A Conclusive Guide To Recycling Scrap Ammo – (Prices and Safety Measures)

Looking to dispose of old or unused ammunition safely? Our conclusive guide to recycling scrap ammo has got you covered! Whether you’re a gun owner or simply want to do your part for the environment, read on for all the information you need to recycle your scrap ammo like a pro.

Recycling Scrap Ammo

Not only will recycling this scrap ammo help you get some cash but it will also prove to be beneficial for the environment. No matter if that particular ammunition piece is old or the one that doesn’t fire properly, we will help you get rid of it in no time.

Before hopping on to the recycling part, let’s first analyze what ammunition actually is and what its key components are.

What is Ammunition made of?

First of all, we will analyze all the components of ammunition in detail to fully understand their recycling process. The projectile is the entire gun body that contains bullets, gunpowder, casing, and a primer.

The gunpowder used in ammunition is made up of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal, which form an explosive mixture. The cartridge is the gun casing, which is typically made of metal. The metal used may be a mixture of several elements, including copper, steel, brass, or sometimes plastic.

Bullets may be composed of different metals, but the most commonly used metal is lead. The primer is a chemical used inside a gun that performs the role of an igniter when a firing pin hits it. 

Why To Recycle The Scrap Ammunition?

Can ammunition actually be recycled? Well, there may be multiple answers to this. Keep in mind that unused ammunition is easier to recycle than the ammo that is spend or used.

Recycling the unused ammunition requires it to be disassembled into its component parts for an effective and smooth process. The metal cases of which the ammunition is made can be recycled and used again, and the gunpowder inside it can be used in fertilizers.

In case the ammunition has been used, there will not be any gunpowder inside it, and all that will be left is the outer casing. The outer casings are typically made of metals like brass, which can be recycled to make new ammunition or other products.

This is how Scrap Ammo looks like

YouTube video

How To Prepare Your Ammunition For recycling?

You cannot just go and hand over your ammunition for recycling as it won’t sound really ethical. To do this, you must first prepare your ammunition (in case it was used).

The very first step that you will be adopting is washing your ammunition thoroughly so that there is no gunpowder in it. Any residue left on your ammunition can make it highly dangerous, and no recycling facility will take it.

There are various tools which you can use to clean the gunpowder from the cartridges and keep that gunpowder in a separate box later on.

Next, you must separate your ammunition with the type of metal used. Make a separate box for the brass items, steel, lead, and whatever other material is used in them.

Also Read Where to Recycle Aluminum Cans for Money?

Safety Measures For Recycling Ammunition

You must not touch your ammunition barehanded as it can prove to be really dangerous.

There is a list of safety measures that you must adopt while handling these things:

  • Never mix used and unused ammunition with each other. This can prove to be a real concern as mixing both these ammunitions is highly hazardous. 
  • Never dump lead bullets into the ground. This is particularly because of the fact that the lead in these bullets may seep into the groundwater and contaminate it. 
  • Always wear protective gear when handling ammunition. Cover your hands with gloves and wear glasses to avoid any sort of contact with the hazardous item. 
  • Store the ammunition in a safe place away from the reach of children, or pets, and always store them in a good container to avoid leakage of any sorts. 
  • Do not strike the casing in any case when you are trying to wash it. Always be gentle with the ammunition as there are high chances of explosion otherwise. 
  • Never smoke near the ammunition. This is particularly because of the fact that the ammunition contains explosive materials and smoking may ignite it. 
  • After you are done washing it, make sure you clean all the residue left behind thoroughly. Dispose off all the unwanted items. 
  • Lastly, wash your hands and your body parts which came in contact with the ammunition with soap and other sanitizers. 

Keep all the points in your list whether you are recycling old ammo or going for bullet casing recycling only.

Where To Take Scrap Ammo for Recycling?

In order to find a recycling center near you, search for ‘ammunition disposal near me’ on google. You will find a list of places where used ammunition is accepted. Following are some of the places which accept these but make sure you call them beforehand to make a confirmation. 

  1. Police stations: Check with your local police department to see if they accept used ammunition. When bringing ammunition to a police station, do not bring the firearm with you. Instead, keep the gun securely locked in your car and approach the officer at the station to inform them that you have ammunition to surrender.
  2. Local Gun Range: You can visit your local gun ranges in order to get rid of your ammunition. Most of these gun ranges have a specified day for this purpose and you can call them beforehand to check what that particular day is. 
  3. Recycling Centers: There are a lot of recycling companies which accept hazardous waste and you can contact your nearby ones to check if they do too. This waste may range from regular batteries to ammunition etc. but making a confirmation beforehand is essential.

Also, check if there’s any Ammunition Disposal Service near you. That might be very helpful in disposing of scrap ammo.

How to sell scrap ammunition and earn money?

Why don’t you make some money while recycling scrap ammo? For your information, scrap ammo is valuable and you can earn some bucks out of it. 

sell scrap ammunition and earn money

All you have to do is learn about the laws that determine if your country or city allows you to do this or not. If it is allowed, then you can research about the buyers offline or online who buys scrap ammo. 

Also, make sure that the ammo is damaged or expired. Separate the ammo which can be used. 

Look for the best prices of scrap ammo. Once you have got the best price, you can sell it. It is recommended to do the paperwork, so you don’t get into any trouble later. Keep that paperwork safe with you. 

The real hurdle is to look for the best company that buys unusable ammo. Local Ammunition suppliers, gun shows, online auctions and marketplaces are also suggested if you want to sell the scrap ammo. 

There are many brands which are present online. They give you a quote after getting the necessary information. They also offer you pickup services. In this way, you won’t have to go physically out to look for buyers and sell them scrap ammo.

What Not To Do While Recycling Scrap Ammo:

The first thing you need to know is that scrap ammo always has a value. It can be sold off rather than just thrown away. Throwing away or recycling used or scrap ammo may cause legal issues for you. 

There are few things which you must not do:

  • Don’t just sell them to any recycling company without proper documentation.
  • Don’t throw it away in the residential trash recycling.
  • The ammo should not be filled with even a little brass (Brass can be sold separately).
  • Don’t surprise the police officers with scrap ammo. Do the conversation with them at first.
  • Don’t deal if you see something wrong with the buyer.

Ammo Brass Recycling Prices

These are the Brass Shells Scrap Prices:

Type of AmmunitionPrice per pound/lbs (USD)
.223/5.56$1.00 – $1.50
.308/7.62$1.50 – $2.00
9mm$0.70 – $1.00
.45 ACP$1.00 – $1.50
.40 S&W$0.80 – $1.20

Note: These prices may vary according to the city you live in. We have mentioned the most general prices.

Can you throw away bullets instead of recycling them?

If the bullets you have are unused and you want to get rid of them, throwing them away is not an option (strictly). It is because unused ammo can be misused.

Just sell them where they are valued or see what your city’s government offers you regarding disposing of unused or scrap ammo.

Friendly Asked Questions (FAQs)

To safely recycle the ammunition, you may take it to the local hazardous waste recycling centres.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and Winchester Ammunition are some of the companies that recycle scrap ammunition.

Recycling Scrap Ammo – Recap

Scrap ammo can be recycled in a plenty of ways, but you must first disassemble all the parts before doing so. Make sure you wear protective gear when handling ammunition, as it can prove to be dangerous otherwise. 

Recycling Scrap Ammo Infographic

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