Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

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LTUME1978
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#16

Post by LTUME1978 »

Thanks for the suggestions, I will give them a try.

orionengnr
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#17

Post by orionengnr »

So, in summary, to avoid tarnishing...
--Do all the steps in wet tumbling...
--Then dry tumble with NuFinish or the equivalent.

I think I will stick with my current regimen of...ummm...
--Skip all of the wet tumbling steps
--Dry tumble with NuFinish or the equivalent.

Yeah, been working for me for almost twenty years.

bagman45
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#18

Post by bagman45 »

While I absolutely love watching Alton Brown's cooking show "Good Eats", the man can over complicate ANYTHING. I've been reloading for around thirty five years, and this discussion strikes me as the same thing. As always, it depends on what you and your needs are, but I've just been rolling with a decades old Lyman vibrating tumbler with good old, cheap corn cob media, and it's done all that I need it to do. No de-capping first, just throw the dirty brass in the tumbler out in the garage, plug it in, and come back in a few hours - or the next morning. If it's not clean enough, I plug it back in, go back inside and check it when I get a chance.

Once it's clean enough, I just use the top of the tumbler lid; which has slots in it like a colander, over a bucket, and pour the brass onto it, then just rake the brass around until all of the corn cob is out of the cases - I do use disposable gloves and an N95 mask for that part so as not to inhale the bad dust bits. That's actually a new procedure for me, as I didn't used to do that and am still kicking, but what the heck. my better half has gotten paranoid lately.... No need for another "media separator", which is nothing but a uni-tasker and just another thing I'd have to store somewhere. That said, I did read about using Nu Finish and decided to try it out. It actually worked great. The brass is like jewelry, and slick as snot on marbles, even the cases out of an HK91, so I'll likely do that going forward. Only downside is that the corn cob gets filthy and will need to be replaced more frequently, but so far will stick to that method unless I find out that it gums up my dies or something.

As you can likely tell, I'm an older guy, who adheres to the KISS principle whenever possible, not to mention a cheap bastard. While your mileage may vary, this works for me, so I have no need to add lots more gee-gaws that would just cost me more and require more places to store. At this point, I'm trying to simplify and downsize, so unless there is an unbelievable advantage to a new approach, I stick to refinements to tried and true processes......

orionengnr
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#19

Post by orionengnr »

1) De-cap the cases
2) Put 200-300 pistol cases, or 100 or so rifle case in the tumbler
3) I use Shredded SS material from Southern Shine.
4) Add a blob or 2 of the McGuire Car Wash and Wax
5) Add 1 oz or less of the Lymen Case Cleaner liquid
6 Add very hot water until the the foam reaches the top of the tumbler (70-80% full of hot water)
7) Run the tumbler 45min-1hr depending on how dirty and how many cases you are cleaning
8) Drain the dirty water,
9) Separate the SS chips from the cases (I use a media separator).
10) Dump back the SS chips back into the tumbler and close the lid.
11) Rinse the the cases
12) Dry the case on an old big shower/beach towel or if you are in a rush in dehydrator (your choice)
Done.
Or:

1. Add a blob of Nu-Finish and let the tumbler run 10 minutes (every ten or twenty runs)
2. Put 200-300 pistol cases, or 100 or so rifle case in the tumbler along with a couple of used drier sheets.
3. Run the tumbler 3-4 hours.
4. Separate the clean cases from the media (I use a kitty litter scoop, takes about one minute).
Done.

flechero
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#20

Post by flechero »

You more mature gentlemen crack me up. :lol:

If wet tumbling is over complicating things, you're doing it wrong.

LTUME1978
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#21

Post by LTUME1978 »

Wet tumbling is not complicating things, at least in my situation. All of the brass I get comes off the ground at PSC Shooting Club. Some of that brass has been on the ground through rain storm or several evenings where it gets wet from the dew on the ground. Ever de-prime brass that has been in those situations? The primer pocket is really nasty. The inside of the cases can be really nasty as well.

I shoot cast bullets a lot. They leave a lot of residue on the cases, inside and out. I have tried the "just throw it in the dry tumbler" method and it has not worked out the way I had hoped. Depriming, then wet tumbling has done a really good job of getting the brass clean. I do throw them in a dry tumbler with polish afterwards as I try to get the brass as shiny as possible so that I can find most of them on the ground after shooting. If you are happy with what you are doing, great. Some of us have reasons for taking these extra steps.

Since my last post, I have continued to experiment and have found that using two tablespoons (kitchen measuring spoons) of Dawn dishwashing detergent and nothing else works really well (vs the one tablespoon I had been using). The brass no longer has water spots or tarnishes badly as it did before even when adding lemishine and/or liquid car wash/wax. Don't know why this works so well, maybe it is the water we have. Alvin still uses well water for city water vs. lake water that most of the Houston area uses. Anyway, I have found what works for me. I appreciate everyone sharing their information.

And yes, I am an old guy that have been reloading since 1974. Always looking for ways to improve the process.
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Liberty
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#22

Post by Liberty »

I have been wanting to just prep my .308 brass and maybe reprime it to sell it. What are the tools I need to deprime.
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jrs_diesel
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Re: Article: What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?

#23

Post by jrs_diesel »

Liberty wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:55 am I have been wanting to just prep my .308 brass and maybe reprime it to sell it. What are the tools I need to deprime.
To just deprime without resizing, you’ll want to get a Universal Depriming die for your press. Those essentially are straight walled dies with a depriming pin. Every press manufacturer makes one (Lee, Hornady, RCBS, Dillon). Frankford Arsenal even makes a handheld deprimer that does not require a press.

I use a Lee Universal in my Hornady Lock n Load press, mostly because the Lee decapper is much cheaper and it is all I need it to do. For me, decapping is the first step in my process before sending the brass through the wet tumbler. Though one thing I did learn about the Lee depriming pins, are they don’t seem to be heat treated or hardened. I bent one recently on a steel case that I missed when I was sorting brass.
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