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Thread: When is picked up brass not reloadable?

  1. #1

    Default When is picked up brass not reloadable?

    I went out to KGB to do a little shooting and while my friends were at the firing line I started picking up brass that had been shot from what it looks like a few days before. They are still gold in color and a couple have dented necks. I left the ones that were rusted or brown or just plain looked shady. I have seen some of the same at ranges.

    I got like 300 rounds of .45, 40 .300wm, 60 30-06, and quite of few of HX 63???? I wasnt sure what the last one was but it looks like a 30 caliper somthing. Maybe 30-06 offbrand.

    So at what point do you discard these as non reloadable? Do you even bother with brass you would find somewhere other than a range? What qualifies as something you would pick up, short of being brand new?

    Can dented necks be repaired?

  2. #2
    Member gunrman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Kenai, Alaska


    I too love to pick up brass that other people have left behind. As long as it is brass or nickle and non-military, i have no problem reloading it. As too the dented necks, i carefull resize and then thurally check for any signs of cracks or weak looking areas. These are usually acceptable for shooting, but for hunting, I used only new or once fired brass that I have shoot prior to reloading. I hope this helps you.
    Last edited by gunrman; 07-28-2008 at 23:02. Reason: misspelled word

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    In the condition you describe I'd say it is all usable. I would throw it all in a good case tumbler for a good cleaning, then inspect and sort accordingly as suggested. The HX 63 must be a brand stamp of Euro 30-06. It is called the 7.62x63 as the case is 63 mm long. Calling any cartridge thirty ought six in Europe would be like having a holiday in England on the fourth of July. In most of Europe the 30-06 is called the Springfield.

    Actually a lot of good brass can be salvaged at local ranges if it is found before it has been oxidized badly, especially handgun brass. There is usually lots of it of common headstamp. With todays ammo and component prices it ain't a bad idea. The dented case mouth will straighten out in the sizing die and unless it has been stepped on and flattened it will work fine.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  4. #4
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Southeast Alaska

    Thumbs down Too paranoid

    Quote Originally Posted by grimmysnr View Post
    Do you even bother with brass you would find somewhere other than a range?
    No sir.

    I have no way to tell if it was fired in a rifle with excessive headspace.
    I have no way to tell if it was fired once or 15 times previously.
    I have no way to know if a handloader discarded it after he had to kick the bolt open on an overpressure load.

    I'm just too paranoid to load brass I know nothing about. No doubt it's safe most of the time. But when it's not, I don't want it to be me - or anyone I know/love/load for - pulling the trigger.

  5. #5
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Arco, Idaho

    Default HX headstamp

    HXP and a two year date code is the Greek Military M2 .30-06 load. Civilian Marksmanship Program has it at mighty friendly prices. The brass is excellent GI brass with non-corrosive Boxer priming system, but as with all other US/NATO stuff, you'll probably need to take the small primer crimp tabs off. I use a pocket swage for this, and it works well.
    If you get your hands on some loaded stuff, it consistently propels 150 gr. steel jacket FMJ's at the M2 specified 2700 fps. It shoots amazingly well in my H&R M1, and all of my M1903 rifles.

    Only 'problem' I've had with SOME range pickups was some .30 US carbine stuff that the local PD had left on the line from the night before. I let it sit for quite awhile (6+ months) after I tumbled it the next day, and when I did get round to sizing/depriming it, there were quite a few of the primer cups that had corroded lightly inside, and the decapping rod punched through. Not worth the effort to try to save that small handful of cases, so they went into the recycle bin. BTW, anyone notice what scrap brass prices are these days?
    Last edited by Darreld Walton; 08-03-2008 at 15:30. Reason: added url.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I treat range pickup brass the same as any other brass I'd use--inspect it closely and if you see any problems that would preclude reloading it, pitch it. Otherwise use it. The key of course is knowing what to look for, but that's not rocket science--the good manuals cover this pretty well.


  7. #7


    In addition to the above points, steel cases and berdan primed brass.
    For the steel cases a magnet will help. For the berdan primers look down the neck and see if there is more than one flash hole.

  8. #8

    Default caution is worthwhile

    Once fired brass from guy at range who does not reload, obtained at range after observing him shoot, in original bow...good to go.
    Pick up brass if it passes inspection,use for low pressure cast bullet loads, use em for plinking in bush,after one use, scap em or sell for scrap.
    Your eyes,hands, and rifles worth too much to take ANY chances, at least mine are.

  9. #9


    I completely agree with bearheart.

    I also do not pick up any .40 S&W brass I didn't fire myself because of the possibility of it maybe having been fired in a Glock or another pistol with an unsupported chamber.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    I have shot tons of range brass in my .38 and .45ACP with no problems, I have shot a lot of .40 range brass that was once fired from a police range with smith and wesson pistols. I have also used a lot of rifle brass when i see it taken out of the box new and fired in front of me. With the .38 and .45 its a low pressure round so i would not worry about it. Also all my .223 Remington comes from a police range and its Remington headstamp and once fired. You have to be carefull with any brass and thats times 10 with range brass if you dont know the history with it

  11. #11


    I think if money is no object buy new brass, hell-o why not? However if you need a supply, fired brass is affordable, inspect brass carefully always discard defective cases and reload with confidence, if you are loading heavy loads always use new brass for safety

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Eagle River AK

    Default Range Brass

    I have used range brass many times and agree with other posts on picking up the brass I seen someone else shoot in lanes next to me. It is amazing that there are not more reloaders out there and they leave that primo once fired brass laying all around to get stepped on and ruined. I did have a bad experience using second hand brass before. I had found about 150 rounds of RP 338 Win Mag in a ziplock bag sitting on top of the dumpster. It was my 338 brand of brass, I was needing more and funds were tight at the time. Temptation got the best of be and I brought them home and tried reloading several days later. They were already tumbled clean so I just lubed and resized all of them. OAL was fluctuating so I trimmed them all to length. Thought I had found a real prize until I started hand priming them. After about the dozenth primer just falling in with no resistence, I realized I had waisted alot of valuable time on brass with blown out primer pockets! Lesson learned! I guess that is why they were in the dumpster!


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