Department of Defense

Sell Fired Brass Back To Manufactuers

Annual military weapons training at every training installation worldwide produces thousands of tons of expended brass cartridge cases, which are generally sold through DRMO on the open market - a process that is currently hemorrhaging money (estimated at over $20M per year in real dollars for Army alone). Over the past four years China has been one of the largest buyers of this material. Because of its alloy, this brass is mostly used for ammunition, not other purposes. Congress currently receives a periodic report from Defense on Qualified Recycling Program materials - data is easily quantified through database (DENIX). Manufacturers now buy raw materials and create new cartridge cases at ever-increasing cost for materials (market cost of raw brass and zinc almost quadrupled from 2007 - 2008), and would be willing to use fired cartridge brass since it is already alloyed. By returning fired brass to a servicing storage installation or regional installation, it could be inspected, segregated, and consolidated on a national scale and sold to the manufacturer for re-manufacture (smelting, forming, etc.) at a lower cost than raw materials which have not yet been alloyed to make cartridge brass. Suggest mandating return of fired cartridge brass to a local or regional collection facility, and establish a Defense revolving fund that reimburses training installations worldwide for their collection and shipping costs, and reimburses collecting installations for their inspection, storage, and shipping costs from the proceeds of the sale. Reinvest any remaining proceeds of the sale in the ammunition acquisition program to reduce future product procurement costs.

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Idea No. 6389