Case Cleaning

  • Last Post 27 February 2018
Brodie posted this 04 August 2016

I found this link on another forum and thought that some of you all might like to try it.  After reading the post I thought that I would try it myself (I have not yet done so),  The only thing I thought might be good to add would be to try using brown or UN-polished rice.  Brown rice is a little fatter and may not stick in the flash hole, and UN-polished rice might clean a little faster, the husks being more abrasive. Brodie


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cbshtr posted this 04 August 2016

I made a tumbler that uses a fat peanut butter jar with plastic tubes siliconed inside to keep the brass moving. I get about 100 or so 223 brass in it. I picked up a bunch of almost black brass at our police range. I put them in the tub and fill with water just above the brass. I add a squirt of Dawn dish washing detergent and a soup spoon full of powdered citric acid that is used for canning. Within 15 to 20 minutes the brass is clean but I run it about 45 minutes to allow time for any caked on dirt inside the cases to dislodge. Strips of wire and bb's help with the dirt as well. When done the brass looks new but not quite as shiny as polished brass. I had bought some ground walnut shells to polish the brass but after seeing the results I took it back. I want my brass clean. Don't need a good shine. But if this rice process works it would be a cheaper alternative to other polishing media.

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Pentz posted this 04 August 2016

I went to pins and water and am NEVER going back. No muss, no fuss, no walnut or other dust, and no primer and powder residue floating around. Just pour it down the sink.

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Westhoff posted this 04 August 2016

I've been using a vibrating case cleaner that I bought from the estate of a deceased friend of mine, several years ago. I usually cut up and put in 2 or 3 strips of fabric softener that I swiped from on top of the dryer when I went by. (I'm pretty sure my wife knew about it.) They picked up a lot of dirt, and helped make the walnut shell or ground corn cob last longer.

Then one day about a year ago I mistakenly picked up a sheet of “color catcher” instead of fabric softener. When I dumped the brass out, it was so bright and shiny it looked like new!

The strips of color catcher come out just about jet black and they seem to work even better than fabric softener sheets to keep the media cleaner, and boy do they help clean the brass! Needless to say, that's what I've been using ever since.

Try it - I bet you'll like it.


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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 04 August 2016

I know that some folks really like rice but I found that it worked for a while, then as the grunge built up, it seemed to put it back on the brass in patches. Perhaps it was the humidity, or just trying to get too many hours out of the media. Walnut hull does a great job for me. I do not treat it, other than a little mineral spirits at the beginning. I also use drier sheets after they have been through the drier. It does a good job of snagging up grit and metal particles. Like some, my objective is clean brass, not pretty brass. It is going to end up on the ground again soon anyway. Might have to look for 'Color Catcher' just to see what the heck it is.....

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fa38 posted this 04 August 2016

Being thrifty (cheap) I wash my walnut media with dawn and water in a white 3 gallon plastic pail.

Put the walnut media in the pail squirt in some dawn and fill to ¾ full with water. Swish it around a bit and the water will turn very dirty. The walnut media will stay on the bottom. I carefully pour the water out until the media starts to go out of the pail also. I need to get a small screen to hold the media in the pail. I do this three times and the third time rinse several times.

I then get one or two large towels and lay them on the grass outside on a sunny day and pour the media onto them. I spread it out until it is only one or two layers thick. The sun dries it very quickly. I might have to stir it about on the towel to get the media that was too thick on the towel exposed to the sun.
The media then works pretty much like new media.

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358156hp posted this 04 August 2016

Martin wins the “thrift award"! I wet tumble my brass in stainless with car wash soap (with wax) and Lemishine. I still run two vibratory tumblers with walnut “Lizard Litter” & NuFinish, with a touch of mineral spirits as well. I end up processing a lot of surplus 223 brass which is especially dirty the way I purchase it.

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Brodie posted this 05 August 2016

fa38,  You think that you are cheap?  My friend Bob eats the dirty rice from his tumbler.  His Dr. claims that the residue from the nitro  based powder  has kept his heart going for the last fifteen years. Brodie


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TheMrNotSoFamous posted this 05 August 2016

Old Coot, that's funny.

Owning a firearm doesn't make you armed anymore than owning a guitar makes you a musician...words of Jeff Cooper

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358156hp posted this 05 August 2016

The first storyteller never stands a chance....

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Pigslayer posted this 25 February 2018

I've been going to the pet store for several years now & buying lizard bedding. Works very well for me and is reasonably priced. I've got a bunch of .444 Marlin cases in it as I speak. I really don't have to change that media that often either.



If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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GP Idaho posted this 26 February 2018

I have two RCBS vibrating tub cleaners, a Lyman sonic cleaner and the Lyman Cyclone SS pin wet tumbler. ( I like clean brass LOL) Each has their special spot. I use walnut shell or corn cob media to remove case lube or to clean lightly fouled brass, the sonic cleaner is great for getting powder residue out of the inside of the cases but doesn't shine the brass with the solutions I've tried. The Sonic cleaner is very good for cleaning small gun parts. ( Revolver cylinders, bolt carriers and the like)  Sonic cleaner is also good for BP cases. By far the best for both cleaning and shining brass is the SS pin wet tumbling drum.A teaspoon each of Dawn dishsoap and lemon-shine and run the drum a couple of hours and the brass looks like new.  Biggest down-side of the SS pin tumblers is counting the pins after use, to make sure your OCD *** hasn't lost any of the pins.  Gp

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Ross Smith posted this 26 February 2018

if ya coutem by 2's it goes fastr.

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chopperman posted this 27 February 2018

    Kinda like the way I was taught to count hogs coming off the trucks at the packing house 40 years ago.       "You count the feet and divide by four".  

Stan Sorokowski

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BigMan54 posted this 27 February 2018

I'm still using the LYMAN 1200 vibrating tumbler I bought when they 1st came out 35+yrs ago. Treated corncob at 1st then the cheaper untreated kind. About 10yrs later I got a THUMBLERS  vibrating tumbler. Very quiet. After about 5 yrs the inside of the drum disintegrated leaving black scum that had to be scrubbed off the 300 once fired .44WCF cases with steel wool. I put the 1200's drum on it and got a 2200  upgrade for the old 1200's base. They are both still going strong. 

I got a LYMAN  sonic cleaner about 3yrs ago. Had to, my buddy had a propensity for picking up every case he could find at the range. I made a Drying Rack by shellacing a 1x8x36 board wrapping the ends with duct tape, and covering the surface with a 1" grid of GALVANIZED 2 1/2" finishing nails. Drop a case over a nail, squirt a little air to clear the primer pocket, place in CA sun, dry in about an hour.

Never tried rice, white, brown, dirty or otherwise. Not dryer sheets, although I use dryer sheets to wipe out powder measure hoppers before filling.



Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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OU812 posted this 27 February 2018

Tumbling with stainless pins will get inside of brass clean if you tumble a FEW HOURS. Maybe this tumbling will surface harden or peen the brass. So I anneal brass afterwards. 

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