Cleaning Brown cases?


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Randy1911
December 16, 2009, 06:29 PM
I have access to some 223 Rem cases that have set out in the weather for a long time and have turned dark brown. Is there any way to bring them back to a shinny luster that is not too much work? I tumbled them for about 24 hours and it did not help any. Or should I just get rid of them?

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Win1892
December 16, 2009, 06:32 PM
There is a chemical cleaner I think called Iosso that will remove the oxidation.

Load'em up and shoot them anyway. They cycle just fine.

Walkalong
December 16, 2009, 07:00 PM
Any of the tumbler additives will polish them up pretty well. Midways, Dillons, Berrys, etc. If they have been outdoors for a very long time and are really tarnished, they may not shine up though. They will shoot just fine even if they don't get shiny.

FROGO207
December 16, 2009, 07:11 PM
When I have reeeealy tarnished brass I dip it in Iosso Case Cleaner for about 2 min then tumble with walnut media/New Finish wax for 2 hours. Presto shiny brass.:D

Randy1911
December 16, 2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks Frogo. I will see if I can get some Iosso. I tumble them for a long time, but thery are still dark brown.

Gik-tal
December 16, 2009, 10:28 PM
you can also get one gallon of warm water put in one table spoon of salt, and two cups of white viniger, soak about 30 miniutes and most of the corrosion will come off, then dry and tumble to shine.

Seedtick
December 16, 2009, 10:52 PM
you can also get one gallon of warm water put in one table spoon of salt, and two cups of white viniger, soak about 30 miniutes and most of the corrosion will come off, then dry and tumble to shine.

I can remember back in grade school (yes, it was a looong time ago :scrutiny:) doing something like that. We made a mixture of salt and white vinegar and put dark pennies in it and they came out looking all shiny like new ones.

ST

:)

243winxb
December 16, 2009, 10:55 PM
Get rid of the brass. Ammonia forms in nature. Ammonia makes brass brittle. Do not wash in vinegar. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=417310

ants
December 16, 2009, 10:55 PM
Birchwood Casey concentrated case cleaner. Dark brown cases will turn pink after 3 minutes, but will tumble to their proper brass color again.

You mix a tiny amount of concentrate into a quart of water and it cleans a couple thousand dark brown cases. One pint of this concentrated stuff will last the rest of your life.

Over the last 40 years I've saved thousands of dark brown cases. They load and shoot perfectly well. None of them blew up. Of course, before loading conduct your visual inspection as with any other range pickup.

W.E.G.
December 16, 2009, 11:10 PM
I would be EXTREMELY leery of any brass that has laid out, on an earthen surface where there may be ammonia elements, long enough to turn brown. Brass is a copper alloy and it is absolutely susceptible to season cracking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_corrosion_cracking

You might get by with it, that doesn't mean its adviseable.

warnerwh
December 17, 2009, 01:09 AM
I wouldn't use it because there can be weakened areas that aren't visible. It's not worth the risk. Just my opinion.

ArchAngelCD
December 17, 2009, 01:33 AM
This all seems like a lot to do about nothing. I wouldn't spend the money or time just to shine up brass that's going to be shot in an AR. As long as it's clean it will work fine. (IMO of course)

Randy1911
December 17, 2009, 02:50 AM
Well, I will just forget about it. I was hoping to get a lot brass that was usable. I will just stick to the brass that is shinny when I find it, forget the dark stuff. I thought it might be worth salvaging. Just my luck.:cuss:

evan price
December 17, 2009, 03:53 AM
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Brown cases will have some chemical damage and shouldn't be used for high pressures.

I've let brown .44 Mag cases tumble for a solid week and they finally cleaned up, but cracked on the next firing- despite being loaded to .44 Special pressures. Only bothered because .44 is not easy to find normally. Now, the brown ones get chucked in the scrap bin.

If we're talking some light brown stains from the case landing in wet grass overnight, those tumble right out with no problems. But solid chocolate inside and out, not worth the hassle.

Randy1911
December 17, 2009, 04:47 AM
Evan

The cases that I was refering to, were a "chocolate" brown. Other than that they looked fine. They had beed laying outside for a few weeks at least. I will just forget about them. I will play it safe.

ants
December 17, 2009, 05:09 PM
Each reloader must make his/her own decisions.
But I think some of these guys are scaring you unnecessarily.

Walkalong
December 17, 2009, 05:22 PM
But I think some of these guys are scaring you unnecessarily. Me too. Brown from wet weather is no big deal.

shaggy430
December 17, 2009, 05:45 PM
I'd use them, but that's just me.

ranger335v
December 17, 2009, 05:48 PM
"get one gallon of warm water put in one table spoon of salt, and two cups of white viniger, soak about 30 miniutes and most of the corrosion will come off"

Yeah, that is the old US Arsenal formula and it works. But so does plain vinegar, all by itself. An hour or so soak will remove all the tarnish, i'ts just a surface oxidation color change after all, dry and tumble. Vinegar is a VERY mild acid, quite harmless, it's what pickles are soaked in and we eat the stuff. Given time, the acid will disolve the extra oxygen out of the tarnish and turn it pinkish, the color polishes off and it's gone.

Brass tarnish is vastly different from brass corrosion, that's a green color.

You won't be able to tell the difference after that, there's no point in losing perfefectly good cases.

Randy1911
December 17, 2009, 09:44 PM
The next trip to the range I will pick up a bunch and clean them. After a close inspection I will decide if they are usable. They are just brown from sitting in the weather.

ArchAngelCD
December 18, 2009, 12:59 AM
If you are worried about them clean a few off with emery cloth and inspect them for cracks. I'm almost sure you will find the "brown" is only superficial and there's really no damage.

Like I said in my above post, "This all seems like a lot to do about nothing. I wouldn't spend the money or time just to shine up brass that's going to be shot in an AR. As long as it's clean it will work fine." (IMO of course)

FROGO207
December 18, 2009, 10:32 PM
Bright Brass is easier to spot when picking it up. :D

Randy1911
December 19, 2009, 12:47 AM
Froggo

That is the main reason I want shinny brass. I am going to the range tomorrow and will pick up some brass and try to clean it. If it looks good I will start picking up as much as I can find.

Sport45
December 19, 2009, 01:22 AM
If it looks good I will start picking up as much as I can find.


I'd pick it up anyway. :)

rondog
December 19, 2009, 02:16 AM
I've taken a lot of brass like this and cleaned it up with Iosso, then tumbled in clean, dry walnut media to scrub it, and then in corncob with Nufinish to polish. Works fine, but it's labor-intensive. I've also used plain old Orange KoolAid as a soak, without the sugar. Citric acid, I think it is, that eats the crud off.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1408.jpg

Sure, there's always a few losers, but the good ones make it worthwhile! I have many buckets full of many calibers, all cleaned and polished. If I only get one reloading out of a case, I have tens of thousands more behind it. I don't make max loads either.

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