"Polishing" Bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Doug B., Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Doug B.

    Doug B. Member

    I recently acquired a few old boxes of bullets from a buddy of mine and they aren't as shiny as I would like to see them prior to reloading. I realize "deer or paper won't know the difference", but, I would like to shine them up. Any suggestions that would make my life easier as compared to sitting down and individually shining them up with steel wool by hand? Being these are pointed soft points, I want to avoid ruining the lead tips. I am guessing there must be a liquid of sorts that would work?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I would try soaking in some BrassMate Liquid Metal Polish ( not suitable for cartridge brass ) or something equivalent, then give them a quick rub with a cotton cloth to dry and buff.

  3. starman

    starman New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    I've had the same circumstance in the past and wasn't sure if I could just drop them into my tumler fo a short time or not. I haven't tried this because I didn't want to possibly change any dimensions. What do you think is a tumbler safe or am I crazy for even considering it?
  4. Doug B.

    Doug B. Member

    The tumbler crossed my mind....BUT....I am of the opinion that in my tumbler (actual tumbler, not a vibratory) the pointed soft points may not be pointed soft points when I pull them out. That is why I was inquiring about a liquid in which I might soak them. One that would shine the copper and not destroy the lead. I don't want to beat them up either. I did a search of this forum as well as several others to no avail.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  5. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay New Member

    May 26, 2009
    Central CT
    tumbler is safe.
    but to play it safe--half hour or less

    between my daughter and me, my wife has washed +100 rounds of
    assorted reloads and some factory ammo. every one fired normally
    on the next trip to the range. so--agitated for 25 minutes and than
    hot tumbled for an hour vs half hour in a tumbler--seems like a wash to me
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I tumble bullets all the time. I have left them going for hours without change to the dimensions. In fact thats how you moly coat your own.
  7. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    If you're worried about physical damage to the lead, just put a lot of cob and a few rounds in at a time. There's enough cushioning that there should not be any damage. After all, the ammo is just sliding around, not dropping from 2 feet to a hard surface.
  8. res45

    res45 Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    +1 I do the same,I've tumbled everything from some old 32 cal. FMJ up to some surplus heavy ball pulls for a couple hours in corn cob media makes them look like new.
  9. starman

    starman New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    I wasn't aware you were working with soft points. I was talking about vibrating some FMJ, I'm going to toss a few in tonight actually. Like the guys say will probably be fine as long as you don't over load it.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    It wont hurt softpoints either. If anything it'll even out blemishes in the exposed lead and make them look better;)
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