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The problem may be more serious with brass cartridge cases, which are much thinner than a brass ship’s bell.Brass cartridge cases are an alloy of about 70 percent copper and 30 percent zinc.Though US commercial manufacturers generally did likewise, at least one company, Western, apparently still loaded mercuric primers in match grade .30-06 and 45 ACP ammunition, and in H&H Magnum and Newton cartridges until at least 1941 and possibly up to the 1950s, before completely switching over to potassium chlorate and then noncorrosive primers.The most commonly understood meaning of “corrosive primers” among shooters and handloaders is in reference to a firearm’s bore, rather than to the brass case.

You can elect to not reload these cases without the need of a jury of scientists to support your decision.

US military cases headstamped 1950 and later were loaded with noncorrosive primers; for those headstamped prior to 1950, it’s best to consider them as having corrosive primers.

There is, as there always seems to be, an exception, in this case several lots of developmental test ammo loaded by Frankford Arsenal prior to 1950.

Again, especially in humid climates, it is important to clean immediately after a session of shooting with potassium chlorate primers.

But this isn’t typically possible in a combat environment, so the military’s search for a non-hygroscopic replacement for potassium chlorate was on soon after they hit the streets.

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