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Thread: Smith and wesson 308 brass

  1. #1
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    Smith and wesson 308 brass

    There is a trademe listing for some brass from the 80's. Don't know anything about it, looks in good condition and is apparently once fired. Anyone have experience with this?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300wsm for life View Post
    There is a trademe listing for some brass from the 80's. Don't know anything about it, looks in good condition and is apparently once fired. Anyone have experience with this?
    Greetings,
    I had some that was range pick up and used it in the early 1980's. I had a rat around in the shed and found some which seem to weigh a little over 170 grains w/o primer. This is a little heavier than most of the US brass. Brass that old would need to be at near giv away prices, especially if it had been handloaded. The cases would need carefull inspection and neck annealing prior to loading. Some new brass might be a better bet. If you can find any that is.
    Regards Grandpamac.
    RugerM77 likes this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks @grandpamac. There is new brass available and I will probably go down that route. I personally feel he is asking too much and I have doubts about it as it is quite old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 300wsm for life View Post
    Thanks @grandpamac. There is new brass available and I will probably go down that route. I personally feel he is asking too much and I have doubts about it as it is quite old.
    That would be a wsie more I was given some 1980's vintage once fire Sako .222 Rem cases some of the necks split on resizing, Old brass is not worth anything it goes brittle with age unless packed and stored properly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooternz View Post
    That would be a wsie more I was given some 1980's vintage once fire Sako .222 Rem cases some of the necks split on resizing, Old brass is not worth anything it goes brittle with age unless packed and stored properly.




    Ok full discloser. I know SFA about reloading but like to think I have a few clues about metals, and nothing supports this statement at all. The brass used in ammo is not a precipitation ageing alloy which is the only way any metal can magically get harder without mechanical work or heat treatment (not necessarily talking about brass here) and others like hydrogen embrittlement or nitriding are not relevant.
    Other possibilities like corrosion from not storing clean and dry are fair enough but not age.

    So, IMHO if someone has some old brass (80s for example) that you know for a fact has only been once fired and is free from any corrosion then use it. Unless in the last 40 years they have tweaked the brass alloy used (which is possible), it should be no different than one fired last week.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Got-ya View Post
    [/U]



    Ok full discloser. I know SFA about reloading but like to think I have a few clues about metals, and nothing supports this statement at all. The brass used in ammo is not a precipitation ageing alloy which is the only way any metal can magically get harder without mechanical work or heat treatment (not necessarily talking about brass here) and others like hydrogen embrittlement or nitriding are not relevant.
    Other possibilities like corrosion from not storing clean and dry are fair enough but not age.

    So, IMHO if someone has some old brass (80s for example) that you know for a fact has only been once fired and is free from any corrosion then use it. Unless in the last 40 years they have tweaked the brass alloy used (which is possible), it should be no different than one fired last week.
    Greetings @Got-ya,
    That is the theory but in the real world the cracking of even once fired brass due to age is well known and often referred to as season cracking. Brass cartridge cases, and especially fired ones, are seldom stored in ideal conditions and the annual cycles of heat and cold may have an effect. @shooternz had problems with 40 year old once fired Sako brass cracking when sized. I recently loaded some Sako once fired brass that was likely approaching 50 years old which I neck annealed before sizing with no problems. Samples of one do not prove much but this is in line with my experience over the years.
    Getting back to the OP's question, as far as I can determine, Smith and Wesson only offered ammo with their head stamp for a short time and it is unlikely that it manufactured its own cases. I stand by my earlier comment that it was only worth bothering with if it was virtually free and thinking back, not even then. The four S & W .308 cases remaining in my stash will be kept as they are uncommon and had been fired in a H & K grooved semi auto chamber but things would need to be dire before they are loaded again.
    Regards Grandpamac.

  7. #7
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    I have reloaded brass from before the first world war and it functions OK.
    I have used silfoss to repair cracked neck snider cases and have gained another couple of reloads.
    It depends on how rare the cases are and the pressure they are loaded to but if in doubt anneal the necks and check for stretching.
    Neck cracking does not seem to be a big deal and a lot of 303 Ex army cracks on the first firing but headspace problems and case stretching is the kiss of death.
    For that reason I usually give away cases for free as you do not know how long they will last.
    grandpamac likes this.

 

 

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