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Thread: Old Brass Refurb, have some questions

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Old Brass Refurb, have some questions

    I'm going over a batch of old Brass, some were old loads, that I am going to be reloading for my Father in Laws 30-06, have some questions

    Living on the Island, it doesn't appear I can go down and grab a bag of new Brass so there will be delay there otherwise I'd probably just start new. But these may be just fine also, so don't need to toss them just yet, Right ? There's 67 pcs total.

    So these are some really old handloads, one batch said 1/11/96 on it and had 52gr of 4350 written on the box (for 180gr Speers). Pretty sure these are loaded with Improved Military 4350, (loaded by Grampa with stuff he had from the 60's)I tossed the powder as some of the loads had big corrosion on them, some of the powder even clumped a bit. I do have about four lbs of that same powder in good condition so planning to rework the load as it is for a different rifle now,
    (by the way, anybody know if I should I use H4350 #'s or IMR 4350 #'s to compare?) I'll look that up but thought someone might know off hand. I was pretty sure it was H4350, but that load 52gr would be well below minimum for the Speer RNSP, IMR 4350, it is right at minimum.

    and the brass, all total 67 pcs is a variety of three or more brands. Some look really old with a fair bit of corrosion on them.

    So I'm just polishing it all up, uniformed the Primer Pockets, and Chamfer/Deburred them.

    Now, when Chamfer/Deburring some of them didn't come out smooth, kinda rough edge, so is that an indication of old brass I shouldn't mess with? All the necks look good, plan on taking a good look after vibrating on them a while.

    Also, some of them measured out a fair bit shorter than the "Trim To" length. Like as short as 2.474-2.479, when the book case trim to length is 2.484
    If they are that short, should I toss them away? I have 55 of them that are above the 2.484 so just wondering about those short ones.

    It's kind of a hodge podge of Brass I'm trying to salvage, what do you think?
    Is the variety pack of Brass going to totally mess with my reloading work up information from the range? Don't need these to be 1/4" groups, just 30-06 Hunting, as in minute of Deer, but it'd be nice to get some 1 1/2" on paper, encouragement for him.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I do have about four lbs of that same powder in good condition so planning to rework the load as it is for a different rifle now, should I use H4350 #'s or IMR 4350 #'s to compare? I'll look that up but thought someone might know off hand.
    I'd use IMR data, but I'd do it cautiously. I've used powder that is 30+ years old with nary a problem, but I did it carefully.

    and the brass, all total 67 pcs is a variety of three or more brands. Some look really old with a fair bit of corrosion on them.
    Depends on the corrosion, but IMO the best thing to do with corroded brass is to discard it. Corrosion weakens the brass. Experiencing split necks or shoulders are one thing, but case head separations are another altogether.

    Now, when Chamfer/Deburring some of them didn't come out smooth, kinda rough edge, so is that an indication of old brass I shouldn't mess with?
    It's not at all unusual to have work hardened brass chip (chatter) when trimming or chamfering/deburring. While it does not necessarily mean the brass is unsafe, it is another indicator this brass has exceeded its useful life.

    Also, some of them measured out a fair bit shorter than the "Trim To" length. Like as short as 2.474-2.479, when the book case trim to length is 2.484
    If they are that short, should I toss them away? I have 55 of them that are above the 2.484 so just wondering about those short ones.

    It's kind of a hodge podge of Brass I'm trying to salvage, what do you think?
    "Trim to" lengths are good guidelines, but depending on the cartridge, I sometimes trim a touch shorter than recommended to extend the number of firings I can get without trimming again. There is no safety issue caused by bottle neck brass being shorter than usual.

    I'd discard this brass and start fresh. You're fortunate in that '06 brass is among the most readily available and inexpensive of cases around for handloaders. I'd order a 100 pieces and call it good (Midway USA would probably have them to you by the end of the week). There are numerous advantages to beginning with a clean slate: you will know how many times each piece is fired, there will be loading continuity by using brass from the same lot# and head separations will not be a concern to mention just a few.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Truth time? I'd probably dump them unless all the head stamps matched. That's a small enough # you won't be losing all that much, and at the same time with each change in lots you might need to work up individual loads for best accuracy and if you're edging towards max.

    I was in Macks a while back and saw that they had bagged brass now. I'm not 100% certain it included 06, but I'd be surprised if they didn't stock it as a matter of course. It would sure simplify your life to start fresh with all the same.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Ok, Thanks, nice to get some common sense advice,

    I had run down to Macks and they didn't have it,
    had some of this stuff handed to me and thought I'd make it work, at least until I started seeing all the different headstamps.
    I kept finding myself thinking, this is a lot of work to save some $30 or so...(and hadn't even begun to try making them Group well....)
    Whew I think you guys just saved me a fair bit of grief

    I'll go with, "Simplify your life to start fresh with all the same..."
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    How about you PM me your address and I'll send you 100 once fired matched HS 30/06 and you can get to loading.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Wow, Thanks, rbuck, PM on the way
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    I ran across some 8x57 ammo I had loaded way back in 1968. Some of it is starting to corrode and some looks great - I have no idea what makes the difference is as all the brass and components are the same.

    The clumping powder is scary - I had some .375 H&H I had loaded up in the early 80s or perhaps a bit later and the powder had fused into a solid mass and caused a dangerous overload when I fired one. I pulled the rest of the box and some were fine and some were clumped and corroded -again all the same components. The .375 stuff was the first problem I had ever had in firing old ammo but I'm a lot more carefull now!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I got those cases in the mail today. Would have done it yesterday but SWMBO decided I was going to do something else. Sorry!

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quite Fast Enough for me Buck,

    Very Much Appreciated by both myself and my Father in Law, whose rounds we are building

    He was Blown Away by the generosity and helpfulness of you folks on these Forums,
    was kinda fun to tell him about your sending those to us
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Kodiakrain:
    I have been watching your progress as a loader for the last year or so and I'll admit it tickles me a bit to see a newcomer as excited about loading as I have been for the last 45+ years. Good Luck and have fun with those. Buck

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