question on some of my brass

airheadairhead MemberPosts: 424 Member
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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Replies

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,422 Senior Member
    Is it in the neck area?

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 6,999 Senior Member
    If it's in the neck area, it's from annealing.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    airhead wrote: »
    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.

    clean-polish-small.jpg
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/366572_Annealing_brass_pics__questions_.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?

    BrassSCC1.jpg
    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
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • airheadairhead Member Posts: 424 Member
    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.
    This post has been made with 100% recycled electrons.

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  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    airhead wrote: »
    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?

    CopperIoxide.jpg
    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. :tooth:

    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. zombiechase.gif

    Interested in seeing the picks :up:


    As always, JMHO
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • airheadairhead Member Posts: 424 Member
    Lets see if I can do this on a Kendal fire...
    2012-10-27093949.jpg

    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.
    This post has been made with 100% recycled electrons.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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