The Morgan Report Asks: Do You Hold Precious Metals “Ammo” – Or Empty Shell Casings?

casingsIn this excellent interview, the Morgan Report’s Senior Analyst David Smith discusses the difference between paper positions and holdings of precious metals and the real deal- and likens paper metals to empty ammunition shell casings.
Do you hold precious metals ammo, or simply the empty shell casings?
Full interview with David Smith is below:


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  1. Good analogy  Empty brass that much greater value today than 2 years ago.  Much more than paper.
    Once fired brass can cost as little at 5 cents a round for pistol and up to 15 cents for rifle casings
    We did the Brass Pilates at the range, picking up abou 1200 rounds of pistol brass after the CCW training. This amortizes the cost of ammo as brass can be reloaded several times before it’s spent And brass as a metal is worth maybe $2 a pound
    Empty brass equals a big savings on reloading.  If I can make a plug, Doc’s ammo is reasonable in price when once fired brass is taken into account or not. It can reduce the price of the ammo 5-10 cents a round whether pistol or rifle.
    Just sayin’
    Once reloaded you are golden  Keep stackin’  Brass is another precious metal
    PS On smaller pistol ammo like 9mm and 38 cal you can conceivably reload the same brass 20 times but casings can crack.
    Larger calibers, heavier loads and rifle casings are not going to lend themselves to long brass life Do you own testing and diligence before trying to get the max from your cases.
    MaryB can you weigh in on this subject?

    • I can reload 9mm for $.15 a round using my own brass and lead. Learn to cast bullets, you will be in demand after shtf. Pistol brass I use until it cracks, rifle brass 7-10 times for .223. Key right now is buy powder and primers when you find it. Also raw lead, I just picked up a 30 pound block of pretty hard lead for free when I scrapped out a server cabinet. Kept the lead, sold the wire scrap and the steel went on the pile for the next trailer load.
      Watch out for berdan primed for cheap ammo, it is very hard to reload and often corrosive when fired. And I pick up cases at the range, usually come back with 3 times what I fired for pistol cases. rifle cases tend to get picked up right away by many.

    • I agree with Mary on all points.  I reload .45-ACP, .38-SPCL, .357 mag, and .41 mag.  I have a set of dies for 9 mm but have not used it because of the taper crimp that round uses.  Once you get the hang of it, reloading the 9 mm should be fine.  But I am a noob at it so far.  If I start shooting my 9 mm more, then I will consider doing some reloading for it.  I save all of my cases, except for the steel cases of my AK rounds.  One can always use a little brass.  If I don’t use them for reloading, I can still use them as trading stock.
      Have not reloaded any rifle ammo but AK ammo is cheap enough that I don’t worry about its Berdan priming system.  The TULA ammo brand is good but I have heard that the Wolf and Brown Bear are similar.  I DO worry about ammo being corrosive, though, so always buy non-corrosive ammo.  Either works fine but when using corrosive ammo, one had better be quick and thorough with cleaning their guns.  I usually do a field-strip clean, which is quick, easy, and works well in most cases.  A complete disassembly, clean, lube, and reassembly is needed when using corrosive ammo.  The Russians say that corrosive ammo is a little more reliable in extreme weather conditions but that does not seem a worthwhile trade-off in most of the US.  Bore pitting can be a significant problem, so if corrosive ammo causes that, it would be best to avoid it.

    • Hey folks, I have a simple question: I have all of the components I need for a while and have been mulling over which reloader press to get (Lee, Rock Chucker, Dillon, etc.), and maybe keep it single stage? Mostly for .308 and .45. Thoughts or preferences? 
      As for the Russian stuff, I have not noticed corrosion from the 7.62 x 39 (but a bit dirty), but my friend thinks that his 7.62 x 54 is.  Cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to relying on your firearm for your life. 

    • Corrosive was used all through WWII, long as you clean within 24 hours it is fine.

  2. I’ve learned to reload over the last couple of years.  Cheaper?  I dunno.  Never did the math.  To get started with a good kit, brass, powder, bullets, extra tools, MISTAKES, etc, etc takes a bit to get going.  Of course I started out with a Lee manual reloader for $25.  That got me started.  Reloading is one of the other stacks I’m working on.  After we have the next SH there’s nothing we’ll be able to get for YEARS.  Better to stack now.
    Like has been said a TRILLION times; if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it.

  3. I’ve found Lake City brass  headstamp L C, will, well over half the time, give me one or two more uses than the other stuff out there… for some reason, it doesn’t seem to grow as much…
    Then, when  you do retire it, @ $2 / pound, that’s an even better discount!  :) I’ll take empty shell casings over fiat anytime!

    Reloading IS cheaper after you get some production under your belt. But the more valuable part of this is that it’s easier to get the pieces a little at a time… if you keep your eyes open at gunshows and classifieds, and ranges, you can develop a pretty fair inventory. In the past few years since ammo prices have skyrocketed, I’ve been living off being a 20 year packrat. I started back after Waco. I have some new stuff, but, except for a newly added calibre that’s been hard to get components for in any quantity, I can’t remember when I fired the factory stuff last.

  4. One more thing to keep on ones radar, C B radio antennas! Say you are at a yard sale and see an old CB antenna ask them if they would take 25 cents for it.  The reason is that the antennas use stainless steel in the whip (sometimes the whip is coated in silver). On the inside though, the base, the antenna uses silver coated wire to receive the radio signals! Look for Wilson’s and Cobra’s. As far as ammo (reloading) as a trade good when TSHTF. I like the primers. They don’t take up much space, they weigh almost nothing, they are cheap and every reloaded cartridge has got to have one! Trade your primers for bullets! @Ed_B: As I said, as a trade good for when the SHTF. One should have a generous supply of ammo if one owns a gun. However not everyone does, and they will be looking for brass and lead and powder and PRIMERS when their hunting ammo runs out!

    • I would hesitate to rely on trading for such a critical item.  Yeah, IF it is available, I’d be all over trading various items I have in surplus for some extra primers but it would be best to have a large stack of primers, brass, lead, and powder in hand.
      My son has a s***load of 5.56 mm USMC brass.  Before he got out in 1997, he paid a visit to the local rifle range and asked the sergeant in charge of it if they had any spare cases that he could have.  He said, sure do, and gave my son two 20 mm wood ammo boxes full of 5.56 mm brass.  Don’t know how many cases that is but it has got to be several thousand.  Those 20 mm ammo boxes are good sized.
      One of the best things about reloading is that one can tailor their rounds to their guns and get ammo that shoots perfectly in the guns that we have.  Not only that, but we can also make up some odd-ball rounds for special hunting situations.  If a .30-06 is the only rifle you have and you want to hunt wild turkeys for the table, no problem with hand-loaded squib rounds, some of which are loaded with round balls at 800-900 fps for good close range kills without destroying much meat.  I used to hunt blue grouse with my S&W .357 mag, using .38-SPCL brass, a .375″ lead ball, about 4.5 grains of Unique powder, and a small pistol primer.  This is about a 700 fps load and works well on chicken-sized game out to around 50 yards.  Meat damage was limited to about a 3/8″ diameter hole, so not at all bad.

  5. Re: Comments about reusing brass via reloading.  Reloading a given shell, regardless of how many times its been reloaded after the FIRST time is a time bomb.  Let me be clear.  If you don’t go through all the facets of testing, calibration, etc, then you shouldn’t be reloading.  As for 9mm .357, .38 high pressure rounds are most susceptable to problems.   Mary saying she reloads until they crack is either an attempt at humor, or someone with a death wish.
    I’ve seen the results of rogue reloading.  Its not pretty, its deadly!  Picking up “strange” brass to reload is an easy  way to make a plastic surgeon bloat his savings account.
    Sorry I got on a rant, but this subject is SERIOUS stuff and I sense a cavalier attitude by some of the comments.

  6. If any are having accuracy problems with home brewed rounds try this. Adjust your bullet seat depth, either a touch longer or shorter. At discharge the bullet leaves the brass, and for a very short time, prior to the round engaging the lands and grooves, it is free floating. It strikes the lands and grooves, and a shock wave precedes the round down th barrel, causing harmonick vibration in rifle barrel. This vibration causes the barrel to vibrate in an up and down fashion. By lengthening to cartridge over all length, you shorten the bullet jump and reduce the harmonic vibration. Most have felt this in a baseball bat at some point in your life. By adjusting overall bullet seating depth as long as you possibly can(while still having a cartridge over all length that cycles through mag freely, and chambers well)improve accuracy significantly. read your data carefully, dont approach max load with a cavalier attitude, or we will be calling you Lefty, and you dont want that.
    I own 7 rifles, and have NEVER fired a factory load down the pipe. Diffrent brass a bullet combinations work real well togeather, while others don`t. I buy all my components face to face, never on line. 
    Givem hell

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