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Old May 1, 2011, 01:18 AM   #1
TennJed
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Wet Cleaning Brass Before Deprimming

Guys, I am wanting to get into reloading soon. Unfortunately I will not be able to buy any equipment for a few more weeks. I do have Lymans 49th reloading handbook that i have just started reading and have ordered the ABCs of reloading.

I have been saving my brass (9mm, 38 sp, & 357). I am wanting to go ahead and clean and inspect the brass and I have a question.

From what I can tell, Lymans handbook only mentions tumble cleaning and couldn't really find my answer from a Google search.

If I were to use a cleaning chemical, such as birchwood casey case cleaning concentrate, is it necessary to deprime first? I am worried that the primer pocket would not sufficiently dry if the old primer is still in it.

Also to dry it, can I just place them neck down on a towel over night.

Thats for helping a newbie.
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Old May 1, 2011, 01:29 AM   #2
b money
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I have never used liquid case cleaners, but I have dumped tons of brass in water before and after de-priming. Shot answer is yes they will dry with the primer still in the pocket. I just shake them off as best I can then let them dry on a towel in the basement for a few days before I do anything with them again.
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Old May 1, 2011, 01:33 AM   #3
Wildalaska
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Deprime first. After cleaning, rinse in very hot water, swooosh arroundd in a towel and let dry


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Old May 1, 2011, 07:25 AM   #4
Qtiphky
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They will dry

This time of year when I go shooting, the ground is typically wet and the brass gets "sandy" or gritty from hitting the ground. I use an old plastic coffee can to collect all my casings. When done, I rinse them with hot water, then pour everything out to get the majority of the "grit" off them. Then I rinse the coffee can and do it again, this time with some dish soap. I shake vigorously and then rinse and repeat.

When I get home, I will rinse them several times to ensure that all soap and grit are off and then pour them out on a towel near my de-humidifier. Let them sit there for a few days, or until I feel like sorting them, and roll them around several times to ensure that they don't rust.

I don't decap first because running sandy or gritty casings into your sizing/decapping die could scratch it. I say could as I don't know for sure, but I don't need to reload that quickly so letting them air dry works for me.
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Old May 1, 2011, 11:02 AM   #5
Wildalaska
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Quote:
I don't decap first because running sandy or gritty casings into your sizing/decapping die could scratch it.
I use a dedicated depriming die, cant scratch it

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Old May 1, 2011, 11:39 AM   #6
chris in va
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Before I wised up and bought a tumbler, my method was to fill a bucket 1/4 full of hot water, vinegar and salt then dump unprimed dirty brass and agitate for a couple minutes. Rinse in water, dry with a towel then set them in an oven at 250f for an hour to dry.

They weren't shiny or really that clean, but it got the dirt off for the most part.
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Old May 1, 2011, 11:51 AM   #7
Taroman
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I sometimes wash cases in very hot water with a tablespoon or so of Bar Keepers Friend. It is a mild acidic wash, so I don't leave the cases to soak. They dry fine with primers in there.

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Old May 1, 2011, 01:52 PM   #8
salvadore
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I use a liquid solution in a thumbler tumbler for like 30+ years. I rinse them in a colander then pour boiling water over them toss around in the colander and put them in the sun in the summer or put them in front of the fire place or over a heat register in the winter. If you're in a hurry you can zap em with a hair dryer. I don't know of any reason why they need to be decapped prior.
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Old May 1, 2011, 02:07 PM   #9
HJ857
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I use a dual drum rock tumbler with water, dishwashing liquid and lemon juice. For handgun brass I tumble wet for 30 minutes, rinse and size/decap while the brass is still wet. Then tumble again for an hour or two. I dry them in a toaster oven at 150 degrees for 45 minutes. It's been working great.

I'd say if you put wet cases neck down on a towel, it'll take next to forever to dry out. You need to have air or heat circulating to get them dry.
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Old May 1, 2011, 02:25 PM   #10
shootniron
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Actually, I never tumble cases anymore, I wash them in a vinegar mixture after depriming. I just put them out on the patio on cardboard and they dry fine in one day as long as it doesn't rain.
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Old May 1, 2011, 07:21 PM   #11
TennJed
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Thanks for the info. I have a question. Does anyone make a depriming tool that can be used without a press?
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