I can spot once fired verses handloaded til it's worn out brass easily enough. Hell yeah I pick up good brass I can use if and it's gonna just go in a dumpster and besides that, when I do go to a range, oftentimes I have watched a guy take the ammo he was shooting out of a factory box and leave the brass on the ground.
Most of my shooting is on my own place now, but I do occasionally go to a good one I've been going to for years. Sometimes I leave with brass, sometimes not, but I hate to see it go to waste.
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I have always picked up stray brass from not only unsupervised public ranges, but even from old deer hunting camps and such. A quick check over can usually tell me whether it is once fired factory brass or someones worn out reloads. I seldom come across worn out brass, but it has shown up.
I always give range pick up a good going over. Some cases can have different size primers and even strange internal differences. Of course there is the Berdan primed cases as well. One needs to check all empties very carefully while sorting them out.
The Missouri Department of Conservation unsupervised public access range that I frequent occasionally, seldom has much brass left anymore. Between reloaders and recyclers, the range is kept fairly clean these days. Of course even the steel junk is raked up and tossed in the trash so someone besides the MDC is maintaining the range somewhat.
Many years ago I found a piece of Norma 7.62x54R brass at an old deer campsite and I took it home and cleaned it up. It had been on the ground at that old site for so long that it was a very dark patina color and no way was it going to shine back up. I worked it up and used it along with my other Norma brass for my M-28 Mosin-Nagant for several years and it shot uniform with the other.
I later sporterized an old Mosin-Nagant carbine for my Son when he was about 16 or so to include a scope and loaded him up some ammo including the patina round. When he went out to hunt he always loaded the patina round last into his magazine so that was the round that he shot his deer with. For eight years straight he shot eight deer using one shot with that single round and pronounced the patina case his lucky round.
My Son is now 35 and he has used other rifles over the years since then, but that case has likely been fired by us at least 20 times and is still good to go. Proper resizing to include only neck sizing brass when possible certainly will extend it's life.
While I do not really feel that most handgun brass needs to be segregated by headstamp for normal shooting, anything that I intend to use at near maximum pressure will be separated brass whether it is handgun or rifle.
Edited by Ham Gunner on August 05 2017 at 12:32pm
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