Are some brasses darker than others?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BombthePeasants, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. BombthePeasants

    BombthePeasants Member

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    I know it sounds like a dumb question, but I have some HXP .30-06 brass from 1967, and after tumbling it, I expected it to "lighten" up a bit, but it's still a dark hue, quite unlike after tumbling .45ACP brass, which lightened up a lot, almost like white gold now.

    Is this merely a result of the HXP being a different type of brass, or is it a sign of failure? The cases which I have inspected show no signs of failure that I can detect, but I'm only a beginner, and still have yet to finish setting up my reloading station.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     


  2. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it. It isn't quite the same, but most of my .45 Colt brass is varying shades of brown to black after 13 years of loading with Unique (I still have a bunch of the old dirty formula) or blackpowder.
     
  3. Bullseye Shooter

    Bullseye Shooter Active Member

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    Sometimes exposure to moisture will darken brass and no amount of tumbling will lighten it up. If you're really concerned about it, try soaking it in a mixture of 2 cups water, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of dishwater or laundry detergent. Mix up the ingredients in a plastic jar and dump the brass in after eveything is mixed up well. Shake every so often and then dump the brass out into a strainer. Rinse off with water and then either dry in the sun or in a warm oven. Sometimes the brass will turn a slight pink color. That will go away the next time you tumble it. If you want you can drain the liquid into another container since it can be reused several times.
     
  4. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

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    A lot of older brass is a slightly different blend of brass and alloys.
    Not uncommon for it to have a different color or tint. Also older brass was loaded with powders that actually burned HOTTER than more recently formulated powders which also caused the brass to change colors.
    Just my 2 cents!
     
  5. Texasjack

    Texasjack TGT Addict TGT Supporter

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    There are different brass alloys and the color of any brass is affected by the patina on the surface.

    You can try a little Brasso (or other brass polish) on a case and quickly find out what it looks like polished.

    Just don't soak brass for extensive time - particularly in ammonia mixes. I've heard of guys soaking them in solution and finding that more than just the surface was removed.
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Active Member

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    Be very careful about Brasso. It contains ammonia which is harmful to the strength of brass. Different brands of the same caliber will look different after cleaning and polishing. Federal brass tends to run darker than Remington. Older mil-surp brass has been stored under unknown conditions. As long as it is not green or pitted, loading and shoot it.
     
  7. Eli

    Eli Well-Known

    It depends on the alloy - brass is mostly copper and zinc. Copper is darker, zinc is white.
    I wouldn't use Brasso - or any chemical - to clean brass.

    Eli
     
  8. Texasjack

    Texasjack TGT Addict TGT Supporter

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    Please note that I suggested trying Brasso on a case to see what color it polished to and did not suggest cleaning the brass in it.
     
  9. medalguy

    medalguy Active Member

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    I use Nu Finish car polish to polish my brass. It works very well and has no ammonia. Just put a couple of capfuls in the media, tumble about 5 minutes, then add your brass. Tumble 2-3 hours and it will look like new, whatever it looked like when it was new.
     
  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Active Member

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    That is a perfectly fine way of testing the batch of brass. I was just trying to be more concise. You know, some people take a little information and run to the ends of the earth with it. Sometimes with disasterous results.
     

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