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Old September 16, 2010, 02:11 AM   #1
Join Date: September 16, 2010
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Brass Case Questions please help

Hello I am very new to handloading, I have a lee breech lock single stage, and I am handloading 40 s&w rounds, and I have a question, I left a bag of about 500 cases in a plastic bag outside, and the bag filled with condensation and now I have brownish spots on outside and inside of case, they dont come off either, I was wondering what this is and if it is safe to load still, will it affect the shelf life or contaminate my powder, thank you very much for any advice you can offer and thank you for your time
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Old September 16, 2010, 06:03 AM   #2
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If you don't care about the way the cases look, dry 'em out, load & shoot. You can always tumble the brown off, but I have a suspicion from your post you don't own a tumbler. You can also get that tarnish off a couple of cheap ways. What I would do:

1. Deprime all the cases.

2. Put them in a homer bucket with 1/2 gal of white vinegar and a couple of gallons of water.

3. Leave for 20-30 minutes and check for tarnish removal.

4. Rinse off the vinegar solution with water and spread out to air dry for a few days or dry in a low-temperature oven.

There's also a product called Lemishine (citric acid based, instead of the acetic acid in vinegar) that is highly regarded by some....check for it at Wal-Mart.

There's a commercial product called "Iosso" that's supposed to work well, but I've always found the method above to be effective and cheap.
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Old September 16, 2010, 08:48 AM   #3
Uncle Buck
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You should see my .45 LC brass that I use to load black powder. Those cases are of several different colors and look like heck.

Just make sure the cases are clean and dry before you reload them. After you shoot them, inspect them, toss the cracked, split and bulged cases and reload again. I suspect that you will end up losing most of the brass in high grass and gravel before you reach the end of their useful service life.

I shoot black powder out of .45 LC, .38 Special and .357 Magnum brass. I keep a can of soapy water in which to put my spent brass to help clean them up and have noticed the water spots are kinda ugly, but do not affect the brass at all.
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Clean them and load them. Shiney doesn't equal function for ammo.
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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The main advantage to shiny cases is the ease of finding them on the ground. The oxide spots won't amount to anything unless they corrode deeply, in which case you'll see verdis gris on the brass. It is highly unlikely you have that problem from your description. Ironically, a modest oxide layer actually protects cases from additional corrosion. This is why military brass is only cleaned but not polished after manufacturing and the neck annealing oxide stain is left in place.
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:28 AM   #6
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Listen to Uncle Buck he speaks the truth on this one. If it bothers you ask for a tumbler as a Christmas gift. Then you can make it shine if you want. Besides after a couple of trips to the range only some of the brass you bring back will be yours. The rest will have belonged to someone else, its all good. I can't say I know much about the solution based cleanings. I've always had a tumbler...
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:42 AM   #7
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You can wash them in the vinegar if you feel like it or just shoot them. Some folks actually like that "patina" look. I tried the vinegar thing once, along with trying some lemon juice and water. I tried soap too, just to see what worked getting the black carbon soot off some of my cases. The various liquids all got the black off and they seemed to look real nice at first, but after they were all dry, the brass looked kind of tarnished with a slight green tint to it. No big deal either way. Much later I broke down and bought a tumbler and it's kind of nice having shiny cases again, but they still shoot the same either way.
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Old September 16, 2010, 10:23 AM   #8
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Id say brass is fine as long as it is dry/ and flash hole is clear. Sometimes stained cases make it a little harder to properly inspect cases but just take your time and check them out.
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Old September 16, 2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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much thx

thank you so much all of you for your time, you have been the biggest help in the world, thank you for being so nice
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Old September 17, 2010, 08:46 AM   #10
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40Caliber, I forgot to add: Welcome to the forums. I just notice you were a newer member here and I hope you come back again frequently.
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