Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

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Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by FWBGBS on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:35 am

Assuming proper range etiquette is followed... Is there anything you can divulge regarding the collection of other shooter's left behind brass?

Example: I recall reading one poster, on another board, whom only retrieved his own brass.
Reason? He didn't know how many times other shooter's brass was fired?

The wife and I frequent three local ranges regularly (1 - outdoor, 2 - indoor) and we're members of two.
In the past I've swept and retrieved the empties for two of my buddies who reload. One isn't even particular on the caliber; he smelts and makes brass canons on his lathe.
They both claim to reload until a casing shows signs of fatigue.

Is there anything I should know, or am I just over-thinking this subject (which I tend to do with everything).
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by XbonesX on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:26 pm

while not a proven method, I generally look at the primers of rifle brass to tell if it is once fired. if its brass colored like the case it generally indicates it is a factory, I find this not to be as true with pistol brass.

case splits and incipient head separation is the biggest worries about brass that has been fired one too many times. A once over of the brass and you can find the case splits, incipent case head seperation is harder.

Half way down Sierra's website explain this in more detail: http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/caseinspect.cfm

"Another useful method for checking incipient separation is to use a sharpened paper clip. To do this, use a small file to sharpen one end of a straightened paper clip. Bend the end to 90 degrees approximately 1/8-inch from the sharpened end. The paper clip is then used as a “feeler gauge” to check the interior case walls. Insert the bent end of the paper clip into the case mouth, and drag the sharpened point along the interior case walls. Any thinning or cracking can be readily felt as the point dips across the damaged area."

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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by Reload3006 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:56 pm

as far as etiquette goes if someone is there shooting and they say I can have their brass I take it. If they leave it I take it.

The first thing I do is put it all in a tumbler then check it for defects. If I see none I use it. If all I get is one load that one more than I had before.
Good Luck Happy Shootn
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by EdgarEg on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:16 pm

Chat up shooters during the cease fires. Tell them you reload. Ask if they do. If they do not reload then ask if you can have their brass. I have had people neatly return empty brass to the original box and give me 3 or 4 boxes of empty once-fired brass when they leave just because I asked nicely if I could have their brass.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by EdgarEg on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:17 pm

Don't forget the trash cans. It is amazing how much brass people throw into the trash cans.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by fletch_medic on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:45 pm

I'm with Reload on this. What does it matter how many times it has been fired? If you buy brand new brass and it cracks after one firing, you aren't going to use it. If that same piece of brass shows no signs of wear after 5 or 6 reloads are you going to throw it out anyway?? No. So as long as it passes inspection, I don't care if it is the 50th time is has been fired, I'm going to use it.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by FWBGBS on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:32 pm

That sounds like a neat little evolution to check the integrity of brass Bones.
I'll also comb through your suggested link. It looks to be very informative.

Thanks for all the replies. I figured it really doesn't matter HOW many times a casing has been used.
If it's still good it's still good (number of uses be damned).

I've been collecting brass for others since the mid 90s.
Now the hoarding will be for me.

On the same note...
I promised to take the wife out this afternoon for a little RNR behind a few of our new Christmas powder burners. She's dieing to try out her new Sig 239 Two-tone.
I called our local indoor ranges and both places were no fewer than eight shooters back. The RSOs said it has been this way all day (lesson: like golf, never go shooting on a holiday).
So, instead, I had my wife help me break down six sheets of A/B plywood I need for garage shelving.
Yeah, she wasn't too pleased with her day off, but we did get some quality shop time together.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by EdgarEg on Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:09 pm

Warning. This may be a little bit off topic, but just barely.

fletch_medic wrote:What does it matter how many times it has been fired? If you buy brand new brass and it cracks after one firing, you aren't going to use it. If that same piece of brass shows no signs of wear after 5 or 6 reloads are you going to throw it out anyway?? No. So as long as it passes inspection, I don't care if it is the 50th time is has been fired, I'm going to use it.
FWBGBS wrote:I figured it really doesn't matter HOW many times a casing has been used.
If it's still good it's still good (number of uses be damned).
So do you keep track of how many times your brass has been fired? I do, but lately I have been wondering whether it is worth the bother.


Last edited by EdgarEg on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:12 pm

I wish I could say yes I know but the truth is I have no freaking Idea LOL. I check it out very carefully before i load it if it looks good it gets stuffed. if it looks bad it gets tossed.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by george457d on Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:11 am

Also your going to want to ask the range .
I've been to a range that had a rule that once the brass hit the ground it belonged to them and you had to buy it back from them if you wanted it ...
I shot there once ,never again Bug
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by fletch_medic on Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:50 pm

I don't keep track unless it is brand new. (I have only bought new brass once in my life and that was for my rifle) And I only am keeping track just because I am curious as to how long it will last.
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by RichBirdHunter on Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:22 pm

I don't keep track, I just watch it and pitch it when it's bad
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by dartfreak75 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:36 pm

RichBirdHunter wrote:I don't keep track, I just watch it and pitch it when it's bad
thats what i do to
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by scorge30 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:19 pm

RichBirdHunter wrote:I don't keep track, I just watch it and pitch it when it's bad

yep me too, and I am the king of anal retentivness, I do not bother counting how many times a case has been reloaded
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by kcatto on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:21 pm

yup the range I used to shoot at had the when it hits the floor they own it policy.... so i rigged up a brass catching bag i put on my right hand and was catching my brass out of the .45acp and everyone that got around my bag I let them have.... they saw me using this brass catcher and asked me not to use it... I told them if the brass hits the floor I leave it but if it does not then I take it... they banned me from the range..... they sweep it up and sell it, which is fine for people who do not want their brass but me I like my brass... but I am still banned.... Sad
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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by B W M on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:37 am

kcatto wrote:yup the range I used to shoot at had the when it hits the floor they own it policy.... so i rigged up a brass catching bag i put on my right hand and was catching my brass out of the .45acp and everyone that got around my bag I let them have.... they saw me using this brass catcher and asked me not to use it... I told them if the brass hits the floor I leave it but if it does not then I take it... they banned me from the range..... they sweep it up and sell it, which is fine for people who do not want their brass but me I like my brass... but I am still banned.... Sad

I bet you have a lot of places to shoot! I would be the same way. Here in IN they have free gun ranges out side 25yd 50yd 100yd and a 200yd each has 3 shooting benches that can be used right or left hand they also have a cover to keep sun or rain off of you.

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Re: Range brass retrieval do's and don'ts

Post by scorge30 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:19 am

Our only surviving indoor range in the county will let you keep any brass that you purchase or bring. Only caveat is if it gets flung forward of the red line it stays with the range.

The county out door public range does not care if you keep the brass or dumpster dive. The range has 50, 100, 200 and 300 yard ranges for rifles and certain pistols like T/Cs.

The county out door range is nice they have new cement benches and a new roof. Other than the cement being hard and cold on the bum, it is a nice facility to shoot at.

The county asks $5 per shooter on the honor system, and occasionally a county public works worker swings through to empty the trash cans. The place is pretty nice but near hunting season can get really busy.

If I live closer to the range I would hit it more often, but it is an hour drive away each way. Sometimes though if the weather is nasty, the place can be a real treasure trove because others will not get wet to dumpster dive.


Last edited by scorge30 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Doh! Epic spell check failure)
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