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Thread: What criteria do you use to discard brass for reloading?

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  1. #11
    Member paulo57509's Avatar
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    I usually start with once fired (in my own guns) or new cases so I pretty much know their history.

    On the one occasion that I was given several boxes of reloaded .30-06, I pulled and saved the bullets and pitched the cases. More than a few looked like this:



    Never shoot reloads other than your own.

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    Senior Member bombdoc's Avatar
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    Just a word of warning ..!

    Never tumble loaded ammunition! Particularly old loaded ammunition, especially if it is cordite loaded... The danger is not that it will go off in the tumbler, but that the tumbling breaks up the propellant grains, increasing the surface area of the propellant and significantly increasing the burning rate. Propellant becomes brittle as it ages, and cordite is particularly susceptible to this type of failure.

    You may think that nobody would be that stupid, however history would prove you wrong. There were several instances a while back as a result of some bright boy "refurbishing" milsurp ammuniton by tumbling it in a cement mixer with sand...!

    Increased burning rate can lead to burst guns.. so be warned!

    I would also be inclined to anneal all old cases as a matter of course.. brass does age harden, and a quick anneal at least puts them all back to a known state!
    Last edited by bombdoc; 05-15-2020 at 06:21 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Citric acid, per se is not that bad; the stuff supplied by the makers of drum tumblers like "Lyman", for instance clearly state on the packaging of the "trial" brew packed with the tumbler, that it contains Citric acid. I discovered very quickly that Brewing Supply shops sell Citric acid powder (for cleaning brewing equipment and hoses) a LOT cheaper than the “fancy stuff” from the gun shop. Like vinegar, it is also a useful household cleaner.

    Concentration and "run-time" are important. The Citric acid, in combination with the constant agitation and pin impacts, cleans off the "brown" fairly quickly. A THOROUGH rinse in HOT water removes the Citric acid and other "crud" from the brass and then, depending on the time of year and location, spread the rejuvenated brass out in a cotton sheet in direct sunlight,

    I've done many thousands of cases that way since I bought a drum tumbler, so far, so good. I do not want "polished" brass, I want CLEAN, uncontaminated brass.

    As soon as they are dry and whilst still warm, the cases go into air-tight kitchen containers with a Silica-Gel dehumidifier sachet taped inside the lid. More than a year later, that brass will still be unblemished, until you start fondling it in the reloading process.

    I tend to clean and prep in big batches and store the stuff. Preparation includes inspecting cases for bulges, cracks, neck-splits, incipient head separations, etc, at every stage of the handling process. Bottle-necked rifle brass MUST always be checked for length, and trimmed if necessary, BEFORE going anywhere near a press for filling. Regular use of case gauges and a good trimmer will reduce your need to replace a "bent" rifle or the need to learn Braille and manage a Labrador.

    Then, reload in small batches as required. How long does it take to run up fifty rounds of your favourite rifle ammo recipe? If you are loading for regular pistol competitions, and you run a progressive press, it is possible to load a LOT of ammo in an evening; using your correctly-stored, well prepared brass, of course.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Good brass cleaner is per 5 litre hot water, teaspoon dish washing liquid and a teaspoon tartaric acid. Mix well, add brass let it stand couple of hours. Stir a couple times. Rinse with clean water, dry in the sun. Doesn't tarnish again.

    Been working for me for 30 years.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Bruce is bang on (Pun) with the handling of your brass the more you handle it whilst checking it over the more you see and after its done the rounds it gets finally to the press loaded inspected again wiped over with a clean rag and then stored ready for the range or hunt don't matter.

    If your just an average shooter hunter then you won't load the hundrds of rounds some of us do a year but the process is the same for all there ain't no skimping on it your playing with enormous forces a few inces from your beak and face with the result if it lets go the damage to you could be catastophic to say the least.
    I run my 6.5 x 284 reasonably hot about 2900Fps with 140Gn VLD Bergers or 143Gn Hornady ELD X's and its in around @53 - 55,000's PSI so its a fait bit of oomph going on up front.
    So learn from what those of us that have trudged the path of discovery with reloading as I am quite an*l about all my ammo hunting or target it has to be the best I can possibly make to get consistent hits or groups because if you do not take the care and be a bit slappy happy howdy doo-dee with it your gunna come a cropper and I or us here do not want that at all.
    Advice is free gaining the knowledge to give that advice is a very expensive pass time indeed wish computers were around like this 43 years ago would have saved allot of us here $'s and headaches.................
    Last edited by CINDERS; 05-16-2020 at 04:39 AM.

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    Senior Member pocketshaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Just be cautious with the amount of Lenishine used. This stuff is a citric acid and will go after the zinc in the brass.
    there is no danger with lemishine cleaning cases. Its actually how the ARSENALS clean cases. It actually helps preserve the cases.

    Though there is no real reason to let it soak for more then 5-10 minutes if the water is hot.



    A lot of signs of bad cases are not reliable at all. Like case separation,, the old trick of bent paper clip down inside the case to check the case for separation near the primer FAILS 30% of factory new brass from Winchester in .308

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