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Cleaning Brass

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by 99blkta, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. 99blkta

    99blkta

    68
    0
    Jun 26, 2010
    TX
    Some of my brass is starting to get pretty dirty, its nickle plated, but I feel it needs to be cleaned. Any suggestions as to methods yall are using? Is the tumbler the way to go or is an ultra-sonic cleaner better? Granted brass is cheap, but I don't want to toss several hundred cases that still have a lot of life left in them.
     
  2. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    A tumbler or vibratory cleaner like RCBS has works well. I have an RCBS unit and it gets used every time. No need to go ultra-sonic from what I can tell. I like the Lyman green corncob media. I use it dry. Clean brass will be nicer to your dies in the long run.

    Some guys get crushed walnut from pet stores, but I have found that to be dirty, and it scratches the heck out of brass.
     


  3. 99blkta

    99blkta

    68
    0
    Jun 26, 2010
    TX
    That's really my main concern. Thanks for the info looks like I'll get a tumbler, and the Lyman media.
     
  4. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    I use the Dillon large viba tumbler with corn cob media. I add some charchol lighter fluid (about two tablespoons) let it run for a little while, then add the brass. Adding 1" squares of used fabric softener sheets will gather the loose particulate and dust. You can add polishing stuff if you want higher shine.

    Pet stores do have corn cob media at reasonable prices
     
  5. I do exactly the same, same tumbler, except adding charchol lighter fluid. What does it serve for?
     
  6. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    4,156
    81
    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    I used a regular tumbler (MidSouth Reloader's brand, IIRC) and bought a HUGE bag of "Lizard Litter" from walmart for like 4 bucks... same as other polishing media at a fraction of the cost. I don't even change out my media more than every 5-6 tumble loads...

    I also use a couple capfuls of brass polish (Brasso, etc) that gets run for a few minutes prior to adding the brass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  7. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    7,262
    1,290
    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    Tumbler and corn cob media with a little cleaner/polisher added.
     
  8. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    It acts as a solvent to clean soot and other stuff like lubes. It doesn't evaporate too fast or clump up. :supergrin:
     
  9. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I use a Frankford Arsenal vibratory cleaner, and RCBS corn cob media. I also add some Frankford Arsenal polishing compound every other cycle. It was cheap and works great.
     
  10. 99blkta

    99blkta

    68
    0
    Jun 26, 2010
    TX
    This may seem like a ridiculous question, but does nickle plated brass respond differently to cleaning agents? Is it ok to add lighter fluid, etc. if using nickle plated?
     
  11. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I don't think it would cause any problems. However nickel cases clean so easily with dry media that I wouldn't bother with adding any solvents or polishers.
     
  12. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    Nickel cases do clean faster and don't need to run quite as long, but the lighter fluid does help to clean them.
     
  13. 99blkta

    99blkta

    68
    0
    Jun 26, 2010
    TX
  14. rcd567

    rcd567

    371
    26
    Feb 5, 2011
    Near Glenwood, Iowa
    I've got an old Hornady Vib cleaner and I use crushed walnut most of the time. Corn cob shines it a little better but for the black stuff, walnut cleans it the best. Occasionally I'll use some Flitz to the media to kind of freshen it up. I do most of my reloading during the winter and change it out after the reloading season.
     
  15. TDC20

    TDC20

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    Apr 11, 2011
  16. cigarman454

    cigarman454

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Indiana
    +1 hubcap500 on the citric acid.
     
  17. XmmAUTO

    XmmAUTO 10mm Addict

    74
    0
    Dec 31, 2010
    Washington
    I know that a vibratory cleaner with dry media is most common method. However take a good look at a rotary tumbler and wet media. I use a thumbler's tumbler with stainless steel tumbling media. This with dawn dish soap and lemi shine gets my brass looking factory new. I also use a universal decapping die so the primer pockets get clean as well. Another added benefit is the media also deburs ( spelling?) the cases. This method works extremely well with bottle neck rifle and pistol cases.

    XmmAuto