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  #1  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:16 PM
Nick R Nick R is offline
 
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cleaning brass

I have been shooting where there is alot of mud and snow on the ground lately - I am cleaning the cases by washing them out with water. I want to speed up the process and ensure there is no water left in the casings by putting the cleaned cases in the oven until they are dry. Is there anything wrong with this? Could it warp the brass? Cause other problems?

Oh and also, what do people do to dispose of primers? Throwing them in the trash seems irresponsible since they are toxic.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:19 PM
bdavis385 bdavis385 is offline
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don't know why washing brass would be bad, most of us just use a tumbler to clean and polish brass. As for the toxicity of primers, I believe lead is a natural element of nature and in the ground already.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:26 PM
Nick R Nick R is offline
 
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Yes but would putting them in an oven be OK to dry them? I'm too cheap to get a tumbler. I'm pretty sure elemental lead is extemely rare in nature.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:30 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Oven is OK. After wetting, primer residue dries on the brass harmlessly. Any carbon residue left inside the case doesn't affect performance markedly. Wash, dry, reload, & shoot. Repeat.

Don't worry about heat!!! Brass gets a LOT hotter in the chamber!!!
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:58 PM
campbell campbell is offline
 
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Yes, you SHOULD WORRY ABOUT HEAT.

If you turn on your oven to heat it up a bit, THEN TURN IT OFF and put your cases in to dry at a slightly elevated temperature, then you're probably all right.

But if you do something like throw them in there at 500 degrees for an hour, you might start annealing the case. The whole case. Softening up your primer pockets, for example, is not a good thing. So please stay away from the oven with those brass.

And for god's sakes, just get a tumbler. A Frankford Arsenal tumbler from Midway is 40 bucks. More than worth it.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2007, 07:09 PM
brownie42 brownie42 is offline
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I've been drying cases in an oven for a long time and never had a problem. Twenty minutes at 150 degrees does the trick.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2007, 07:16 PM
Nick R Nick R is offline
 
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Hmmm well they just did 20 minutes at 300 degrees hopefully their properties didn't change.

I guess I'm out 500 cases if they softened. What is the worst that could happened if they softened considerably?

Last edited by Nick R; 01-05-2007 at 07:22 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2007, 07:18 PM
Ceemack Ceemack is offline
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Reloading manuals warn against using the oven. A clothes dryer is a better choice. Put the cases in a tray--one of the throwaway aluminum baking trays is perfect for this--put the shoe rack in the dryer, put the tray on the shoe rack, and run the dryer for an hour or so.

A dryer can't generate enough heat to weaken the brass, but your oven--depending on how it's calibrated--can.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2007, 08:02 PM
campbell campbell is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick R
Hmmm well they just did 20 minutes at 300 degrees hopefully their properties didn't change.

I guess I'm out 500 cases if they softened. What is the worst that could happened if they softened considerably?

I seriously doubt 20 min at 300 was enough to do anything.

Annealing the whole case is dangerous because different parts of the case have different properties. The base of the case and the primer pocket are more rigid in order to handle the pressure. Too much weakening in these areas = kaboom. Rifle shooters who anneal their own case mouths often take steps to prevent the base from heating up like standing the cases in a pan of water.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2007, 08:34 PM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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I reload about 50k rounds per year. I have never washed a single case. For whatever that's worth. I don't see an advantage?
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2007, 11:46 PM
Nick R Nick R is offline
 
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Well they were coverd in dirt, inside and out... I think washing the cases was a wise idea there was a ton of dirt that came out of them. I picked them out of the mud.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2007, 05:43 AM
yoshidaex yoshidaex is offline
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I would air dry them but being in the oven at 300 deg F should be no problem. There will be change to the brass structure around 495 deg F but so slight you'll need laboratory equipment to see the minute changes. Annealing answers for rifle cartridges. Not pistol cartridge data but you get the idea...
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2007, 10:55 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Nick R, you didn't hurt the cases at all. Annealing takes higher temperatures for an extended length of time, depending upon the material. Although Campbell's warning should be heeded to avoid extreme temperatures, you won't anneal brass in a kitchen oven at 300F for 20 minutes. I bet Yoshida's link will tell you more. Or do a search on metal annealing and learn more.

There was a thread last year about accidentally annealing your barrel by shooting bullets at high velocity. The thread ended when we discovered that pistol barrels can exeed a hundred degrees for a few seconds, but it takes a couple thousand degrees for an hour to anneal the steel used in pistol barrels. There is no danger.

I started loading in 1968 and didn't clean cases until the early 1990's. As herd48 often reminds us, you don't need to clean unless you want to. But Nick mentioned that the cases were muddy (he lives in Colorado) so he did the right thing. You don't want abrasive debris in a loaded case because it can obviously damage the bore upon discharge.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2007, 11:02 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Too cheap to spend $40 on a tumbler? That's really sad!
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2007, 12:38 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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His financial situation is none of our business, Walter. He can save or spend his money any way he chooses. He earned the privilege.
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2007, 10:38 PM
1Blue 1Blue is offline
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I'm not sure how muddy the area is you are shooting in. But I use a tarp spread on the ground. I came across a large roll of cheap plastic at home depot in the dry wall area. I believe it is used to cover furniture to keep dry wall dust off. You can just throw away the plastic when you are done shooting. Brass is easy to spot, doesn't get dirty etc. When it's not wet I use an old Mexican blanket. No need to wash and dry brass. Plastic was really cheap and the roll was large and lasts a long time. The plastic is folded, so after you cut the length it unfolds to be pretty wide also.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2007, 11:17 PM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A
His financial situation is none of our business, Walter. He can save or spend his money any way he chooses. He earned the privilege.

He made it my business when he put it on the internet, just like I apparently made my opinion your business by putting my opinion on the internet.

Financial situation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being cheap, as he proclaimed he is. A $40 tumbler doesn't seem to be much of an extravagance to me, if one has the money to reload in the first place.
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2007, 11:31 AM
ValleyBoy ValleyBoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick R
Yes but would putting them in an oven be OK to dry them? I'm too cheap to get a tumbler. I'm pretty sure elemental lead is extemely rare in nature.

Get a tumbler, there like $30 bucks.
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2007, 03:58 PM
FLL1911 FLL1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterGC
He made it my business when he put it on the internet, just like I apparently made my opinion your business by putting my opinion on the internet.

Financial situation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being cheap, as he proclaimed he is. A $40 tumbler doesn't seem to be much of an extravagance to me, if one has the money to reload in the first place.
Walter, chill down. Just because something is made public, it does not mean you own it. I do not think being called cheap is nice. Everyone here is supposed to be polite to each other, even if you disagree with someone opinion.
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