Reloading is a popular hobby, both because people enjoy doing it and because it can save shooters a lot of money. The biggest expense associated with reloading is the cost of brass, and people who do their research before they buy can both save money and be confident that they will get a good product.
Your Shooting Goals
Lots of people reload their ammunition so they can customize its features. If customization is your priority, make sure that you know what you want to achieve before you shop. That will give you a chance to do the research and find out exactly what you need to buy and make sure you don’t forget anything important.
Once-Fired or New?
Some reloading brass is new, while other brass has been used once before. Both types are fine for most people, although it can be a good idea to put in a little extra time to check once-fired brass for defects. On the other hand, it also tends to be cheaper than new brass. Weigh the benefits of each type before you make up your mind.
Who Made It?
Some manufacturers produce better brass than others. If possible, try to choose brass that you can trace back to a specific manufacturer that has a reputation for quality. You should do this even if you’re buying used brass, since it will ensure that you get as many reloads as possible out of your purchase.
Bulk discounts are fairly common, as are discounts based on special holidays or simple sales. Always shop around to find the best deal, especially if you’re buying a lot of brass at once. If possible, try to stock up so you can stretch your brass supply until the next sale to get the best price.
Primed or Unprimed?
Some brass comes primed, which means that it has a primer in place. That means that it takes less work to get the round ready to fire, but primed brass usually costs a little bit more. The primer also only works once, so additional loads will need new primers. Primed brass is convenient for novices and eager shooters, while unprimed saves more money, so you should always be aware of which you are buying.
The Going Rate
Informed shoppers save the most money. Always try to figure out the going rate for the type of brass you are buying before you make your purchase. That will ensure that you can identify the good deals and pass up the ones that are only average.
Some loads will save much more money than others. In general, the bigger and rarer the round, the more money you will be able to save by reloading. If you’re trying to stretch out your ammo budget, keep this in mind so you can focus on getting the most bang for your buck.
Lots of ammo companies like to support the community, such as by offering free rounds to police officers in return for their used brass. If you want to support that type of policy, research potential brass suppliers to find out which ones take part in programs that match with your beliefs.