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View Poll Results: How do you like your brass after you tumble it.
shiny as the day it was made 76 55.88%
clean but it can be black I just don't care what it looks like. 14 10.29%
wow you tumble brass to clean it I never knew. 5 3.68%
it don't have to shine but it is not black a bit of tarnish is ok. 41 30.15%
Voters: 136. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 6, 2012, 11:06 AM   #51
oldmanFCSA
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Drying brass

I dump separated brass into a screened pan, wash with sprayer head of shower or sink, tumble whole lot in a beach towel, put back into screened pan and finish with wife's hair dryer.

If primers are out before wash, drying goes quickly with air flow thru.
Then I set out overnight to air dry in house which is dry in winter-time, bag in morning.

Whole process, rinse thru hair dryer, is about 5 minutes.

I am working on another blower motor that will air tumble the brass with volume to dry cases. Will add pictures if it works.
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Old March 6, 2012, 01:37 PM   #52
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Quote:
I dump separated brass into a screened pan, wash with sprayer head of shower or sink, tumble whole lot in a beach towel, put back into screened pan and finish with wife's hair dryer.

If primers are out before wash, drying goes quickly with air flow thru.
Then I set out overnight to air dry in house which is dry in winter-time, bag in morning.

Whole process, rinse thru hair dryer, is about 5 minutes.

I am working on another blower motor that will air tumble the brass with volume to dry cases. Will add pictures if it works.
I have heard of people tossing the brass into a pillow case with a couple of towels, tying the end shut and tossing it into a clothes dryer. To me that seems like it is way too hard on the case mouths though, even for pistol brass. I would never tumble a case meant for precision reloading, I want the case mouths as uniform as possible.

A fan blowing on it overnight worked well enough, I have more 223, 9mm and 45 brass than I could possibly ever load in a day. I am working through in batches. My bolt gun cases never hit the ground so I just give them a wipe off with a bit of Neverdull and a paper towel. If I was in a hurry I have a heat gun which is a hair dryer on steroids for those not familiar with them.
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Old March 6, 2012, 03:24 PM   #53
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This is a 12 minute video showing me tumble in Walnut and then in stainless steel media. I think it is boring, but some views have watched the whole thing.

It has average audience retention for a 12 min video. Hard to believe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou9kKhlXcJk&feature=plcp
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Old March 6, 2012, 05:57 PM   #54
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What a STUPID VIDEO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a STUPID VIDEO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing like biasing against SS Pins with your separation procedure !!
Why don't you use the same equipment as dry media?
It works better than using it for dry media.
Rinse with hot water, dry by putting in a towel - fold sides in - roll towel back and forth to dry outsides, finish dry with hair dryer, DONE.


I can separate, rinse, dry, 300 cases in less than 5 minutes.

Using walnut shells, I had to pick out every flash hole.
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Old March 6, 2012, 06:38 PM   #55
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Harbour freight tumbler (5# size, $38), 5lbs course walnut ($18) (before de-priming), a gram or two of Mothers mag wheel polish, run for 1-1.5 hr.

Probably tumbled 1000 rounds on my first fill of media and it's still fine.

Harbour Freight is the best source for media. Still have 9/10ths of my box left.

About every other batch, I'll through in a dryer sheet to get the fine dust out.
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Old March 6, 2012, 09:07 PM   #56
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Wow-What a um,ah,ummm. Ok that was a video. Sure seemed like a lot of work there. I sell brass and tumble around 3000 plus cases a week. Ummmm I just dump mine in tumbler with very fine media and some car wax. Turn it on and walk away from it for a few hrs. Come back dump in a sifter,shake and im done. And ,Yes on the drier sheets.
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Old March 6, 2012, 10:24 PM   #57
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I would avoid the clothes dryer because primer dust contains water soluble lead compounds that can then contaminate all your clothing. You don't really want your clothing or your dishwasher or kitchen sink contaminated with that stuff. Even the hair dryer should probably be applied outdoors.
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Old March 6, 2012, 11:39 PM   #58
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Hair Dryer

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Today, 09:24 PM #57
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Posts: 7,421 I would avoid the clothes dryer because primer dust contains water soluble lead compounds that can then contaminate all your clothing. You don't really want your clothing or your dishwasher or kitchen sink contaminated with that stuff. Even the hair dryer should probably be applied outdoors.
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All primer dust or compound residue washes out when using SS Pin process, and is flushed down drain. It is contained in soap solution when dumped out.
Hair Dryer only used for final water evaporation processing on an absolutely clean casing.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:39 AM   #59
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That should be good, especially with a detergent in the cleaning liquid to suspend the particles, followed by a post-rinse. Some folks use the shake-a-jug method with the old NRA formula, and that doesn't remove all traces of primer compound. They need to be careful with blowing air over it.

On another forum a fellow put a fan and a light bulb into an ammo box he'd ventilated with a hole punch, giving himself a dedicated dryer. It's nifty, but I'm too lazy for any accelerated drying. When I do any kind of wet cleaning of cases, I just tap the heads on a rag to clear the excess water, then just let the brass sit around for a few days on freezer paper.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:50 AM   #60
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Drying brass

I'm working on a method to dry brass in quantity quickly.

When I'm done with tests, I will post pictures.

Drying 200 308 cases or 500 45ACP cases in 3 minutes or less.
Cases will be tumbled - suspended in an air flow.

I saw an ammo can dryer and a garbage can dryer on other websites.
My method must be fast and cases must be completely dry when done, so no corrosion occurs after bagging the lots. What good is clean brass if it has corrosion inside or outside due to residual moisture after bagging.

Light damage to necks is expected in any tumbling action, this is corrected when loading.
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:18 AM   #61
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Polished brass shouldn't corrode very fast. I've never seen any corrosion result from letting it sit a couple or three days to dry. Water spots, yes, but no corrosion. That takes being wet for awhile. If you have hard water, a little distilled water as a final rinse will get the minerals that cause spots out.

If you have a vibratory tumbler, pour out the media, place a terrycloth rag in the bottom and put the wet cases in and let it hum a few minutes. That'll shake most of the water drops into the rag. They should then dry fine in air.
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Old March 7, 2012, 11:08 AM   #62
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Correction

I stand corrected.
Not corrosion.
I truly meant WATER-SPOTS.
Thank you for pointing that out.
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Old March 7, 2012, 12:38 PM   #63
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Quote:
oldmanFCSA

What a STUPID VIDEO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a STUPID VIDEO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have made a lot of posts, but this is the first time I could agree with someone flaming me

If I put a week into making a video about modifying a Leupold zero point or Mosin Nagant trigger modification, I will not get near as many hits as when I spend 5 minutes showing how to take down a Rem 10 shotgun.

If I video'd my daughter shoot an AK while wearing a swim suit, I might get a million hits.

So I just turned the camera on and cleaned some brass. Like watching paint dry.
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Old March 8, 2012, 10:26 AM   #64
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Now that's an interesting social commentary all by itself, and unfortunately accurate. It strikes me as a modern parallel to H.L. Mencken's observation that "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public". Implicit in that notion, obviously, is that the reverse is not true and is a good way to be ignored, just as you note with the video hits.
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Old March 9, 2012, 10:24 PM   #65
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I'm truly amazed at the lengths some of you guys go to get perfectly shiny cartridge cases. I guess it's because you want to and because you can, but it sure seems like unnecessary overkill to me. But...that's just me and I guess I'm in the minority. Now I might not get to sleep while I worry over the social consequences of having ugly ammo.
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Old March 9, 2012, 11:51 PM   #66
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Shiny brass is more accurate, everyone knows that.

Shiny, shiny, nice, shiny brass.

SHINY BRASS, PRETTY BRASS, SHINY, SHINY!

SHINY, BEAUTIFUL, SHINY BRASS!

PRECIOUS, SHINY, SHINY BRASS!

Oh, did I say that out loud? I'm so sorry.
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Old March 10, 2012, 02:06 AM   #67
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I'm truly amazed at the lengths some of you guys go to get perfectly shiny cartridge cases.
Me too.... With about 5 min of my time I get perfectly shiny brass.... better than any factory ammo.... Plain old corncob and walnut, with some "media enhancer" thrown in every once in a while....

Throw it in the tumbler, and let her run for a few hours, come back, and its ready to reload....

I dont really "get" wet tumbling, then you have to wait for it to dry.... no thanks.
And for the price of a wet tumbler and SS pins, I could pretty much just buy new brass for every firing
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Old March 10, 2012, 05:01 AM   #68
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RE: Information

I clean the brass to protect my dies and keep my reloading stuff and guns cleaner, and clear out any foreign material "mud" junk in primer pockets for safety.
I prefer spotless brass, super clean but not mirror finish, but that is mainly to make sure I don't mess up my sizing dies.First step decap dirty sorted brass in Lyman uni decapping die. Second step is clean in Walnut lizard litter and polish for 8+ hours in a Cabellas tumbler, but I also had obtained some pretty nasty range brass. after cleaning I sort with a magnet to pull any brass colored steel. Prior to loading is a brass inspection to look for defects and cull.

I tried washing brass once and using a oven to dry at 200 F, but the brass came out all sticky and the brass was extremely tarnished. I do not suggest doing that.
I do use Cabellas polish now and the long tumbling times are due to me wanting to clean the inside of the case and the flash holes,. The outside cleaning time is short 1-2 hours.

I used a Harbor Freight rotary tumbler and it was slow slow slow then I upgraded to the Harbor Freight vibratory tumbler and that thing was really loud and had a junk lid gasket to try to keep it quiet also while I was away the top nut came off and the washer fell in and de Zinced 1200 9mm shells, turning them a copper color ruining them.I took that thing back and went to Cabellas and bought their basic tumbler kit. It has worked flawlessly it is super quiet compared to even the rotating tumbler. I am very happy with it and suggest to not use the junk HF stuff and just spend the extra 20-30 bucks.

Now I just set the brass before I go to work add some Cabellas polish, add a few cut up dryer sheets and when I get home 9 hours later it is clean and golden just like a new spitoon. The inside is not perfectly brand new clean but has some shine and there is zero particles floating around.The flash holes and primer pockets are pretty dang clean. To clean out the cases I use a large colander from the 99cent store and a 99cent trashcan and just flip the cases like buffalo wings in sauce and I save the crushed Walnut in old butter tubs.

With the lizard litter I have not had any clogged primers at all. Granted the Walnut will not polish like Corn will but it is perfect for me. I have a big bag of corn but I am afraid to used it because of the size of the particles.
I have used this for 9mm, 40 S&W, 38, 357, 45 , 44 Mag so far.
I haven't loaded a lot yet but I have around 15k really clean brass casings in all my needed calibers for my reloading follies.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by patmetz; March 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM. Reason: statement change
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:21 PM   #69
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Thursday at the range a guy gave me about 250 rounds of milsurp .223 cases the he had just shot. Stuff had to be left over from Vietnam it was so tarnished, 10 minutes of hand agitation in the vinegar and lukewarm water along with 100 .38's and 100 9mm's and other than the annealing discoloration it looks brand new. Don't see how any stainless pins and a 200 dollar tumbler could clean it any better. I just layed it out on newspaper in the yard that afternoon then moved it into the garage onto some old shop towells Thursday night because it rained here yesterday.When I deprimed it this morning and even the primer holes were dry.

Guess I could make a case dryer out of plywood with some rat wire shelves and a light bulb heat source and a old 12v fan if i ever got ambitious but it's almost summer and the sun does a pretty good job here in the south
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:36 PM   #70
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I am so glad I started this thread and it is so popular. Lots of good info on here.
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:07 AM   #71
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Harbour Freight is the best source for media. Still have 9/10ths of my box left.
Actually I think PetSmart is.
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Old March 11, 2012, 10:25 AM   #72
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Polishing vs Cleaning Brass

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Yesterday, 11:36 PM #70
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I am so glad I started this thread and it is so popular. Lots of good info on here.
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I too am glad you started this topic, although some of us have gotten off track sometimes, myself included.

You asked about POLISHING Brass where I took the subject to CLEANING Brass, which is not always the same.

I was recently looking at some of my brass that was polished. It had a very smooth finish on the exterior and was very shiney. Then I compared it to brass that was cleaned with SS Pins and noticed the pin process CLEANED the brass to point of being very shiney, inside and out, without doing the polishing that tumbling in dry media accomplishes.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is I got your topic off track by confusing POLISHING vs CLEANING. I have polished brass in the past to point where other shooters complemented my beautiful brass but that it did not help me shoot any better. However I have noticed an increase in accuracy with using clean brass, whether psychological or not, I know I have done all I can to make the first round exactly the same as the last round without concern about using used dirty cases, which may result in light primer strikes due to primer seated on crud, or powder burn affected by tumbling media mixed with burnt powder crud inside cases (which some of my polished bottle-necked cases had inside).

Hope this explains why I went off-topic.
(got to stop now - Wifey yelling at me so we can go look at new houses, something we do on Sundays after Brunch)
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:48 PM   #73
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Just got through FL sizing and tumbling almost two hundred .270 win brass,(rem) that belongs to my daughter and my #2 son. Trimmed, camfered, primer pockets all spic and span, and then primed.
If ever there was a case for tumbling brass, it was this very time fellas! Some of the casings came out of our range bag and they were a little cruddy, some were found in the shop in a coffee can, (#2's of course) so dad figured it was time for a littl .270 win LOVE to get them cleaned up and primed for the future.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:32 PM   #74
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I was talking clean and shiny but I do know what you mean by polished and tarnished. all in the same, everyone's input was good and valued.
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Old March 12, 2012, 06:17 AM   #75
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I was talking clean and shiny but I do know what you mean by polished and tarnished. all in the same, everyone's input was good and valued.
clean is just that. Dirt and grit which can harm your dies is removed from the case but brass can still have a layer of oxidized brass which is a brownish film. Polish is removing the oxidation layer.

Dry tumbling with lizard litter etc removes the oxidation through the friction of the walnut shell media against the case along with the addition of a polishing compound, with the wet methods a mild acid such as vinegar, lemon juice, or a citric acid based cleaner removes it chemically.
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