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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I purchased 500 rounds of Winchester Q3130 7.62 NATO to toss in an ammo can for long term storage. It is new production with the NATO cross and a 2013 headstamp. I opened up the boxes and have never seen brass that looked dirty like it does in the attached pictures. I also noticed that there appear what to be tiny little dents (very small) on some of the rounds. Can you tell me what it is that is on the brass? I know it is not, but some little speckles of the dirty stuff on the brass even resemble light rust. Is this stuff OK to store long term loose in a big zip lock bag in an ammo can? I shoot an M1A which is what this ammo would be for. I just never purchased ammo that didn't have fairly clean brass before. What would you do? Any info is much appreciated.
 

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It's military and it is perfectly OK. 7.61 x 51 is the Nato designation. Technically it is a little different than .308 which is the civilian version. When they make civilian stuff they polish it up real nice but not so for the military.
You may notice the same on 5.56mm. and .223. 5.56mm. usually looks like that but if you buy .223 it is all shiny and sparkly like. Pretty.
It doesn't have to be pretty to be good ammo.
 

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Tumble it with a little Nu Finish. Not only will that clean it up cosmetically (not terribly important) but it will leave a thin protective coating for the long-term storage.

And you'll feel better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Does anyone know what the dirty stuff is on the ammo? I'm sure it's not powder, so what can it be?
 

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Tumble it with a little Nu Finish. Not only will that clean it up cosmetically (not terribly important) but it will leave a thin protective coating for the long-term storage.

And you'll feel better.
Do you usually tumble live ammo?
 

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Many people tumble live ammo on occasion, for various reasons...mostly to remove lube. To be perfectly clear, we're talking about vibratory tumbling here, not rotary. Vibrating loaded ammo in a bed of soft, ground corncob involves almost no risk at all.

If you allow loaded rounds to drop on top of other loaded rounds in a bin as you reload on a progressive, you're taking a much bigger chance than vibrating them in ground corncob.
 

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The issue has been raised by powder companies who fret that the action of the tumbler may degrade the coatings on the powder. Since the coatings on the powder help control burning rate, they have a point.

Having said that, I'm aware of several outfits who, in the past, tumbled remanufactured ammo to remove lube. Obviously, there's a certain amount of tumbling that can be done without harm. Dropping ammo in a tumbler and then going away for a weekend probably isn't a good idea.

Kindly leave notes as to the length of time, media, type of tumbler etc, for each lot of ammo. That way if you should be victim to a violent reaction to the process, those you leave behind will have some clue as to what length of tumbling time is definately excessive.
 

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Are these the powder companies that ship their powders on down pillows, conveyed by Nepalese virgins over carpeted paths cushioned with lotus petals?

Or the ones that use trucks?
 

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While I agree that the risk is small I don't like tumbling loaded ammo and the only purpose it serves is cosmetic.

The point Mr. Moore made is very valid because the grain structure can be destroyed. That is a smaller risk with ball type powders which are now used in almost all GI ammo.

A well known product liability suit against Winchester involved a M94 that came unglued resulting in serious injury to the shooter. Investigation revealed that the gun had been riding in a truck gun rack for some years. The ammo in the gun was destroyed but a partial box had been riding on the rancher's dashboard for years. Examination of the rounds in the box showed the powder had been reduced to dust and the burning rate was instant...

The stuff you see on the cases is largely from the lubricants used in forming the brass. For 7.62 brass there are three steps in the drawing process and each requires a lube. In the factories the brass is tumbled for polishing before it is loaded but not having to do that saves money and since it serves no useful purpose they don't do it.

Any little dents or scratches are also harmless so while inspectors for commercial ammo are picky and reject the tiniest flaw but since it serves no useful purpose they don't do that either.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info Charlie Petty and everyone else. I am not going to worry about the cosmetics. I was concerned that the gunk on the case of rounds could effect chamber pressure or cause ill effects to the brass over long periods of storage, but thanks for setting me straight. Happy shooting friends.
 

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Anytime… BTW: the discoloration at the neck and case mouth is common to almost all GI rifle ammo and is due to an annealing step at the end of the brass manufacture…
 

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Quality inspection needs to know that the cases have been annealed. A form of heat treatment. It makes the brass less brittle for long term storage. Preventing case mouth cracks which could be militarily embarrassing. Nothing like a bullet departing the case in the magazine.
Geoff
Who spent some time in the US Army.
 

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Another reason to periodically shoot off carry ammo! :)
 

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Do take the time to clean your weapon well after use with this ammo. I've found a little more "gunk" build up with it.:eek:
 
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