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Doc McGlock

Corrosion/Rust on brass shot shells

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Somehow, water got to some of the boxes on the bottom of my ammo stash and the shot shells were corroded and rusted.  Some pretty good.  I separated them and replaced them with non damaged ones.  I am curious about using them.  I was "shell shocked" to find them so badly damaged.  I never knew that brass could rust.  Obviously, there must be some steel in them.  Any thoughts?  I'll assume it's not a good idea to try to run it unless told otherwise?  Could they be cleaned and reused safely?

I can still use the pellets to melt down and reuse the lead or reloaded into fresh shells.  

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You could try and shoot them but how much money are we talking about.  If it is low brass, game loads about 24 cents  a round.  Not sure it would worth it.  The term brass a throw back to days of old.  I don't know about higher quality rounds but the cheap stuff I shoot seems to be brass colored plating on steel.   If the stuff does shoot let us know. 

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1 hour ago, kenny53 said:

You could try and shoot them but how much money are we talking about.  If it is low brass, game loads about 24 cents  a round.  Not sure it would worth it.  The term brass a throw back to days of old.  I don't know about higher quality rounds but the cheap stuff I shoot seems to be brass colored plating on steel.   If the stuff does shoot let us know. 

I will if I have hands left to type with!  :Wow:  

 

It's interesting that some look like total trash with rust all the way down to the plastic, while the one right next to it in the box hardly a blemish.  We're talking about 100 rounds.  No major loss, but me, being me, hate to waste anything.  Prolly just avoid the really bad ones and try the others?  

Most were "High Brass" but you are right that they appear to just be brass plated.  I've learned a bit here as well!

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On 9/28/2017 at 11:17 AM, Doc McGlock said:

I will if I have hands left to type with!  :Wow:  

 

It's interesting that some look like total trash with rust all the way down to the plastic, while the one right next to it in the box hardly a blemish.  We're talking about 100 rounds.  No major loss, but me, being me, hate to waste anything.  Prolly just avoid the really bad ones and try the others?  

Most were "High Brass" but you are right that they appear to just be brass plated.  I've learned a bit here as well!

Went through the same experience recently.  A whole case of inexpensive target loads.  If the corrosion was near the primer they went into the trash, others I wiped with a rough oil soaked rag and most of corrosion came off. I wiped them off and put them in a 50 cal ammo can loose to be shot next.  I shot a few of the rounds and they worked just fine, the ones I threw in the fire barrel also worked just fine.  I put a couple VCI Pro chips in each of the ammo boxes to help prevent this in the future.  Same experience one shell with corrosion and the one next to it just fine.  Any ammo going into long time storage it might be worth the effort of using some sort of rust inhibitor.  I found this at the local Menards which may help but needs to be replace every year or so depending on humidity in your area.

http://www.theinhibitor.com/VCI-Rust-and-Corrosion-Inhibitors-for-Hunting-Gear-s/1.htm

Edited by pipedreams

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 6:37 PM, Doc McGlock said:

Somehow, water got to some of the boxes on the bottom of my ammo stash and the shot shells were corroded and rusted.  Some pretty good.  I separated them and replaced them with non damaged ones.  I am curious about using them.  I was "shell shocked" to find them so badly damaged.  I never knew that brass could rust.  Obviously, there must be some steel in them.  Any thoughts?  I'll assume it's not a good idea to try to run it unless told otherwise?  Could they be cleaned and reused safely?

I can still use the pellets to melt down and reuse the lead or reloaded into fresh shells.  

At one time, shotgun shells had brass bases. now they are steel that is brass plated. I have an old 10 gauge side-by-side double with expose hammers (Joseph Manton and Sons) with 2 7/8ths inch chambers and since 2 7/8ths shells are noit made anymore and 3 inch magnums would destroy the gun, what I do is buy a box of 3 inch magnums and pull the shells apart, cut the cases to length, and load them volume-to-volume shot and powder using Black powder.  The black powder destroyed my first batch of reloads an dafte that I began to substitute Hodgdon's triple Seven for BP.

I discovered that a 69 caliber ball fit's inside of a 10 gauge shot cup and I've developed some Buck and ball loads along with a load that uses two balls stacked one on top of the other. Out of the sawed off 20 inch barrels they print within a couple of inches from one another at 7 yards, perfect for repelling boarders!

The base of a shotgun shell is not subjected to very much pressure (11,500 psi max) and would not likely be unsafe to use but I'd just as soon throw them out if it were only a few shells that were damaged.

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I’ve duck hunted most of my life—-now more years than I haven’t. I’ve seen brass on shotgun shells rust after one day in a wet coat pocket. I’d wipe em’ down and use them the next morning. In your case I would not take the chance. 

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