Originally Posted by TracySes23
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.
It's been a little shy of 2 years since my last post & still haven't had anything significant happen that indicates brittle brass from my Herter's brass from the early 70's. Even when I had 4 grains overload on one box after the 7th reload, I only had 2 cases with split necks. This came about because I loaded a 60 grain bullets over what was intended for 53 grain bullets. However I did have 4 loose primer pockets. One of them was so loose it fell out. I still do dumb things from time to time.
I need to keep the door locked when I'm loading ammo to keep my wife from interrupting me.