New/Old Brass

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
2,417
1,943
Got a question. I have a few boxes of new never loaded brass that I'm not sure how old they are, maybe 15 years. Would you load as normal or anneal it before loading just because of its age? Brass looks good, no corrosion just slight dull patina from age. Just curious what others think. Thanks, Dan.
 
I have a box of Remington 7x57 brass that has never been loaded. The head stamp says R P 7MM. Nothing more, nothing less. I think I'll leave them be. might have a bit of collector value.

I also have five boxes of original Herters 7x57 brass for reloading. This is brass from when Herters was go gunny place before GCA68.

As to whether I would anneal or use as is, I see no reason to not use them as is or could anneal if they want to. They haven't been shot or reloaded multiple times so shouldn't have changed much. I'd say, "Your choice."
Paul B.
 
Load as normal and rock n roll

There's a lot of shooters who don't tumble that have brass looking far worse than your older but not really old brass

Nothing to worry about.

Load em' shoot em'
Load again, shoot again
Rinse and repeat

No worries
 
I'd just FLS them, check them over and use them. I don't anneal, not that I don't understand the benefits, it's just a cost and extra step for something I don't really need. I have brass loaded now that I first loaded ~15 years ago. A reflection on use given I don't put that many holes in paper per calibre per year. Mostly hunting
 
I agree with RL338 and some of the others, brass hardens with age. Anneal and clean your brass first. This will make it easier to work the brass during sizing and seating. I believe annealed brass will give you more consistent neck tension and less neck cracking over time.
 
I would just load them to your normal procedure. If you always anneal, then go ahead. If you don't normally anneal, then don't. If you sometimes anneal, then just slide them into your normal rotation.
 
Dan, a few years ago I was reading on another forum and this came up. Someone chimed in that they contacted one of the big guys; Hornady, Sierra, or whoever, and the expert said brass becomes brittle with age . I can’t say if takes10 years or 100 years to happen, but I think I would anneal just to be on the safe side, it certainly won’t hurt anything and you’ll only be out 10 minutes time and a little propane. It was either LRH or benchrest central if you want to try to look it up.
 
Last edited:
This "old brass" is probably better quality than we get now. Just treat it no differently than your normal procedure. Size, load, shoot
 
Dan, a few years ago I was reading on another forum and this came up. Someone chimed in that they contacted one of the big guys; Hornady, Sierra, or whoever, and the expert said brass becomes brittle with age . I can’t say if takes10 years or 100 years to happen, but I think I would anneal just to be on the safe side, it certainly won’t hurt anything and you’ll only be out 10 minutes time and a little propane. It was either LRH or benchrest central if you want to try to look it up.

I thought I had a picture saved of them but I don't, but a couple yrs ago I was pulling some OLD reloads I got along with a gun..........was pulling them for the bullets and I saved the primers. I have an inertia bullet puller and I suppose it was a combination of the bullets being galded or welded fast to the neck, and the old brass being brittle, but about 1/2 dozen of them instead of the bullet coming out of the neck when I whacked the hammer against the floor, the WHOLE case separated at the shoulder junction, and the neck/shoulder of the case and bullet came off together. I still have them. Glad as heck I didn't try shooting them. But again, they were OLD. They were in the old dark green Remington Peters boxes, and the brass looked like it came from that era.
 
Good info. Most seem for annealing. Might just try 4 or 5 each way just to see what happens. Didn't mention but it is Norma 6.5x55 brass if you'd think that makes any difference. Was given some 30-06 brass the other day that was the dingiest looking brass I've ever seen, Mixture of different brands. Got it cleaned but haven't done anything with it yet. Will definitely anneal this stuff for sure. Right now, it's in the inactive reserve status. Dan.
 
I’d load it myself. I don’t that Age affects hardness on brass all that much.

I scored some olllllld WW 375 brass that I use to make 375 Improved and I’ve never had an issue.
 
I usually anneal after the fifth reloading. I have one 20 round batch of .375 H&H that I use in a Ruger #1 for shooting a cast bullet practice load. I started with new brass. Reloaded them and neck sized only for five times, then annealed them and did a full length resize. Did the same as before and at the fifth reload, annealed again with a full length resize. That brass has been loaded 20 times so far and the primer pockets are still tight enough for use. As the rifle is a single shot I don't crimp the bullets.
Paul B.
 
"That dang good for a belted case."

I know. However, it is a cast bullet load and not loaded anywhere near a max load. Load is used for fast reload practice. Haven't had the need to practice for the last few years as the private ranch I hunted on did not allow single shot rifles..
Paul B.
 
Back
Top