Re: After 50 Years I'm Back
Unless you have loaded ammo stored over a long period of time, empty brass should never go bad.
Stress is what makes brass work harden. The bullet is mostly lead with a thin copper jacket & has a different heat expansion ratio than brass does. Temperature changes will over time cause more stress around the neck, because brass will expand & contract at a different rate than the bullet, it will be cold worked every time there is a temperature change. This will cause the brass to slowly become harder. Sometimes enough to split a case neck. Working 46 years in the machine tool trade as a machinist & toolmaker, I have never seen brass become brittle just because of age age.
However I would be concerned about loaded ammo having the potential to split case necks when fired if they aren't already split.
I have at least 20 boxes of Herter's 22-250 brass left over from the mid 1970's. I plan to begin shooting loaded cartridges using this brass within the next few weeks.
If I discover I'm wrong, I will eat crow & fess up.