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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do not have much room in the house and wanted a cheap affordable way to clean my brass for reloading and decided to give hand wet tumbling a try after hearing and seeing a few vids on it. Took a used mayo jar and washed it out to use as the tumbler itself.

Filled the jar with 100 .357 mag cases that had some funk on them once fired. Will try with some cases later this week that have been fired 4 times to see what my results are.

Added hot water 3\4 of the way up a 9mm case of lemi shine and squirt of dawn dish soap.

Agitated ever few mins for the firat half a hour to get the juices flowing inside the cases then let it sit for 1 hour and a half for it to work. Then for 30 minutes ever few mins I would tumblw the cases around and let it sit.
Total time in solution around 3 hours. Have heard people leaving it longer but they were looking good so did not want to leave it longer than I needed to.

Rinsed my cases 3 times and spread onto my dehydrator tray to dry over night. Looks pretty good. If I did not have a dehydrator I would use a oven or sun dry it to ensure it is bone dry as to not affect the powder or primers.

Any input or recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance

Water Toilet Room Bathroom Gas
Brass Ammunition Metal Capsule Water Drink Alcohol Glass Liquid Blue Fashion accessory View attachment 20190420_012636_1555738991740.jpg
 

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That is exactly how I've been doing it for about a year now and it works just fine for me. I now use a square plastic jar that 2# of peanuts are packaged in. I can easily get 200 9mm cases in there.

I'm not looking to get bright shiny polished looking brass. Just clean brass with all the junk and carbon removed. I save my brass for those cold and rainy days when I'm bored and have nothing to do or to do it while just watching TV.
 
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That's pretty much the way I do .45 Colt cases that have been loaded with black powder. I sun dry them though. Works for me.
 
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I did mine like that for about a year and got fancy and added dilute phosphoric acid to speed it up and clean them better....DON'T do that. It will change the metallurgy of the brass.

When I take mine out of the tumbler and separate the pins now I toss them into a towel lined tray and wipe/tumble then in the towel to help remove the water from the outside of the cases and prevent water spotting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is exactly how I've been doing it for about a year now and it works just fine for me. I now use a square plastic jar that 2# of peanuts are packaged in. I can easily get 200 9mm cases in there.

I'm not looking to get bright shiny polished looking brass. Just clean brass with all the junk and carbon removed. I save my brass for those cold and rainy days when I'm bored and have nothing to do or to do it while just watching TV.

definitely as long as it works its good for me. was noticing a ton of crude inside the cases and wanted to eliminate that. Have a few bags of brass fired which im gonna clean later on but I like this wet tumbling method. almost bought a vibratory tumbler but have bough a few cases cleaned in vibratory tumblers and always have a ton of dust which I do not want around my kiddos. will eventually get one of those rock tumblers from harbor freight to make it shiny lol
 

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I have an old stainless steel Chili Pot that I fill with water that would come up to the neck of one of those Folgers plastic coffee cans. I have my deprimed brass sorted into those plastic coffee cans with drain holes drilled in the bottoms. I heat the water up to a boil, turn it off, throw in a few tablespoons of Wally World cheap lemon juice and then set the cans into the water (no longer boiling). I can get 5 of those cans into my chili pot at one time. I occasionally shake the cans, just to make sure there are no bubbles in the cases. The cans spend no longer than 15 minutes in the hot solution, and I usually have many cans going through the wash. Afterwards, I dump them into my walnut media tumbler until they are dry, but I see no reason I could not use a dehydrator and get the same results. My cases look at least as good, if not better than what you are showing in your photos. My cases have little, if any, carbon in the primer pockets and are mostly shiny on the inside, especially if they are only once fired and not range pickups.

Looking at your pictures, my first piece of advice would be to deprime your brass before cleaning. This will allow your solution to break the carbon out of the primer pockets and get a better flow through the cases. I use a Lee Universal depriming die, it is cheap, quick and you only need to change the shell holder when you change to another size cartridge. Second, you can probably shut down your soak time considerably earlier if you use hot water, even just hot water out of the tap would probably help.
 

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definitely as long as it works its good for me. was noticing a ton of crude inside the cases and wanted to eliminate that. Have a few bags of brass fired which im gonna clean later on but I like this wet tumbling method. almost bought a vibratory tumbler but have bough a few cases cleaned in vibratory tumblers and always have a ton of dust which I do not want around my kiddos. will eventually get one of those rock tumblers from harbor freight to make it shiny lol
I tried those rock tumblers a long time ago and I hate them. If you look around for a small cement mixer, hopefully with a poly drum, it will be as cheap as one of those drum tumblers, and get some pins. Look at Jerry Miculek's YouTube video on cleaning brass, that is what he uses.
 

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Gosh I am still 0ld school!
I resize my cases.
I put like 2-300 dirty cases in my old vibrating tumbler, turn that puppy on for about 2 hours, go inside and drink a few beers or what ever i want , need to do.
go back out in the garage and pour them in a media seperator, then into coffee cans for later use.
I guess i could complicate things by sitting them in the sun or rinsing them but i guess I am to lazy to amke things more work?
But hey what ever system that you like is what you should use.
Note: got like 300 45 acp cases cleaning away as I talk with you guys as a matter of fact.
 

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I don't even resize before tumbling. I size and deprime on turret press, also prime, I don't worry about primer pockets there is no effect if they are clean or not. Huh I also have 45acp cases in the tumbler right now
 

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Still use a vibratory tumbler myself and add a cap-full of Nu-Finish. One of the most important reasons for cleaning cases is to protect the resizing die from foreign matter. Then if I do forget for a few hours that I have cases in the VT, or even an extra day, I ain't much concerned since they'll only be brighter.

We do have a local dealer who is also a LE officer in this city who has been using some new liquid product that he feels will make tumbling obsolete: we'll see. About the only complaint I have with my old Frankford Arsenal VT, is that it could use a muffler! 95% of the time, however, it's running while I'm not even in the lab.

If you have a method you like better, I'm all for it! But considering how many cases I can dump into a VT, where the only additional labor time is separating the media from the cases . . . ;)
 

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Still use a vibratory tumbler myself and add a cap-full of Nu-Finish. One of the most important reasons for cleaning cases is to protect the resizing die from foreign matter. Then if I do forget for a few hours that I have cases in the VT, or even an extra day, I ain't much concerned since they'll only be brighter.

We do have a local dealer who is also a LE officer in this city who has been using some new liquid product that he feels will make tumbling obsolete: we'll see. About the only complaint I have with my old Frankford Arsenal VT, is that it could use a muffler! 95% of the time, however, it's running while I'm not even in the lab.

If you have a method you like better, I'm all for it! But considering how many cases I can dump into a VT, where the only additional labor time is separating the media from the cases . . . ;)

I completely agree I shoot 12k-16k rds. a year just in 45acp, plus other calibers. I want as few steps as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Still use a vibratory tumbler myself and add a cap-full of Nu-Finish. One of the most important reasons for cleaning cases is to protect the resizing die from foreign matter. Then if I do forget for a few hours that I have cases in the VT, or even an extra day, I ain't much concerned since they'll only be brighter.

We do have a local dealer who is also a LE officer in this city who has been using some new liquid product that he feels will make tumbling obsolete: we'll see. About the only complaint I have with my old Frankford Arsenal VT, is that it could use a muffler! 95% of the time, however, it's running while I'm not even in the lab.

If you have a method you like better, I'm all for it! But considering how many cases I can dump into a VT, where the only additional labor time is separating the media from the cases . . . <img src="http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/images/smilies/gr_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Do you have a fear of the lead dust from the fired brass when sifting threw it?
 

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Do you have a fear of the lead dust from the fired brass when sifting threw it?
Not really, as that should get absorbed into the treated media while they're cleaning. Good question, however.

The most exposure I've had to lead comes from handling cast bullets. Had an old saw-bones dig into my back in 1997 to remove what supposed to be a melanoma. That's why I've never got into casting.

Keep plenty of rubber gloves around, but I don't enjoy wearing them while handloading. So consider me a bad example on that score, but chalk up more points for poly-coated bullets that reduce your exposure from handling, as well as shooting. ;)
 
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Do you have a fear of the lead dust from the fired brass when sifting threw it?
you could always wear a surgical mask if it made you feel better, I am not so sure lead would be the problem as much as say graphite or carbon?
I don't load all lead projectiles myself.
honestly as much crap as I was exposed to in 32 years of firefighting I don't worry about it, now I am not going to intentionally get into a hazardous /toxic material but lets face it with all the crap we are around every day in just regular life I don't sweat he dust from a tumbler myself.
I grew up eating lead paint chips from window sills, playing outside in full sun, and smoking and being around smokers so I may have a built in immunity to toxins??
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you have a fear of the lead dust from the fired brass when sifting threw it?
Not really, as that should get absorbed into the treated media while they're cleaning. Good question, however.

The most exposure I've had to lead comes from handling cast bullets. Had an old saw-bones dig into my back in 1997 to remove what supposed to be a melanoma. That's why I've never got into casting.

Keep plenty of rubber gloves around, but I don't enjoy wearing them while handloading. So consider me a bad example on that score, but chalk up more points for poly-coated bullets that reduce your exposure from handling, as well as shooting. <img src="http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/images/smilies/gr_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Do you have a fear of the lead dust from the fired brass when sifting threw it?
you could always wear a surgical mask if it made you feel better, I am not so sure lead would be the problem as much as say graphite or carbon?
I don't load all lead projectiles myself.
honestly as much crap as I was exposed to in 32 years of firefighting I don't worry about it, now I am not going to intentionally get into a hazardous /toxic material but lets face it with all the crap we are around every day in just regular life I don't sweat he dust from a tumbler myself.
I grew up eating lead paint chips from window sills, playing outside in full sun, and smoking and being around smokers so I may have a built in immunity to toxins??
Lol yep. Do you think that if left to soak the citri. Acid in lemi shine or acid in general like vinegar affect the brass negatively?
 

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I don't even resize before tumbling. I size and deprime on turret press, also prime, I don't worry about primer pockets there is no effect if they are clean or not. Huh I also have 45acp cases in the tumbler right now
After I quit wet tumbling with the shaker method I bought an FA vibratory tumbler with corncob at first and then walnut when that was gone. I was only loading 45 ACP and 38 Special/357 at the time and would only tumble with NuFinish and then deprime/prime on the turret while loading. Simple and effective and they all went bang..even to point of aim (where ever that was :rolleyes: ).

I put a dryer sheet in the media, torn in half to increase exposure and the brass came out Springtime fresh! :) The used dryer sheet collects a lot of nasty black stuff and keeps the media cleaner/longer. Those VT's are a lot noisier than either my HF rock tumbler or the FA Platinum drum tumbler.
 

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Before I built my first tumbler, I would put the decapped brass in a sealable container with hot water, vinegar a 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt and a squirt of dawn. Seal it up and shake it ever 5-10 minutes or so until I was bored. I'd then rinse the brass with hot water twice and dump onto a screen and let them air dry. Then never looked polished but they always were clean. I used aquarium salt because I was buying it in 6 gallon buckets at the time.
 
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One item not elaborated on is decapping prior to soaking. It not only permits the primer cup to get cleaned but also lessens the chance that moisture could be retained in the old primer/flash hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Decapped, resized and expanded brass I had that was grungy awaiting to be loaded. This is after 30 mins and rolling it on the table with my niece.
Water Glass Plastic
 
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