Storing brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by redneck2, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    i have a LOT of brass that I want to store. Some once fired, some new. Particularly with the once fired, I’d like to take some provision to keep it from tarnishing in storage

    Any ideas?
     
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  2. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I clean it in the vibrating tumbler and store them in plastic Folgers coffee “cans.”

    Years later there may be some fading of the shiny brass, but I could always tumble it again if I thought it needed it.

    These are .38 Spl cases bring primed and separated by nickel or brass. I store them this way until I get the hankering to load some up.

    EA9130F2-FB7C-4200-8C8D-AA08AA972575.jpeg

    Stay safe.
     
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  3. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    I usually put them in heavy duty freezer bags, gallon size. Fill them up about 3/4 of the way, snap the top about 2/3rds the way. Then roll it so that all the air you can gets out.

    Seal it when you get to that point, toss it on a shelf where you want them out of the way. Should stay nice and shiny until you need them again.
     
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  4. George P

    George P member

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    I have a ton of old canvas cloth shot bags and I sort by primed or unprimed; let's them "breathe" to some extent
     
  5. kell

    kell Member

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    Works great.
     
  6. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

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    I shine mine up and store them in glass canning jars . They stay that way for years with no tarnishing .
     
  7. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    I tumble mine with walnut and NuFinsh. I have 45acp brass that I tumbled in '15 that is still nice and shiny. The NuFinish basically waxes the brass, and I keep them in clear plastic storage jars.
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Tumble it with wax based brass polish, don't handle it when it comes out, put it in a relatively air tight container, and leave it be.

    I have a lot of brass stored that way, but I also have a good bit just tossed in buckets.

    Stored just like it was when you picked it up at the range, unless it is put away wet, or has some sort of substance on it, it will slowly tarnish as brass does, but it won't hurt it, just take longer to shine up when you do.
     
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  9. GoldieMI
    • Contributing Member

    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    that and cascade dishwasher plastic bins
    223 in the Folgers, LC in the cascade ones
     
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  10. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Since I developed a debilitating neurological condition in middle age, I have some experience of having stored brass in various degrees of preparation (in some cases for decades).

    Please search for my posts on brass storage. They are too long to repeat here. Few other posters can compare a variety of storage methods over 20+ years as I can.

    First, if you just tumbled your brass with a weak acid, detergent and steel/bronze pins and you are looking to retain that shine over the long-term, forget it.

    Brass oxidizes (i.e. turns brown) upon exposure to oxygen, so tarnish is one inevitable.

    If you are only wanting to store brass for a long term and still have it usable in the future, my experience suggests you store the brass in plastic boxes where each round is in an individual compartment. Each box should be given a dessicant pouch and the boxes
    stored in a sealed container (like a GI ammunition box - or equivalent).

    Storage over 20 years according to that which I have described only resulted in a loss of about 2% of brass to corrosion.

    All of the brass had turned some degree of brown, yet it had no effect on reliability or accuracy against rounds loaded 20+ years earlier (and even considering the decline in proficiency of the shooter.)
     
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  11. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    Talking about dishwashers, I use the drying cycle to dry out 50 BMG after washing it with Iosso.

    All those pins that stick up in the dishwasher make great holders for large brass.

    For those of you that have large brass, give it a try sometime. I don't recommend washing the brass unless you remember to run it again empty. I don't want any lead or other residue left in there to get on the plates and glasses.
     
  12. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    Forgot to mention that bit. I glove up for the whole reloading process. My skin doesn't come into contact with the brass once it goes into the tumbler until I'm loading the finished product into the magazine. Apparently I'm still full of pee and vinegar, because my fingerprints will rust steel, tarnish brass, hell, I've eaten right thru the backs of cheap watches.
     
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  13. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I had that problem with a Browning HiPower, once... ate right through the front grip and pitted it.

    I dry tumble my brass, but if I know it's going into storage for a while, I'll leave out the polish. I've found that sometimes the polish that makes them look shiny and new, actually hastens tarnish again, after being stored for a while... not always, but sometimes. I also have been known to retumble brass that's been sitting for a while, prior to loading. I like shiny brass.

    I use plastic Glad food containers, 2 different sizes. The larger ones hold 200 .308'ish sized cases, the smaller ones about 200 handgun cases. The lids snap on and provide a reasonable seal against air.
     
  14. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    CDC says to wear a mask.
     
  15. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I wet tumble using LemiShine and an automotive wash and wax. Then I store them in plastic Folgers coffee cans. New brass stays in the original packaging until I prep it for loading and then it stays in MTM plastic boxes.

    Most of us repurpose containers from food stuff or household stuff that we use. For me, the Folgers cans are the most common.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  16. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I use 5 gallon buckets for the stuff I shoot a lot (40S&W 45 ACP). I use small screw top container that you get animal crackers, trail-mix etc in for smaller quantities of brass. I usually have one container for fired brass and one container for polished brass ready to start the reloading process.
     
  17. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I was wondering about the Nu-Finish. I’d heard that before. Didn’t know how it worked out. That or Walkalong’s idea about wax based polish

    I have some .45-90 brass that’s never been fired and still had corrosion. I supposed maybe it had been handled at some point. I’ll have to start using gloves to pack cases for storage
     
  18. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I store my empty brass in MTM cases, and when loaded it goes back in the MTM case on a different shelf. I store a lot of primed brass this way so I can load a box of 50 or 100 with simply powder drop, seat, crimp operations on pre-cleaned, sized, primed, and expanded brass.

    I like having my brass operations for prep separate from my cartridge completion as I find focusing on the charge and seating exclusively improves the quality of those steps.
     
  19. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    I wet tumble my brass & when I rinse it off I add auto wash & wax then stir up the water until it foams & rinse it again.
    I lay the brass out in my hot garage on old towels for a day or so then put it in plastic jars with a desiccant pack on top.
    The brass has been in this jar for over 3 years now.
    Brass-Storage.jpg

    You can buy large plastic jars at Walmart.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Food-Storage-Container-1-Gal-Plastic-Set-of-1/16408650
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  20. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I use Priority Mail boxes, one per caliber. The mid-size, one-size-ships-for-one-price boxes are good for almost anything. They're free* from the post office and big enough for 2K .45ACP, 2.5K .40S&W, or 3K 9mm. I managed to fit 1K .30-06 in one with some air space but not much.

    They stack well and are really durable, easy to replace, and have places on them for labels. Line them with 2-gallon freezer bags for a moisture gap and toss in some desiccant pouches - I use the small ones that are free* at the shipping counter of most UPS Stores.

    * Yes, I know, nothing is truly "free". I understand both the laws of economics and physics quite well.
     
  21. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    :( I am sorry to hear that you are one of Those Highly-Corrosive-Sweat Guys. That has to be a major PITA.

    Wait a minute ... what was that my old S'thCarolina-Belle grandmother used to tell me?

    Horses sweat, Men perspire and Ladies glow.

    So, make that "Highly-Corrosive-Perspiration Guys" ... :)


    redneck2,

    I wet-tumble my cases with s/s pins, citric acid and ArmorAll Wash&Wax. After drying, I store them in gallon freezer zip-loc type bags and they stay nice and bright for years.
     
  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    .
     
  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    After the cases are sizes, prepped, and cleaned I store them in gallon or quart freezer bags. The bags are stored in mini “milk” crates designed for CD’s and DVD’s.

    I store the cases unprimed as I am never sure what cartridges I will load next and no sense tying up primers in a cartridge that may not be loaded for several years.

    Cases may dull a bit over time.

    Cases not sized and prepped are stored in small corrugut boxes until processed.
     
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  24. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Long term, I keep pistol brass in 5 gallon buckets w/ Gamma seal lids. Rifle is stored in surplus 40mm ammo cans.
    I've found that small quantities of brass do best in plain paper lunch bags tripled-up. I don't use zip-loc bags because it traps moisture and they break.


    w1xiDZI.jpg
     
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  25. DanK3Pos

    DanK3Pos Member

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    @Otto I have buckets, but nothing like that. You have full buckets of Winchester 45 ACP. I'm jealous.
     
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