Case Marking


April 21, 2009, 04:06 PM
I've been reading for a while and have founds lots of great info so I finally joined so I can post and hopefully add my two cents from time to time.

Background: I shoot several different .223 Rem rifles. I use full-length die for general purpose fun in the AR and neck-sizer die for my bolt action. I don't want to mix the brass up and I have lots of the same head stamp so it doesn't do any good to go by head stamp.

Questions: Is there a good way to mark brass that won't come off in the tumbler or weaken the brass?

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April 21, 2009, 04:11 PM
if you have an engraver, you could mark the rim for each rifle. However, i don't know how much your extractor chews the brass.

What I do is to keep my brass color coded and segregated.

One rifle's brass might get marked black, another red with a sharpie. Shoot it, collect and segregate by color, and process in matched lots. Recolor as needed.

April 21, 2009, 04:40 PM
There was a good thread on Brass Striping (and various tools that folks have made) on Brian Eno's website that might be of some interest:

Hope that helps.

Take Care,

April 22, 2009, 06:32 AM
You can use something like Dykem steel blue - it's quite durable. Otherwise, how about using different headstamps?

April 22, 2009, 04:31 PM
I appreciate the info. I like the idea of the engraver since it will never come off in the tumbler and the striping seems like something to consider. The Dykem steel blue, is that the same as using cold blue?

April 22, 2009, 04:57 PM
The Dykem steel blue, is that the same as using cold blue?No it's a lacquer based paint used for machine tool layout. You paint or spray it on, then scratch through it to make the part outline or hole location.

It is not in the least durable in my experience using it for 50 years or so. The make it to scratch off easily so you can get it off of finished parts.


April 22, 2009, 05:54 PM
I just put mine in the tumbler at different times.It doesn't take that much extra work.

April 22, 2009, 07:19 PM
Buy several plastic pencil boxes like those sold at office supply stores. Mark them for each rifle's brass. You could have two boxes for each rifle: fired/unsized and sized ready to be loaded.

April 22, 2009, 08:41 PM
The hard part is for them to stay marked in the tumbler. I mark cases with different color sharpies. You would have to sort and tumble separate. I know some people that push the base into an ink pad like you would a rubber stamp but again you would have to sort before tumbling.

Ol` Joe
April 22, 2009, 09:36 PM
I`ve a couple of rifle that take the same cartridge. I use a different brand brass in each. IE; my Win 1885 in 223 gets Winchester brass while I use Remington in my Winchester M70 HV.
Premium nickle plated brass works too in telling ammo for one `06 from the other....

April 23, 2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks to everyone that's replied. I'll change the boxes I store my brass in, marker colors I mark with and be more selective with my headstamps and all will be well. Thanks again!

April 23, 2009, 06:44 PM
you can mark them with a small file on the "rim". just file in a small notch (or 2 or 3) on the edge so you can tell them apart.

April 23, 2009, 08:48 PM
Assuming your AR (s) have ejector lumps,brass from them will leave their own tell-tale sign completely through the reloading process.

April 23, 2009, 10:34 PM
You could dip the unprimed bases in some type of dye, let it dry then prime and load. When you tumble it, the color should stay around the primer, like sealer also it should stay in the lettering of the headstamp. the tumbling media should be too big to get in and polish the lettering. I wouldn't engrave or file on the cases.


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