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Posted: 7/24/2013 9:12:43 AM EST
My Brass Cleaning Routine

Since I have been lurking here and reading and learning, I’ve found that I really enjoy reading the tutorials the most. I’ve also noticed several posts recently that have stated they just started reloading etc. Since I consider myself a newbie to reloading, and everything involved I decided to make a tutorial of the things I’ve sponged from posts involving Brass prep.

Why? Simply because I like the way the brass shines, and I don’t mind spending the time doing it. Yes, I know that its not necessary to take it to this level of cleanliness or shine, but HEY, I like it, and it’s a hobby that I enjoy.

The steps I outline here are what do before the brass ever see’s the press.

Once home, its sorted by Caliber and inspected. Then I prepare it for a soak. I use a pickle container that holds 1 gallon. I run the hottest water I can and put about a quart in, and to that I add about a tablespoon of Lemishine, and a squirt of whatever flavor Dawn dish detergent the wife has bought lately. I stir it a bit and drop the brass in. The container sits in the sun on the deck for a day. After the contents are all together get a good shake, and sits- I do shake it in passing a few times. After a few hours I change to liquid.


After a day of soaking, I drain, and rinse the brass several times in cold water. The strainer I use is a pick-up from K-Mart for cheap, and is dedicated for this use only.

This step involves using an old towel and sunshine! I spread a towel out the spread the brass out so any residual water will drain out and also gives you another inspection opportunity. The drying time obviously varies.

After its dry it goes into my Hornady for 3 or 4 hours. My thinking here is that the soak loosens up the crud then the Lizard Litter (bought from Petsmart) gets the remaining stuff. I put 4 or 5 dryer sheets into the bottom for dust control, and it seems that the dryer sheets also leave a residue (?) on the cases that leaves them a little slick.

Tumbler filled:
Since Im not volume oriented I fill the tumbler no more than 75% full which in my mind leaves plenty of room for everything to move and get happy. My reloading companion lending a 2nd set of eyes. Guess since he didn’t say anything we are GTG. Great company

Time for a change:

After several hours in the Courser Lizard Litter, I throw the strainer over a grocery bag an dump the contents in. The dryer sheets get handled gently so dust doesn’t fly all over. The litter gets saved for later use.

I let the tumbler go usually over-night. I use corn cob that I bought at a Gun Show. 2- 1 gallon containers for $5 dollars. I treated the corn cob with a generous application of Nu-finish car polish. (I have used dryer sheets for this step in the past, but haven’t recently, and the cases are still slightly dusty when I pull them out.)

Finishing step:

Now when they have tumbled in the Corn Cob & Nu-Finish overnight. I vigouresly bounce them around in the strainer separate the media and brass then onto the towel to make sure the media is gone.


Im happy with the results, and IMO the brass really shines. I know its probably overkill and to some a huge waste of time, but Hey im on vacation and gives me something to do. Hopefully this is helpful to someone.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:34:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 9:35:48 AM EST by 88_Sahara]
Nice write-up. Why not just tumble the brass and go from there? I tumble my 9mm brass for several hours then they go straight in the LnL.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:38:10 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:42:12 AM EST
Hey I don't care what anyone says... Once you go to reloading Super clean brass, there's not going back to slobville.

And it's not a bad idea to have muffin guard that brass.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:54:47 AM EST
Ive got no good answer for ya 88_Sahara, To much time on my hands?
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:58:24 AM EST
Thanks DryFlash
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:08:00 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Matt7137:
Ive got no good answer for ya 88_Sahara, To much time on my hands?
View Quote

If you ever get into SS media tumbling where you decap prior, you'll get even cleaner. Pockets are clean, and no dry media flaking all over your machine when you punch the primer.

Running sterile brass in your operation is just RIGHT.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:09:26 AM EST
I think your right about superclean brass, the way I look at it- its one less thing to remove from the equation when it comes to good quality reloads.

LOL, about muffin! One thing about the Doberman I didn't realize. They are a people dog, and he still thinks he is a 12 pound puppy! If they can see or hear ya they want to be around ya! He has been raised to be a house dog, definitely a lover!
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:14:16 AM EST
Clean brass makes it easy to inspect for damage too. It's more work, but I take pride in my ammo. And when someone pops the lid on the ammo can and goes into that disbelief at how nice the ammo looks....

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:29:48 AM EST
Good write up.
Love your quality control partner .
I had a red one named bear !!

Id skip the polishing till after it is loaded . That's what I do. I add a few capfuls of nufinsh for some extra shine
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:30:32 AM EST
You might want to deprime before the soak
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:32:54 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jokker1978:
You might want to deprime before the soak
View Quote

Agreed. A decap die is cheap... it's another step, but it makes the dry media fall away better... none stuck inside the dead primer guts.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:37:05 AM EST
If your not doing large loads, look at the harbor freight duel tumbler. Then you won't need the dry tumble. agitation should clean inside and out....or just tie a plastic container around your dogs neck and let him do all the work for you!
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:48:26 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jokker1978:
You might want to deprime before the soak
View Quote

this X 10

everything looks great but it makes no sense to not have them deprimed first, especially with this extensive level of effort
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:05:13 PM EST
Thanks jokker1987
Levi is about 17 months old

If I was(and probably will) how long do you polish up your finished rounds for?
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