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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was given a box of primed 9mm brass. Judging by the condition of the box and the heavy tarnish on the brass, I'm guessing it's several years, like 20 or more, old. I'd really, REALLY like to clean it before reloading it. The way I see it, I have three options:

1. Load it as is and hope all the primers are still good.

2. Fire all the unloaded brass to kill the primers and then tumble/reload as usual

3. Toss the brass, intact primers and all in the tumbler and clean it, THEN reload, hoping the primers are still good and there's no media caught in the flash holes.

I'm thinking Option 2 is the wise course, but I'm open to suggestions.
 

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A fourth option would be to manually clean the brass enough that it should function well, load, fire and then reload as usual. Unfortunately, if the primers are as corroded as the outside of the cases, you may find that half of them don't fire. Number 2 is a safe, easy and inexpensive way to make sure you get the expected results. :)
 

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Go with option 2 (fire the primers and reload as usual). The primers might be perfectly good IF they have been properly stored; however the condition of the brass would suggest otherwise and it would be a waste of powder and bullets if they were bad and you chose to reload as is. Option 3 might work, but there is still that concern about the quality of the primers .

There is option 4, wear eye protection and deprime gently. Many will tell you that it is dangerous to deprime a live primer, but I have done it hundreds of times on pistol, rifle and shotgun without a single one going bang. Just be slow and gentle when you do it.
Moosie
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'd probably gently wipe them off and load for some non-critical function. Maybe try just a handful at first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got a long and potentially boring weekend coming up, I might just load 10 or so and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, I can always pull the bullets with my inertial hammer and start over again.
 

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Fortunately, at my local range, once-fired 9mm brass is very easy to come by left on the ground especially right after a weekend so I would probably not even attempt to salvage heavily tarnished primed brass.

In your case, if brass is not that easy to come by, I'd carefully deprime the brass, tumble clean it, reprime with fresh primers, then reload. I would never tumble clean primed cases due to the possibility of leaving media stuck in the flash holes nor trust old primers that were possibily improperly stored. YMMV:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fortunately, at my local range, once-fired 9mm brass is very easy to come by left on the ground especially right after a weekend so I would probably not even attempt to salvage heavily tarnished primed brass.

In your case, if brass is not that easy to come by, I'd carefully deprime the brass, tumble clean it, reprime with fresh primers, then reload. I would never tumble clean primed cases due to the possibility of leaving media stuck in the flash holes nor trust old primers that were possibily improperly stored. YMMV:)
Unfortunately, I don't have a "local" range, altho the one I DO get to occasionally would probably be a brass mine. Last time I was there I didn't own a 9mm so I wasn't looking. Right now, it'd be under a foot of snow anyway...:(

But you're right, it's not worth taking a chance on the old primers. An overnight in the tumbler should take care of the tarnish tho.
 

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I seldom tumble brass anymore. When I was shooting benchrest everyone cleans their brass with Imperial sizing die wax during sizing. It cleans them pretty good, but if you have old primers to deal with then I too would deprime them. I;ve never had a problem using a sizng die to deprime either, have done many hundreds maybe thousands, but always wear saftey glasses when loading, common sence right!
 
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