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Old 02-10-2017, 11:43 AM
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Came across some unusual brass

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I was annealing a bunch of .243 win. brass last night, all of it Winchester, some of it is really old stuff while the rest is all from a new lot.

So here's the thing, the old stuff will not change color at all. This got me wondering if it might be brass plated steel, but it passed the magnet test. I decided to see what happens when I way over heat it, so I held the torch on a piece for about 2 minutes, but it still didn't change color at all, couldn't even tell.

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Old 02-10-2017, 12:11 PM
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I had some Herter's (Norma) brass that was kinda/sorta like that in that it got "darker" brass colored.

I think it depends on the brass's make-up? Zinc to copper ratio? Just thinking out loud.

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Old 02-10-2017, 08:08 PM
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Ya, I've noticed that weird sort of color Herter's turns also Recoik Junky, but that's really not what's going on with this old Win. brass. The head stamp is WW on one box, the other is Winchester. This particular lot of Win. brass must not have much zinc in it, maybe it leached out, it is quite old brass? The guy I load for bought some factory ammo in a pinch in a tiny little rural town, and it had been sitting on the shelf for decades. I remember the box it came in was what I remember in the late 60's early 70's, so it's close too, if not at least 50 years old. It looks no different after torching it too death, than what it does before, absolutely no color change and no rainbow effect, that's just weird.

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Old 02-10-2017, 08:39 PM
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Possible High Copper Content perhaps?
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:45 AM
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Might be due to high copper content.

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Old 02-12-2017, 11:47 AM
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Copper will glow red if you get it hot enough. I don't know about zinc. Interesting mystery.....

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Old 02-12-2017, 01:43 PM
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The 'color' is oxidation. If the brass is already oxidized, there won't be much color change. A wad of 0000 steel wool is handy for cleaning just before annealing.
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