Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bullet sealer removal?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 119er, Nov 20, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 119er

    119er Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Houston
    Has anyone had experience removing the tar like bullet sealer from pulled down ammunition? I purchased a thousand pieces of "primed" LC 12 brass which translates into pulled ball ammo (really should have guessed that). I eventually had to deprime and ultrasonic clean them to remove stuck powder in the neck and in the case. A .45 caliber bronze brush on a drill would not dislodge the powder! Back to the point, as I FL size the brass to get the necks concentric, this tar gums up the expander ball every five rounds. I have noiced that brake cleaner dissolves this tar easily. Will it damage the brass? Has anyone found a better way?
     
  2. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,794
    I'm not all that experienced in this, but the only bullet sealer I've ever seen was a very thin varnish-like substance that was fairly brittle applied to the exterior at the bullet-case juncture. It appeared to be identical to primer sealant.

    Are you sure what you removed was old powder? Generally powder doesn't decompose like you've described so I'd think the "tar" was some sort of "disabling" substance designed to discourage use. But that's just a left field thought. Did you try and [safely] ignite a bit of the stuff to see if it would burn?

    But I can tell you this, if I had cases with crud on them or in them a drill and brush couldn't remove I'd be very wary of using them. In fact, I wouldn't. Too many concerns over weakened cases and consistent case volume and too much good and cheap once-fired cases available.

    This may or may not be relevant:
    http://archery.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=219468
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  3. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    350
    I'd stand them mouth down in 1/2" of lacquer thinner. If brake clean will dissolve the tar, lacquer thinner will certainly do it. Run a cleaning patch up into the mouth to finish cleaning. Keep the mouth down, you don't want any of this to run back and inert the primers.

    Rubber band a half dozen or so and dip them together. Swish it around to speed up the cleaning.
     
  4. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    Trichloroethane.

    Nasty stuff but it works. Don't breath too much it will mess up your brain.

    Not available in all areas...like Cali.

    Basically you are trying to remove asphalt and pine pitch.

    Info buried in here See Slide 16 in particular.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  5. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    Brake cleaner works.
     
  6. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  7. poco loco

    poco loco Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    I use Mineral Spirits and a Scotch pad to remove the asphalt from the bullets as I have a can full of 173 fmjbt from the days of Mexican Match ammo.

    I think a little of the scrubbie on a brush and dipped in the mineral spirits would do the same for the case necks. Then just rinse the loose stuff off in a small bowl of the solvent maybe bother to rerinse in Dawn and water to remove the solvent, dry and shoot.
     
  8. 119er

    119er Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Houston
    Thank you all for the many responses and links! Brownells sells TCE by quart and gallon. I deprimed all the cases and will probably soak them in a closed container then agitate and drain, filter, repeat until I'm done. I was unsure whether there were solvents that were harmful to brass. This "cheap brass" sure is getting expensive!
     
  9. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    I would try mineral spirits, then acetone, maybe even alcohol, before resorting to lacquer thinner, brake cleaner, and more toxic stuffs.

    I'm betting mineral spirits does the job.

    The problem with simply soaking/agitating in solvents is it'll dissolve the majority of the "body/carrier" of the tar, but it might leave some black grime on the necks. So you might still want to roll the cases around in a towel and run a neck brush through them, immediately after removing from the bath.

    I've tried solvent baths to remove lubricant, and this removes all the lubricant quite nicely. But it still leaves the black rings on the neck and top of the shoulder. So I finish by shaking the cases around on a piece of solvent soaked paper towel in the bottom of a baking dish. Same solvent, but the paper towel gives the residue some place it'd rather stick than the brass.

    I wonder if an M die wouldn't make your life easier, either? I'm simply amazed how much less effort the M die requires, compared to an expander ball. I have also just finished loading a batch of cast 223 bullets in brass that was freshly trimmed and outside chamfered, with no inside chamfer at all. I didn't have a single hitch during seating, but I haven't put the rounds on paper, yet. Next go around, I'm going to try no outside chamfer, either, at least on my rifle brass that I'm going to crimp, anyway. The more saved time, the better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  10. 119er

    119er Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Houston
    What is an M die? I am currently using an RCBS small base 308 Win die.
     
  11. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    Lyman M die.

    It is an expander die that pushes from the top like a pistol flaring die, rather than pulling through from the bottom.

    So instead of trying to give birth to a little expander ball baby, pulling the M die back out of the case is much easier since it has already flared the neck on the upstroke. And there's a little oversize step at the top of the expanding rod that flares the end of the case mouth just above bullet diameter. So you can easily seat flat base bullets and even oversize cast bullets without even any case chamfer! But this is optional. If you don't want the extra flare, you can just unscrew the expander a little.

    It's also groovy for removing the crimp from pulled, primed cases when you don't have to resize the case/neck. Say the bullet you're going to load is at least as big or bigger than the pulled bullet. Should work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  12. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    TCA and TCE are normally used where Hexane and Stoddard Solvent (aka mineral spirits) are less than or ineffective. BTW Mineral Spirits contains a percentage of Hexane. There is a reason that they use TCA in the production of the ammo in the first place.

    When using TCE good ventilation is important, also wear gloves since it will dry the heck out of your skin by pulling the oil out.

    Added, Acetone and Isopropyl Alcohol (99.9%), and Methanol don't work very well. Methanol is pretty nasty in its own right too. BTDT.
     
  13. poco loco

    poco loco Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    The local hardware store sells the solvent you need and I would bet a lot cheaper, esp with shipping involved...

    Nitrile gloves and good ventilation and you will be done before you know it. Soak a few minutes then brush out the goo with a soft brush, rinse and you are reloading.
     
  14. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,859
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    Widener's sells them, and says this in their ad.
     
  15. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,378
    All I have ever used to get the tar off is lighter fluid (naptha). Melts it right down. Next time you're at the grocery store or gas station grab a can.
     
  16. saitek

    saitek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    231
    brass

    i just got through 400 round's i got from poly gun bags ,11-12 lc new brass ,it buggered u7p the expander ball with the powder in the neck .
    so i cleaned it out ,took some time but i used a small straight blade screwdriver to scrape the grain's loose and used a bronze .30 caliber bore brush in a small cordless mikita 12 volt drill driver to brush out the remining sealent ( it was clear ) .i am not gtoing to punch the primer's out they look ok .i cant see any reson to replace them you think ?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page