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Brass cleaning methods???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Citadel99, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Citadel99

    Citadel99 Well-Known Member

    With a few moves and little kids running around my reloading, and shooting for that matter, has taken a back seat for the past three years. Starting to get the presses fired back up and hitting the reloading forum and have been seeing a lot of posts on ultra sonic cleaners and stainless steel pellet cleaners.

    Pardon my ignorance but all I've known is vibratory tumbling and I had thought it was doing the job for me. Have I been missing out on something or is this a Ford/Chevy argument?

  2. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa Well-Known Member

    Somewhat ford vs Chevy thing but we all know Chevy is better:neener:
    I still use walnut and BBs in a vibe. A lot of people are wet tumbling with ss media cause the ss never wears out and the brass is extremely bright :rolleyes:
    Everyone has their own way, key is clean brass no matter the method.
    Welcome back and congrats on knocking the dust off your press.
    The pitter patter of small feet warm my heart especially when the little person shows great interest in the hobby, my youngest is self proclaimed ballistic
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I will keep on using my tumbler/corn cob....Thank the Lord for the big block Ford.:D
  4. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Well-Known Member

    FE dittos to ya ColtPythonElite!
    ...and while your thanking the Lord, how about the 289/306hp!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  5. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Well-Known Member

  6. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    I started out a couple years ago with ultra sonic cleaning. It gets your brass clean but I've moved on to crushed walnut (I add Mother's chrome polish to the media) in a vibratory cleaner. Most ultra sonic cleaners are pretty small unless you spend a few hundred bucks on them, and the brass just doesn't shine like it does with walnut. Not to mention you have to dry the brass with an ultra sonic. I have no experience with SS Lin wet tumbling but the results I see people post look nicer than what walnut is capable of.
  7. z7

    z7 Well-Known Member

    For quickness i clean with a milk jug of hot water + soap + lemishine. Dry in 200 degree oven then tumble in corn cob. 200 PCs of 40s&w shiny in 2 hrs is good enough for me. Honestly after an hour in lemishine they are good enough, but I like them shiny
  8. kerreckt

    kerreckt Well-Known Member

    Depending on the condition of the brass I will use citric acid and hot water, sometimes. Cleans inside and out. But my old standby is vibrator, walnut shells and my 302 Ford pickup.
  9. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Well-Known Member

    I recently started using SS/Dawn/Lemishine to get the primer pockets and inside of the cases absolutely Factory CLEAN. I size/deprime first, then SS tumble. After they're completely dry, I prime/bell the mouths. After loading I tumble in walnut in the viberatory tumbler. I am an absolute maniac for CLEAN reloads...before and after reloading.
  10. Steven57

    Steven57 Well-Known Member

    I use cheap tumbler and water/steel media. A little dish soap and lemonade plus 4 hours and look brand new. Sort while watching X Files reruns.
  11. Gadawg88

    Gadawg88 Well-Known Member

    I dry tumble. I don't like the idea of having to dry my brass. If you are already set up to dry tumble, no need to invest money in a wet tumbler rig. Spend that money on components. I am not in any way bashing wet tumbling. It works great from what I have seen. Just two different ways to get to the same place.
  12. spitballer

    spitballer Well-Known Member

    I've never used a tumbler so I can't comment on them, although I suspect they must do a pretty good job or they wouldn't have sold so well over the years. I bought a small, unheated ultrasonic cleaner some time back for around $50 on sale. I can pre-heat the solution in the microwave and get REMARKABLY clean cases in about ten minutes. However, there are two areas wher my cleaner falls short: the base of the case on the inside, and under the shoulder on the inside. Fortunately my .223 cases are small and are easily finished with cotton swabs when they are still wet. I plan on using one cotton swab per case, so I go through about fifty swabs every time I clean a box of fifty cases. I swirl them around on the bottom and up under the shoulder to wipe off the still-wet carbon before drying. Yes, the swabs are a pain to have to use, but the remaining carbon comes off quite easily and leaves, again, a REMARKABLY clean case in short order. Good luck to you whatever your choice.
  13. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

    Some of us drive Studebakers and have tumbled brass wet, dry and using a vibe cleaner. Whick way you do it can depend on quantity and for that it is hard to beat a large bown viberating machine. At one time I had an extra clothes dryer sitting around and was thinking about taking the paddles out and using it with five gallons buckets of brass and media......fortunately for me mt brass source dried up before I had to go that route.
  14. PJSprog

    PJSprog Well-Known Member

    I've always used #0000 steel wool with my Lee Zip Trim. Clean enough for me.
    Guess I'm no help here.
  15. scottishkat

    scottishkat Well-Known Member

    Check out Thumlers tumbler

    I am seriously considering the thumlers tumbler I hear really good things about it. It is a Ford or Chevy argument though. My dad has been loading brass for 50 years the only cleaning his get is a brush through the inside and that's it. Looks really bad.

    Chevy was okay until they became a Mexican company. As for me I like clean brass and Ford:neener:. Not neccesarily in that order.

    Good luck and shoot straight

  16. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Well-Known Member

    I started wet tumbling with SS pins/Dawn/Lemi-Shine because cleaning the primer pockets was always a pain and didn't do the job to my satisfaction...no matter what method I used. Now, with NO effort, they come out like new unfired. Once I'm done loading, I use the vibratory tumbler/walnut to clean up any "mess" on the outside.
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^ I use this exact method myself. BUT prefer my 390 AMC Rambler Scrambler engine I have transplanted into my CJ.
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^ I use this exact method myself. BUT prefer my 390 AMC Rambler Scrambler engine I have transplanted into my CJ.
  19. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I wash, then let dry in the sun on the patio table then rotary tumble my brass with either corn cob or walnut shells. Always on the lookout for a larger rotary tumbler. Would love to have one with a 5-gallon bucket that tumbles.
  20. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    2 words, concrete mixer.

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