Really, what is it about clean, shiny brass?


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CozMoDan
January 5, 2012, 08:44 PM
I have read so many post about cleaning brass. Don't get me wrong I love bright shiny brass but why? And why is more like new better that just clean. What do you think? All we all just annal? BTW the best by far (and I have a couple of brass cleaners, one for liquid and one for dry) is the stainless steal rods in a rock tumbler. When they say like new, it is, period. Only thing is the cleaning time, 4-6 hours depending how bad the brass is.

Anyway tell me why you like the brightest, shinest newest looking brass.

The Coz.

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NeuseRvrRat
January 5, 2012, 09:15 PM
same reason folks wash their cars. also, it's easier to spot damaged cases when they're cleaned.

cfullgraf
January 5, 2012, 09:19 PM
Clean cases prevent damaging your dies. Clean cases prevent loading trouble if stuff is caked up inside the case.

Polished cases look good. They make me feel better about my reloads so I shoot better.

Do they need to be cleaned and polished like new? That is up to you.

Grumulkin
January 5, 2012, 09:19 PM
I like it because it's the brightest, shiniest and newest looking (i.e., I like bling).

I also use stainless steel media.

Hondo 60
January 5, 2012, 09:24 PM
I think NeuseRvrRat hit on the head - it's easier to see damaged cases, plus I don't want my dies to get scratched.

And on top of all that - I just like the bling! :D

TwoEyedJack
January 5, 2012, 09:30 PM
Clean cases chamber easier in the AR15, especially if it has a match chamber, and when using a speed loader for a .357.

Arkansas Paul
January 5, 2012, 09:44 PM
Because I'm just anal retentive like that. I also have my powder organized by approximate burn rate. :o

Oklacoyotekiller
January 5, 2012, 11:48 PM
its the oooo, aaaah factor i get when my buddies look at my box of cartridges and pick them up and say "these are handloads?"

ReloaderFred
January 5, 2012, 11:51 PM
To me it's pride, plain and simple. I take great pride in the quality of my reloads and shiny brass is just part of it. The side affect is it's easier on the equipment, too.

Hope this helps.

Fred

jcwit
January 6, 2012, 12:00 AM
To me it's pride, plain and simple. I take great pride in the quality of my reloads and shiny brass is just part of it. The side affect is it's easier on the equipment, too.

Hope this helps.

Fred


Yup, what Fred sayes. Its the same reason I shave daily, wear clean cloths, have my hair cut, wax & keep my car washed, oil my firearms, wax the stocks, wipe off my tools after using them, never ever leave the house with jogging pants on and rarely wear white shoes(I wear shined black leather shoes and/or shined boots.

I know something must be the matter with me. But I do attempt to look as good/sharp as possible at least for a 68 yr old fat guy.

sig220mw
January 6, 2012, 12:11 AM
The 2nd and 3rd posts said it.

CozMoDan
January 6, 2012, 12:19 AM
The 2nd and 3rd posts said it.
I agree about the damage detection, dies and the build up of gunk, however that is just clean, how about the cleaning them until you can see your face in them:), that, is truely the question.

The Coz

jmorris
January 6, 2012, 12:34 AM
Its just older people that don't have anything else to do. 10#'s of Corn cobb would last me for years with a little of polish. Had nothing better to do and played with wet SS media and it looks better but doesn't shoot any different. My process is faster than the "old" method with the volumes I do but it really makes no difference as long as it is clean before it hits the size die.

cfullgraf
January 6, 2012, 07:54 AM
I agree about the damage detection, dies and the build up of gunk, however that is just clean, how about the cleaning them until you can see your face in them:), that, is truely the question.

The Coz

As said, shiny brass is a "touchy, feely" thing and up to the individual if he wants to see his face in the brass.

Before the introduction of reasonably priced vibrating tumblers, I used an ultrasonic cleaner I already had on hand with detergent to clean my cases. Got them clean, but not shiny. Worked just fine as far as loading and shooting was concerned.

But the cases were dull and stained.

Shiny is do much better.

Besides dry tumbling, I do have wet, stainless pin tumbling capability. I like it, but feel it is a bit over the top, I use it when the inside of cases are real dirty after a number of shootings.

capreppy
January 6, 2012, 09:52 AM
I use SS media. Mine always come out clean and shiny. It is the nature of the method. I prefer this method as I don't have to deal with media dust. It all gets flushed down the sink and my garage doesn't have a thin layer (or thick layer if I got lazy) of dust that surrounds the area that my tumbler used to sit at.

Striker Fired
January 6, 2012, 10:24 AM
I use pins in my Lyman twin and personally like the "new" look.For me the question can be turned around and asked why does it bother or matter to others if someone likes to have their brass so shiny?

CozMoDan
January 6, 2012, 11:26 AM
I use pins in my Lyman twin and personally like the "new" look.For me the question can be turned around and asked why does it bother or matter to others if someone likes to have their brass so shiny?
I asked the original question just wondering. It does not bother or matter to me as I like mine shiny but I was just wondering why it is such a draw to people. Like one poster said, us old folks have a lot of time on our hands:). It was just a question not a judgement of why or why not, just a simple question.

The Coz

helotaxi
January 6, 2012, 12:24 PM
I'm neither old, nor do I have a particularly large amount of time on my hands, but my brass is clean. Vibratory tumbler only and corn cob media only. Typically I just dump a batch of brass in the tumbler, turn it on and go find something else to do, so it's not like I'm sitting around waiting for the brass to finish tumbling. Adding a used dryer sheet to the media has all but eliminated the dust problem for me.

I like it clean because it cuts down on the amount of grime on my hands when loading the cases and it also makes it much easier to find when the AR kicks it out on the ground. For range pick-up, cleaning is required just to assess the condition of the case. I don't even bother to decap it before giving it a few hours in the tumbler.

cfullgraf
January 6, 2012, 01:22 PM
...just a simple question.


Seems to me the simple answer is "Folks like their brass clean and shiny."

fehhkk
January 6, 2012, 01:31 PM
Nothing like putting dirty brass in the tumbler, and a few hours later, I sift the cases, feels like finding gold in a river. :)

Arkansas Paul
January 6, 2012, 05:12 PM
Like one poster said, us old folks have a lot of time on our hands.


We 31 year olds don't have all that much time on our hands, but we still like our brass shiny. :)

SlamFire1
January 6, 2012, 05:26 PM
It is a well know fact that shiny brass shoots more accurately than dull brass.

And I will ignore facts to the contrary. :neener:

dbarnhart
January 6, 2012, 10:13 PM
Because its purdy.

45acp cases. 30 minuts in the ultrasonic cleaner, then an hour in the vibrator with corn cob and NuFinish brings the cases to a high lustre. Now imagine a thousand rounds of that in an ammo can. Almost to beautiful to shoot ;-)

zxcvbob
January 6, 2012, 10:23 PM
Y'all are leaving out the most important reason: to irritate the other shooters on the line :D

(I wasn't supposed to keep that quiet was I?)

cfullgraf
January 6, 2012, 10:29 PM
Because its purdy.

45acp cases. 30 minuts in the ultrasonic cleaner, then an hour in the vibrator with corn cob and NuFinish brings the cases to a high lustre. Now imagine a thousand rounds of that in an ammo can. Almost to beautiful to shoot ;-)

Oh, a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

CozMoDan
January 7, 2012, 09:52 AM
Y'all are leaving out the most important reason: to irritate the other shooters on the line :D

(I wasn't supposed to keep that quiet was I?)
That is true but we both left out maybe the most important one "jealously". My buddy and I went out to the range and I pulled out my very shiny brass with my very shiny jacketed bullets and he said "Where did you buy those?" and I said "I reloaded them last night". You could see the jealously in his eyes:).
The Coz

Samari Jack
January 7, 2012, 10:05 AM
What does the acronym SS mean? In the hospital, SS with an E stands for soap suds enema.:neener:

Naterater
January 7, 2012, 10:39 AM
Clean brass can actually shoot better. It makes loads more consistent and they chamber more consistently--less run-out. Primers seat better, and all of the reasons listed above.

dbarnhart
January 7, 2012, 07:31 PM
SS = Stainless Steel

918v
January 7, 2012, 07:47 PM
but why

If you wet tumble the brass, the innards get clean. Then when you seat a bullet in that clean case, there's no contaminants inbetween the case wall and the bullet. A round like that develops a more consistent velocity, chamber pressure and has a low ES just like factory ammo.

I don't care about the shine, but I want clean.

Black Butte
January 7, 2012, 08:02 PM
Clean, shiny brass = gemstones for men

1SOW
January 7, 2012, 09:58 PM
Like all have included:
Cleaner
Defects show up better
Pride, Bling, Pretty

Strictly my opinion!: I believe one more thing, slipperier.
the level glossy surface, especially with a little shiny car finish/wax on it, adds a very slight reduction in friction for the dies, mag, feed ramp and chamber.

Probably just another rationalization for my preferrences, but that's ok too.

CozMoDan
January 8, 2012, 12:16 PM
Like all have included:
Cleaner
Defects show up better
Pride, Bling, Pretty

Strictly my opinion!: I believe one more thing, slipperier.
the level glossy surface, especially with a little shiny car finish/wax on it, adds a very slight reduction in friction for the dies, mag, feed ramp and chamber.

Probably just another rationalization for my preferrences, but that's ok too.
I agree with slipperier 100%. However some friends of mine and I were talking about wiping the case down (At the time case tumbling wasn't around to much and none of us used one) and then use a oily rag after to put a slight oil film on the cases for autos. One of the guys brought up that doing that may cause excessive bolt blow back because of the lack of friction between the case and the chamber wall, which the thought was needed to slow the bolt down a bit.

Anyone know or have an opinion on his thoughts?
The Coz

codefour
January 8, 2012, 12:46 PM
Many non-reloading shooters look down on reloaded ammunition. My reloads are cleaner/shinier than any factory made round I have ever seen. But when these non-reloaders see my reloads they can not believe they are reloaded rounds.

When I open my bulk ammo can and it looks like jewelry, it is a kewl thing.

SlamFire1
January 8, 2012, 02:18 PM
I agree with slipperier 100%. However some friends of mine and I were talking about wiping the case down (At the time case tumbling wasn't around to much and none of us used one) and then use a oily rag after to put a slight oil film on the cases for autos. One of the guys brought up that doing that may cause excessive bolt blow back because of the lack of friction between the case and the chamber wall, which the thought was needed to slow the bolt down a bit.

Anyone know or have an opinion on his thoughts?
The Coz

That is a bunch of horse hockey. The cartridge case is a gas seal. It must be supported by the mechanism or it will rupture. It is not a structural element.

The Army Ordnance Officer’s who wrote for the American Rifleman created a bunch of errors that have never worked their way out of the American shooting community.

Greased bullets, greased cases, and oiled cases is one of them.

Way back in 1920 the Army was having problems with its single heat treated receivers and poorly made ammunition. So they decided to blame the civilians. Shooters at the time were greasing their bullets to eliminate bullet fouling. The Army ran some bogus tests and “proved” the grease was causing the rifles to break. The Army made the claim that the cartridge had to cling to the chamber and reduce the load on the bolt or the action would break. Maybe true in single heat treat Springfields, which are dangerous with any load, but this claim is bogus because firearms are designed to carry the full load of the cartridge, case friction is totally ignored.

In 1921, the Army used tin as a bullet coating, to eliminate bullet fouling, and the tin cold welded to the case neck and created a bore obstruction. Shooters were still using greased bullets and the Army totally ignored the cold welding and blamed blown up rifles on bullet grease. Hatcher wrote a very long section in his book, “Hatcher’s Notebook” passing all the blame to bullet grease and civilians.

Townsend Whelen, the officer who made the tin can ammunition, did the same in his books, but he added that oil on cases is dangerous.

A number of sucessfully fielded pre WWII guns used oilers to reduce breech friction. The Swedish Ljungman was one:


http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=11436

OK, here we go. Lots of so called "experts" are going to jump on this. These rifles, the Jlungmans AG-42B types, were made to have the brass cases lubricated. I know this flies in the faces of many of our members who think they know better, but it is true. The Swedes used a very well made,semi-thick oil that was rubbed onto the loaded ammo to aid in extraction. As you know, the brass cases if left dry may or may not extract, tear in-half or get crushed in the action by that "killer" bolt.
I use a product that I have had very good luck with. Bordens " Slide-All" It is a dry film lube that seems to work very well. Now, my full house loads do not tear in-half. Extraction/ejection is normal ( if you call 25 yards normal) and accuracy has gone way up. Life of the fired brass so far is over 5 re-loads. I'm not too keen on sharing my loads as these rifles are very temperamental with hand loads. I do use a 140 grain bullet and a "medium ' port pressure type powder such as IMR-4895 and RELOADER-15. IMR-4350 and IMR 7828 shot well after I designed and installed a gas port valve. I like the sights on the rifle and how well the rifle handles. You can't bad mouth the rifles accuracy, that's for sure.
Here's a 200 meter target from last summer.


The Schwarzlose machine gun was another, look at the wonderful pictures at this Swedish site, and of course, you can see the oiler.

http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/utv_ksp58/ksp14/schwarzlose.htm

The Japanese Nambu used an oiler:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/IMG_0609Nambuwithoiler.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/IMG_0606Nambuwithoiler.jpg

Oiler mechanisms: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/Oilingcasesonbelt.jpg

Oilers were designed out of mechanisms after WW2. The Germans captured a Russian machine gun that had a fluted chamber, copied it in their assault rifles, and that ended the need for oilers.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/FlutedChamber.jpg

I don’t know why FN did not use chamber flutes, but on their 5.7 cartridges, they are using Teflon. I have read on other forums that injuries have occurred when shooters reloaded their cartridges and rubbed off the Teflon. It is likely the cartridges ruptured on extraction, but I really don’t know what happened.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_5.7%C3%9728mm

FN's 5.728mm cartridge cases are covered with a special polymer coating for easier extraction with the PS90 carbine due to the high chamber pressures and lack of case tapering.[32] In addition, this coating ensures proper feeding and function in the magazines.[32]

The Army/Hatcher/Whelen claims that greased bullets are dangerous are totally bogus. The Swiss used greased bullets up into the 80's.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/IMG_1567.jpg

And what about moly lubed bullets? Millions of them were shot in high power competition. No blown up guns due to moly grease. May have been some blown up guns due to hot loads. High power shooters are well known for loading to the max to gain just a couple of fps. Some of the loads and velocities I have heard from shooters, while pulling targets with them, I don't know how or why their rifles were not in fragments.

As for those who claim case friction is necessary or the bolt will be overloaded, what do you do with these two piece polymer cases? Do notice the brass case head that provides the case seal. How much load can that polymer/brass joint actually carry?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/PolymerCasedAmmunitionnatec3.jpg

It turns out not much. The problem with that ammunition was that the front of the case stayed in the chamber messing up function with the next round.

So this is polymer case 2011, Oh there is a metal case head in there someplace, but the sidewalls are plastic.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Case%20Lubrication/PolmerCasedAmmunition2011.jpg


There are two factors which lubricated cases could cause problems. The first are bottlenecked cases with too much headspace. A case with excessive headspace is going to peen the bolt face, lubricating the case will increase action peening. The second is for people who load over pressure cartridges. There is a tiny amount of load reduction on the bolt face with dry cases, remove that, and the load is 100% on the bolt face. But the real answer to that is not to load over pressure ammunition.

And one more. You need case friction with blackpowder cartridges. BPCR competitors stick a tube in the barrel and blow, to keep the fouling moist. Blackpowder shooters have reported that with slick cases (due to breath moisture) the cartridge case is pulled up the barrel . Blackpowder is real low pressure. Maybe their crimps are so strong that the crimp stretches the case up to the throat.

CozMoDan
January 9, 2012, 01:13 PM
Now that was a real answer!
Thanks,
The Coz

Carl N. Brown
January 9, 2012, 01:54 PM
Because dirty or corroded brass in a semi-auto is more likely to fail to extract or fail to eject than clean, shiny and pretty brass?

threoh8
January 9, 2012, 02:15 PM
Because shiny brass is easier to find when it's scattered on the ground or in the grass.

chrt396
January 9, 2012, 02:23 PM
I've been using strictly corn cob as a media for my tumbler..but I bought some walnut the other day for giggles..and the walnut seems to clean the brass better than I've EVER seen the corn cob clean. Leaves kind of a satin finish on the brass..whereas the corncob makes it a bit shinier. Think I'll mix them!!!!

dpease4
January 9, 2012, 03:28 PM
Easier to see case problems, easier on the dies and pride in a finished product.

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