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case cleaning experiment .....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by poor man, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. poor man

    poor man Member

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    ok so i decided to try an experiment, looking for something to clean old brass, i had some old 9mm cases that were black and dirty, i ran them for almost 24 hours in the vibrator cleaner and no change, so....

    first two were soaked about 24 hours in "AWESOME CLEANER CALCIUM LIME RUST remover) it worked so so

    second two was soaked in some of my wife's "jewelry cleaning liquid" (no she dont know) lol

    third four was soaked in "CLR bathroom cleaner"

    as you can see the CLR cleaned all the black off and shined the brass BUT it does make for an ugly looking case.....

    DISCLAIMER !! i dont know if this does any damage to the cases it was just an experiment to see what cleaned weathered cases....


    [​IMG]
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Your pink cases are pretty much ruined.

    That means either the weather that caused the black brass, or the harsh cleaner leached the zinc out of the cartridge brass alloy.

    Next time, just try some vinegar.
    Its not as harsh.

    1 pint water
    1 cup white vinegar
    1 tablespoon dishwashing or laundry detergent
    1 tablespoon salt

    rc
     
  3. poor man

    poor man Member

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    RC is that just soaking them or is that in a tumbler? i just soaked these, and they were pretty bad cases thats why i "experimented" on them :)

    thanks
     
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    What I would like to know is what causes brass to turn dark green? I have this one 7mm RM case that turned a glossy dark green and has a varnished look, and no matter what I do with it it doesn't change at all. I've actually reloaded it in it's current color, and it doesn't do anything bad or unusual?

    GS
     
  5. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I use a version of RC's recipe (actually less vinegar by volume) and with them just sitting there, a lot of the much comes off and ends up floating in the water. A few rinses and the brass is pretty darn clean. Not polished by any means, and still some gunk in the primer pockets usually, but clean.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, just soak & shake or stir them a little.

    rc
     
  7. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  8. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    I run mine in a vibratory tumbler using walnut or corncob media with a few tablespoons of mineral spirits paint thinner. Anything not cleaned by a few hours of this treatment either gets loaded anyway or trashed, depending if it's pitted or not.
     
  9. murf

    murf Member

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    a green color is "rust", or oxidation from the brass.

    murf
     
  10. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    I do similar to rc but used lemon juice vs vinegar (it was what I had).

    I use a Simply Orange bottle for it's wide mouth and good secure lid. Add an acid (lemon juice but will likely go to vinegar next time since I now have some) and water at about 1:3, put in a good 100 or so cases, shake it real good, let it sit 15 minutes, shake it real good, let it sit about 15 minutes, shake it real good again. Gets them real clean.

    I'll reuse that solutions a few times then dump it in the sink if I'm not going to clean another batch of cases. The solution gets really dirty within a few batches.

    Once clean I just refill the bottle with clean water and shake it reall good to rinse the cases. I'll dump and refill with clean water about 3 times per batch of cleaned cases to ensure I have all acid out.

    The I just dry my cases on an expanded metal deck table out in the sun until dry later in the day.

    While I don't tumble polish my cases very often I still insist on clean before running them through my dies or before polishing in my tumbler.

    Andy
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I usually just tumble the dark cases with the other cases. Then reload them, why bother soaking them, they are already degraded.

    1. you will loose them quicker

    2. they will split sooner, no matter what you do to/with them.
     
  12. MR835

    MR835 Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  13. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    Those "rock polisher" tumblers were the first brass cleaners I recall seeing. Befor e they came along the most we did was shake cases around in hot soapy water if we did anything.

    When the first vibratory cleaner came around I bought one (Lyman) because I liked the dry media approach. Used corn cob, pecan or walnut hull, and rice before settling on walnut.

    Dropped out of the hobby and when I came back I just deprimed my cases, shook them around in vinegar, soaked in hot soapy water, then rinsed with hot water and let the dry out on a spread out towel. They worked fine.

    About that time someone posted similar experiments and results as the OP.

    Back with a vibratory cleaner (Cabela's) and walnut media.

    Happy as a clam.

    TB
     
  14. Squeaky Wheel

    Squeaky Wheel Member

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    I read in ABCs of Reloading that when you soak brass you should de-prime first, but it doesn't explain WHY. Can anyone elaborate on whether or not it's important to de-prime before you soak, and if so, why?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  15. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Member

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    Primers contain Mercury Fulminate and is quite toxic and dangerous. Therefore best to remove before exsposing to cleaners and chemicals which when wet can end up on your skin and raise havoc with your health. Better to than not to.

    10 Spot
     
  16. david_r

    david_r Member

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    Pretty sure mercury primers went away along with the 19th century. The current ones do contain lead. I would rather have lead in a solution than floating around in the air.

    Ease of cleaning the primer pockets. Ease of drying the cases would be two reasons I would deprime before soaking.
     
  17. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    "Ease of cleaning the primer pockets. Ease of drying the cases would be two reasons I would deprime before soaking."
    ^+1

    Especially drying of the primer pockets. I have heard if cleaned wet, then dried, the deprimed later the primer pockets can be found to still be wet. At best this delays priming, at worst you don't notice and end up with a bunch of wet primer duds and a long day with a bullet puller.

    Also something I discovered with the ultrasonic cleaning (wouldn't be as much of an issue if just shaking around in a bucket) is if the cases are not deprimed, and orient tipped downwards they trap air and keep the cleaner from contacting alot of the interior surface. If the case is deprimed the flash hole lets the air out and allows cleaner to contact most of the interior surface more easily.
     
  18. rogn

    rogn Member

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    One of the better solutions is "sour salt" or citric acid- used for pickling. Grocery stores used to carry it and may still in the rural areas. Im also told GNC or other vitamin stores may carry it. Deprime cases first, cleans pockets facilitates drying. A level tablespoon of salt in HOT water; add a few drops of detergent to break down oils. With a bit of sloshing and shaking will easily clean 100 handgun cases. May do 556 or 762, just havent needed to clean them. !5 minutes is probably max soak time, good rinse and air dry. Different cases may take different soak times-try to avoid the leaching(pink color). Cases come up clean and reasonably shiny.
     
  19. david_r

    david_r Member

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    How much water you using there? I think I used about 1/4 TEASPOON in a gallon or two of water and they came out pretty clean.

    Every town has a brew shop (or should). Citric acid is used in brewing and wine making.
     
  20. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Those were the old corrosive primers.
     
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