The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 16, 2008, 10:55 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: March 27, 2008
Posts: 10
Best way to clean .357 brass on a budget?

I've been wondering what is the most economical way to clean my .357 brass lately-heard from a guy that for the first reloading, a spray of one shot lube will do, but have a feeling i either misunderstood or was misinformed. It worked nonetheless (all but one, a misfire the first time the primer was hit) but i know that i need to come up with some way of cleaning my cases thoroughly. Don't have much money to spend as im about to graduate college, and i was wondering if there's an economical way to clean the cases without buying a tumbler. If not, what's the cheapest tumbler that you guys would recommend?
Newreloader86 is offline  
Old April 16, 2008, 11:11 PM   #2
Junior member
Join Date: January 23, 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 1,398
For a tumbler, it's hard to beat the Cabela's one. It's made by Berry's Mfg (good company) for Cabela's.

For a cheap cleaning, water and Dawn dish soap. Put brass in the mix. Let it soak a good half hour, swirl it around, then rinse good in water. Let air dry overnight. I used this method before I got a tumbler.
freakshow10mm is offline  
Old April 16, 2008, 11:22 PM   #3
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 48
Have a look at the Lyman Turbo Pro 1200, less than $55 at Midway USA.
Darkstar7 is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 04:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
For a revolver?

Dump the fired brass from the cylinder onto the bench or into a bucket. When done take the brass home, wipe with rag, and reload.

If it's not dirty you don't "need" to clean it. Vibratory tumblers aren't too expensive and I use a Lyman 1200. But it really isn't necessary to polish the brass all you have to do is get the dirt off and make sure there's no debris inside. Before I got my tumbler I used to dump range brass in the clothes washer with a load of rags. I'd shake it out and dry it in the oven at 215° for about an hour.
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 11:44 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 3, 2007
Posts: 371
soap and water

A tumbler is the way to go.....but if your only going to be doing a small amount, I'd wash it in the sink with soap and water then dry. I dry my washed cases (after tumbling) in a caulander placed on a rack in my clothes dryer, it works great.
Believe NONE of what you hear; HALF of what you see and ALL you believe

Accuracy is king,penatration is queen but why not jack'em in the process if you can.
farnorthdan is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 03:34 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: March 27, 2008
Posts: 10
Thanks to all for the recommendations-they were very helpful
Newreloader86 is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 04:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 9, 2008
Location: Puget Sound Washington
Posts: 1,552
Harbor freight has a two drum rock tumbler for $29. Each drum has a 3lb capacity. I'm on a tight budget and thats my plan. they also sell a vibrating tumbler made for reloading for a little more. I've been hand polishing with Mothers but I'm about tired of that. I know a guy that uses one of the rock tumblers for brass and swears by it.
"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." The Dalai Llama (5/15/01, The Seattle Times)
"That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." George Orwell
Inspector3711 is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 04:11 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: January 12, 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,728
I have a Frankford Arsenal tumbler I got for about 40 bucks.
rantingredneck is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 04:57 PM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
Crushed walnut pet bedding from the pet store in a zippered pillow case in the dryer with whatever else you are drying at the moment

I won't tell you to put a couple teaspoons of brasso in there because a lot of people will come back and talk about the chemical reaction of ammonia with brass. But what I do with my .460 S&W brass is my business, I know the reaction as I am a trained chemist, and haven't seen any ill effects after 20+ reloadings on some brass with hot .460 S&W loads.
NavyLT is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 05:41 PM   #10
The Lovemaster
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 416
I've heard of the media/pillow case/dryer trick myself, but never tried it. I'm thinking my wife might object.

I use a nice Dillon tumbler I got at a gun show. I'd suggest looking there for one or whatever other equipment you need. I've picked up some great stuff at good prices over the years at the Crossroads shows here.

The Lovemaster is offline  
Old April 17, 2008, 07:35 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 753
What did we ever do in the 60's when we had no idea what a tumbler was ? I think all I did was shake the brass in a bucket to knock the dirt off and then start reloading.
tom234 is offline  
Old April 18, 2008, 09:34 AM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
I don't know. I just told my wife one day I was getting myself a vibrator from Sportsmans Warehouse and she just shrugged and said "Whatever floats your boat!"

If you reload at all, though, I think you will ever wonder how you got by without a tumbler.

I've never actually used the pillow case, but I have heard it suggested.
NavyLT is offline  
Old April 18, 2008, 09:52 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 8, 2007
Posts: 2,001
I don't think I would put dirty fired brass in my dryer or dishwasher! There is a lot of toxic metal residue on that brass, and I don't want it on my sheets, towels, clothes or dishes.

Drying already cleaned brass in a colander in the dryer or on a cookie sheet in the oven should not be a health problem, though. Just make sure the temperture stays low to protect the strength of the brass.

SL1 is offline  
Old April 18, 2008, 10:52 AM   #14
DR. Furlicker
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Posts: 33
Try this old springfield recipe
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbs salt
Put brass in and swish it around a little to get it all coated, let it set about ten minutes then wash in clean water (can add a small amount of dish soap)and, dry it. Brass gets very clean but has a dull finish, I still do this even though I tumble ; the combination produces some really good almost new looking brass.
DR. Furlicker is online now Report Post
DR. Furlicker is offline  
Old April 18, 2008, 06:44 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 2,090
Cheap ? I bought a Harbor Freight rock tumbler for $22 on sale. I use cut up green scrb pad, a dash of low suds detergent and a couple of cups of water. About 4 hours gets the brass reasonably clean and adds a pleasant satin sheen to the brass. I don't think it gets much cheaper, unless you hand scrub them.

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old April 18, 2008, 06:54 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: September 17, 2005
Location: Youngtown Arizona
Posts: 1,135
Im a cheap person and I got the cabelas kit, it was $56. but its a real tumbler and it comes with all the stuff you need.
tomh1426 is offline  

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 09:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.37585 seconds with 7 queries