Would You Reload This Brass?


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parker51
February 10, 2012, 08:10 PM
I received my Stainless Steel tumbling set up yesterday and I was so impressed with the first load of brass that I decided to see what this stuff will really do. I pulled about 40 pieces of brass that I had tossed into the recycle bin and tumbled them for about 4 hours (changed water after 2 hours). I added 1 teaspoon of Lemi Shine and a squirt of Ajax to the water. The water was hot from the tap.

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parker51
February 10, 2012, 08:19 PM
Here is the results of tumbling this brass for 4 hours with the Stainless Steel pins. I circled all the areas I could see that still showed any signs of rust or corrosion. Still don't think most of the 7mm pieces are loadable as someone had marked them with fingernail polish or paint. As you can see even the inside of this brass is very clean. I threw in a few Swiss GP-11 pieces just to see if the pins would clean around the anvil (I reload this brass) and it did an excellent job with no damage to the anvil that I can see. I still need to sort out the best way to clean and dry the pins as they go right through a regular piece of window screen. The best thing about this cleaning method is no more cleaning primer pockets. I must have spent hundreds of dollars on those tiny little pocket brushes over the past 15 years.

rcmodel
February 10, 2012, 08:21 PM
Most of them, no.

The white corrosion and/or dark brown spots is where the zinc leached out of the brass, and it severely weakens it.

Kinda like an Anorexic Super-Model.
They may be prettier now, but they are not as strong & healthy as they used to be.

rc

James2
February 10, 2012, 08:23 PM
Dark brass doesn't bother me at all. As long as the necks are not split and no signs of pending separation, I would load them.

Those with green on them are suspect. Depends on how deep that corrosion is. It can severely weaken the brass.

wheelgun6T9
February 10, 2012, 08:27 PM
parker51 - what type of pin setup do you have? I really like how clean the primers pockets and internals are. Maybe not necessary but I really like shiny clean brass inside & out.

parker51
February 10, 2012, 08:32 PM
Most of them, no.

The white corrosion and/or dark brown spots is where the zinc leached out of the brass, and it severely weakens it.

Kinda like an Anorexic Super-Model.
They may be prettier now, but they are not as strong & healthy as they used to be.

rc
RC,

I'll have to say you come up with some of the best sayings. I will save the Swiss GP-11 and toss most of the 7mm. I'll check for expanded primer pockets and for head separation in the 7mm prior to reloading any of it. The ones that still show any signs of damage will be tossed (the ones with the red circles). Chances are very few (if any) are salvageable but they sure do look pretty compared to what they did prior to tumbling. The best thing about this media is no dust. I have two dogs and I was always afraid they were inhaling the dust from my tumblers whenever they were in the garage even though I tried to blow it out after each time I used the tumblers.

parker51
February 10, 2012, 08:40 PM
parker51 - what type of pin setup do you have? I really like how clean the primers pockets and internals are. Maybe not necessary but I really like shiny clean brass inside & out.

I ordered the Thumler's Tumbler with 5 lbs of Stainless Steel Kit from Sinclair International.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=42993/Product/Thumler-s-Tumbler-Stainless-Steel-Tumbling-Kit

I ran 130 pieces of 7mm Magnum at one time for 3 hours last night and it came out looking like new. It looked a lot like the brass in the first photo without the corrosion.

It came to around $240 with shipping. I will still keep my tumbler for corn as I will use it for a final polish to remove any lube after resizing and a coating of Nu Finish provides for a longer lasting shine :D

Hope this helps.

parker51
February 10, 2012, 08:48 PM
That was Ajax Dishwashing liquid, not the powder kind from a can.

parker51
February 11, 2012, 12:26 AM
Here's what it looks like after resizing, trimming and a final polish with corn mixed with a little Nu Finish. Sorry I couldn't show the inside of the brass but it looks just like the outside.

nambu1
February 11, 2012, 01:20 AM
I use Lemi-shine and Dawn.

4895
February 11, 2012, 01:45 AM
Amazing. If it weren't so darned spendy I would consider a SS tumbler setup.

Mal H
February 11, 2012, 01:50 AM
No, I wouldn't reload them for the same reason rcmodel said, and perhaps more importantly because the ones you show with the primer pockets are Berdan primed. I would probably reload any Boxer primed brass that didn't have the severe discoloration patches before cleaning.

They might be Dominion Arsenal cartridges (Canadian).

ArchAngelCD
February 11, 2012, 04:09 AM
No, I wouldn't reload them for the same reason rcmodel said, and perhaps more importantly because the ones you show with the primer pockets are Berdan primed. I would probably reload any Boxer primed brass that didn't have the severe discoloration patches before cleaning.

They might be Dominion Arsenal cartridges (Canadian).
As I was reading all the posts I was wondering why no one else mentioned the Berdan Primers?

How did you deprime those cases?

FROGO207
February 11, 2012, 08:47 AM
No one mentioned the berdan brass as in post 2 he said he reloads that Swiss GP-11 and wanted to seem if it would clean around the anvil.;) I also recently got into the SS media tumbling and find it is awesome. It is more labor intensive but the results are worth the effort IMHO. It cleans so well the brass will tarnish soon after, so I will tumble the brass in corn cob with Nu-Finish after it is dry. This also removed any water stains that had developed while it dried off. I also tumble my rounds after loading unless they are HP bullets that will fill with media as I do not fancy picking it all out.:cool:

I purchased a used Thumlers and the total cost with the SS pins was only $60.:D

bds
February 11, 2012, 09:13 AM
The white corrosion and/or dark brown spots is where the zinc leached out of the brass, and it severely weakens it.
As demonstrated by parker51, even severely corroded (and possibly weakened) cases can be made shiny using the wet tumbling method with stainless steel rod media and detergent/acid. I wonder how many of these corroded (and possibly weakened) cases make it to gun shows ... as posted by rcmodel, the shiny cases do not often indicate the actual condition of the brass and buyer must beware. :rolleyes::scrutiny::mad:

I have seen several pistol KaBooms over the years (not all of them Glocks) and some of the shooters admitted they bought their ammunition from gun shows. There are multiple KaBoom threads on various online forums and most of the times, double charge of powder is suspected but the possibility of weakened (but shiny) cases could definitely be a factor.

For this reason, I caution people loading higher pressure 40S&W with mixed range brass not to push near max/over max load data as they cannot be certain of the condition of the brass they are working with (especially when shooting with barrel/chamber that is not fully supported). I keep a separate box of "verified" once-fired brass (Shot from factory boxes or with military crimped primer pockets) and reserve them for max load data but use lower powder charges (mid-to-high range load data) at target velocities for mixed range brass. Note that some slower powders (slower than Unique) may not produce consistent chamber pressures/accuracy when loaded below near max load data and for this reason, I use moderately faster burning W231/HP-38 for mid-to-high range 40S&W load data.

I think the addage of "Beauty is only skin deep" definitely applies here. :D

jack44
February 11, 2012, 01:09 PM
NO! buy new

parker51
February 11, 2012, 01:35 PM
As demonstrated by parker51, even severely corroded (and possibly weakened) cases can be made shiny using the wet tumbling method with stainless steel rod media and detergent/acid. I wonder how many of these corroded (and possibly weakened) cases make it to gun shows ... as posted by rcmodel, the shiny cases do not often indicate the actual condition of the brass and buyer must beware. :rolleyes::scrutiny::mad:
If you look closely at this brass after cleaning you can tell which pieces shown in the original photo were corroded and which were just stained. The ones with deep corrosion have a copper colored spot on the brass with what appears to be a ring around the damaged area. It was hard to show this in the photo, but if you look closely you can see this in the areas circled in red. It did clean the paint or fingernail polish off the ones that were "marked" (not sure of the reason for this, perhaps loose primer pockets) so there would be no way to tell if this brass was old or defective until you primed it or checked for head separation. You are correct in that there is no way to prevent someone from picking up discarded range brass that has been fired numerous times, but this is a chance one takes when buying used brass as a gun show or online no matter how it was cleaned. I would hope that if someone is selling brass that has been cleaned with this method would indicate this in the description. If not, and the brass hasn't been trimmed then there really is no way to tell this brass new or not until you start prepping it. Out of the original 7 mm brass I used for this test, I salvaged 9 pieces that I had originally placed in the scrap bin. I have kept these separate and I suspect I will discover these pieces have loose primer pockets and this is why they were marked with the fingernail polish. If not, great I was able to save 9 pieces of 7 mm Mag brass that would have otherwise went to the salvage yard prematurely.

bds
February 11, 2012, 01:45 PM
Perhaps others who have used acid/ammonia with brass could provide more detail but leaching of zinc from brass (brass is made from copper/zinc) can occur with no visible signs on the brass surface.

Enough zinc leaching and your brass will start to turn "pinkish/reddish", the underlying color of copper metal. Some have posted rupturing of case when brass becomes weak/brittle.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=113428


Leaching of zinc can also occur with Chlorinated/salt water?

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dezincification.htm

According to the castboolits thread link, perhaps a surface cleaner that won't leach the zinc from brass may be a better option (Post #5, #6, #7)?

Just tried the All Purpose Cleaner with the listing of Rust, Lime, Calcium put out by LA's Totally Awesome and sold by Dollar Tree. Someone else had a thread about this stuff here and yes it does work.

Benefits

• No acid
• No ammonia
• No bleach
• Non-flammable
• Safe for septic tanks
• Contains no phosphorous
• Made in the USA

parker51
February 11, 2012, 02:01 PM
One last thing I forgot to mention. I wouldn't recommend using this method to clean nickel plated brass. I put one piece in and it came out a greyish color. It did clean up when cleaned again with corn but took a long time to get it shiny again.

Mal H
February 11, 2012, 02:20 PM
No one mentioned the berdan brass as in post 2 he said he reloads that Swiss GP-11 and wanted to seem if it would clean around the anvil.
It doesn't matter what he said. The question was whether we would reload the brass, and the answer is "no" due almost entirely to the Berdan primers for me.

parker51
February 11, 2012, 02:35 PM
I sure wouldn't try to convince anyone to reload Berdan primed brass, but for me reloading the Swiss GP-11 brass is no different than reloading Boxer primed brass. It takes about 10 seconds longer (per round) to reload the Berdan primed brass than it does the Boxer primed brass. As long as they continue importing Berdan primers I will continue reloading the Swiss brass. Right now I have enough Berdan primers to reload over 8,000 rounds for my Swiss rifles and that should last me the rest of my life.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2012, 01:52 AM
parker51,
I didn't say you shouldn't load that brass because of the primer. Like Mal H said, you asked if "we" would reload it and both he and I said no because of the Berdan primes.

parker51
February 12, 2012, 02:29 AM
ArchAngelCD,

I didn't think you or Mal H said I shouldn't reload this brass. I was just saying that it isn't all that difficult in case someone else might be considering reloading this brass. If it wasn't for the recent importing of Berdan primers by a couple of companies I wouldn't be reloading them much longer either. It snowed here today so I stayed inside and deprimed and cleaned 160 more of these cases today. Even though some steps are a little time consuming using these stainless steel pins I would have spent much more time cleaning primer pockets than it takes to dry this brass (I had to dry the Swiss brass any how as I use water to remove the spent primers).

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2012, 02:41 AM
I don't know how you got that brass so clean but it looks good. (last picture) I'm just a little worried there are weak spots that are still there even though they are now clean. I have fired ammo that looked like that but my buddies tell me I'm nuts. (I guess I am a little nuts)

parker51
February 12, 2012, 02:51 AM
I don't know how you got that brass so clean but it looks good. (last picture) I'm just a little worried there are weak spots that are still there even though they are now clean. I have fired ammo that looked like that but my buddies tell me I'm nuts. (I guess I am a little nuts)

ArchAngel,

The brass in the last set of photos isn't the same brass shown in the original post. I received a package in the mail today with 160 pieces of once fired Swiss GP-11 that I picked up off the Classifieds and since it was snowing I decided to get them cleaned up. There were only 4 pieces of GP-11 brass in the original photo and I put them there just to see if these steel pins would clean out the pockets and not damage the anvils. Sorry for the confusion, I should have started a new thread.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2012, 02:53 AM
Ahhh, got it now! LOL

speedreed
February 12, 2012, 11:34 AM
@Parker51
What bullets do you use for your GP 11 reloads?

parker51
February 12, 2012, 04:36 PM
@Parker51
What bullets do you use for your GP 11 reloads?

I have tried many different .308 bullets in my K-31's. I have experimented with bullets weighing from 150 gr to 178 gr. For paper I primarily use 168 gr. Hornady A-Max and Nosler BTHP's. For plinking I use Privi Partizan 168 Gr. BTHP's (when I can find them in stock). For hunting I use 150 gr. and 168 gr. Nosler BT's and 165 gr. Nosler Partition bullets. I have found that most of my Swiss rifles prefer the heavier weight and longer bullets (as close in shape and weight to the GP-11 174 gr. bullets as possible).

Striker Fired
February 12, 2012, 06:50 PM
I've found that when cleaning nickel plated brass in my pins, I need to completely rinse the pins and make sure to flush out all the old water/soap from doing brass, put in a fresh new solution with very little lemonshine and more soap, then your nickel should come out nice and shinny. I think any little brass contamination on the pins and in the water turns the nickel dark.
I also found that by rinsing the clean brass very thoroughly (very thorough)first in warm/hot water,then cool water, will stop the brass from darkening or tarnishing later. If rinsed well the brass will be just as bright one month later as it did the day it came out of the tumbler.

buckbrush
February 14, 2012, 03:20 PM
Dominion Arsenal has been I.V.I. For 35 years and has never used Berdan primers.

Krzyshng
February 14, 2012, 03:43 PM
What are you using in those pictures to deprime the berdan? Is that home brewed stuff or something available commercially?

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk

parker51
February 14, 2012, 05:36 PM
What are you using in those pictures to deprime the berdan? Is that home brewed stuff or something available commercially?

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk

Sorry, are you talking about the tool or water? The was made by a fellow by the name of Bill from Hampton Roads, VA. Not sure what the metal is he used for the base but it doesn't rust and is very durable. The rod is just stamped .30 Cal. (half of the rod is .308, the top half is .315). The base is not drilled all the way through to the bottom, it has a hole drilled in the side towards the bottom where the primers shoot out of the holder. As for the containers with the brass, one is just clean water and the other is hot water mixed with dishwashing liquid. You could probably just use plain water. I started using the soap about 10 years ago when I was cleaning out the primer pockets with a dental pick, it seemed to loosen up the residue. Now that I'm using the stainless pins it probably isn't necessary.

thump_rrr
February 15, 2012, 02:07 AM
One last thing I forgot to mention. I wouldn't recommend using this method to clean nickel plated brass. I put one piece in and it came out a greyish color. It did clean up when cleaned again with corn but took a long time to get it shiny again.

I had no issues cleaning nickel plated brass in my ss pin setup.
I only use 1/4 teaspoon lemishine and a 2 second squirt of Ajax liquid dishwashing detergent.

parker51
February 15, 2012, 02:30 PM
I had no issues cleaning nickel plated brass in my ss pin setup.
I only use 1/4 teaspoon lemishine and a 2 second squirt of Ajax liquid dishwashing detergent.

I'll try it again. I was using too much Lemi Shine in that batch. I have since reduced to about 1/4 teaspoon and switched to cold water. Brass comes out just as clean and shiny as it did when I was using hot water.

Striker Fired
February 15, 2012, 08:25 PM
I experimented with different amount of lemonshine and soap,you would be surprised how little lemonshine is needed and how quickly a little too much will darken the brass.I make the mixture so when I put my hand in it you can feel it slimmy ,as soon as you put in more lemonshine, the "slime" goes away.

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