Many of us tend to pick up a few empty brass cases while at the range. I myself tend to look for .308 empties that are reload able. Sometimes I get lucky and find a couple handfuls and some times I donít get any.
I bring the ones I find home and give them a good cleaning then a good inspection. Some of the things I find with differing types of brass are the rim may be thicker then most and the size of the flash hole can differ. Twice I have had stuck empties in my Howa and they both are CBC brass, which has a slightly thicker rim and the extractor has a hard time grabbing onto it. So these I save to use in my Cetme, which will fire anything and throw it out.
The flash holes I want all the same size so ignition is consistent. If I see the flash hole is smaller I will drill out the hole to the same size hole as a standard Winchester case.
Sometimes I also find some brass that the head is slightly tilts and if you stand the empty case up on itís head the case tends to lean some, these I throw away, there has to be a reason they are like that and I am not going to take any chances.
Military surplus brass tend to be a tiny bit thicker then commercial brass so I tend to clean, resize them and trim the case mouth thickness so they will give a closer consistent performance as the commercial brass does.
i also pick up range brass i have never been one who likes to shoot off a bench and measure groups. i load hunting loads with mixed head stamped brass and never try to load to max loads but im always looking for pressure issues. i know many guys who load to much tighter standards then i do but when push comes to shove and jumping off the horse and shooting game mine are just as dead
Location: Stafford, Virginia,The state of insanity.
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I don't pick up much range brass. Maybe for my 45acp that is it.
Another thing you need to look out for with all the cheap surplus ammo on the market is Berdan primers. Berdan primers have 2 small flash holes on the side of the primer pocket. These will ruin your day when reloading as they will break any decapping pin they meat.
I usually don't pickup range brass,but if there is someone shooting a caliber of gun there near me that I reload,I usually will ask them if they mind giving it to me if they don't want it.
Most will say you can have all of it,if they don't reload.
I follow Txhills route. I used to pick up milsurp .308 but ran into a problem with sizing on some of it. I got a couple of cases stuck in my die when I had to put excess pressure on the press. I will take once fired brass from another shooter who doesn't save for reloading but that's all. I broke a couple of decapping pins as well. That's when I decided it just wasn't worth it.
I have found that I can buy once fired Lake City or new IVI for the M1As and then I know exactly what I have. I do leave my fourth firing thru the M1As on the ground.