Brass Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Nut Behind the Gun, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Nut Behind the Gun

    Nut Behind the Gun New Member

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    Why are most casings made of brass?:AR15firing:
  2. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    Not sure why, but I'm glad they are. Aluminum and steel are not really reloadable. Brass is easily reloadable many times over
  3. buildit

    buildit Former Guest

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    Some day I may need to learn how to do reloads. ;)
  4. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    brass expands to form to the shape of the chamber, to ensure a good gas tight seal for the rounds gases to vent in the right direction...out the muzzle, not out the chamber or breech.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Brass was around long before steel and aluminum alloys were suitable for cartridge case use. Brass is still the best choice for rapidly cooling to allow for the best extraction.
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Brass has a few properties that are perfect for the role

    its malliable ( you can shape it easy)
    its not really corrosive but does tarnish in a neutral way ( dont make acidic compounds that may effect the powder)
    and its cheap ..

    you can reload or re-smelt there is little waste

    theres better stuff nowdays but for the cost , why?

    at lithgow they are playing with plastics atm for cases

    i hope they never go that way , but the UN is pushing folks in that direction , guess they know folks can pick up brass and reload and this wont help stamp out all the guns they want gone for a clean take over ..
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    It just works so well.

    When they first came up with the idea of metal cartridges, they tried several things. They had cartridges made of wrapped wire. (Can't find a picture of that)

    They had them made of metal foil. Second from the left.
    [​IMG]

    Neither of these held up well to handling.

    They thought they had a winner with copper, but copper gets sticky when it's hot, probably because it is a soft metal. During a battle, with much firing, the hot chamber caused the copper cases to stick, with the extractor ripping through the rim, and requiring the shoving of a cleaning rod down the barrel to punch it out. Kinda defeats the purpose of a repeater.

    But the addition of a little zinc to the copper both made it harder, so that extractors did not rip through rims as easily, and "not so sticky", so it did not cling to hot chambers.

    Wallah (that's French for "lookie here"), cartridge brass. Hard enough to hold together, soft enough to seal the chamber, strong enough to stand up to handling. Just about perfect.

    They've used other things when they had to, but brass is so "just about perfect" that they keep going back to it.
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    wallah = Viola! without the fancy doodad marks ;)
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Glad somebody got that.

    Dennis the Menace Sunday comic, when I was a little kid. Mom was gone so Dad was gonna make Dennis some breakfast. And he stirred and he sliced and he diced and he cooked and he fiddled with food for about three panels, then finally put the plate of food on the table, saying, "VoilĂ !"

    Dennis looks at the plate and says, "Wallah? Looks like hash, to me."
  10. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    :D i do like Dennis

    lotsa folks renamed Dennis by friends and family ;)
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Brass unlike aluminum and steel returns to its original state if heat is applied.

    Hence annealing brass cases after they get reloaded 3 to 5 times. The reloading and firing process makes brass hard so you apply just enough heat to return it to the original state and you can get many more reloadings out of it.
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