The great circle of brass…

…has been pretty pitiful this winter. During the mid-day walkie I dumped yesterday’s empty brass into the tumbler and turned it on. Came back two hours later to find…


…that everything in the tumbler didn’t make much of a pile. In fact,…


It contained only 143 cases, which represent basically all the practice shooting I’ve done all winter*. Hell, I’ve still got 100 unfired rounds waiting on the side of my bench, loaded last autumn. I’ve been a bad boy, mostly because I saw the dwindling pile of cast bullets in my last Big Box O’Bullets and I can’t stand to run out of things.


I got it sized and deprimed, and I’ll flare and inspect the cases before I clean the primer pockets and seat new primers. If an old case is going to fail during the reload cycle it’ll most likely split during flaring, and at almost ten cents a pop when you can find them at all a primer is a terrible thing to waste.

But for now, I’m back in business.


*Not counting commercial ammo fired in anger, which are mostly steel so I don’t keep them, and probably a couple of split cases I threw away here or there. Some of this brass has been with me ten years. Also not counting .22 plinking, of course.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to The great circle of brass…

  1. So, if some handloader had a bucket full of fired cases laying around in calibers he no longer reloaded for, what calibers would a desert hermit find most useful?

  2. Joel says:

    Well, .44 Special or Magnum is always welcome here. The only other pistol caliber I’m really geared up for is .45acp. Of course you never know: I have dies for 9 para, 9 mak as well as calibers I don’t even have pistols for, .223, 7.62 commie and other rifle calibers I can’t think of right now. I could use some Makarov cases if I could score any bullets for it, but I seem to remember that’s got a pretty peculiar diameter so I doubt it.

    I haven’t loaded for rifles in decades, and I’m hoping not to go there so it doesn’t matter that much that almost all my AK ammo is steel-case. Anyway I’m a long way from running out of that.

    By happy chance I have almost a thousand unfired .44 Magnum cases which I put aside so I’d have good cases should I need to start loading pistol ammo for everyday use, and that day is just about upon me so I don’t have to worry about cases misbehaving in my defense ammo. I’ve used my .44 Special brass pretty continuously since 2012, rotating it carefully, and they’ve mostly put up with it because Special isn’t a particularly high pressure round.

    So the short answer is .44.

  3. bravokilo says:

    Do you remember the Dr Demento song about the 142nd fastest gun in the West?

    Imma call you Irving, boy.

  4. Joel says:

    BK, somehow I have gone all this time and never heard that song. Surprised it hasn’t been denounced for antisemitism and stricken from youtube.

    Also, I think I’m insulted. I’m at least the 141st fastest gun in the west.

    Also also it seems there was a sequel. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr8faCh0m3w

To the stake with the heretic!