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Old October 13, 2011, 01:40 PM   #1
PigFarmer
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Help...Need to clean brass

And have no money for a tumbler or media. Is there a way to clean the brass without using a tumbeler that is acceptable? I don't care about shiny just service able.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:37 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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You can clean brass without a tumbler. It may not come out super shiney, and new looking, though it will be clean enough to load with, and shoot.

I used a large mouth plastic jar. It will work just fine.

One quart jar
Put the brass into the jar to between half and three quarters full
Add:
1 table spoon of white vinegar
2 table spoons of dish soap
Fill to just almost full, and put the lid on tightly. Shake it to mix and knock any crud out of the cases. Shake vigously for a bit. Pour out the soultion. Fill with clean water, shake, and repat with pour out, refill, and shake till the water is clean after shaking.

Pour out water, and take brass out. Put it on a towell, and let it dry completely. It takes about 5 minutes or so to this, and however long it takes for the brass to dry.

Note I now own a tubler, and an ultrasonic cleaner. The tumbler gets used for super dirty brass that comes out of the barrels at the range.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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My question is, how dirty is the brass? I reloaded for 40 ish years before I ever tumbled a case. I'd just twirl the bottleneck case neck in fine steel wool to clean the neck and shoulder. The only reason I recently started using the cheap tumbler I had was because a nice fellow on this forum gave me a bunch of 9mm range brass, some of which needed cleaning, so I unpacked the tumbler and used it and threw in some rifle brass too. Before you know it, I threw in everything but the housecat and shined it all up. Looks good now, but if you're talking rifle brass and it isn't more than tarnished, with blackened necks, just steel wool the neck and shoulder and you should be Ok. That's also a good way to find any split case necks you might have. But, if you want a tumbler, Harbor Freight has a really cheap one. It looks exactly like most every other '$99 plus' tumbler you can buy from the name companies, but it was dirt cheap. And they had the walnut media.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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I will warn about the Harbor Freight tumbler. I own one. It has a great stout motor. In fact it stirpped the threads on the rod. I still use it outside. It makes a mess. I got mine for free so I am not complaining at all. I still use it because I am too cheap to buy aonther tubler. I use a sonic cleaner. It does not stir up dust, and agrivate my sinus allergies.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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What are you reloading?..... before I started reloading for pistols, I never cleaned my rifle brass, other than wrapping a rag around them and giving them a spin after I trimmed/chamfered/de-burred them with the Lee set-up, to take the wax lube off....... came out SHINY.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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I too, reloaded for quite a while before I got a tumbler (10 - 12 years). I used a rag slightly dampened with mineral spirits to wipe the cases before reloading. Wiping took off any dirt and grit that would damage my dies and allowed for inspection before loading. If I wanted any presentation brass I'd use fine steel wool and a few drops of mineral spirit to shine (I made a hardwood mandrel that I shoved the brass on and turned in a hand drill). I tried liquid solutions like mentioned above but wiping seemed so much easier...
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Old October 13, 2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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.40 S&W

I'm reloading .40 S&W if that makes a difference.
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Old October 13, 2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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You could clean it a piece at a time.... but I'd get a tumbler.

What gun are you loading the .40 for? If it's a glock, take care..... I know of two K-B in .40 cal Glocks, among the people I shoot with, and I don't shoot with many people.
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Old October 13, 2011, 03:41 PM   #9
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Yep its a Glock 23
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Old October 13, 2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Word to the wise: Avoid hot loads and lead bullets unless you have an aftermarket barrel ....... polygonal rifling and lead boolits do not mix. Unsupported chambers and reloads do not mix. YMMV.
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Old October 13, 2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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Going to go with this load off of the Hodgdan website. Starting load at 4.6 grains powder

155 GR. HDY XTP Winchester WST
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Old October 13, 2011, 04:41 PM   #12
chris in va
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Quote:
polygonal rifling and lead boolits do not mix
Depends on the type of rifling.

My G21SF never leaded with my LRN loads. One pass with a barrel mop and it was mirror again.

Now my Kahr K9 has a different type of poly rifling, looks more like a stopsign. It leads just looking at it. Glock has what amounts to be a smoothbore with some speedbumps thrown in.
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