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Old January 24, 2013, 03:56 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
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never seen this talked about... corrosion on old unfired bulk brass

last year I bought a 5 gallon bucket full of nickel Federal factory reject 338 win mag cases, with no primer flash holes... I had my machinist buddy go through & drill new flash holes... when I was going through them, I saw quite a few with small corrosion spots...

just this week, I bought a 5 qt ice cream bucket worth of unfired 45 Auto Rim... again, going through them, I saw quite a few with small corrosion spots as well...

I'm thinking this may have been because of mice crawling around on top of them, maybe some other reason, as the corrosion was mixed through out... if this is because of mice, do you guys think I'll have issues, once they've been cleaned up, because of the ammonia content in the mouse urine ( I expect that is the reason for the corrosion ) ???

I'll be shooting the 1st of the 338 cases this next summer... none had pits beyond ( or at least much beyond ) the nickel... but being a very high pressure round, caused me to at least think about it... the Auto Rim, being a lower pressure round may or may not be safer, since they were not coated in the protective nickel...

anyway... expirience or thoughts ???
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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If it's a spot on the surface it doesn't bother me. If there's a pit, I toss it.
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Pits are bad.

Cartridge cases are gas seals. They also allow the powder, propellant, and bullet to be packaged, but I take that for granted. Case head brass thickness and quality is safety critical. Rupture the case head and all that gas comes out into the gas and busts things up.

This single heat treat 03 blew a case head and sent the owner to the hospital.

Tarnish on brass has been no big deal in my experience. But any pitting that reduces the strength of the brass, or corrosive chemicals (ammonia) that weakens brass, it is not safe to use.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:21 PM   #4
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I just dealt with the same thing, someone gave me about 1200 pcs of .223 brass and one of the containers of about 400pcs had been left uncovered in the shed. Has to be mouse urine, many of the cases near the top had nasty green corrosion on them like ammonia. I threw out the worst of them right away, tumbled the questionable ones and then re-inspected those again. Basically, if the spots felt rough at all I wouldn't trust them. Any corrosion on or near the case head was automatic reject, but if the spot was small and still smooth to the touch, I'll load them once and let 'em fly.

If you think there is any corrosion on the inside of the case I wouldn't load them at all.
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