recycle brass shells

How to Recycle Brass Shells and Earn Some Cash

If you’re wondering how to recycle brass shells, get money for brass shell casings, and get rid of your ammo, you’re in the right place! In today’s blog post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about ammo and ammo disposal. We’ll also tell you where to recycle brass shell casings in Florida to get the best value for your ammo.

What is Brass?

First, it’s important to understand what brass is. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that is often used in ammunition shells. It’s strong and durable, which makes it ideal for use in ammo. However, brass is also recyclable! So, if you have some brass shell casings that you’re looking to get rid of, recycling them is a great option.

How to Recycle Brass Shells

Now that we’ve covered what brass is, let’s talk about how to recycle it. The first step is to find a local recycling center that accepts brass.  (We’ll talk about other options for recycling brass shell casings in a moment). You may be able to recycle other types of metal at the same time, so be sure to ask about other metal recycling options when you’re at the center.

Preparing your brass shells for recycling

It’s important to be sure your ammo is prepared for recycling to ensure the recycling facility you take it to accepts it. To do this, you’ll need to remove any gunpowder or other materials from the shells. This can be done by using a brass brush or another type of brush specifically designed for cleaning brass. You might also wash and dry your ammo before recycling it. This will help to remove any dirt, dust, or other debris that could potentially contaminate it.

How to sort your ammo

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Sorting your spent ammo by metal helps ensure you get the best value when you recycle brass shells.

It’s best to sort them by these four categories:

  • Shotgun shells
  • Brass
  • Steel
  • Range lead

How to store ammo

It’s also important to store your ammo properly to ensure it doesn’t become damaged or contaminated. The best way to store ammo is in a cool, dry place. You can also use an airtight ammo container to keep your ammo fresh and free from moisture.

Storing spent brass

You’ll also want to be sure you’re storing spent brass (as opposed to live ammo) in a safe place. The best way to do this is within a locked container, such as a gun safe. This will ensure that children and pets cannot access it and that it doesn’t get lost or stolen. Before storing them, however, ensure they’re completely dry, so they aren’t damaged by moisture.

Earn Money When You Recycle Brass Shells

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Now that you know how to recycle brass shells, you’re probably wondering how much money you can make from recycling them.

(Read this post next: How Much is Brass Per Pound?)

The amount of money you can make from recycling brass shell casings depends on a few factors, including the current market price for brass and the weight of your brass shell casings. However, you can typically expect to earn over a dollar for each pound of brass shells you recycle.

(At the time of publication, the average price for brass shells is $1.78/lb)

Everything You Need to Know About How to Recycle Brass Shells

We’ve got the basics out of the way. Now, you know where to recycle ammo in Florida and how to prepare your ammo for recycling. But now, let’s dive deeper into ammo and talk about the different components of ammo, dos and don’ts for disposing of ammo, and where to dispose of bullets.

What is Ammo: Components

The main components of ammo are the projectile, cartridge casing, primer, wad (for shotguns), and gunpowder.

  • Projectile: The projectile is the actual bullet that leaves the barrel and hits the target. It is usually made out of lead but can also be made out of steel, brass, or copper.
  • Cartridge Casing: The cartridge casing is the metal shell that holds all of the other components of the bullet together. It is typically made out of brass but can also be made out of steel or aluminum.
  • Primer: The primer is a small piece of metal at the base of the cartridge that is struck by the firing pin to ignite the gunpowder.
  • Wad: The wad is a piece of paper or cardboard that goes in front of the projectile in a shotgun shell. It helps to keep the shot from spreading too much when it leaves the barrel.
  • Gunpowder: Gunpowder is a mixture of chemicals (sulfur, charcoal, and saltpeter) that burns very rapidly and produces a lot of gas. This gas expands and pushes the projectile out of the barrel.

Can you recycle live ammo?

No, you cannot recycle live ammo in most cases. You can only recycle brass shells and other spent ammo.

Live ammo is dangerous and should be disposed of properly. The best way to dispose of live ammo is to take it to a local gun range where they will safely dispose of it for you or call your local police station.

Dos and Don’ts for Disposing Spent Ammo

Now that you know what ammo is made of let’s talk about how to properly dispose of spent casings.

Do’s for Disposing Ammo

  • Take your ammo to a local recycling center.
  • Wash and dry your ammo before recycling it.
  • Sort your ammo by metal type before recycling it.

Don’ts for Disposing Ammo

  • Don’t throw your ammo in the trash.
  • Don’t recycle your ammo with your regular recycling.
  • Unless you’re experienced and trained, don’t try to disassemble your ammo yourself.
  • Don’t bury ammo in the ground as the metals can contaminate the soil and the water supply.

Where to Dispose of Spent Shell Casings

Generally speaking, there are three primary ways to dispose of spent shell casings: at your local police station, at a gun range, and a scrap metal recycling center.

Police station

If you have a small amount of spent ammo to get rid of, call your police station to find out if they will take them. If you have large amounts, they might not accept them, but they can often direct you to other options for recycling spent ammo.

Gun range

Do you have dud rounds you’re hoping to get rid of? In this case, taking them to a local gun range can be a good option for getting rid of them. Just be sure to call ahead of time to find out if they accept ammo as well as when you can drop it off.

Your local scrap metal recycling center

If you want to get money when you recycle brass shells, we recommend taking them to your local scrap metal recycling center. You can call ahead to find out what they accept as well as any requests they have for preparing your ammo and exactly what they accept.

How to Recycle Brass Shells: Recap

We’ve covered a lot in this post. From where to recycle brass shells to preparing your ammo for recycling, you’re now an expert on recycling brass shells!

Remember, when in doubt, recycle your spent ammo with your local police station, gun range, or scrap metal recycling center. And always be sure to wash and dry your spent casings before recycling them. Sorting your ammo by metal type will also help to ensure that you get the most money back when you recycle it.

If you’re hoping to recycle brass shells in Fort Pierce, Scrap Gators is here to help! As commercial scrap metal recycling experts, we recycle all types of scrap metal, including brass shells. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recycle your brass shells and earn some cash!

For further reading:

Yellow Brass Scrap Price

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