Clean or not to clean


Well-Known Member
Yes and no! You can simply clean out the primer pockets and flash holes and go on and reload. However, tumbling the brass (or U/S cleaning) gives you a better look at the brass condition and can help identify issues which could spell trouble. Tumblers for walnut/corn media such as Lymann's turbo tumbler are cheap and it's hardly any effort, so I always tumble mine before de-capping (otherwise you end up picking bits of media out of primer pockets), then anneal every few firings. Many target shooters bin brass after one or two firings. Most hunters and local club shooters I know do not and clean their brass for the reasons already mentioned and because "they look nicer". It also helps limit the toxic contamination you pick up on your fingers when handling dirty cases, but it's good practice to wear nitrile gloves (and a face mask) when emptying a tumbler. The lead oxides from spent primers is highly cumulatively toxic. You do NOT want that stuff in your lungs.

One on top of two

Well-Known Member
My personal findings are if you intend to anneal your brass then wet tumbling is the answer as the carbon from fired brass can literally bake on if you anneal before cleaning . Apart from that do as you feel . It makes no real difference…… maybe 😂 but what ever you decide to do always make the effort to visually inspect your cases . And take notice of potential pressure signs.

Go shoot , have fun , don’t worry about it.

Happy stalker

Well-Known Member
Thank for the info guys, I do clean using an ultrasonic cleaner at the moment but I find it becoming a pain, I don’t really care how shiny the brass is, I get it clean brass would be easier to see any cracks or potential problems.
Thanks again 👍


Well-Known Member
Ultrasonic case cleaning will certainly leave cases squeaky clean but not not necessarily shiny. Indeed mine emerge from the bath looking more like they’ve been colour case-hardened than cleaned!


Bowland blades

Well-Known Member
Hi guys
Does brass need to be cleaned? The reloads I do are purely for hunting so MOA accuracy is all I am looking for.
Yes! if you dont your going to do far more chamber cleaning ! brass expands to be a tight fit in the chamber on firing then relaxes , leaving crud behind .
Do i need to point out that chambers need cleaning on a rifle even when you dont introduce more crud ?

Only looking for MOA ? well MOA is 1/60th of a single degree , so yeah everything matters accuraccy wise . Thats before we think of the crud in your chamber holding moisture and rusting


Well-Known Member
I have used a Lee loader at the range where you reload the rounds you just fired - not cleaning didn’t make a jot of difference accuracy wise….having said that I clean all the primer pockets and tumble my brass so I can inspect it all and the fact it’s easier on the eye when it’s nice and shiny.



Well-Known Member
What do people do to get rid of sizing lube?
De-cap....wet tumbler with s/s pins.....inspect.....anneal.....lube...size.......dry tumble in media (to remove lube)......(pick the bits out of the flash hole!)......inspect......measure/

Does it make a difference? Probably not for stalking but shiny brass is precioussssssss