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Discussion Starter #1
While I have been reloading for decades now, I have run into something that I've never experienced before. I am new to this forum but was hoping someone could help me out here. About a year ago, a friend gave me a 5 gallon bucket full of .40 S&W brass for reloading. I bought him lunch for same (quite a deal huh). Today I removed the lid from the bucket for the first time and all of the brass had turned black, solid black. I ran some through my brass polisher with no luck reclaiming the brass color. I was hoping someone could tell me if this brass is safe for reloading. Thanks in advance for any info.
 

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I’ve had some pretty nasty ones clean up just fine in my wet tumbler.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I really don't care what the color is. I'm trying to find out if it would be safe to reload. I'm thinking it should be OK, just wanted to check to see if anyone has had that issue.
 

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Are you sure they are brass? I’ve seen some steel cases get very black.
 
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In the past I have had a few .40S&W Cases mixed in with once fired that I bought on Amazon (years ago) that were black Even after wet tumbling with SS Pins still black Checked with a magnet not steel, but they reloaded just fine.
 
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I picked up some of these purple-stained cases that turned grey/black after sonicating in citric acid bath. Loaded up and shot just fine.

239809
 

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If the headstamp is Browning, their self-defense ammo is loaded in black nickel coated brass. Looks really interesting. I have some in multiple calibers, but I’ve never shot any to see how they clean up. Pics I’ve seen on the net still look black, but others look silvery, as if the black peened off but the nickel remains.
Aside from that, I’d be concerned about molecular changes that turn standard brass black, and won’t tumble off.
 

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There's two answer's to this. Could be fine and could not be. I tend to error on the safety side and if I don't know, dump it! Then again you could give a buddy a few and let him test them for you! :cool:
 

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I picked up some 9mm brass in my yard that had been on the ground for 2-3 years. After wet tumbling they became shiny but were still black. They have loaded up and shot just fine. I would scratch them to insure they're brass and not steel, then load'em up.
 

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Many oxidizers, acids and acoustics will darken brass.

Selenium dioxide will as well.

Even some brass polishes will darken brass if left on too long.. Usually ammonia based.. Etc.
 

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I suggest a magnet.
That's an even better idea. I knew the black cases I found were brass because I have never shot anything but brass cased 9mm.
 

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Photos of the mystery cases would be helpful but it sounds like Browning SD brass.
 

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Browning also makes some black nickel brass, what headstamps do they have? The first one I saw I thought it was some kind of arabic writing, then I turned the case and realized it was the Browning Elk stamped on the head.
 
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