Corrosion prevention on brass

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by mcfish, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Is there something that I can do to prevent brass cartridges from corroding while stored? I did a search but came up empty.

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  2. That's a good question, I would like to know how to keep my Muzzle Loading accessories from rusting, the cleaning jag, patch remover and everything else I have rusts horrible when stored.

  3. By corrosion, do you mean the tan color oxide tarnish that builds up on shiny brass, or actual corrosion where you have whitish-green color spots that appear on the brass and weaken it structurally?

    The tarnish is mainly a cosmetic thing. Just being exposed to air, brass and copper will tarnish. I haven't actually seen where tarnish causes functional or safety issues, nor a degredation in the accuracy of the ammunition.

    Corrosion is a different animal. I have only seen stored cartridges corrode a couple of times - once when some pistol cartridges were stored in leather belt-loops (leather has acids in it that will attack the copper in the brass) and another time with some Federal factory ammo stored in the factory plastic carriers for about 8 years - a couple of the cartridges actually had corrosion near the case head where the brass was touching the plastic carrier. Not sure what that was all about. Corroded cases can be unsafe to shoot. The corrosion robs copper out of the brass, removing ductility from it and when you pull the trigger and the brass case expands to seal the breech, you can get a tear in the brass case, which could be bad for you and/or the firearm.

    I reload a lot and have found that Nu Finish car polish makes excellent 'cleaner' when applied to the corn cob media I use in my vibrating case cleaner. The added bonus is the wax leaves a protective coating on the brass that keeps it from oxidizing, so it stays shiny for years. When I reload, I usually wear surgical-style gloves. This keeps my hands clean and any acids on my hands from reacting with the brass after it's loaded.

    The only way I can see to help prevent hunting cartridges from oxidizing would be to wipe them down with a gun cloth after every time you handle them, which is a bit overboard in my opinion.

    One alternative would be to use nickel-plated brass in the future, but if you're a reloader, nickel-brass can be more trouble than it's worth.

    Also, when storing ammunition, keep it in a cool, dry place. I keep mine in military surplus 50-cal ammo cans. They have a large O-ring around the lid that keeps out humidity.
    #3 Quack Addict, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  4. A few years back I stocked up on a lifetime supply of 30-06, buy one get one after the season. I bought all the Nosler Partition and Ballistic Tips in stock. Long story short, I vacuum sealed boxes of two together. Then I put them in surplus ammo cans. Been 10 years and I pulled a fresh box out this season, shiny as new. My reason from sealing was keeping moisture out, the brass not oxidizing was just a bonus. The only con is the paper box gets crushed down to the shells from the vacuum.
  5. Some good tips, thanks. I am talking about the blue/green nasty type of corrosion. I pulled out a box of reloads and three of the cartridges had this crap on them. A close friend who did all of my reloading passed away this spring and the loads that I have left of his I would like to keep nice for the future. Some day I want to go to Alaska and use them on big game, he woulda loved that. I think I will wipe them down and store them in a better place.
  6. Not sure what packaging you have the cartridges stored in currently but you may want to consider purchasing some plastic boxes like these. I like the looser fitting cartridge boxes better than the tight fitting plastic or foam cartridge holders factory ammo comes in. Store the cartridges bullet facing up toward the lid. As I stated, I had some Federal cartridges corrode after several years in the red plastic sleeves those rounds came in... they corroded right where the plastic was touching the cartridge brass.

    I have another idea that may work for you. Check your PM's.
  7. ESOX

    Staff Member Super Mod Mods

    Even the origonal carboard packaging can be too acidic for secure long term storage. I use various combinations of plastic boxes, and plastic with foam inserts. Those boxes are all kept in surplus ammo boxes with water/air tight seals.

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