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

Is there a way to mark my reloads ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sonick808, Mar 7, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sonick808

    sonick808 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Greetings All,

    It's been 20 years since I've reloaded (yep, I was reloading at the tender age of 16!

    I've picked it back up because of the exorbitant ammo prices for .40S&W, my primary defensive and plinking cartridge.

    I used to shoot where all the brass was mine, because i was the only one there! Now, I shoot at scottsdale gun club where there is brass all over, and it's hard to tell which is yours.

    I've put a lot of work into the initial prep on my once-fired cases, and I want a way to identify them. Is there a chemical or something resilient that i can use to mark my reloads ? Something that leaves a red dot on the cartridge face or something; anything distinctive ? Whatever it is, I don't want it to flake off and build up in my action, or rub off and make a mess, or most importantly, compromise the brass integrity.

    I shoot it out of a millenium pro which has pretty good case support, so no major worries about bulging. I just need a way to identify my brass so there are no misunderstandings with the other brass chickens, and so I can easily spot brass that I've put through the initial "first prep" to bring it into the fold. I don't want to duplicate any work.

    Sorry so long, it's my personality to be a wordy SOB. Any ideas to mark my reloads safely and cleanly (better yet, permanently) would be welcomed!

    Thanks :)
    Jayson
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  2. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Hansen Idaho
    Clean up the brass before you shoot. Helps the club and you know what brass is yours.
     
  3. sonick808

    sonick808 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    heya grubby,

    That helps, but the amount of lanes makes it fill up right quick, and the RO's are QUICK with the broom! So I really have to be on top of it..... anything for a quick ID after every couple of magazines would help... that's all the time it takes for 30-some lanes spitting brass everywhere to clutter it up right qiuck
     
  4. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,856
    Location:
    Hansen Idaho
    Ya that would make it tougher. Have you tried a permanent marker? I know I have seen already shot casings with red ink on them from something? But not sure what. Sorry, could not be more help.
     
  5. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    I suppose you could use a sharpie pen and mark them with you initials.That or a simpler and faster mark that's yours...
     
  6. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Sorry Grubby, you must have posted while I was writing the same idea...LOL
     
  7. cavman

    cavman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Maine
    A lot of the Bullseye shooters use Sharpies. Red X, Black X, Single Line, etc. That coupled with some using a single brand, Federal e.g., with a single colored primer, white (CCI) or yellow, makes quick work discerning one from the other.

    The marks go away after tumbling.

    I run a single black line across my reloads once in the 10x10 box. All Federals with a white primer with a single Black line. Easy to find.
     
  8. sonick808

    sonick808 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    good deal, I'm going to go ahead with the permanent marker and a mark of my own.

    I wasn't sure how well it would adhere (or rub off for that matter) but it sounds like it has enough resilience to get through the gun, back into the range bag and home. That'll do :)

    My sellier and bellot brass is the best stuff I've ever loaded, so i'd really like to hold onto as much of that as I can by being able to locate it on the ground. The CCI #500's will give a nice color offset like cavman mentioned also. I can make this work.

    Thanks for the help :)

    J
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Use a Magic Marker and color the whole head.

    A Sharpie X is hard to see at any distance.

    rc
     
  10. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    The Coloring of Brass
    by Royce W. Beal
    written on 17 March 1995 specifically for the readers
    of the rec.guns newsgroup.
    questions should be directed to me at SLQZ4~CC.USU.EDU


    Read this entire essay before attempting any one
    treatment. If you choose to just "cut and paste" part
    of this, please make sure you get the safety instructions
    and warnings after the recipes. Under no circumstances
    do I consider myself liable for any accidents which occur
    while using any of these chemicals. Also, I do not consider
    myself an expert in this field and am still doing research
    for the FAQ. This will be a temporary article. Because I
    am still experimenting, I cannot vouch for all of these
    colors.
    Concentrations and conditions Do matter. (Concentration
    is more important than actual volume, so if you want to
    use less, make sure that you use proportionately less of
    each ingredient) If you want good results follow the
    recipes closely. Above all it is important that the brass
    surfaces be clean. This means an extra hour or so in the
    tumbler for the cases and then touch them only sparingly.
    I have tried to collate recipes which will require the
    acquisition of the more common chemicals. I have also tried
    to steer clear of the really hazardous arsenic and cyanide
    salts (which you probably can't get anyway) If you feel
    that you've been cheated by this, please refer to the
    references section of this report and find the books for
    yourself in any well stocked library.
    It is my understanding that these are all surface
    coatings and should not damage or weaken the brass.
    obviously you will want to do this treatment with unprimed
    brass. Do NoT USE METAL UTENSILS (ok maybe stainless steel)
    Glass or Plastic containers are the preference. If you are
    really worried about what this is going to do to your brass,
    refer again to the reference section below.


    TIFFANY GREEN:
    Copper Sulfate................. 8 ounces
    Ammonium Chloride......... .....4 ounces
    Sodium Chloride........... .....4 ounces
    Zinc Chloride............. .....l ounce
    Acetic Acid............... .....2 ounces
    Water..................... .....l gallon

    VERDE:
    Copper Nitrate................. 16 ounces
    Ammonium Chloride.............. 4 ounces
    Acetic Acid.................... l quart
    Water.......................... l gallon

    GREEN:
    Iron ( ferric) Nitrate......... 2 ounces ( Fe(III)(No3)3)
    Sodium Hyposulphite............ 8 ounces
    Water.......................... 1 gallon
    (use at boiling temperature, brass can be immersed
    or the solution may be "painted" on)

    HARDWARE GREEN:
    Iron (ferric) Nitrate.......... l ounce (Fe(III)(No3)3)
    Sodium Thiosulfate............. 6 ounces
    Water.......................... l gallon
    (use at 160F)

    RED:
    Iron (ferric) Nitrate.......... 6 ounces (Fe(III)(No3)3)
    Sodium hyposulphite............ 6 ounces
    Water
    (use at 170F will speed up this reaction)

    BLUE:
    Sodium Hyposulphite............ 8 ounces
    Lead Acetate................... 4 ounces
    Water.......................... l gallon
    (use at boiling temperature)
    or
    Lead Acetate................... 2 to 4 ounces
    Sodium Thiosulfate............. 8 ounces
    Acetic Acid.................... 4 ounces
    Water.......................... l gallon
    (use at 180F. This color will change if
    not lacquered [Do NoT LACQUER FIREARM CARTRIDGES]
    Take your chances with the color change.)

    BLUE BLACK:
    Copper Carbonate............... 1 pound
    Ammonium Hydroxide............. l quart
    Water.......................... 3 quarts
    (Add the water after the carbonate and hydroxide
    have been mixed. There must be excess Copper
    Carbonate. Use at 175F. This color can be fixed
    (made more permanent) by quickly dipping in a 2.5%
    Sodium Hydroxide solution.)

    BLACK:
    Ammonium Hydrosulfide........... 2.25 ounces
    Potassium sulfide............... 1 ounce
    Water........................... 1 gallon
    (use at room temperature or COOLER for best results)


    BROWN:
    Potassium Chlorate.............. 5.5 ounces
    Nickel Sulfate.................. 2.75 ounces
    Copper Sulfate.................. 24 ounces
    Water........................... 1 gallon
    (use at boiling temperature)



    SAFETY:
    1. NEVER taste any of these chemicals.
    2. Keep very far out of the reach of children.
    3. Most Nitrates are good oxidizing agents and
    should not be stored with anything flammable.
    4. Acetic Acid has a VERY strong pungent odor.
    Use in well ventilated areas. This acid can
    be airborne in vapor form. If you feel that
    you have breathed enough of it to feel
    uncomfortable, leave the area and drink a
    carbonated soft drink. "Have a Coke" Do not
    underestimate this chemical.
    5. Many of these chemicals may stain your skin or
    clothing. Wear rubber gloves and protective
    clothing including glasses of some sort.
    6. Steam can cause serious burns. Solutions of salts
    can actually exceed the boiling point of water.
    The steam from these solutions can be very dangerous.
    BE CAREFUL WITH STEAM AND BoILING SoLUTIoNS.
    7. Feel free to change concentrations for experimentation
    purposes but do not change the ingredients in any
    one recipe.
    8. Always be fully awake and alert around chemicals.

    CONVERSIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS:
    Ounces are assumably troy ounces, even when dealing
    with liquids or solutions. Do not use fluid ounces.
    1 ounce = 31.103 grams = 480 grains
    1 quart = 0.25 gallon = 946.4 mL
    1 gallon = 3.78S L

    REFERENCES:

    Meyer, Walter R. title: Plating and Finishing Guidebook
    ninth edition - 1940 pp.72-75 (cited)

    Metal Finishing Guidebook-twenty-eighth edition - 1960
    article by Hall, Nathaniel
    Title: Coloring of Metals pp. 477-479 (cited)

    Krause, Hugo title: Metal Coloring and Finishing

    Hiorns, A. H. title: Metal Coloring

    Field, S and Bonney, S.R.
    title: Chemical Coloring of Metals (not cited)
     
  11. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Remote Utah desert
    Yep, been using a wide-tipped magic marker over the cartridge head since the 1970s.
    If you have time you can also ...

    Get a chunk of thick cardboard. Punch holes in it with a sharpened pencil.
    Push your loaded ammo into each hole, until the rim stops it or it's flush (for rimless cases).
    Now, lightly run some spray paint over it. It doesn't take much, just enough for the paint to enter the lettering stamped in the head. If you can get paint into the lettering, the cases will retain it for a number of polishings.
    Did this years ago with some 9mm ammo I'd reloaded. I needed to distinguish it from that of friends (a loose term for them, I later learned) who claimed my brass was theirs.
    So, I bought a can of fluorescent pink paint and lightly sprayed my case heads. No arguments after that.
    I specify a light spraying, so that you don't run the risk of getting the paint's solvent in and around the primer, and affect or deaden the primer.
    If the paint's running on the cardboard, you've used too much!

    Those fluorescent pink heads looked marvy! Toodlesssssssssssss!
     
  12. cavman

    cavman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Maine
    Are Sharpies and Magic-Markers considered different from one another? I can't even think of the last time I used a MM. (Sharpies are ubiquitous from work)
     
  13. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Wow--I'm going to have to try some of those things.

    One question is whether it will wear off when tumbling.

    I'd tried a method using "Brass Black" Marking Brass--The "Brass Black" experiment but it was not clear if it worked. The first time I tried it the mark came off while tumbling, at least it reduced the contrast significantly.

    I tried again, buffing the brass w/ a scotchbright pad and with some steel wool, and this time it's worked better.

    But the above--having a specific color would be even better, *if* it lasts and doesn't embrittle the metal.
     
  14. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Get an ink pad and just stamp the base of the brass on it. That should color the whole base quick. I uae sharpies to color the primers during load development to be able to know what that different charges are.
     
  15. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,709
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    I like the ink pad idea, Rusty. Do you stamp the cases before or after priming?
     
  16. Foton

    Foton Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    I use some of my wifes discarded nail polish over base of rifle brass - Nuthin like "Cajun Shrimp" to stand out....

    Just run the brush over them when you have them in a loading block or box and the base end up.

    Any reason why that wouldnt work on pistol brass?
     
  17. mhconfo

    mhconfo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    I know a fellow use to sell the following device to mark the cases with a Mark A Lot marker. I think it is pretty clever. Since it isn't available, I plan to make one for myself out of scrap 2" x 4". I haven't used it so I am not sure how much time it would take to mark rounds, but thought I would mention it.
    http://www.hosercam.com/blastermaster.html

    Hope that helps.
    Mike
     
  18. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I don't stamp mine. I am lucky enough to belong to a private club. Unless I am shooting a match most of the time I am the only one at the indoor or outdoor range. It is easy to just wait and pick it all up after with a few hundred other cases that were left behind by others. I do color the primers but only for load development.
     
  19. otiac

    otiac Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    sharpies can be bought in a pack with numerous colors;not crazy about paint idea for cautions mentioned.

    chebami
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,321
    It is hard to see color on the case head when the brass is on the ground.
    The gadget shown in post 17 puts a band of color around the case wall, readily visible from any angle. The rig on the site is discontinued but a flat board with one or two clothesping screwed to it and a little wooden V block will do the job. That was how the first ones were made.

    It does tumble off so you have to remark cases every loading.
     
  21. bds

    bds Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    13,609
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,106
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    Buy a brass catcher so you don't have to worry about the RO sweeping up your brass and you don't have to bend to pick it up...

    I use several different color markers and color in the primers when I want to test ammo of different powder charge weights. IMO that's the best way to mark your brass even though you will have to re-mark every time you load. Red and Blue are very visible against CCI primers.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page