Newbie here, brass cleaning question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Wizekraker, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Wizekraker

    Wizekraker New Member

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    I believe I have the right equipment. Tumbler, wallnut media, midway brass polish. Not sure I am getting the right results. After two hours the brass still comes out tarnished in spots and with tarnished finger prints. Some brass is clogged in the neck of the case with media. Any pointers on what I am doing wrong? I feel like the brass should be cleaner than it is coming out. Thanks for the help.
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    The clogging sounds like you are adding the polish in with the brass all at once. Run the tumbler with media and polish for ten minutes then add brass. The diffferent size of the media can affect your run time needed slightly I have noticed. I usually set mine to tumble overnight, never had any problems that way. If you are trying to get factory shine on your brass you want corn. Walnut works faster,polishes to a dull sheen. Corn will give you a mirror perfect finish but takes a bit longer.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Wizekraker:

    Forget the polish! Use the walnut shells media dry. Some staining of the brass even after a couple of hours in the vibratory cleaner is common. It hurts nothing. If the staining is excessive then just run it longer in the vibratory cleaner. Overnight is good. I have the big industrial sized Dillon vibratory cleaner and I leave my brass in it for two to three hours. I don't over load it, either. If you pack the brass in then the cleaner can not do its job. I settle for some staining.

    Here's a word of warning. Don't get obsessed with perfectly polished brass and resort to using chemicals to remove the stains. Brass can be hurt by using the wrong chemicals on it such that the strength is reduced. That is about the last thing you want when you are trying to contain 60,000 psi gases!

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Kraker, IMHO you are getting great advice from these folks. I am just a wee bit obsessed with shinny brass but I don't load large amounts of any particular caliber. Some are just to tarnished to get that factory fresh shine so I just live with it, as it doesn't hurt a thing. I first wash dirty brass with IOSSO cleaner and then let it dry. If it is really tarnished I tumble in walnut shells (no additives) and then to put the bright shine I tumble in corn cob with a dab (about a teaspoon) of Dillon's 290 fast brass cleaned added. Don't have to put the Dillon's in every time. With all this there are still a few tarnished cases that I just have to force myself to live with. I have lots of time on my hands and may have some behavior problems too. :D
  6. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    I use a mix of corn cob and walnut (Lizard Litter) and every now and then tumble in a tbl of liquid car polish but surely not every tumbling cycle.

    One tip is to buy an inexpensive lamp timer. Then you can just set the time you want to tumble, turn the tumbler on and forget it.

    Some cut up used dryer sheets in with the brass each time helps keep the dust down.
  7. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Randy, thanks, that tip on the timer I will use. My tumbler has no switch and it is just plug it in or unplug it and I do forget to do that till I am in bed. Got the timer but the light bulb just never came on in my brain (I know I am old) to use it. :eek:
  8. me2

    me2 New Member

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    lots of good info already, i use walnut shells from the pet store that is for lizard bedding its like a 5 or 7 pound bag for 8.00 a LOT cheaper then gun stores for the same thing.

    word of warning DONT buy the corn cob pet bedding unless you have large caliber cases bigger than 30-06 because it will fill the cases up and be a real pain in the butt to dig out :( i did about 300 223 shells and it to HOURS to hand pick it all out :(


    also you can use a little "new finish" car wax to shine them up :)
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    dump the walnut and get some corncob. The finer the better. Been using corncob for like 5 years and my cases come out like little golden mirrors;)
  10. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    At Harbor Freight I saw 25 lb bags of walnut and corn that they use in media blasting. It comes in coarse, med. and fine. Is this stuff suitable for cleaning brass?
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    the fine should be. My guage for measuring media is simple. Will the individual particles freely pass through a flash hole. If so, its fine enough.;)
  12. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    And thats fine with me! I shall go get some and try it.
  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    This is probably the best value I have found in media and it works well, rather dusty but use a dryer sheet that takes care of it nicely.
  14. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Dump the walnut(nasty staining stuff) and get some corn cobb. If the dust is a problem, cut a dryer sheet into 2 inch squares and add to it... or just put the lid on.
  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Naw... Keep the walnut shell media. It lasts for years whereas corn cob looses it "edge" rather quickly. Accept the less shiny results as utilitarian and give up making pretty cartridges. Beauty is as beauty DOES.

    LDBennett
  16. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    But LD,
    Shiny brass is so much easier to see to pick up. And besdes thae, it keeps my wifes attention :D, she likes shiny things.
  17. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

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    All I can say is walnut cleans tarnish up better and faster, but corn cob put that dazzling shine on, though it takes longer.
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