Used ammunition and their brass shell casings are not to be taken lightly. Being explosive and potentially harmful, they cannot be discarded thoughtlessly. The question then arises: how do we dispose of old ammunition in a safe and environmentally friendly way? This detailed guide presents the answers, elucidating the process of recycling brass shell casings and the various methods of disposal.
Understanding Brass Shell Casings
For those who are passionate about firearms, the phrase “brass shell casing” is far from foreign. These casings are essentially the containers for the primer and propellant powder, instrumental in firing the bullet from the gun. They serve the crucial function of holding all the components of the ammunition together.
While casings are made from various materials, including copper and steel, brass is a prevalent choice. However, these brass shell casings can pose serious threats to both health and the environment if not disposed of properly.
The Imperative to Dispose of Brass Shell Casings Correctly
When it comes to the impact of ammunition, one cannot overlook the potential health and environmental hazards. Unused or discarded ammunition can ignite an explosion, posing significant risks to individuals and surroundings. Moreover, ammunition components, such as lead, can contaminate water sources, leading to a range of health issues including kidney disorders and anemia.
Furthermore, keeping unused ammunition around the house is a recipe for disaster, posing an immense risk to family members who could inadvertently trigger an accident. This underlines the importance of responsibly disposing of bullet casings. The following sections will guide you on how to do this safely and effectively.
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Methods to Dispose of Brass Shell Casings
Are you wondering what to do with your pile of empty shell casings? Here are some effective strategies to safely remove these potentially hazardous items from your environment:
Inform your Local Police
The local police force is often equipped to handle your unwanted or old ammunition. This option is particularly suitable if you have a small quantity of bullet casings. Upon contact, they usually dispatch an officer to your location for pickup.
However, it’s advisable to reach out to them in advance to verify whether they accept bullet casings. Even if they don’t, they can provide guidance on best practices for disposal.
Dispose of at a Gun Range
Another feasible option for recycling brass shell casings is at your local gun range. These venues, designed for firearm usage, training, and skill development, often accept ammunition, particularly in small quantities. However, it’s always prudent to research nearby ranges and make inquiries about their acceptance policies before showing up with your ammunition.
Recycling Brass Shell Casings
Scrap metal yards are establishments that collect and recycle metals and junk, repurposing them into materials for various industries. They can also be an excellent solution for discarding your brass shell casings. Upon contacting a scrap yard, they will inspect, quote, and often pay cash for your unwanted items.
Local Waste Management Centers
Local waste management centers play a significant role in controlling land pollution in communities. They can assist in the safe disposal of your old bullet casings. As always, it’s best to contact them beforehand to get the necessary information about ammunition disposal.
10 companies that recycle Brass Shell casings in the US
Many companies and scrap yards across the U.S. accept brass casings for recycling. Here are ten companies that are involved in the recycling of brass shell casings. If you are looking to recycle Brass Shells or Scrap Ammo, toy can reach out to one that’s near you.
- Capital Cartridge:
- Location: Houston, Texas
- Description: Specializes in recycling spent brass shell casings. They offer once-fired brass for sale and also purchase spent brass.
- Website: Capital Cartridge
- Contact: (281) 407-0734
- Bayou Brass:
- Location: Louisiana
- Description: Collects, processes, and resells once-fired brass shell casings.
- Website: Bayou Brass and Ammo
- Contact: (225) 937-0046
- USA Brass Company:
- Location: Bozeman, Montana
- Description: Specializes in cleaning, sorting, and reselling once-fired brass.
- Website: USA Brass Company
- Contact: (406) 219-1479
- J & J Brass:
- Location: Florida
- Description: Focuses on the collection and recycling of brass shell casings.
- Contact: NA
- Elite Reloading Supplies:
- Location: Missouri
- Description: Deals with once-fired brass, processing, and selling for reloading purposes.
- Website: Elite Reloading
- Contact: (636) 358-1174
- Brass Monkey Cartridge Co.:
- Location: Texas
- Description: Specializes in the collection, processing, and resale of once-fired brass shell casings.
- Contact: NA
- Everglades Ammo:
- Location: Naples, Florida
- Description: They buy and sell once-fired brass and cater to reloaders.
- Website: Everglades Ammo
- Contact: (239) 285-9172
- Diamond K Brass:
- Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
- Description: Offers a wide variety of once-fired brass for reloaders.
- Website: Diamond K Brass
- Contact: (480) 507-0866
- Top Brass, LLC:
- Location: Bozeman, Montana
- Description: Provides high-quality, once-fired brass to the reloading community.
- Website: Top Brass
- Contact: (406) 586-2208
- Brass World:
- Location: Florida
- Description: Buys and sells once-fired reloading brass.
- Website: Brass World
- Contact: (352) 513-1917
Best Practices when Recycling Brass Shell Casings
Recycling brass shell casings at scrap yards can earn you some cash. However, the amount you receive depends on various factors such as market demand, current scrap metal prices, and the condition of the casings. Here are some tips to consider before heading to the yard:
- Isolate the Brass Casings: Most modern bullets are a single system comprising the brass casing, gunpowder, projectile, and primer. It’s advisable to separate the parts that scrap yards are interested in from the other components. A kinetic puller is a useful tool for this purpose, as it disassembles the bullet into its constituent parts. After separation, you can gather all the casings to sell as scrap.
- Clean the Casings Thoroughly: The entire assembly of gunpowder, casing, and bullet is considered potentially hazardous, and some recycling companies refuse to accept such materials. Any residue of gunpowder on the casing can trigger unforeseen hazards. Consequently, it is vital to clean the casings meticulously to eliminate any trace of gunpowder that might linger after disassembly.
- Organize the Brass Casings: There are various types of brass casings, each associated with a specific gun model. To maximize your earnings when selling to a yard, it is advisable to sort your casings efficiently. Some types are pure brass, while others are mixed with plastic. Categorizing casings of the same type before contacting a scrapyard can save you time and effort.
What Are Brass Shell Casings Worth?
The average price for recycling brass shell casings as scrap is about $1.7 per pound. However, the price can fluctuate significantly, potentially reaching as high as $2.5 per pound or dropping to as low as $0.30 per pound. These variations depend on several factors, including the place of purchase, market demand, and the current scrap metal prices in the US.
Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling Brass Shell Casings
How many times can brass casings be reloaded?
Brass casings can typically be reloaded between three to seven times. However, this largely depends on various factors, such as the type of firearm, the power of the load, and how much the brass is worked during the reloading process.
Is it legal to sell brass casings?
Yes, it is legal to sell brass casings in most jurisdictions, provided they have been properly discharged and are free of live primers and powder. However, always check your local laws and regulations before selling.
Can I donate my brass casings?
Absolutely. Several organizations and gun ranges accept donations of brass casings. They often recycle these casings or use them for various educational and training purposes.
In Conclusion: The Importance of Recycling Brass Shell Casings
Leaving old ammunition in your environment or thoughtlessly tossing them into the trash can is neither safe nor responsible. By following the guidelines and tips shared in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your brass shell casings are recycled correctly, posing no hazard to either humans or the environment. This effort, though seemingly small, significantly contributes to making our world a safer and cleaner place.
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2018). Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges. Retrieved from EPA website
- National Shooting Sports Foundation (2019). Understanding California’s New Ammunition Sales Laws. Retrieved from NSSF website
- Environmental Stewardship Concepts (2017). Environmental Stewardship for Firearms Instructors and Shooters. Retrieved from ESC website