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Thread: Cleaning old brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy bishopgrandpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Saratoga Co. N.Y.

    Cleaning old brass

    I hope this makes sense w/o pictures. I took a washing machine motor and plugged it in. As the spindle turns, hold a file against it to make it cone shaped and the size of the caliber you are using. . Put the empty casing on the spindle holding your thumb against the headstamp to hold it on while it is turning. With the other hand using steel wool (0000) put it against the casing (or use Flitz on a rag) and the casing will clean up and look like new. Of course this is good for empty cases only. Something to do on a long winters night.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Well, it's clear to me. Thanks for the idea.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    South Western NC
    There's a significant difference between clean and shined cases. One is needed, the other is purely cosmetic.

    New cases have a matt finish, they're never glittery. I prefer to make my cases truly look new so I don't add metal polish to my tumbler media any more, I just add an occasional spoonful of diatomacous earth; that's the soft polish in white toothpaste that actually cleans our teeth. It does a great job on brass and leaves a true factory sheen.

    Small boxes of diatomacous earth can be found in Lowe's/H'Depot's/Ace hardware home insectacide department. D.E. powder is hades to floor crawling bugs but harmless to animals and it's quite cheep too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    SSGOldfart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    East Texas
    My chickens love to it too.DE works great to keep the bugs off of chickens
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
    Paralyzed Veterans of America

    Looking for a Hensly &Gibbs #258 any thing from a two cavity to a 10cavity

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Upper Midwest
    I buy muriatic acid, diluted hydrochloric acid.
    dilute that 1 part acid to 10 or more parts water. Dirty, tarnished, sooty, brass will come out as dull brass. Rinse thoroughly, several times
    with some baking soda in the water the first two times. Then clean water.
    Dry thoroughly, and tumble polish as usual.

    If you have a pin tumbler, no need. Follow the instruction with a bit of lemon shine.

    Je suis Charlie

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    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    “Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one.” – Joseph P. Martino

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy bishopgrandpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Saratoga Co. N.Y.
    You are right in that it is cosmetic to be shiny. It is also surprising to me how many people think that is what a tumbler should do. So for those who like 'em shiny this is one way to do it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Lebanon, NY
    I have done a similar thing with a cordless drill. Snug the case head first in the drill and as the drill spins the case you can use 0000 steel wool or your favorite metal polish. Swap ends but be careful not to crush the case. Now polish the head of the case.
    They come out looking very good that way. I have done tis with the cases I load for defensive proposes. The Never Dull gets them nice and clean and leaves a wax on then that helps prevent corrosion. Then give then another coat without the drill for a bit more protection.
    I guess if I wanted to load some to show off a I could do this to them. It don't make them shoot any better but the shine may impress others.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So. Orygun
    Before I started using a tumbler and when I wanted some "BBQ"ammo, I used a tapered hardwood dowel chucked in a drill. Just push the case on the dowel and it stays tight. I used 000 steel wool with Pledge then wiped with a clean rag to make sure all the steel wool hairs were off the case...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check