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How To: Clean Cases

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DairyFarmer View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 04 2014 at 11:51pm
Cases get dirty from mud, oil, grim, reloading lube, shooting or just look shabby from laying in the back of the draw for years on end. Cleaning cases is a very simple and cheap procedure that I do for every reload.

Now you don't need a tumbler to get "like new" looking cases. Just 3 things: water, tartaric acid and dishwasher liquid.

ACID, is he crazy? No, tartaric acid is not like hydrochloric or sulphuric acid. It is a plant based extract that is used in baking as part of the raising agent. So that brings us to the next question on your mind: Where do I buy tartaric acid? You will find it on the self of your supermarket along with bicarb (baking soda), cream of tartar and the likes.

Just take 2 litres of tap water (about 0.4 gallons), 2 teaspoons of tartaric acid and 1 teaspoon of dishwasher liquid. Mix and use! I have a 2 litre softdrink bottle that I keep the mixture in, but you can use just about anything except metal containers.

I prefer to de-prime and resize my cases first, but very dirty cases need a clean before this so that they don't damage your reloading equipment. I also like to wash off lube before priming my cases.

If your cases are full of mud rinse them in clean water first.

Now just drop all your dirty cases into the softdrink bottle, close the lid and let the cleaning begin. A good shake helps, as does rolling the bottle on the floor. After about 10 minutes your cases should be clean. A little longer if they need it.

Drain the liquid and keep it for later use. The liquid can be used again and again. Just look out for oil contamination.

Rinse the cases in clean water and dry. Air dry over night or into a warm oven for 10 minutes. Don't let the cases get so hot you can't handle them. The air for 10 minutes until they are back to room temperature.

Make absolutely sure the case is dry before reloading. I put my cases into the tumbler for 30 minutes. If you use a tumbler you will see a drastic change in how long your medium lasts.

So lets recap:
Muddy cases - rinse in water first.
Inspect and discard damaged cases
Lube cases, de-prime and resize, trim and debur, primer pocket uniform, flash hole debur, ream, turn , anneal, whatever your case prep entails.
Clean cases in tartaric acid mixture.
Dry.
Tumble.
Reload.

Your cases will always look impressive at the range.
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White Rhino View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 9:39am
We need to pin this so its easy to find !!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 10:21am
Very cool!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 10:31am
Great info! Thanks for sharing that! Yes, a sticky would be good for this site.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 12:41pm
i needed that for my older cowboy cases they do get a bit out of sorts when reloaded multiple times , and the tumbler is a slow process , that little bit of pre-prep should help a lot , ill use it after the next shoot , thank you 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 12:50pm
Please post before and after pics of your worst cases. Also mention how long you had them in the mixture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 9:03pm
I'll pin it as soon as I find the button to do so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 1:44am
Giving this try right now, just got my Tataric acid in ...bought a pound of it, I could not find it in our grocery store ...and I went to Rouses epicurean !!Rouses usually has any thing odd.....
"White Rhino"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 2:41am
I get mine in 12gram sachets. Enough to make about 8 litres of mix. That will last forever (or at least 2 years)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 4:39am
Well I just did a batch, and they were nasty..it was some 45 LC that got left on the shooting bench outside for over a week!!  this solution took the black and the green tarnish off !!!  Im impressed !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 11:14am
I am really impressed !!!!!! Im on my second batch!!!  Im using an orange juice bottle .it has a wide mouth and squared bottom and sides !! it works better than a 2 litter which is round ...I sit and play/serch on the internet ...... and agitate the bottle ...with the square sides it helps turn the casings around and get each side cleansed !!!
I did make me a batch in a 2 liter and I added a little more than in the instructions !!!!
Im keeping another bottle of the same make with the big mouth to pour the mix into ...and then clean the casings with clean water in the bottle I had them and the mixture in ......
This is by far the best cleaning my brass have seen !!! I do this for as long as it takes for them to look good in the bottle ..then wash and dry !!!
"White Rhino"

"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." --W. C. Fields
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 11:52am
You can add more ingredients especially on very dirty cases. I have left a case in the mixture for 2 days and it didn't disappear.

BTW this mixture can be used to clean other brass too, like window furniture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 12:15pm
DairyFarmer , This is the best recipe I have ever got from some one on the internet ...Well I did get the one for my bullet lube here and it worked also ...both from the Enfield Forum !!!  Well from friends on here !!! So this place is a blessing ....
I Thank You My Friend for this mixture !!!!  and I have to say...other than taking each casing and polishing it ...this is by far the best ..... I was going to get one of those electronic agitators ...but this works great !!! I spent $11 on a pound of the Tartaric acid ...made 2 batches ..used one of them twice ...I just sit here and shake the bottle every now and then ...look and see if I like what I see ..when I do I pour into other bottle and rinse and let dry !!!
"White Rhino"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 12:24pm
Remember not to put too much dishwashing liquid in as it foams a lot for the first few batches. It is only there to remove oils.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2014 at 8:24pm
I think shamu has emailed Eric re pining the posts. Neither of us seem to have the tools to do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2014 at 2:30pm
I read about a guy who made is own "tumbler" using an icecream container, a motor, an offset weight and string.

You tie the string to the 4 corners of the icecream container. Tie the other ends of the string to a motor. On the motor shaft put on an offset weight. Hang the motor from the roof and let it run.

The offset weight makes the motor vibrate, vibration transferred to string and to container.
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