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StoneTower

Dirty Brass...

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I have a few questions..

I have recently come into some brass that has dirt and dust on it. I am not wanting to get all the dirt in my walnut hull media.

1. Should I wash in dish soap and water and then let dry and then tumble as usual?

2. Should I wash in dish soap and water and then let dry, punch the primers and then tumble as usual?

If I do punch the primers do I need to worry about getting Dillon spray lube in the pockets when I go to size the cleaned brass?

I usually just throw the cases in the media and when they are clean, spray them with case lube and then load.

Before someone chimes in, I do not want to go to the expense or bother of the stainless media at this point and time. It is cool that the dirt would be washed down the drain though.

Thanks,

David

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I would wash first, blow dry then let dry for a day or 2, then tumble, lube and knock out the primers. Ed

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You can wash it in your tumbler David. Just enough water to cover the brass and use Tide or some other brand of laundry detergent. It doesn't foam as much as dish washing liquid. Then just pour them out and rinse them in a colander. I take an old towel and dump the brass into it and grab the two ends of the towel and pull them up and down. Sort of a seesaw motion and that will remove most of the water. You can air dry them over night or just toss them into your walnut shells and it will finish drying them as it polishes them. If that brass is really old and junky I buy some cheap aquarium gravel and dump that into the tumbler when you are washing them. It cleans really well and just finish as I mentioned above.

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I also run the brass back through cleaning and polishing medium after sizing to remove the lube to insure that I don't contaminate the power charge.

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I use ground corncob to remove any excess lube from the loaded ammo. Some don't like to tumble loaded ammo but it only takes a few minutes and helps keep the ammo from picking up dirt.

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When I said "tumbler" I should have said vibratory case tumbler. If I had a traditional tumbler, I would probably do the stainless steel media thing.

John...how many times can you use the corncob media to remove excess lube?

The problem with a progressive is that you have to decide when to remove the primers. I have had shotgun hulls that remain wet inside for weeks after being fished out of the pond. My concern with washing brass is that there may be some dampness that is trapped in the spent primer and does not dry completely.

The brass I picked up is really nice stuff and only required a little NuFinish and some walnut Media to get it looking really nice. The 45 ACP cases that was mine that I picked back up looked worse than other cases I found. I had to load 300 rounds the night before the trip and did not have time to give them a final polish. I did not want that fine dust and sand in my media from the brass that was picked up from the dirt as my brass usually goes in a brass catcher or comes off the concrete at the range. I was just over thinking again. If one loads new brass, Dillon spray lube must get in the primer pockets.

Thanks,

David

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I was referring to a vibratory tumbles as that is what most people use today. I have several old 12 pound rock tumblers but rarely use them for brass anymore.

I use the corncob until it looks dirty or will actually start to clump from some of the stickier lubes.

After you wash the brass and shake out excess water in a towel, throw them into you walnut media an polish them for a couple of hours. This will remove 99% of any moisture that maybe left in the cases and primers. Then lube them and run them as normal. Let the machine punch the primers and it will remove any media that hangs up with the primers.

The old trick of tossing in some old used dryer softener sheets will keep your walnut media cleaner longer too. I've even used plain paper toweling torn into smaller pieces.

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"You can wash it in your tumbler David. Just enough water to cover the brass and use Tide or some other brand of laundry detergent. It doesn't foam as much as dish washing liquid. Then just pour them out and rinse them in a colander."

So you use liquid in the vibratory tumbles? I never thought of that.

To clean the lube off, I usually just lay on old towel on my work bench and lay a couple of paper towels on top. I then line up about 20 loaded cartridges on the paper towel and spray with alcohol. I use another paper towel on top and roll them back and forth until they are dry and free of lube.

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I have always used water in my vibratory tumblers. I used to clean my coins in them from metal detecting. I'm sure alcohol would work on the brass but a pillow case is the best way but I use a towel.

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Vibratory tumblers also work great for rusted parts. I have rebuilt a few rifles so rusted they wouldn't cyclle by soaking parts in JB Blaster and a tumbler.

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