Cleaning your brass for reloads

Cleaning your brass for reloads

This is a discussion on Cleaning your brass for reloads within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I decided that just corncob media sucks, it gets the outside nice and purdy but the inside is filthy. So I decided after research to ...

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Thread: Cleaning your brass for reloads

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array PIMking's Avatar
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    Cleaning your brass for reloads

    I decided that just corncob media sucks, it gets the outside nice and purdy but the inside is filthy. So I decided after research to wet tumble, I did order some SS media but for the time being I decided to use some Brass Re-Key pins (for a lock in your door) to tumble. I first did a test run with a gatorade bottle with a tsp of Lemi-shine and Dawn with water. I taped it up tight so no leaking and taped it in the dryer. I only did it for about 30 minutes and this is the results.

    Before





    After a half hour (pretty good if you ask me)





    After that I went to Harbor freight and got one of their 6lb tumblers and did a small batch of .223 tumbled them for 1 1/2 hours and got this

    Tumbler for $49




    They're spotless inside and out!!! I didn't even throw them into the vibrating tumbler with Nu-Finish to give them a polish.

    I cant wait for my couple of pounds of ss media shows up. The nice thing about the rock tumbler I got it has (2) 3lb wheels things so I can do two different batches or different calibers at the same time or I built a piece of PVC in 4" that I can do one big load. I was doing about 100-150 shells in the vibrator and I can do the same amount faster now and they're cleaner.

    To dry them I was turning on the toaster oven to 200* and threw them in there for 10 minutes. Just figured I would share with you all
    Last edited by PIMking; June 30th, 2012 at 06:55 AM.


  2. #2
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    Very clever!

    I clean my handgun brass in a case tumbler with Lyman media - does a great job on the outside of the cases, not so much on the insides. But from a practical standpoint, it doesn't seem to matter. I've even reloaded brass that looked "clean enough" without tumbling, and it didn't make a whit of difference in the accuracy or reliability of the reloads (.38 Special and .45 ACP).
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    clean to the touch, perhaps not so shiny to the eye has worked for me for over a 1/3 of a million re-loads over 29 calibers for 45 years.

    but if you like shiny....go for it.
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  4. #4
    Ex Member Array PIMking's Avatar
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    I like my firearms clean and I like my ammo clean. It takes the same amount if not less time to do this. Something about having sparkling brass makes me smile.

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    That's pretty neat. Looks like it works well and fast to boot! While I can get the corncob media, a whole lot of what they sell around these parts is walnut shell media. Lots of walnuts grown around here so it's easy to get and works pretty well.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Been handloading for years, and only used a Dillon tumbler with corn cob media or crushed walnut hulls. Never had an issue.
    I could care less about the inside of the case.
    That's like washing a car, and trying to clean the inside of the exhaust pipe.
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    ^That^

    I tumble my cases in lizard cage bedding (crushed shells) because of the fine grit and sand the cases pick up here in FL. Just to prevent possible damage to dies and/or cases. The inside doesn't matter much.
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    Senior Member Array The Old Anglo's Avatar
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    I`ve been using a Harbor Freight viberatory tumbler and crushed walnut media. I just throw my dirty shells in with a coupla used dryer sheets,lock it up,turn it on and go about my business. Two hours later I unload it and PRESTO..clean shiny shells. I don`t need more.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The only real reason brass is cleaned to begin with is to save wear on the loading dies. Residue build up can contain small abrasives the scar the walls of the dies, causing a shorter working life.

    The firearm itself is not really subject to the friction under pressure. An autoloader will let you know real fast when it gets too dirty.

    But of course, if it makes you feel better, and you enjoy doing it, then do your thing man! Nothing wrong with it at all.
    Ram Rod likes this.
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  10. #10
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    Been reloading my 22-250 for some time now.....I never worry about the inside of the brass. But you do have a great idea. On the same note...why not use sand?

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    The only real reason brass is cleaned to begin with is to save wear on the loading dies. Residue build up can contain small abrasives the scar the walls of the dies, causing a shorter working life.

    The firearm itself is not really subject to the friction under pressure. An autoloader will let you know real fast when it gets too dirty.

    But of course, if it makes you feel better, and you enjoy doing it, then do your thing man! Nothing wrong with it at all.
    That and clean brass feeds better out of a magazine and into the chamber. Clean brass has less friction if you will. As some have said previously, I could care less about the inside of the case. I use walnut or corn cob with some Midway liquid polish agent mixed in to keep the dust down. I have to check each case primer holes for media that gets stuck there.....I simply use an unfolded paper clip to poke those grains out.
    Apparently (hard to nail down exactly) Dawn dish washing liquid contains an ammonium compound of some sort. You would want to stay away from ammonia contents when it comes to brass or in a firearm with a chromed bore. Or so I've heard for many years (since I got into reloading myself).
    ammonium laureth sulfate
    Whatever that is. I'm just saying. I'm not a metallurgist, and Dawn doesn't list the ingredients right on the bottle (since it's not edible I'm guessing).

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    never got why so many people are so anal over this stuff.. cleen or "not so cleen" it all shoots the same... its like the US cleaners, and the SS media stuff... i think PT Barnum said it best....

  13. #13
    Member Array ttyndall's Avatar
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    It shoots the same but sure does look good.
    At advice of people on the forum here I called a local place that sells blasting media (PrepSupply). He told me he orders 50 lb bags of corn (14/20) for $32.30 and 50 lb bags of walnut (20/30) for $34.92 for a bunch of reloading customers. Then went to StockNgo on the Internet and bought (with a fiend) a case of NuFinish that was 12 bottles of 16 oz each for a total of $50 with free shipping. These are the prices he sells to his customers.
    Anyone using corn and walnut ought to check their local sand blasting stores.

  14. #14
    New Member Array daddySEAL's Avatar
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    I have used SS pin media for 6 months now.
    It's great to never have to buy cc or ws anymore.

    I don't use Dawn...I use Simple Green,with a bit of LemiShine....then run them thru a diluted batch of NuFinish...then dry on a towel with a fan.
    The SS media takes/cleans the brass down to bare metal...and this leaves a coating on brass to keep it that way.
    I never have to think about media dust in flash holes either.

    thanks.

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