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Can these shells be reloaded?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by MtnBiker, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. MtnBiker

    MtnBiker NRA Member Millennium Member

    283
    39
    Jun 19, 1999
    Georgia
    I was gifted a few bags of .38 special shells. They are of various makes. Included were some random .357 shells. Just to see if I'm paying attention, I guess.

    :cool:

    I'm not sure about reloading these odd colored shells. Attached are some pics; including some more normal colored brass for contrast.

    Does anyone recognize these copper colored shells? Are they reloadable?

    The headstamp is "R - P", "38 SPL".
     

    Attached Files:

  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    "R-P" is Remington-Peters. They are good to go. It's hard to tell from your pic, but it looks like some nickel plated brass. They are fine for reloading.
     

  3. steve4102

    steve4102

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    They look like "copper washed" to me. Do they attract a magnet?
     
  4. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    24,598
    3,096
    May 24, 2000
    Beaumont,Texas
    You are thinking of the old Chinese 7.62x39 right?

    The "magnet trick" to check for a steel core bullet. All the old Chinese 7.62x39 ammo (steel & lead core) will attract a magnet, because the all the bullets have a steel jacket.

    :cool:
     
  5. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    They are probably older Remington brass. Over time they will turn like that but are fine to reload if they aren't cracked. The newer Remington brass won't turn like that.
     
  6. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    There are cases out there that look like brass but are steel cases. If I remember right some S&B 9mm cases are steel. That is why I have a magnet in my case feeder. Just in case one get through.
     
  7. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

    23,545
    847
    Jan 24, 2004
    I don't think I have seen any cu washed brass.

    If they they stick to a magnet they are steel cases and probably shouldn't be reloaded.

    I have also seen the CU separate in a trumpet from the brass. There was a definite change around the brass. I wouldn't reload if this was an issue.

    Beyond that, I would probably cut one to see what is going on.
     
  8. craig110

    craig110 Wasted bits.

    749
    0
    Jul 14, 2006
    Pittsburgh!
    Yes, some S&B 9mm "brass" cases are actually brass-plated steel. They are reloadable, but are so much harder to work than are real brass cases (steel being notably harder to resize than the much softer brass) that I also scan my 9mm cases with a strong magnet. When I first got into reloading these occasional problematic "brass" cases were real head-scratchers until I realized they were actually steel and started separating them out.

    ETA: MtnBiker, most of the coppery-colored cases I've run across turn out to be steel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  9. I have some steel 45 Acp cases that have been
    polished so much they look like nickel. They reload fine although seating primers takes a little more effort.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

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    Jul 10, 2001
    Alabama
    In my opinion, they have been chemically (over)cleaned with something that de-zincified the brass, leaving only copper. If it is a surface effect only, they will reload ok. If it penetrated, well, copper cased ammunition did not work very well for LtCol Custer's people.

    If not magnetic, I would polish one of them and see if the copper buffed off to reveal sound brass. If it did, load and shoot. If not, discard.
     
  11. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

    23,545
    847
    Jan 24, 2004
    Are you sure they are not Silver Bear ammo?
     
  12. GLShooter

    GLShooter

    403
    1
    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've seen old R-P cases turn that odd pink color over time. I think it was due to environmental exposure to something in the air. They were at a range in Oklahoma. I'd load 'em up and shoot light wad cutters in them.

    Greg
     
  13. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Today going through some 45acp range pickup. I had one that had a pink base but the body was normal brass color.
     
  14. With 4 of us in the house shooting Cowboy twice a month we reload every 38 & 45 shell we can get our hands on just to keep up. I have reloaded those purple/pink shells in 38 and they seem to have the same life, 9-12 reloadings, as anything else. What we don't reload are cases marked NR for No Reload like this one:
    Cherokee Slim & Posse
    [​IMG]
     
  15. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

    23,545
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    Jan 24, 2004
    I don't think I have seen any of those.

    Why is it NR?
     
  16. CTSixshot

    CTSixshot

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    Feb 4, 2009
    New Haven, CT
    The aluminum "Blazer" cases are Not Reloadable.
    Cull these from your brass before you break your decapping pin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  17. They're berdan primed. That uses 2 or more off center flash holes instead of a centrally located flash hole, like was said they can stick or break a decapping rod.
     
  18. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

    23,545
    847
    Jan 24, 2004
    Ah, they are aluminum. I never read the base on them because they get tossed.