Letter Re: Brass Recycling

Just a note regarding Bill K.’s fired cartridge brass recycling idea to raise extra cash – it is a good money making idea with the continuing rise in the price of copper and other metals – our gun club here in North Carolina paid all its property taxes last year on the recycling of fired brass left after shooting events. The club insists that if the shooters don’t wish to take their fired brass home, they spend a few minutes between relays when the line is clear to police up brass and put them into specially marked/painted ‘brass buckets’.
My voluntary role for my club is to take the full five gallon buckets home periodically to check for dud or damaged live rounds and separate them out along with any fired brass that interests me so I can assure the scrap dealer there are no live rounds, rocks, steel cases, etc. in the buckets. This eliminates hazards to the scrap dealer as well as the liability issue for the club.
My concern is that I imagine most ranges are privately owned and unless it is a remote county, state or federal public range such as Bill K. describes where cleaning up the brass off the ground (why not also pick up the rusty steel cases as well, and trash them, too – good PR and environmental stewardship) is not frowned upon, one should check with the range operators to see if they have a policy of any brass left on the ground after the original shooter leaves the range becomes club property. Some clubs may consider this theft otherwise.
Be forewarned – when you go to a recycling center/scrap metal company to turn in the brass, several five gallon buckets of gleaming brass will get you noticed – you will get some interested looks and comments/questions from the curious about where the brass came from while standing in line with all the other folks who are bringing in scrap from who knows where just to make ends meet or are down on their luck. Also, for what it is worth, due to the increasing theft of metals such as copper from job sites, most scrap dealers also insist on recording your drivers license information so the materials can be traced back to you in case of a police investigation.
One other small side note for reloaders: The scrap dealer also mentioned to me that even fired centerfire rifle and pistol primers in quantity separated from the brass are of value in scrap recycling, as there is some kind of demand in the watch making and/or related industry for the minute metal parts for some reason. However, fired shotgun primers are not as much in demand, from what I recall. Lead from reloading also is desirable for recycling, but you might consider keeping theirs for cast bullet work. Regards, – Redclay