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Old April 6, 2008, 01:58 PM   #1
bowhair
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desiccant packs for cleaned brass?

Anybody have an opinion/experience with putting silica gel packs in with cleaned brass to minimize moisture accumulation between reloadings? any down side?
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Old April 6, 2008, 03:14 PM   #2
W. C. Quantrill
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I guess I am blessed in that I seldom see humidity over 10%. I can leave a bag of chips open on the counter and they never get soggy before they are gone. At first, I could not imagine such a thing and then I thought of my kids new home in Vancouver, and it already has moss trying to grow in the siding.

You need a vacuum food processor anyway. Clean your brass, bag it, suck it and forget about it till you need it.
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Old April 6, 2008, 03:17 PM   #3
rrp
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brass

In the 30 plus years I have been reloading I have never had a problem or heard of a problem with moisture on brass. I've used my shop in the basement and haven't had a problem. I'de say if you have that problem then give it a try. Let us know if it works. Good luck
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Old April 7, 2008, 01:35 AM   #4
Ifishsum
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I use them when I have them. Had some prepped OF brass put away in 100 rd MTM boxes with silica gel packets on top, after two years they're still nice and shiny. I can't say they made a whole lot of difference, I only used them because I had them; I was hoping the brass wouldn't oxidize and it didn't.

I wouldn't go far out of my way to do it but if you have the packets why not?
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Old April 11, 2008, 09:40 AM   #5
bowhair
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Thanks, all. Can't say that it's essential, but the tools in my shop (drill press, table saw) will pick up some surface rust powder if left unwaxed for long, so I thought it might be a good precaution. Just getting starting with the whole process, so don't have any personal baseline to use other than the observation with my tools. Don't want to rely on chance, but it sounds as though it's seldom an issue anyway.
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Old April 11, 2008, 09:52 AM   #6
AlaskaMike
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Sometimes I've gotten little tarnish spots on brass I haven't loaded in awhile. However, once I started putting tiny amounts of NuFinish in my tumbler media, I haven't seen any at all. I think maybe it leaves enough on the brass to prevent the spots.

Honestly though, the spots were rare enough that it's hard to say whether it was the NuFinish or just maybe that the humidity in my garage had varied slightly for some reason.

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Old April 11, 2008, 02:32 PM   #7
brickeyee
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Quote:
the tools in my shop (drill press, table saw) will pick up some surface rust powder if left unwaxed for long
iron rusts.
Brass can tarnish, but not just from water.
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Old April 11, 2008, 04:48 PM   #8
swmike
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+1 on the Nu-Finish. I started using it a couple of years ago and I see absolutely NO tarnish on my cases. Living here in Washington State we DO see humidity. I don't have to add water to the humidifier in my Cigar Humidor for them to be just right.

As for Dessicant Packs, I use them only for my "Stored Ammo" that I may want to rely on should a REAL RAINY DAY come about The rest of the time I am shooting, cleaning, reloading, and shooting my ammo. Not more than a week or two for most of my rounds before "recycling". My "Stored Ammo" is in GI Ammo cans with dessicant. I recently shot some that had been stored for over 20 years and it had very little tarnish on it, even though not cleaned with Nu-Finish in the media.
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:39 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I throw a couple of mothballs in my unprimed brass.

The mothballs, as they vaporize, create static pressure in the container that keeps air from getting in.
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Old April 12, 2008, 09:23 PM   #10
brickeyee
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Quote:
The mothballs, as they vaporize, create static pressure in the container that keeps air from getting in.
The only gas they exert pressure to prevent from entering is ... vaporized moth balls.

While pressure gauges cannot read partial pressures, even if you filled the enclosure with 100% nitrogen it will do nothing to slow th entry of oxygen.
If the oxygen concentration is zero the partial pressure of the oxygen in the exterior air will force oxygen in.
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Old April 12, 2008, 10:13 PM   #11
Mike Irwin
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Except for the fact that the sublimated gas from mothballs (dichloral benzene) is heavier than air. As it builds up in the container it remains at rest in the bottom of the container and displaces the oxygen.

Air, being less dense (if density of air = 1, density of dichloral benzene is 2.7) floats on top of the vapors.

If real camphor is used, it's even more effective at this as it has a density of over 5 compared to air.

The container needs to be fairly tightly sealed to be truly effective, but can't be air tight.

When I worked for the Pennsylvania State Museum and Historical Commission firearms and silver (including the silver service from the battleship Pennsylvania) were protected in their cases with large blocks of camphor. It took over 30 hours to polish the ship's punch set (you could take a bath in it). After more than 2 years on display in a stand alone case in the exhibit hall, the set was as untarnished as the day we had finished with it.

The concept is exactly the same as if one were to use vapor phase inhibitor chips. Only it's one hell of a lot cheaper.

I protect all of my reloading dies and many of my tools with mothballs. My basement is a swamp in the summer (humidity readings of 75-80%, or more, weren't uncommon before I got the big dehumidifier I have now) and I have never had rusting problems... except when the mothballs run out and I forget to renew them.
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