Brass that's NEVER cleaned

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Varmint Hunter, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I use Lapua brass for nearly all my rifles. Brass starts out clean & shiny and is handled with care. Before reloading I clean the inside/outside of the necks and clean the primer pockets. I never bother cleaning the case itself. The exterior of the case remains clean from firing to firing, just not as shiny as new. Never had a problem.

    I was wondering, is there any reason to remove the fouling/powder residue from the inside of the case? I see that the new stainless steel pin tumblers do an excellent job of cleaning the inside of the case; but is there a need to do this?
     
  2. tbrice23

    tbrice23 Well-Known Member

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    The reasons I sonic clean is that it cleans primer pockets, removes the crust inside th case so I can accurately weigh the cases, and clean cases show how uniformly I'm annealing.
     

  3. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    IMO, it probably depends on whether the reloader is a hunter or a competition shooter. For hunting purposes, I would be more likely to use your method. For competition I want to eliminate as many variables as I can so I tend to be far more persnickety with those loads.
    There's also some advantage to a thorough cleaning of your brass because flaws in the cases are more readily found when the cases are clean and shiny. Very small fractures in the case structure sometimes don't show as clearly on the surfaces of dirty cases.
     
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I weigh and sort brass after the initial brass prep but not much is usually needed with the lapua cases. Not shooting any competition but have been a longrange varmint hunter for many years. I've taken several big game animals at extended range but it wouldn't be considered "long Range" by the group posting here. LOL :D

    I've never found a need to clean the inside of my cases but you never know what you can learn from the shooters on this board.

    Any other opinions?
     
  5. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Do you wash your car and vacuum out the interior ? Sometime we do things because we can, and it causes no harm and looks at least as good as new factory ammo, sometimes better. Few people get to see your ammo, so this is something you mainly do for yourself / or not. If it is working for you, why change ?
     
  6. RustyRick

    RustyRick Well-Known Member

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    I was handed a problem child (660 Rem) with a bunch of old brass in an attempt to find some reloads that would work. The brass was very tarnished. So I bought one of the "SONIC" cleaners of the shelf with the recommended liquid wash. (Doen it by the book)

    I expected the "SONIC" to provide some wave vibrating action, or something more that just a bath. After phone calls and emails, some a little nasty to the manufacturer I decided I'd been had.

    So I tried an empty ice cream pail the solution of the shelf and added some of my wife's dish soap, lemon juice concentrate and vinegar. And an old stick I chipped of my fire wood, a old floor rag and mixed it all together in the pail and stirred. Not for long either.

    Vwollia - shinier that the PROFESSIONAL SONIC machine so it went back to the store. GRR
     
  7. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    So did you actually turn on the ultrasonic actuator ? They have 2 controls, the bath temperature and a timer. For the timer to do anything you have to turn on the actual ultrasound actuator and it is loud enough that you would not be mistaken if it was on.

    The solution they provide in also often not the best, sometimes a bit of alcohol can do wonders...
     
  8. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    There is absolutely zero benefit, and no valid reason, to clean the carbon film out of case interiors.
    Also, one way or another the neck insides need bullet seating lube, and carbon is as good as any.

    So leave it there, resist the herd, and don't sweat this one.
     
  9. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that new factory ammo gets any bullet lube. I have never heard of precision shooters using lube either unless they had a dry coating on the bullet.

    Bus as I previously said, its an individual decision. I personally don't want any oxidation/carbon residue in my brass. New ammo loaded with new brass is known to last a long long time. I can't tell how many years I will keep some of my ammo before I use it, so I'm giving it the best chance to last a long time that I can.
     
  10. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Now that's a definitive answer! And it is what I always believed but it doesn't hurt to ask others who have more experience.
    Thanks for the collective responses.

     
  11. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Precision shooters don't use brand new brass where it counts, and otherwise they have the carbon film in place. That's the most common lube. Others(those who have removed the carbon) dip necks in mica, graphite, moly, or something else.
    Those who don't, see far higher seating forces, which affects seating depth accuracy.

    It's also known to cold weld..
    You say you don't want any oxidation/carbon residue in your brass. Have you discovered any valid reason for this notion?

    The best shooters on this planet do not clean their cases squeaky clean inside. They wipe the primer pockets(maybe), wipe the soot off the neck ODs(maybe), and maybe tumble the cases. They do this to keep grime out of their dies, that's all.
     
  12. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    MikeCR

    All the points you made are valid.

    But some of my ammo goes into long term storage and some is tossed onto the ground by the self-loaders. Both of these require cleaning.

    Ground bound brass has abrasive crud on it and it has to be cleaned off.

    Long term storage is about zero contamination and protecting the ammo from atmospherics and heat. Put away squeeky clean I have ammo that has shot fine 35 years later.

    But for bench fire where the ammo goes from box to gun, is fired, and then carefully returned to the box? Probably not. But I brush the necks out and clean the primer pockets every time.

    KB
     
  13. Team Roper

    Team Roper Well-Known Member

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    Because it makes me feel better all the reason I need.:D
     
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    We're not talking about the same thing. The only way I'm aware of to restore brass internal to squeaky clean is SS pin tumbling. You didn't do that 35yrs ago.

    Roper, feeling better about things has never made them valid.