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garyngwind
12-27-2016, 1:01 AM
Over the weekend I finally got to start my first reloading experience by cleaning the empty cases. Soaked the brass overnight in the hot water/vinegar/soap/salt solution, next morning found some of them looks decent, but looks like it can do better. So soak it again in another fresh solution, plus some semi-violent shaking. A few brass were mirror finish on the inside, but majority of them still have visible dark spot.
Today I gave in and bought a ultrasonic cleaner, and run the whole batch through it, again the solution came out dirty, but more than half the brass still look dirty inside.
I know i can run smaller batches in the ultrasonic to be more thorough, but my question is, how clean do the brass have to be? Clean enough so that a quick swab with a Qtip will still come out white?

packnrat
12-27-2016, 1:50 AM
some just push out the spent primer and install new.
others run all brass through a wet tumbler and get brand new shinny brass.

it is a what ever floats your boat.

i side more to the clean side. and approve of the wet clean. as apposed to the dry media.

but then i pop old primers out, resize everything, wet clean. then through the press. a bit over kill and added work to get it done.
for a gen shooting i have buckets of clean brass just waiting for new lead.
do five - six thousand at a time. yes i tend to shoot a lot. wish i could get a sponsor.

the "better" loadings i am a bit picky about, weigh out every powder load. reload one at a time.

dhagerty
12-27-2016, 5:29 AM
I am an old timer, I just lube the cases and resize them, throw them in my tumbler with walnut shell media for about an hour to get the lube off and a quick cleaning. then remove any media that gets stuck in the primer pockets and flash holes. After that I just reload them.

Now my shooting buddy though has never cleaned a case in his life and he is a 3 time National champion in Pistol Silhouette :rolleyes:

MarikinaMan
12-27-2016, 5:44 AM
For plinking, as long as it doesn't wear or damage the dies. Let'er rip!

WMG
12-27-2016, 7:08 AM
I don't tumble nor try and shove dirt baked on crap into my dies. After re-sizing the typical case , it comes out of the die a little cleaner than it went in.
Same dies for over 20 yrs.

ar15robert
12-27-2016, 7:19 AM
atleast clean in soap water t oremove the dirt and crud.

I likle shiny clean brass so i went tumble with ss pins.I use to use a tumbler with walnut or corn media but hated poking the primer pockets after and the insides were still dusty or dirty.

garyngwind
12-27-2016, 7:27 AM
Thanks guys, I was wondering how does the "dry tumbler" guys do it? I mean, wouldn't the cob or walnut but a mess to remove from the casing afterwards? With 223 I had to shake them one by one just to get water out.

someoneeasy
12-27-2016, 7:32 AM
Thanks guys, I was wondering how does the "dry tumbler" guys do it? I mean, wouldn't the cob or walnut but a mess to remove from the casing afterwards? With 223 I had to shake them one by one just to get water out.

"dry tumbler" guys use a media separator. Still a lot less of a mess and hassle than having to deal with liquids and having to dry the brass before using.

Jimi Jah
12-27-2016, 9:35 AM
10 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner and I'm done. The innards are clean. The brass doesn't look all shiny like a tumbler but it's functionally fine. Heck, it's only 10 minutes, not two hours.

someoneeasy
12-27-2016, 10:27 AM
10 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner and I'm done. The innards are clean. The brass doesn't look all shiny like a tumbler but it's functionally fine. Heck, it's only 10 minutes, not two hours.

How do you dry the brass and how long does it take?

dsouza411
12-27-2016, 11:00 AM
How do you dry the brass and how long does it take?

http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/304424/frankford-arsenal-platinum-series-brass-dryer?cm_mmc=pf_ci_google-_-Reloading+-+Metallic+Reloading+Equipment+(Not+Presses)-_-Frankford+Arsenal-_-304424&gclid=CIWb2b6UldECFQMJvAodaK0NLg

I throw the brass in there for 45 mins, or on summer days lay the brass out on a baking sheet and let the sun do the rest.

MarikinaMan
12-27-2016, 11:04 AM
"dry tumbler" guys use a media separator. Still a lot less of a mess and hassle than having to deal with liquids and having to dry the brass before using.

I regret putting the money into my dry tumbler. I too thought wet tumbling is a hassle, until I got tired of prepping brass by the 500s.

I got a wet tumbler to simply my workflow.

For new to me once fired brass:
1) pre wash for 15 minutes and dry
2) decap and resize
3) swage (as needed)
4) trim with 3 way cutting head (trims and chamfers)
5) wet tumble to deburr and clean primer pockets, then dry
6) load

For my own fired cases:
1) wet tumble
2) decap, resize and dry
3) load

Drying, I put them in a colander and put a fan to it. Theyre dry by the next morning.

ElDub1950
12-27-2016, 11:19 AM
I don't worry about it much. I throw a bunch of brass in a 1 gallon plastic jug with water, dish soap, vinegar & salt.

Shake it up for a few minutes then let it set. I'll shake it for another minute or so every 30 minutes or whenever I pass the jar on the counter. After 2-4 hours I dump it into a strainer and rinse it, put it back in the jar, fill with water and shake for awhile. If I see any soap bubbles I'll rinse again. Sometimes I'll add some Lemishine to the last rinse.

Dump it on a baking sheet and put it in the sun for a few hours or in a 150 over for a couple of hours.

If I were doing necked rounds or precision something, I'd probably be more thorough but for for range plinking pistol rounds, 'pretty' doesn't matter to me.

Win231
12-27-2016, 11:36 AM
The brass only needs to be clean enough to inspect for cracks. I tumble with a capful of "Berry's Brass Bright." After two hours, cases look like gold.

scamp62
12-27-2016, 3:32 PM
I personal do not like running dirty brass into my expensive die's, I just can't believe it is good for them.
as far as drying the brass, if it is just a batch of 50 i use a heat gun.
For bigger batches I use:
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-tier-food-dehydrator-66906.html
at $25.00 it works just as well as the "Brass Dryer" I have been using mine for 6 years with no problems.

zvardan
12-27-2016, 4:12 PM
The inside isn't a huge concern, you're only cleaning the brass so you don't muck up your dies.

And don't use vinegar, it reacts with the zinc and copper, weakening your cases.

If you must use a cleaning solution, pick up some lemishine and use that instead with your ultrasonic.

You can also try tsp if you want a detergent rinse that won't react:

alexisjohnson
12-27-2016, 4:26 PM
You don't need them too clean since you're only really cleaning them so they don't degrade your resizing die mostly.

What i like to do for pistol rounds is ultrasonic them and let them dry but for rifle rounds i'll go through the whole dry tumbler process.

Even rinsing them with a light solution should do the job sufficiently. It primarily comes down to how shiny you want your brass to be...its mostly a cosmetic thing

BEE
12-27-2016, 4:26 PM
As clean as your little heart desires.

JackEllis
12-27-2016, 7:53 PM
I throw mine in a plastic jug with water and some kind of detergent (currently Simple Green, probably switching to dish soap). Two washes - one to get out dirt and crud before resizing, one after sizing to get rid of case lube. I dry in the oven at 210, which is warm enough to drive off the moisture but not hot enough to anneal and weaken the case heads. Letting 'em dry in the sun would work up here in the summer, and probably not as well on those winter days when temps barely get above freezing.

kcheung2
12-27-2016, 8:09 PM
There's only 3 reasons to clean brass:
1) clean brass is easier to inspect for flaw/damage
2) clean brass doesn't get dirt or abrasives onto your dies
3) vanity

And for the first 2 reasons, it doesn't need to be that clean to accomplish the goal. Last option is personal preference, the only right answer is how clean do you want your brass.

Functionally the inside of the brass does not need to be particularly clean. Wet tumbling gets the brass looking like new, but it's both a chemical & physical cleaning so the solution has to be mixed right and it must be dried, you can't leave it in the solution too long or it discolors. Dry tumbling gets the outside pretty clean but the insides are still a bit sooty. Since it's only a physical cleaning, brass can be left in the crushed walnut for months without a reaction. Either method works fine.

simba
12-27-2016, 8:24 PM
Decap, soap and water for 15 minutes and sun dry.

diveRN
12-27-2016, 8:38 PM
first time reloading: how clean does the brass need to be?Need? Or want? I assume you're talking about pistol brass They can be as clean as you want them, but they don't NEED to be clean. I tumble mine for an hour, run them through the separator, and load them up.

Though I'm a lot more meticulous with rifle brass, precision rounds, or anything I'm loading near max, but range fodder - meh. I get these only clean enough to prevent me from fighting them in the press.

SixPointEight
12-27-2016, 8:40 PM
How clean does it NEED to be? Wipe it once with a cloth to remove excess grime.

How clean do I want it? Cleaner than brand new. That's why I wet tumble

silvertriple
12-28-2016, 3:41 PM
How do you dry the brass and how long does it take?


I use the sonic cleaner too. 5 minutes in a bin with a hair dryer on top and all is dry in about 5 minutes.

If I want them shiny then I'll throw them in a tumbler. Depends how I feel that day and how much time I have.

daveinwoodland
12-28-2016, 3:59 PM
Dad used to do the Thumler's Tumbler with walnut shells. Outside always was very clean and serviceable, insides usually stayed dull.

AGGRO
12-28-2016, 6:37 PM
I want a factory look so I dry tumble after washing dirty cases with a vinegar/salt/soap solution. The solution only needs a few minutes then rinse, towel dry and tumble. Not really much work at all.

packnrat
12-29-2016, 6:04 AM
How do you dry the brass and how long does it take?

in the summer, a wire rack outside.
in the winter, a fruit dryer. added benifet is a bit more heat for the house.