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Brass rat question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by katastrof0, May 14, 2008.

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  1. katastrof0

    katastrof0 Member

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    Would it be safe to use this brass? And what is happened to it? Too long exposure to the elements?

    [​IMG]

    BB John
     
  2. Lazuris

    Lazuris Member

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    Hard to tell in the photo. It looks like its just blackened up from shooting. Tumble it first then you can tell better.
     
  3. katastrof0

    katastrof0 Member

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    They are tumbled.. Tumbled for 7 hours straight (Forgot to turn it off when i went to bed last night) My theory is that this is the state brass gets in before it starts turning chocolate brown?

    BB John
     
  4. Chief-7700

    Chief-7700 Member

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    From the looks of them they were on the ground for sometime.
    Chief-7700
     
  5. dtalley

    dtalley Member

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    I have reloaded worse with no ill effects.

    I always make sure there is no corrossion of any kind and check the inside real good. If all that passes I load'm up and shoot'm
     
  6. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    Cartridge brass is 70% copper and 30% zinc. When brass stays in contact with wet ground, an electrolytic cell is created between the chemicals in the ground and the brass. Tin can be leached out of the brass, and other ssubstances plated onto the brass. Tin reduction areas usually looks slightly red (copper red) in the centers of the dark areas. The longer the contact, the more that is leeched. The case which is 3rd from left on the bottom in the picture appears to be a classic example.

    A small reduction in the % zinc can cause the brass to be brittle and can cause catastrophic rupture of the case. Examine them closely, inside and out.

    How many cases are you talking about here???? If you have only this small number in the picture, recycle em.
     
  7. rogerxd45

    rogerxd45 Member

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    i usually dont take the chance. there is plenty of good once fired brass at the range theres no sense useing even semi-questionable when you dont need to. brass is cheap a new gun isnt
     
  8. katastrof0

    katastrof0 Member

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    Oki doki!

    Well its more than those in the picture. alot more. But im in no danger for running out of good used brass so i guess ill throw them away. Thanks for the description, been wondering quite awhile why they get like that.

    BB John
     
  9. GearHead_1

    GearHead_1 Member

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    Did you tumble using a polish of some type? If you did and your media is fresh and charged with polish I say pitch them.
     
  10. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    If you have time, you can use a Brillo pad (lightly) or steel wool (lightly) to remove the dark spots for inspection.

    Don't throw the brass away, RECYCLE!
     
  11. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Scrap metal...

    Katastrofo--If you have plenty of "good" brass then don't use this stuff. But
    EEK! Don't do that! With China gobbling up as much copper as they can get their hands on, the price for scrap brass has gone through the roof. Take the cases to yr local scrap yard and they should pay you a nice price for 'em. Last bunch of brass I recycled fetched $1.65/lb. That buys me more powder, primers, and bullets! :)
     
  12. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I've shot brass that looks alot worse than that. I usually use my brass till they split, after all they are enclosed in a chamber if in a revolver or most auto's. There is one "but" here though, I load on the mid to lite side because of arthritis in my hands and wrists. Wouldn't try it in the type of auto that isn't locked breech.
     
  13. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

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    The only problem I see with that brass is that it'll be hard to find 'cause it ain't shiny.

    I've had brass that looked like that or worse (chocolate) that I shined up with steel wool out of curiosity to see if it would shine up. It shines up like new.
     
  14. ants

    ants Member

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    I almost hesitate to tell you...

    ...I have brass stained like that because I took a pee on them. Nevertheless, they load and shoot fine. If you tumbled them 7 hours, they are perfectly sanitary to handle now.
     
  15. Dksimon

    Dksimon Member

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    hahaha ants why did you pee on your brass?
     
  16. ants

    ants Member

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    Too much iced tea in a 53 year old bladder. My brother (a doctor) said there are salts and ammonia compounds in urine that stain brass, but don't weaken it significantly. That's why lots of plumbing is brass and copper.
     
  17. 17Chap

    17Chap Member

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    ants
    Sounds like he has a method to mark his brass so he can pick it up later!:D

    Chap
     
  18. socaldan

    socaldan Member

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    HEY...THAT ONE SECOND FROM LEFT LOWER....DOESN'T THAT STAIN LOOK LIKE "JOHN LENNON"??????

    toss it...
    better a handfull of brass..
    than a face full of stitches... my opinion
     
  19. kestak

    kestak Member

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    Greetings,

    I got very "dirty" and oxidized 357mag and 44mag brass. Even after tumbling them, they looked nasty. Some of them were so brown than they were almost black.

    I used brasso to perform a first cleaning of the brass after the tumble. If it was coming back shiny, I kept it. If not, I tossed it.

    Did I do good?

    Thank you
     
  20. LotI

    LotI Member

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    Reload it. It's fine as long as you're not loading to & over max.
     
  21. jsconnelly

    jsconnelly Member

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    kestak,

    I've always heard that Brasso is NOT good for cartridges because it contains ammonia which causes brass to become brittle.
     
  22. kestak

    kestak Member

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    Greetings,

    Indeed, I just did google and read that brasso contains ammonia. Now the question To chemists here is:

    If I used it only once on the brass, did it weaken "significantly" my brass?????

    I read by googling different opinions.

    Thank you
     
  23. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    As I stated above, cartridge brass is 70% copper and 30% zinc. Ammonia leeches the zinc from the brass at a rapid rate, the longer the contact, the more that is leeched. If the Brasso is applied and immediately rubbed off, there will be little danger of zinc leeching, unless it is done many times.

    Try this experiment: put a dab of Brasso on a three different case that are trashed. Rub it off the first case immediately; let it sit for an hour, then remove from the second; and on the third, let it sit for 2 hours and rub.

    Now compare the color of your Brassoed brass with new. If zinc has leached, you will see the reddish copper color showing on the brass that has lost zinc. The more zinc lost, the redder in color the brass will be indicating that more zinc that has been leeched.
     
  24. kestak

    kestak Member

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    Greetings,

    oh!!!! So, if I understand well here, I can deduct two things of what you just wrote:
    1 - When I polished my brass with brasso, I put a drop on it and used immediately a piece of cloth to polish it. So, I did not "damage much" the brass.
    2 - There are some reddish cases in the lot I discovered after my polishing procedure. That means they are weak and I am better to toss them out. Right?

    Thank you
     
  25. jsconnelly

    jsconnelly Member

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    kestak,

    IMHO, I would just stay away from Brasso and any other ammonia based product.

    Personally, I put a cap full of Nu-Finish and a strip of dryer sheet in my walnut media. I have used the same batch for a couple thousand cases (without adding more Nu-Finish just a fresh piece of dryer sheet each time) and it's still working well.
     
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