Cleaning used brass

Conor1

Well-Known Member
I have just set up my reloading station. I had hoped to start reloading 9mm Para, then .222 Rem but will now start with .243 Win as I have new brass for this calibre. I have no shortage of used brass in the following calibres .222, .223, .243, 6.5x57, .308, 300WM. Do I need to invest in a tumbler?

Many thanks

/ There will be plenty more questions, so patience please!
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
I have just set up my reloading station. I had hoped to start reloading 9mm Para, then .222 Rem but will now start with .243 Win as I have new brass for this calibre. I have no shortage of used brass in the following calibres .222, .223, .243, 6.5x57, .308, 300WM. Do I need to invest in a tumbler? ..

I bought a tumbler in 2006 and after it gathered dust for a while, I sent it back for a credit note. I do however use an ultrasonic cleaner. Once before resizing and as a final stage once all trimming and deburring is done.

Regards

​JCS
 

kennyc

Well-Known Member
nope, you can clean with liquids, seaclean, or citric acid and washing up liquid for example, or abrasive pads (plastic not Brillo) or an ultrasonic cleaner etc
 

branko

Well-Known Member
Yes would be a good idea. Most people start with corn or walnut media. I am looking into water tumblers with stainless steel pin media, as they supplosedly clean up those annoying flasholes and inside of cases.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I like my ultrasonic cleaner. It was made for use in a dentists office cleaning dentures and will clean brass to a dull bare metal in about 2 cycles. (45 min) Primer pockets and all... and I hate cleaning primer pockets!~Muir
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't consider reloading without the tumbler.

Used cases are cleaned before further processing, this makes them easier to examine for defects and helps to keep the dies free of dirt.

Then the cases are tumbled again after resizing to remove any remaining lubricant.

My cases (SAKO) are generally discarded after 8-10 firings, I seldom have to do any additional primer pocket cleaning.

I have yet to try an ultrasonic cleaner so I couldn't say which method is best.

atb Tim
 

A J

Well-Known Member
I use both an ultrasonic cleaner and a tumbler with walnut media. The cases are put in the ultrasonic bath with a warm Seaclean solution for 8-10 mins, then deprimed, resized, trimmed, deburred and inspected. Then they're put in the tumbler for about 8 hours to remove any other fouling and residue and to polish them up before a further inspection prior to reloading.

The water and stainless media tumblers look very good and if I was starting out again I'd be very tempted by one.
 

User00026

Well-Known Member
it's a self discipline issue to me..clean brass means you take care of your reloading equipment and tools, you're going to produce more accurate loads, not get sloppy and cut corners, and exercise greater safety by having a strict cleaning and reloading regime.

cleaning cases also lets you visually inspect them better and identify and cracks or issues that render them dangerous

no, it's not necessary, nor is a clean barrel, nor is it to brush your teeth twice a day, or shower daily,,but..

I love the look of a shiney case, makes me feel good putting a round in the chamber..
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
just finished cleaning this weeks outing of .243 brass 530 came back out of 600 :-| , whos got the cases !!! lol, nice day out with some green lads thanks fellers. thanks karl and alan for the invite nice playing with your toys :tiphat: gone back too old school for this lot ultrasound would take that amount in one hit ,my bench is cover'd in corn cob :doh: henry the hover time :(
 
Last edited:

paul o'

Well-Known Member
+1
clean and mean View attachment 33352 no scum in my gun lol.



it's a self discipline issue to me..clean brass means you take care of your reloading equipment and tools, you're going to produce more accurate loads, not get sloppy and cut corners, and exercise greater safety by having a strict cleaning and reloading regime.

cleaning cases also lets you visually inspect them better and identify and cracks or issues that render them dangerous

no, it's not necessary, nor is a clean barrel, nor is it to brush your teeth twice a day, or shower daily,,but..

I love the look of a shiney case, makes me feel good putting a round in the chamber..
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
it's a self discipline issue to me..clean brass means you take care of your reloading equipment and tools, you're going to produce more accurate loads, not get sloppy and cut corners, and exercise greater safety by having a strict cleaning and reloading regime.

cleaning cases also lets you visually inspect them better and identify and cracks or issues that render them dangerous

no, it's not necessary, nor is a clean barrel, nor is it to brush your teeth twice a day, or shower daily,,but..

I love the look of a shiney case, makes me feel good putting a round in the chamber..

Very well put, I totally agree.

atb Tim
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
I have one of the Lee shell holders that will go into a battery powered screwdriver/drill. Occasionally when the cases get very dirty indeed I will put them into the shell holder and spin them against some fine wire wool. While it doesn't produce a mirror finish it gets all the black stuff off them.

Occasionally, especially if I'm going away to shoot, I might get the strange urge to have some very shiny cases in which case I put them into the shell holder and spin them against a towel with some Flitz. I was told that the Flitz (or Brasso) would eat away at the copper in the brass and that my ammo would all explode and blow my head off and the world would end. I've been using some of the same cases for maybe 6 years now, many with well over 10 reloads (probably nearer 20 for some) and a few attacks from the Flitz on them, and the world hasn't ended yet.
 

urx

Well-Known Member
tried the vibratory tumbler with walnut media and while fine for the pistol cases I was finding that rifle cases inparticular the AI necked ones were getting clogged with media. bought a wet / pin tumbler from spud and had such good results I tumbled probably 500 cases the day it arrived.
its quicker and gives better results without the fine dust from the dry media sticking inside the cases.
the pins do like to escape if allowed and you do need to work out how to dry the cases properly but the end result looks great to me.
I paid lots for my nice custom barreled 7mm so I'm not going to feed it reloads that looks like WW2 'dig up' refugees
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
iv got an old electric kettle that i boil distilled water in , a bucket that i drop the cases in then i pour them out in a strainer, and then i made a pin board that i stand my cases on to cool down and air dry or if i am in a hurry use a hobby compressor to blow the case n' primer pockets dry.
 
Last edited:

urx

Well-Known Member
I found a reloading tray that had an open base to hold the cases mouth downwards (ut it only holds 50 so need to work out something else longer term...) pop it in the room with the dehumidifier and it works a treat.
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
yup got some mod round liners but i found them to hold a wet spots on the wall of case thats why i got a 6x1 board tapped 100 2" panel pins in it and now just drop the case mouth over it and let the heat dry them out . for dry tumbling iv got a dillon
CV750_m.jpg
 
Top