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Old February 12, 2012, 07:22 PM   #1
tyschr
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Baked brass

Need some input from someone with more knowledge than myself. I just rinsed about 600 brass casings after tumbling to make sure all the media dust was off, didn't do any research (foolishly) and tossed em in the oven at 300 for about an hour. They're nice and dry but have darkened a few shades, is this just oxidization/ tarnish or have I just baked a boatload of good brass into uselesness?
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Old February 12, 2012, 07:24 PM   #2
hodaka
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Patience, grasshopper,

I've done this before and regreted the tarnish but they load and shoot just fine.
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Old February 12, 2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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The temperature for drying brass shouldn't be more than 200 degress. At 400 you'll anneal the brass and make it soft. Not safe to have brass annealed at the base.
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Old February 12, 2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Baked brass.

I lay them on a towel and get them all good and hot with a hair dryer. They will sit and dry the rest out with no further attention. You must have needed your shells the same day.
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Old February 12, 2012, 08:16 PM   #5
tyschr
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The annealing temp is what i was concerned about, knew it would be bad if I annealed the whole case. If I've just tarnished em I can live with that...making 600 pieces of brass scrap would be just sad...
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Old February 12, 2012, 08:17 PM   #6
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Brass just begins to show changes in the grain at 495 degrees F. Most brass is annealed by short exposure of the case mouth/shoulder area at around 750 degrees F.

An hour at 300 isn't gong to damage the brass beyond the discoloration.
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Old February 12, 2012, 11:22 PM   #7
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Question? why are you worrying about the dust after the tumbling it won't affect the reloading process nor the reload just put on a towel and buff off the outside.
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Old February 13, 2012, 06:45 AM   #8
tyschr
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I was getting some weird texturing when I re-sized (dies and lube pad are spotless), redding's website recommended washing the media dust off. I wiped them all down coming out of the tumbler, figured this might help.
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Old February 13, 2012, 07:54 AM   #9
Cornbread
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Have you tried the drier sheets? I cut 4 or 5 small squares off of the sheets like snuggles. Use them in cob media. After they turn black I change them. Also add a cap of liquid car polish. Brass comes out looking better than new even noticed wont dull after long storage. (might need sunglasses to handle reloads on a bright sunny day)
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Old February 13, 2012, 07:55 AM   #10
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Take a used dryer sheet and cut it in to about 2 x 4 inches and toss them in your tumbler. This will help keep the dust down.

I would not worry about much more. If you are still concerned about dust, wipe them off or get a small compressor and hit them with compressed air.
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Old February 13, 2012, 08:02 AM   #11
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Blowing-off tumbler dust with compressed air.

I would NOT do that, except perhaps outdoors on a breezy day.

The problem is that the dust contains lead from the insides of the cases, and blowing it off ensures that it will be inhaled and deposited on things that you may touch later while doing other things, so that you may also ingest it.

The dryer sheets are a good idea, because they capture dust in a manner that lets you throw it into the trash can without making it airborne.

Wet tumbling with stainless pins is even better at keeping lead dust out of the air.

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Old February 13, 2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
An hour at 300 isn't gong to damage the brass beyond the discoloration.
Of course that still depends on the accuracy of the thermostat, how much range it has when turning the heat on and off, how close the brass actually was to the source of heat, how uniform the oven temperature is, etc.

But you can always replace a gun.

Fingers, eyes, and other appendages not so easily though...
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Old February 13, 2012, 04:32 PM   #13
thedaddycat
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You are fine with 300*F for any amount of time.

Here is an excelent article on annealing brass cases, I read the whole thing and would recommend it to anyone interested in annealing their brass cases:

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

This is the pertinent section for your situation:

"Brass which has been "work hardened" (sometimes referred to as "cold worked") is unaffected by temperatures (Fahrenheit) up to 482 degrees (F) regardless of the time it is left at this temperature. At about 495 degrees (F) some changes in grain structure begins to occur, although the brass remains about as hard as before--it would take a laboratory analysis to see the changes that take place at this temperature."

Unless your oven thermostat is grossly out of calibration, you have nothing to worry about.

I use my Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner to clean cases with. Once done cleaning I rinse it three times and shake as much water out of it as I can. When I dry it, I put the brass on a cookie sheet and put that on top of soda cans on top of the wood stove. The cans provide enough "standoff" from the stove to prevent overheating. The brass gets hot to the touch but not so hot that I can't pick it up. I would guess the temp at around 140*F or so.


Last edited by thedaddycat; February 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM.
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Old February 13, 2012, 05:26 PM   #14
oldandslow
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ty, 2/14/12

As other posters have mentioned baking your brass at 300 degrees Farenheit will not weaken the brass. It is well below the annealing point. I routinely bake my brass (.45, 9mm, 30-06, .270 Win, 38 sp. and .357 mag) at 300 degrees for 20 minutes after wet tumbling with stainless steel media. One time I forgot and left 100 9mm nickel plated cases in the oven for two hours. I followed their case-life through 12 reloadings each and only three developed cracks at the case mouths over time, no different than my non-baked cases. So bake away and have fun shooting.

best wishes- oldandslow
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Old February 14, 2012, 08:17 PM   #15
tyschr
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I'm pretty sure my oven's temp is pretty stable, my wife bakes a lot, I'd definitely hear about it if it was off! Glad I didn't ruin a batch of good brass, thanks for the input guys.
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Old February 14, 2012, 09:49 PM   #16
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I clean all my brass (both rifle and pistol) in an ultrasonic cleaner. I dry them simply by standing them up mouth down on a paper towel. By the next day they're all completely dry. Here's a photo of what I do:

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Old February 14, 2012, 09:51 PM   #17
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I bake my brass all the time after shooting w/ black powder. I wash it in hot water and a little dab of dish soap, rinse it in hot water until the water runs clear and spread them on a dish towel on a baking sheet. I place them in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes and they come out colorful and clean. I toss them in the tumbler after cleaning but that's probably not needed; I just like shiny brass.
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
I was getting some weird texturing when I re-sized (dies and lube pad are spotless),
Gotcha.....This could be the lube getting heated while resizing, I see this happening to me now and then. I as well just put them upside down for a day and there dry generally I other things to do after prepping the brass after a range I have multiple cal's to go through I just do one cal always leaving some precleaned to do while the other are waiting to get bagged for the next time.
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Old February 16, 2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
I'm pretty sure my oven's temp is pretty stable,
Gas or electric, the heat input (flame or cal-rod heating element) is far higher than you want to expose brass to.

The thermostat is based on the air temperature and the bang-bang control (on-off) means there are excursions around the set point.

Many ovens even will have different temps from the top shelf to the bottom shelf, and the bake temperature sensor is most often on the top of the oven.


Unlike heat treat ovens that have tight control of temperature, fans to make sure it is uniform, and better ones even have proportional control of the heat input (the closer the temperature gets to the set point the more the heat input is reduced) a home oven has rather poor temperature control and uniformity.
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Old February 16, 2012, 04:59 PM   #20
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The way I fixed that was by not getting them wet in the first place. If you are running them in a vibratory tumbler there is no need to get them wet. If you have a little dust and want to get rid of it then add a little polish and a used dryer sheet or paper towel. I used to tumble in crushed walnut and now 50/50 walnut and corn cob. I have never had a dust problem but I have always used some polish. Nu Finish car polish works the best for me.
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Old February 17, 2012, 10:19 AM   #21
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Baked Brass?

Just remember to grease the pan and put the pineapple slices in the bottom of the pan before you bake the brass. Don't add salt. Marinades and gravy may help a lot.
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Old February 17, 2012, 11:15 AM   #22
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I was getting quite a bit of dust too so I took the forums advice and started using nufinish car polish and dryer sheets. The media is cleaner and ,The brass is more shiny than I have ever gotten before, and the car polish actually helps lube them a bit for resizing. I still use imperial wax too.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:15 PM   #23
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Cooked about 200 45ACP and 300 9mm brass yesterday on the stove. Used an old pot, about a tablespoon of CLR in two gallons of water heated them till the started to boil , took them off , rinsed and drained, shook them in a old towel to make sure I got most of the water out and set them in the garage overnight with a small fan blowing on them. Took about 20 minutes of hands on time, a couple of penny's worth of CLR and whatever amount of gas and electricity to heat the water and dry them. In summer I will just sit them in the sun outside to dry.

Clean as I could ask for, the 9's are even clean on the inside of the cases. 45's clean on the outside, still some residue inside. This was range brass, gathered at a outdoor range. Some of them were filled with dirt when I threw them in the pot. It ain't shiny but then shiny don't matter when it is in the chamber. I suppose if I wanted it shiny I could add some lemon juice or vinegar

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Old February 17, 2012, 09:39 PM   #24
SteveHawaii
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Nice thing about the ultrasonic cleaner is that it cleans both inside an out - shiny clean. It also cleans the primer pocket, so no prep work required after the initial brass prep. All I use is a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, with a little dish soap. Here's another photo showing before and after cleaning on .45 brass:

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Old February 17, 2012, 10:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Nice thing about the ultrasonic cleaner is that it cleans both inside an out - shiny clean. It also cleans the primer pocket, so no prep work required after the initial brass prep. All I use is a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, with a little dish soap. Here's another photo showing before and after cleaning on .45 brass:
hmmm might add more vinegar to the pot next time. I did not deprime those that I boiled, were too dirty but my nines ended up pretty clean on the inside.

How do you dry yours? My big issue right now with my method is finding a better way to dry them. If I don't wait a few days sometimes I will find some moisture under the primers. Most of the ones I am getting are way too dirty to deprime before cleaning. Thinking oven at 220 for a hour will do it top rack on a baking sheet. Brass does not even start to anneal unless you get it to around 450 or so.
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