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why do you need to clean brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Soundtrackzz, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. Soundtrackzz

    Soundtrackzz Member

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    Hey guys. ive started reloading awhile ago but havent really gotten into it until now. So im wondering why cleaning your brass and case prep is all that important. other than cosmetically does having clean brass do anything for accuracy or performance?

    thanks
     
  2. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Clean brass will give your sizing die less wear, case prep is important for safety reasons ie inspecting brass for faults, trimming to correct length etc.
     
  3. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    Like Remo-99 said and I like shinny brass. It makes it easier to find on the ground when mixed with non reloadable brass.
     
  4. hddeluxe

    hddeluxe Member

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    Remo hit the most important reasons for cleaning the brass. You do not want to ruin your dies by having small particles of sand or grit on your brass when you are sizing etc.
    As far as performance and accuracy in terms of case prep, the answer is yes. There are many match shooters who make case prep and loading a ritual in order to have the very best and most accurate rounds available for their particluar weapon.
     
  5. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    also depends on what you are shooting. If you load with liquid alox, lee or otherwise, you will find that some of the lube gets into your dies, and then gets onto your brass. It can build up, and even alter seating depth, plus it attracts grit which can wear the gun and the brass. It can also make the loaded rounds and empty brass more difficult to chamber/extract.
     
  6. Soundtrackzz

    Soundtrackzz Member

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    ok well let me ask you all this. Should you deprime your cases before you tumble them?
     
  7. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    I like to deprime with a universal decapper before tumbling so the primer pockets get a clean out also, but it's not critical and many folks tumble first before decapping in the sizing operation. So it basically just comes down to your personal preference. imo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  8. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    There is no accuracy advantage to cleaning your brass. Unless it's been rolled around in the dirt, simply firing a case does not put anything on the case that will harm your die. So, why clean brass? Only because it looks pretty and I like it to look pretty.
     
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Yup, beyond wiping off the dirt and dust with a rag for those cases that fell on the ground there's little real reason to polish cases other than I like them nice and shiney too. :)
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Why Brass Needs To Be Cleaned.

    Cleaning saves wear and tear on the dies. Bottle neck rifle brass needs to have the inside of the neck cleaned for top accuracy. The neck should be lubed and nylon brushed/cleaned inside before resizing. The primer should be left in when tumble cleaning to keep Media from blocking the flash hole when loading. The decapper will make sure the flash hole is open and clear after tumbling. The expander also makes sure all media has been remover from inside the case. If just cleaning/loading 20 rounds, wipe the brass with a clean cloth.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  11. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I do it more to protect the dies then any accuracy concerns.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Clean brass to protect your dies and your firearms. Shiny is just a bonus, clean is a necessity.
     
  13. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Ya sorta like mowing your yard or washing your car, AKA "Pride".
     
  14. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    SoundtrackZZ, I do not live in a sterile world, I clean computers with a vacuum cleaner, I do not use compressed air, the last chance I have to clean or wipe brass is just before firing, as I said I live in a dusty environment, If a case if fired and is not clean anything on the case is embedded into the brass because of the embed ability of brass, for this reason I clean brass, dies last longer, smooth cases, smooth chamber, more contact, more hold, dirt could cause skid marks? brass flows? if it does, where are the skid marks.

    F. Guffey
     
  15. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    . to ?

    sorry about that,

    F. Guffey
     
  16. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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  17. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    Tumbling brass shows up a lot more hairline splits than dirty brass. I see it mostly in .223 brass and it's usually very small and right at the neck. I also deprime using the lee decapping die, then I tumble/clean the brass before I do any case prep.
     
  18. Six

    Six Member

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    It's much much easier to inspect the brass when it's shiny. Splits, bulges and other flaws stand out. And it also looks good and keeps my dies and hands cleaner.
     
  19. GodGuns&Guitars

    GodGuns&Guitars Member

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    Like the others have stated. Cleaning your brass before loading keeps your dies clean and the rest of your equipment clean. Also cleaning your brass is just one more step in having the opportunity to inspect it for flaws such as bulges, cracks or splits. It also helps in the functionality of what ever firearm you are shooting it in. Keeps unwanted foreighn material out of ones firearms as well. Besides, I like my loads to look purdy!
     
  20. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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    If my brass is really dirty from the range I'll run it 20-30 minutes through the tumbler to get it clean enough for the sizer die. After sizing and decapping I'll let it tumble for quite a while to get all of the case lube off and the primer pockets clean.
     
  21. Historian

    Historian Member

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    I tumble my rifle brass before I deprime and resize. I then tumble it again afterwards to remove the case lube. After the second tumble, I check all primer pockets for media and remove with and old decapping pin. Case prep also includes inspection and trimming, if necessary. I just feel like this is the difference between practinig the craft and just reloading. I clean my pistol brass before decapping and resizing. Since I am using a carbide die for my pistol rounds, I don't tumble after decapping.

    Historian

    "Democracy requires wisdom."
     
  22. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Member

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    I have nothing else to do.:)
    Also it saves the dies if you load bunches.
     
  23. 06

    06 Member

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    Years ago when I would rebuild an engine I would paint it the appropriate color. Dad asked me why I wasted $$s and time on it since it would be getting greasy/dirty soon. Told him that folks could tell that someone had been working on it at least for a little while. W/O paint it just looked like an old engine. So, is it worth it to "spit and polish" your brass-I like to do it for it shows someone has been doing precision work. wc
     
  24. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    That's a pretty good summary.

    in addition to saving your dies and getting a good seat on the bullet, I like clean brass because it's clean. Who wants to handle dirty brass while reloading?

    Now, to those who don't clean their brass...I think it's important to clean your brass for so many reasons. But, it's not necessary to polish your brass.
    My brass doesn't have to look shiny and new, it just has to be clean. I use plain crushed walnut.
     
  25. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Actually, grit from firing can indeed be hard enough to "damage" a die. My first set of .357 dies will badly mark up any case run through them, because I never tumbled cases back then. The dies still work, though, so the damage is really only cosmetic. I bought a tumbler along with my second set of dies, and so that first set is the only set that marks up cases.

    Case prep? Depends on what I'm doing. Cases for "accuracy" rifles get the works, because an accurate rifle can take advantage of it. Cases for standard rifles are checked for length, because an overly-long rifle case can be a safety hazard. And cases for typical handgun loads don't get anything but a quick look as they're loaded into the press, just to catch gross problems like cracks.

    As for tumbling before or after decapping, I tumble handgun brass first and use the decapping to ensure the flash holes are clear of tumbling media. I do the same with rifle brass, but tumble after decapping as well so as to remove the sizing wax. Then when priming I have to visually inspect each flash hole for media.
     
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