Reloading ammunition is a great way to save money on a shooting hobby, and many people enjoy reloading as a hobby in its own right. Those who take up reloading quickly learn that not all brass is created equal, and that the best results always come from paying close attention to the brass cases when they purchase them. The precise qualities that a reloader needs will vary depending on their goals for the ammunition, but there are a few things that are valuable for almost every reloading project.
All reloaders need to clean their brass before they can put it to use, whether they scavenged it from a shooting range or purchased it from a store. Cleaning usually isn’t too hard, but it can take up a lot of time to clean a large supply of dirty brass. People who want to save time should make sure that the brass that they purchase is a clean as possible. It’s still important to examine it for dirt and grit before use, but buying it while it is reasonably clean will help to cut down on the work.
2- Solid Construction
All reloading brass needs to be in good condition. Cracks or other damage can lead to a malfunction when the gun is fired, and that can cause damage to the weapon or even injury to the shooter. The vast majority of brass that comes from reputable sellers will be in excellent condition, although it’s still important to examine it before use to make sure that no defective pieces made it through quality control. However, high quality brass can be reloaded many more times than brass that is merely acceptable, so shoppers who see particularly good brass on the market should pick it up while they have the chance.
3- Unusual Calibers
Dedicated reloaders should always be on the lookout for brass in unusual calibers. It can be hard to find them for sale, so people who can use that brass often need to purchase it opportunistically. It can be useful even for people who don’t own a weapon that uses brass in that caliber, since it’s easier to borrow a weapon and try it out when you can provide your own ammunition. Shoppers do need to think about whether or not they will ever be likely to use the brass if it is in a truly strange caliber, but it is often worth taking the plunge and investing.
4- New Brass
Most reloading brass has already been used at least once, but some of it is brand new. In most cases, there is no discernible difference in quality between new brass and that which has been used once or twice, but it is important to remember that brass has a limited lifespan. Wear and tear will eventually accumulate as the brass gets reused, and in the long term the brass will wear out and become damaged. New brass will last slightly longer than used brass, and brass that has only been used once or twice will be superior to the rest, so all shoppers should pay attention to the age of the brass as they buy it.
Most people who reload their own ammunition do it to save money. One of the best ways to maximize the savings is to shop around for brass that is particularly cheap. Sales are relatively common, but most shoppers can also get a better rate by making sure that they buy their brass in bulk. That normally carries a discount on the ticket price of the brass, but it will also lead to lower shipping rates in digital stores.
Brass shops often have a charitable component. Some donate money, but it’s much more common for them to offer new ammunition to police officers and other public servants in exchange for their old brass. Buying that brass means supporting their charity work, which can save a lot of money for police departments that want to maintain a reasonable training program for their officers. These programs don’t have any impact on the quality of the brass, but there’s no reason not to support the community making a purchase.