Tumbler, Vibratory Cleaner or Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Which is your preferred method and why?

  • Tumbler with what media

  • Vibratory cleaner with what media

  • Ultrasonic cleaner

  • No cleaning


Results are only viewable after voting.

Eric H

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
438
Liquid Tumbler with steel pins. No mess with dry media. Only drawback is waiting for brass to dry.
 

mattri

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
134
Saw a similar post over on accurateshooter and the consensus seemed to be that while US got the brass very clean and shiny there wasn't any actual accuracy advantage over basic CC media- thoughts?
 

QuietTexan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
1,777
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Saw a similar post over on accurateshooter and the consensus seemed to be that while US got the brass very clean and shiny there wasn't any actual accuracy advantage over basic CC media- thoughts?
All processes have end goals, and accuracy (or rather precision, meaning group size) improvement isn't always that goal.

Sometimes you have to clean as part of a process, like removing sizing wax or other lubrication at different stages of neckturning or wildcat case forming.

Long term storage, putting damaged or dirty range/once fired brass into service, processing new brass, changing brass from one rifle to another ( :eek: ), all of those can be reasons to clean cases differently. There's about as many reasons as there are rifles.


I use all of the above options depending on the situation.
  1. Some precision loads go chamber-press-box-chamber with zero cleaning.
  2. Sometimes I completely "reset" brass with a long SS cleaning and dunked in alcohol after to remove everything - carbon, oil, etc
  3. The resets are usually when I change something big or restart a load workup. Sometimes just because after 5+ firings they're grungy and I just want to measure them, check the pockets, case web, shoulders, stuff like that I don't want to get covered in carbon doing it.
  4. Usually I toss brass in a vibratory tumbler either before depriming or after sizing. No reason other than it's the easiest process and shooting suppressed the cases can get so dirty I don't want to run them up into the die like that.
  5. I use ultrasonics on parts more than brass, but very stubborn primer pockets get the ultrasonic. Mine is very small so I can't do big batches.
  6. Walnut is basically magic at polishing anything, I do more not-gun stuff in walnut because it's just a plain handy tool to have for around the house and garage stuff.

TL: DR time: Y'all just move along if you don't want to read a musing on precision and case cleaning.

As far as impact on precision, it's part of a bigger process. You can eliminate case cleaning as a variable in multiple ways - doing it the same way every time, not do it at all, even completely scrubbing the cases to bare raw metal each and every firing might be a good option for someone. All that matters is that it does not show up on the target.

I make a lot of assumptions around my cleaning methods (I think we all do) and center my logic in making those assumptions around them not creating a negative impact - if I can still shoot well after what I do or don't do, ipso facto what I did is not bad, or to go one step further instead of "bad" I'd say it's not my limiting factor. That's a negative confirmation, which amounts to saying that something hasn't happened ..... yet. Not saying that it can't happen still.

I won't make a positive statement correlating cleaning and precision on target. To make a positive statement correlating the two there would need to be a whole lot of evidence to support even practical experience. Unless the test is structed all experiential evidence is merely anecdotal.

My experiential evidence is that case cleaning doesn't show up in my targets. That mean's it's not my limiting factor, but it could be for others.

I do have hard data via the AMP press showing there is a measurable impact to seating force resulting from different cleaning and neck lube methods. But what does that extra seating force mean? So far - nothing.

I cannot correlate increased seating force to anything. I'm starting to gather data about this - so far only one test of 100 rounds from a 6.5 CM. The first test is showing better consistency in seating force results in a smaller group size - groups match by seating force shot very slightly better than unmatched groups (intentionally varied), but not in a robust statistical and quantifiable manner because it's a small number of shots. Also, matched groups shot as well as each other, even if the seating force varied considerably between the two groups. Interesting, but nothing there yet. This is also only group size, and doesn't even get started towards POA/POI differences. I'm more likely to change how I quantify group size than change a loading process based on what I've seen so far. Mean Radius is a much more involved comparison than simply looking at the two shots apart furthest or greatest distance from POA, but it's much more informative.

Even if groups do shrink with more consistent seating force - that does not imply neck lube or case cleaning being causative to the reduction. Could be hardness or spring back in the brass, could be lighter force happens when bullets seat straighter, could be inconsistently high or low force is due to neck thickness variations. Case neck state is a variable and might make an impact, but there are a large number of variables that probably matter more.
 
Last edited:

WahooYahoo

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
666
Location
The Great Republic of Texas
I'm surprised there aren't more folks using the US. Seems old school methods are preferred. I posted this poll because I, like Barrelnut, don't clean the inside, But some of my brass is very dirty.
 

dennisinaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
343
Location
Alaska
I bought a 10 liter Ultra Sonic cleaner. They take us a lot of space and I didn't feel it really did that great of a job. I have switched to a rotating tumbler with Stainless pins. I use dish soap, and Lemi Shine. I rinse twice very thoroughly, blow the cases out with compressor when done and put them in the sun to dry. I don't get in a hurry. I anneal every loading as well. This works best for me.
I lube my bullets before seating them.
 

Scythe

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
162
Location
Eastern Ohio
Vibratory with fine corncob media that will pass thru a primer hole.
Add some mineral spirits at the start for the first hour then a few squirts liquid car polish and let it run until you are happy. And place it outside.
 
Top