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Old August 14, 2013, 05:14 PM   #1
fishhead1
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Problem with Starline Brass

Have usually had good luck with Starline brass, but have run into a perplexing problem. Pulled some unused .45 Colt brass out of storage the other day. The brass had been sized and "belled", then put into a plastic baggy until needed. It has been in storage in this manner for probably 2-3 years. When I examined the brass, it appeared to have dark corrosion spots on every casing (see atch photo for examples). I went ahead and tumbled the brass for several hours. It did brighten up the shiny parts of the brass, but the dark spots remained. I'm not really too concerned about using the brass, but this is the first time that I can recall seeing this, especially on unused brass. Anyone else seen this on Starline brass?
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Old August 14, 2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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I started storing my extra brass in coffee cans with a little rice thrown in to asorb moisture. Seems to work so far.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:21 PM   #3
iraiam
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I don't think that is limited to just Starline brass, I have seen similar discoloring from time to time on just about any brand of brass you can think of, even once on brand new Federal ammunition.

I'm not sure what it is, but I have taken it off with a scotch-brite pad before polishing. I store polished brass in ziplock bags and put in a desiccant pack.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:48 PM   #4
JKilbreth
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Problem with Starline Brass

Bump. I have this problem on stored (or just very old) brass. Love to know what the cause/solution is. Good question.
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Old August 14, 2013, 08:03 PM   #5
buck460XVR
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Looks like Galvanic Corrosion where the Zinc is leaching out of the brass alloy. Maybe there was some trapped moisture in the baggie.
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Old August 15, 2013, 05:50 AM   #6
TheBear
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the brass isnt the problem, you just have to store it right. where there is moist there is corrosion.

use some kind of moist absorber.
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Old August 15, 2013, 08:47 AM   #7
g.willikers
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It's probably due to the plastic bag.
Try storing the brass in something that's not air tight, so any moisture has a chance to escape.
Or make sure the brass is completely dry and there's no moisture trapped in the bag.
If you live in a high humidity area, leave everything in an air conditioned room long enough to ensure this.
Another reason not to reload in a hot, humid garage.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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I have seen post on other threads where some better name brand ammo that used Starline brass - perhaps it was Corbon - had some discoloring similar to the pic.

As best as I remember the problem was limited to the discoloring. Function was not effected.
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:10 AM   #9
schmellba99
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Looks like some type of reaction with the copper to me. Typically comes from exposure to some type of acidic compound, and based on the spotting, it's almost like the brass got sprayed (perhaps with sweat?) prior to going into storage.

As long as there isn't any flaking going on that leaves pits, the cases are just fine. Not all that pretty, but structurally just fine.
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:22 PM   #10
temmi
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did you have any sizing lub on them?
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:53 PM   #11
chiefr
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iraiam posted
I don't think that is limited to just Starline brass, I have seen similar discoloring from time to time on just about any brand of brass you can think of, even once on brand new Federal ammunition.

I'm not sure what it is, but I have taken it off with a scotch-brite pad before polishing. I store polished brass in ziplock bags and put in a desiccant pack.
Yesterday 05:49 PM

+1
This is a problem with corrosion. The corrosion could come from many sources. Sweat on your hands is corrosive and the most common way corrosion gets on brass.
As far as Starline, IMHO and particularily in 45 Colt, Starline is superior to all domestic brands. Key word: Domestic
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Old August 15, 2013, 07:27 PM   #12
fishhead1
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The brass in question had been sized, so it had sizing lube on it. Unless sizing lube is corrosive (which I doubt), I would think this could only help. Also,I have brass many years older than this (some from the 70's) stored in the same fashion. It will, of course, tarnish with age; but a few hours in the tumbler brings it back to near new appearance. This Starline brass, in my humble opinion, has apparently corroded (which brass is not supposed to do). Also. I have other Starline brass, in other calibers, stored in the same fashion, and none of it looks like this. I will, however, amend my storage practices accordingly. No biggy, but just wanted to throw it out for discussion.

Last edited by fishhead1; August 15, 2013 at 07:35 PM.
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Old August 15, 2013, 07:33 PM   #13
ATPBULLETS
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I've had similar results when I stored before polishing....I have since only stored brass after polishing.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:03 PM   #14
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by [b]fishhead1:[/]

The brass in question had been sized, so it had sizing lube on it. Unless sizing lube is corrosive (which I doubt), I would think this could only help. Also,I have brass many years older than this (some from the 70's) stored in the same fashion. It will, of course, tarnish with age; but a few hours in the tumbler brings it back to near new appearance. This Starline brass, in my humble opinion, has apparently corroded (which brass is not supposed to do). Also. I have other Starline brass, in other calibers, stored in the same fashion, and none of it looks like this. I will, however, amend my storage practices accordingly. No biggy, but just wanted to throw it out for discussion.
Brass does corrode, especially brass with a higher content of Zinc....like cartridge brass. Naval brass and some other ornamental brasses have a lower percentage of zinc and thus are more corrosion resistant. Specific corrosion resistant brasses called DZR or DR brasses may also have tin added to made them less susceptible. Again, the corrosion you are seeing on your brass is from dezincification and can be caused by moisture or contamination. While the lube may not have been the source of the contamination, it could have reacted with the plastic used in the baggie and caused the spotting. PVC used in plumbing has been known to corrode brass fittings and fixtures when exposed to certain chemicals used by municipalities for water purification. If the spotting is only on the surface, you should be fine. Severe dezincification will cause brass to become brittle.
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Old August 16, 2013, 01:48 AM   #15
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I had some similar spots on Fed 357 brass after experimenting with wet tumbling with a generic knock off of Simple Green. (Complex Cyan?)
My spots were darker and purplish and have not come off in several cycles of tumbling/shooting. They have a nice patina now.
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Old August 16, 2013, 04:23 AM   #16
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Yep I have had some cases do that in the past as well. IT's a bit time consuming, but if you want to clean them up really nice, you can do it with a drill press or even a cordless and a short piece of wooden dowel sanded to fit snug inside the cases, some Flitz and an old shop towel.

Just shove the case on the dowel, fire up the drill at a nice slow speed, and polish away. It usually has come off pretty easily for me in the past, and the cases polish right up.

The draw back I had was I would get a cramp in my thumb after about a dozen or so cases. So switch hands often while gently squeezing he towel around the spinning cases.

You might not get every last bit, but it will sure make them look a bit nicer.
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Old August 16, 2013, 06:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
I don't think that is limited to just Starline brass
What iraiam said - it's not a Starline specific thing. It's a brass/moisture thing.

Quote:
It's probably due to the plastic bag.
What g.willikers said - plastic bags are evil for long-term brass storage.

I store most of my brass in coffee cans; and that too would be bad, except I can get away with it because I'm in sunny/dry California.

The good news is that your brass stains are just superficial. Load 'em n shoot 'em.
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Old August 17, 2013, 06:24 AM   #18
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Most of my older brass has similar stains regardless of the brand. It is a moisture/corrosion effect. I don't concern myself with it because it doesn't effect function. It is hot and humid here and minor corrosion is a fact of life. This doesn't seem to happen much with the nickel plated brass.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:31 AM   #19
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I've seen that type of staining/ corrosion before. I had some 270 win brass that did the same thing. I use Brasso polish in my shell cleaner. So I always thought it was caused by the ammonia in Brasso. But have since wiped my cleaned shells lightly with CLP on a flannel rag after there cleaned and before their storage. Unloaded empty's and loaded ammo. Both. Haven't seen that problem occurring anymore. I'm starting to think that staining is caused by what small amounts of powder /sulfuric acids remain on the brass even after there polishing and humidity while in storage may be the cause. Since brass is a non-conductant. The staining couldn't be caused be electrolysis. So it has to be some sort of chemical reaction causing the problem. I've never heard of that staining happing to those having pin tumblers? I suspect its their soapy cleaning solution that removes the acids well enough in that scenario.

S/S
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Old August 17, 2013, 04:30 PM   #20
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Any brass can do that. Do not know the chemical reason why, but it is a chemical reaction that occurs for some reason.
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