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Washing Brass Pistol Success

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dashootist, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. Good idea

    18 vote(s)
    78.3%
  2. Bad idea

    5 vote(s)
    21.7%
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  1. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    Decided to wash my 45ACP brasses--about 300 pieces. Dumped all into a
    bucket along with some Arm&Hammer laundry detergent and lots of hot
    water. Put on a pair of gloves. Stick my hand into bucket. Stirred and shake
    and toss for about 10 minutes. I was going to swipe each piece with
    cloth, but didn't because they were already quite clean. Rinse. Put each
    brass open side down on old plywood to dry. Next day, reloaded a few rounds.
    Work just fine in Dillon. Actually feels cleaner than ones from the tumbler.

    No toxic dust. No expensive media and tumbler. A bit more time.
    Brass not polished pretty though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  2. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I do something similar before I deprime, then I tumble in corncob w/Nu-Finish. Keeps my press much cleaner. I usually wash 400-500 9mm (# comfortable in my tumbler)and it takes about 20 mins the way I do it. I use a bucket and garden hose set to 'stun' for the rinse-off.

    I like my brass shiny AND slippery. It doesn't hurt to have less friction in the mag.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  3. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Got a friend that uses this method but he uses Dawn dishwashing detergent, works for him and he likes it. He's an old time reloader, been reloading since the 60's.

    Myself I like the tumbler method and its not expensive, Cabela's still has their tumbler available for $50.00, media available from DrillSpot "google it" runs $22/24 bucks for a 40 lb. bag at your door, thats .60 cents a lb, if anyone considers that expensive in todays world, well I just don't know what to say, couple of teaspoons of left over auto polishfrom the garage and there you go with shinney brass. Much easier to find in the grass, and the other shooters ask, Are those really reloads. Gives one something to be proud of.

    Toxic dust? Keep the lid on when tumbling and use a cut up dryer sheet in the tumbler=no dust.
     
  4. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I washed mine in a combination of H2O , Vinegar, dash of dish soap... I'm forgetting one ingredient. But I took a rare excursion to the big city and spent a months pay in Cabella's. On a whim I bought a tumbler and medium. Hmmm... I like this:)
     
  5. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    A lot of dust when pouring media and brass into separator and more dust when turning separator. Need safety mask. Don't have drying machine, so no dryer sheet.

    That's crazy. How do they make profit?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If it works for you and you like it then stick with it. You won't do any damage to the brass or the ammo you build and like you said, no primer dust.

    I like my tumbler with a 50/50 mix of walnut and corn cob so I'll use that.
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Thats non of our consern.

    Use a few pieces of old rags. pieces of bath tolels, old flannel shirts, old bed sheets most anything will catch and hold the dust. Throw them away with every use.

    Other option is to do it outside, use common sense, don't stand on the downwind side.
     
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Not a bad idea or a good one IMO. Too much trouble to go through and no benefit over dropping them in a tumbler. Washing doesn't clean up the brass that's discolored and doesn't polish them back up. Moisture inside the case will degrade the powder and/or cause misfires or squibs.
     
  9. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Anytime my brass comes in off the range dirty, it gets washed and dried in the oven before resizing. I don't want my dies getting scratched.
     
  10. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Tumbler, corn cob media and 2 capfuls of Nu-Finish= Nice shiney brass.
     
  11. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Member

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  12. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I've never done it in the sink, dishwasher, or washing machine.

    I've only used acetone or gasoline to rinse shells clean and strip the lube off.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Probably pay a nickle a silo for it.
     
  14. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    You can also use a paper towel cut up into 1-2" squares, or simply rip it up.

    Used dryer sheets work better than new ones because the open weave does a better job at trapping the dust. After several tumbles with the dryer sheets/paper towels (always using a clean sheet with each tumble), there is almost no tan dust being left in the sheets, only stuff from the cases that are captured and no dust at all while pouring the stuff into the sifter.
     
  15. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    I still haven't bought a tumbler. I also wash my brass. Oven dry. 250 for 20 minutes makes em bone-dry.
     
  16. Copernicus

    Copernicus Member

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    I actually boil my brass in an old pot with dish soap, water and a squirt of lemon juice. Then rinse and bake on 200 for 15-20 min. Not super shiny brass but works like a champ
     
  17. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I wash the cases in a mix of Simple Green and water, dry them by putting them in a towel and slinging them around for a minute, and then tumble them. With this approach, I still get nice and shiny brass but without the issues of toxic tumbler dust.
     
  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I use two cups of white vinegar, 2 tbls of salt with enough water to make one gal. Drop brass in for 15 minutes or so.
    Drain and save solution, Rinse with fresh water and Lay it out in the Florida sun on the driveway in a frame made of 2x4"s and hardware cloth. Clean and shiny. If you want a brilliant shine than a hour in the tumbler. Media lasts much longer.
     
  19. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I don't think it's good or bad. It certainly wont hurt the brass. But my tumbler runs without any effort from me, so I'll stick with that.
     
  20. Mxracer239y

    Mxracer239y Member

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    I started this process this week. Brass comes out FAR cleaner, and if you take the time to deprime before tumbling, the primer pockets come out great too. It can be a little more work, dealing with the liquid and sorting. It is looking to be worth it thus far. I had two issues with vibratory tumbling; noise and dust. I live in a 'tight' apartment building, and the neighbors didn't appreciate the vibrations. The rotary is vastly quieter. The brass looking like new is only a convenient side effect.

    I picked up a Thumlers rotary tumbler off of ebay, and bought the media from the site you linked. Highly recommended.
     
  21. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    I just put up with the toxic dust. After all, a little toxic dust never hurt anybody, right?
     
  22. seal

    seal Member

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    Anyone use an old rock tumbler?
     
  23. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    Certainly that doesn't stop you from going to the store, buying a box, and then using them... does it? They'll last you a long time, get a small box and try it out. You'll need to run them a bit harder to get them to open up but they will work.

    The time involved in washing brass is just too high compared to tumbling for me. It takes 5 minutes of hands on time minutes to polish 1000 pieces to brilliance. I can spend the other 20 minutes people spend washing and drying brass to load ammo or relax.
     
  24. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    20 minutes?

    I put the case in the sink with soap, let em soak. Rinse them in a strainer and shake em off. Then put them in the toaster oven and let em dry. That's probably less than 5 minutes of hand labor for me.
     
  25. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Don't use a new or "unused dryer sheet. Some of them will leave a nasty coating on your brass which is hard to get off. Used ones work much better.

    We do not use them very often but what works as well are used Handi wipes or any other name. I get the Wal Mart brand in the plastic container for use at the range.
     
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