Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — where there’s gunfire, there will be spent casings.
Okay, so not in all cases, but the vast majority of firearms leave you with an empty cartridge casing after the shot has been fired. And far too many of those casings (and especially shotshell wads) remain on the ground to sink into the soil as litter — sometimes even tilled into the crops we grow, harvest, sell, and eat.
While there are plenty of reasons you should pick up your spent casings (and wads) in the field or at the range, here are three compelling reasons to consider:
• We all have a responsibility to pick up and properly dispose of our waste — period.
• We don’t want anyone to know where we discovered successful hunting on public land or even at the club.
• We want to reuse the casings in some way.
When we think of reusing casings most people immediately jump to reloading. If you’ve got the time and attention to detail, it’s an outstanding option that will pay dividends in gun food and firearms knowledge.
Sell it! Every metal has its worth and spent brass casings are no exception. Ammunition manufacturers like Freedom Munitions (TTAG’s new ammo sponsor) have a brass credit program to help you reduce the cost of your ammo without having to reload it yourself.
Remember playing with belts of dummy rounds as a kid? These days it’s hard to find good ones, even online, so make your own! The supplies you’ll need are widely available: a primer punch, a box of FMJ bullets, a box of cartridge links, and a bullet press. Don’t forget to wash your brass after you punch the primers!
Shotshell celebration lights! What are we celebrating? Whatever the hell you want, you’ve got shotshell lights! Simply punch the primers on your shotshell hulls, then insert a LED holiday light and secure it inside. Battery-powered light strings will allow you to take your celebrating anywhere!
Hoard it. Okay, some call it collecting. Or at least I did when I was a kid — before “hoarding” was a way to get on TV, anyway. But seriously; fill every bag, box, and bin with as much as you can. Why? Because you never know when 10,000 dirty, rusty and corroded casings might net you something sweet in a random Armslist trade.
So, do you collect casings in the field and at the range? If so, what’s your driving force? What do you do with them once you have them in-hand?