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View Poll Results: What method of brass case cleaning do you use?
Tumbler 39 81.25%
Water / Soap etc. 7 14.58%
Ultrasonic 1 2.08%
Other 2 4.17%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 25, 2010, 08:04 AM   #26
CapnDub
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Mountain out of a molehill? Tempest in a teapot? Geesh, guys! If you want the definitive answer, don't take the opinion of some anonymous poster -- research the question for yourself: When you clean your next batch of cases simply pull a dirty one out of the batch and set it aside, then tumble them. When they are finished, use a hacksaw to cut one down the middle lengthwise. Do the same to the one you pulled out. Compare. Is the clean one clean enough to please you? Then ask yourself: "Does it matter?"
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:15 AM   #27
SL1
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Quote:
Why do you think it necessary to clean the inside of a fired case???? Ridiculouos really....
Well, one of the arguments I have seen posted in another forum states that the primer residue is a dominant cause of barrel throat erosion. Supposedly, it gets groud into the barrel metal as subsequent bullets go down the barrel. Maybe it is true, if the loads are kept rather mild to medium.

I have recently gotten into the game of trying to clean the insides of my cases because I have recently started picking-up range brass for my auto-loaders. And, that range brass is really narly. I certainly want to clean it before it gets anywhere near my dies, much less my guns.

I have an old, small rotary tumbler, and I have found that it doesn't clean the insides of cases unless they have very low residue to start with.

So far, I have found that a 3 minute run in a small (and cheap) Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner with a 1:2 vinegar-to-water solution, followed by a dip in a baking soda rinse and then a clear water rinse, gets the cases residue free or nearly so. After allowing to air dry, I then tumble in walnut media for complete removal of any remaining residue and shiney surface. I use small grain-sized lizard bedding from PetSmart, and it doesn't get stuck in flash holes like the Lyman stuff does. And, when I use a little NuFinish car polish in it, it doesn't leave residue, like the Lyman stuff does.

I am waiting for some stainless steel pin tumbling media to see if that works as well or better. Since the stainless pins need to be used wet, I needed to fabricate a leak-tight drum for my old rotary tumbler, because the one that came with it does leak. I was able to do the with some parts from the hardware store for $15 and some sawing and gluing. I'll let you know how that works for me. It is a pretty small set-up compared to what the posters in the other forums have been having great success with, but it is a cheap way for me to try it out. I can spring for a bigger tumbler later, if I like it enough.

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Old February 4, 2010, 07:42 PM   #28
mcintosh02
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I will be reloading within the month, I have not started yet.

I will be buying a Harbor Freight US cleaner for one reason: To minimize Lead Exposure.
Metallic lead from the bullets does not bother me, it is fairly inert. But, the lead styphonate in the primer residue, and subsequently the tumbler/media is harmful. I really don't want to be running a machine (in my basement) that will spread harmful lead dust throught my house. (the furnace is in the basement, and draws air from there.)

I could care less about cleaning the inside of my cases.

But if I am going to be dropping 100+ for a digital scale to keep me safe from exploding firearms, I can spend 60 on a cleaner to keep me safe from lead poisining.
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Old February 5, 2010, 12:36 AM   #29
lll Otto lll
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There are many benefits using ceramic. The fact that it cleans the interior is just a bonus.




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Old February 5, 2010, 09:24 AM   #30
mozbornj
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I use the ultrasonic method with rifle cases, I don't like having to try and get the media out of every case and it seems to clean them a little better.
Pistol cases I still tumble between every loading with great results.
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Old March 6, 2010, 11:23 PM   #31
rocklocker52
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Ultrasonic Cleaning

I've got an M1 with and brand new Krieger cut rifled match barrel that I've just gotten broken in and its definitely a MOA gun, even with surplus HPX ammo.

I've been cleaning my cases for years with a Lyman tumbler, walnut media with red rouge in it. The cases come out nice and shiny on the outside, but I've always had to brush the inside of the cases to get the red rouge residue out.

I was running about 100 cases through the tumbler today and then brushed the insides. I noticed that, even with a vigorous brushing, there was some residue inside the cases so I tried racking them up and put them in the dishwasher with the soap. It ran for 90 minutes. The cases came out kind of an dark aged brass color-the bright shine was gone. I took some q-tips and ran them around inside the cases and they came out with ALOT of red rouge residue on them.

It seems to me that if that residue is left in the case and reloaded, some of it is going to blow out into the barrel on firing. If I don't clean the barrel bore and chamber after each shot, that residue is going to "fire lap" the bore, throat and chamber. It seems to me that if that continues with every shot , its going to go from fire lapping to just plain unnecessary and undesirable wear in the barrel.

I think I'm going to try an ultrasonic cleaner. If it doesn't work, I can always clean gun parts and my bride's jewelry in it.

Have any of you found a solvent that will break the bond of that red rouge dust from the inside of the case effectively?

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Old March 6, 2010, 11:29 PM   #32
rocklocker52
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Ultrasonic Cleaning

I've got an M1 with and brand new Krieger cut rifled match barrel that I've just gotten broken in and its definitely a MOA gun, even with surplus HPX ammo.

I've been cleaning my cases for years with a Lyman tumbler, walnut media with red rouge in it. The cases come out nice and shiny on the outside, but I've always had to brush the inside of the cases to get the red rouge residue out.

I was running about 100 cases through the tumbler today and then brushed the insides. I noticed that, even with a vigorous brushing, there was some residue inside the cases so I tried racking them up and put them in the dishwasher with the soap. It ran for 90 minutes. The cases came out kind of an dark aged brass color-the bright shine was gone. I took some q-tips and ran them around inside the cases and they came out with ALOT of red rouge residue on them.

It seems to me that if that residue is left in the case and reloaded, some of it is going to blow out into the barrel on firing. If I don't clean the barrel bore and chamber after each shot, that residue is going to "fire lap" the bore, throat and chamber. It seems to me that if that continues with every shot , its going to go from fire lapping to just plain unnecessary and undesirable wear in the barrel.

I think I'm going to try an ultrasonic cleaner. If it doesn't work, I can always clean gun parts and my bride's jewelry in it.

Have any of you found a solvent that will break the bond of that red rouge dust from the inside of the case effectively?

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Old March 7, 2010, 05:30 PM   #33
rocklocker52
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Tumbling W/ Mineral Oil

Today, as I began prepping cases, I decided to try Troy_Mclure's trick and added about an oz of mineral oil to my walnut media with the red rouge.

When I removed the cases from the tumbler, I was really pleasantly surprised to see that the rouge residue I had been experiencing previously inside the cases was almost completely gone and the insides of the cases were cleaner too...not as clean and bright as the outside, but the vast majority of the carbon and burned powder resideue was gone (which leads me to believe the tumbler does have some cleaning action inside the cases) The cases will still have to be brushed out but they look pretty darn good to me.

...and thank you Troy_Mclure, for the suggestion!

(PS...sorry about the double post...it wasn't there last night after I posted it)
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Old March 7, 2010, 06:26 PM   #34
demigod
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I've been using LemiShine in water in my Amazon cheapo Ultrasonic cleaner to prep brass recently.

Once you see how clean an ultrasonic clean can get your brass, it's hard to go back to loading dirty cases.
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Old March 22, 2010, 04:28 PM   #35
illbits
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Quite the range of opinions

I just throw mine in with the spaghetti noodles and... YUM!
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Old March 22, 2010, 04:43 PM   #36
TXJohn
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To each his own !!! I just tumble in my Lyman
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Old March 22, 2010, 06:07 PM   #37
SL1
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Well, I see this thread is still alive.

To update my post above about waiting for the stainless steel pin media:

I did make a water-tight drum that fits my Thumblers AR1 rotary tumbler, and tried the stainless media with water and a little Ivory dish detergent. It worked great, cleaning the insides of the cases and the primer pockets as well as making the outsides very clean. I could get 50 .40S&W cases into the "3 pound" drum of the AR1. I eventually bought a bigger Thumblers and have switched to using the stainless pin media wet for all my case cleaning.

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Old March 23, 2010, 05:53 PM   #38
furtaker
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SL1, where did you get your stainless media from and what size is it? Thanks!
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Old March 23, 2010, 07:32 PM   #39
87mustang
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cleaning cases

here's how to clean brass cases:

1. buy a tumbler
2. put media in tumbler
3. put brass in tumbler
4. turn tumbler on
5. after a little while, open tumbler check cleanliness of brass, if it needs to be cleaner, turn tumbler back on again.
6. repeat step 5 until brass is clean.

cleaning brass is not too terribly hard
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Old March 23, 2010, 08:27 PM   #40
SL1
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Furtaker

I looked around on the Internet and found that there are lots of types of stainless steel media used for tumbling jewelry and other metal parts. From what I read, "pins" (i.e., short wires) 0.04" diameter by 0.25" long are good for tumbling cases. My experience with that media is entirely satisfactory.

On Internet searches, the only stainless media that I could find was very expensive and had large minimum orders. For example, $55 per pound with minimum order of 50 pounds, shipping not included.

Then, I found a post on the Snipers Hide forum by a guy who has a friend who will sell 5 or 10 pounds for a lower price per pound. I paid $46 for 5 pounds including shipping! But, I understand that the price had to go up a little, but I don't know to what.

For some reason, the name of the guy selling the media is not posted on the Snipers Hide forum. You can get it by PMing "Suasponte" on THAT forum. Although I don't understand why that is the way it is, I will respect the protocol and send you to the appropriate post here: http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...83#Post1153883

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Old April 20, 2010, 03:58 PM   #41
Fishslayer
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For $100 at Harbor Freight I just might have to give it a try.

I only load .45ACP & .357 and the tumbler DOES get the insides clean, but like others I don't care for the dust. I've been giving a 2 hr bath in Lemi Shine. This gets out a good bit of the worst stuff, but will leach the zinc if left in too long.

I like clean AND shiny, so I may just go US & finish up with a trip through the corn cobs!
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Old April 27, 2010, 02:50 PM   #42
wxl
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Have always used a tumbler and sometimes with really dirty brass, soaked in some Simple Green as a pre-wash.

Decided to make the leap and try the Harbor Freight Ultrasonic. Normally priced $79.99 but still on sale ~$60. Had a 20% off coupon and was <$48. Figured it might be useful for really cruddy brass or cleaning other things. Just bought it but yet to try it out.
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Old April 27, 2010, 03:47 PM   #43
Abraxxas
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I picked up one of the Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaners for $59 a few weeks ago because I dont have a tumbler yet and I can use it for more than my brass. I've been using 50/50 vinegar water and a couple drops of dish soap and after two 480 second cycles my .454 brass looks like new inside and out. I dont like scraping primer pockets and if I dont, the primers dont seat properly in the .454 brass. Using the ultrasonic cleaner leaves my primer pockets gleaming clean with no residue, this is worth it for me. I do them in batches of 25 and am very happy with the results.

I have since tried throwing a bunch of brass in a clean gallon paint can with some corn cob media and throwing it on the paint shaker at work, this works great for shiny outsides, done in 45 minutes. I then size, deprime and into the ultrasonic which removes the tumbling dust and primer pocket crud for brand new looking brass.

To finish I give it a swish around in a bucket of cold water with a teaspoon of baking soda disolved to neutralize the acids, rinse and pour it out on a towel to air dry overnight. I prep my brass in bunches and then store it in a ready to load condition. Works great for me, I do not load high volumes yet and will probably no spend as much time on my .45acp plinking ammo but it takes minimal effort if I want it perfect.
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Old April 27, 2010, 03:56 PM   #44
49willys
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you're puttin WAY too much thought into it.Just how much accuracy improvement do you think you are going to get by having shiny insides?Can you even shoot good enough to tell?Can any human?I don't think so.Prove me wrong though.It would be interesting to see test results from tumbled compared to sonic cleaners if humanly possible to get any definitive results.
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Old April 27, 2010, 05:17 PM   #45
Abraxxas
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I dont have any ideas about it improving my accuracy in the least, the only thing that will do that with my pistols is... me practicing more!! As I stated before, I do it mainly to clean my primer pockets without having to hand scrape each one. I had problems getting them to seat flush in my .454 brass and found the dirty pocket to be the reason. Had I not ran into that problem I probably wouldnt touch the pockets other than to be sure the flash hole is clear...
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