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harbl_the_cat
07-08-2012, 12:09 AM
The melt value of coins is the market price of the component metals that the coin is composed of.

I decided tonight to calculate what the melt value of brass was. I took a rough measurement of several calibres of ammo of varying weight.

I took the closing market prices of Zinc and Copper found here:

http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/zinc.html
http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/Copper.html

And assumed brass has a 70/30 copper/zinc composition (maybe off, but that's the first figure that came out from google).

Here's my findings:

Casing Price / Unit
9mm $0.0232
40 S&W $0.0267
.45 ACP $0.0336
5.56 NATO $0.0371
7.62 NATO $0.0696

Interestinly enough, not a lot of people would pick up a nickel if they saw one lying on the ground. However, if you see a range FULL of brass, you should note that for every 2 centre fire handgun rounds you pick up, you basically have a nickel to a nickel and a half. With .30 calibre and larger brass, every 4 rounds you have about a quarter.

That's only the MELT VALUE of brass - roughly what you could argue a recycler MIGHT pay you. They might, they might not, however I'm fairly confident much of that brass I can resell at a gun show close to what the retail price is.

As you can see, the retail value is substantially higher, which imo is fair. You pay a premium to purchase a useful item.

http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/category.jsp?catid=79170
http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/category.jsp?catid=80215

Last week I picked up about 60 lbs of brass over about a 5 hour period (although I took a few breaks to chrono a few 9mm, 45 ACP and .223 loads). The melt value alone of that brass is about $157.75 - meaning just for the time alone to pick all that brass up, I was earning about $31.55/hour.

IMO, the moral of the story - don't waste brass. It's basically like wasting money.

stevesummit
07-08-2012, 12:31 AM
Don't tell everyone now the secret is out

harbl_the_cat
07-08-2012, 12:32 AM
Don't tell everyone now the secret is out

It never was a secret to begin with.

Even if you don't reload - the smartest thing you can do is police all your brass... because range chickens with an Excel spreadsheet like me will be all over it :)

joe-nwt
07-09-2012, 09:08 PM
I just call the scrap yards for the price that day. I guess I'm not as sophisticated as you. What was your hourly rate of pay to figure out the "melt" value?

harbl_the_cat
07-10-2012, 09:13 AM
60 lbs x 70% x $3.41/lbs = $143.22
+
60 lbs x 30% x $0.83/lbs = $14.94

Total melt value = $158.16
5 hours spent picking it:

$158.16 / 5 hours = $31.632 / hour

Whether a recycler will sell you for that is debatable (I suspect they would give you less) - but that is the fair market price. For 60 lbs of assorted brass though, I suspect you could sell it for about $1/lbs - and even then, that would be $12/hour after tax, which would basically be like working for $17/hour.

jwirecom109
07-10-2012, 09:20 AM
Just from previously knowledge, Scrap yards do not pay you percentages of base metals, they take the highest content material (in this case brass) and have levels of it, eg pure, semi pure, mixed, etc (not exactly sure what they would do for firearm brass)

So in this case if its a semi pure they would only pay you a percentage of that amount eg, if its 3.41 they'll pay you like a buck and a half a pound. (maybe abit more, as mixed metal is usally a buck) Reason being they have to recover their costs plus they have to smelt it down and separate the metals, and they are greedy lol.

harbl_the_cat
07-10-2012, 10:29 AM
That's fair - but the point in highlighting scrap yards/recyclers is that there IS a market out there for spent brass. The going rates are much less than the market for reloaders, who will pay 2-3 times what a recycler will pay - it just involves more work to sell it.

I suspect a recycler would buy 9mm brass for $0.01-$0.02 / casing (quite a bit below it's melt value). An older guy with a bad back and bad knees at a gun show might buy that same brass for $0.05-$0.10 / casing.

jwirecom109
07-10-2012, 11:24 AM
From Combat masters website they give credit based on brass I've broken their credit down to calibers.
Now this is a commercial company so their credit would be 75% to 40 % below market so they make money.

.40 cal: 0.014 per casing (minimum 1000)
.38 Spl: 0.010 per casing (minimum 1000)
357 MAG: 0.040 per casing (minimum 1000)
9mm Luger: 0.009 per casing (minimum 1000)
.45 ACP: 0.035 per casing (minimum 1000)
.44 Mag: 0.050 per casing (minimum 1000)

harbl_the_cat
07-10-2012, 01:00 PM
From Combat masters website they give credit based on brass I've broken their credit down to calibers.
Now this is a commercial company so their credit would be 75% to 40 % below market so they make money.

.40 cal: 0.014 per casing (minimum 1000)
.38 Spl: 0.010 per casing (minimum 1000)
357 MAG: 0.040 per casing (minimum 1000)
9mm Luger: 0.009 per casing (minimum 1000)
.45 ACP: 0.035 per casing (minimum 1000)
.44 Mag: 0.050 per casing (minimum 1000)

I'm surprised they give so much for .45 ACP - but from what I hear, .45 is pretty well dried up.

There's tonnes of 9mm and .40 are kicking around though, which would explain why they offer so little for them. .38 Spl is a bit of a surprise being so cheap and .44 Mag being so expensive.

New brass is ridiculously expensive ($27 for 100 rounds of 9mm? from WSS).

I've seen CSS and TSE sell brass - IIRC, a 500 round bag of .40 and 9mm was going for about $0.05/casing.

jwirecom109
07-10-2012, 01:07 PM
38 and 44 are hard to compair, your more likely to see the 357 and 44 as a compare model.

I just bought 500 rounds of 38 for 140 bucks, the same in 357 would have been well over 240

joe-nwt
07-11-2012, 06:31 AM
The last scrap cartridge brass I sold in Edmonton about 2 years ago I got $1.65/lb. As the price of copper is still approx the same, I suspect that's what you would still get. As a side note, scrap value is usually noticably higher in Calgary and higher still in Vancouver. I got 22/lb more in Calgary for the last load of copper I took down. I had about 5500lbs on the trailer so it was well worth my time/fuel to travel a bit further.;)

harbl_the_cat
07-12-2012, 09:48 AM
5500lbs of brass?

joe-nwt
07-12-2012, 12:28 PM
4500lbs copper, and 500lbs each brass and aluminum. Give or take. Yes, it was a good haul......:D

harbl_the_cat
07-13-2012, 09:51 AM
How did you swing that?

jwirecom109
07-13-2012, 11:47 AM
I am guessing it wasn't just from brass lol!

JustBen
07-13-2012, 01:19 PM
Apparently the department of defense wants a minimum of $4/kg for scrap brass.

https://www.gcsurplus.ca/mn-eng.cfm?snc=wfsav&sc=enc-bid&scn=105024&lcn=249546&lct=L&srchtype=&lci=&str=21&ltnf=1&frmsr=1&sf=ferm-clos

jwirecom109
07-13-2012, 01:40 PM
Yep seen that, pretty sad really but u you check most of ads of what they want they are out to lunch

https://www.gcsurplus.ca/mn-eng.cfm?snc=wfsav&sc=enc-bid&scn=105111&lcn=249654&lct=L&srchtype=&lci=&str=26&ltnf=1&frmsr=1&sf=ferm-clos

This one is a current posting, at-least there is no minimum bid on it. 62,510 kg of brass or 137811 lbs of brass if a guy had $65,000 sitting around and a truck he could double his money

joe-nwt
07-14-2012, 07:09 AM
How did you swing that?

I'm an electrical contractor and I collect stuff.;)