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Ruzai 06-27-2010 09:24 AM

Cleaning the inside of brass
I have a lot of time between range trips so I have a lot of time to clean my brass and get everything squared away for next go-'round.
I have a tumbler for my cases and I use brass polish in my media but one thing I cant get over is how dirty the inside of my cases come out no matter how long I leave them in the tumbler. I've found running 0000 steel-wool on a dremel dowel inside them gets the major gunk out but I was wondering if any one might have a good tip for getting them cleaner as the steel-wool approach can be very irritating after a while.
My buddy said something about chemical baths for his brass but I havent seen any of his results or know exactly what he does to them. I also read an article on using an ultra-sonic cleaner but that particular one seems a bit more tedious than the steel wool.

Currently I'm loading batches of a few hundred 45acp.
So how can I get the inside of the cases clean easier?

spittinfire 06-27-2010 11:06 AM

I personally haven't experienced this. My brass comes out quite clean from just tumbling. It doesn't shine inside but it's clean enough to load.

The ulta sonic would certainly get it clean but the machine is a bit pricey and you would have to make sure they are 100% dry and soap free when finsihed. How dirty are we talking? A little discolored? Black like a chimney flu?

BigO01 06-27-2010 11:40 AM

Ruzai I would guess you need to change either the powder you're using and or the media you clean your brass with .

For 45 ACP I have never had the problems you describe with Winchester 231 , Bullseye or Power pistol Powders and for Media I use Lyman Walnut in the easy pour bottles .

superc 06-27-2010 04:40 PM

Going back 30 years, but I seem to recall an old magazine article about that. That author's solution was to soak the cases in dishwashing water (think he used Ivory) then Qtip the mud out, then tumble them. For myself, I just ignore the left overs, the next shot will vaporize it and leave new dirt. :)

TXnorton 06-27-2010 05:14 PM

For my own re-loads I do not worry too much about this.

For dirty range pick-up brass, I usually first wash the brass in a HOT water with a small amount of Dawn dishwashing liquid to get the dirt and mud out.

Then I air dry, tumble, re-size and de-prime, trim, and then wash again in HOT water and Dawn to clean off the sizing lube. Then I dry the cases in the oven at 225 degrees F for an hour to get rid of mositure, then prime and re-load.

For my own reloads I pretty much do the same routine, except skip the first wash. I tumble then re-size/de-prime, trim, and then wash, dry in the oven, prime and reload.

I do not expect the insides of the cases to be as pretty and shiny as the outside.

willfully armed 06-28-2010 06:11 AM

are you using corn media?

phrogmech 06-29-2010 11:53 PM

Have you tried metal media.

Ruzai 06-30-2010 10:34 AM

The inside of most of my brass looks like the inside of chimney flu. Even using the steel wool cant get it back to what resembles brass on the inside of the cases. Most of my brass is dirty range pick ups, because they are the cheapest and I dont mind getting my hands dirty to save money.
Currently I'm using corn media that came with the tumbler and brass polish but I want walnut media becaue I've heard it does much better than corn. I'm a little weary about using "metal media" because it sounds like it would ruin the brass. Do any of you know of a good mix of media besides straight walnut media, one of the people at the range said to add Brasso to walnut media but my concern there is I'm not sure if that would contaminate the powder charge with any residue it leaves behind.
The reason I havent washed my brass in water with Dawn is because I was worried the soap would leave a residue that contaminates the powder. Should I even worry about that, because it seems like its a common fix?

cpttango30 06-30-2010 10:46 AM


Originally Posted by phrogmech (Post 308041)
Have you tried metal media.

DON'T DO THIS it will ruin your brass.

there is no need to worry about what the inside of your brass looks like. The brass will be worthless long before the buildup of carbon in the case has an affect on your loads.

You need to remember the amazing pressures that are generated in the casing during firing some rounds are up to 60,000PSI that is a lot of pressure forcing things in to the brass as it is a soft metal.

Just tumble them and don't worry about it.

For basic cleaning and knocking off the big stuff I used walnut. For the final polish I use corn. You get brass clean with walnut and get it shinny with corn.

spittinfire 06-30-2010 11:01 AM

I've always just used corn and haven't had a problem. Hey Tango, does using the walnut to clean make your media last longer?

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