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Old March 1, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1
The Great Mahoo
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tarnished / discolored brass?

I was cleaning up my reloading bench this weekend, (finally getting around to doing some reloading after a looooooong break from it) when I came across a box of brass which has been badly tarnished in places. It seems that something must have spilled on them, as its not universally the same, just some dark brown spots on the cases, typically on one side only. I ran them through the media tumbler for a good while, but they didn't come clean, so I figure its tarnish of some sort.

Are these brass cases still safe to use? or better to throw them away? I have about 30 cases of .45colt,which I could throw out with little problem, but it seems much of my bin of .357 brass has come out like this. I don't even have dyes for the .357, so I guess it wouldn't be a terrible loss to toss them, but I had been saving all of them for when I got around to loading for it.

Do you think the integrity of the brass has been compromised? or is it still good?

Thanks!
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Old March 1, 2011, 10:48 PM   #2
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If it's only tarnished it should be fine. I'd try to clean it in the conventional method. If that doesn't clean it up I'd try a couple parts white vinegar to several parts water and soak it for a few hours then let it dry overnight. Sorry I'm not very scientific on the formula but can't find it and it really doesn't have to be even close.
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Old March 1, 2011, 11:22 PM   #3
F. Guffey
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Tarnished brass, I use vinegar and nothing for no more than 15 minutes, and 15 minutes is not necessary, then wash and then rinse, when dry I tumble

As to safe, I make spinners for shining brass for short runs meaning I can spin 20 cases for loading than I can tumble, advantage to spinning, I cram the spinner into the neck, if the neck is suspect it will split or crush.

I use vinegar for the worst of cases, vinegar cuts tumbling by days.

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Old March 1, 2011, 11:37 PM   #4
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I had some brass that was tarnished from using black powder. I washed them and then tumbled them. I use them exclusively for black powder now, but I have had no problems with them.
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Old March 2, 2011, 04:39 AM   #5
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yup

Just throw them in a box and ship them to me.lol before you throw them out
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Old March 2, 2011, 06:22 AM   #6
Shoney
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If you polish them, and see a reddish color in or around the tarnishing, the zinc has been leached out of the brass, leaving the copper. The brass should be tossed in that condition.
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Old March 2, 2011, 03:15 PM   #7
FrankenMauser
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Use it.
Tarnish doesn't affect anything.
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Old March 2, 2011, 08:18 PM   #8
c.robertson
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Brass is not that expensive. If there is ANY question, toss it and buy new.

I was checking some old .30-06 military brass with a odd little spot on the side. I pushed on it with a pick used to check case head seperation and it broke through. It would have been a failure if loaded. It had corroded from the inside and not real obvious from outside.

AGAIN, brass is not that expensive. BUY NEW if any question.
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Old March 2, 2011, 09:17 PM   #9
highrolls
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Ref Uncle Buck

Yes. Black powder really grimes up the cases but it should not hurt them chemically.

Ref Shoney

Hit the nail on the head. Even a mild acid can leach the cases. I had several that looked a bit reddish after cleaning an unknown spill off them. I tried an experiment. Pliers to crimp the case mouth, except the case didn't crimp as it should, instead it broke and tore. I chunked the whole lot since they were no longer the right stuff.
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Old March 2, 2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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yup

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just throw them in a box and ship them to me.lol before you throw them out


jeepster , You read my mind !!!!!!

Seriously though post a pic & price !!
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:43 PM   #11
The Great Mahoo
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Thanks, all. I think this stuff may be better to just throw out. I've attached some pics, but the quality isn't very good. I guess I won't miss them and can just replace it easily.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2693.jpg (266.3 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2690.JPG (83.8 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2692.JPG (81.8 KB, 39 views)
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:27 PM   #12
FrankenMauser
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I'd load it.

But, if signs of failure appeared, I'd toss all of them.
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Old March 5, 2011, 07:34 PM   #13
castnblast
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tarnish is fine - Greenish film or crust = corrosian those are the ones you want to throw away.
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Old March 5, 2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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+1 for Castandblast.
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