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How do you guys clean your brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tbui127, Dec 23, 2014.

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  1. tarakian

    tarakian Member

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    Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler with stainless steel pins, water, dish detergent, and lemi-shine. I run it for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on whether I'm in a hurry. 15 minutes gets the brass clean enough, an hour gets them like new. I separate and rinse in a RCBS rotary media separator and use a release magnet to get the stragglers.
     
  2. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I usually throw my brass in a batch of Simple Green as soon as I get back from the range and walk away for 1-2 hours. I rinse it and let it dry, tumble in Walnut Lizard Litter for about 1 hour. I tumble again to remove the lubricant. I don't spend much time trying to make my brass look new. I haven't seen a performance differences between bright shinny brass and properly cleaned brass.
    I'm just not very picky about how new the brass looks.
     
  3. tbui127

    tbui127 Member

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    So brass runs through the dies better with armoall wash and wax vs lemishine and soap? how so? does the lemishine and soap make the brass a little hard even after lube?
     
  4. Dframe

    Dframe Member

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    For REALLY filthy brass, I use a citric acid bath. Then into the basket of dry corncob with a dab of "Rapid Polish". I like to keep the brass clean but I'm not fanatic about how shiny it is.
     
  5. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Im thinking all these cases end up about the same, whatever the mode of cleaning.
    I mean, mine get really really clean with a dry tumble in walnut. Are yall telling me (not necessarily on this thread but I see it often) that one of these other methods get them really, really , really clean? (or that you can actually tell the difference? )
     
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The only requirement is to have the brass free of foreign material so they do not scratch the dies or brass. A polish is not necessary. For years I did not own a tumbler. I just hand wiped them clean before I loaded them. For handgun (357mag) I would buy Ni since they would not tarnish.
     
  7. tbui127

    tbui127 Member

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    Absolutely not. I think my dry tumbler will still have a purpose when I decide to get a cheap wet tumbler setup from Harbor Freight. I'll probably be using my dry tumbler to give the brass a nice polish and to take off the lube on my 223 brass when i venture into rifle reloading. I might give the wet tumbling a try even though its a little bit more work. the first batch of 45 ACP were still dirty after I tumbled them for a few hours with the dry tumbler. I bought them once fired from monmouth brass. I didn't like still having carbon residue left on my fingertips. Maybe i'll use the dry tumbler after I shoot the reloads and the wet tumbler for any brass I buy that will be dirty.
     
  8. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Member

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    Yes to all (Sorry for the late reply).

    For my guns though, I use Simple Green for the stainless parts and Simple Green Blue (Aerospace) for anything that might contain aluminum.

    An additional bonus is that I can fit a bicycle cassette in it as well for cleaning. I put a ton of miles on by bicycles in the spring/summer/fall and like things to be sort of clean when I put them away.
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I keep it pretty basic.

    After resizing, trimming, ream/chamfering, and cleaning the primer pockets on bottle necks, I clean as much lube off with alcohol soaked rag prior to tumbling. Depending in how bad they look, I tumble in walnut for 6 - 8 hrs.. If they're pretty nasty I'll let them go over night.

    GS
     
  10. wlkjr

    wlkjr Member

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    The brass that I sent you but you haven't picked up yet was done in a vibratory cleaner for a couple of hours in walnut media. You be the judge if it's clean enough.
     
  11. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Seems as if everyone has their own way of cleaning brass. Just like lube for cast bullets everyone has their own mix.

    If I recall the OP wanted to know what the SS pins do. With the lemshine / citric acid and Dawn or other detergent the brass comes out of the tumbler looking like NEW.
    No other tumbling needed, clean inside and out. Decapping before tumbling and the primer pockets are spotless and brass cleaned with the pins will resize easier.

    The pins remove the carbon from the case necks and less effort is required to pull the expander ball through the neck.
     
  12. Toprudder
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    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    Yes. The Armor All has carnauba wax in it that leaves a thin protective film. It stays shinier, and it seems to run through the dies easier.

    I've noticed the dawn/lemishine cleaned brass would sometimes darken up a little after several days. They also seemed to drag a little on the expander die compared to the Armor All.
     
  13. Longhorn 76

    Longhorn 76 Member

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    With revolver and rifle brass, it never gets too dirty. So I vibrate them in corn cob.

    The pistol brass gets really bad. Rocks, mud, etc. I will not run that through my dies. I should say that I am real cheap. I considered the wet tumbler with pins, but it costs a lot. I have a rotary separator I use to separate the corn cob from the brass. When I bring in the nasty pistol brass, I put it in the separator, and fill the tub with water, citric acid, and car wash soap. I tumble the basket by hand for a while. No pins, and the brass has not been de-primed. The agitation of the cases gets them clean on the outside, and gets all of the mud and dirt out. The inside does not get new-sparkly clean, but the outside looks as good as with the pins.

    And it is cheap!
     
  14. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    That is true. After the brass is cleaned thoroughly and left to sit, it will develop a slight patina. :)
     
  15. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Wet with stainless, lemishine and dawn. Started this way and no desire to try any different. I don't deprime before tumbling
     
  16. arspeukinen

    arspeukinen Member

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    i use frankford tumbler and rice or commercial tumbling media. turtle car wax for shine. no need for anything fancier.
     
  17. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Member

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    POTATOHEAD - There's a difference between "clean enough" and reloadable brass that you can't tell from Factory new...ESPECIALLY inside the primer pockets. HF double tumbler, ss pins, Dawn dish soap, water, and Lemi-shine. If the primer pockets aren't absolutely spotless, then there's a chance for a high primer, FTF, etc. After loading, THEN I vibratory tumble with corn cob and nu-finish to clean up the rounds and prevent them from tarnishing.....
     
  18. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Never cleaned a primer pocket and never had any trouble from not doing it.
     
  19. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Member

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    COLTPYHONELITE - You won't have any trouble...except the one time you NEED to depend on it...
     
  20. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The only ones I clean are rifle. Waste of time trying to clean 20k primer pockets on handgun ammo. Been doing it this way for nearly 4 decades and no problem and thousands and thousands of rounds. As long as the primer is seated firmly you will not have a problem.
     
  21. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I use corncob, and start it when I'm home for lunch, shut it off when get home at night.
     
  22. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Straight into the tumbler upon return from the range.
    Corn Cob & Nufinish - Amount of time in the tumbler, depends on how dirty the brass is & how dirty the media is.

    I also tumble after sizing/depriming if the brass is lubed.
     
  23. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

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    Bought some surplus once fired 30-06 brass from the late 60's,HXP, dirty nasty brass. Ran the the brass for 4-5hrs with new walnut, took the skank off got a slight shine to it but still not great looking stuff and not really sure I wanted this brass going through my Redding dies and M1 Garand.
    Got a Frankford SS wet tumbler shortly after and tried that same batch of brass. After a hour I opened up the tumbler pulled out a few cases and they looked better then brand new!! Is there a difference...its day and night.
     
  24. higgite

    higgite Member

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    Hornady vibrating tumbler, crushed walnut from the pet store and a dab or 2 of Flitz Tumbler Media Additive, 2-4 hours.
     
  25. LocoGringo

    LocoGringo Member

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    I have a similar experience. A buddy of mine tried tumbling some 30-06 brass in corn cob he had saved from 20 years ago. It still had quite a bit of "patina" on it. I had told him how I did my brass and he was curious if my method would take care of his brass...for that matter, I was curious myself. So, I went through my normal routine for his brass and it came out shiny as brand new. He wasn't sure it was the same brass.

    There most definitely IS a difference.
     
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