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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Default How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

I recently received a box of assorted brass for a friend. Included is a quantity of spent shotgun shells. I have no interest in reloading them, but would like to salvage the brass for my scrap bucket.

Any suggestions on how to quickly and safely separate the brass? Sitting down with a box cutter and going to town didn't seem like a great idea.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:05 AM
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Default re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

What if you clamp the brass in a vice, grip the plastic case with a pair of vise grips, and twist/pull until they separate? Have you tried applying heat with a heat gun, or open flame? Just throwing some ideas out there. Have you tried sulphuric acid? lol

Last edited by bac0nfat; April 22nd, 2011 at 08:07 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

Just asking, but are you sure they are brass?

Quick and dirty method:
Build a fire and throw them in. Plastic will burn off leaving the brass.


Not so dirty method:
Clamp some hull's (by the plastic part) in a vice, heat the brass with a tourch, pull the brass off the plastic hull.



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Last edited by Hawk; April 22nd, 2011 at 08:25 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

Greg i believe it is just brass plated, i find them rusted all the time in the woods.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

I guess I don't know that they're actually solid brass (vs. plated). Some are nickel too. I did saw one off with a hacksaw, and saw that a significant amount of non-metal materials remained inside the metal cap.

I guess I'll just pitch them. I don't believe them to have any significant value for sale or trade, even to someone who reloads.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnbrotz View Post
I guess I don't know that they're actually solid brass (vs. plated). Some are nickel too. I did saw one off with a hacksaw, and saw that a significant amount of non-metal materials remained inside the metal cap.

I guess I'll just pitch them. I don't believe them to have any significant value for sale or trade, even to someone who reloads.
Can't you keep them whole and make Christmas lights out of them?
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

I concur with Mtn Jack...

Take a magnet and identify the ones that are steel. You will find that alot of that "brass" is actually steel that has been plated for shotgun hulls.

What brass there may be would only be a very thin sleeve. Probably not worth the effort, nor the cost of propane gas to heat up. Nor the environment impact of burning off the plastic - which could be illegal.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

You could donate them to a fellow forum member. I am sure there some that reload shotgun here.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

Just recycle them as is. I would think it might work the same as scrapping insulated vs stripped wire.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: How to separate brass from 'waste' in shotty shells

The metal bases of virtually all shotgun shells are steel, with a very thin wash of brass. Sometimes other alloys are used to give a "nickeled" appearance, as in the Federal club shells and the bargain-boxes of 100 rounds available at Wally-World and others. Magnets will give you the answer quite quickly.

Some of them are reloadable, and easily so, but it depends on the manufacture and composition. And oftimes to reload them, you need a particular wad which might not be appropriate for your regular loads of other shells, thus making them an uneconomical proposition of the quantity is small.

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