Friday, August 8, 2008


For the love of brass!

Orichaphilia is the best I can do with a word for it. Based on the Latin for "brass" plus "love." And do not doubt that it has the dimensions of a disease, or at least a powerful compulsion. I know, because I have it.

I can't pass up a cartridge case on the ground. If I visit a range it is very likely that I will run out of pockets very quickly. I have ziplocks of cases for weapons that I do not own and never will. I have ziplocks full of cases that no one can identify, no doubt left behind by visiting space aliens

I know when it started. It was back when I was a kid with a new .357 revolver and no money. Cases were like gold. I had between sixty and seventy, most of them the old double-cannelure REM-UMC .38 Special cases used for wadcutter loads. I still have a few of these, but they have been long retired from the loading bench. They have been replaced by thousands upon thousands of newer .38 cases. Gone but not forgotten!

My reloading room (with an annex out in the shop!) is full of boxes, cans, and ziplocks full of cases: .38 brass; .38 nickel, .357 ditto, 9mm Para, .45ACP, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .45AR, .44-40, .308. .243, .223, .257 Roberts, 7mm-08, 8x57mm, .30-'06...on and on. You get the idea. Some readers may even see themselves in this tale of terrible obsession. 

It still gives me joy to stop the tumbler and pour a golden cascade of shiny, clean cases into a can for the reloading bench. It speaks of frugality, ingenuity, and industry. It feels good. Besides, they're purty. 

I don't think there is a cure for orichaphilia. Why should there be? If one is ever found I have no intention of ever availing myself of it. I am resigned to my affliction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know a guy who has 55 gallon drums full of brass in his basement. He says one day he is going to turn it in for scrap metal, but he never will. He has cartridge cases of virtually every description in that trove.