The Taurus PT 1911 handguns surrounded by .45 ACP handloads.

I have been doing this for years—when the shooting is over and most everybody else is in the parking lot enjoying a cool drink, I am on my knees picking up brass. Because when it comes to cases, I believe a shooter can never have enough. Natural attrition constantly eats at the supply. The neck splits, or some cases hide in the tall grass and can’t be found, so we sacrifice those to the “Range Gods” in return for good luck.

RCBS Sidewinder Case Tumbler can be used with liquid to clean dirt and sand from range brass.

The point is, an active shooter needs to constantly be working on replenishing his brass supply. If I don’t have several thousand cases for each pistol cartridge on hand to load during the long, cold, New England winters, I start to suffer withdrawal symptoms. So I defy my protesting knees, ignore my aching back and pick-up all the range brass I can find.

But before you can load your newfound treasure, you need to treat it right. If you simply pick up range brass and then dump it into the case feeder on your progressive loading press you will get a very expensive and frustrating lesson on the cost of cutting corners. To make range brass behave requires some patient nurturing.

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The Taurus PT 1911 handguns surrounded by .45 ACP handloads. I have been doing…