The Beginner’s Guide to Pistol Brass: What Gun Owners Need to Know

Shahzad Masood

pistol brass

It’s estimated that three out of ten Americans own a gun. If you regularly fire your pistol, you likely know how expensive ammo can be. This fact can make improving your shooting skills a challenge if you don’t have a massive budget for cartridges.

However, one solution is to save money by reloading your pistol brass. But exactly what is a pistol brass? And why is brass as a material favored by the gun community?

If you want to discover the answers to these questions, you’re in the right place. This guide will walk you through some of the basics so you can decide if this form of reloading is right for you.

What Are the Different Parts of a Cartridge?

Before we learn more about pistol brass, it’s important to be familiar with the different parts of a cartridge (aka a single round of ammo). Upfront on the cartridge is the bullet.

This is the part of the ammo that ends up getting fired at a target. However, it’s housed in a case. The case of the cartridge will be ejected once the round has been fired. Within the casing lies the propellant, or the gunpowder.

It also contains a primer that will ignite the propellant which expels the bullet from the case. All of these gun parts work in tandem to fire the piece of ammunition.

What Material Is Used in Most Cartridges?

The majority of pistol cartridge cases are made of brass. As we’ll see, there’s a good reason for this. Namely, the casing can be reused and reloaded to fire again. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that brass isn’t the only material used.

It’s also common to see steel material used in the casings of cartridges. If you’re on a budget, you might want to consider steel since it’s more affordable than brass.

However, it’s not usually as reliable and you can’t reuse it like brass. It’s also common to see nickel-plated brass in some high-end ammo. That being said, for the most part, we recommend sticking to pistol brass for your material.

What Is Reload Pistol Ammunition?

Many people think that after firing a cartridge, everything from the bullet to the casing is unusable. Indeed, you’re not going to get any gunpowder back and the bullet took off down the firing range.

However, what about the casing? A well-known secret in the gun community is that you can collect the spent casing from the piece of ammunition you just fired.

Then, as long as it isn’t too badly damaged, you can reload the pistol brass with a bullet, propellant, and primer. This basic level of recycling isn’t just good for the environment.

It can also save you a lot of money on ammunition if you frequently shoot.

You can either reload the gun ammunition yourself, or purchase reloaded pistol ammunition from your local gun shop. Odds are they offer it at a discount.

Why Is Pistol Brass Favored in the Gun Community?

The main reason so many gun owners favor brass is because of the reusability of the material. The material maintains its shape well and is fairly simple to reload.

That’s why many people will pay people for their casings since it’s the most expensive part of the manufacturing process. Pistol brass is also incredibly reliable.

Compared to other materials it’s not as likely to misfire which makes it better for firearm safety. It also helps with performance since brass likely won’t jam while you’re shooting.

How Can You Reload Pistol Brass?

When reloading your pistol brass, the first thing you need to do is sort. You want to make sure that none of the brass casings are particularly damaged. Next, you need to clean the casing.

There are multiple ways to do this, but we generally recommend a dry media tumbler. During this stage, you also need to pay close attention to depriving. There’s likely still some primer left in the casing.

A primer pocket can help you accomplish this. Next, you’ll also need to invest in a resizing die. When you fire your cartridge the casing does expand a little because of the explosion that occurs within.

However, since brass is such a good material in some cases it might not be necessary. Lastly, you reload it.

You do this by putting in a new primer, then measuring out the proper amount of gunpowder, and then installing the bullet into the casing. After that, you’re ready to fire.

Best Place to Find Pistol Brass

If you’re diligent about keeping your pistol brass casings, you might not need to buy brass specifically from a store. However, eventually, your pistol brass will get damaged enough that you’ll either need to buy new bullets or get new brass.

The good news is that there are a variety of brass sellers out there who can help you save a buck by going down the DIY route. When looking for a seller the first thing you should check for is that they have your ammunition type.

Look for a company that offers a wide array of different types of ammo. For example, this business offers everything from 6.5 PRC brass to 357 MAGNUM brass. You should also make sure that they have different pistol brass options.

For example, some buyers prefer to purchase their pistol brass with the primer in it. Others prefer to assemble it themselves. Lastly, make sure they have good prices.

The point of buying pistol brass is ultimately to save money. As such, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal on whatever you’re buying in bulk.

Appreciate Learning About Pistol Brass? Keep Exploring

We hope this guide helped you learn more about pistol brass. As you can see, investing in good pistol brass not only saves you money, but it’s also good for the environment since it’s essentially recycled.

So whether you’re reusing your pistol brass or buying it from a business, it’s a smart move to make as a gun owner. Want more gun advice? Keep exploring our website to discover tons of similar content.

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