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Old June 24, 1999, 10:21 PM   #1
Joe Portale
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Man do I like this web site! Thanks to those who started it amd maintain it!!!!

Anyway, I heard that a quick and easy way to clean fired brass is to dip it in some phosphoric acid. Does anyone know what strength of acid and what the dilution would be per gallon of water?

Here's the background, a couple of friends and I went in and bought out a police range at a local auction. I let my buds handle the details and just cut them a check for my share. I never expected the amount of brass that was passed to me and how much of it needs to be cleaned. A good deal of the brass is tarnished and discolored from being stored outside. I figured that it would take me about three weeks to clean this stuff up in my tumbler running 24/7. My buddies have the same problem.

Thanks,

Joe Portale
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Old June 25, 1999, 11:00 AM   #2
Bill Hebert
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I tried the acid route using a product called "Zud" which I bought at a local Ace hardware. I experimented with dilutions, etc. and found that it never came up to producing a piece of brass I was pleased with. It always produced a dull-looking finish. I also tried other products with similar results. Nothing so far has come close to the plain old tumbler with treated corn cob media for ease and quickness. I gladly send you my shipping address if you need to get some off your hands....Good luck and let me know if you find a faster/easier way.
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Old June 25, 1999, 02:14 PM   #3
Southside_Johnny
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RCBS sells a concetrated solution that cleans really dirty brass up well, I have used it for some dirty tarnished once fired mil 7.62 brass. I diluted per instructions, tumbled in a RCBS sidewinder tumbler, and in 30 min it was clean, not as shinny as corncob and 4 hours in a vibatory cleaner, but it was very reloadable. If you could borrow a clean concrete mixer, you could tumbel a lot of brass really fast. I once tried a washing machine at about 30 deg angle with the RCBS sol. I crunched a lot of cases where I guess they got caught under the aggatator.

Right now I'm cleaning a huge amount of .223 once fired brass, I'm using 2 Dillon FL2000 tumblers ( the big ones, I load them with 1000 pieces of .223 and 10 lbs of chrushed walnut, and the dillon polish) I run them for 4 hours and they look brand new, even the annealing (sp) marks on the necks are gone. I get 2 batches a day from both machines( get them up and running before work, and again after work), so I get 4000 clean every day with only about 30 minites of my time.

good luck,
if you find an easy way let me know.



------------------
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Old June 25, 1999, 06:57 PM   #4
Gunfounder
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A cheap and easy solution for cleaning brass
1 cup hot water
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
I like the kosher salt, but just a preference
3-4 drops of liquid dish detergent may be added if there is grease, grime and dirt in/on the cases
You don't have to totally emerse the cases but you do want enough solution to keep a strong solution on the cases during the entire process. Place brass and solution in a tight closing container, look in the cupboard for a plastic drink container. Shake and aggitate for 10 minutes. Then rinse real good. This will definitely clean the cases does leave them dull but a little tumbling will shine them right up. I am told that this is the old Government Springfield Armory's formula.


[This message has been edited by Gunfounder (edited June 25, 1999).]
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Old June 26, 1999, 09:00 PM   #5
Bill Hebert
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Southside Johnny - You made my day guy - using a washing machine to clean brass- What a hoot! I have a vision of four or five old washing machines out in the backyard all going full blast - a table set up in the front yard with hundreds of baggies of bright shinny brass set on the table. Man those things must have made a racket when you put them in the old clothes driers....Happy brassing...
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Old June 28, 1999, 06:41 PM   #6
Paul B.
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Don't give up on this, you might get a laugh, or an idea.
If the brass has been sun blackened, I doubt you'll ever get is shiny, or looking anywhere near new.
Don't laugh. I had some brass I found that was sun blackened. I had read an article on cleaning brass with steel wool and Worstershire Sauce. Seems you soaked the piece if steel wool in the sauce and rubbed like hell. What it does to regular brass is amazing. The shine is nothing like anything you've ever seen. On blackened brass however, it comes out a pretty coppery color. Almost pink. BTW, I have never gotten blackened brass to shine up. I left some in two tumblers, one with corn cobs and polishing stuff(Dillon's) and the other with walnut shells and powdered jewelers rouge. All that happened was they turns a dark brown, and that took 5 days.
Wouldn't that be a sellable item, pink reloads. Might sell well in San Francisco and L.A.
That gives me an idea. Corn cobs and W. Sauce. Might be sticky, and you'd have to wash the brass afterwards. Oh well!
Paul B.
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Old June 28, 1999, 09:10 PM   #7
Joe Portale
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Hi Folks,

I thought that I would update you on the cleaning brass situation. Well, I stole a couple of the Mrs. pantyhose and loaded the legs with the brass and tossed the whole kit-and-kaboodle into the dish washer. I set the washer on "super scub" and let her rip.
I would say that the brass was brought up to about 95%. Not shiney, sort of dull but ALOT cleaner. Even a few of the blackened ones cleaned up. At least I'm seeing the end of the tunnel on this. Thanks for the suggestions.

Joe Portale

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Old June 29, 1999, 12:11 AM   #8
Bullmoose
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Guys, wait a minute. This fired ammo in the
dish or clothes washer is probably one BAD
idea. You really want your dishes and shorts
contaminated with lead residue? Jim
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Old June 29, 1999, 09:58 AM   #9
Joe Portale
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JimDee,

I thought of that. The dishwasher runs three heavy rinse cycles, I doubt that there will be any lead residue left in the machine to get on the dishes.

Joe
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Old June 30, 1999, 05:32 AM   #10
Bruce from West Oz
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I've used lemon juice myself -- just the sort you get in the squeezy bottles. Squirt it over the lot and give it a shake every 10 minutes or so.

I followed that up with hot water, then a quick tumble.

I can't pick that "old" brass from the "new" stuff now on appearance.

B
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