Cleaning brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Pheroze, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. IronCowboy

    IronCowboy AH Veteran

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    The other issue is the dishwasher will do little more than you could do by hand - meaning it will not clean the case interior or the primer pocket effectively. Just a waste of time as far as cleaning goes, and a great way to poison yourself.

    Vibratory tumblers can be had for $50, and they do work. No excuse, really, not to use at least that as a proper tool. Cheap rock tumblers can be found online for $50 too, or less used, and they work fine for smaller batches of brass.
     
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  2. dchamp

    dchamp AH Veteran

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    I use to use a vibrating tumbler with corncob media and it worked ok. Then I progressed to ultrasonic and it seemed to clean a little better. But for the last couple of years I've been using Frankford Arsenals Rotary Tumbler with the stainless steel pins. That thing cleans brass cases like no other. I mean inside and out along with the primer pockets too. I just add a little bit of Dawn dish washing liquid and a bit of Lemi Shine Detergent Booster and voila those suckers are clean. Afterwords I rinse with water and give them a quick blow dry with the air compressor.
     

  3. farmboy

    farmboy AH Member

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    I have used a vibratory tumbler for years. I am thinking about changing somewhat. I am thinking using it first then resizing and depriming and then the wet clean with the pins. That would clean the brass to keep the dies in new condition and then the brass would be clean inside and out including the primer pockets.
     

  4. dchamp

    dchamp AH Veteran

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    That should work fine.
     

  5. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I run mine through a Frankford Arsenal Rotary tumbler with 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap for about a couple hours, rinse and spin in an RCBS separator. From there it goes in a Frankford Arsenal dryer for an hour. Comes out real pretty. I decap and repeat the process using the steel pins to really clean the insides and primer pockets.It sounds like a lot of work but it keeps all the crud out of my dies and press.
     

  6. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I love all the OCD for the sake of placebo effect! Shiny brass is a symptom of overall due care at each step of loading. It isn't the causation for success but it does correlate.

    Loved reading the thread! When I hand loaded I had two Frankfort arsenals, one walnut, one corn. Two stages of cleaning. All gone now.
     

  7. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Rookhawk, You say all gone now. No more handloading? What happened?
     

  8. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Newboomer about 8 years ago space, time and life circumstances changed so I sold my bench and all reloading stuff.

    As a practical matter I think 99% of the time for hunting loads for <350 yard shots there is an off the shelf solution that will work. It's the 1% issues like 500 nitro for black and 318 WR that cause me troubles.
     

  9. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Rookhawk. I can understand that. I guess there comes a time when reloading is no longer practical for the amount of shooting one does.
     

  10. Scoobyshoot

    Scoobyshoot AH Member

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    So pretty. But it's like a girl or woman. The inside is what counts. I've seen brass 20 times reused with inside at the bottom a lot of carbon or
    burned,hardened powder. Every time you shoot, it's an afterburner or BBQ. Until brass is eaten up, and fails. Blows up. I know, bad english-writing.
    https://sites.google.com/view/reload-cheap-subsonic/homepage
     

  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    With regard to contaminating the environment by washing fired cases, a review of the amount of lead in a primer and the amount that remains in the case after firing is really negligible, unless of course you are part of the anti-lead conspiracy where even 1 part per billion is considered a threat.
     
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  12. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    exactly that is how the antis got lead shot banned, with junk science
     

  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I use Dillon's Vibrating Tumblers. They make a large and a regular sized tumbler. I use corn cob and Dillon's Case Polish in the big one and ground Pecan or Walnut shell in the smaller one. The size of the brass and the number to be cleaned determine which tumbler I use. I run the tumbled cases through a case/media separator and I'm ready to reload. IMHO it is easier to spot any potential flaws on polished brass.
     

  14. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Seriously, is this not beautiful!

    IMG_20170927_223213184.jpg
     
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  15. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Very Nice, if it's 375 brass send it to me
     

  16. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    308 Norma Mag :cool:
     
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  17. austrianhunter

    austrianhunter AH Member

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    I use the Lavabossoli wet tumbler with the short 3mm stainless pins - it works with magnets. Around 30 minutes in the bath after resizing and 4-5 good rinses and youre good to go. Only a small spit auf dishwashing agent and a tablespoon of citric acid is all you need for shiny brass.

    Cleans inside, outside and primerpocket perfectly - and after resizing you get rid of sizing lubricant.
     
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  18. REB1136

    REB1136 AH Senior Member

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    Rock tumbler and stainless pins for me

    592DA083-1C4F-4745-BD7E-BE7082CD0C04.jpeg F533E804-7051-4088-A3E4-06BA1435D96D.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2017
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  19. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    How do you find they work? Have seen these on the self. Do they get into the primer pockets to clean? That would be my only concern.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2017
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  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    On the real dirty stuff shot out of ARs, I use crushed walnut, available cheap at Harbor Freight and Flitz or some other rifle brass polishing compound. On my hunting rounds, e.g. 28 Nosler, 6.5x47, 6.5x.284, etc, I use a shell holder made for turning necks and fine scotchbrite pads. I tried pins but found they sometime stuck inside the larger cases and in primer pockets. On top of that, in my estimation, they beat the hell out of the brass.
     

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