Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

For Brass, How Old Is Too Old?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by PCCUSNRET, Sep 12, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Virginia
    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.
     
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,011
    Location:
    Great state of Indiana
    You're good to go if it looks OK! Might be a little tarnish tho.
     
  3. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    I've used '06 brass headstamped in the late '40s.
     
  4. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks! I forgot to mention it is WCC brass. It cleaned up pretty good after tumbling for a few hours in walnut.
     
  5. tekarra

    tekarra Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,277
    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.
     
  6. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,106
    Older brass may become brittle.
     
  7. snuffy

    snuffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,896
    Location:
    Oshkosh Wi
    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.
     
  8. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,797
    Cases don't dry rot, use it. Amuses me that for many people the starting definition of "old" is anything before they were born.
     
  9. RandyP

    RandyP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,275
    Location:
    Illinois
    I REFUSE to use all 175 year old brass cases purely on principle - lol
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,777
    Location:
    Alabama
    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


    M1GarandTarget193-6X4Dec2010.gif
     
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    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.
     
  12. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,797
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  13. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,514
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    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.
     
  14. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks! I appreciate the help.
     
  15. GaryL

    GaryL Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    MN
    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.
     
  16. Cherokee

    Cherokee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Medina, Ohio
    30 Carb was never corrosive. I'm still reloading LC52 brass I acquired back in early 60's for my Carbines and Rugers.
     
  17. DoubleSawbuck

    DoubleSawbuck Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    118
    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.

    IMG_20110205_234056.gif
     
  18. GaryL

    GaryL Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    MN
    I have a bunch of that RA 41. Neck tension is bad. But the MB 200gr IDP #4 works perfectly with them.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page