Alternative to tumbling

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by buckbrush, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    My tumbler crapped out today. Are there any other good alternatives to cleaning brass?

    Thanks.
     

  2. JLM

    JLM Member

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    0000 Steel Wool if you aren't doing a bunch of them.
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Have someone take a rod that will chuck up in you drill motor and turn a taper on the other end so that it will slide into you case neck.

    With the steel wool mentioned above you'll get every thing except the inside of the case.

    Works for me.....
     
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I've used various media in a tumbler and have used ISSO liquid for soaking quite some time ago.

    Now I just use 0000 steel wool on the outside of the necks for a better and faster cleaning. I use a worn brass bore brush with a little steel wool on it to clean the inside of the necks. I chuck the brush up in a hand drill and just lay it on its side. Then I manually push the cases over the spinning brush. Every now and then you need to add a bit more steel wool.

    The inside of the case bodies never get cleaned any more. If there is a down side to this, I haven't seen it. I would be interested in anyone else s opinion of NOT cleaning the inside of the case body.
     
  5. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    Hey buckbrush

    After resizing, I trim, chamfer, clean the outside of the case body, clean the inside of the case neck, and apply mica to the inside neck at one station. The brass can either be shiny or matte.

    This is the finished product

    [​IMG]

    I can do 50 cases in about 45 minutes

    [​IMG]

    I use a Zip Trim attached to a piece of 2x4 and mounted in a vise

    trim using the Lee case length attached to a ball cutter
    [​IMG]

    apply Flitz using one of those sponges that come in the top of TSX boxes
    [​IMG]

    hold a rag against it and spin to take the Flitz off
    [​IMG]

    and clean the inside necks with steel wool around a 22 caliber brush
    [​IMG]


    Gives me very consistant results and a protective coating on the shells.
     
  6. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    I love to reload, but if I had to do what woods does I think I would go crazy. I do run a nylon brush in and out of the necks and I might try some mica though.

    A couple of $35 tumblers from Midway do the trick for me. If I want the cases more shiney I run the tumbler longer. Tumblers and media are cheap. One of my tumblers has probably run 12 hours a week for the last 5 years.
     
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I use my tumblers to clean brass that I've shot and dropped on the ground (40sw etc.). But I rarely tumble my LR brass, I keep them segregated by runout (so if the same brass has poor runout a couple times in a row, I know it's the brass).

    I will typically wipe them clean, lube, resize and wipe clean again. They aren't sparkling beauty like some I see here, but I don't think they shoot any worse because of it :D

    AJ
     
  8. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    Hey Forester, it drove me crazy a long time ago and I persisted and came out the other side and am better because of it :D

    Keep in mind that I trim and chamfer at the same time. What method do you use to trim and how long does it take? How about chamfering, do you do that by hand and how long does that take?

    I don't Flitz the cases everytime as it lasts through 3 or 4 firings depending upon use.

    Hey AJ, I don't think making 'em look pretty makes 'em shoot any worse because of it neither
     
  9. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure you're right. :D

    AJ
     
  10. sxwatson

    sxwatson Well-Known Member

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    You can buy an ultrasonic cleaner for around 100 bucks on Ebay. Best thing about these is they not only clean the outside of the case but the inside too. Don't have one but it's on the wish list... Here is a good write up on them. UltraSonic Case Cleaning
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  11. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    buckbrush,
    Check that tumbler good. Mine has stopped on me twice over the past 10yrs. The first time the in-line on/off switch went bad. I repaired the switch and got it going again. The second time one of the AC wires came off underneath the bowl. I replaced the female connector and re-connected. My first response both times was to start looking for another tumbler. JohnnyK.
     
  12. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "Alternative to tumbling"

    Wipe the cases off with a dampened cloth.
    All they need is to be clean, not polished.
     
  13. dwm

    dwm Well-Known Member

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    One of my friends at the range uses Krazy Kloth to clean his cases. He cleans each case with the Krazy Kloth after it is fired prior to putting it back in the box.

    - Krazy Kloth

    One of my other friends uses the Birchwood Casey's Brass Cartridge Case Cleaner liquid and then the green cleaning/scrubbing pads to clean really stained/tarnished cases. He says the green pads really work.

    Personnally I use the tumbler and then the Birchwood Casey's Brass Cartridge Case Cleaner liquid if they still aren't shiny enough. The liquid really cleans the insides well. The ISSO liquid works good too.

    I also use the Krazy Kloth or Flitz from time to time to clean up the outside of dirty necks. My buddy says the green cleaning pads work good for that too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  14. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    Pulled it apart. One of the female terminals had broken off the wire. 2 minute fix and it's back up and running.

    Thanks everyone. I will look into some of those other options though...especially the shiny ones. Man those are pretty!