procedure for measuring case volume

TracySes23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
244
Location
Champaign, IL
Concerning citric acid for case cleaning:

Trichloro-anything is bad stuff. I sprayed lacquer in a cabinet shop for years without a mask but I won't let my children do it! There is a safer more eco-friendly alternative, citric acid.

The NRA Handloading Digest mentioned a 4% sulfuric acid dip used at Army arsenals for case cleaning back when the government reloaded it's practice ammo and saved our tax money by doing things as cheap as possible. I have tried sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid (works well indeed), vinegar, lemon juice and citric acid. Citric acid is the best. I adjust the amount to match the corrosion on the cases. I bought a 5lb jar from a local health food store for $25, enough for tens of thousands of cases.

For heavily corroded cases I use two tablespoons full in about two quarts of the hottest water coming out of the tap (140F). I stir with a soup spoon for about 3 minutes and let them sit in a plastic bucket for about 20 minutes. Make sure none of the cases are above the water level. After soaking I stir for 3 more minutes and drain. One clear hot water rinse and then I rinse with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of Cascade dishwasher detergent in two quarts of hot water stirring with the spoon for about 3 minutes. The Cascade is a basic solution and neutralizes residual acid. Two hot water rinses and a dry off in the towel. One hour in a 170F oven and then cooling down on the cookie sheet.
View attachment 34137
This is before and after of 556 range brass with an all - wet no machine (no tumblers, no ultrasonic, no nothing) all by hand in a pail cleaning with a combination of Cascade/citric acid process. Total 3 1/2 Tbsp of citric acid for 500/ 556 cases in two batches. The insides are as clean as the outsides. Total time working at the sink: 20 minutes. Total time from dirty cases to clean and dry ready to load: 2 hours. It works for me!

KB

I agree. I've often used it. Any strength you chose to use will never etch copper or brass. two minor downsides of of citric acid. It won't remove any oily residue. It will also start growing mold on the surface if you allow it to set at room temperature for a couple of weeks. When I'm not using it, I store it in the refrigerator. I've allowed bess to sit in the solution as long as 2 days. Once the oxidation is removed, it is completely passive. It's cheap enough to pour down the drain, if you don't care to strain off the mold.
The first Time I used it, was a solution of Real Lemon concentrate mixed with water. I was amazed at how fast it worked.
I've never tried it, but some people claim to have made a sweetened solution that tasted almost like lemonade. Citric acid is in all fruits.
Over time the concentration weakens & takes longer to work.
I rarely clean more than 60 cases at a time, since the only shooting I do is from a bench. That's about 3 hours of shooting for me.
I don't have a clue why more people don't use it.

Spencer
 

TracySes23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
244
Location
Champaign, IL
Concerning citric acid for case cleaning:

Trichloro-anything is bad stuff. I sprayed lacquer in a cabinet shop for years without a mask but I won't let my children do it! There is a safer more eco-friendly alternative, citric acid.

The NRA Handloading Digest mentioned a 4% sulfuric acid dip used at Army arsenals for case cleaning back when the government reloaded it's practice ammo and saved our tax money by doing things as cheap as possible. I have tried sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid (works well indeed), vinegar, lemon juice and citric acid. Citric acid is the best. I adjust the amount to match the corrosion on the cases. I bought a 5lb jar from a local health food store for $25, enough for tens of thousands of cases.

For heavily corroded cases I use two tablespoons full in about two quarts of the hottest water coming out of the tap (140F). I stir with a soup spoon for about 3 minutes and let them sit in a plastic bucket for about 20 minutes. Make sure none of the cases are above the water level. After soaking I stir for 3 more minutes and drain. One clear hot water rinse and then I rinse with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of Cascade dishwasher detergent in two quarts of hot water stirring with the spoon for about 3 minutes. The Cascade is a basic solution and neutralizes residual acid. Two hot water rinses and a dry off in the towel. One hour in a 170F oven and then cooling down on the cookie sheet.
View attachment 34137
This is before and after of 556 range brass with an all - wet no machine (no tumblers, no ultrasonic, no nothing) all by hand in a pail cleaning with a combination of Cascade/citric acid process. Total 3 1/2 Tbsp of citric acid for 500/ 556 cases in two batches. The insides are as clean as the outsides. Total time working at the sink: 20 minutes. Total time from dirty cases to clean and dry ready to load: 2 hours. It works for me!

KB

I agree. I've often used it. Any strength you chose to use, will never etch copper or brass. Two minor downsides of of citric acid. It won't remove any lube residue. It will also start growing mold on the surface if you allow it to set at room temperature for a couple of weeks. When I'm not using it, I store it in the refrigerator. I've allowed brass to sit in the solution as long as 2 days. Once the oxidation is removed, it is completely passive. It's cheap enough to pour down the drain, if you don't care to strain off the mold.
The first time I used it, was a solution of Real Lemon concentrate mixed with water. I was amazed at how fast it worked.
I've never tried it, but some people claim to have made a sweetened solution that tastes like lemonade. Citric acid is in all fruits.
Over time the concentration weakens & takes longer to work. I think that's probably true of other solutions also.
I rarely clean more than 60 cases at a time, since the only shooting I do is from a bench. That's about 3 hours of shooting for me.
I don't have a clue why more people don't use it.

Spencer
 
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