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Cleaning small batches of brass... 20ish rounds? Login/Join 
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Picture of PakRatJR
posted
I use a dry vibrator tumbler and walnut to clean brass. Usually works well enough but the "issue" I run into once in a while is when I only have a small amount of cases that need to be cleaned, like 20ish rounds or so.

I have a couple calibers that I don't always shoot a lot of, one being my 50 Beowulf. Even when I do shoot it "a lot" it's still rarely more than maybe 40ish at a time, but that is not really very often anymore.

I can't put them in with anything else because of the size. Every other caliber I have will fit in the case and I don't want to take the chance of things getting stuck. As I understand it, I am assuming because of the small amount, the tumbler doesn't really work as well as it "should"?? Even after a couple hours the brass don't really look any better than when it went in.

I have looked into wet tumbling may times over the years but I don't really have the room to set something like that up. Actually more so is the lack of room to store things when not in use. That and the cost for the little I get to shoot nowadays just don't really fit right now.

So what would be a good way/option to look into. Would a different media work better? I actually haven't tried just cleaning in the sink with soap and water yet.... but that would be my only thought at the moment.
 
Posts: 379 | Location: Sussex WI | Registered: April 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a rule, I don't do much cleaning of brass.

I do a lot of hand loading using lee loaders. I pass my fingers across the top of some Hornady One Shot lube, and roll the case in my fingers as I put it in the shell holder. It's lubed for resizing. It gets handled again when flaring, when hand priming, then putting in a loading block for the powder measure, then seating, then size checking each round. By the time I get the rounds to the storage case, they're as clean as if tumbled. If not, it wouldn't break my heart. They're just going to get dirty again.
 
Posts: 6258 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
Picture of maxwayne
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I believe you can clean it, you just have to let the tumbler run longer.
 
Posts: 5126 | Registered: March 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of PakRatJR
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Thanks, I do like Harbor Freight Cool I will check the tumbler out.
 
Posts: 379 | Location: Sussex WI | Registered: April 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
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I've had up to 3 or 4 different calibers in the vibratory cleaner at a time and they all get clean.

I keep them from getting stuck inside each other by putting them in mesh laundry bags like your wives probably have. If not, you can buy them lots of places. They get as clean as if they weren't in the bags.

https://www.amazon.com/iDesign...d=1632659704&sr=8-11

 
Posts: 7251 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
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Picture of 45 Cal
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Small amounts can be a problem.
You can do small batches in a pan using hot water and a table spoon of Citric acid [walmart canning section] to brighten them up.
You will still need to tumble to [make them dirty] so they do not gauld up the bullet sides when loading in case.
Small amounts in a tumbler just settle to bottom and miss the rotation ,they need to Tumble to get clean.
 
Posts: 22251 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rmfnla
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quote:
Originally posted by sigarmsp226:
Here is the solution I use for small batches like you stated….Get the 20% off coupon and you are ready to go for about $50.00….

This is also what I use to wet tumble small batches of brass - without pins - only Brass Juice and water…

Also - I have been running mine for over 8 years and it still works perfectly and does not leak when I am wet tumbling….You can also use just one drum - just put the other one on the unit empty to ensure the one you are using stays aligned.


https://www.harborfreight.com/...k-tumbler-67632.html


I've been looking for something like this; what is the maximum load of 9mm do you think it would handle?

I see they also have one with a single drum; what do you think of that one?

Thanks!


*****
Today, my jurisdiction ends here…
 
Posts: 51 | Registered: August 21, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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I wet tumbler, when I have a small batch I made a divider for my thumler’s tumbler. It’s a 8”x71/2” piece of plexiglass that has holes drilled in it to allow water thru-but not the brass.

I can put some 9mm on one side and some 223 on the other and then hey don’t impede each other by clogging up the 223. Kinda like when 9mm slip inside a 40 them stuck. I have run 50 on each side. When I don’t have the divider in it I can run 150 223.and it only takes an hour or so.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein

“ You may beat me, but you will never win.” sigmonkey-2020

 
Posts: 8788 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Throw them in the washing machine with the rest of your dirty clothes...done in 25 minutes.
 
Posts: 52 | Location: Lone Star State | Registered: March 11, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
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Harbor Freight 20% off coupon? Didn’t they stop that?
 
Posts: 10104 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Gallo Pazzesco
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I use a Gatorade bottle, or it may be a Pedialite bottle these days ... hot water, dawn, touch of lemishine and I shake the heck out of the thing, off and on, for awhile ... sometimes I'll even throw some pins in with it.

That's for small batches, usually 50 or less, usually less than 40 actually.

Anything more than that and it's going my liquid tumber.

I also use a Pedialite bottle to clean my dies. Thick plastic, holds up well and doesn't melt with acetone.


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In a nation where anything goes ... everything eventually will.
 
Posts: 58 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: September 18, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rmfnla
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quote:
Originally posted by Gallo Pazzesco:
I use a Gatorade bottle, or it may be a Pedialite bottle these days ... hot water, dawn, touch of lemishine and I shake the heck out of the thing, off and on, for awhile ... sometimes I'll even throw some pins in with it.

That's for small batches, usually 50 or less, usually less than 40 actually.

Anything more than that and it's going my liquid tumber.

I also use a Pedialite bottle to clean my dies. Thick plastic, holds up well and doesn't melt with acetone.


I love this idea!

Apparently, Lemi Shine makes several products; do you use the detergent or the booster?


*****
Today, my jurisdiction ends here…
 
Posts: 51 | Registered: August 21, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yesterday I got 20 rounds of once fired 257 brass from a member ... and I tossed them into my vibrator tumbler with walnut media and a touch of metal polish. They came out looking better than new.


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Posts: 1972 | Registered: November 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
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quote:
Originally posted by 45 Cal:
Small amounts can be a problem.
You can do small batches in a pan using hot water and a table spoon of Citric acid


I’ll second what 45 Cal posted…I’ve done the hot water in a pan thing…but lately I’ve been using a small Folgers coffee plastic container with citric acid and Dawn dish washing liquid soap set upright in my vibratory tumbler letting it shake away…I just finished a small batch of 30 cases of .32 Winchester Special for a friend to reload…they came out very clean.


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 10279 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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You could do each one individually. Take the lock stud and shell holder that's used with a Lee case trimmer. Put the lock stud in a cordless drill like you're going to trim it. Put a little Brasso on a towel. Hold it on the brass and run the drill. You will shine your brass up super bright in about five seconds. Probably less than a minute for all 20 of your brass, and you can get to loading it right-away without worrying about drying it after a wet tumble.

Works well for very low round counts. It's how I polish the brass for my 416 Rigby.



Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well. -Epictetus
 
Posts: 7207 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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