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Case Cleaning

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dispatch55126, Jan 3, 2009.

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  1. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    Is tumbling brass required or are the liquid solvents sufficient? Tumbling makes sense but at the same time the solvents such as Iosso would appear to do a better job with decapped brass. If it truly removes all carbon and fouling, it would do a better job at cleaning the primer pocket. This and the time difference would seem to be an advantage.
     
  2. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I've never used the liquid solvents you speak of, so I won't comment on those. A tumbler is not necessary like a chrono isn't. Both are nice to have but not necessary. It really depends on how your brass needs to be for you to be happy. At the least the brass should be cleaned in some fashion to keep trash out of your dies.

    Here is what I do. Mix 1c water, 1c white vinegar, 1tsp salt, and 1tsp dish soap. Add brass and stir every 5 min for about 30 min and then rinse in clean water. Dry and go. That will remove most dirt, rocks, etc, and clean off some of the tarnish if present. At that point it is clean enough to start the loading process if you don't wanna tumble it to make it pretty. I do all my brass decapped and washing then tumbling cleans out the primer pockets enough for me. Hope this helps.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    All liquid brass cleaning solvents require flushing with water and/or let dry or oven bake. All time consuming and increases the chance of loading a wet case and fouling the powder.

    I'll stick with my ol' Lyman Tumbler. No fuss, no muss...And before some one says that they have a problem with media getting stuck in the primer pockets and flash holes. Let me remind you that I use a tumbler media that is fine enough to pass through the flash hole...:D
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    You must be standing on your nerve. he he
     
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Yeh...That must be it, I guess. Maybe if I step to one side it will get better

    I've noticed that tonight a few of us are having this problem...
     
  6. andcam

    andcam Member

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    I use the birchwood casey liquid brass cleaner and it works great!
     
  7. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Member

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    I too use the Birchwod Casey at times for badly tarnished brass as a precurser to tumbling ( like em purty ) but be warned not to feed nickle plated brass to most chemical cleaners, will turn them black and no amount of polishing will fix them . If in doubt just try a little on the neck of one case before you commit your entire lot of brass .
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Too funny. :D
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    That's right, Walkalong. Get a man when he's down...
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Only time I can. :D

    I see now that the system was getting a lot of folks last night. :)
     
  11. grsjax

    grsjax Member

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    I use a cup of cheap ammonia cleaner in a gallon of water for the first rinse followed by a cup of white vinager in a gallon of water for the second rinse. I put the brass in the first solution for about 10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes. They go straight into the second solution for about 5 minutes stirred continuiously. Rinse with clean water and dry. Leaves the brass clean and shiny but will not remove heavy tarnish.
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I've been doing the 'pet store thing' and unable to find media that won't get lodged as you indicated. While it's easy enough to check and clear on 9mm, it gives me worries on 223. So 223 is simply decapped and washed in hot water with Tide detergent around here. However I'd like to tumble the rifle brass too.

    Any suggestions on better sources?
     
  13. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    media stuck in the primer hole is a self correcting non existent problem----
    it disappears at the depriming/sizing station.
     
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Apologies. I should have clarified.

    The corn cob media I'm finding at my local pet stores (and I have checked quite a few here in Atlanta area) comes in 1 basic size which varies between 1/8 and 1/4 dia. While it goes in and cleans a 9mm very well, and sometimes gets lodged in the primer pocket (which is no big deal as Mr Clay pointed out), it goes in the mouth of a 223 and doesn't want to come back out.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Grainger

    14/20 Grit

    20/40 Grit

    They don't charge shipping if you pick it up at the store. I am lucky to have one close to where I work. :)
     
  16. Daniel1120

    Daniel1120 Member

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    I deprime first then clean them in iosso. Rinse with water and throw in the oven to dry. Next I tumble them, and inspect. I always heard tumblers contribute greatly to lead poisoning, so I try to clean them before the tumbler. Iosso does not ruin nickel plated brass.

    Walkalong, does graingers corn cob get dusty? If so what do you add to stop it?
     
  17. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    STOP IT! Ammonia attacks the brass in your cartridge cases, removing the copper from the brass. The result is weakened brass, unable to withstand pressure. DO NOT USE AMMONIA ON ANY BRASS CASING.

    Why do you suppose they put ammonia in bore cleaner? To remove the copper from the bore, put there by the bullets.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Please.
     
  19. grsjax

    grsjax Member

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    "STOP IT! Ammonia attacks the brass in your cartridge cases, removing the copper from the brass. The result is weakened brass, unable to withstand pressure. DO NOT USE AMMONIA ON ANY BRASS CASING."

    Technically you are right but using a very weak ammonia solution and immediately rinsing with a weak acid reduces the leaching to a negligible amount. If I was using a concentrated ammonia solution and leaving the brass in there for a couple of hours I might have a problem. I have been a chemist for 30 years and am completely aware of the effect of different chemicals on brass. Haven't had a case fail on me yet. your mileage may vary so I am not advocating that anyone else follow my example.

    Used to use dish washing soap but the cheap ammonia does a better job.
     
  20. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Dezincification of Brass- Chemist's Opinion Please

    grsjax, Can you tell me if this mix will do damage to brass cases? "1 pint of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of detergent". Mix the solution in container. Shake 10 minutes with brass. Rinse 10 minutes clean water. Sun dry. This was printed in an NRA reprint of loading for the 45 acp many years ago. I have used it for many years. But have had problems with brass becoming brittle in 223 LC brass. http://www.hghouston.com/coppers/brass75.htm [​IMG] The brass in the photo was being neck sized. Some have seperated on firing also. I have been reloading 40 years, first time i have run into this.
     
  21. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    We've been told repeatedly that the ammonia contained in Brasso will render brass un-usable,(when used in a tumbler to shine up the brass). It too is a tiny amount, then some say it evaporates, so it can't affect the brass.

    I will NOT use a liquid cleaner containing ammonia, or an abrasive such as Brasso in a tumbler. While brass is comparatively cheap, I don't want it falling apart while being fired.

    What you're saying is, what we've been hearing is false, it doesn't matter?
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  23. grsjax

    grsjax Member

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    "grsjax, Can you tell me if this mix will do damage to brass cases? "1 pint of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of detergent"."

    That is a pretty acidic solution and the salt isn't helping any. I guess it would depend on how long you expose the brass to the solution and the composition of the brass. If the brass has a relatively high zinc content it will be effected more than one with less zinc. That said I would cut the vinegar with more water and leave out the salt. The reason you use the vinegar in the first place is that it is very effective at removing oily/greasy deposits on the brass. No need for that much to get the job done.

    Almost forgot. You need to use something to neutralize the acid. Try adding a little baking soda to the rinse water.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  24. grsjax

    grsjax Member

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    "We've been told repeatedly that the ammonia contained in Brasso will render brass un-usable,(when used in a tumbler to shine up the brass). It too is a tiny amount, then some say it evaporates, so it can't affect the brass.

    I will NOT use a liquid cleaner containing ammonia, or an abrasive such as Brasso in a tumbler. While brass is comparatively cheap, I don't want it falling apart while being fired.

    What you're saying is, what we've been hearing is false, it doesn't matter?"

    I am not saying anything. Just providing information on what I use. A weak solution of ammonia works very well for removing powder residue and soot.
     
  25. BigCheese

    BigCheese Member

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    Ammonia and brass

    The most dangerous form of attack by ammonia is not leaching or dezincification. Aqueous solutions of ammonia cause "stress corrosion" which causes the boundaries between the grains of the brass to separate. This can occur without any significant weight loss from dissolving the brass.

    Attached is a photo showing this condition. You may be a chemist for 30 years, but not a metallurgist. I am a metallurgist, and even more of an old timer than you (45 years practice). See my website rdkraft.com

    For this cracking to occur, both a tensile stress and ammonia are needed. This would make neck cracking where the brass has been expanded a primary location for failure.
     

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