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Cleaning brass

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Bear43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cleaning brass
    Posted: May 05 2020 at 2:52pm
I have almost everything I need to start loading up some .303 but in all of this I found another question for you all. How do you clean your brass? I see all sorts of stuff and was just wondering what you all do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2020 at 3:22pm
I'm old school. I stole my kids Thumbler Tumbler once she outgrew it. I put a couple of cups of "Iguana Cage lining" (crushed walnuts) in it, and add a dollop of Brasso. Prior to this, I have a little old broken down flat head screw driver that cleans the primer pockets out perfect. About 1-2 hours on slow tumble, remove. Make sure you have a round tooth pick to get any residue out of the primer whole. My brass turns out pretty nice...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2020 at 3:53pm
Hi Bear

If you don't have a tumber or an ultrasonic cleaner, try this method that works well for me.

4 litres warm water, small amount of dishwashing detergent (few drops) 1 teaspoon of tartaric acid. mix together, makes a very weak acid solution, dump in brass for about 10 minutes, longer if really dirty. swirl around by hand a bit every few minutes, when clean , drain out and flush with fresh clean water, lay out on a towel to dry in the sun. Look just like new and the primer pockets are real clean as well.
I use this on range pick up brass, and did some old 80 year old military brass (was real tarnished). any shoulder or neck defects & cracks will be obvious on inspection. Just did 300 x .308 win cases that had essentially rotted in their boxes at the bottom of someones gun safe, had to ditch about 10% as pitted with corrosion.
Don't dry the cases in an oven as this discolours / tarnishes the cases.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stumpkiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2020 at 8:10pm
I use an old rock tumbler with BC Precision stainless steel pins and a product called Lemi Shine Booster (we have hard water - it's basically powdered citric acid) and a bit of Dawn detergent with a cup of water.  Two hours and 20 or 30 cartridges are bright and clean.
Charlie P.

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Bear43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2020 at 9:11pm
Eventually I would like to get a tumbler but for now I will probably give Marco's method a shot. Getting a bit excited now that I am close to starting on loading my own ammo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 1:18am
Hi Bear

Don't be afraid to increase the acid content if necessary, if brass is really bad add a teaspoon of citric acid.
Both acids might be already in the kitchen as used for baking etc.
otherwise easily got from the grocery for a couple of dollars.
good to make up seperate batches of brass, that way you don't have to sort later.
I use 2 litre plastic icecream tubs, but any plastic container will work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 4:11am
Wash the cases in warm water with washing up liquid. For stained brass use a mixture of water an a week acid, I muse vinegar, leave it overnight then use the water/washing up wash liquids.

To polish cases I use a tumbler but (as a cheapstake) I use dried rice as a cleaning media.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 7:29am
Hows about this:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 7:54am
I use k spinner made up to friction fit any given neck.
It chucks into your drill press.
On a medium speed slip a brass on to it use 0000 steel wool, cleaned and polished one step.
Been doing it like this for ever.
shoot em if you got em
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 7:59am
I like it.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RogueAussie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2020 at 10:47pm
1. Full Length Resize and Deprime
2. Primer Pocket Ream and Uniform
3. Chamfer and Debur the neck
(2 and 3 done on a Lee Case Prep Station)
4. Tumbled in Walnut Husk overnight
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stumpkiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2020 at 6:53am
Originally posted by Bear43 Bear43 wrote:

Eventually I would like to get a tumbler but for now I will probably give Marco's method a shot. Getting a bit excited now that I am close to starting on loading my own ammo.


Mine's like a $30 Harbor Freight "Chicago" (the one just down the road from WuHan) rubber drum version for polishing rocks.  Works great for the small batches I clean.
Charlie P.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2020 at 9:53am
My cleaning recipe appears similar to Marco's.
I use the Lyman Ultrasound bath, with warm water, a cap full of Citric acid, a squirt of dish wash liquid and a splash of dish washer rinsing fluid.
When the brass is clean enough (usually 2 x 8 minute cycles) I put the cases in a salad spinner with warm water and rinsing fluid. Then drain off the water and spin to extract more of the water, then roll them around in a dry cloth. Let them dry fully inside before reloading.

I've found the rinsing fluid helps to prevent water staining the cases as they dry.
There are photos of this and the results on the PDF file in the "Case Prep" post posted a few days ago.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2020 at 10:17am
Lyman tumbler, corn media (50 lb bag from Amazon, last me a lifetime), cap full of Nu Finish.  Tumble for about 30 mins to an hour.   Shiny and clean brass comes out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2020 at 9:53pm
I think that using the ultrasonic cleaner if you have one hurries up the process and probably cleans the internal case areas better. But then again its another tool you need to she!! out for. Time sometimes not being such a problem, but money yes. the acid wash works well. Just don't force dry the cases ! then end up looking all spotty !!! but then again some might like that look.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2020 at 11:41pm
Marco, try the dishwasher rinsing fluid when rinsing the cases; it does help with the drying spotless.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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