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Thread: question on some of my brass

  1. #1
    Member airhead's Avatar
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    question on some of my brass

    I got some once-fired brass (500 rounds of .223).

    A very few of the pieces have a splotchy red color - more like copper than brass. And it is even more noticeable after I took it out of the walnut vibrator.

    Any clues as to why or what this is?
    Is it safe?

    Thanks all,
    K
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    Moderator Linefinder's Avatar
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    Is it in the neck area?

    Mike

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    Senior Member Big Al1's Avatar
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    If it's in the neck area, it's from annealing.

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    Re: question on some of my brass

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    I got some once-fired brass (500 rounds of .223).

    A very few of the pieces have a splotchy red color - more like copper than brass. And it is even more noticeable after I took it out of the walnut vibrator.

    Any clues as to why or what this is?
    Is it safe?

    Thanks all,
    K
    There is some chinese ammo out there that has copper washed steel cases. I don;t know if they make it in .223 but this is what it looks like (the 3 on the left).

    I do not believe it's Ok to reload that stuff.


    This is what annealed cases look like:



    Those are fine to reload.
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    I got some once-fired brass (500 rounds of .223).

    A very few of the pieces have a splotchy red color - more like copper than brass. And it is even more noticeable after I took it out of the walnut vibrator.

    Any clues as to why or what this is?
    Is it safe?

    Thanks all,
    K
    Do you have any pics? Where does the brass come from? How was it stored?

    If you tumble your brass, you should clean up most of the discoloration from annealing. Here's a before and after photo of annealed .223 brass that gets tumble sufficiently.


    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/36...uestions_.html


    Since cartridge brass is 30% zinc mixed with copper, your "splotches" could be signs of corrossion. Do the splotches look anything like the red patches in this photo?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass

    Sorry, only example I could find.

    You mentioned that it's only a few cases, maybe you should just set those cases aside until you're absolutely sure you know what the discoloration is, you know, better safe than...

    JMHO

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    Member airhead's Avatar
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    some of them look like heat (right at the neck) - I've seen that before from my own brass.

    The ones I'm worried about are more like spk's second pic. Large area discolored like they laid in the dirt too long or something - but those usually go 'brown' instead of red.

    Definately not steel cased.
    I'll try to get a pic tonight.
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    some of them look like heat (right at the neck) - I've seen that before from my own brass.

    The ones I'm worried about are more like spk's second pic. Large area discolored like they laid in the dirt too long or something - but those usually go 'brown' instead of red.

    Definately not steel cased.
    I'll try to get a pic tonight.
    Is it closer to a copper(I) oxide color?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(I)_oxide

    4 Cu + O2 → 2 Cu2O

    The amount of discoloration on brass from weather or environmental factors will usually depend on the amount of reactants (O2) and/or (CO2) the brass is exposed to and the duration involved. I see this often on range brass (shotshells mostly, they don't get picked up) that have been sitting out in the open for some time, particularly, if it has rained in the last month or so. Water droplets will dry right on the brass and those areas will start to change color the most.

    BTW, the greenish gunk typically associated with brass corrosion is copper (II) carbonate and hydroxide. "The green material is a 1:1 mole mixture of Cu(OH)2 and CuCO3"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(II)_carbonate

    It's also interesting to note that on a color mixing chart red and green make brownish.

    As I said before, if it's just a few cases then you should just set those aside unless you really must have them for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

    Interested in seeing the picks


    As always, JMHO

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    Member airhead's Avatar
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    Re: question on some of my brass

    Lets see if I can do this on a Kendal fire...


    It looks Mindanao like heat. But it is only on one side of the brass. Very possible it is weathering from older recovered range brass. I'll just toss them in the scrap bin.
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