Brass cleaning

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by brownwater, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. brownwater

    brownwater Brownwater Member

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    Hey guys,
    I did a lot of research on cleaning brass and what I came up with was getting a 3 lb tumbler from Harbor Freight, stainless steel pins and some powdered citric acid. I put about 1 3/4 pounds pins 100 cases of either 40 or 9, deprimed, 1 tsp of powder 1 squirt or dawn and just cover the brass with hot water. Seal it up and let it turn for about an hour. The brass came out just as clean as new, even the primer pockets. Total investment just over $50.00 and the pins never wear out. 2 1/2 pounds were $20.00 the tumbler $32.00 with coupon. $3.00 per pound of citric acid and dish soap. I am totally impressed. I can't clean a lot at one time but I custom build all of my bullets so slow is fast. If I can figure out how to get a photo I will. Also there is a double barrel tumbler for just a little more. I wound recommend this to anyone who is reloading for fun.
     
  2. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I use the Harbor Freight dual drum rock tumbler, lemi shine, dawn, BB,s and enough water to cover the brass. Does a bang up job!

    I got away from using stainless steel pins because of issues with the pins getting stuck in primer pockets. The BB,s eleminated that issue, cleans just as well and are cheaper to boot.

    What method do you use to keep from losing your pins and for drying your brass? I drop my cleaned brass and BB's/Pins in a colander and give it a shake, the BB's / Pins fall through into a strainer while the water goes down the drain. I place a second strainer in the sink drain to catch any errant BB's / Pins. Works well. I dry my brass in an old food dehydrator .
     

  3. brownwater

    brownwater Brownwater Member

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    I do just like you and pour them into a strainer on top of a large fine mesh strainer. Haven't had problems with the pins but will keep the BB's in mind. Could not be more pleased with the inexpensive tumbler.
     
  4. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley Member

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    I use the hf sonic cleaner and hornady liquid case cleaner, works awesome! Best part is no lead in air around kids!
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Ball Bearings or actual BB's from Daisy?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

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    Free bump because this isn't worth a new thread.

    Is dirty brass that's turned black with tarnish or green with corrosion still usable to whoever I give it to?

    Is surplus 7.62x54r reloadable by whoever I give it to?

    Does .22lr brass serve any purpose what-so-ever? By whoever I give it to?
     
  7. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    Actual BB's
     
  8. rickm

    rickm Member

    Most reloaders would rather gt dirty bras and clean them themselves cause veryone has a diferent trick they like to use.
    The surplus 7.62x54 brass is more than likely berdan primer and not many will reload it but there are some that do im not one of them.
    There are some people that saves the 22lr bras to swag into 223 bullet to reload with.
     
  9. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I would clean the tarnished brass and use it, but not the corroded brass.

    7.62x54R surplus steel case is reloadable, but it's a pain.

    22lr brass can be used to make bullet jackets. There is also a reloading kit for 22lr that you can purchase.
     
  10. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Thanks for the tip. I assume that BB's are cheaper than the steel pins?

    I've tried a bunch of different things to clean "on the cheap." I've handwashed, used an ultrasonic cleaner, washed in 2 or 3 different home concoctions, and used an old, children's, hobby rock tumbler with "lizard litter" and Nufinish.

    Of them all, the two which work best are handwashing with an old DIY formula which includes salt, soap, and vinegar, and the lizard-litter/Nufinish.

    The handwash gets a lot done per batch but it takes a fair bit of time to dry and a lot of people don't like using vinegar on their brass cases for fear of leaching the zinc.

    The lizard-litter/Nufinish works fast and cleans very nicely (looks like new). However, my craft rock tumbler is small and limits me to batches of about 30 .223 cases at a time. That said, I got the tumbler for FREE, no cost to me at all, so my over-all investment has been reduced. For that, I can deal with a smaller capacity.

    [​IMG]

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  11. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    The lizard litter/ni finish is my favorite because of its simplicity. I have had it compress in the cases from time to time though. I finally bit the bullet and bought some Lyman walnut tumbling media. It's a little coarser and already has rouge mixed in. Not had it cake on me.

    The BB's work as well as the pins without the issue of getting stuck in the flash holes like the pins will. When wet tumbling I dry my brass in a food dehydrator I bought at the goodwill store for $5.

    Nothing wrong with your tumbler, and you can't beat the price you paid for it! I use the Harbor Freight dual drum tumbler.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016