Stupid question, new to reloading..

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Nickwashere, May 4, 2012.

  1. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    I just started reloading and I have some brasses that I salvaged from my shooting range..they set in the rain for about to monthes.. They cleaned up nice and are within tollerances.. Are they safe to use our did the weather weaken them.. I dont want to be waistfull but I also don't want to be dangerous.. Also I cleaned the inside of then out with a quetip.. Is that suggested..sorry for stupid questions.. Reloading 9mmx19 and 223's.. I use alot of these and thought it would be best to learn on
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    The weather shouldn't hurt them. Just check for bulges,cracks or anything out of the ordinary.
     

  3. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Ok, thank you.i didn't think so but better safe then sorry
     
  4. TXJohn

    TXJohn New Member

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    They should be fine but like mountainman13 said look over to make sure. I also use a cleaning brush to clean inside case to make sure nothing stuck like media if you are cleaning with a tumbler, but not a bad idea anyway IMHO.
     
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    if you are going to salvage brass from different places for reloading, i would suggest in getting a tumbler and some walnut or corn cob media and use that to clean them. less time and labor on your part, just dump them in and let it run for a couple of hours or as long as needed to clean them. clean cases are easier to find defects in.
     
  6. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Just an addition to the previous statement.
    Always wear a mask during that process. If you are gonna ingest lead from shooting related activities that's when its gonna happen.
     
  7. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "Always wear a mask during that process. If you are gonna ingest lead..."

    Anyone concerned about inhaling lead dust needs to wear a respirator mask with chemical filters, simple paper dust masks won't slow finely powdered lead down.
     
  8. jdkinman

    jdkinman New Member

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    Biggest problem I have with brass I find that has been outdoors for a while is dirt/sediment buildup INSIDE the case.

    As mentioned, it's extremely important to take a brush and clean this out thoroughly, and a tumbler or vibratory cleaner is, for me at least, a "must-have" item for the reloading shop.

    Any buildup inside the case can cause a significant increase in pressure which CAN be dangerous. Easy situation to rectify--clean out the inside the of cases thoroughly. The 9mm is easy, the .223 a bit harder.

    JD
     
  9. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    As mentioned residue inside the case can be very dangerous. The area that will likely have damage from moisture is the primer pocket. This area and the flash hole will often become weakened. This area is key to holding pressure and is sensitve to oversized conditions. An over sized flash hole can damage a bolt face or worse. Make sure you use a flash hole gauge to check for wear. You can use a drill bit of the proper size to check the flash holes. Worn pockets are a problem as well. The cases on shooting ranges are often the last firing by reloaders. The reloader decided the brass was no longer useful and left them on the ground. Brass that has been fired in semi-autos often needs to be resized in a Small Base die as well.:)
     
  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The Alkaline soil around here will turn cases black in a month or so. They still shoot fine, just will not clean up pretty. Mud is the most common problem I see from salvaged range brass. Visually inspect each case to make sure they are free of dried mud after polishing.

    As for the lead issue. I do not wear a mask, but do wash my hands after handling potentially contaminated components. I have my lead levels checked every year at my annual physical exam. My lead levels have actually dropped recently. Thank you Metamucil.
     
  11. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    I actually had some that had darkened and threw them away..good to know they can be used still
     
  12. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    You are exposed to more lead when shooting, lead styphenate in the primers, than by anything else.
     
  13. larrymac1

    larrymac1 New Member

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    I started using an ultrasonic in conjunction with my vibrating tumbler. Pretty inside and out, much like me. :D
     
  14. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "As mentioned residue inside the case can be very dangerous. The area that will likely have damage from moisture is the primer pocket."

    Those are very interesting comments. I've been reloading since '65. I'm of a scientific and technical bent so I have experimented a lot and read every advanced reloading and ballistic info source I can get my hands on but I've never heard of any residue in cases that can be "very dangerous" nor do I know any way moisture could "damage" a brass primer pocket so that's all a surprise to me. It seems every loading manual published would be cautioning us about that but they don't so would you please expand on those very dangerous hazards and tell us how primer pockets could be moisture damaged? And, hopefully, cite where you found that valuable info?

    I do know that weather blackened cases (tarnished) can easily be restored to like new by a couple-three of hours of soaking in white vinegar followed by a routine tumbling.

    Any tiny cracks in cases are quite easy to see after resizing.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  15. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    Since you are new to reloading, you may not know to watch out for is berdan primers. They occur mostly in foreign or military brass, but rarely in US branded commercial brass. The aluminum cases often found with the Blazer headstamp (for your 9mm) are berdan primed and are considered non-reloadable. You can identify berdan primed brass by looking inside, down to the bottom of the brass. Berdan primed will have 2 flash holes, boxer primed (reloadable) will have a single hole. If you try to de-prime a berdan primed case, you will more often than not break your decapping pin. Berdan primed brass go into my scrap brass bucket for recycling.

    I would strongly recommend picking up a couple good reloading books and manuals. The ABCs of Reloading book is a very good one for a beginning reloader. Lyman also puts out a very good book. Both offer great information and explain a lot about the reloading process and how to keep it safe.

    Welcome to the addiction! It won't save you any money, but it will allow you to do a lot more shooting for the same amount.
     
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The residue from most primers contains LEAD! Lead is dangerous!

    I have seen numerous brass cases with excessive corrosion in the flash hole area. Perhaps from some of the new "Lead Free" priming compounds.

    The vinegar tip is so noted. Thanks!
     
  17. budman46

    budman46 New Member

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    mercuric primers harm brass...mercury forms an amalgam with the brass causing it to become brittle. moisture and dirt don't hurt, just discolor!
     
  18. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

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    Nick, happy you are here...

    There are no stupid questions, sometimes redundant but never stupid.

    I'm so tight that I don't even squeak, so I pick up every piece of brass that comes my way.
    Brass will corrode, not rust and when it does, it turns a nice green. Acids will increase the rate that corrosion occurs, just being out in the wild doesn't. Depending upon how dirty your pick up is, wash it in water to get the dirt/grit/mud/whatever off. Then it should be rattled (one of the many cleaners that shake brass with many kinds of media to clean it).
    Cleaning with a q-tip... Too much work with little to show for it. I have found that sometimes a scale will be broken loose from the interior of some military brass after being full length sized (7.62 NATO fired in an M-60). I have never see any of my loads have any scale. Never the less, I always clean my brass a second time (I use a rock tumbler with steel pins, water and 'Simply Green' or 'Dawn') to clean the primer pockets and interior of the rifle brass.
    As for your choice of 9MM and .223s to start with, I have no problem with those choices. Cheap skate me here, if you have dead .223 brass and a good trimmer, the .223 brass can be cut down and sized to be used in a 9MM. I use my dead .223 brass to make .300 BlackOuts. Note, after a few reloads of the .223 brass, check for head separation at the web. (A metal paper clip stretched out with a hook on the tip, scratch the interior of the brass from the head out, a ruff spot at the web-toss the brass.) Also, check the brass length. Too long is not good, trim it.
    Loading is fun. Loading makes better stuff than commercial loader do. A 'progressive' of several types and makes will punch out lots of rounds, fast. A single stage press will make some very consistent (that means accurate if you do your part) rounds.

    Always defer to loading data from know/trusted sources.
    Always error on the side of safety.

    Be safe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  19. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Consider getting a Thumler's Model b rotary tumbler. It works well with walnut and corncob, but it also works well with warm water and a small amount of Tide.

    Once you start washing your cases for 15 minutes in warm water and tide, you'll be sold on it.
     
  20. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I grab as much brass as I can from the range and sort out all of the stuff I can use, clean that and inspect it then recycle the rest. I just sold a 5 gallon bucket of brass to the recycler for $2.50 a pound. It was nearly 60 lbs. Nearly $200.

    When bringing brass to the recycler be sure to shop around. Some will pay top dollar and most will stick it to you if you don't know what the market is.

    I clean and re-use range brass more than I buy any brass. It works fine and saves a bit of money. Make sure you inspect all brass in all stages of the process. Anything even marginally suspect gets tossed in the recycle.