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Old January 3, 2006, 03:25 PM   #1
jayzbird1911
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cleaning metallic cartridges

New to the game. What are your suggestions on cleaning centerfire rifle and pistol cartridges???? I've heard of running them thru the dishwasher. Can this be done???? Do you have to clean after each firing???? I know of the vibratory media cleaning...any other ways? I'm not going to reload a whole bunch, what do you recommend for the beginner????
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Old January 3, 2006, 03:32 PM   #2
Leftoverdj
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Don't bother cleaning cases if you don't have to. It's one of those trivial cosmetic things that new loaders get hung up on. Once in a long while, you will get cases that have been dropped in mud or whatever and a bath in hot soapy water will do them good. Don't put them in the dishwasher. The remaining priming compound can be highly toxic.
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Old January 3, 2006, 04:14 PM   #3
TimRB
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I have heard of reloaders getting good results putting brass in the washing machine, either loose or in a bag.

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Old January 3, 2006, 04:15 PM   #4
badaceds650
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cleaning cases

when i first stated i didnt clean them they worked just fine but the ugly cases finalely got to me and i bought a tumbler now they shine like the day i brought them home
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Old January 3, 2006, 05:08 PM   #5
hivel37
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Iosso

Iosso liquid case cleaning system works well. Follow instructions.
I think Birchwood-Casey makes a similiar product.
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Old January 3, 2006, 05:43 PM   #6
mete
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I pop the primer then dump the cases into a pot of water and detergent.Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then rinse and dry. Poping the primer helps clean the primer hole. Ther's no need to polish them.
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Old January 4, 2006, 02:29 AM   #7
Smokey Joe
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Case cleaning

Jayzbird1911--Easiest way by far, and the way I think most reloaders do it, is to just go buy yourself a vibratory tumbler and a sack of corncob polishing medium, read the directions, set it up, let it go for an hour or so, and voila! Clean cases, no mess, no fuss, no bother, no wet to clean up, no question of toxic stuff in the dishwasher or the clothes washer, no boiling, no damp left in cases to corrode, etc, etc.

I resisted for years getting a tumbler. But then, I resisted for years getting a computer, too.

Tumblers really don't cost much, they last forever, and they clean the case inside as well as out. They just work. Get one. You'll never look back.
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Old January 4, 2006, 01:33 PM   #8
kingudaroad
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I can't imagine cleaning my spent rounds in the same machine that I do my dishes in or wash my clothes in. Does anyone actually do this? All that toxic nasty stuff that makes a good bullet can't be very healthy.
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Old January 4, 2006, 02:39 PM   #9
Followthehollow
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I picked up a lyman tumbler for 60$ locally.
Do yourself a favor, get one.
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Old January 5, 2006, 11:35 AM   #10
Smokey Joe
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And How!!

Kingudaroad--Last time this discussion came up I raised the same question. The dishwasher users and the washing machine users were adamant in their defense of their methods, almost to the point of flaming.

I'm with you. I don't wash cases where I wash clothes or dishes. First because of the utter ease of doing the cases the "right" way, in a tumbler. Second because of the possible toxicity issues. Third because the cases don't ever have leftover moisture inside with dry polishing medium.

Now, to each his own; far be it from me to tell somebody else how to run their life, but I'm afraid I just don't understand the thinking of people who insist on doing something in a questionable way that might cause harm, when the real way is so easy, available, and inexpensive.

There is the SWMBO factor, also. Most wives deeply resent "odd" things being done with the household machinery, even if they don't say anything out loud. I expect you'd feel likewise, if she used your reloading press to crack walnuts.
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Old January 5, 2006, 11:52 AM   #11
geneinnc
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sorry but I want my brass clean & shinny. Not like its a big deal, turn on the Tumbler, go reload something, & you have clean brass. Funny how everyone that doesn't load like to inspect reloaded cartridges. I just like it when they say it looks like a factory load.

Side note, on all my handgun loads, especially on a semi auto, i polish them until they shine, and put each load in a Dillon Match Grade Die. They must pass that test or they go in the practice can. I seems to help, I have 10 year old match barrels with like new chambers. FTF wow, I can't remember the last one.
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Old January 5, 2006, 11:55 AM   #12
geneinnc
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Oh I forgot, even Dillon dropped lifetime warranty on tumblers. The only ones I find with lifetime is made by I believe Berry? Dillon warrantys the old models that were sold that way. I hate to think how many hours i have on my old Dillon. it's way over 10 years old.
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Old January 5, 2006, 02:15 PM   #13
kingudaroad
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Quote:
I expect you'd feel likewise, if she used your reloading press to crack walnuts.
I never thought of that. Who knows whats going on all day while I'm at work. I've got to start locking up my equipment.
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Old January 5, 2006, 04:19 PM   #14
geneinnc
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that's ok as long as she keeps the crushed walnut shells. Free tumble media.
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Old January 5, 2006, 05:16 PM   #15
Harley Quinn
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How about nickel and steel?

Do you "love shiny object folks' do the same with nickel and steel?
Or do you just shoot brass. When I say 'Brass' I mean as in 'Brass'.

For years and years nickel was what we used in 38 and 45 case's, Pistol is the topic at the moment and revolver. When I switched over to 9mm and 40 cal, both those rounds are in Glocks. I don't reload them.

I have only reloaded the 44 mag. (revolver) of late. And when shooting those babies the cases are not something I like to use to many times, when they have been shot much, they go into a bin that get cut down to 44spl length and loaded light. I don't like the 44 mags to go kaboom because of bad brass.

I have so much loaded 38s and 45s that are at least 15 years old (nickel).

I will reload some of the rifles if I get low. I am going to reload some for my
Marlin 336 35 Rem. but never the sks.

I have never reloaded a steel case and don't intend to, I am just curious about shiny objects.

I like clean Brass but I don't tumble, (soak in lac. thinner and I like compressed air to blow through them) never have.

I buy good brass and good loaded cartridges. I don't pick up spent brass that is not mine. With warm loads Brass has a tendency to go by by quick.

Using carbide for the handgun stuff no lube, but with the rifle when I get done, I wipe um with lac.thinner. Keep that chamber dry, it works better with warm loads.

I do keep my guns clean though. LOL

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Old January 6, 2006, 08:31 AM   #16
geneinnc
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I bought a case of winchester 38 super ammo. it was nickle brass and was on super sale because no one wanted it. I'm down to my last 300 rounds. It tumbles to a mirror finish. I just shoot it on an indoor range. I finally order new from an individual. most of it is brass, not nickle. It does seem to me nickle 45 acp is a bit more brittle.
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Old January 6, 2006, 11:31 PM   #17
flutedchamber
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Cleaning Brass

I would recommend that you clean your brass before you load it. About 10 years ago I ruined a RCBS 225 Winchester sizing die with dirty brass. There was no actual dirt on the brass, it was just oxidized from handling and use. I sent the die back to RCBS, and they told me that the oxidation on the brass is hard enough to scratch a steel reloading die, and will do a carbide die no good. Tumble your brass, it's cheap insurance.

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Old January 7, 2006, 01:49 AM   #18
Harley Quinn
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Thanks for the tip flutedchamber

I will rethink my position on the use of tumblers if that is the case. (lol)

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Old January 7, 2006, 11:54 AM   #19
Smokey Joe
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Nickel, and Steel, and Brass

Harley Quinn--Those "nickel" cases are nickel plated plain old brass. Nickel plating was a good idea back when LEO's wore a black leather gun belt with cartridge loops--The leather would cause regular brass to corrode, but the nickel plated cases were unaffected. Plus, the bright nickel plating and the black leather were a good-looking combination. Now most LEO's wear magazine pouches rather than cartridge loops, and in the magazines, the cartridges don't touch the leather, so it's not an issue any more. But there is this tradition of nickel-plating the cases.

Anyhow, nickel plated brass reloads--and polishes--just the same as unplated brass, except as someone pointed out, the cases don't tend to last as long. Also, once in a great while some nickel will unplate and stick in yr equipment which can cause a problem.

For me, I polish and reload and shoot the occasional nickel-plated case right along with my brass cases. They work just the same.

Now, STEEL, OTOH, is a whole nother matter. It's much harder than brass; could scratch dies, requires more effort to resize, and is just generally a PITA to reload. A few posters have mentioned trying to reload it, as an experiment, and it can be done. But nobody I've ever heard of, including all the I'net posters I've read, has ever said that they reload it as a regular thing.

The steel cases were never intended to be reloaded in the first place--Steel is much cheaper than brass and I expect that is what lead to their development, but they were made for military rounds. Nobody in a shooting war picks up their empties.

Anyhow, as far as shooting steel-cased ammo on the range, you just shoot 'em, then please put the empties in the TRASH, not in the brass bucket. There isn't even a market for 'em as scrap. BTW, this goes for the "copper-washed" steel cases, too. They are still plain old steel underneath, just harder to sort out for throwing away.
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Old January 7, 2006, 04:08 PM   #20
gm110656
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Here is my Witch's Brew for cleaning my brass. I use equal parts vinegar, water and add about 1 cup of ketchup. This brightens and cleans my brass perfectly. I stumbled on this while eating at a fast food restuarant. My change was laying on the table and I dropped a bit of ketchup from my sandwich onto the coins. The penny became amazingly bright so I tried it on my brass and Voila! I started out using just ketchup but later added vinegar for the stubborn tarnish.
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Old January 7, 2006, 04:21 PM   #21
geneinnc
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you should have seen my wifes face when I dropped my wedding band in some ketchup. Best be careful tho, first timed I put some ketchup in a coffee mug, just enough to cover the ring. Wife stated washing dishes..........almost had to remove the trap on the sink. All that acid, no wonder we get ulcers. but it does clean. Sorry tho one bag of tumbler medium lasts me a year. Much easier IMO
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