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Thread: Does brass become brittle with age just sitting in a box?

  1. #16
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    Yes, it was necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Was it really necessary/expedient even then to form .25-06 AI cases from .30-06 cases?
    Mr. Antelope,

    Yes, it was necessary. When I said this was a 25/06 AI I was trying not to confuse anyone any more than necessary. It was and extended version of the 25/06 AI. Same shoulder but the case was pushed out a little to get the most out of an '06 case. This was made my a local gunsmith in San Angelo, Texas, George Curry and called the 250 Curry Magnum. He started this in the early 1950s. It was a fine cartridge in it's day and it still is today. With a 100 grain bullet, it is a very fast and very flat shooting cartridge that is very close to the .257 Weatherby. In that day, military brass was all over the place but money was not. What we did was neck down a 30/06 case in two stages to 270 and then onto .257. We had a the 270 part touching the front of the chamber for head space. Sometimes we actually used 270 Winchester brass. You must remember that back in those days even a 25/06 was a wildcat. If someone wanted something like that today they would simply go with a 25/06 AI and use 25/06 brass. Today there are so many more standard chamberings on the market than there were back then but are we any smarter.

    Concho Bill

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Was it really necessary/expedient even then to form .25-06 AI cases from .30-06 cases?

    To this day, if you want good, straight cases you have to do SOMETHING to make them crush-fit. Even the 6BR can't overcome fireforming in a loose chamber.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wynne View Post
    I spoke with an "Expert" at Sierra and his answer was, "Yes, Brass hardens with age". He suggestion was to anneal the brass or throw it away and get some more. So There you have it.

    A friend of mine gave me a reasonable explanation as to a reason that I will accept. If the brass was stored in a garage, here in Texas, for several decades, It would become work hardened due to expansion and contraction due to hot days and cold nights. This makes sense to me. Many days in the summers down here it will reach over 120 in a garage and in the winters it will often be in the 20s or below. The cycles would be in the thousands over 40 or 50 years.

    It is a proven fact that this brass acts like it is work hardened. This is as good an answer as I can find.

    So There!

    That's perty steenkin brilliant

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    That's perty steenkin brilliant
    I agree, Al. It pays to have steenkin brilliant friends when you think like me. You are one of mine even if you don't know it.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wynne View Post
    Mr. Antelope,

    Yes, it was necessary. When I said this was a 25/06 AI I was trying not to confuse anyone any more than necessary. It was and extended version of the 25/06 AI. Same shoulder but the case was pushed out a little to get the most out of an '06 case. This was made my a local gunsmith in San Angelo, Texas, George Curry and called the 250 Curry Magnum. He started this in the early 1950s. It was a fine cartridge in it's day and it still is today. With a 100 grain bullet, it is a very fast and very flat shooting cartridge that is very close to the .257 Weatherby. In that day, military brass was all over the place but money was not. What we did was neck down a 30/06 case in two stages to 270 and then onto .257. We had a the 270 part touching the front of the chamber for head space. Sometimes we actually used 270 Winchester brass. You must remember that back in those days even a 25/06 was a wildcat. If someone wanted something like that today they would simply go with a 25/06 AI and use 25/06 brass. Today there are so many more standard chamberings on the market than there were back then but are we any smarter.

    Concho Bill
    I wasn't very hip about some of this stuff lo those many years ago so I figured if you had a 123 AI then you sorta had a 123 as well. Too bad some of those things weren't based on the .270 Win which would have saved the task of shortening it by .050 to match the .30-06 brass. The .270 is better suited to being necked down than the 06 is. The .25-.280 Rem AI would be about a wash as far as your Curry goes.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wynne View Post
    I agree, Al. It pays to have steenkin brilliant friends when you think like me. You are one of mine even if you don't know it.
    We know that''s mutual my general contractor friend

    BTW that "quote" is supposed to be an hy'postrophe

  7. #22
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    There has be numerous threads of similar content over the years and while I initially didn't believe that old unfired cases would have such characteristics...it seems they do.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
    There has be numerous threads of similar content over the years and while I initially didn't believe that old unfired cases would have such characteristics...it seems they do.
    I was like you, Wilbur, until this episode. My friend didn't believe this at first either. We carefully examined all the reloaded cases and the cases that were fired with a good light and a magnifying glass and found some more splits in the necks and splits just starting and places that were fixing to split. Long story made short. Out of the 73 that I had loaded there remained 45 that looked to be in perfect order. My friend said that he did not think he had fired over 100 rounds in the rifle. He had made his brass with a load of pistol powder with a filler and a wax plug.

    Like the guy told me, it may have just been the heating and cooling cycles over 40 years in his garage. Forty years has 14,600 day and night cycles. It just could be.

  9. #24
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    I guess annealing

    very often or all the time is in order. That wouldn't do anything for degradation of the metal I dont think.

    Pete

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    very often or all the time is in order. That wouldn't do anything for degradation of the metal I dont think.

    Pete

    I dunno Pete..... I'm still working this all out in my haid...



    I really jumped up ears open over that hot/cold thing from Bill. I've always wondered why "some is like brandy new, and some is cracking" and he gave me a logical (to me) explanation for it....... storage, specifically temperature swings. I've seen it enough on even pretty normal-looking cases to feel the effect is REAL, but it's not an all-the-time thing.

    IME if brass is stored indoors, in a temperature controlled environment time perhaps has no appreciable effect on it. I've got cases/loads fired and unfired from 30-40 even 60yrs ago bought and stored by myself or my family that are still fine, look like they were just purchased and fire normally. I have no problem pulling stuff out that I loaded for varminating back in the early 80's (weirdly enough, even THIS is "35-yr-old ammo") and using it. It doesn't crack.

    Also, I've two sons who're engineers both working in metals, properties of. One ran a lab for SAPA Aluminum for a few yrs (friction stir welding/extrusion/crumple and fatigue-resistant designs) and the other works for the Lifeport division of Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin designing/refining medical equipment for helicopters....... racks/gantries/carriers/supports/hangers/holders/gurneys etc. Neither of them "works with brass/copper alloys" but they are interested in metallic things. Last night we were over for Family Dinner Nite and I threw the thought Bill brought out re freeze/thaw cycle into the room and they both thought it through and agreed that "yup, that ought'a do it"

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    That wouldn't do anything for degradation of the metal I dont think.

    Pete
    Pete, I think that that is exactly the reason to anneal. The first thing the man from Sierra suggested was to anneal.

    Someone who has the time should store some never fired brass in their garage for 40 years and let us know what happens. At age 79, I don't think I have that kind of time.

    Concho Bill

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wynne View Post
    At age 79, I don't think I have that kind of time.
    Quitter!

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kielly View Post
    Quitter!
    Now that hurt! Thanks anyway, friend.

  14. #29
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    Hatcher's Notebook

    Guys, Read up in Hatcher's Notebook about why the military started requiring ammo suppliers to not polish off the results of the last anneal on the necks of cases.

  15. #30
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    I have no experience with brittle old brass, but can relate a case of brass cracking.

    Our company was making brass air compressor relief valves ( allowed head pressure to bleed off when compressor stopped), and in some cases the brass shuttle was breaking. It turned out to be because of ammonia. Ammonia will cause intergranular cracking in brass alloys. There was no ammonia in use at those plants, but they were laundries which were processing cloth diapers. Diapers have urine, therefore ammonia.

    So maybe some of this old cracking brass was stored near a diaper bucket, or near ammonia. Windex is high in ammonia. Some metal polishes are as well. I use ones that state NO Ammonia in my brass vibratory cleaner.

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