The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 23, 2011, 08:37 PM   #1
docsitz
Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2011
Posts: 16
brass cleaning questions

Hello, I am new to reloading and i just bought an ultrasonic cleaner from harbor freight (the small one) and i was wondering how clean i need to get the brass for reloading i am reloading 40 S&W if that helps. So far the outside and primer pocket are sparkling but the bottom of the inside has some deposits in there none on the side just the bottom. So do i need to keep going or is this good enough to reload/
docsitz is offline  
Old June 23, 2011, 08:43 PM   #2
1chig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: central missouri
Posts: 237
load'em
__________________
those who anger you are those who control you!!!!
1chig is offline  
Old June 23, 2011, 08:48 PM   #3
docsitz
Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2011
Posts: 16
Ok, i will go with the shells the way they are then

there doesn't seem to be much build up a black mark on the bottom of some

There is one more question i cleaned this brass after removing the primers but all the videos i see on youtube still have the primers in should i leave the primers in or take them out or is it a "how ever you want to" thing/

Thanks for the fast reply

Last edited by docsitz; June 23, 2011 at 08:56 PM.
docsitz is offline  
Old June 23, 2011, 08:52 PM   #4
oldsodbuster
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 9
brass

your good
oldsodbuster is offline  
Old June 23, 2011, 09:10 PM   #5
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
No reloaders tumbled cases at all until maybe 25 years ago and none of us blew up.
wncchester is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 08:41 AM   #6
Uncle Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: West Central Missouri
Posts: 2,558
Before I got my tumbler, I use to just wash the brass in hot soapy water, rinse and then run them through the reloading steps.

I always decap (punch out the primer) after I have washed/cleaned the brass because I did not want to get dirt in my dies.

Some of my brass has been reloaded 15 times and the black carbon inside the cartridges has never affected the performance. Reload and start enjoying yourself.
__________________
Inside Every Bright Idea Is The 50% Probability Of A Disaster Waiting To Happen.
Uncle Buck is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 09:06 AM   #7
Marco Califo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 2011
Location: LA
Posts: 757
Quote:
I always decap (punch out the primer) after I have washed/cleaned the brass because I did not want to get dirt in my dies.
I use a Decapping Die from Lee before cleaning. This die does not touch the brass at all. Only the decapping pin touches the old primer.

Then, I clean the cases.

The exception is range brass or military once fireds. These go through a bucket of hot water with dishwashing detergent, and then rinsing before I touch them.
__________________
........................................................
Marco Califo is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 09:09 AM   #8
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,284
I'm a thinking that since you are using ultra sonic, depriming prior to dip and shake will help get the primer pockets clean.

I like mine clean, but that's just me. There are some dirty old men out there that never blink when the take their brass from the ground directly to the press.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 09:12 AM   #9
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,284
I do agree with Uncle Buck about not getting dirt in my dies. I don't deprime with my sizing die, I use a Lee Universal Depriming die or my drill press and a nail.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 09:42 AM   #10
carsinc
Member
 
Join Date: March 10, 2011
Posts: 64
Brass Cleaning

Here's how I clean my brass:

Load the vibrator with brass (with primer) and media (I buy bags of corn cob media at the pet store. They sell it as bird cage litter)
Add one laundry dryer sheet, cut in 1" strips
Add about 1" squeeze of Flitz (tube type)
Add about 1" ball of Never-Dull wadding, pulled into small pieces

In the photo below, the 45 ACP brass on the left was tumbled about one hour using the above method. I didn't cherry pick a case, but just picked out one at random. The case on the right was tumbled by another shooter using the same vibrator, corn cob media (probably from Midway) and a reloading polish additive.

__________________
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
carsinc is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 10:10 AM   #11
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,757
Listen to uncle Buck. The black stuff inside the cases does nothing to the finished ammo. It does NOT "build up", it's simply carbon left over from combustion of the powder. Same goes for the crud in the primer pockets.

My method is simply to use 20/40 grit corn cob from drillspot.com. It's super fine grit cleans and shines more quickly than the coarser grits. Carsinc, that pet store stuff is okay as long as it's used on big pistol cases, but wait till you use it on rifle stuff under 35 caliber! You'll invent some new cuss words getting it out of those bottle neck cases, I know I did!
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 11:03 AM   #12
carsinc
Member
 
Join Date: March 10, 2011
Posts: 64
Yo, Snuffy

I don't shoot no bottle necks. I do drank from the neck. Than I shoot the empty bottles.

Good point about the media size, but I only reload 45 ACP and LC.
__________________
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
carsinc is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 11:32 AM   #13
PawPaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,108
I buy walnut media at the pet stores, they sell it as lizard bedding. I also decap before tumbling. The walnut media pours easily from bottleneck cases, but the smallest thing I tumble is .223, so I can't address anything smaller than that.

I don't add any polish to my media. I don't care if they're shiny, Clean is good enough for me. I use the same media to make sandbags for range shooting. It's a whole lot lighter than sand and seems to hold up well.



Which reminds me, it's time to cut the legs off some more bluejeans.
__________________
Dennis Dezendorf

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com
PawPaw is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 12:06 PM   #14
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,187
If you are cleaning by wet methods, I recommend you decap first or you will occasionally get water trapped inside primers and that wet your decapping pin and may contaminate the fresh primer. Buy the inexpensive Lee Universal Depriming and Decapping Die for decapping dirty cases so you don't scratch up your sizing die.

Don't use the tube type Flitz. It contains ammonium oleate which etches copper and especially zinc. It's very slight, but can lead to premature neck splitting or season cracking (if you keep your loads around for a time). Avoiding anything with ammonia or ammonia compounds is a good idea, IMHO.

I don't know what you are using in your ultra-sonic, but I find the old arsenal case cleaning formula of water with 5% citric acid powder by weight works very well in one. You can add a bit of dishwashing liquid to help it suspend dirt if you want to.

The truth is you can load and fire dirty cases in the .45 ACP just fine, as long as you don't mind scuffing dies and scratching cases. A fifteen minute tumble in plain media gets the loose dirt off adequately. Shiny cases do have the advantage of being easier to find in grass, though, and that's what you are buying with any extra effort beyond getting loose grit off.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Patron Member

Last edited by Unclenick; June 25, 2011 at 07:30 AM. Reason: typo fix
Unclenick is offline  
Old June 24, 2011, 01:43 PM   #15
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,022
Before I found the need for a tumbler (I reloaded prolly 10 years w/o one) I would just wipe each case with a rag lightly dampend w/mineral spirits. I inspected/wiped each case before any other steps done. I had no scratches or gouges in my dies from grit 'cause each case was clean enough to use. Maybe not bright shiny, brass, but well serviceable. BTW; way back when, you could tell if a guy was a reloader by his brass. Usually it was NOT bright-shiny right from the factory looking, but usually dull, but clean, and he picked every one up before he left...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 01:15 PM   #16
docsitz
Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2011
Posts: 16
well i have been talking to local shops here and i think you guys are right and the amount of carbon in the case that i am worried about isn't a problem.

my cleaning method is
1) mix simple green and hot water in a bucket and mix the brass in there for a few mins then drain and rinse
2) dry them over night ( about 12 hours )
3) deprime
4) 50/50 water and vinegar with a little dish soap in the ultrasonic for 9mins
5) rinse
6) water and baking soda in the ultrasonic for 9mins
7) rinse 2 or 3 times with hot water and let dry for 24 hours or more

I might be over doing it

thanks for the idea on the Lee universal depriving die
docsitz is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 02:12 PM   #17
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,187
That's pretty labor intensive. I recommend you get the citirc acid in place of the vinegar. When I've used the old NRA vinegar formula, if I let the washed brass sit out a couple of days it tarnishes. The citric acid doesn't seem to do that. About $32 will get you 10 lbs (enough to make 24 gallons of solution), S&H included, here. There is a thread full of examples on castboolits.com.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Patron Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 03:03 PM   #18
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,641
I tumble mine with primers in. I use corn cob in one tumbler and walnut in another with Meguairs car polish. I don't normally clean primer pockets.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 04:07 PM   #19
TXGunNut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: If you have to ask...
Posts: 2,851
I've been tumbling or vibrating for nearly 30 years. If the outside of the case is shiny I'm happy, my dies are happy. I'll decap rifle brass, especially BPCR stuff. With BPCR brass I wash and rinse, then dry in a warm oven after decapping and before tumbling. Pistol brass I just do a quick sort and toss them in the tumbler for several hours.
__________________
Life Member NRA, TSRA
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call Lonesome Dove
My favorite recipes start out with a handful of used wheelweights.
TXGunNut is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 04:24 PM   #20
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 4,335
Gee, guys all this jaw boning about washing the brass is getting me tired. If I start doing that, the wife will want me to do the dishes. Now that's not going to happen.

Short and simple, 1/2 Zilla walnut mix (very fine) and 1/2 fine corn cobb with 2 teaspoons of your favorite polish (mine is FA). Drop in cases, close tumbler and plug into power. Spend an hour on the internet here and go back to the tumbler and un plug. Dump into media seperator turn three times and pack your clean shinny empty cases for later. It's easy on the labor, easy on the budget and actually gives you time to do some reloading.

It's not that I am lazy (OK I'm lazy) but the last time I washed my car was ten years ago, and I reload more than I drive.

Ya, wash cases and dishes, fat chance of that happening. (LOL)
Jim
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old June 25, 2011, 07:28 PM   #21
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,750
Lizzard bedding as pictured above and 3 caps of Nu-Finish. Tumble for 5 hrs or more. Turn it on when i go to work and done when i get home. I tumble about 1000 to 3000 cases a week. I sell it on the side. Buyers that get brass from me that looks better than brand new brass are very happy and that makes me happy. I have many many repeat buyers that keep coming back. Was asked by last buyer ,,,How in gods green earth do you get your brass so clean and the primer pockets so clean.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11849 seconds with 9 queries