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Would You Reload This Brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by PCCUSNRET, Feb 10, 2012.

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  1. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    I received my Stainless Steel tumbling set up yesterday and I was so impressed with the first load of brass that I decided to see what this stuff will really do. I pulled about 40 pieces of brass that I had tossed into the recycle bin and tumbled them for about 4 hours (changed water after 2 hours). I added 1 teaspoon of Lemi Shine and a squirt of Ajax to the water. The water was hot from the tap.
     

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  2. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    How about now?

    Here is the results of tumbling this brass for 4 hours with the Stainless Steel pins. I circled all the areas I could see that still showed any signs of rust or corrosion. Still don't think most of the 7mm pieces are loadable as someone had marked them with fingernail polish or paint. As you can see even the inside of this brass is very clean. I threw in a few Swiss GP-11 pieces just to see if the pins would clean around the anvil (I reload this brass) and it did an excellent job with no damage to the anvil that I can see. I still need to sort out the best way to clean and dry the pins as they go right through a regular piece of window screen. The best thing about this cleaning method is no more cleaning primer pockets. I must have spent hundreds of dollars on those tiny little pocket brushes over the past 15 years.
     

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  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Most of them, no.

    The white corrosion and/or dark brown spots is where the zinc leached out of the brass, and it severely weakens it.

    Kinda like an Anorexic Super-Model.
    They may be prettier now, but they are not as strong & healthy as they used to be.

    rc
     
  4. James2

    James2 Member

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    Dark brass doesn't bother me at all. As long as the necks are not split and no signs of pending separation, I would load them.

    Those with green on them are suspect. Depends on how deep that corrosion is. It can severely weaken the brass.
     
  5. wheelgun6T9

    wheelgun6T9 Member

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    parker51 - what type of pin setup do you have? I really like how clean the primers pockets and internals are. Maybe not necessary but I really like shiny clean brass inside & out.
     
  6. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    RC,

    I'll have to say you come up with some of the best sayings. I will save the Swiss GP-11 and toss most of the 7mm. I'll check for expanded primer pockets and for head separation in the 7mm prior to reloading any of it. The ones that still show any signs of damage will be tossed (the ones with the red circles). Chances are very few (if any) are salvageable but they sure do look pretty compared to what they did prior to tumbling. The best thing about this media is no dust. I have two dogs and I was always afraid they were inhaling the dust from my tumblers whenever they were in the garage even though I tried to blow it out after each time I used the tumblers.
     
  7. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    I ordered the Thumler's Tumbler with 5 lbs of Stainless Steel Kit from Sinclair International.

    http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=42993/Product/Thumler-s-Tumbler-Stainless-Steel-Tumbling-Kit

    I ran 130 pieces of 7mm Magnum at one time for 3 hours last night and it came out looking like new. It looked a lot like the brass in the first photo without the corrosion.

    It came to around $240 with shipping. I will still keep my tumbler for corn as I will use it for a final polish to remove any lube after resizing and a coating of Nu Finish provides for a longer lasting shine :D

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    That was Ajax Dishwashing liquid, not the powder kind from a can.
     
  9. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    The Final Product

    Here's what it looks like after resizing, trimming and a final polish with corn mixed with a little Nu Finish. Sorry I couldn't show the inside of the brass but it looks just like the outside.
     

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  10. nambu1

    nambu1 Member

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    I use Lemi-shine and Dawn.
     
  11. 4895

    4895 Member

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    Amazing. If it weren't so darned spendy I would consider a SS tumbler setup.
     
  12. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    No, I wouldn't reload them for the same reason rcmodel said, and perhaps more importantly because the ones you show with the primer pockets are Berdan primed. I would probably reload any Boxer primed brass that didn't have the severe discoloration patches before cleaning.

    They might be Dominion Arsenal cartridges (Canadian).
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    As I was reading all the posts I was wondering why no one else mentioned the Berdan Primers?

    How did you deprime those cases?
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    No one mentioned the berdan brass as in post 2 he said he reloads that Swiss GP-11 and wanted to seem if it would clean around the anvil.;) I also recently got into the SS media tumbling and find it is awesome. It is more labor intensive but the results are worth the effort IMHO. It cleans so well the brass will tarnish soon after, so I will tumble the brass in corn cob with Nu-Finish after it is dry. This also removed any water stains that had developed while it dried off. I also tumble my rounds after loading unless they are HP bullets that will fill with media as I do not fancy picking it all out.:cool:

    I purchased a used Thumlers and the total cost with the SS pins was only $60.:D
     
  15. bds

    bds Member

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    As demonstrated by parker51, even severely corroded (and possibly weakened) cases can be made shiny using the wet tumbling method with stainless steel rod media and detergent/acid. I wonder how many of these corroded (and possibly weakened) cases make it to gun shows ... as posted by rcmodel, the shiny cases do not often indicate the actual condition of the brass and buyer must beware. :rolleyes::scrutiny::mad:

    I have seen several pistol KaBooms over the years (not all of them Glocks) and some of the shooters admitted they bought their ammunition from gun shows. There are multiple KaBoom threads on various online forums and most of the times, double charge of powder is suspected but the possibility of weakened (but shiny) cases could definitely be a factor.

    For this reason, I caution people loading higher pressure 40S&W with mixed range brass not to push near max/over max load data as they cannot be certain of the condition of the brass they are working with (especially when shooting with barrel/chamber that is not fully supported). I keep a separate box of "verified" once-fired brass (Shot from factory boxes or with military crimped primer pockets) and reserve them for max load data but use lower powder charges (mid-to-high range load data) at target velocities for mixed range brass. Note that some slower powders (slower than Unique) may not produce consistent chamber pressures/accuracy when loaded below near max load data and for this reason, I use moderately faster burning W231/HP-38 for mid-to-high range 40S&W load data.

    I think the addage of "Beauty is only skin deep" definitely applies here. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  16. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    NO! buy new
     
  17. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    If you look closely at this brass after cleaning you can tell which pieces shown in the original photo were corroded and which were just stained. The ones with deep corrosion have a copper colored spot on the brass with what appears to be a ring around the damaged area. It was hard to show this in the photo, but if you look closely you can see this in the areas circled in red. It did clean the paint or fingernail polish off the ones that were "marked" (not sure of the reason for this, perhaps loose primer pockets) so there would be no way to tell if this brass was old or defective until you primed it or checked for head separation. You are correct in that there is no way to prevent someone from picking up discarded range brass that has been fired numerous times, but this is a chance one takes when buying used brass as a gun show or online no matter how it was cleaned. I would hope that if someone is selling brass that has been cleaned with this method would indicate this in the description. If not, and the brass hasn't been trimmed then there really is no way to tell this brass new or not until you start prepping it. Out of the original 7 mm brass I used for this test, I salvaged 9 pieces that I had originally placed in the scrap bin. I have kept these separate and I suspect I will discover these pieces have loose primer pockets and this is why they were marked with the fingernail polish. If not, great I was able to save 9 pieces of 7 mm Mag brass that would have otherwise went to the salvage yard prematurely.
     
  18. bds

    bds Member

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    Perhaps others who have used acid/ammonia with brass could provide more detail but leaching of zinc from brass (brass is made from copper/zinc) can occur with no visible signs on the brass surface.

    Enough zinc leaching and your brass will start to turn "pinkish/reddish", the underlying color of copper metal. Some have posted rupturing of case when brass becomes weak/brittle.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=113428


    Leaching of zinc can also occur with Chlorinated/salt water?

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dezincification.htm

    According to the castboolits thread link, perhaps a surface cleaner that won't leach the zinc from brass may be a better option (Post #5, #6, #7)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  19. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    One last thing I forgot to mention. I wouldn't recommend using this method to clean nickel plated brass. I put one piece in and it came out a greyish color. It did clean up when cleaned again with corn but took a long time to get it shiny again.
     
  20. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    It doesn't matter what he said. The question was whether we would reload the brass, and the answer is "no" due almost entirely to the Berdan primers for me.
     
  21. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    I sure wouldn't try to convince anyone to reload Berdan primed brass, but for me reloading the Swiss GP-11 brass is no different than reloading Boxer primed brass. It takes about 10 seconds longer (per round) to reload the Berdan primed brass than it does the Boxer primed brass. As long as they continue importing Berdan primers I will continue reloading the Swiss brass. Right now I have enough Berdan primers to reload over 8,000 rounds for my Swiss rifles and that should last me the rest of my life.
     
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    parker51,
    I didn't say you shouldn't load that brass because of the primer. Like Mal H said, you asked if "we" would reload it and both he and I said no because of the Berdan primes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  23. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    ArchAngelCD,

    I didn't think you or Mal H said I shouldn't reload this brass. I was just saying that it isn't all that difficult in case someone else might be considering reloading this brass. If it wasn't for the recent importing of Berdan primers by a couple of companies I wouldn't be reloading them much longer either. It snowed here today so I stayed inside and deprimed and cleaned 160 more of these cases today. Even though some steps are a little time consuming using these stainless steel pins I would have spent much more time cleaning primer pockets than it takes to dry this brass (I had to dry the Swiss brass any how as I use water to remove the spent primers).
     

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  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't know how you got that brass so clean but it looks good. (last picture) I'm just a little worried there are weak spots that are still there even though they are now clean. I have fired ammo that looked like that but my buddies tell me I'm nuts. (I guess I am a little nuts)
     
  25. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    ArchAngel,

    The brass in the last set of photos isn't the same brass shown in the original post. I received a package in the mail today with 160 pieces of once fired Swiss GP-11 that I picked up off the Classifieds and since it was snowing I decided to get them cleaned up. There were only 4 pieces of GP-11 brass in the original photo and I put them there just to see if these steel pins would clean out the pockets and not damage the anvils. Sorry for the confusion, I should have started a new thread.
     
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