brass cleaning

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by kjdeut, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. kjdeut

    kjdeut New Member

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    New to reloading and I have a question. For pistol rounds is it always necessary to clean the brass before reloading? Or are there times when you would not clean before reloading. I am about to pull the trigger and purchase by loading kit. from reading some books on reloading i decided I am also going to get a digital scale. What I am undecided is if I need a brass tumbler or vibrator?

    Do experienced reloaders clean your brass every time before reloading? Are there certain situations when it is not necessary to clean brass using a tumbler before reloading ? If needed I will invest in one. I plan starting with handgun ammo and I want todo it right the first time.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ken
     
  2. fupuk

    fupuk New Member

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    I have only been reloading for about 9 months and I do clean my brass every time before I reload. I think for my tumbler and the media ive got about $50 into it. Plus it will make your brass look brand new and that in itself is a plus for me. Why spend all that time reloading just for your end result to look like crap.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Unless you do not mind scratched dies, you need to clean the brass EVERY TIME. Brass can be cleanedd in a rotary rock tumbler, vibratory polisher, or with water and some sort of cleaning agent like Simple Green. Vibratory polishing is just the fastest and easiest way, not the only way.
     
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't mind a real PITA, you can just wipe it down with a soft cloth.

    But to answer your question, YES! you need to clean your brass.
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i use a vibratory tumbler its just easy and fast. if you dont clean you can bugger up dies and brass or even your gun from junk left on the brass from shot to shot.
     
  6. csaw44

    csaw44 New Member

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    Something else to think about... if your brass is clean it will be easier to spot damage like splits or bulges.
     
  7. formerCav

    formerCav Active Member

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  8. kjdeut

    kjdeut New Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.
     
  9. GSpears471

    GSpears471 New Member

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    A vibratory tumbler is better imo but people have their fave's . I prefer to use ground walnut in mine. I've also had good luck using the "green treated lyman corn cob media" it seems to leave a finer finish. New to the areana is the sonic cleaners, but I have no experience with them. They claim to be very versatile when used properly.
     
  10. kjdeut

    kjdeut New Member

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    Been reading up on the sonic cleaners and the reviews have been really love or hate them. One trend I have noticed is that to get the really clean and shiny brass people have also used a tumbler or vibrator type either before or after using the sonic. Why spend the money on a sonic if you still need to use the other type of cleaner. I think I am going to shop for or good tumbler to vib type cleaner.
     
  11. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The only drawback to a vibratory is you lose the ability to wash with warm water and Tide.
     
  12. Cshooter

    Cshooter Member

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    I use an ultrasonic cleaner, and I couldn't be happier. It runs super quiet. My brass comes out clean and for the most part shiny. I also deprime first and the primer pockets come out spotless. I don't really need super shiny brass, it's all just range ammo for me. I'm not out to win a brass beauty contest. I usually run my sonic cleaner about 20 minutes, maybe more if I have more than 100 rounds in it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  13. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm curious about the ultra-sonics. Initial cost. cost of chemical solution, safety precautions(if any)

    Do you have a link to one like your unit that gives a good detailed description?? Thanx!
     
  14. Cshooter

    Cshooter Member

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    http://www.harborfreight.com/25-liter-ultrasonic-cleaner-95563.html
    This is the cleaner I have. This unit looks identical to the Lyman unit, probably made by the same company but you pay for the Lyman name. I have a bottle of the Lyman turbo sonic cleaner, which works pretty good. The Hornady cleaner is supposed to work good too. Lately I have been mixing my own solution containing white vinegar, a drop of dish soap and water. It works really well and is very cost effective. I have also cleaned gun parts using the gun part cleaning solution(different solution than for the brass).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the info!:)

    I use dish soap and warm (NOT HOT) water in the tumbler. Works very well indded. I may try adding a bit of vinegar. Hadn't thought of that!:D
     
  16. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    I've had the same (Harbor Freight) unit for a couple years. Other than the brand name and the shade of paint, it's pretty much indistinguishable from the Hornady unit. I use dish soap or Simple green for cleaner. Unless what you are cleaning is truly foul, you don't really need anything too fancy.

    For Vibratory tumblers, I had a Lyman that crapped out after about 2.5 years. I replaced it with a Hornady model. It was a step up in quality.
     
  17. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OOOPS!!:eek::eek::eek:

    I use laundry detergent (Tide) not dish detergent. Very little difference though.

    Been using my Thumler's model B tumbler for ~35 years now. changed out half a dozen drive belts, but no other problems.
     
  18. CapnJack

    CapnJack New Member

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    I went ona couple week hell mission with brass cleanin set-up. I wanted to buy local and i wanted somthing that does the job and does it right.(i build alot of my own ****)

    After finally deciding to drop the coin ona decent Vibster i had to find one! Went to one LGS and got a tip that another GS had one. Jumped in my truck drove 35miles freakin out cuzz the kids were getting off the bus real soon. Made it to the shop in time,but as i walked through the door i noticed this clown had one in his hands at the counter.

    He bought the only one they had minutes b4 i got there. Him and his porkchop wife just laughed and walked out when i told the owner what i came for. Next day i drove staight to another shop 45miles in the opposite direction and bought a Lyman Turbo with a sack of TuffNut( treated walnut shellz)unit and media-100spot.

    Next i hit Wallyworld picked up some corncob pet bedding and Nu-finish car polish and havent looked back. I dont regret any of it.

    I deprime dump couple hundred 45s in with TuffNut 1st for a heavy hour,then switch it over to the corncob for 1-2hours. They come out looking better then factory finish i think.I really like the waxxy finish they end up with also.

    I havent been doing it long but man what a feeling when u start sifting the corncob out of ur shells,its almost like panning for gold i tells ya!!
     
  19. 207driver

    207driver New Member

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    Rotary tumbler will last longer than a vibrator, and as a plus is much quieter. They both get the job done, but a true tumbler can be used both dry and wet.
     
  20. kjdeut

    kjdeut New Member

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    Thanks for the tip on the tumbler, being new I never thought using it wet or dry.