Cleaning brass question - from a newbie

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by brewer3401, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    Is it a good idea to first clean brass in a mild detergent hot (boiling) water mixture before putting in the tumbler ?

    I am getting a vibrating tumbler and fine walnut shell media.

    I do realize they have to be dry before putting in the tumbler.

    Thanks for your help and feedback.
     
  2. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    I use an ultrasonic cleaner to make sure the inside of the brass gets clean real good too, then let them dry and tumble, but you can just tumble if you want without any prior preparation, the walnut shell media in the tumbler will clean the brass just fine, you will just have to leave it in there a little longer than normal. Just my opinion, I have never heard of boiling the brass with any type of cleaner, someone else might have more insight on this, but just letting you know how I prep mine.
     

  3. techiej

    techiej New Member

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    I use only an ultrasonic cleaner for my brass...less time to clean, cleans inside & out, no dust, less noise.

    Only downside is that the brass has to dry afterwards.
     
  4. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    Thanks to you both.

    What is the average time to get brass "perfect" and super shiny if you wash first - and if you don't wash first.

    Thanks
     
  5. Dan308

    Dan308 New Member

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    I just put brass into the vibrator with corn cob media and squirt a dab of case cleaner in there. Turn it on and let it go over night. Looks like new in the morning.
     
  6. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    I run mine one cycle on the ultrasonic which is only a few minutes, dry and then about an hour or two in the tumbler and my brass is better than brand new shiny, but honestly you don't need that shiny unless you just want your ammo to look really good, most of the time I just use my ultrasonic and they come out all clean and perfect to reload, I just use the tumbler to make a better shine for the ammo I sell, and yes I am an FFL holder to manufacture and sell ammo BTW. If you don't wash, 3 to 4 hours is usually reasonable in the tumbler if you use corncob media unless the brass is really really dirty, then usually you have to run them overnight
     
  7. beaglesam

    beaglesam Active Member

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    I use treated corn cob or crushed walnut with some jewelers rogue mixed in. The best place to find the walnut is a pet store, it's called lizard bedding. I turn my vibrator on and get out of the house for a while it's pretty loud.
     
  8. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, it isn't necessary.
     
  9. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    I bought a 2.50 liter ultrasonic machine and am using half water and half vinegar and a few drops of Dawn dish washing detergent

    Q - Can i just dump them in, or should I stand them all upright ?


    I thought this was pretty good info:

    http://www.6mmbr.com/ultrasonic.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  10. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    Thanks to all for your advice.

    Did 3 - 8 minute in the ultrasonic, then 2 hours in the vibrating tumbler with fine walnut hulls.

    Unbelievable looking - much shinier than even factory ammo brass.
     
  11. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    That is how I like to do mine and if you use good clean burning powder, the next time you need to clean them usually the ultrasonic will do just fine on them without having to tumble again for a while. But like I said, the way you did yours is how i do mine and they are amazingly clean and shiny. Glad to hear it worked out well for you, I have always had great luck this way.
     
  12. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    Oh and sorry I forgot to answer your question, no I don't waste time standing mine up, I just toss them into the basket and put them in the ultrasonic and mine have always come out just fine.
     
  13. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    Thanks

    I did some .380 and just dumped them in.

    I also did some .45 and stood them up.

    Right, no difference.

    Only thing i did was move the .380 around a little between each 8 minute run.


    How long can fine walnut hulls last - how many approximate hours before i should change out.

    I'm guessing when they don't feel abrasive any more ?
     
  14. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    Yeah pretty much, you will notice it taking longer and longer for them to properly polish the brass as they wear out, when it gets to the point where it is taking too long and is unacceptable to you, change em out.
     
  15. brewer3401

    brewer3401 New Member

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    Good advice - thanks.

    Another thing I realized is do not tumble different caliber brass at the same time. The smaller ones like to live inside the larger ones.

    Learning by doing.

    Thanks again to all - this is working out perfectly.
     
  16. customammo72

    customammo72 New Member

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    Yeah, only do one caliber at a time for that very reason. Other than that I think you pretty much got it all covered now and are good to go. Good luck and I hope you enjoy reloading. I have been into it for many many many years and it is one of my most favorite hobbies and it feels good to go to the range and shoot your own ammo that you made.