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Thread: Marking brass for recovery at matches?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Marking brass for recovery at matches?

    I'm shooting at a USPSA match this weekend, and wanted to mark my brass so it was easier to see and separate from other people's brass after I run the stages.

    I thought about spray-painting the head-stamp area of the brass with a REALLY thin coat of some loud florescent color, but I have concerns about the solvent in spray paint maybe affecting the primers.

    I also though about painting a light band of color around the base, in the grove where the extractor sits, with enamel or fingernail polish, but I worry about getting it too thick, and causing problems with extraction.

    If anyone has any ideas based on experience, please let me know.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    "separate from other people's brass after I run the stages."



    errr.....why?

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    Does the range allow you to pick up your brass. Most dont. How much are you shooting? If a lot then i say if you want too but me personally im too lazy

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    Dreamer, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The guys at PCWC know that a lot of people reload, so people go around and pick up brass for you, and then give you what they think is yours (matching calibers at least). Sometimes, if you go around and pick up other people's brass, they don't reload, in which case you made a brass profit, and you give those to me
    Last edited by elixin77; 03-25-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The reason for marking my brass is twofold.

    One, people shoot ALL sorts of stuff here--38 Super, .45acp, .40, .44 Special, .357, 9mm, and most dont pick up their brass, so it's hard to tell sometimes which is mine.

    Second, I'm shooting the Federal FMJ ammo I accumulated over the last year, and it has "small pistol primers", which is different from EVERY other .45acp ammo I've ever seen (and probably why it is $5 less per box than other ammo)...

    After this small-primer Federal ammo of mine is used up, I'm switching to Remington "green box" for matches and range use...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 03-25-2011 at 11:13 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Use a sharpie. I use a black sharpie ring in the indented rim. Other people use various colors. You can also put some pattern on the head stamp so it is unique to your brass.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sharpie is a great idea. I already have a set of multi-colored sharpies, and the layer of color they leave is essentially non-existant (unlike paint or finger nail polish).

    Great idea... I'll try that...

    Thanks!
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    I have noticed that the majority of people I shoot with in my Defensive Pistol league are using Glocks. My SA .40 S&W will pretty much eat anything I run through it, but I have had a few FTF's when using reloads. Guess what?

    Seems those cases had wierd little bulges at the base. Just one more reason I hate Glocks.

    I now use a blue "wide tip" generic marker to color the shell bases of my rounds while they're stuck bullet first in the container. They're easy to distinguish and I can pick them out of all the other .40 brass that has been screwed up by Glocks. The blue color really stands out, (I noticed some primer sealant on some brass is red, so I avoided the color red to cut down on any confusion at a glance) and the ink is so thin, I really don't have to worry about any interference with function.

  9. #9
    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    If the cases are bulging, sounds like you might be overcharging the rounds (excess pressure). You might want to check your load data, and verify your not.
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

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  10. #10
    Regular Member pooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I'm shooting at a USPSA match this weekend, and wanted to mark my brass so it was easier to see and separate from other people's brass after I run the stages.

    I thought about spray-painting the head-stamp area of the brass with a REALLY thin coat of some loud florescent color, but I have concerns about the solvent in spray paint maybe affecting the primers.

    I also though about painting a light band of color around the base, in the grove where the extractor sits, with enamel or fingernail polish, but I worry about getting it too thick, and causing problems with extraction.

    If anyone has any ideas based on experience, please let me know.
    Here's what I do with rifle brass...

    It's pretty time consuming but a 1-time deal so you never have to worry about it again. I load rifle for accuracy, so 150-200 cases lasts me a pretty long time.

    You start by thoroughly polishing the brass with the old primers still in place.

    Use an epoxy resin (NOT polyester) on the case heads to fill the head stamp. Various color dyes are available with the proper google skills. Give them a night to cure & very carefully sand till you start seeing brass, then switch to more of a polishing technique to remove the last few extra thousandths of epoxy. You do have to be very careful in the last step.

    What you end up with are a bunch of brass cases with bright red, blue or white lettering where the head stamps were.

    This is pretty time intensive, so it may not be practical for bulk handgun shooting.

    The occasional case will be ruined due to the epoxy bonding the old primer to the case, making it difficult to deprime.

    Larger calibers such as .45 ACP should be easy enough as you can apply it with a fine brush and avoid the primer pocket completely.

    Like I said, I use this technique with rifle brass (.300 RUM). For pistol I just buy bulk brass from the local range & run it through a progressive for plinking ammo...

  11. #11
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sharpies. That's the answer. Quick, cheap, and no chance of messing up the cases or primers...
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    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  12. #12
    Regular Member Fabricator's Avatar
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    Dreamer,

    Most lubricants "eat" sharpie, as does heat. Try machinists layout die; I give the "felt-tip applicators" to my machine shop guys. Heres a link to where you gan get them (red or dark blue) 2131A82 or 2131A81

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#layout-dye/=bls6gu

    They look exactly like a felt "bingo blotters", and one would mark tens of thousands of cases(There's an aerosol version as well, but I still recommend the blotter). Layout die is resistant to oils and requires specific chemicals to come off. Like sharpie; however, it is a dye and not "paint", so thickness of film is not an issue. Don't forget some "remover as well, as lacquer thinner, and other "normal solvents" will not get it off. "High quality" carburetor cleaner works well though, and costs 1/3 of the "dykem" brand release agent. Happy shooting!



    Fabricator

    PS: I use the red marking dye to distinguish my "match/neck-size" .303 Brit brass from my "mixed headstamp" milsurp stuff. It's been on the cses for 5 years and 10+ reloads. Even the case vibrator doesn't get it off in 2 hours!
    Last edited by Fabricator; 03-26-2011 at 04:43 PM. Reason: omission

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    Just get a solution of panberyllium dichlorate. It turns any brass a shade of lavender no self-respecting "tough guy" would touch.

    (joke--there is no such chemical as far as I know)

  14. #14
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    Permanent marker works fine. It will survive on the headstamp, extractor groove, or side of the case, but fades somewhat during firing. It mostly comes off during case tumbling and fully comes off after lengthy tumbling/polishing. Somebody even made a jig for marking brass:



    I shot a five stage match yesterday and got three pieces of brass back. I picked them up myself.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alude904
    Does the range allow you to pick up your brass. Most dont.
    Ew. Why is Florida always so lame? I would never go to a range which claimed entitlement to my brass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Sharpies. That's the answer. Quick, cheap, and no chance of messing up the cases or primers...
    Yup, sharpies work for me. There is enough left after firing to ID your brass.

    I just draw a cross; I take a box of ammo, make five quick horizontal lines (across each row of case heads), and ten quick vertical lines (down each column of case heads).

    Takes me about 15 seconds for a box.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-28-2011 at 02:47 PM.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixin77 View Post
    If the cases are bulging, sounds like you might be overcharging the rounds (excess pressure). You might want to check your load data, and verify your not.
    ....or other people's Glock brass had bulges from being fired from the unsupported chambers of Glock barrels which I subsequently picked up, reloaded, and tried to run through a match barrel with a supported chamber causing a failure to feed.

    The entire purpose of reloading for defensive pistol is to load lower charges while maintaining pressures within regulation to decrease recoil which (hopefully) will improve follow up shots. Pretty certain of my load data. If there's any mistakes, I'll notice by a MASSIVE INCREASE in recoil almost reaching factory standards.

  17. #17
    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    ....or other people's Glock brass had bulges from being fired from the unsupported chambers of Glock barrels which I subsequently picked up, reloaded, and tried to run through a match barrel with a supported chamber causing a failure to feed.

    The entire purpose of reloading for defensive pistol is to load lower charges while maintaining pressures within regulation to decrease recoil which (hopefully) will improve follow up shots. Pretty certain of my load data. If there's any mistakes, I'll notice by a MASSIVE INCREASE in recoil almost reaching factory standards.
    Fair enough. I just started reloading, so my 'expertise' is still blooming, lol. Didn't mean to sound like I was telling you what to do - I kind of realized that bulging brass could also be due to a gun that doesn't support the chamber very well after I posted, but didn't think to edit what I said.

    Just looking out for your safety is all
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

    Vice President of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, ECU Chapter

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