brass cleaning

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

  1. thunderchild223

    thunderchild223 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Miss.
    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 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    623
    Location:
    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 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Dardanelle, 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 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    8,541
    Sonic cleaner no. Tumbler yes. I have done both.
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,931
    Location:
    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 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    8,541
    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 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,258
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,306
    Location:
    Indiana
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    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.

    Ron
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  11. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.

    Ron[/QUOTE]

    ^^^ 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 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,124
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    +1
  14. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    The true northern Cal
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,454
    word :thumbsup:
  16. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    8,843
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    I used the same tumbler as Todd for years. I bought a Lyman vibratory cleaner about 15 years ago. When the Lyman broke, I took out the Thumbler's and continued on until I replaced the base/motor on the Lyman. I gave the Thumbler's to my neighbor about 5 years ago and as far as I know, it is still going after close to 40 years.

    As far as the media getting into the flash hole - to get rid of that problem, just vibrate BEFORE you resize/deprime!!
  17. Orin

    Orin New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Try adding a small amount of Brasso to your cob-crumbs. It dissapears, creates no mess, lasts a long time & you get bright brass with no scratching.
  18. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I have tumbeled 223 and a lot of them. I never have a problem with them clogging.

    Are you adding a liquid polish to the media then adding the cases?

    If I need to add polish I add what I need then run the tumbler for 30 to 45 minutes before adding any brass to it.
  19. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    in a motorhome where ever we park!
    harbor freight just had the thumbler on sale about 3 wks oag. they carry both the single drum and dual drum!
  20. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    I have the harbor freight ultrasonic with hornady ultrasonic cleaner and am a very happy camper. I just did quite a few the other day. I really like knowing that no lead will be in the air for my kids. I did inspection right after and if there were any yuck in the pockets it was easy to pick out without damaging the pocket at all. Very happy with ultrasonic. The harbor freight model only will run 8 minutes at a time though. When I do a large number of brass it usually takes about 3 times running each basket. So it does take a long time. I hear the more expensive ones will let you run for longer. The basket on HF model also does not really have handles.

    This is what I bought. I got it for a lil over 50 bucks (it was on sale and the 20% coupon.)

    http://www.harborfreight.com/25-liter-ultrasonic-cleaner-95563.html

    Cleaner:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/71...ltrasonic-case-cleaning-solution-32-oz-liquid


    Oh, I tried the water/vinegar stuff on the internet before the hornady. The hornady is definitely worth the the money! I got corrosion in quite a few even with rinsing. Hornady not any corrosion and very clean!

    oh, I only do 9mm.

    Good luck with your decision.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Nasty Brass Cleaning Tips Mar 13, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Brass cleaning - before and after Feb 27, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Cleaning dirty brass Nov 2, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Cleaning rifle brass primer pockets? Oct 25, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Brass Cleaning by Soaking Oct 16, 2013