cleaning brass question??

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by sansonea69, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. sansonea69

    sansonea69 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Are there any other ways to clean brass, is it OK to use a cleaner- lubricant such as Break Free??
  2. bucksnducks

    bucksnducks New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Other than what ? A vibratory case cleaner is the way to go. Its the least labor intensive. I would not let Break-Free, WD-40 or anything like that even close to brass I was planning to reload.
    If you are planning to reload much at all a vibratory case cleaner will pay for itself pretty quickly.
    Welcome to the forum. Tons of good info and good folks here.
  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Before we had tumblers some reloaders will fill a canning jar with dirty brass and pour in paint thinner. Capping the jar and shaking it up removed a lot of crud from the brass.

    The paint thinner was poured off and saved to be used again. The brass was washed in clean water and left to dry.
  4. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    The tumbler is, IMHO, by far the best way to go. You can get a setup from cabelas for around $70 that includes everything you need. It's great and has thus far been very durable. No issues to report.

    That being said, Iosso makes a brass cleaning liquid that I tried before I bought my tumbler. It started eating the zinc out of the brass so I dropped it. I've heard that vinegar will clean cases well without side effects, haven't tried it. I've heard about the paint thinner, and I've also heard a very weak sulfuric acid solution will get em shiny pretty quick.

    When using ANY liquid case cleaner you must wash the brass throroughly afterwards, and make sure it's 100% dry before loading.

    I don't think I would use an oil based lubricant to clean the brass. It may cause issues when fired if you don't get all of it off later.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  5. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,011
    Location:
    Michigan
    my advice... get a tumbler. best 70 bucks you'll ever spend.
  6. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    Certain lubricants will wipe off clean to the naked eye, what you don't notice is at the microscopic level. A good lubricant will penetrate the pores of the brass as its intended purpose and settle in until it is heated, then like magic the lube re-appears! While you fire this nicely lubricant cleaned brass your action and reciever heat up and the lubricant you didn't see after wiping it off with a rag raises to the surface of the casing. (have you ever fired a recently cleaned gun and noticed it gets "wet" after firing it?) In theory this sounds great but an excess amount is going to cause hydraulic pressure as it builds up between the walls of your chamber and cartrige. Hopefully you experience a jam or misfeed or something that indicates the trouble before you get a round that fires out of battery or worse. I can tell you it does happen and have wittnessed an M16 get destroyed while in the military by cleaning ammo with lubricant.

    I cannot stress to you enough to keep lubricants other than case lubes intended for resizing away from your brass as it can cause a serious accident, play it safe and forget the shortcuts in reloading. Buy a tumbler or liquid brass cleaner and do it by the book.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  7. old semperfi

    old semperfi Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,516
    Location:
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    i am a little anal in cleaning brass,i first use dishwashing detergent and very hot water(dawn) i then rinse and turn cases over to dry,after dry i use a tumbler.now back in my early reloading days i had little money so i used a lee case holder chucked in a drill and 0000 steel wool,i had to lightly add pressure but it did do the job. old semperfi
  8. bizy

    bizy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    Marlow, Ok
    I give my brass a good soaking with WD40 for a day then put them in the tumbler for about 4 hours. They come out like new brass.
  9. old semperfi

    old semperfi Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,516
    Location:
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    i have to disagree,in no way would i use a petroleum base to clean brass.it may work but i reload thousands of rounds of various calibers and have reloaded ammo thats over twenty years old.the ammo still fires perfectly,however if there is any trace of oil left in case,it could contaminate powder or primer mix after a while. old semperfi
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

Share This Page