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Old March 5, 2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Once fired brass sources

I'm wanting to start reloading .357 magnum. Actually, I'm mainly wanting to load .38 special loads in the .357 magnum cases. I can go pick up a bucket full of brass from the local range but maybe only get a handful of .357 magnum brass. I might have to actually buy the brass *gasp*... I've been looking around for once fired brass but the best deal I've found from the usual sites is $65/500 and once you add in $7.75 for shipping I could have 500 new Starline cases at my door. Why are people so proud of their once fired .357 magnum brass? Am I missing somewhere that I could buy it significantly cheaper?
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:33 AM   #2
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Once-fired sources



Sorry - out of stock wherever I checked.
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:57 AM   #3
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Back in the day, once fired police .357 brass was pretty common. With the exodus to the 9mm in the mid to late 80s and now the 40 S&W, I guess that source is drying up.

.357 brass lasts a long time though, so new purchase brass is pretty cost effective, particularly with your plan to use 38 loads in it. Work hardening of the mouth from belling and crimping will probably cause the most problems with split necks the most obvious failure, but that will take quite a few loadings before its an issue.
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Old March 6, 2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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I've got some of both. Got something to trade?
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Old March 6, 2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Why are people so proud of their once fired .357 magnum brass?
.357 Magnum loaded factory ammo is expensive and for sure, there simply aren't as many new shooters flowing out of gun shops and sporting goods stores with new .357 Mag revolvers NEARLY as much as there are guys with 9mm, .40 and .45 pistols. So there is less .357 Magnum brass being put in to the public's hand in the first place.

Exacerbating the problem is that .357 Magnum brass (generally) does not get auto-chucked to hellenback, leaving brass goodies for ranges that collect them and handloaders that do the work of policing brass.

When you consider how much .357 Magnum brass you will lose when you, as a handloader put it in to service (i.e., almost none, really), then it's a pretty darn good deal. Because when you start loading the big three auto-chuckers, you are going to scatter the stuff in every direction and it would be a miracle if you left your shooting area with all the brass you arrived with.

It's not a matter of anyone being "proud" of their brass. Simply put, there is less supply of revolver brass and there is MUCH less chance of anyone finding it laying around on a range, free for the taking.

If you think it's anything more than supply and demand, I suggest you start checking prices for .44 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .460 S&W Mag or .500 S&W Magnum. And when you've finished that fun exercise, I am always on the lookout for .327 Federal Magnum, so I'd love to hear a price on that stuff, too!
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:35 PM   #6
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I'm mainly wanting to load .38 special loads in the .357 magnum cases
If you're looking to load .38 Special loads, then you'll find it easier to get .38 Special brass. That's one of the benefits of owning a .357 mag - you can also use .38 Special in the same revolver.
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Old March 6, 2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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One of my sources if the range pickup don't cover it all:
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Old March 6, 2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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The .38 Spl. brass is easier to find and less expensive. Since you're going to load .38 Spl. loads anyway, the only drawback is a slight carbon ring in the chamber. But it's not really a drawback as it is cleaned out very easily during routine cleaning.
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