For Brass, How Old Is Too Old?


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parker51
September 12, 2011, 07:18 PM
I purchased some 30 carbine brass from a fellow off the trading post the other day and when it arrived found it to be dated from the early 50's (some a year older than me ;-). I plan to reload this brass for a Ruger Black Hawk so just curious if brass weakens any with age.

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jcwit
September 12, 2011, 07:37 PM
You're good to go if it looks OK! Might be a little tarnish tho.

EddieNFL
September 12, 2011, 07:41 PM
I've used '06 brass headstamped in the late '40s.

parker51
September 12, 2011, 07:53 PM
Thanks! I forgot to mention it is WCC brass. It cleaned up pretty good after tumbling for a few hours in walnut.

tekarra
September 12, 2011, 08:19 PM
About the only thing that will damage brass is ammonia. Polish it up and look for cracks and bulges and if you don't find any, you are good to go.

351 WINCHESTER
September 12, 2011, 08:31 PM
Older brass may become brittle.

snuffy
September 13, 2011, 11:06 AM
Older brass may become brittle.

Only if it was stored open to something containing ammonia. If it was stored in a horse barn, it would be brass DUST!... Or crumbles!:what: Horse urine has lots of ammonia in it.

Brass does not AGE. By that I mean go bad or become unusable.

ranger335v
September 13, 2011, 03:57 PM
Cases don't dry rot, use it. Amuses me that for many people the starting definition of "old" is anything before they were born.

RandyP
September 13, 2011, 04:16 PM
I REFUSE to use all 175 year old brass cases purely on principle - lol

SlamFire1
September 13, 2011, 04:19 PM
Only if it was stored open to something containing ammonia. If it was stored in a horse barn, it would be brass DUST!... Or crumbles! Horse urine has lots of ammonia in it.

Really old brass, I think mid 50's or earlier might have mercuric primers. I heard that caused brass inbrittlement. Not having any mercuric primers, I can't test the warnings.

I have been using RA54 brass for almost 20 years. I bought this primed brass in the 80's, about 700 cases, I shoot through the can when I shoot my match grade Garand at highpower rifle matches. I guess I have about five reloads on the stuff. It is still good, no case neck cracks.

Don't let bird's poop on your brass. I have a failure analysis book, bird poop caused season cracking on a brass boat prop. One blade fell off.

An interesting read on the problems ammonia will cause with brass.

www.npl.co.uk/upload/pdf/stress.pdf


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1GarandTarget193-6X4Dec2010.jpg

gamestalker
September 13, 2011, 07:30 PM
If it isn't seriously pitted or erroded there is nothing to be concerned about. Just make sure it isn't in erroded condition. If in doubt about it's condition use a paper clip or simular type of wire and carefully check the inside for spots that catch on the wire, this could indicate a separation beginning from a previous reloader who exausted it's life span.

ranger335v
September 13, 2011, 07:44 PM
Randy: "I REFUSE to use all 175 year old brass cases purely on principle - lol"

That's a reasonable position, hold on to it! ;)

Our military arsenals quit making mercuric primers about 1920. Commercial makers seem to have changed about that time too.

FROGO207
September 13, 2011, 07:55 PM
I have a pair of Ruger 30 CARB Black Hawks and use a pile of WWII dated brass to shoot them with in Cowboy Action Matches. I use MB 115 grain Carbine bullets and Trail Boss (.5cc) that has them shooting about the same as 32 S&W long loads. The brass have about 40 reloads on them so far and are still going strong. I doubt that the straight walled brass will be a problem. I would load em up.:D

I remember reading that the 30 Carbine was designed for non corrosive ammunition and that was all that was ever available for it.

parker51
September 14, 2011, 12:21 AM
Thanks! I appreciate the help.

GaryL
September 14, 2011, 09:13 PM
I reload a few hundred WWII 45acp cases on a regular basis.

I do have a handful of 45-70 balloon head cases though - they are too old to reload.

Cherokee
September 14, 2011, 10:47 PM
30 Carb was never corrosive. I'm still reloading LC52 brass I acquired back in early 60's for my Carbines and Rugers.

DoubleSawbuck
September 16, 2011, 11:16 AM
I have some older 45ACP brass that my grandfather reloaded that I'm still using. Most is old "western" or "rem-umc" but some are old military cases. Just keep an eye out for any cracks.

http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj257/mmm88ta/springfield/IMG_20110205_234056.jpg

GaryL
September 17, 2011, 11:18 AM
I have a bunch of that RA 41. Neck tension is bad. But the MB 200gr IDP #4 works perfectly with them.

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