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Old November 20, 2000, 08:53 PM   #1
Ruben Nasser
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I hope everybody knows Brasso, the brass polishing paste. Does it contain ammonia? How harmful is it for cases, and why? I have a couple of friends that polish their cases by turning them one by one on a caliber specific adapter for a home drill (on a stationary mount), and rubing some brasso with a piece of cloth. It is pretty fast, and the brass comes out really shiny. I don't do it myself (except for some really tarnished cases), but they never had any problem.
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Old November 20, 2000, 09:26 PM   #2
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Ruben in one word DON'T. Brasso contains ammonia and the ammonia attacks the molecular structure of the brass. Believe it or not I USED to do exactly what your friends are doing before I knew better. I was lucky and had no problems but it is inviting disaster. Besides that it is so much easier to get a tumbler I have a Lyman, just dump in about 150 30-06 filthy cases with some of that $2.95 for 20# bag corncob from Wal-Mart and a squirt of Armorall Car wax (that one has no ammonia) and go do what ever you want to do, come back in 2 or 3 hours and the brass looks like it is brand new.
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Old November 20, 2000, 11:07 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
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Ditto on Carlyle's warnings.

There are two substances that can cause significant weakening of cartridge brass: ammonia and mercury.

Both attack the brass at the molecular level, as Carlyle said, and both can cause the brass to become weak and brittle, making it less able to stand up to the stress of firing.
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Old November 21, 2000, 08:16 AM   #4
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I did... now I don't. Ruined a lot of good wildcat formed cases before I discovered what was causing the necks to go brittle and split after only 3-4 loadings. It was the very small amount of ammonia that is in the Brasso.

Now I don't use Brasso anymore, and guess what, I don't ruin cases either.

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Old November 21, 2000, 08:25 AM   #5
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Best polish I've found (and in my business folks send me trial samples ALL THE TIME) is Dillon Rapid Polish.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old November 21, 2000, 11:32 AM   #6
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Flitz in the tumbler works. Thing is, I don't polish my brass, except for handguns and my AR... I just don't get it dirty... I _do_ clean the necks - bronze brush down the inside, and I wipe the outside with a piece of fine steel wool. Occasionally I'll get all anal retentive, and clean with something like Nevr-Dull or Krazy Kloth, but the steel wool seems to do the job. Of course, the cartridges go from the loading block, to the rifle, and back to the block - They aren't ejected, and don't hit the ground...

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Old November 21, 2000, 05:16 PM   #7
Big Bunny
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Friends....Are we perhaps taking this 'cleanliness of brass' thing too far?
I can understand auto pistol brass needs to be clean....but THAT clean?
I doubt it somehow.
I see some really dirty/stained auto brass being used and re-used on our range with no problems atall.

I have yet to find one application of a 1/2 cap of evaporated 'Brasso' to 1lb of cerial-based media in a vibro-tumbler to be that detrimental for a once-off clean of really filthy brass, but I guess it is all a matter of quantities, scale and frequency.[But I take the FL warnings of immanent disaster and case-failure on board and I may in future continually re-do a small batch of 40S&W in the offending mix and find out actually how long they DO last!That is ...if they are not lost before that).

If your straight-wall pistol cases need to be THAT shiny I suppose it may be a tolerance problem.

The Pistol's... and the owner's?

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Old November 21, 2000, 07:15 PM   #8
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Lymans walnut media cleans brass better than most,use corn
cob media after and the brass looks new.keeps the dies from
being scratched, and slicker feeding in autos.
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Old November 21, 2000, 09:07 PM   #9
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I have followed this and other threads that say do not use brasso NEVER.Well I guess I am hardheaded but I have been useing brasso in my tumbler for 20 yrs.I have cases that have 30 plus loadings on them.Yes I loose some every shooting but I realy think its due to the amount of loadings on the cases.
I think if brasso was that bad for the cases I wouldn't have any left.By the way I tumble my brass after every shooting.
Anybody have an explaination for this?
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Old November 22, 2000, 02:05 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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I take it one farther. I RARELY clean my pistol brass, other than to slosh it around in a bucket of soapy water and rinse.


Yeah, I have an explanation.... You're lucky.
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Old November 22, 2000, 11:01 PM   #11
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I also have an explanation: The Divine One takes care of drunks and fools.
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Old November 23, 2000, 03:55 PM   #12
Big Bunny
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Not always Wal...and certainly not reloaders!
Bad boys, bad boys...watcha goin' to do - watcha goin' to do when they come for YOU ?!
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Old November 23, 2000, 08:06 PM   #13
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Easy to call one a fool on the computer isn't it!!!I will continue doing as I have been doing because it works.MAybe you could get work calling people names on the computer as I really don't think you do it in person.Are you the DRUNK?
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Old November 24, 2000, 12:49 PM   #14
Johnny Guest
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[Edit: Sorry, should be WalterGAII, which looks same in this type font.]

Please e-mail me at [email protected]

Thank you

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Old November 24, 2000, 03:26 PM   #15
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Just trying for a little levity during these stressful times. Didn't mean to LITERALLY be calling anyone a fool or a drunk; just saying essentially the same thing as another poster...that somebody's been very lucky. Brasso will, indeed, weaken brass. Again, I do apologize that my post was taken so seriously. I really didn't mean anything by it.
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Old November 24, 2000, 06:23 PM   #16
Art Eatman
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Walt, that's why I use smilies so often. With my natural smart mouth, I gotta!

, Art
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Old November 24, 2000, 08:12 PM   #17
Robert Teesdale
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Reloading, brass, and loads

To All:

Well... I must say that over thousands and thousands of rounds, it has been completely and utterly PROVEN that each flyer, in each group I've ever shot, came from a case that was just a tiny bit less shiny than the others.

No doubt about it. I think the flyer fairy can get a better grip on the grime. (Did I just write that?)

On the serious side, my father and I spent three years getting the perfect load set up for my favorite rifle. And since folks here will appreciate it, permit me to dispense the recipe....

Model 700 Remington bolt action .243 Winchester
Leupold Golden Ring 20x
Federal brass only (I swear it didn't like Winchester)
Neck sized, but length sized ONLY after 3rd reload per case
37.8 grains of 4064 powder
75 grain HPBT Sierra bullet
Primers... gotta ask Dad.

Did it take forever to figure out? Three years, as I said. Was it worth it?

Well... if going shooting with your Dad two or three times a week for three years is fun, then hell yes! And the load is spanking perfect for that rifle.

From 100 yards, minute of angle was a joke. I'd be irritated and disappointed in myself if I got more than one hole for a five-shot group.

A friend who took the rifle shooting once was offered $5,000 for the rifle by a guy who was shooting a custom-made, gorgeous rifle with a custom 36-power scope. Couldn't hit anything with it. Same caliber as my off-the-shelf Remington.

My friend gracefully declined.

Those were definitely the days....

Now, having said all that - if you think that all that effort and testing and practice combined, is going downrange from a piece of brass any less shiny than Britney Spear's eyes after a (never mind)... you've got another thought coming.

Best regards,

Robert Teesdale
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Old November 25, 2000, 12:19 PM   #18
Long Path
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Cracking up at Robert!

Okay, here's MY take on shiny brass:

Reloading, as a rule, would be about 1/7th as big a pain if it weren't for case preparation. Most of the act of case prep is labor intensive. For rifles, that's sizing the brass, cleaning the brass, turning the brass, trimming the brass, chamfering the brass, priming the brass, and lubing (and later) un-lubing the brass. Of all of those tasks, tumbling just requires you to dump them into a tumbler, turn it on, go to work, come home, and dump the cases out(still don't have a squirrel cage sifter yet.). This is EASY, and requires less effort and precision, in my opinion, than any other aspect of reloading.

My wife, a sculptor, noted that tumbling likely work-hardens the cases a bit, too, which means stronger cases, without extra brittleness.

When you've put THAT much work into perfect cases, you want 'em to look special. That's natural.

Personally, I think that the cost of a tumbler and cornmeal and polish (I've only used Dillon's to spectacular results. Because it works so well with no ill effects, I'm actually very very limited in my range of experience with other techniques other than 0000 steel wool.) is worth the cost, given what you get:
  • Brass that functions smoothly.
  • No detritus to allow shtuff to cling to the brass to carry up into the dies to cause deformations.
  • Loads that look utterly professional.
  • Pride in ownership when looked over by others....

Now, there are those of you who are saying "Ah, heck! S'long as Ol' Betsy puts 'em all in the same ragged hole, I don't care much what the finished round looks like..."

Respectfully submitted, Bull! ( ! )
We've all been there, at the public range, or with a buddy, pulling out our own secret medicine, when he sees your reload boxes with the hand-written labels, and says,"you made those?" Now, as you think to that time, did your heart swell up with pride as you looked up to see his face, or did you check his eyes for concern... or even disdain? I submit that if your brass was shiny, your confidence in your little concoction rose a couple of notches as you smiled and proudly proclaimed those loads to be your own. (always under development, of course...)

I drive an 11 year-old dented pickup that needs a wash and a clean-out. I'm NOT fastidious about most things. But my loads, ESPECIALLY my rifle loads, need to look good. ANY aspect that inspires confidence inspires accuracy.

And that goes double for any loads I might gift someone.


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