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Thread: New to reloading .45 ACP; Cleaning cases with Vinegar water and soap?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    10th November 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    26
    Through my internet wanderings, I came across a listing for cleaning brass cases with Stainless Steel Tumbling Media from a company in Utah called STM.
    Their tumblers are over $250.00 and for now, was too much cash. So I made my own tumbler with stuff I salvaged from work. The tumbler chamber should have a hexagon shape for the best performance. I purchased 5 pounds of Stainless Tumbling Media for $50.00 from STM. The media is magnetic stainless steel "pins" about 1/4" long and .020-.030" in diameter. Add brass, media, 3 tablespoons of DAWN dishwashing soap, 1/4 teaspoon of Lemi-Shine(also purchased from STM), add cold water to almost full.
    Tumble for 3-4 hours. I did de-prime my brass prior to tumbling, so that even the primer pockets/flash holes get cleaned. The brass comes out looking brand new!!
    According to STM, cleaning brass this way does not harm the brass in any way, and I would agree with this statement.
    A good rinse and separate the media from the brass, a final hot water rinse and dry. The STM lasts forever and the only slight problem is preventing loss of the "pins". I highly recommend this brass cleaning method. I also clean other pistol and rifle brass with my STM. My Tumbler will hold about 200 .45 ACP cases.

    Big Daddy Bruce

  2. #22
    Not only does the old cleaning and polishing media not have to be replenished, but you no longer have to contend with the dust! Another case for using H2O.
    "Eez gon! Eez not safe!" a Russian translator; The Art of the Rifle: Special Color Edition; Jeff Cooper, p. 23. Guns are made to be dangerous, otherwise what is the point? Safety is, primarily, a matter of engaging the circuits between the ears..
    NRA Lifetime Member

  3. #23
    Join Date
    25th September 2006
    Location
    South of Lake Superior
    Posts
    13,016
    To each his own, I suppose, but I'd much prefer dusty cases to wet ones. I get rid of the dust by putting brass from the tumbler (after the corncob media is separated) into a sweatshirt sleeve, pinch the ends closed, shoosh them back & forth a few times and the dust gets transferred to the fuzzy material inside the sleeve. A few minutes after the tumbler's turned off they're ready for reloading.

    Regards
    When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. [Lord Kelvin]

  4. #24
    Unless reloading directly after cleaning brass is a necessity, nature will take care of the damp brass. Dust? it doesn't evaporate.
    I am in no rush.
    Dave
    "Eez gon! Eez not safe!" a Russian translator; The Art of the Rifle: Special Color Edition; Jeff Cooper, p. 23. Guns are made to be dangerous, otherwise what is the point? Safety is, primarily, a matter of engaging the circuits between the ears..
    NRA Lifetime Member

  5. #25
    Join Date
    22nd September 2013
    Location
    Cody, Wyoming
    Posts
    116
    To each his own, I suppose, but I'd much prefer dusty cases to wet ones.
    Yep, although I don't clean mine, I definitely blow or wipe off any dust/dirt since I pick them up from the ground. And my Kimber flings cases anywhere but directly to my left.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4

    Icon17

    I've tried just soaking brass, tumbling brass, nearly boiling brass, sonic-ing (ouch) brass. But I haven't steel pinned brass 'cause I'm too cheep. Even not cleaning brass, just the primer pockets in brass. You do need to neutralize the effects of acid on brass by weakening the brass. Weak bad brass can get you in trouble.

    Now I mostly use an old sonic cleaner with a solution of hot tap water and secret ingredients (no acids). Rinse and dry brass on a cookie sheet at 200 deg. F. sometimes suturing the brass for even cooking. All this takes about three Bud Lites.
    Last edited by by a moderator; 29th December 2013 at 17:15. Reason: Can't spell, eieio


  7. #27
    The initial cost of a water tumbler and the stainless steel pins is not that high. And, considering that one will never have to buy anything again except for the water, detergent, and the small amount of Lemi Shine®, this method of cleaning brass looks good.
    Of question however, is the chemical content of the Lemi shine®; its icon suggests lemons, which are acid!
    More on its chemical content is here:
    http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2012/0...in-lemi-shine/

    So, why use it? Is Polishing the brass is that critical or is it just necessary to have them clean?
    $50.00, two- 3Lb capacity (dual, one motor) Tumblers (SKU 67632) from Harbor Freight.


    Dual Drum Rotary Rock Tumbler

    $45.00 for 5-Lbs of Stainless Steel Pins Media from Stainless Tumbling Media (STM).

    Flat rate shipping for the SS is < $7.00.

    OK a little over $100.00
    Dave
    "Eez gon! Eez not safe!" a Russian translator; The Art of the Rifle: Special Color Edition; Jeff Cooper, p. 23. Guns are made to be dangerous, otherwise what is the point? Safety is, primarily, a matter of engaging the circuits between the ears..
    NRA Lifetime Member

  8. #28
    I just reload for plinking and informal target shooting, so my experienc3e is not valid for you bench rest shooters.

    I load my handgun empty cases in a mesh nylon back and put them in the laundry washing machine. It gets all the dirt, stomped mud and such out and leaves them clean as a whistle with very little effort.

    While the cases are in the washing machine, I preheat the oven to 250F. When the cases come out of the washing machine, I pour them into an old roasting pan and put them into the oven. The heat is then turned off.

    An hour or so later, they are clean, bone dry, and ready for decapping and resizing. I have been doing this for 40 years, and the only caveat I can offer is to do it while the wife is away.

    Wives do not like shooting stuff in their washing machines or ovens.

  9. #29
    Wapati, I shoot quite a bit of real black powder in SAA and lever guns. I have used dish detergent and acetic acid solution in my Thumlers B and same solution plus table salt and agree with your assessment of the result. I have since changed solution to citric acid and detergent. The metallurgy people tell me the acitic will reduce tin in the brass and the citric is actually good for the brass; I dunno, but it works as well or better. Lemmie Shine is an inexpensive widely available citric acid crystal product. I wash with spent primers in. With vinegar, a primer would occasionally corrod/weld to the pocket to wher the deprime pin would pierce rather than push out the primer.

    To rest of you non wet tumblers, the main advantage to this is elimination of all of that nasty dust and lead staphinate reidue the dry tumblers present. Wet tumble, dump into sink, rinse wih cool water then drain, add a tiny dib of Lee case lube while still damp in sink, run you fingers through it like miser with his gold, air dry in netted bag or food dehydrator. Dies stay clean, presses stay clean. Try it, you will like it.

    prs

  10. #30
    I have tried the pins, but they made no improvement and are royal PIB to seperate, results just as good without pins, juat tumble longer.

    prs

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