Does 20 year old brass need to be annealed?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Twodogs10mm, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Twodogs10mm

    Twodogs10mm Well-Known Member

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    I just picked up 300 brass for my next build, a 6.5 Remington Mag. Its all twenty years old. 100 once fired, 160 new brass and 48 new primed brass. they all have the original boxes, the Styrofoam and cardboard is degrading and some of the brass is tarnished but looks good.

    I read somewhere that old brass should be annealed. Does anyone have experience with old brass? How should I prep these cases before loading? I don't think I want to use the old primers although they look fine. How do you deprime live primers?

    Your expertise would be appreciated.
     
  2. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    I have some experience with older brass like that. I use older stuff all the time. I would say that you do not NEED to anneal it. That being said I would probably do it just to give it a fresh start in your loading process. Maybe you dont know the history of the brass either which would be more of a reason to anneal it. Either way if you properly anneal it you should be fine.

    I am pretty sure that age doesnt affect the brass in any way(other than some tarnish). Now if the brass gets work hardened bye firing it or running it through a die, thats a different story, but that has nothing to do with age of the brass.

    As far as using the old primers.....You could probably use them and they would work. However primers arent that expesive to be reusing them. So your are just as well putting in new ones.

    Getting the old primers out.......I just pop them out like I would a used primer. I put on my safety glasses and go at it. That doesnt mean its the right way to get them out though. Some folks will let some oil sit in the bottom of the case for a while. Supposedly this renders the primer inert? I am sure other will weigh in on this.
     
  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I read somewhere that old brass should be annealed."

    Web expert BS, fergit it.


    "Does anyone have "experience with old brass? "

    Yes. Load it, shoot it.

    Live primers punch out exactly like dead ones. They aren't sticks of dynamite but if one should go off it will be enclosed in the die anyway. Just don't let a pile of live ones accumulate in the catcher tray.

    Soaking primers in oil will kill them but it take a lot longer than some folk seem to think - like a week or two, depending on the type of oil.
     
  4. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    i just shoot the primers off in my gun. Yes it leaves some fouling in the barrel but 2-3 patches and it is out.
     
  5. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've used plenty of old brass and it is as good as new if not better. The last few years the ammo companies have been cranking out stuff so fast that they've left some quality behind. I have been having issues with win brass and primer pocket depth lately, but I pulled down some 14 year old 300 win brass because I have long since gone to another load and these were leftover, and the new ones were good in the pocket and beautifully annealed. Heck, I dropped one and the neck bent, try that now; it'll ring and need a fresh de-burr, if that.
     
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    +1 mtelkhntr78
     
  7. Twodogs10mm

    Twodogs10mm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I think I will just load a few of the new and a few of the once fired a couple times and see how they look.
     
  8. wc872

    wc872 Well-Known Member

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    What would it hurt to go ahead and anneal it anyway. While I do not have a metallurgical background I have had old brass split some necks on the first firing. I have had good results with the same group or lot of brass after I have annealed it.
    Semper Fi
     
  9. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "What would it hurt to go ahead and anneal it anyway."

    Nothing, if you do it correctly.