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Brash cleaning/polishing

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by dolphins84te, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. dolphins84te

    dolphins84te Redmond, OR Member

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    I would like to know why my brass ends up cloudy and yellowish (rather than brass-colored). i use walnut shells and a little bit of brass-o.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. gixxer1974

    gixxer1974 Portlad Oregon Member

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    Quit useing brass-o!!!!!! It contains Amonia and the amonia weakens the brass. it shortens case life and causes weakness and failure in the case. Put a capfull of NUFINISH car wax in your walnut shells instead. the brass will come out nice and shiney
     
  3. SJS46

    SJS46 yamhill county Active Member

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    Ok i'll try the nufinish thing and see what happens, you can never get them to shiny.
    But i just leave my brass in the walnut shell for as long as 24 hours and it comes out sparkling.
     
  4. dolphins84te

    dolphins84te Redmond, OR Member

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    Do you put a new capful of walnut shell every time you reuse the shells?
     
  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Walnut shells do a good job of deep cleaning all the crap off the shells, but don't give them that bright finish most people expect because the walnut is too abrasive. If you want to get really shiny brass use corncob, if you have really dirty brass use walnut.

    Also, do not use brass-o or any ammonia based compounds for cleaning brass, ammonia forms chemical complexes with the brass that weaken it, but also make it tarnish much faster. If you want really clean brass start by washing it in soap and vinegar, or try some of the birchwood casey case-brite (works pretty good but is kinda expensive). For a polish I like the dillon stuff. I am going to give the nu-finish car wax a try when I get home and I'll let you guys know how it works.
     
  6. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    +1 on AM's wet/dry technique. I shoot a lot of 44 magnum with cast bullets and the gases get really sooty and greasy. Carbide die sort of polishes the grime into the cases.

    First shaken with the hot water/vinegar/dawn mix, then I size/deprime wet. Shake them dry and into the tumbler with lizard bedding and Nu-Finish for 2-3 hours.

    Just did a 100 of 25 year old cases that now sparkle better than new
     
  7. rl280

    rl280 OREGON Member

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    Lyman products in a tumbler for 3-6 hours, works great!
     
  8. qtcoupe

    qtcoupe Vancouver Wa. Member

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    I soak really dull/dirty brass in Iosso liquid brass cleaner about 5 minutes and rinse well with hot water, blow dry and tumble in walnut shells with polish a couple hours.makes them look store bought.
     
  9. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    If you just tumble you get that nice tactical finish, who wants to be shiny and bright when you can have camoammo. ;)

    +1 on the car wax.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    An awful lot of people seem to like to put polymers and other chemicals inside their cases with their powder to contaminate it. If you're of that school, use Nu-Finish or some other synthetically greasy stuff.

    On the other hand if you want clean cases, use only a water based polish which can be rinsed away. Stores which sell auto body paint will have it. Body shops have to have polishes which won't contaminated the paint so they can top coat. 3M makes some good liquids, but my favorite is called Black Magic.
     
  11. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I use hand dishwashing detergent and super hot water in a tumbler.. I get a nice "tactical" finish as stated above, and it's uber cheap. Rinse out well and pour the cleaned brass into an old cotton towel, roll it up and shift the brass from one end to the other a few times, then pour it out on a towel or cardboard box to dry, and yer done
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    That works and looks great for fairly clean brass, but I've had brass with powder or primer (don't know which) residue inside the case which wouldn't come out without an abrasive such as walnut or corn cob.

    $.02
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Just cosmetic after that soapy water does it's job..
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If it builds up enough after a few loadings, it can flake off when inserting the bullet and crimping. This obstructs the burn from the primer forward.

    Competitive shooters spend far more time on case prep than anything else.

    I don't, however, expect anyone else to be as anal as I am. I imagine you're fine.
     
  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Been using this technique for 25 years and have yet to have a problem. I am not a competitive shooter that needs to eke out the last bit of accuracy, though
     
  16. zeppelin

    zeppelin Benton County WA Active Member

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    Definitely toss any brass that has been exposed to Brasso or other ammonia containing compounds. This causes brittleness in the brass which can result in a case failure down the line.
     
  17. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    Brasso / Ammonia = very bad for brass.

    But it also takes time for it to affect the brass in a way to be detrimental. If you already exposed the brass to it. Just reload that brass first. Keep reloading it. the brass will wear out and split well before it is affected by the Brasso. If i new the brass was exposed and it was for personal reloading not for sale, i would just make sure they were done within a year.
     
  18. gst264

    gst264 Independence Member

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    Over 15 years I've done several methods but I finally settled into this routine. I usually run brass through two cycles of tumbling. I have one tumbler just to get the majority of the dirt off. This walnut media gets pretty dirty. Then I run them in my second tumbler for a final polish. I use walnut in both but the second round has a small amount of red rouge polishing compound in it. The cases always come out super clean and shiny after a few hours.

    I used to use a liquid product by Frankford that you add during tumbling but found the rouge to be more effective. Lyman sells walnut media with rouge so I just copied them. The last time I bought media and rouge I got it off of ebay for a decent price.

    Cheers

    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/tumblers/tumbling-media.php

    http://cgi.ebay.com/12-20-Walnut-Po...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335bab89d7
     
  19. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I wish JohnH (the member who teaches reloading) would speak up. I traded some brass with him just to adjust calibers and it's the cleanest, shiniest I've ever seen. It's squeeky clean too so it doesn't have any polymers or waxes on it either.

    AFAIK he's the gold standard for polishing brass. IIRC, he uses a tumbler. I get my brass completely clean in and out, and very presentable, but I can't match his work.
     
  20. gst264

    gst264 Independence Member

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    I don't think I'm giving away any state secrets by sharing this...I met John and agree...his brass is super clean. It's been a year or more but if memory serves me he just uses a blend of the Lyman red and green media and tumbles for a long time...like 24 hours.