The Top Brass Re-Spec Process -

Top Brass buys ONCE-FIRED military brass from the Department of Defense and completely reconditions and re-specs the products for perfect reuse. In most instances, our fully processed products possess tighter tolerances than those of the original manufacturers. The results have made us preferred by lifelong reloaders.

The ReSpec Process

Pre-Process Quality Control

Starting with bulk lots of pre-fired cartridges, Top Brass sorts out any damaged brass, blanks, dummy rounds, training ammunition, and any other unusable material.  This is done to ensure that we start with top quality material.  All products are then sorted by cartidge / caliber type. Spent military cartridges
Spent brass from Department of Defense ranges


Top Brass begins its recondition process by rinsing all brass and clearing away any excess powder, dirt, and other particles that will hinder further processing.  After rinsing, the brass cartridges are tumble-dried and prepared for mechanical reconditioning.

Depriming & Reaming

Top Brass uses a single-step mechanical process for depriming and reaming each brass cartridge. First, the spent primer is removed with a punch die, and then excess brass is removed using a small cutting tool attached to our patented Auto-Reamer system. This system ensures uniform precision for each brass cartridge and allows perfect primer placement during reloading.

Our patented Auto-Reamer machines

Picture showing comparison of 5.56 shell with intact primer and ream, and same shell with ream and primer removed.
Military 5.56 brass with intact primer and crimp on (left), with primer and crimp removed (right)



As cartridge casings expand when fired, Top Brass takes extra care to precisely reshape each product to its original form using caliber-specific sizing dies. This process uses strict SAAMI specifications for both the outer diameter and case-mouth dimensions.
In addition to reforming the brass cartridges, Top Brass also trims the top portion of the case (around the mouth) to return the case to its correct length. This resizing is defined by SAMMI specifications.


.223 before size/trim (left) & after (right)


During resizing, a lubricant is used to provide a uniform and concentric form to the cartridge, as well as to protect the reloading press and the brass case itself.  To remove this material, Top Brass washes and polishes all brass cartridges in a proprietary solution that makes them shine better than new.

Cleaned and polished brass cartridges
Nice shiny brass!


All Top Brass products are randomly sampled and gauged along the entire reconditioning process.  Every station operates under strict industry tolerances to ensure all products are well within median SAMMI specification for all dimensions.  Top Brass products are 100% QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTED before final packaging to ensure user performance and customer satisfaction.

 Rows of empty shells on a quality assurance inspection table
100% Quality Inspection (.308)


Top Brass offers multiple options in packaging, including retail ready products, as well as bulk packaging.  Standard retail packaging types and quantities include the following:

  • Blister / Hang Packs          =  50 pieces
  • Poly Bags w/ Hang Card   = 250 pieces
  • Free Standing Jugs            =   1,000 pieces

Top Brass Packaging