I will never buy "once fired brass" again!

noslerpartition

Handloader
May 26, 2018
900
170
About 1 1/2 years ago I bought a very cheap Chinese whet tumbler.
Added some steel pins and went for it.
I would bet some money that few people would be able to see the difference between almost new and thoroughly used brass after a treatment. They come out all shiny like new.
This is just a heads up.
If you buy used brass, don't look at the colour...
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,933
424
I just cannot bring myself to buy used brass. While I can save money by reloading, this is an area where I will not deviate from my practice to save a few dollars. I do it for the personal reward and sense of gratification and pride in knowing that I have been a part in making my shooting systems work well and putting game on the table; not to worry about the money I spend on this passion of mine.
Using brass that has been fired in my rifles' chambers is fine and I just neck size reloads to practice with at the range. I use new brass for making up hunting loads.

I realize that all that is needed is to trim to length, full length size, prime and load...but i just can't do it. I don't know the firearm they have been fired in and/or how they were handled, regardless of whether they were virgin brass or factory ammunition that was fired. And this is just my practice and opinion. Kind of like most will not use other's handloads, unless they personally know the person and trust their handloading practices, and have tested those loads in their firearms. One of the first handloading rules I was taught getting into this past time.

Others may do what they are comfortable with. I am not here to judge them. Just glad to hear that they are shooting and hunting!
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,799
324
I have no problem with once fired brass that I did not shoot myself For many years I always helped out on sight in days at the range. Probably at least 70 to 80 percent of those sighting in were glad for the help and didn't reload their brass. I would just ask if they were keeping it or throwing it away and most just said. "I don't reload my ammo so help yourself." Nice once fired brass. You'd be surprised how much brass you can acquire that way and know that is truly once fired.
Paul B.
 

highoctane

Beginner
Apr 20, 2018
67
57
I have no problem with using once fired brass. Ive used once fired for years and as long as the nut behind the trigger is tight my hunting rifles shoot half to three quarters inch all day long.
 

jjs405

Beginner
Dec 24, 2017
129
13
No problems with me either using once fired brass ... as long as it's free ... I've picked up thousands of pieces of brass in my reloading endeavors ... after sorting & processing I may throw out a few - but what the heck, it's free.

If I do buy brass it's New brass....
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,392
999
I live about five minutes from my range and stop by 2-3 times a week. I have picked up scads of brass, mostly 223 and handgun. Trouble is you're never really sure if its "once" fired or 50x times fired, unless you see factory ammo boxes close by, which is very often the case, especially the weeks leading up to hunting season. I usually just sort it out by headstamp and inspect it closely. Ill continue to reload it until the pockets get loose or a crack develops, but at this point with several thousand pcs of 223 and 9mm, I doubt i'll ever wear them out if I keep some sort of organized rotation going. I found some excellent Norma brass from Krieghoff for the 30-06, I assumed its what they use to test fire in their rifles. It came in factory Norma ammo boxes. Every so often they list it for sale on their site. One of my best 308 loads came from picked up Lake City 7.62x51 NATO brass.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,748
1,144
If I buy new brass I'm gonna run it until it's seen its useful life, then discard it as necessary. I don't see the difference whether I'm doing that from new, or jumping into the cycle after it's first firing, second, whatever. Same result. Once brass is formed to the chamber of a particular gun, I keep it marked as to which rifle it was fired in, and I use it until the end of its life.

In 30-06 I use exclusively used brass as I have a ton of it. Primarily Remington. This target was shot with presumably once fired brass in the factory box that was originally shot out of who knows what rifle........not any of mine. I anneal them, uniform primer pockets, deburr flash holes then run them thru the sizer and trim them evenly just like I would new brass. To me they're just new brass with one cycle on them. I don't give it a second thought, but that's me. If somebody feels like they have good reason not to, who am I to disagree with what suits them?


 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,863
1,264
I've used once fired brass but ivey never bought it.

JD338
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
424
389
I have both purchased and collected once-fired. The stuff I collect from a shooter at the range I trust first (because I can see the factory boxes), the stuff I pick up from an empty range next (because I can usually see if all the head stamps are the same), and I will likely never buy again. I had a bad experience with once-fired "fully prepped" .308 brass, in spite of full-length sizing myself before loading.

I would like to point out, however, that if you buy new brass, it becomes "once-fired" as soon as you use it.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,910
240
Lots of opinions and none of them bad from what I can tell.
I for one have scrounged range brass both rifle and pistol but mostly pistol that was left during matches by our military pistol teams that don't use reloaded ammo, so it is once fired in a match grade pistol barrel. The scrounged rifle brass is once fired factory ammo that someone sighting in their rifle with a new scope or prior to the beginning of the hunting season has left behind at a private range which I prep and use for practice.
For my rifles I am more particular and do buy new brass, but I fire form the brass in my rifles and don't have duplicate calibers, so the brass is matched to each rifles chamber.
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,799
324
One time I went to throw my targets into the garbage can at the range and there was more brass there than in the range buckets. Mixed in with the brass were dozens of soda pop cans with the attendant Africanized bees getting their fill. It is said, if you don't bother then, they won't bother you, the exception being in close proximity to the nest. I decided to see if I could get some of the brass and slowly reached down. The bees left me be and I gathered un more brass that I thought possible. I aguy came up and asked what I was doing and I said getting a jackpot of brass from this can. I asked if I mined if he tried and I said go ahead. I told him to go slow and gentle and try to nor disturb the bees. Soon I heard a yell and sure as hell he'd been stung a couple of times. When one hits, the rest go after the problem. The didn't chase him far but I guess they wanted to go back to a sugar bonanza they'd found. I went and worked some of the rest of the cans and got a fair amount there. I went back to the original can and went at it again. IIRC, total haul was 150 Winchester 270 cases and a bit over two hundred 30-06, almost all Winchester brand. A few odd 7mm Rem. Mags and .300 Mag., some 30-30s and a few oddballs. I don't know who or what group was there shooting but that was one of the beat hauls I ever made. Neglected to say I also got boxes for about 40 percent of that brass.
Paul B.
 
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TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,797
474
Everyone has a right to their opinions, its great that those who found or used once fired brass and worked for those who used them. I am not here to bash anyone, I never used once fired brass nor used once fired brass from the range in my rifles, but sometimes I like to pick a few of the same caliber for annealing tests instead of using my brass. I prefer to use my own new brass and fireform them, so I know what I am using and all the same lot number / same batch. It's just me. As for pistols, I used to pick some good quality .45 and .40 cal once fired brass back in the day and used them for plinking. For self defense, I just use the factory made self defense loads.
 

noslerpartition

Handloader
May 26, 2018
900
170
I use once fired brass if I can be sure it once fired.
What I meant is: if you buy it from an unknown source and it was wet-tumpled, you have to look very closely to make sure it is not old stuff the seller wanted to dump and get money for it.
 

preacher

Handloader
Aug 19, 2012
2,059
14
I started handloading by using the empties of my factory ammo. I later would stop by rifle ranges and buy a few cases. I always settled on either Remington or Winchester brass. Federals were too soft...45 yrs experience hasn't changed my mind! :)
 

noslerpartition

Handloader
May 26, 2018
900
170
Agreed.
If I am sure they are one fired, I take them from the range.
But seeing my old brass after wet-tumbling with steel pins, it takes more than a glancing look to make sure they are not old.
That's why I won't BUY "once fired brass" anymore.
Picking it up is a different story.
 
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