. As far as buying shooting range pick up brass, no way. There's no telling what that brass has been through, how many times it's been loaded, etc. I don't think the time spent in examining all of it would be worth the hassle. I do pick up my own and I try not to pick up anything that's not mine. To that end, I picked up brass catchers for rifle and pistol. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, so I don't know how well they work, though they got good reviews. The pistol one is a little awkward, because it straps on your shooting hand. The rifle one straps on the barrel and is adjusted back over the ejection port.

    Neither of them touch any moving parts. The hand one doesn't even touch the gun, except the strap on the hand touching the grip. They just sort of float over the ejection port. We'll see.
     
  7. shoognite

    shoognite New Member

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  8. jwilli22

    jwilli22 New Member

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    Eye_Peeled I bought 3500 rounds of 9mm and 2000 rounds of 45 once fired from Top Brass and for the most part, have been pleased. There is some damage brass in both calibers but not enough to complain about. You also get a few 380 and 40 to pop up here and there, once again no big deal. The thing I have found to be the biggest pain is the 45's are a mixture of small and large primers. Sorting them, I have found to be quite tedious, but I started reloading without brass, so I had to start somewhere.
     
  9. jwilli22

    jwilli22 New Member

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    Sorry Eye_Peeled it wasn't Top Brass I ended up going with it was BBR Brass. Sorry
     
  10. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    I've been away for a little while tending to the duties of life and missed the replies here. Thanks to everyone, everything has been helpful. Now, if I could just finalize my decision on which press to get!

    I can see where that mixed small primer/large primer issue with buying once-fired brass could be a PITA!
     
  11. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    The primer size just depends on the caliber you are loading. Small Pistol Primer for 9mm, .380, .38SPL, .357MAG, .40S&W, and Large Pistol Primer for .45....and Small Rifle Primer for .223.

    The confusing question would be something like:

    For 9mm, should I use WSP (Winchester Small Primer), or Small Pistol Magnum primer, or Small Pistol Benchrest primer.

    Then it gets confusing!
     
  12. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    I'm pretty sure there are .45 cases of both primer sizes. From what I understand it's the only caliber that is that way. I don't know whose decision that was!
     
  13. jwilli22

    jwilli22 New Member

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    The .45 with small primers have been Federal and Blazer. I was told that the companies were using small primers to keep the cost down, not sure but sound about right. So HS1, what is your answer to your primer question? I have tried Federal CCI and will be loading Winchester today
     
  14. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    I only ever use large pistol primers in .45ACP, sometimes large magnum primers.

    Small in everything else.

    Never used benchrest primers.

    CCI for .223, Winchester by preference for everything else.

    But that's only my preference.
     
  15. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

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    Yeah, the 45acps are turning up with small primers with regularity now.
     
  16. jwilli22

    jwilli22 New Member

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    Spent the day loading and cleaning .45 and yes I would say that I had almost as many small primer as I did large. I separate them after cleaning which seems to be a good method. I loaded 500 .45 with Winchester Large Pistol primers, and found them to seat very nicely.
     
  17. bluzy788

    bluzy788 New Member

    I've found that Starline is the best brass for straight-walled calibers. It's consistent and can be loaded with a minimum of case prep. All my pistol brass is now Starline, along with my 45-70 loads. Costs a bit more, but I don't get dented, partially formed or lengths or weights that vary by much.
     
  18. AF1Sgt

    AF1Sgt New Member

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    Just got 1,600 .45 once fired brass $40. Craigslist
     
  19. AF1Sgt

    AF1Sgt New Member

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    Just realized that my previous response may come across as "bragging" about my Brass find, didn't mean it that way. I simply was saying I got a heck of a deal on Brass on Craigslist and if I did, you can too! Look around on different classifieds sites and you'll be surprised what people will either give away or will sell dirt cheap. All the Brass i picked up is federal and winchester once fired and looks great; I just need to tumble them for a little while to give them a nice shine.

    Respectfully,
     
  20. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    I didn't take it that way, brother. That's a great find! At the range, if I pick up 1,000 9mm, I'll get around 400-500 .45 (or less), two or three hundred of them are mine to begin with :D. I still pickup everything I can get my hands on since I don't want to come across as being picky at the range. Plus, it's much easier to sort it in the shop than trying to cull out the 9mm at the range. I have so much 9mm brass now that I'll probably never need to pick up another piece. .45, on the other hand, is still in high demand in my book.