Is this a bad/dumb idea?


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hadmanysons
March 9, 2010, 04:11 PM
So I've taken some ugly 30-06 brass that I have, put it on my Lee lockStud trimmer deal and put it in my drill and spun it around and cleaned it up with some Brasso. Will this ruin the brass/gun or anything? I know it's not a substitution for a good tumbling but it sure makes them look a lot better, don't you think?

Case on the right for reference and on the left is the cleaned up one


http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii115/Hadmanysons/TueMar09140532AmericaChicago2010.jpg

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EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 04:12 PM
Theoretically it will wear out quicker. Could probably prove it in a lab.

rcmodel
March 9, 2010, 04:14 PM
Brasso have never been on the approved case cleaner list because it contains quite a bit of ammonia.
Ammonia weakens brass.

If you want them shiny, get a package of 0000 Extra Fine steel wool at the hardware store.
Use it without anything on it at all and you can't hurt a thing unless you polish the same case for about an hour.

rc

USSR
March 9, 2010, 04:19 PM
Yep!

Don

Smokey Joe
March 9, 2010, 04:29 PM
Hadmanysons--I wouldn't call it a bad/dumb idea...I'd call it a waste of time. Beyond being not actually corroded (read: unsafe) or so crudded up as to impede loading & firing, or resizing, who cares what the brass looks like???

How many cases you planning on polishing by hand like this?

Sorry, I have better things to do with my limited spare time.

That being said, I happen to have a tumbler-load of .357 cases cleaning at this very moment. But it's to improve their feeding into the resizing die, not for looks.

R.W.Dale
March 9, 2010, 04:30 PM
Brasso have never been on the approved case cleaner list because it contains quite a bit of ammonia.
Ammonia weakens brass.


I don't have a dog in this fight but has this ever been proven or even tested to any extent? Or is this another olde time hand me down myth like fast powder for short barrels cliche.

For ammonia to weaken brass it would have to be absorbed into the brass structure would it not? and brass isn't known for being particularly absorbent.

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 04:32 PM
If you want them shiny, get a package of 0000 Extra Fine steel wool at the hardware store.

At first read, that's what I thought he did. I gotta quit speed reading. Darn that Evelyn Woodhead.

rcmodel
March 9, 2010, 04:41 PM
has this ever been proven or even tested to any extent? The way I heard it was, it was handed down over the years by old-time cops who carried ammo in gun-belt shell loops many years ago.

There were actually reports of cases breaking off in the chambers when fired after months or years of weekly spit-shining the ammo with Brasso.

I am also skeptical of it harming cases if used occasionally & sparingly.
But I just thought it's better to be safe then sorry.

BTW: I did throughly clean and polish a 100 year old kerosene organ lamp with Brasso years ago. It was in great shape and held kerosene just fine when I bought it.
About a year later the brass oil tank started developing cracks and leaking.

Was it because it was all of a sudden 101 years old, or because I used so much Brasso on it cleaning it up?
Hard to say, but I won't be using Brasso on my ammo to find out.

rc

243winxb
March 9, 2010, 04:53 PM
a metallurgist said ammonia not good. Ammonia and brass
The most dangerous form of attack by ammonia is not leaching or dezincification. Aqueous solutions of ammonia cause "stress corrosion" which causes the boundaries between the grains of the brass to separate. This can occur without any significant weight loss from dissolving the brass.

Attached is a photo showing this condition. You may be a chemist for 30 years, but not a metallurgist. I am a metallurgist, and even more of an old timer than you (45 years practice). See my website rdkraft.com

For this cracking to occur, both a tensile stress and ammonia are needed. This would make neck cracking where the brass has been expanded a primary location for failure. http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5217754&postcount=25

bluetopper
March 9, 2010, 06:18 PM
I've heard when the 30-06 neck splits you can cut them down and made 45acp brass out of them.

whoyouknow
March 9, 2010, 06:31 PM
Pour in a cap full of NuShine in your tumbling media and it will fix 99% of your brass. For really bad old abused brass soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes before tumbling. Alot less abusive that ammonia but similar results.

rcmodel
March 9, 2010, 06:31 PM
You heard wrong.

The case-web taper in a 30-06 case is way to far up the case to cut them off & use them for .45 ACP without neck reaming.

If you don't the bullet base will bulge the case and they won't chamber.

Case capacity would also be much less as well.

rc

Robert Palermo /Penn Bullets
March 9, 2010, 06:36 PM
Actually Dean Grennel came up with a set of case spinners for exactly that purpose of using a drill to clean cases and it worked quite well although he did not use Brasso. Someone eventually made the little chucking case spinners avilable commercially but I can't remeber who that was right now.

hadmanysons
March 9, 2010, 09:59 PM
Well anyway, it was just an idea. Thanks for all the input. I'll have to try the steel wool method. The brasso was just something to make me feel better till I bought a tumbler. To bad about the ammonia thing, cause they sure do look nice :)

woods
March 9, 2010, 11:12 PM
Use Flitz or Scotchbrite

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/CASE%20PREP/DSCN0624.jpg

the scotchbrite leaves a brushed finish that is rough to chamber and will take on stains (much like the steel wool which I have used but gets your hands cruddy as hell) but the Flitz leaves a protective slick finish that will make your rounds easier to chamber and will retard stains. Flitz will not harm the brass.

I use a Zip Trim and one of those sponges that come in the top of a Barnes bullet box

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/CASE%20PREP/HPIM1228.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/CASE%20PREP/DSCN0390.jpg

and hold a rag against it and spin to polish

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/CASE%20PREP/HPIM1229.jpg

to trim, chamfer, clean the outside, clean the inside of the neck with scotchbrite and mica 50 cases takes me a little over an hour

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/CASE%20PREP/DSCN1280.jpg

Caution, only for the OCD reloaders and Certified Case Prep Nuts! (I enjoy it!) :rolleyes:

bluetopper
March 9, 2010, 11:21 PM
All this makes me glad I just reload pistol cartridges.

bds
March 9, 2010, 11:29 PM
All this makes me glad I just reload pistol cartridges.

Me too! :D

But I am being tempted to shoot 3-gun match by other shooters :evil:... and my Bushmaster is yelling out "shoot me, shoot me" :rolleyes:

1858
March 9, 2010, 11:55 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight but has this ever been proven or even tested to any extent? Or is this another olde time hand me down myth like fast powder for short barrels cliche.

For ammonia to weaken brass it would have to be absorbed into the brass structure would it not? and brass isn't known for being particularly absorbent.

From http://www.reitzmetallurgy.com/downloads/Aug05CaseHistoryReitz.pdf

Stress-corrosion cracking (SCC), also known as seasonal cracking,
was first observed in brass cartridge cases in India
that were adjacent to a horse stall during the
monsoon season. This was the first evidence that
ammonia caused SCC in brass. Three criteria are
necessary for SCC to occur: the presence of stress,
a corrosive environment, and a material susceptible
to SCC. Brass is known to be susceptible to SCC
when ammonia is present.

The pertinent questions here are how much residual stress is there in the case when it's in the tumbler and how much ammonia is present. I used to use Brasso (a small amount) when tumbling cases and never had any case failures because of it. I figured that the ammonia was quite volatile and "evaporated" off fairly quickly. However, as rcmodel stated, I decided to find another product that doesn't contain ammonia. One less thing to worry about.

:)

geigersd
March 10, 2010, 12:05 AM
Holy Cow Batman! Who has time to 'shiny up' their brass? I put that in the category of "Rock Painting" (you military types will know this term!).

If it doesn't affect performance, it's a waste of time for me.

medalguy
March 10, 2010, 12:14 AM
Only rocks that don't move.:p

I worked with brass for many years in the stamping industry. We used to anneal brass stampings by running them through a belt fed oven that used ammonia broken down into elemental nitrogen and hydrogen to prevent heat scale on the brass. I can tell you with certainty that a few minutes' exposure to ammonia will not stress brass. Keeping it in the presence of ammonia for several days will. So I wouldn't worry unduly about stress cracking my brass. Having said that, I use NuFinish polish just because it's easier. I'm not that OCD!

lykoris
March 10, 2010, 02:37 PM
case prep for rifle is a PITA.

what I love about pistol/revolver is into the tumbler and then into the 650 and then off to the range!

Walkalong
March 10, 2010, 03:09 PM
Who has time to 'shiny up' their brass?Hardly any time at all. The tumbler runs while I am at work or sleeping. Of course, I do have to put em in and take em out. The only ones I did by hand (Never-dull) were 6PPC.

RainDodger
March 10, 2010, 04:28 PM
If you have nice shiny brass like that, you can't be tacticool. Anyone shining a flashlight around will see all that shiny stuff and know right where you are! Sheesh!

Seismic Sam
March 10, 2010, 04:48 PM
DAYUUM!! Them cases is shinier than the top of my head!!

BTW - Thanks for the story on why ammonia weakens brass. I was a chemist for 40 years and didn't know that.

dagger dog
March 10, 2010, 05:01 PM
There is a difference between clean brass and shiny brass, after a while you come to find out that it just gets dull again,it sure is purty all nice and shiny but not really needed.

The fellows that take the time to shine their brass have a recessant gene most likely passed on by a male relative that was a career fireman with a lot of station time.

"He likes to keep his fire engine clean, it's a clean machine"
the Beatles, Penny Lane

woods
March 10, 2010, 11:25 PM
Don't make them shiny for show. As I said they chamber easier and resist stains and tarnish longer. Also don't use the Flitz everytime as it lasts awhile.

When working up a load, I mark the load on the case with magic marker and the Flitz removes it promptly. Before when I used a tumbler there were sometimes still faint markings on the case. Personally I don't miss the expense of the tumbler, media and polishing agents. Or emptying the cases of media and fishing for media stuck in the primer holes or a glob of it left in the case. Don't miss waiting for the tumbler if I am ready to reload. Don't worry about abrasive dust in my chamber or bore. But if you like your tumbler, more power to you.

The shiny also makes it easier to spot splits or rings on the brass which might be the beginnings of a case head separation.

I have been through many of these threads and expected the razzing so it doesn't bother me. But the OP did post about Brasso and the Flitzing is a better alternative.

So ease up and I'll gladly meet any of you at the long range line for some shooting, but no benchrest only hunting guns and hunting bullets.

Offfhand
March 14, 2010, 11:16 AM
Nothing at all wrong with cleaning cases, even making them bright and gleaming. Also, no problem with using Brasso. Unless, that is, you dump your cases into a bucket of it for a long time. Only problem with your process is that it is rather messy and takes too long. You can get the same effect a lot easier with a Krazy Kloth. It's easy to use and lasts about forever. Wipe off residue with a Zwipe and you're good to go. With cases that are really cruddy, steel wool will work but 3M Finishing Pad is better. Sinclair has all these items in catalog.

rfwobbly
March 14, 2010, 12:43 PM
Pour in a cap full of NuShine in your tumbling media and it will fix 99% of your brass.

+1

I've thrown away all my flashlights and simply carry a polished case with me.

Walkalong
March 14, 2010, 02:31 PM
NEVR-DULL (http://www.nevrdull.com/) for hand polishing a few cases. (15 to 18 6 PPC for example) It cleans great, protects well, & wipes right off.

Tumblers (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105213&d=1252759004) and polishes (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=198878) for a bunch of brass (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=112294&d=1262538215).

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