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Old January 20, 2013, 10:02 AM   #1
rbf420
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gunk in brass a problem?

I started reloading a large batch of 30-06 and while doing so I noticed that the is a small layer of "gunk" inside the case. I had lubed them up for full length sizing and then tumbled them in some old dusty walnut media. The gunk does not seem to be damp at all but rather caked on walnut dust. My question is, does this pose a threat to long term storage life?
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Old January 20, 2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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Yes. Any kind of wood or organic fiber material dust can attract and hold moisture against metal which can initiate corrosion. I would get a can of odorless mineral spirits from one of the big box stores and put some in a pail and immerse and shake and rinse out each case with with it then let them dry. If that dust is caking due to lube, that should dissolve it unless it is water-base lube. In the case of water-base lube, forget the mineral spirits and go for some dishwashing liquid in water instead. You may be able to get them clean by just shaking them in a milk jug with that solution.
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:26 PM   #3
rbf420
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could i also put some mineral spirits into the media to help stop the gunking before it happens?
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Old January 20, 2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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could i also put some mineral spirits into the media to help stop the gunking before it happens?
If you have enough dust (and/or polishing compound) in the media, that it's building up on the cases, I would clean or change the media.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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Yes, it's common for people to add a little mineral spirits to media for polishing. But if you have enough dust to build up like that, though, I don't know that you could add enough to prevent it. If you get the media too heavy with liquid, a vibratory tumbler may stop vibrating well.

What folks usually use for cleaning lube off cases is plain (no polishing compound) corncob media. That's because it's much more absorbent than walnut. You can get 40 lbs from here for less than $1 a pound. That's more than you'll pay if you have some place that sells it locally, but because it includes shipping, it is cheaper than most other outside places. 20-40 grit is the size Lyman sells.

I'd at least clean the walnut media, as FrankenMauser suggested, or look at just replacing it. That's cheap to do with pet store walnut litter, or if you buy the corncob, use that, separating the corncob you've added polish to from the corncob you use to clean lube off the cases. Mix some mineral spirits into a tablespoon or two of automotive polishing compound to make thick liquid to serve as your polish, and add to it the media, let it vibrate into the media with the cover on for 10 or 15 minutes. Voila! New media.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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I've found that using a few old dryer sheets with the "nu finish" keeps the dust to a min. the sheets along with the nu finish collect the dust and dirt pretty good.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips. I went out and got some spirits threw all my brass in a 5 gal bucket and poured in the spirits and shook the crap out of it. Let it sit awhile shook it again. Then poured out the spirits for later use, then washed out and cleaned of the brass with hot soapy water and then a rise. How would u suggest drying the brass? Im thinking about drying most of it off with a towel and then possibly putting it in the oven on the lowest temp 170 and letting the heat take out the rest of the water inside the case and primer pocket.

I have been looking for some media and that is by far the cheapest place thanks for that tip, am buying some as I type.
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Old January 20, 2013, 05:07 PM   #8
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I shake the cases around in a scrap terrycloth towel, set it on a flat surface and tap each case head against the towel to knock out any water held in the flash hole. I then lay them on some fresh towel and forget about them for three days. They are then dry.

If your water is hard and tends to make water spots, you can do a final rinse in distilled water before drying them.

There is nothing wrong with the oven in principle, but you have to be careful it doesn't go over about 450°F, even during the brief peaks when the heat source is on. That can weaken the heads, which you don't want to do.
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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You could have just rinsed them out with water....there's huge numbers of reloaders using SS media and water to clean their cases. Most dry them in the oven on low temp.
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Old January 21, 2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I don't put any case lube in my tumbler !
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Old January 21, 2013, 02:58 PM   #11
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You could have just rinsed them out with water....there's huge numbers of reloaders using SS media and water to clean their cases. Most dry them in the oven on low temp.
I am one of those people. I have been doing it for a couple of years and it's by a long shot the best way to clean your brass inside and out.

I don't dry them in the oven tho.

I use hot water, SS pins, dish soap and Lemi Shine. I drain the dirty water and rinse with hot water 2-3 times then I shake out the SS pins and dump the brass in a bath towel, roll up the ends of the towel and shake the brass for about 30 seconds. Because the brass is warm from the hot water the pistol brass is almost dry at this point and rifle only needs to set over night. If you needed the brass ready to use right after tumbling I would either blow dry it or put it in the oven on the lowest setting for 20-30mins.

You can clean up the nastiest looking brass to new or next to new condition.

The best part is the SS pins last forever so you never need to replace the media.

The .45 ACP brass I cleaned up last week looks better then new IMO.

Just started another batch a few minutes ago.

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Old January 21, 2013, 09:41 PM   #12
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I shake the cases around in a scrap terrycloth towel, set it on a flat surface and tap each case head against the towel to knock out any water held in the flash hole. I then lay them on some fresh towel and forget about them for three days. They are then dry.
That. ^^^

And, if I'm in a hurry (or part of the basement with minimal air flow), I'll turn a box fan on to get some air moving.
Before I go to bed, I stir the cases a bit and turn the fan off.
With a fan, they're usually dry in less than 24 hours.
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Old January 22, 2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Drying the brass

Takes slightly more time, but I rack up the brass in plastic cartridge holders after shaking in a towel and rolling on the towel. Brass is placed mouth down in skeletonized plastic trays I’ve collected over the years. Trays are placed on a bed/towel/table/whatever and generally the brass is dry by the next day. With the case heads facing up, it is quick work to sort by headstamp.
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Old January 23, 2013, 04:11 PM   #14
tclaydon
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SS pins

Back to reloading after a long hiatus. Stainless steel pins?? Something new?
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Old January 23, 2013, 04:26 PM   #15
FrankenMauser
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Back to reloading after a long hiatus. Stainless steel pins?? Something new?
It's an old commercial process that has become more popular for the average reloader. Some searches in this reloading forum, and online, should give you more information than you need.
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:13 PM   #16
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in a nutshell, the SS pins, with a little bit of soap and citric acid make any old case look brand new. The best part for me is that the pins get into the primer and flash holes too, so the entire case is perfectly clean in about two hours. The pins appear to have an unlimited lifespan.

Downsides: The cases are now wet and need to be dried before loading, you need a decently sized rotary tumbler, and the pins cost about $8/pound and you will need about 5 pounds in most tumblers.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:20 PM   #17
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best tip I have seen on drying is to rll the cases in a old towel then place the cases in a mesh laundry bag and hang it on the inside of my clothes dryer door. No clothes in dryer of course. Dried 2K+ of 9mm cases in about an hour the other day
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Old January 25, 2013, 01:45 AM   #18
FrankenMauser
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best tip I have seen on drying is to rll the cases in a old towel then place the cases in a mesh laundry bag and hang it on the inside of my clothes dryer door. No clothes in dryer of course. Dried 2K+ of 9mm cases in about an hour the other day
I always forget about the "delicates" rack for my dryer. Could be useful....
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:42 AM   #19
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Just don't do that if the primer pockets aren't perfectly cleaned, as with the stainless pins. If you do you are probably putting lead dust into your drier that can get on your clothes and accidentally transfer from there to your mouth. One fellow posted about having his home checked for lead contamination and found it only in one place, which was where he separated tumbling media from brass. He didn't even have it his bullet casting area. That dust from lead styphnate priming mix is a significant source of lead contamination.
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