It’s time to clean some brass

I haven’t reloading any .40 S&W ammo in a long time but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shooting any. Here is a partial illustration:


This is what I have picked up of the floor after practice as the local range before I sorted and cleaned it. Maybe five percent of that is 9mm or .45 ACP that got mixed in as I scooped it up. That this bucket is full means I don’t have a place to put the brass I’ll bring home from the range this week.

It’s time to sort, clean, and put away some brass.


5 thoughts on “It’s time to clean some brass

  1. I did a silly thing. I bought a .45 ACP pistol so now I need to get some .45 ACP loaded up.

  2. When you say “clean”, how do you do that?

    Vibratory tumbler with dry media?
    Rotating tumbler with wet media?
    Power drill with a Brasso-soaked rag? /jk

    I have been using a Lyman tumbler with walnut shell dry media for years, and I am considering switching to wet solution with those tiny stainless steel rods.
    Others at my club have made that switch, and their brass looks amazing.

    Any thoughts?

    • As one that does both vibratory and Stainless Steel, it really depends on why you are cleaning the brass.

      for unknown brass from the range, it gets wet washed with the pins, it cleans it almost too good(makes the brass sticky in dies(or you have to use more lube(any lube in some cases(Normally I dont lube straight wall cases when using carbide dies, but wet SS cleaned brass needs it))). IT really cleans it all up, makes it really easy to inspect for cracks, bulges, separation lines, and the like.

      for brass that will get annealed, it gets wet SS because it makes them smoke less when annealing.

      For known brass that is just going to get loaded again, i.e. not annealed, it gets time in the walnut, it gets it almost as clean, is not as much work, and does not make the brass as sticky.

      for loaded ammo( i know older books say to not do this) gets 20 minutes in the walnut to get any lube off of the cases, its quick and I have never seen any issues from doing this, and I have been doing this for like 30 years, and ammo that is tumbled to remove sizing die tends to give me less feeding/extraction issues in firearms. Older walnut works better for this, I think some of the carbon is acting as a dry lube on the brass, but I cant really prove that, it could all be in my head.

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