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Old June 27, 2013, 12:15 AM   #1
Join Date: July 29, 2012
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revisiting an old topic i'm sure

I'm sure this topic has been discussed may times in the past but thought I'd see if there are any new methods of cleaning REALLY dirty brass. A friend gave me a bucket of what looks like range brass for .38spc which is anywhere from fairly clean to faded to two colors and some are just dirty. I would like to get it back to new looking as possible.

The only process i have used before was to dump some of it in my harbor freight tumbler with walnut media and a little brass polish which does pretty good on fairly new brass.

I understand that SHINY brass isn't really that important but I like my reloads to look very professional and as new as possible. It also makes it seem much easier to see any faults in the brass which could potentially cause an accident.

Anybody have any magic pre-tumbler methods to clean this brass and get it back to new again?
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Old June 27, 2013, 04:50 AM   #2
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Re: revisiting an old topic i'm sure

Steel wool?

Or iffin ya got money, go the stainless steel tumble route.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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With really dirty brass (a friend of mine often gives me .223 brass fired in his suppressed rifles) I often do a pre-tumbling soak with a solution of Birchwood Casey case cleaner for a few minutes, then rinse and let them mostly dry before tumbling (to avoid media clumping inside the cases).
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:07 AM   #4
serf 'rett
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Remove primer with universal depriming die.

Rinse loose dirt off with water.

Wet tumble with stainless steel pins.

Admire bright brass.
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:28 AM   #5
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If you don't remove the fired primer first...then any liquid cleaners you use are going to really clump up when you run them thru the tumbler with walnut or corn cob media especially....

and I don't want to run really dirty cases thru my depriming / resizing die...

Honestly, I'd just run them thru in smaller batches in the tumbler ...and then let them run an hour or two more.....if its not shiny enough for you / run them another 4 or 5 hours...
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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I often hear of a pre-tumble wash of water, Lemi-shine and dish soap, or citric acid, water and dish soap....

I've been experimenting with tumbling with various media in a rotary tumbler. I'm too cheap to buy $$$ stainless steel pins, so I tried stainless steel hardware; nuts screws, washers, cotter pins. With water Lemi-shine and Dawn it works great. I'm not concerned with the inside of the primer pockets being shiny so it works great for me. Also I tried some plastic pyramid media (Harbor Freight) which works but leaves a somewhat matt finish, but cleans the dirtiest, most corroded brass...
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Last edited by mikld; June 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM.
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