The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 30, 2011, 10:38 PM   #26
35_Whelen
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2010
Posts: 8
P5 Guy now that is a hard question at times. Some are apparent as it will scratch the case while sizing. And also it depends on what you fire the brass from.

Some guns have very tight tolerances which are mostly custom built guns where the chambers are reamed to a certain dimension along with close tolerances for head space. In this respect if the dies are worn the cases may no longer feed or function correctly in said arm.

Where as factory guns are normally pretty loose so they are not finicky with a wide array of ammo. In this case you may not notice a problem except for scratched brass. Which may simply mean your die's need to be cleaned. So I would start there first.

Look up Ed's Red Bore cleaner it is great as a bore cleaner and cheap to make and makes a great parts cleaner as well.

Last edited by 35_Whelen; January 30, 2011 at 10:47 PM.
35_Whelen is offline  
Old January 31, 2011, 02:57 PM   #27
Shawn F.
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 12
Hey guys, I am new to the forum (long time reader/spectater though) and this is my first post but I do have a question about polishing brass... I use all RCBS reloading equipment just about and a Hornady tumbler. Before loading I would like to make 100% sure all media is out of the casing. I saw that someone here mentioned vinegar and water and then dry... Will the vinegar strip the polish from the brass and dull it out? I do like very shiny brass just for the fact that my range is in a grass field and shiny brass is easier to spot.

Thanks for any info!
Shawn F. is offline  
Old January 31, 2011, 04:25 PM   #28
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,577
I saw that someone here mentioned vinegar and water and then dry.

Your forgetting the Baking Soda. one tablespoon per gallon. Yes it will dull your brass only if you soak to long (15 minutes is good enough stirring every 5 minutes) and if you do not rinse them off under water when you are done. Cleans inside and out very good. Used to do it up till i got a tumbler. A tumbler will get them very shinney if you just tumble longer also.

OOps--White Vinager only......Why?? Your guess is as good as mine on that one.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old February 1, 2011, 03:46 AM   #29
Shawn F.
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 12
So water, white vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda will do the trick? I am talking about doing this AFTER I tumble to get all the media out and all the dust and crap off of the brass inside and out...
Thanks for the info!
Shawn F. is offline  
Old February 2, 2011, 10:29 AM   #30
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,192
The old NRA formula was vinegar and salt. Lots of folks add a teaspoon of dish washing liquid per quart. Kodak Photo-flo is another product that helps water wet better by breaking surface tension. In that case a couple of drops are usually all that are needed. The vinegar does slightly etch and activate the surface of the brass. After rinsing and drying, over a period of weeks the brass will tarnish significantly if there is no post-clean polishing.

If you want to avoid that, the best method is a solution of 5% citric acid powder by weight with 95% water by weight (1.75 oz citric acid plus water to make the solution up to one quart is close enough). This is an old armory formula. Citric acid is a good passivating acid for stainless steel. It is also a water softener, though adding a teaspoon of Dawn Essentials (the clear stuff with no scent or antibacterial or other additives) helps suspend dirt. Its etching of brass seems to be self-limiting. It quickly deoxidizes any verde gris or other oxide and it does not seem to encourage tarnish as vinegar does. You can get 10 lbs of citric acid, shipping included, for $34 here. (There are other sources and I have no particular interest in that one other than the price seemed fair compared to a lot of others and I got good service from them.)

I've heard a couple of folks endorse a 50:50 mix by volume of Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Cleaner which is about $11 a gallon at Home Depot and probably at Lowe's, too. It does brighten brass and its detergent properties do help clean dirt and oil off.

None of these liquid solutions will polish. You will need to follow them up with tumbling to brighten them. Plain walnut will take some of the dulling off. Brightening them does make ejected brass easier to find in the grass. The polish does not, however, extend case life. Hatcher did an experiment showing normal oxide layers actually offer some degree of protection, same as bluing or browning does on a gun.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is online now  
Old February 2, 2011, 12:56 PM   #31
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,577
So water, white vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda will do the trick? I am talking about doing this AFTER I tumble to get all the media out and all the dust and crap off of the brass inside and out...
Thanks for the info

Shawn- Yes it will do a very good job. just make sure you don't soak to long or forgrt to rinse. It's a hassel as you need to turn cases to ensure all water comes out. Doing 20 or 30 at a time is not bad,but try do 200 or 300..Ya get sick of tipping cases...
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old February 2, 2011, 01:48 PM   #32
PA-Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 893
Why not just look inside of the case to make certain that all of the media has fallen out? A few taps on the table and maybe a wire to clean the primer hole. This is also why I use fine walnut media, it doesn't bind up in the case.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old February 2, 2011, 01:54 PM   #33
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,577
Ya what PA-Joe says.. I just gave you my old recipe i used to use. Does work great though. Now i use lizzard bedding to tumble in.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old February 2, 2011, 07:36 PM   #34
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,192
I strongly recommend you do the liquid cleaning first, let it dry thoroughly (preservative food dryer or a good shake out and several days of sitting) so it can't swell dry media, then run it through the tumbler. The reason is to polish the surface the vinegar activates so it doesn't tarnish. Indeed, any chemical cleaning will be more dull than a mechanical polishing, so if you want a bright surface, polish last.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is online now  
Old February 2, 2011, 10:55 PM   #35
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
White vinegar is suggested for cleaning cases because it doesn't smell as strong as red vinegar, that's all there is to it.

Mixing baking soda to the vinegar just neutralizes the acidic acid in vinegar; that's not a helpful thing to do. Nor is adding water any use, it simply dilutes the acid. Vinegar is NOT a strong acid, we eat the stuff in pickles and salad dressings so diluting it for brass isn't neccessary at all.

Adding salt to the mix helps speed things a little to achieve a given result. Forget the salt and let cases soak in straight vinegar and it will soon be clean and tarnish free. Afterwards, tumbling will polish it as bright as you wish.
wncchester is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 06:29 AM   #36
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
Get a better book; I recommend a Lyman Pistol & Revolver.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 10:54 AM   #37
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 7,136
Again, I use vinegar, vinegar and nothing, I have purchased cases that would have taken weeks to tumble, even then their was no promise tumbling would improve the color. The cases have been available because no one wanted to make the effort, with vinegar the cases at .01 cent each was a bargain. TIME Time is a factor, maximum time for cleaning is 15 minutes, then wash. In the old days we called it receipt, in the old B & M reloading manuel they called it 2% H2SO3 and water And they made it very clear there was a time limit, 3 to 4 minutes and the cases required washing in water,,,, twice.... boiling water,,,and then they called it 'pickling' or preparing for long time storage. When finished the cases had a black finish. Vinegar was/is more user-friendly, again before it turns green after vinegar can be used on a salad or used on the scalp or face before final scrubbing, around here everything else gets WD40.

As to vinegar and water, not a problem, the difference when adding water is 'time' instead of 15 minutes MAXIMUM (maximum for the worst of cases, other cases that would require additional time in the tumbler would not require the maximum time), time could be increases or used for cases that are not as dirty as my .01 cent cases.

I use vinegar to reduce tumbling by days, if the cases are not heavily tarnished they do not require vinegar.

After cleaning in vinegar and washing and rinsing the cases going into the tumbler are on par with cases that have been fired at the range and take about the same amount of tumbling, again, I use vinegar and nothing, I use corn tumbling media and nothing, and when adding stuff to my oil in the old days I use oil and Reslone because they promised me if it did not help my oil, it would not hurt my oil. Then there was Marvel Mystery oil.

Cases that shine: Shining is a product of a method and or technique, if I am going to load 20 cases I will spin to shine, it takes less time to spin than it takes to tumble, if I am loading 60+ cases I tumble.

F. Guffey

When the cases being cleaned in vinegar turns pink/orange the cases have been in the vinegar too long AND I only clean cases in vinegar once for the life of the case, meaning the only cases that are cleaned in vinegar are cases that I add to cases I have sorted and put away, if it is necessary.
F. Guffey is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 11:12 AM   #38
jcsturgeon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2009
Posts: 291
I saw a video on Youtube where a guy used Simple Green (a non toxic degreaser/general cleaner) and water to clean his brass. Seemed like it would keep the lead down and work for a small startup like me so I tried it.

It seems to work great, especially when you dump in the brass right after coming home from the range, it's clean, shiny and looks very good. I can't wait to start re-loading it.
jcsturgeon is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 01:10 PM   #39
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart, AR
Posts: 1,569
Acid vs. Base

I did learn something in my high school chemistry last century. Vinegar is an acid; baking soda is a base, dish washing “soap” is a surfactant. The idea is to use the acid solution, vinegar, to dissolve and dishwashing soap to breakdown surface tension; thereby, allowing “particles” to be removed from the surface of the brass. The brass would then be washed again in a separate solution containing baking soda for neutralizing the acid (vinegar). Then rinse well in water and dry.

Personal preference is to de-prime the brass then wet tumble with stainless steel media, water, Lemishine and dish washing soap. Down side is the time to process the brass, but the up side is no dust, no big bags of media, clean primer pockets and beautiful brass.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 04:20 PM   #40
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"How can one tell when one's die is worn? "

Interesting question. I've been reloading since '65 and am yet to see a worn die.
--------------------------------

"...cases at .01 cent each was a bargain"

Wow, a hundered cases per penny IS a bargain, don't care what color they are!
wncchester is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 01:05 PM   #41
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,800
Cleaning brass is a necessity for longevity, reliability, and proper function of your reloading equipment and firearms.

Polishing brass is 99% cosmetic. The 1% where it helps is in firearms that have issues to begin with, and the polish might help feeding a bit.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 05:57 PM   #42
amamnn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2006
Location: WA, the left armpit of the USA
Posts: 1,323
If you are shooting fully jacketed or plated bullets and are tumbling in a well ventilated large area like a barn or garage, I would not be worried about lead poisoning. Richard Lee's friend who was poisoned was not using FMJs and not observing due care and caution over a long period of years........
__________________
"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal
amamnn is offline  
Old February 6, 2011, 01:02 AM   #43
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,800
Quote:
If you are shooting fully jacketed or plated bullets and are tumbling in a well ventilated large area like a barn or garage, I would not be worried about lead poisoning. Richard Lee's friend who was poisoned was not using FMJs and not observing due care and caution over a long period of years
I tumble in my reloading room, and dump the media into a sifter in the same room. I try to keep the dust to a minimum, but take no action in mitigating it. I eat and drink while reloading with lead components.

My lead levels are fine.

Dig through these forums. There is a massive correlation between shooting indoors with poor ventilation, and high lead levels in the blood. There is very little to definitively tie reloading processes to high lead levels (an increase - yes; substantially elevated - no).
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.22603 seconds with 8 queries