I've found another interesting reference on the internet, this one from Introduction to Brass - yes it is a UK reference but it deals with recycling brass and may explain some of the properties of available brass stock.
"The brass industry throughout the world is well organised and equipped to recycle products at the end of their long lives and process scrap (swarf and offcuts). Making brass from new copper and zinc would be uneconomical and wasteful of raw materials so, since new brass articles are made from recycled scrap, brass is said to be sustainable. In the UK brass manufacturers use almost 100% brass scrap."
Not all artillery uses a shell casing. Some use only powder packs and igniters, cannon on ships currently, even historically as far back as the RW in ship and field cannon (earlier I don't have data at hand to cite). My Mother really hated the 2 flower vases made from shell casings that were given to my Father by a close family friend, but they were always present on our dining room fireplace mantle (with renovations, converting to apartments with gas central heat, that fireplace and mantle are now gone.) I sold that pair of vases for $100 unpolished, during the family estate sale. When polished and filled with gladiolas when in bloom in our garden, they didn't look as bad. Still there are avid collectors of such militaria, but I'm not one of them.
Still, I'd be curious to know if wartime shell / cartridge casings could be smelted and then rolled into sheets from which a brass bell could be made and how the instrument made from such would then sound. I disavow any knowledge of metallurgy. However, with age and origins I do believe such brass would now be replete with lots of impurities.
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Didn't schools in Germany have pealing bells also cast of bronze? Don't suppose there isn't a process to extract / convert bronze to brass. Whatever, Selmer had made some fine musical instruments, but like others made many as were not so fine viz their association with Bundy.
Still. I don't think Selmer could actually confirm the source of Nazi brass, thus such being little more than war time legend to the extent of sourcing the brass they used, albeit the seizures / confiscations by the Nazi's are well documented.
Last edited by Ed Lee; 01-31-2012 at 02:38 PM.
We use to snag an occasional empty powder case after the guns were fired, and shipmates made belt buckles and similar items from them.
Nothing is more contagious or tenacious than music. Once you are exposed it gets inside you and you can never get rid of it. It is also non-discriminating. It can be Ride of the Valkyries, In a Gadda da Vida, the Jeopardy 15 second thinking tune, your most disliked commercial jingle - it doesn't matter. Once triggered, off you go, like it or not.
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