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Old August 23, 2001, 05:22 PM   #1
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Shelf life of uncleaned brass

I don't reload ,yet, but am planning to start in the future. I have about 2000 once-fired cases that I have kept after I've been shooting. All this brass is from the major manufacturers and none was ever reloaded (to the best of my knowledge).

My question: Is there a shelf life for this brass? It's never been cleaned, just picked up and deposited into zip-lock bags. I'd like to keep it for when I start reloading, but I want to make sure it wont corrode.

Thanks for the info.
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Old August 23, 2001, 05:30 PM   #2
Jorah Lavin
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So, whadda ya wait'n fer?

Git yaself a tumbler from Cabella's or somewhere and start tumbling those babies!

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Old August 23, 2001, 05:38 PM   #3
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
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If the ziplock bags are air tight and you didn't store the brass while working in a corrosive atmosphere ( extremely unlikely ), then the brass should outlast you. I don't think leaving it "dirty" will affect its shelf life a lot. But needless to say, brass left with any chemical on them can't last as long as clean brass.

Actually I have some very old brass that isn't in ziplock bags and it is still in fine shape. I'm sure the prevailing humidity conditions as well as industrial pollution in the air could easily affect the longevity of brass, dirty or otherwise. You never know what is going to mix with what and cause some corrosion.
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Old August 23, 2001, 09:50 PM   #4
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For my unprocessed and processed brass I store it with vapor corrosion inhibitor tabs available from Brownells and Midway. Cleaned and polished brass stays looking pretty good; unprocessed hasn't grown any craters in them after a few years.

I store them in military ammo cans with the tabs enclosed along with silica gel packs to absorb moisture. Once you have removed the moisture from a milspec ammo can with the silica gel and you verify the can's seals work you won't have a problem with corrosion at all.
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Old August 26, 2001, 12:56 PM   #5
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Dirty brass's life?

I began reloading in 1970. Not until 1986 did I get a tumbler or anything to clean brass. I still have some "Super-Vel" brass from the 70's. 30 years?
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Old August 27, 2001, 11:36 AM   #6
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As long as:

1. NOT fired with mercuric or phospate primers (both very old technologies)


2. NOT fired with black powder


3. NOT stored with humidity or corrosive contaminants as stated by the earlier posters.
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Old August 27, 2001, 10:06 PM   #7
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I'm still loading some LC56&57 brass I got from my uncle back in the early 60's.Still have 2 each bandoliers 5rd.&8rd.not fired.Thank you army reserve!
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Old August 28, 2001, 12:04 AM   #8
Big Bunny
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Brass Question.

Start polishing and you will want to reload them!!!

Bad boys, bad boys...watcha goin' to do - watcha goin' to do when they come for YOU ?!
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