I clean the brass to protect my dies and keep my reloading stuff and guns cleaner, and clear out any foreign material "mud" junk in primer pockets for safety.
I prefer spotless brass, super clean but not mirror finish, but that is mainly to make sure I don't mess up my sizing dies.First step decap dirty sorted brass in Lyman uni decapping die. Second step is clean in Walnut lizard litter and polish for 8+ hours in a Cabellas tumbler, but I also had obtained some pretty nasty range brass. after cleaning I sort with a magnet to pull any brass colored steel. Prior to loading is a brass inspection to look for defects and cull.
I tried washing brass once and using a oven to dry at 200 F, but the brass came out all sticky and the brass was extremely tarnished. I do not suggest doing that.
I do use Cabellas polish now and the long tumbling times are due to me wanting to clean the inside of the case and the flash holes,. The outside cleaning time is short 1-2 hours.
I used a Harbor Freight rotary tumbler and it was slow slow slow then I upgraded to the Harbor Freight vibratory tumbler and that thing was really loud and had a junk lid gasket to try to keep it quiet also while I was away the top nut came off and the washer fell in and de Zinced 1200 9mm shells, turning them a copper color ruining them.I took that thing back and went to Cabellas and bought their basic tumbler kit. It has worked flawlessly it is super quiet compared to even the rotating tumbler. I am very happy with it and suggest to not use the junk HF stuff and just spend the extra 20-30 bucks.
Now I just set the brass before I go to work add some Cabellas polish, add a few cut up dryer sheets and when I get home 9 hours later it is clean and golden just like a new spitoon. The inside is not perfectly brand new clean but has some shine and there is zero particles floating around.The flash holes and primer pockets are pretty dang clean. To clean out the cases I use a large colander from the 99cent store and a 99cent trashcan and just flip the cases like buffalo wings in sauce and I save the crushed Walnut in old butter tubs.
With the lizard litter I have not had any clogged primers at all. Granted the Walnut will not polish like Corn will but it is perfect for me. I have a big bag of corn but I am afraid to used it because of the size of the particles.
I have used this for 9mm, 40 S&W, 38, 357, 45 , 44 Mag so far.
I haven't loaded a lot yet but I have around 15k really clean brass casings in all my needed calibers for my reloading follies.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by patmetz; March 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
Reason: statement change