brass cleaning

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by thunderchild223, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. thunderchild223

    thunderchild223 New Member

    Feb 27, 2012
    im in the market for a brass cleaner. ive seen the typical crushed walnut shell vibrating type and hear there is an ultra sonic type that uses a liquid in an ultra sonic manner to do the work. word is that the ultra sonic system works better cause it gets in the primer pockets better. anybody have any experiance with either of these? which do you prefer?
  2. langenc

    langenc Active Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Montmorency Co, MI
    Tumbler w/ corn cobs-not the pet store stuff. Sticks in 223 and have to dig it out. Primer pockets dont clean easily.

    Have not used ultra sonics.

  3. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    I think the concensus is that the untra sonics are over rated unless you just want pretty brass. I'm not a reloader, I have just seen a lot of the threads asking the same thing.
  4. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Sonic cleaner no. Tumbler yes. I have done both.
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    I have used this same old Tumbler for some where around 35 years or more. It has done a great job. I use crushed walnut hulls if I have real dirty brass but most of the time a few hours in corn cob media will provide nice shinny brass. The walnut media provides a more mat finish but if you want the shine just stick them in the corn cobs for a little longer and they are purdy. Primer pockets on my handgun brass I normally don't fool with unless I am trying to do something special. Rifle brass I just use one of the hand primer pocket cleaners, no big deal and doesn't take any time at all. Adding a bit of one of the many liquid polish additives seems to shorten the process and make for purdy brass but that purdy stuff doesn't shoot a bit better darn it.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  6. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Todd, 35 years ago that was the cream of the crop. That is what my father had when he began teaching me how to reload. It finally died around 1995 if I had to guess. We ran the heck out of it. I am here to say that is a great tool. Do they still make that?
  7. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    The Thumlers model B is STILL the cream of the crop. If you prefer to have brass come out factory new, including the primer pockets and inside the casing, fill a Thumblers with 5 lbs of stainless media, dawn dishsoap and water. Painless, chemical free and no walnut/corn media mess everywhere. Hands down the winner for cleaning brass. Critics cite the price is too expensive, consider no expendable media or chemical, nothing more to buy ever in a lifetime, suddenly it should clearly make sense.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  8. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I have a vibratory cleaner from Hornady, and it works well enough for my purposes. I use walnut media without any kind of polish.
  9. willy3

    willy3 New Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    West Central Ohio
    LANGENC is right. .223's clog up easily. I solved that by using a fine crushed walnut media. You can buy it from Harbor Freight. Comes in a 25 pound box for a fraction of the cost the dealers charge. Works good on any brass, too.
  10. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    I must first say I learned a lot from the various post, like willy3's with Harbor Freight being a good source of small walnut shells.

    I have a friend who use to put walnut shells and his brass in a pillow case and when his wife wasn't around he used the cloths dryer to tumble his brass until one day the pillow case broke. He has since divorced but he still finds walnut shells in his socks.

    I use a large vibratory "sonic" and I have one of those Dillon hand cranked media remover that works pretty good to get all of the media from the brass and primer pockets. I also mix most rifle brass with pistol brass so long as one won't fit in the other. I do occasionally mix 45 auto with 25 auto when I load for it because they compliment one another in cleaning and they separate clean in the media remover. While I don't reload for 223 yet, I do reload for over 50 calibers including 222, 6mm PPC and 32-20, the Dillon media remover does a good job removing the media from all those cases.

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  11. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    I have a friend who use to put walnut shells and his brass in a pillow case and when his wife wasn't around he used the cloths dryer to tumble his brass until one day the pillow case broke. He has since divorced but he still finds walnut shells in his socks.


    ^^^ hahahaha

    I use a vibratory cleaner with walnut and corn cob media. When I have a primer pocket get media in it, I use an unfolded paper clip to get it unstuck. Never had a problem with it.
  12. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    Vibratory polishers are still widely used in all kinds of industry, using all kinds of dry media.
    Many reloaders don't vibrate de-primed brass for the reason stated, and cleaning a primer pocket EVERY time a hull is reloaded is unnecessary.
    As an experiment years ago, I fired and vibratory cleaned unsized and still primered 5.56 several times without cleaning the pockets, no problems in function or in accuracy for 5 reloadings. I quit after that, the point was made.
    Once cleaned and uniformed, depending on the use of the cartridge, primer pocket cleaning every time is a waste of time for the average shooter/reloader for just plinking or loading for cost effectiveness.
    Long range precision is a different matter of course, but for my 'funnin' reloads that I and my kids shoot hundreds of each time at the range, why waste the time?
  13. Frogman812

    Frogman812 New Member

    Nov 18, 2011
  14. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    My father in law has one of those. Problem is finding a belt for the darned thing when it breaks. I think he finally found one online, but he sure was annoyed when he couldn't find one local:D
  15. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    word :thumbsup:
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