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Best way to clean plated brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GaryL, May 6, 2014.

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  1. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Don't feel like re-inventing the wheel, and a quick search failed to turn up anything specific on cleaning plated brass. So, hope to tap into the collective wisdom of THR.

    Backstory, I was given some old, old brass by an old fart who never reloads anymore, and has been selling off his stuff. I tote him around to local gun shows when I'm going, so occasionally he returns the favor. In this case, it was a box of 200-300 cases in mixed small cans and boxes. The best part is ~50 cases of 45-70, plated. If I get 2 or 3 reloads out of that, I will be thrilled. There's also maybe 100 plated 38 spl. It's all very dirty and needs to be tumbled or cleaned.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Tumble it just like any other brass.

    It will come out looking like new.

    rc
     
  3. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    yup, what he said
     
  4. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I always thought tumbling it would remove the plating. But if not, in the tumbler it goes.

    I've been saving up plated brass for a few years, not having any compelling reason to deal with it, so it's time to make use of it.
     
  5. joustin

    joustin Member

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    I tumble it in stainless steel and it doesn't affect the plating
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I use a vibratory machine, some corn and walnut media and a little polish - come out slick and clean like new
     
  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Over many shooting, resizing and tumbling cycles, the nickel plating may begin to wear off exposing the brass case underneath. The operative word is may.

    No big deal, just keep using them until they crack or get lost.

    If you want the bling for your carry loads, set these cases with the thinning nickel plating aside for pratice.

    I have some nickel plated 38 Special cases that look they have a nickel wash instead of a real plating job.

    Occasionally, a case, or a few cases in a batch were not plated correctly and the plating may flake off. But this is very rare and not worth worrying about. I cannot remember the last time I found a case with flaking off plating, maybe in the 1990s but I have certainly slept since then.
     
  8. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Bling bling.

    Looks like that worked out ok.

    :)
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    FWIW I have a pile of 38 SPL plated brass that has been shot and cleaned so much the only place the plating is left is in the headstamp and around the rim groove. Also some of it the headstamp is almost gone as well. As above clean as usual and load. If cleaning a bunch of plated only in corn cob or walnut the time to clean them is about 1/3-1/2 that of regular brass for complete cleaning in my tumbler.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yes, I have some 38 Special nickel plated cases that have been tumbled so much that they look like brass cases when mixed with nickel plated cases but look like nickel plated cases when mixed with brass cases.:)
     
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