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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a question for the artillery guys; how do you clean your cases?

What do you look for when inspecting brass?

For most of the bigger stuff out there the newest cases are probably 70+ plus years old and stored under less-than-ideal conditions... so I would expect green crusty cases to be fairly common.

I've attached a pic of random case I picked up at gunshow cheap. It was mostly decent but had some ugly, crusty green spots on it. I gently scrubbed one of the nasty spots with a red scrotchbrite and WD-40 to see if it would clean up. The black spots should be completely gone with a bit more scrubbing... but what about the "pink" spot? Does this mean the zinc has been leached out of the case? Would a case like this be safe to use?

Other than cracks, deep pits or gouges, what other things should one look for when inspecting a case? Searching the web turned up a few random threads from 37mm shooters who were getting pretty aggressive cleaning cases covered with verdigris...

Thanks

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'Pink' spots under the corrosion denote that the brass may have been possibly weakened. I've loaded some 75MM blank cases for salutes with FFF black powder and there seems to be no ill effects to the case. With a projectile in such a case you might be OK with a median load.
Some one else with a better knowledge of metalergy should be by shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thought I'd update this.

I kept scrubbing.... mind you this has all been done by hand with strip of red scrotchbrite soaked in WD-40 and light pressure. I managed to scrub off all of the copper. I can still "feel" the spot and and certain angles the area looks to be finely pitted. But to put it in perspective I can close my eyes and feel the draw marks where the case was formed just as easily.

I don't have a tumbler yet and I'm not sure if I had just tumbled the case I'd really even notice the spot. It's certainly less raggedy than a good number of the cases I see offered for sale on various auction sites.

I should also add I'm not planning to use this case. I picked it up because it was cheap and I wanted to see what it took to clean up vintage cannon brass.

If the experts think this one is OK to use.... then I know in the future what I can clean up when I actually have cannon to feed.

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