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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 February 27, 2012, 07:20 PM   #1
10 acre woods
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how do you polish your brass and why?

So I come to the conclusion that I want my brass nice and shiny. The reason behind this is I can see if there is damage better or any funky distortions or problems. I find any tarnish will mask cracks in cases, bulges and dents.
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Old February 27, 2012, 07:28 PM   #2
CrustyFN
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I voted shiny. It doesn't help with accuracy but it makes it a lot easier to find them in the gravel where I shoot.
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Old February 27, 2012, 07:35 PM   #3
Eazmo
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^^^^^^^^^ yea that ^^^^^^^^^^^^

I also find them easier to spot for pick up when shiny. I just shoot in open desert so getting em all rounded up is a challenge sometimes.

lizard litter and nu finish w/ about 1.5- 2 hours max and they just twinkle.

i never tumble over two hours. don't need to
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Old February 27, 2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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A bit of tarnish doesn't hurt

I like brass that is clean and shiney but if there is some tarnish it is no biggie. Tumble for an hour or so with corn cob media and Cabelas brand brass polish.
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Old February 27, 2012, 11:06 PM   #5
603Country
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I tumble pistol brass, but hardly ever tumble rifle brass. Since I have no semi-auto rifles, after I've shot I lightly work the bolt and pick the brass out of the action. If I'm hunting, the empty goes into my pocket. If I'm punching paper, I pick the brass out and put it back in the MTM box. Except for the neck, the brass isn't ever dirty. When I get the brass back to the loading bench, I just twirl the brass neck in OOOO steel wool, resize and reload. Now somebody is wondering what I do if I miss with the first shot and have to cycle the bolt in a hurry. That does happen every now and then, but doesn't dirty up the brass enough to worry about.
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Old February 27, 2012, 11:33 PM   #6
jepp2
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I voted for shiny as new (if not better). My first priority is to clean the brass so it prevents anything from damaging my dies. I could stop there, but I like the polish and protection from tarnishing that tumbling with an additive provides. It also reduces the effort when sizing pistol brass with carbide dies.

I wouldn't ever tell anyone that they need to tumble until it is very shiny. It is just part of the pride I take in reloading. By the way, if it matters I like to keep my car clean also and I change the oil at the recommended frequency.
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Old February 28, 2012, 12:30 AM   #7
dacaur
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I like it shiney. You might ask why, I say, why not? Its my brass and I can do what I please with it....
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Old February 28, 2012, 12:45 AM   #8
lamarw
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I have a bucket of walnut and a bucket of corncob. I just tumble it in which ever bucket I grab first. I normally have a little nu-finish, blue boy or some other brass polishing liquid thrown in.

I tumble for about two hours, and it all comes out OK for me. I used to polish my brass in Officer Candidate School, and I do not hold shell casing anywhere to that standard.

If it is clean and reasonably shiny, it is OK. You missed this standard in your poll. Whats the big deal?

I spend way more time polishing my grips, holsters and gun finishes.
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Old February 28, 2012, 12:47 AM   #9
SIGSHR
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I always thought part of the reason for polishing brass was for easier extraction and to keep it from scratching chambers.
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Old February 28, 2012, 01:56 AM   #10
dmazur
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Polished brass does result in easier extraction.

So does a polished chamber. If you do both, you can reduce case stretch, somewhat. (See Varmint Al's FEA...)

However, clean brass is easier on your dies, as it gets rid of the grit which is typically sand (quartz). Probably also easier on your chamber.

I'm not sure you have to polish the brass to get this last benefit...I do it anyway, for the reason already mentioned - makes it easier to find.
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Old February 28, 2012, 02:05 AM   #11
huntinaz
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All I really care is that it's clean. Sometimes I'll tumble for only about an hour and call it good. It's nice to be shiny, but not necessary for me.

BUT... I acquired some Dillon case polish the other day and WOW, what a difference over the Cabelas stuff I was using. In 2 hours, dirty brass is clean and shiny. It used to take 4-7 hours to get brass like this. Now that it's this easy, I'll probably care more about getting it shiny.
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Old February 28, 2012, 06:36 AM   #12
oldandslow
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10aw, 2/28/12

I voted clean but any color is acceptable. I've only reloaded 80,000 rounds in the last six years and dry tumbled exactly once- it takes too long and the shiny rounds do not load or shoot any better than the clean/darkened brass ones. So in the three or four hours it takes to tumble one load I can clean and reload over a thousand pistol rounds on my Dillon SDB (I timed a batch of 100 9mm reloads and it took 10 minutes and 15 seconds, 200 rounds took 22 minutes as I had to reload primers) and have time left over to go shooting if I want to. And no, I have never scratched a die or missed a case crack due to case color. So while a clean case is essential a shiny case is not (even though they look pretty).

best wishes- oldandslow
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Old February 28, 2012, 06:51 AM   #13
4runnerman
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I also want them as clean as new or better. Cracks and ect are easier to spot.
As others posted-It is the pride i take in my job. Yes i also clean my rifle every time it gets used. . I think reloading is as much if not more fun than the shooting itself.
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Old February 28, 2012, 06:55 AM   #14
hounddawg
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I voted clean but care less about the shine. I used to tumble on a lathe with a tumbler made from 4 inch PvC. A buddy of mine made me a offer I could not refuse on the lathe and I decided I did not need a $3K lathe as a tumbler and figured I would just buy a conventional dry tumbler or a large ultrasonic with some of the money from the lathe.

While I was trying to decide between tumbler and ultrasonic I needed to clean a bunch of pistol brass so I found a old stainless pot that was in the "going to Goodwill" pile and boiled about 500 cases with some CLR and drop of detergent. It cleaned it so well I decided to keep doing it that way and put the tumbler/ultrasonic money into powder and bullets. That was several months and a few thousand rounds ago and since that time I have shot some of the best groups of my life with my clean but semi shiny brass. Still working on finding the perfect drying method though. So far newspapers on a workbench in the garage for a day or so is good for large lots of pistol fodder, and 25 minutes in the oven at 200 for small lots of rifle brass is about the best

You guys did make a believer out of me on uniforming and cleaning my primer pockets on the long range brass though
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Old February 28, 2012, 08:24 AM   #15
Kevin Rohrer
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Clean brass re-sizes easier. I also do it a second time after resizing to get the lube off the cases.
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Old February 28, 2012, 08:51 AM   #16
bigfinger76
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I'm still quite green as far as reloading goes. I'm tempted to buy a vibratory cleaner, but the sink seems to be sufficient.
Just this past weekend, I cleaned hundreds of .40 cases with just hot water, a little dishwashing detergent, and vinegar. I agitate the cases in the water by hand, then lay them on a microfiber towel to dry. The cases come out nice and shiny. Think I'll save the $60 for the time being.
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Old February 28, 2012, 09:49 AM   #17
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Just clean is good for me. The wife does all the brass sorting and cleaning and she does an excellent job.
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Old February 28, 2012, 10:15 AM   #18
hounddawg
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Quote:
Just this past weekend, I cleaned hundreds of .40 cases with just hot water, a little dishwashing detergent, and vinegar. I agitate the cases in the water by hand, then lay them on a microfiber towel to dry. The cases come out nice and shiny. Think I'll save the $60 for the time being.
I might have to try that, it's even simpler than my method. I have a bunch of 38's that I had stored under my workbench that I need to process this afternoon
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Old February 28, 2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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The main reason to tumble or clean brass is to get the dirt off of it before running it into a resizing die to keep from possibly scratching up the die. Especially the non-carbide dies. Other than that I found that my guns don't care if the brass is shiny or not.
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Old February 28, 2012, 07:53 PM   #20
10 acre woods
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sorry if I missed a category thought I had all my bases covered. Thanks for all the input.
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Old February 28, 2012, 08:04 PM   #21
m&p45acp10+1
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For me it is just plain clean. No black stuff, no tarnish. I clean off the crudd, and mud if it was from the range bucket after a rainy day. I run them for an hour or so in the tumbler, they will come out clean enough.

I have been using a sonic cleaner for rifle rounds, and it works just as well. Three cycles of three minutes does the job to get them clean. I then rinse them real good, and lay on a towell to dry.
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Old February 28, 2012, 08:49 PM   #22
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Just this past weekend, I cleaned hundreds of .40 cases with just hot water, a little dishwashing detergent, and vinegar. I agitate the cases in the water by hand, then lay them on a microfiber towel to dry. The cases come out nice and shiny.

Before i got my 2 tumblers i use almost this method.Vingar and Baking soda.Swirl every 3 minutes for a total of 15 min's soaking. Very clean inside and out. The waiting for a day or 2 for everything to dry was the killer,
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Old February 28, 2012, 10:12 PM   #23
thedaddycat
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I use a sonic cleaner and it gets them quite clean but not polished. I will probably try some of the other methods mentioned. At some point I would like to try the SS pin tumbler as it seems like it does a really good job of cleaning everything inside and out and leaves the brass looking like new. I did read that for the best accuracy you need to chamfer and debur after tumbling as the cases banging into each other put micro-dings in the case mouths.

So if you were going to reload for accuracy, what order of operations would you use? Clean, FL size, polish, chamfer/debur, reload and after that just neck size and hand polish the brass until it needs to be FL sized again?
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Old February 28, 2012, 10:47 PM   #24
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I like a nice patina on my revolver rounds.

I tried cleaning some .357 rounds in plastic pellets damp with Simple Green. It left a neat tarnish pattern on them that's still there after several cycles through the tumbler.
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Old February 29, 2012, 06:26 AM   #25
hounddawg
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Quote:
So if you were going to reload for accuracy, what order of operations would you use? Clean, FL size, polish, chamfer/debur, reload and after that just neck size and hand polish the brass until it needs to be FL sized again?
here is the routine which seems to work really well for me at least. Milage may vary

on new cases I full length resize, make sure the necks are square and a consistent length, chamfer inside and out, primer flash holes are deburred and primer pockets are uniform. After the first firing the first thing I do is run a neck reamer through mine which is a debatable technique. Even on Lapua the neck walls sometimes seem to be off by .001 or so on some cases or have a bit of a doughnut.

after the second firing on I just clean with a paper towel, check neck length, trim and chamfer if necessary, wipe down the necks with some neverdull to remove any carbon, necksize and I have just recently started to clean the primer pockets after every firing.

the key to accurate ammo is a consistent ignition, consistent powder charge, and consistent neck tension. After loading I always check runout on a concentricity tool and tweak to plus to minus .001 or less
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