Does Brass Dry Out???

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CaptnC, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. CaptnC

    CaptnC Well-Known Member

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    Or get brittle with age?

    I traded for some "once fired" that I knew right away was not. Who ever reloaded them last had a dirty die. It still had some pleeting around the shoulder like you get with a dirty die. They normally shoot out but these didnt.

    Anyway I sized trimmed and loaded them so I could break in my newest build. But all 40 pieces are in the scrape brass bin now. 20171008_180134.jpg

    This is what most of it looked like...some never even made is past sizing.
     
  2. TwoMore

    TwoMore Well-Known Member

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    i had some old 7 rm brass do the same so tagg, :) all once fired all close to 10 years old probably, I did anneal the rest of them and that helped
     
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  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Brass doesn't "dry out", but it does work-harden over time due to heat, pressure, and being constantly sized and resized.

    Brass and ammunition can last indefinitely if stored properly. There are still folks out there shooting surplus WWI and WWII ammo without any issues. Brass casings are very thin, and if not stored properly or exposed to the elements, it will get brittle and cause cracking and failures like you're experiencing.

    This happened to me a few years ago when I bought some brass from a guy here on the forum. We met in person, because I was heading to a gun store near where he lived, so we just met up there. He said he thought they were once-fired, but after fire-forming some with light loads for my .300 Ackley, the necks started cracking. So I had to scrap them. It wasn't a huge loss, but at the time, .300 Wby brass was hard to find. It was during the Obama Gun Depression era.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  4. CaptnC

    CaptnC Well-Known Member

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    2Mo...that is what the guy suggested I do. I can tell they were stored in the open so I'm pretty sure they were brittle.

    But I also can tell they have sized and trimmed at one time.
     
  5. TwoMore

    TwoMore Well-Known Member

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    the ones I have were only shot once, my buddy has had them stored in an outside storage unit in a foot locker box for years, I was helping him set up a new 7mm RM rifle and when we got that brass out most of them split during sizing, I annealed them and that helped. i thought it was odd and when i saw this post i was like , tagg lol
     
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  6. TwoMore

    TwoMore Well-Known Member

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    I just read a post where a guy says old powder residue can outgas nitric acid and can ruin brass
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  7. CaptnC

    CaptnC Well-Known Member

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    I was not smart enough to think of annealing the brass. I only had 25 left of the original 40 and most of the 25 didn't survive the one firing
     
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  8. TwoMore

    TwoMore Well-Known Member

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    we actually fired some of it that made it thru the sizing and they looked just like yours
     
  9. CaptnC

    CaptnC Well-Known Member

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    Lol...I don't feel so bad now. I thought the annealing process allowed you to save the brass...

    To be honest though...the ammo shot very well. I had one 4 shot group that was only 2 holes.
     
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  10. TwoMore

    TwoMore Well-Known Member

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    lol I wasnt smart enough to Anneal before we blew them up lmbo but after we annealed they seem to be shooting fine, and to be honest i need to correct my previous post, saying they are once fired may not be accurate either. I was told this, and you know how that goes lol
     
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  11. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I didn't know this could happen. Learn something every day.
     
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  12. FinnCollector

    FinnCollector Member

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    I have some Remington & Winchester 7.62x54R brass from the 1930's and 40's that I'm still reloading. Its held up quite well.

    Up until a couple of years ago, all there was available for Austrian 8x56R was 1930's Nazi surplus. I have a bunch of it and it shoots really nice. Too bad it's Berdan.
     
  13. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that the necks seem to grip more over time. Also, I have noticed that if I size brass and then not reload it for years, the neck diameter will be a bit smaller than right after sizing. Therefore, if I'm going to size and let them sit, I make sure to anneal them. I don't see a noticeable shift if annealed. I've seen the grip issue by pulling bullets from old rounds. They definitely pull harder than rounds sitting less than a year. However, I think some of that may be the brass and the copper interacting a bit. I get the best consistency when I shoot ammo that has been reloaded for less than a year.
     
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  14. foxtrotter

    foxtrotter New Member

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    Brass (and Copper) age hardens. Anneal it and it will work fine. I had a lot of 1960s era 22-250 once fired brass to form to 6mm Creedmoor, without annealing it couldn't be necked up without splitting, after annealing it necked up and fireformed just fine.
     
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