Cleaning brass - inside case still dirty??

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sharktown, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. sharktown

    sharktown Member

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    I have been reloading for years and tumble my brass like anybody else with corn cob media. The outside of the case comes sparkling clean but the inside of the case and the primer pocket does not and is usually still carbon black even after multiple tumbling sessions of two to three hours each. I usually need to clean the primer pockets with a hand cleaning tool.
    Any better ideas or is there a cleaning step that somebody has before you tumble your brass? I'm at wits end.

    Sharktown
     
  2. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    When you get to about the third loading of your brass, take a Q-Tip and wipe it around the inside of the case a little. You'll be surprised how much crud is really in there.

    I haven't tried one yet, but I'm starting to look into the Ultra Sonic cleaners. Hornady has made one for a while that I think had some shortcomings, but they just came out with what looks like a nicer one. Wish I could give some better feedback on the quality of these machines, but I just don't know yet. Maybe check the feedback at Midway. Good luck.
     

  3. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    I have the Hornady Ultrasonic cleaner and I use their liquid concentrated cleaner with it. My brass looks new, inside and out, after just a few cycles.
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A drill press and a nylon pistol brush work pretty good.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    You can scrap out the primer pocket before tumbling.
    But the carbon layer inside cases is not a problem to worry about. It pretty much settles to a thickness that doesn't hurt anything.
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    I have a tumbler and an ultrasonic cleaner; my brass goes in the tumbler. The US is too wet, messy and slow for cases, IMHO, and the extra "cleaning" is meaningless.

    IF you just gotta have a pristine appearance inside your cases as well as outside, get a rotary tumber and use it wet with bits of stainless steel wire media. It's still a mess but it cleans more brass much faster than a typical reloader type US.
     
  7. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Sharktown,

    I'm pretty much in line with everyone else here.

    1) I have used vibratory tumblers for many years, and they do a great job. No, they don't clean primer pockets or case interiors.

    2) Picked up a Hornady ultrasonic cleaner a year or so ago, and it does a better job of cleaning the case interiors and primer pockets. They're messy and can be pretty time consuming. I load in very large batches. For doing 20-40 cases of hunting type ammo, they do fairly well. For doing a couple thousand 223 cases for Service Rifle Match ammo, way too slow.

    3) Haven't tried the rotary tumblers with the stainless steel pin media, but I suspect I will pretty soon. Appears that they do at least as well, if not better than the US cleaners on the primer pockets and case interiors. They also appear to be pretty messy, but as I've said, there's no free lunch.

    4) While I've tried many other methods, I always seem to find my way back to the vibratory tumblers. They don't clean the interiors or the primer pockets, and I'm actually pretty okay with that. The interior stuff seems to have virtually zero effect on the loads, and the primer pockets can go a long, long way before they truly need to be cleaned. When they do, one of the manual tools does a good and very quick job, and gives you an opportunity to do a little case inspection. That's a good thing.

    I worry about Iran getting the bomb, the national debt and the shocking lack of leadership being shown by our elected officials. But I don't lose much sleep over a little carbon fouling on the insides of my cases. Pick your battles.
     
  8. WSSMITH

    WSSMITH Member

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    I have the Hornady sonic cleaner and it does a great job for small batches. I clean about 50 a time and rise and use a fan to hurry the process of drying. I guess if i had my choice i would use this the tumbler did nothing for me.
     
  9. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I guess if i had my choice i would use (US) the tumbler did nothing for me."

    Nothing? :D
     
  10. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Think I'd be tryin' some different media there . . .:D
     
  11. Skyking

    Skyking Official LRH Spponsor

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    There is the review of my STM method on the home page now. Lots of guys are loving the stainless tumbling media. Cleans inside, out, primers pockets, with no more media stuck in the flash hole.
     
  12. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I bought the ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight that Hornady copied or re-brands and use Hornady's cleaning fluid. It probably saved me $30 to cut out the Hornady name.

    I only clean and load in small batches. I don't get to shoot every day. So, I don't care if it takes a while for brass to dry. But, I like everything to be pristine. It's the best I've come across to that end.

    -- richard
     
  13. Popapi

    Popapi Well-Known Member

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    Ur right Richard!!!!!!! I'll be getting one of these!!!!!!
     
  14. sharktown

    sharktown Member

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    Thanks for everyone's replies and comments, they are appreciated.
    I just may start looking at the stainless pin tumbling media as it looks promising from the posts and replies here.

    Sharktown