Brass cleaners, Stainless Media, ultra sonic, or vibrator

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by DennisH, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. DennisH

    DennisH Life Time NRA member Site $$ Sponsor

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    OK, I have tried all three!

    The Stainless is the best for inside and out brass cleaning! Still the primer pockets require a little touch up. Drying the brass is the downside. Brass does not retain it's orginal color.

    The ultra sonic . . . cleans good, still requires a little primer pocket cleaning and drying.

    Has anyone tried the new Hornady Ultra Sonic dual transducer unit?

    Vibrator, as far as getting the brass brand new, this is the best! Downside, cleaning the primer pockets and making sure the flash holes are clear!

    What is your best experiences???????????????
     
  2. spclark

    spclark Site $$ Contributor

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    Yeah, I touch up the primer pockets too after manual decapping, then cases go into the wash. What might you mean by "...not retain its original color" please? My brass comes out looking cleaner than when new (SS media, LemiShine, liquid laundry detergent, RCBS rotary drum) because there's no age patina on it. Give it a week or two & it looks like NIB factory brass.

    Drying's quick & easy enough if your last rinse is with denatured alcohol. I buy a gallon at the start of the season, use it to start a yard clean-up bonfire at the end. Sunny day, brass dries in about half an hour set in the sunshine. Otherwise I plug in my heat gun & put the brass in my NECO sieve, run the gun around underneath whilst shaking the brass a little 'till it's almost too hot to touch. Takes maybe five minutes that way.

    I'll never go back to a vibrator cleaner - anybody want 15 pounds of new walnut media for the cost of a flat rate USPS box?
     
  3. DennisH

    DennisH Life Time NRA member Site $$ Sponsor

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    The brass looks tarnished a bit, put it in the vibrator and it looks better than new! I might be putting too much brass in the SS cleaner and maybe not enough LemiShine! If fact, I only put about 1 teaspoon of LM in a gallon of distilled water! I might try a different/more soap. I cleaned about 150 cases and the water was black! But the SS cleaner gotem clean of carbon!

    My main goal is to get the primer pockets clean, therefore everything is done in one step.

    Have you ever put the brass on a cookie sheet and put in the oven (195deg's) for about 1hr to dry them out?
     
  4. gmorganal

    gmorganal

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    I have only done about 50 cases at a time in the STM, but when they are washed off I squirt an airgun in the mouth of the case for a few seconds, and they are plenty dry after that.
     
  5. artbosco

    artbosco

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    Best experience: Vibrator. Currently used on my .45 ACP cases with the primers left in.

    I wouldn't use any of the equipment mentioned above on my 6PPC or 30BR cases. The necks on those are turned very thin and would/have gotten them dinged up. The UltraSonic is a hassle, plus requires dry lube when seating bullets because the UltraSonic leaves everything squeaky clean.
     
  6. in2deep

    in2deep Site $$ Contributor

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    Don't forget as per instructions on the website be sure to give the SS media a tumble with Dawn soap (no brass) to clean all the crud off it once in a while. Only takes a couple minutes.

    Also use cold water when tumbling and warm to rinse.

    If your tumbling for 2 hours the primer pockets should be pretty darn clean. If you tumble too long the brass will re-absorb some of the gunk and come out dirty.

    I have tried to further clean the primer pockets but the fancy tools never even hit the bottom anyways and I think it's not that critical after being tumbled clean. There is a video comparing different primers actually being fired in a dark room and you can see that the sparks really fire out and that's why it seems that a primer being one-tenth of a thou deeper than another may be splitting hairs.

    Hint #14: If you don't have soap bubbles at the end of a cycle you need more detergent.

    If your brass is really crappy and maybe full of Imperial die lube run the batch for 20 minutes and drain off all the dirty water and add clean water and dawn and tumble 20 more minutes but this shouldn't be necessary.

    I just do a 20 minute cycle now and everything is clean maybe not sparkling like an old chromed bumper on a Buick but you don't really need that pimped-out look anyways you just want it clean.
     
  7. fl3gun

    fl3gun Site $$ Contributor

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    Ditch the dish soap and get some RCBS Sidewinder liquid cleaning media. The brass dose not tarnish with this stuff. After washing i dump the cases on a towel in front of my basement dehumidifier. they are dry as a bone in the morning.
     
  8. 1953Longrangesniper

    1953Longrangesniper

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    Case Cleaning the easy way ( Guaranteed ) Try it and see !


    Hi Guys
    I hope that you all find this interesting and informative to all you shooters out there ! My Way !

    Firstly you will need a list of Items, its up to you whether it’s Old, New, or Begged or Borrowed stuff.

    If there are one or two of you, you can share if you like, so to cut down on the overall cost of things.

    Firstly you will need a good Tumbler, Rotary or Vibratory one will do so long as it has a seal-able lid. Such as these or what ever your budget allows.

    http://www.thumlerstumbler.com/rotary.html
    Or
    http://www.smartreloader.com/smartre...er-p-3943.html

    Either will do but the Rotary works the best every time, the Vibratory type takes a little longer! But it does work if the lid seals.

    Next some other Items are required the next is Media for cleaning. You can either use the Ceramic type or the Stainless pins, which is the slightly dearer type.

    http://www.midwayuk.com/apps/eproduc...eItemID=513681
    Or
    http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.co...ing-media.html

    The Ceramic is the easiest and cheaper option @ £18.65 per 1.75lbs

    This works fine but if one or two guys send for a large amount of the stainless pins from the USA this even cleans the inside of your cases and your primer pockets better. This was originally for guys in the UK

    Next a list of other things to help clean your cases.

    2 empty Gallon plastic bottles with tops whose use will be come clear latter!

    1 plastic funnel or plastic bottle made into one.

    1 set of PH paper ( Litmus )

    Citric acid crystals from your boots or Local chemist home brew department.

    A bottle of good white vinegar

    One container of household salt ( Saxa )

    Laundry or dishwashing detergent ( Squeeze )

    Then mix in the Quantities as below: -

    I mix 3/4 gallon of water, a small cup of citric acid crystals, 1 pint of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of Detergent, 1/4 cup of salt. This should give a PH of 6 – 5.5. please wear safety glasses.
    Once you have mixed all the ingredients in the quantities above, now for the case cleaning, you need your brass to be un-primed, put your media in your tumbler I use two 1.75lb packs of the ceramic (Lyman) no preference it was the only one available when I first started.

    Or if you prefer or can get hold of some of the stainless steel pins easily use them, again about 3.5 lbs should be enough.

    I place about 400 .308 cases in my tumbler, you will have to see what cases you are using and see what you can get in your tumbler, fill to just short of the lid, then add the mix and fill just short of the top with the liquid now put the lid on securely, now run for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and take the top off and examine a case and see if its clean enough, if not put in for a short while longer.
    If your cases are clean enough, drain contents through a colander or sieve, save the liquid and place in one of the gallon plastic bottles to settle off for a few days unless using straight away. Then when it has settled off drain slowly into other gallon bottle and keep for next time, rinse the sediment out of the bottom of the bottle and keep the clean bottle for next time too. Rinse your cases and media and proceed to next stage below, bag your media if not using again immediately.

    Now dry your cases, either on old newspaper, on an old towel first, or then in the wife oven when she has finished making you dinner or tea! On one of those metal trays, you don't need a lot of heat about 60 degree's. Until nice and dry, leave to cool.

    Now for the next process you will need two types of media the Plain Corn cob Approx 3lbs and the Tuff nut treated media. Approx 3lbs

    First run it for around 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour with the tuff nut media, then empty the tumbler and cases of the nut media, then change to the Plain Corncob Media and run for approx another 1/2 hour for the final polish, the cases should come out looking like new.

    IF YOU’RE CASES ARNT THOUGROUGHLY CLEAN AFTER THIS I WILL BE AMAZED! and re-cycle your liquid over and over just top up and settle it off as required ! remember to keep a check on your PH level.

    Denomination pH range Ultra acid 3.5 Extremely acid 3.5 - 4.4 Very strongly acid 4.5 - 5.0 Strongly acid 5.1 - 5.5 Moderately acid 5.6 -6.0 Slightly acid 6.1 -6.5 Neutral 6.6 - 7.3 Slightly alkaline 7.4 - 7.8 Moderately alkaline 7.9 - 8.4 Strongly alkaline 8.5 -9.0 Very strongly alkaline 9.0


    Only down side is the media gets stuck inside cases such as .22-250 and could do to be a little smaller in size to clean primer pockets easier ( HORNADY ) , cases are quickly rinsed in clean water then dried on a metal tray in the oven at 27 Celsius or 80.6 Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes then Tumble or Vibrate with Nut media with polish then final polish with corn Media to a bright shine !

    This works every time for me a gets rid of all the black grime out of the primer pockets !


    Regards
    Steve
     
  9. TonyR

    TonyR

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    Steve. Have you had any problems with the SS media rounding the case mouths of your brass?
    I had cleaned a bunch with SS and had to go back and rechamfer because a ended up with a small "ridge" on the inside and outside edges of the case mouth. The seating force went up pretty dramatically until I rechamfered.
     
  10. gmorganal

    gmorganal

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    I have had the beaten up case mouths using the STM system. The longer you tumble the more pronounced it becomes, so I am going to shorten the time I tumble and see if there is a happy medium for me. I have only done lots of around 50 cases so far, so I can't say what would be the case were a person doing hundreds at a tim.
     
  11. TonyR

    TonyR

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    I was doing 284 Shehane cases 60 at a time in a Viking rotary tumbler. I guess my concern would be the cumulative effect of multiple cleanings even if I cut down the time of individual cleanings. The brass is better than new clean when it comes out of the SS but I have had pretty good results, for accuracy purposes, just using a high power ultrasonic cleaner with hot water and dish detergent. My ultrasonic has heating elements that can make the water too hot to touch which I think makes a big difference and I no longer to need any harsh chemicals or vinegar to get them clean inside and out.
     
  12. fullersson

    fullersson B&B Gunworks bbgunworks.com Site $$ Contributor

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    I put my cases in vibratory cleaner first to clean the carbon off the outside of the case neck then I resize the necks and remove the primer then I use the new Hornady ultrasonic cleaner to get the primer pockets and inside the cases clean after that I let the cases air dry for a few minutes and then it back to the vibratory cleaner for a complete dry and a shine. I should really buy a Lee universal depriming die then I could get away from the first run in the vibratory cleaner but I haven't bought a universal die yet and don't want to resize the necks with all that carbon on them. Brian Brown.
     
  13. DennisH

    DennisH Life Time NRA member Site $$ Sponsor

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  14. fullersson

    fullersson B&B Gunworks bbgunworks.com Site $$ Contributor

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    That's the cleaner I use it works great. Brian Brown.
     
  15. CinciJeff

    CinciJeff

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    I bought the whole STM kit with the tumbler, media, etc. and experimented with several different cases. Luckily I only did 10 or so of my 6mm/244 AI loads because the process complete dinged up the previously crisp edges of the case mouth. The moral of the story (as far as I'm concerned) is that the stainless media is great for cleaning up nasty old cases that are to be used for practice, but I'll never again use them on any cases where accuracy is a concern. Unfortunately, the latter condition applies to me about 95% of the time.

    I haven't had much luck with ultrasonic cleaning, but I think it's just a matter of getting the chemical/media/brass ratios tuned in. For now I'm sticking with walnuts/corncob and my 15-yr old Dillon vibratory tumbler!
     
  16. artbosco

    artbosco

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    My goodness! With all due respect, I'm exhausted just reading this. And this is the easy way?
     
  17. DennisH

    DennisH Life Time NRA member Site $$ Sponsor

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    What cleaning solution are U using in the ultra-sonic cleaner?

    And the dual transducer gets the pocket clean as well and the inside part of the brass close the the flash hole?
     
  18. fullersson

    fullersson B&B Gunworks bbgunworks.com Site $$ Contributor

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    http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/711474/hornady-one-shot-sonic-clean-ultrasonic-case-cleaning-solution-1-quart
    http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/338575/hornady-one-shot-sonic-clean-ultrasonic-firearm-cleaning-solution-1-quart?cm_vc=S015

    I use the stuff Hornady sells. I also clean my rifle actions and pistols about once a year or as needed. The links are for the brass cleaner and the firearms cleaner. Don't get me wrong if the items to be cleaned are exceptionally dirty it might take a couple time through the ultrasonic to get them clean but they will come completely clean. I have a friend who uses the SS media and it works just as well but for me being able to clean my rifle actions and pistols is the benefit that makes me favor the ultrasonic cleaner. Brian Brown.
     
  19. Scott Harris

    Scott Harris Site $$ Contributor

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    I moved from ultrasonic to the STM method. Nothing beats STM for getting cases clean fast, but the case mouths do get changed. When I started, I tumbled for two hours. Now I am tumbling for only 15 minutes. The cases are just as clean and that has greatly minimized the case mouth problem.
     
  20. DennisH

    DennisH Life Time NRA member Site $$ Sponsor

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    Thanks for the two replies above,

    I left my first batch on for 8 hours, SS cleaner, I won't do that again!
     

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