Collecting Empty Cases

I am a new member, 3 weeks, and have a question about collecting. I have been reloading for 20+ years and have always saved one of every different case I found. Now I find out about this club, and see that everyone collects the entire cartridge. I have started buying 223 cartridges online. However, what can I do with the empties. Would loading a std ball projectile be wrong? Is that considered counterfeit? I am fine with starting fresh, its just a shame I have all these cases, some from 60, 70, 80’s.

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Welcome aboard.

Collecting is a personal thing. Some collect only live, original rounds whilst some only collect inert rounds. Some collect any example of a particular round that they need in their collection, whether it be live, fired etc. Others collect anything (and everything) they can get their hands on! Some of these decisions are mandated by the laws in your particular location.

There is nothing wrong with loading an empty case but you need to ensure that people know they are not original. This is especially important if your collection survives you and your family are looking to sell it.

Just my thoughts…

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The easiest way to do that is load a bullet with no powder or primer, mark it as a hand-loaded dummy round.

welcome bartman

My 2¢ on collecting empty cases is to keep them as they are. Loading with the wrong original projectile and not PERMANENTLY marking it as a re-load can only cause trouble down the road for whomever next has them for study.

I too collect empties, they are useful for study of case construction & headstamp evolution.

So were I you, I’d just start collecting original loads and intermingle them with your current collection. Updating when you can find them & keeping the original empty case next to it.

Again just 2¢ & for free.

I agree completely with Pete. Of what value to a student of ammunition (collector) is an empty case stuff with what will virtually always be the wrong bullet? The same goes for primers, powder, etc. The empty case carries the headstamp, one of the very important features of the cartridge in most cases (getting less so today with the huge amount of ammunition manufacturing by one company using cases headstamped for/by another company, making ID of the manufacturer very difficult once out of the box), and also as Pete said, shows the construction of the case and if with a fired primer, verifies the primer type (by looking inside the case at the flash holes, etc.). Mortality insures that we are not the last keepers of our cartridges, and wrong components muddy the waters of ID of those that follow us.

Today’s stricter laws make it very difficult to get loaded rounds from many countries, compared to 40 or 50 years ago. A fired case fills a niche very nicely, and is not subject to so many silly controls by ignorant politicians. My own collection contains dozens of fired cases, as well as many new, primed and unprimed empties, there either because that was all I could get, or in addition to the same case loaded, to show and prove various features of case construction.

John Moss

Thanks for replying. I will keep them as they are.