Are these cases servicable?


June 26, 2012, 12:59 PM
Ok, I got a bunch of 308 match brass in a trade. I need to know if the following representative cases are serviceable. I don't mind throwing away a case or two, but this will make a difference in a lot of cases for me, so I'd like to know.

These cases are 40 or 50 years old. Many of the cases look like they have some water corrosion on them, but I tumbled them in stainless steel media and they came out looking ok, but I want to be sure I won't have any problems.

Case A: This is a good case that I included for comparison
Case B: This is a case had some water corrosion on it
Case C: This is a case that looked just like Case B prior to wet tumbling with pins.

Is this one ok? There's some discoloration and maybe some missing material/wall thickness on the lower half of the case. It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but it looks a lot like the surface on case D. Anyway, this is the problem I'm having with most of my cases, and I'd like to know if it's a problem.

Case D: This case I wasn't sure about. It looks like it may have been some kind of coating or wasn't completely brass. I don't have a before picture, but it was a very dull gray. I couldn't tell if it was just tarnished or if it was steel, so I put it in the tumbler and this is how it came out. Anyone know?

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Bull Nutria
June 26, 2012, 01:15 PM
a magnet is your friend. if it is not brass ie steel it will be magnetic.
water marked cases are iffy?? it is is very minor i wouldn't think it would be a problem, why take a chance?

Brass is valuable sell the iffy cases and buy better brass once fired or new!!

I think it is around $1.80/lb and brass is heavy!


June 26, 2012, 01:31 PM
B, or anything like it is toast!!
Corrosion has leached the zinc out of the cartridge brass.

Don't use them.


June 26, 2012, 02:22 PM
I think that using them would be the ultimate in "false economy"; I'd fear that problems might snowball to where I'd REALLY regret not having just bought new cases...

June 26, 2012, 03:14 PM

June 26, 2012, 05:52 PM
Since this was brought up and I don't mean to HiJack this thread at all, What about cases that have a blue color on them. Kinda like if they were left in the rain. I don't have a pic to show what I mean but was curious about those. There is only maybe a few so if there no good, I won't mind pitching them.

Back be being OT, Yeah Case B looks like a bad idea.

June 26, 2012, 06:39 PM
Yep I would not bother to even try B and as to D the pinkish color is the whole case has leached zinc out of it and left the copper behind. I would really question them as to safety also. The trouble with C is that there are now thin spots where the corrosion was and there is no real way to monitor where the thin spots are and if the brass is going to fail because of them. If the whole casing is tarnished (brown and dull) and cleans up fast (1 hr with ss media) it probably will be OK but the redish tint over part or all is always bad news. I would be suspect of all the brass that was corroded if it was me period. A sujestion to clean it and sell it would just putting someone that is unaware of the problems at high risk. Only good for scrap if it were mine.

A blue color means the copper is leaching out and would be suspect to me also.

June 27, 2012, 12:02 PM
+1 on B or antthing simular to it is toast!! 308 brass is extremely inexpensive so don't do this to your self over something that can cause serious problems, and waste powder while having problems.

June 27, 2012, 04:29 PM
Ok, well thanks guys! I appreciate the info.

If it's scrap, it's scrap. That's fine. I just didn't want to chuck a bunch of it if it's still usable.

June 27, 2012, 05:10 PM
RCmodel - How Can you tell that the zinc was leached for case B? As opposed to just a blemished cartridge?


the count
June 27, 2012, 09:05 PM
I have a very simple but effective way to discard bad brass...anything that I have to even think about goes into the trash.

June 28, 2012, 11:37 AM
"RCmodel - How Can you tell that the zinc was leached for case B? As opposed to just a blemished cartridge?"


Mookiie, I do not know how RCmodel determines the difference leached and blemishes, leached is a color thing, pink or orange color indicates zinc leaching, easy to do, just leave cases being cleaned in vinegar/acid anything too long, again, for the worst of cases I clean with (5% +/- a little) vinegar for a maximum of 15 minutes.

As soon as I hit the post button someone is going to add salt,l then they are going to upgrade to Table Vinegar, table vinegar is 15% acid, if you take that person serious consider the time factor, 15% will reduce the cleaning time to less than 5 minutes, after using vinegar, wash the cases, then wash them again and again, there is something about the infinity one chemical has on another that wants to stay and stay etc..

Then there are blemishes, then there is case B , my opinion, case B is a victim of electrolysis, that would be dissembler materials (metals) in acid (or a what ever), anyhow, it is a process where one metal is dissolved and deposited on another.

Something like the old days when reloaders wanted to get the lead out, so, they used mercury, by now they should know better, some do not.

F. Guffey

June 29, 2012, 06:15 PM
All of these would be scrap-bin in my reloading room.

Dont worry about that dent though, thats just an extractor mark, or a case n frame of the two.

Not a super trade, IMHO !

And people wonder why I charge a nickel or so more for my cases when I trade... its so ya don't get junk like this !


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