safety of vintage brass?
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Thread: safety of vintage brass?



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    safety of vintage brass?

    I have a chance to purchase Up to 1000 rounds of new, but vintage, unprimed, unfired Remington cases in .44 Rem. Mag. at a very good price.
    They are in the original factory boxes which are orange and green (they remind me of the kitchen on The Brady Bunch circa 1972) and are not marked with a UPC barcode.
    Yes, they ARE in boxes with styrofoam inserts just like factory new loads, and not in bags. I went ahead and brought a few home, and the cases are clean inside and out.
    Considered opinions please - are these safe for standard velocity handloads? For re-loading as well?
    Besides the normal safeguards (checking for damaged cases, etc.) are there any special concerns I should have? Or should I just go ahead and buy all he has and shoot away!?!?
    Thanks in advance for the feedback...
    Tim

  2. #2
    Wrangler
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    Brass is brass, as long as the cases clean up / look good I see no problems. I will defer to those w more knowledge but essentially once it cleans up should be fine IMO. The 70's ain't that long ago
    Push the button Max!

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    Sidewinder
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    You lucked out. Old brass is good brass. Safe to shoot in every way. I stumble across it occasionally, and buy every bag that I see at the gunshows.

    stewbud

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  5. #4
    Tenderfoot
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    I appreciate the input. I'm fairly new to handloading, and last weekend I loaded 100 rounds of new Winchester brass, and had to deburr the case mouths and primer pockets on each round prior to loading.
    These 'vintage' Rem. cases needed no prep at all - they were smooth as silk on both ends and proved it going through my Lee Pro1000 press. Ran up about 20 rounds each of Hornady 180gr and 240gr XTP's and will let you know in a day or two how they shoot.
    Thanks again...
    Tim

  6. #5
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Marlin Fanatic
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    I'd keep an eye on them until you see how they handle the loads. Brass can get brittle with age, and if you start getting neck and body splits you might want to anneal them.
    MidBigWest and 308/338 like this.
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  7. #6
    Tenderfoot
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    Well, I ran 5 rounds each of the Hornady 180XTP's and 240XTP's at the starting loads recommended for Win296 through my Ruger SBH and Marlin 1894.
    All 20 rounds went boom, but upon inspection -one- of the 180 grain rounds in the levergun had a split about 3/8" long toward the primer end of the round. NOT a good thing. I think a lot had to do with the est. 2100fps+ velocity of this round in the rifle (according to the Win spec sheet). The other 19 empty cases looked fine.
    And papajohn, Remington agreed with you when they finally wrote back. They said that brass can soften or get brittle with age and could not recommend using this brass.
    That said, I just ordered a bunch of Starline brass from Midway and will be back on this same Bat Channel in a few days with my inquiries on a 'softer' plinking load with the Hornady bullets which I love.
    Thanks to all for your input - and be careful out there!
    Tim

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    Tinhorn
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    I've loaded and fired .38 S&W Cases that were 1920's vintage and had Balloon Head primer pockets with no problems at all. A few of them have cracked after firing once or twice, but I just be careful and keep an eye on them before I load them and have had no problems.
    Mark
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  9. #8
    El Kabong
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    I ahve 10,000 1969-1972 LC cases, shoot the ship out of them. Really hot loads.
    Ive got cases going back to 1906-1950s that I shoot the ship out off.

    Fire at will
    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
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    If you have any reservations about them, just send them to me. I'll use em!
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