Cleaning the inside of brass

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Ruzai, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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    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?
     
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    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?
     

  3. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    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 .
     
  4. superc

    superc Member

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    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. :)
     
  5. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    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.
     
  6. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    are you using corn media?
     
  7. phrogmech

    phrogmech Member

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    Have you tried metal media.
     
  8. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    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.
     
  10. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    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?
     
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    For me it does. The walnut takes most of the abuse of cleaning. Plus I like it for pistol brass as the walnut has a small amount of oil in the hull adding a slight touch of lube to the case. So now my corn cob doesn't get that dirty so it does last longer. I also use Nufinish in my corn cob it is cheap I can get it at wal-mart and it last for ever 1 cap full in a bowl and have at it. That is just me it may not even make a difference but I do it because that is the way I do it.

    I am the kind of person that finds something that works for them and hates to change it. Like brushing my teeth I have used crest since I was a kid so that is what I use i don't like changing it to something else even another kind of crest just give me the basic crest and call it a day. Laundry I buy tide because that is what my mom and my step-mom used it works I like it that is what I buy no matter what I don't look at prices I see the red bottle and the blue cap and get it. I did have to change from regular to HE because we got a kick *** Samsung washer and dryer A bigger washer than our old top load and we use less water than we did before to wash more cloths. I figured it out that with 5 loads a week we will save enough in 3 years to have paid for them so I think it was a steel. I didn't get the red metallic that I wanted because that was $200 more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  12. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the info.

    FYI, we got an HE washer and dryer about a year ago and we love those things. They do a great job, cheaper to operate and easier on your clothing.
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Anal Retentive, party of one!

    Seriously, do not worry about the discolored insides of the brass. As long as there is not debris (like dried mud), you are good to go after running an hour or two in the tumbler. I currently use walnut media because I can get it cheap at Petco (lizard litter). I put the old media (corn cob or walnut) in nylon hose (panty hose) and wash it in the washing machine. Hot water, plenty of soap and a double rinse. Pour the wet, clean media into cookie sheets and bake at 200 degrees til dry. Add the polish of your choice and viola! I have Iosso and Midway polish for cleaning and a second tumbler with Flitz treated media for polishing.
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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  15. gunney67

    gunney67 New Member

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    cleaning brass

    Hello all! I'm new to the forum. Just a word of advise on tumbling brass AFTER resizing. I just finished 20 rounds of 375 H&H brass after sizing and found 2 cases that had a kernel of walnut media wedged in the flash hole. This could potentially cause a misfire, or poor ignition, so examine each case carefully. I usually tumble first before resizing, and this takes care of the problem.
     
  16. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    Anal Retentive, Party of TWO, reporting, Sir!

    For whomever was concerned about washing cases in hot water with Dawn dish washing liquid, I always do a hot water rinse/soak and agitate the cases in the clean water in the sink after the "wash cycle".

    I prefer the walnut media, but cannot always find it at Bass Pro when I need it, so I often have to use the corncob media. I need to check out Petco for the lizard litter as per Robo's suggestion.

    I have two tumblers, one is for really tarnished or dirty range pick-up brass which then spends several hours in that tumbler with the Lyman red media (with the jeweler's rouge in it). That red stuff will make really crappy looking brass shine like new gold jewelery! The red media can leave a residue which is another reason why I wash the cases again after lubing/re-sizing/de-priming.

    I have had occasion where I needed to tumble cases after de-priming, but that requires me to clean-out the primer pockets and flash holes. I have a special home-made tool for that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I just make a solution of sulfur, Potasium Nitratie, Charcoal and some 100% grain alcohol. I then take zigzag paper and soak it and then dry it. I then use a special case to cut rounds out and glue them over the flash hole.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  18. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Gunney. Welcome to the group. Can you stop by the introductions section and tell us a little about yourself?
     
  19. gandog56

    gandog56 New Member

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    I have found that walnut cleans the brass faster, but only corncob puts that high polish shine on I want.
     
  20. gandog56

    gandog56 New Member

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    How much time and money you want to spend? A rotary tumbler using wet media gets them squeaky clean. I know a guy on ammobrasstrader who uses a rotary. Here's his method.
    Believe me, even his primer pockets come out shiny.