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7/8/2020 3:01:36 PM
Posted: 5/2/2011 2:41:42 PM EDT
I am getting ready to start reloading 223 and I wanted to know what is the best way to acquire brass.  Is it best to just buy some new/once fired brass or buy brass ammo and shoot it and gather it up.  Which leads me to my next question on good ways to gather brass at the range.  I have two ranges that I frequent, one it an indoor range and the other is an outdoor range.  The indoor range is easy to pick up brass.  The outdoor range could be difficult.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 3:03:40 PM EDT
The answer would depend on what your planning on reloading for and your budget.  Precision , plinking, training, SHTF, zombies
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 3:21:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ReefRaider:
The answer would depend on what your planning on reloading for and your budget.  Precision , plinking, training, SHTF, zombies

Mostly plinking.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:02:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 6:05:46 PM EDT by 88_Sahara]
I bring a broom, dust pan, and bucket to the range with me. Voila, free brass

ETA: I don't pick up old brass and clean it up for reloading. I pick up every piece of brass I can and put everthing that I know didn't come out of a new box in my junk brass bin. I only use rifle brass that I have seen coome out of a new box.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:17:15 PM EDT
Range pick ups should do then.  Keep an eye out for cases that have been reloaded.  You never know how many times its been reloaded.  If you do buy ammo try and buy commercial brass ammo like RP and Winchester.  Both are good brass and they will not have a crimp in the primer pocket for the most part.  Some shooters at outdoor ranges will let you have their brass.  Take everything you can get.  The brass you don't reload for can be traded for brass you do use. Or be scraped to fund other components.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:22:37 PM EDT
WHOA!  You have to be very careful about rifle brass.  Unless you know the brass is once fired by watching a shooter create it....you have to assume that the brass is shot up and not worth you time.  Unless you find brass with crimp in primers that is sure sign of once fired brass.  You can be cheap and do something that my create a problem for  you.  New reloader need to keep things simple!  The KISS method.  So, till you get your feet under you...stick to new brass or high degree of probability of it being once fired brass bought from a good source like BrassmanBrass.com or local range that only allows factory ammmo......

Grafs has LC new brass pretty cheap.....
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:23:05 PM EDT
First, when you go to the range, look for someone shooting, but not picking up their brass.   Approach them, and in a friendly manner, ask if they are saving their brass.  If the answer is "no", they'll usually follow it with "Feel free to pick it up."  But if they seem grumpy about it (even if they say you can have it), back off.  You don't want to be the annoying guy.

Second, ask the ranges themselves if they sell used brass, and for how much.  Sometimes they sell it pretty cheaply.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:27:35 PM EDT
Unless I see someone pulling ammo out of new boxes & loading it to shoot, I leave bottleneck cases on the ground. I don`t know how many times it has been fired. Hate those nasty case head separations. Nothing like having flames coming out of the ejection port.

Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:33:47 PM EDT
Take a carbine course.  All new factory milsurp brass, and you'll have so much of it you'll be sick of case prep for a long time!

(Seriously, you'll have to either scrounge at the range, or buy it from somewhere.  Everyone adverstises it as once fired, but yeah, who knows.  Just inspect it real well after tumbling, watching for splits on the neck, loose/missing primers, and other signs of case abuse.)
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 7:48:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 7:56:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 1:09:05 PM EDT
I find the most consistant brass to be civilian, non crimped, such as R-P, Win, S&B and best of all, Hornady.  No Federal, even the current stuff.  I have a batch of once fired LC07 that is very poor for reloading due to large primer pockets.  If brass quality is in question,  look for sealant on the primer, heat discoloration from anealing and so on to determine if it is once fired.  If the primer goes in with little or no resistance, press it back out and toss the brass.  Make sure brass is trimmed to length.  Load small lots to get experience so that if a mistake is made, it won't be a costly mistake.  you won't save much reloading 55 grainers but you can load "match" rounds and save quite a bit.  Try Sierra 69 hpbtm with their accuracy load, 25.3 Varget I think but don't trust my word, look it up.  Good luck, dlblem
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 5:12:56 PM EDT
I just purchased a batch of 5000 once fired military surplus. It was advertised as "tumble cleaned with walnut". Their standards for clean is quite a bit different than mine. It cost me .07 cents per case delivered. New is at least triple that.

Overall the brass was in good shape. I had approximately thirty cases that needed entirely too much pressure to resize so I chucked them even though they headspaced fine after sizing. Approximately fifty cases were oddball commercial or reloads which also got chucked. Buying this much brass is labor intensive.

I deprimed every case and tumbled them at least five hours in walnut.

I ran the entire batch through my Dillon Super Swage.

I resized the entire batch on my Lee Clasic Cast using a Forster .223 die with the neck honed to .2445" and floated on an "O" ring. I did not use a neck expander ball.

I trimmed the entire batch on my Gracey trimmer with Bob Jones three angle blade to 1.750" +/- .001".

The final polish was straight up corn cob for four hours to remove the Imperial Sizing Die Wax and add a little extra gleem.

This is why I haven't been as active on this board lately. Time consuming, but quality control has been great and I have no regrets when I thow any cases away. Within the next week the last of the brass will be trimmed, final polished and ready to prime.
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 5:47:07 PM EDT
Start out with a small supply of factory ammo and it will reproduce faster than you can sort it.   9 and 223 has a way of doing that.  I started with 500 rounds of factory ammo, and now have a few thousand pieces of brass.

Anything LC is good.  Learn how to remove a primer crimp before you try to reload it.

Buy a case gauge to check your work.  I like my Wilson http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=456614
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 5:50:42 PM EDT
Buy 1X fired on EE here and roll with it.

$55-$60 shipped per K
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