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Old May 7, 2013, 01:33 AM   #1
zcrenna
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Anything wrong with cleaning brass this way??

So I was gonna pick up some walnut hull at a local store tomorrow, 9lbs for $15 was all they had.

But before I did I thought I'd try something I'd heard which was throwing the brass in my rotary tumbler, some hot water, some tumbling shot and some liquid soap.

Took about 10 minutes and the brass looks fantastic... Seems almost too simple..

I know you can't use any liquid products with ammonia in them as that damages the brass, making it brittle, but is there anything I should look out for doing the above??

No ammonia in the soap ingredients.

I'm sold on the above unless someone would like to advise me to do otherwise
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:40 AM   #2
rajbcpa
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I'm exploring ways to limit exposure to lead (lead dust) when tumbling. One suggestion I got from a post on another board was to wash and dry the brass before tumbling.

So yeh, people wash brass with soap and water and it does not harm the cases.

I'm not enamored with super shinny brass. Brass does not need to be new looking to perform perfectly. In fact, I like using nickel plated brass but it is not easy to find during the shortage.

If you washed your brass in soap and water and it is clean there is no need to do anything else. Before you reload with powder, make sure the cases are completely dry.

I would NOT use a food container to wash brass. Use a plastic tub that will not be used for food. Wash your hands frequently to get rid of any lead.
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:34 AM   #3
F. Guffey
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“......throwing the brass in my rotary tumbler, some hot water.....”

Not for me to ask or wonder why, another shooter/reloader/etc.. found a a commercial/industrial blue print developing machine, serial #1 of 2, compete with wheels, stainless steel tube, chain drive and variable speed controlled drive motor. He wanted help in turning the machine into a tumbler, the machine is now a wet case rotary tumbler with a 7 gallon fluid capacity, and he has enough cases to fill it, again and again etc.. Then for some reason I do not understand he purchases this little bitty tumbler that uses stainless steel pins, back to “Not for me to ask or wonder why”. He could have added stainless steel pins and lime shine and water that does not stain?

I use ground up corm media and nothing, for the worst of cases I use vinegar for a maximum of 15 minutes for the life of the case. I could use vinegar for less time if I used a rotary tumbler, if everything was made of stainless steel, or plastic etc..

When using vinegar the cases must be rinsed and rinsed etc., again, I do not make it a habit of cleaning cases in an acid, I use vinegar to reduce tumbling time, some times from 4 days to 2 hours.

Using water in a dry type tumbler is a load for the motor, too much weight, I have ceramic media, same thing.

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Old May 7, 2013, 08:49 AM   #4
oldpapps
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zcrenna,

Your precess is excellent. I don't know what your hardware is or how well it will hold up with water and any load. But I will go with your best judgement.

I use stainless steel pins, a squirt of Dawn and fill with water in my rubber tubs on a rolling cleaner/ rock tumbler.

I find that dumping the rubber tubs into a steel round bowl (snitched it from the kitchen) and rinsing with fresh water until the nast has flowed away. Shake each case under water to rid it of the pins (they want to adhere with water) and dry. I dump my wet brass on a towel (easier to pick them up) on a cookie sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 250 to 300 degrees, depending upon how much brass is going in, put the brass in the over and turn off the heat. When the oven is cool, the brass is dry. No further work for me.

Clean and dry brass. I do 'rattle tub' in grit before I size/deprime. Then to clean off any lube and the carbon crust from inside the cases and primer pockets, use the water pin mix.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:00 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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I've washed my brass for years.

I don't bother tumbling it.

I put it in a bucket with some soap and hot water and shake/swirl it for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and shake to get rid of the worst of the water.

Then I spread the brass out on a sheet in front of my dehumidifier (in the summer) or by the furnace in the winter.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:46 AM   #6
mikld
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OOPS!
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:48 AM   #7
mikld
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Wet tumbling is an excellent way to clean brass (especially with the primer lead dust scare currently going on). A lot of folks use stainless steel pins, but actually anything harder than brass will work. Check out some blasting/metal finishing supply houses to see the variety of media used. http://www.mcmaster.com/#additional-media/=mnc3vr
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:21 PM   #8
zcrenna
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Great.
Thanks alot for the input and advice everyone.

Much appreciated!
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Old May 8, 2013, 11:06 AM   #9
wncchester
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"(especially with the primer lead dust scare currently going on). "

Yeah, and it's a shame; there's no meaningful lead involved with tumbling. Seems some guys with the "you can't be too careful" mindset are playing Chickin' Little. The 'horrid gray dust' they seem frightened by is the polish, not lead. It's the same type polish you apply to your car from time to time and it's no more harmful. Don't work to inhale the dust - because it IS dust - and don't lick your fingers clean of the gray dust and all will be well.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:25 AM   #10
F. Guffey
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I am at a disadvantage, I have R. Lee’s book on modern reloading, other reloaders have the same book, difference? I have read R. Lee’s book on modern reloading, I have no clue what other reloaders do with the book, I suspect they think if they use it the book will get dirty, all my books are used, very used.

In his book on Modern Reloading he refers to cleaning cases as not necessary, because I live in a dirt, grit and grime environment I make an effort to clean cases because of the embed ability of brass I choose to limit the exposure, I can not get all of it, some of my dies have had at least two previous owners, I do not have a die that I will not use because of abuse, ‘EXCEPT FOR! those dies that have been shortened by grinding, a very bad habit and not necessary.

Then there is owning the book and reading the book, again, R. Lee wrote in his book on modern reloading he did not test Federal primers because they did not donate primers to be tested. When I use primers I have to move the big Federal boxes to get to the little boxes in the back of the drawer.

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