Case cleaning/polishing

The place to discuss reloading techniques.

Moderators: Bullseye, Moderators

User avatar
Jack D
Expert contributor
Expert contributor
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:00 pm
Location: Elmira, Oregon

Case cleaning/polishing

Postby Jack D » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:51 pm

I know most use a vibrator or tumbler to clean cases. I hate to spend money for a machine when I think I should be able to make one cheaper than buying one. I haven't settled on a design yet but had a bunch of very dirty brass. I finished loading a 50 round box with black brass and decided to clean up the loaded rounds. I have a Lee spinner/shell holder for drill motor use and thought about spinning with fine steel wool.

Then I remembered a can of Brasso (actually a different brand, but the same stuff) in one of my dresser drawers. It is over 30 years old and I wondered if it was any good. To my surprise it is like new. I wiped the head end of the cartridge with a piece of Brasso and it cleaned up beautifully with only a few twists. Then I chucked up the cartridge in the drill motor (variable speed) and turning it slowly I applied the Brasso wad to the case. It immediately started to shine after only a few turns. Wiping with a soft cloth and it shined better than new. It took me about 30 seconds/cartridge to make them look like new.

That might seem like a long time to make cartridges shine. but the results gave me a certain satisfaction. Not sure why. They won't shoot any better, I'm sure.

Does anyone else polish their brass to a high gloss?

Is there any harm using a product like Brasso?
Jack
Ruger SP101, 3", .357, CT laser
Ruger SR22P, CT laser
Ruger LCR22, CT laser
Ruger 10/22 Deluxe, scoped
H&R Handi, .357 customized, laser, red dot, scope, weapon light, bipod
Benjamin-Sheridan, 5mm (.20), scoped.

User avatar
blue68f100
Master contributor
Master contributor
Posts: 1990
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Piney Woods of East Texas

Postby blue68f100 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:38 am

When I first saw the title I was thinking you made a tumbler out of and old drier. I have read several places where this has been done due to the volume they needed to clean.

As long as there is no ammonia in the brasso you will be fine. The ammonia causes inner granular corrosion and will cause the brass to crack.

There is a home made mix you can do a chemical clean if you decide to do a large batch. I do not do the chemical clean because I hate having to deprime before reloading and the drying process.

Years ago I use to only by Ni coated pistol brass because all I needed to do was wipe them down. Back then I only had revolvers, no automatics. Now that I have an AP press, I broke down and got a tumbler to clean the brass. It want clean some of the black stain that gets on the brass over time though. I use a 20/40 grit corncob with NuFinsh car polish added to the mix. With the dryer sheets collecting dust. I think if you get the right dose of car of polish the brass does not tarnish anywhere near as fast. I try not to handle my brass with my bare hands once I have it cleaned. With the brass feeder on my LNL I just dump and start loading. Now some use crushed walnut shells and a mix of walnut shells and corncob. The walnut shells is more abrasive and cleans better but lives a dull finish the reason they add corncob to the mix.

Now the new thing is SS media in a soap solution. They use the drum tumbler used for rocks. Now this setup comes out brighter and cleaner inside and out. Again you need to deprime when you using a liquid cleaner to keep from trapping the solution. Using the SS media allows you to reuse it, it never where outs.
David

SS MKIII 6 7/8" Fluted Hunter. Mueller Quick Shot, Bushnell 2x Scope, Hogue Rubber Grips
Custom Built 1911

User avatar
Jack D
Expert contributor
Expert contributor
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:00 pm
Location: Elmira, Oregon

Postby Jack D » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:40 pm

The actual product I was using is NevR Dull Metal Polish. It looks and smells just like the Brasso I used while in the USN. Amazing stuff. It took a very dirty, black cartridge and shined it better than new in only a few seconds of rubbing.

It has a couple of disadvantages.....it doesn't clean or polish the inside of the case (but is that really necessary?). It is also time consuming. It turns your fingers black, but gloves would prevent that or waterless soap will remove it.

Advantages? Can be done on the completed cartridge. It doesn't require any special equipment. I used a VS drill motor, but can be used entirely by hand.
One canister will polish thousands of cases. I used one small wad about the size of a quarter to do a whole box of 50 rounds.

http://www.bing.com/shopping/basch-never-dull-metal-polish/p/5A1F3E2C452D23D2C1A2?q=nevr+dull+magic+wadding+polish&lpq=nevr%20dull%20magic%20wadding%20polish&FORM=HURE

These three cartridges were literally black before I polished them.
Image
Jack

Ruger SP101, 3", .357, CT laser

Ruger SR22P, CT laser

Ruger LCR22, CT laser

Ruger 10/22 Deluxe, scoped

H&R Handi, .357 customized, laser, red dot, scope, weapon light, bipod

Benjamin-Sheridan, 5mm (.20), scoped.

User avatar
Jack D
Expert contributor
Expert contributor
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:00 pm
Location: Elmira, Oregon

Postby Jack D » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:12 pm

blue68f100 wrote:When I first saw the title I was thinking you made a tumbler out of and old drier. I have read several places where this has been done due to the volume they needed to clean.


I haven't decided what type to make. I like the rock tumbler/liquid type. Water, detergent, and lemon juice are simple and cheap. Drying would be a bit harder with this type. Of course a tumbler can be used with walnut shells or corn cob, too. Still thinking about this. Both of my sons have the vibrator types. One uses corn cob and the other walnut shells. They both like what they have.

Since I'm retired with lots of time on my hands, maybe I'll just use the NevR Dull when I feel the need to polish. It is a time consuming job, but still satisfying at the same time.
Jack

Ruger SP101, 3", .357, CT laser

Ruger SR22P, CT laser

Ruger LCR22, CT laser

Ruger 10/22 Deluxe, scoped

H&R Handi, .357 customized, laser, red dot, scope, weapon light, bipod

Benjamin-Sheridan, 5mm (.20), scoped.

User avatar
Hakaman
Master contributor
Master contributor
Posts: 1924
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:51 pm
Location: detroit, michigan

Postby Hakaman » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:44 pm

My main concern is reliability of the ammo I load, then how it looks is 2nd or
3rd. As soon as you shoot it, it get dirty anyway. I think a clean primer pocket
is a good thing, and it's associated hole.
Haka

User avatar
bgreenea3
Master contributor
Master contributor
Posts: 1587
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:35 pm
Location: SW Michigan

Postby bgreenea3 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:33 pm

A little Flitz in the corn cob media cut the tumbling time in half


http://www.flitz.com/p-26-tumblermedia-additive.aspx
"Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway."

-John Wayne

User avatar
Bullseye
Site Admin/Host
Site Admin/Host
Posts: 6367
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:23 pm
Location: USA

Postby Bullseye » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:12 pm

I like to use a Thumbler's Tumbler (Model B) and walnut shell media. http://www.thumlerstumbler.com/ Corn cob polishing media works fine but the walnut shells are far more durable and polish the brass to a finer texture. I have several of these tumblers running at a time to clean and polish brass. You can run 10-15 pounds of brass at a time with these tumblers. If you like to decap your brass first before polishing then the walnut shells can get trapped in the flash holes from time to time. I use Dillon Rapid Polish 290 to keep the media fresh and longer lasting.

You can make your own rotary tumbler but the internal rubber hexagon shape does a great job turning the cases and moving the media for great polishing.

R,
Bullseye
Image

xp100
New member
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:34 am

Postby xp100 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:20 pm

Soak the brass cases in a mixture of concentrated lemon juice (from the grocery store) and water for no longer than 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry. This metod does not polish, but cleans the brass very well. No need to deprime first.

greener

Postby greener » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:24 pm

I use the Franklin vibrator tumbler, walnut shells and, sometimes, the case polisher that came with the tumbler. Works fine. Doesn't give me an inspection grade brass polish, but it does a fine job of cleaning up the brass.

The Thumler's Tumbler line look like a great choice.

User avatar
stork
Advanced contributor
Advanced contributor
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:12 am
Location: North Dakota

cleaners

Postby stork » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:20 am

I've been using a Thumblers vibrater for about 25 years. Used to just use the corn cob media, but got irritated when it didn't last very long. Then switched to treated walnut shells, much better longevity.

Now I still use ground up walnut media, just not treated. You can get 25-50# sacks of this stuff at your pet store, sold as lizard cage litter. It doesn't put the shine on like the treated stuff, but my purpose is to clean the brass of any debris to avoid scratching my dies. You also don't feel guilty about throwing it out when it no longer cleans well because of the low cost.

FWIW
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington

Medicine Hat
Advanced contributor
Advanced contributor
Posts: 275
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:22 pm
Location: West Central MO

Postby Medicine Hat » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:03 pm

I've been using a Thumbler's vibrator, crushed walnut hull, and Dillon's Rapid Polish 290 for many years with great results. I get both walnut hull and corncob media from pet stores as it's much cheaper that way. I don't use a lot of corncob, but occasionally I will run it after the treated walnut hull cleaning, but run it dry, mostly to sort of clean off the polish. Probably not necessary, but it's just the way I've done it.
Anyway, it seems to work well for me.

greener

Postby greener » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:19 pm

Tonight I threw a half-gallon of .45 ACP brass into the Franklin vibrating polisher, added the walnut media and topped it off with fresh walnut media. The used media had a gray-green cast and the fresh media was beige. I ran the polisher for an hour and ended up with nicely cleaned and slightly polished brass.

I store used brass in half-gallon plastic buckets. When they get full, I run them through the polisher as described above. I've been doing this for about 5 years. When I bought the Franklin, the reviews of the Franklin were none too positive. Based on the price and performance I've had with this one, I'd rate it an excellent buy.

jrayb95
New member
New member
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:37 pm
Location: Montrose, CO

Postby jrayb95 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:47 am

I use the Thumbler's Tumbler Model B with the stainless steel media. It gets the brass clean and shiny like brand new brass both inside and outside including the primer pocket.
The media is a little expensive but it will probably last two lifetimes.

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

paw080
New member
New member
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:44 pm
Location: Corona, Calif

Postby paw080 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:02 am

jrayb95 wrote:I use the Thumbler's Tumbler Model B with the stainless steel media. It gets the brass clean and shiny like brand new brass both inside and outside including the primer pocket.
The media is a little expensive but it will probably last two lifetimes.

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/


Hi J Ray, There is no better method than the Tumbler(not vibrator) and
the Stainless Steel pins. The end result is polished cases, inside and outside
and even primer pockets. You have nothing to clean out of the of the cases
and primer pockets, as you find when using vibratory units.

The super cleaned cases really aid post cleaning case inspection. Yes, it will
cost about $250 for a complete kit, but the pins last forever and the tumbler
itself will last decades before anything breaks. By then, all the spares will still
be available.

Tony


Return to “The Reloading Bench”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest