Author Topic: Brass that's liable to split  (Read 680 times)

Offline Quiet Burp

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Brass that's liable to split
« on: December 27, 2023, 10:26:20 PM »
I was gifted some numerous thousands (many, many) of .45acp head stamped WRA 50 & WRA 55 ball ammo.

Brass looks ok but shooting them....roughly 60% split almost all the way down one side.

Being surplus (pretty sure ex Aussie military) and being that vintage would they be corrosive?

Keep shooting them or get rid of them?

If I reload the brass that doesn't split after a SS pin wash, and with a lighter reload.....are they still liable to split then or not? Does brass age and become brittle?

I only have a kinetic hammer so keeping  the projectiles would be a lot of work.

Offline Jeff Michel

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2023, 03:51:44 AM »
US military was still using corrosive primers in the fifties. Though it would be a hassle, you could try annealing any survivors.  Were me, I'd round up an RCBS bullet puller for your press, make a pot of coffee and plug in some you tube videos on your phone and get after it.  Saving the bullets would be well worth the trouble and 45ACP once fired is readily available. Getting a snout full of gas/burnt powder from a split case isn't an attractive option, for me at least. Great score none the less.

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Offline River City John

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2023, 08:10:37 AM »
I think all brass is eventually prone to become brittle and split.
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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #3 on: Today at 03:00:59 PM »

Online Reverend P. Babcock Chase

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2023, 08:47:00 AM »
Howdy Quiet,

What RCJ says. As brass (or many metals) is worked, it hardens and seems to build internal stress. Then as it ages or is further stressed (as in firing) it can fail. I have seen antique spun brass items that just split with age. In fact, I even have an unfired Win. AA shot shell with a brass base that split in the factory box.

Rev. Chase

Offline Major 2

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2023, 09:42:20 AM »
I have an original 30/40 Krag bandoleer with a 02 headstamp, 121 years old.
5 of the pockets are still sewn shut, but one is open and the 4 rounds in it are loose, two are split.
No idea what the still closed pouches would reveal.

I also have some once fired 1973 30/06 brass, which cleaned up and size nicely.
 
I do have 3 boxes live WW2 issue 45 ACP.  But have on intention to fire it
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2023, 09:46:16 AM »
 :) Quiet B  ;)

Without the production dates on the original boxes, I wouldn't know if the ammunition was loaded with corrosive primers or not.  I don't necessarily advocate annealing pistol brass, as the cases can become "sticky" for extraction.  I would personally continue to shoot it, but would call it "one and done."

Ball rounds aren't useable for any competition we currently play at, except some "Bulls Eye" with paper or cardboard targets.  Practice rounds only??  Although you may experience more Blow-By of gun gas than normal.

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2023, 08:18:54 PM »
I have an original 30/40 Krag bandoleer with a 02 headstamp, 121 years old.
5 of the pockets are still sewn shut, but one is open and the 4 rounds in it are loose, two are split.
No idea what the still closed pouches would reveal.

I also have some once fired 1973 30/06 brass, which cleaned up and size nicely.
 
I do have 3 boxes live WW2 issue 45 ACP.  But have on intention to fire it
I've seen the same thing with a 1917 dated bandoleer of Krag ammo.  Interesting!
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Offline RoyceP

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2023, 06:10:41 PM »
Coffinmaker is close to being right. I would try using the brass only. Pull all the bullets, dump the powder and the primers too.

Offline RoyceP

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2023, 06:46:14 PM »
Then if the brass cracks, toss it. If it's OK keep it until it cracks. My personal theory is that brass has a formula. Sometimes the makers do it right. Other times they get it wrong. It can harden and crack from age - or not.

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Brass that's liable to split
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2024, 07:21:19 PM »
As a long-time milsurp shooter I am very used to cleaning the beasts. The only two cartridges never loaded with corrosive primers by the US were the .30 Carbine and 7.62x51. I treat all other mil-surp ammo as suspect unless I know that lot was non-corrosive. It's not a big deal to clean by the way, when you get home from the range just spray the gun, bore especially, with an ammonia based glass cleaner til it runs out, run a patch down the bore and then clean normally.
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