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Discussion Starter #1
I use a ultrasonic cleaner to clean brass.

it leaves the cases clean in and out, but the cases do not really shine.

is there anything to add to the ultrasonic cleaner to make the brass shine?

what does everyone use to polish their brass?
 

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Throw them in with cob media and polish in your tumbler for an hour after they have been in the bath when dry mate.

Thewelshm
 

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I use a rotating tumbler with SS pins, Dawn, Lemi-Shine to clean the resized and trimmed brass. I found it cleans better than ultrasonic cleaners. Also, if I have a mixture of nickel plated and regular brass I don't have to worry about the nickel turning colors.
I rinse the tumbled brass in hot water then after the brass drys, I put it in a vibrating tumbler with corn cob media with jewlers rouge.
 

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Shiny brass doesn't shoot any better than dull brass.

Ultrasonics don't polish brass, they simply clean it. Other than removing a bit of oxidation - chemically - it won't POLISH brass.

I use a slight variation of the "Clean & Shiny" from Jason Baney's article at 6mmbr.com:

Jason Baney at 6mmbr.com said:
CLEAN and SHINY
24 minutes - 50% Vinegar + 1 Drop Dish Soap per 8 ounces water
380 seconds - Birchwood Casey (BC) Case Cleaner
380 seconds - Hot Water
380 seconds - Distilled Water
Total: 43 minutes
Instead of Birchwood Casey case cleaner, I use Hornady Solution.

I have vibratory and rotary tumblers for stainless pins as well as cob media - it's just not worth my trouble to POLISH brass. It doesn't shoot any differently if I can see my reflection in the case wall or not. I just want it clean.
 

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I use the usual vibrating cleaner with corncob media. There are various additives you can put in the media, Midway and/or Brownell's should have some. Usually they are liquids.

This will give you brass that is of a higher shine but if you're looking for a hand polished look, only hand polishing will work. In this case, there are no short cuts.
 

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Never used an ultrasonic cleaner but one of the posters is correct by saying that this method won't get it to shine.
I have used tumbler and rotary cleaning methods and the steel pins with dish washing soap get the brass the shiniest.
As a bonus, the primer pockets get nice and clean as well.
 

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Shiny cases

What I use is the Frankford Arsenal ultrasonic cleaner with a solution of white vinegar, salt, Dawn (found recipe on you tube). I let it go through 3 or 4 or more cycles. When clean I shake off the excess on a paper towel. Then transfer them to another paper towel on a dedicated cookie sheet and put them in the heated oven at 250 degrees (Lowest setting) for an hour or so. After this I cool them down and put them in Walnut shell media with New Finish car polish in the vibrator. After an hour or so, i think they look as good as or better than new. Trust me it's easier to do than describe.
 

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Varminterror,
Shiny brass doesn't shoot any better than dull brass.
Very true, however some people (myself included) want some of their brass to be shiny. I can't think of any good reason for shiny brass except "pride".

I run my dirty deprimed cases in an ultrasonic cleaner for 4 full cycles, 480 seconds per cycle (32 minutes total) in a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water with a few drops of Dawn dish soap. I rinse the cases in hot running water then place them in loading blocks ... primer end up to dry. If I'm in a hurry, a hair dryer will do a good job in only a couple minutes per hundred.

The cases are now clean and ready to be sized without fear of damaging dies. When I load handgun ammo on my Dillon, I don't bother polishing cases ... I just run clean cases through the process and they come out just fine. For rifle cases and "match grade" handgun ammo loaded on my Rockchucker, I size all clean cases then do case prep to include trimming, annealing, primer pocket swaging, etc ... then run the "ready to stuff" cases in a vibratory case polisher for an hour. I use a squirt of "Mothers Mag Polish" in the batch and the cases come out super shiny plus they are very slick. I then finish the reloading process ... possibly weeks or months later. BTW, Mothers Mag Polish keeps the brass cases shiny for at least a year when stored in Zip-Lock baggies.

The reason for my specific order is .... I don't like to run dirty cases in my sizing dies. Yes, carbide is very hard but after ruining a perfectly good 40 S&W RCBS carbide sizer die, I learned my lesson and only run clean cases. The sizing process always leaves "scuff marks" on the clean cases so I reserve the polishing process for after the cases have been sized. The rest of the process doesn't bother the shiny finish so my loaded ammo comes out clean and shiny with no scuff marks ... again a mater of pride, not function.
 

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before anything I put empties in a hot water and Simple Green and let soak about 10 minutes. I then flush with more hot water then put on an old towel, shake around then resize, deprime, bell mouth and then into sonic cleaner for 20 minutes with Hornady solution. When done flush with hot water then dry in a low oven. End is very clean and I have Never had any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
stainless still pins

I use a rotating tumbler with SS pins, Dawn, Lemi-Shine to clean the resized and trimmed brass. I found it cleans better than ultrasonic cleaners. Also, if I have a mixture of nickel plated and regular brass I don't have to worry about the nickel turning colors.
I rinse the tumbled brass in hot water then after the brass drys, I put it in a vibrating tumbler with corn cob media with jewlers rouge.
whats the difference in using stainless still pins vs. corncob. vs walnut media.

do the stainless still pins last indefinitely?

I had some brass turn pink, I accidentally put the a piece that goes in my powder measure in with the brass, and the two different metals in the ultrasonic cleaner turned some of the brass pink.

I read somewhere that tumbling would remove the pink.

it might be a excuse to get a tumbler now.....
 

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The main difference is in the level of cleaning. The process I posted earlier cleans everything on the brass. If you deprived the brass before tumbling, the primer pockets as well.
Because SS pins are harder than brass, they last forever and are self cleaning.
I can't say from personal experience what will happen about the pink brass. If the SS pins don't work, at least you won't have problems identifying your brass at the range.
If you get any grief over the brass, just tell 'em it's a special anti zombie coating and walk away.
 

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I also use a tumbler with stainless media, a little Lemi-shine and some dish soap. They come out squeaky clean and after drying are ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
haha

The main difference is in the level of cleaning. The process I posted earlier cleans everything on the brass. If you deprived the brass before tumbling, the primer pockets as well.
Because SS pins are harder than brass, they last forever and are self cleaning.
I can't say from personal experience what will happen about the pink brass. If the SS pins don't work, at least you won't have problems identifying your brass at the range.
If you get any grief over the brass, just tell 'em it's a special anti zombie coating and walk away.
I just happened to have some steel wool from a birchwood casey gun cleaning cleaning and refinish kit.

I read that the makers of Lee Dies, in their directions say to use steel wool on the brass to get it shiny.

and if you google lee and steel wool reloading, it gives you a link to a pdf that does indeed say use steel wool or a scouring pad

I used the steel wool on the brass one piece that turned color, and that piece of brass turned out really shiny.

I read online on another forum, that some people take cleaning with the steel wool a step further, and hook it to a power drill, and even use brass case polish to give it that extra shine.

I'm going to leave the rest pink, and see how long they stay pink after reloading them a few times.
 

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care to elaborate? that looks nifty. do you have a build sheet? specification sheet?
Well he followed a design that is on several forums. He is in the HVAC business so had most of the stuff left over from various jobs.
Decided to use channel that they use to mount equipment that uses bolts instead of welding channel or angle.
Had used motor from a furnace, had to buy the shaft and bearing blocks had some 7" pvc but had to buy the reducer. I guess if one had to buy everything new then it would be a lot more.
It works really well and have compared it to several I know who have bought the tumblers that cost $400 or $500 or more and works just as well.
We haven't cut the shafts yet as considering making a bigger barrel and all we would have to do is replace some frame pieces but I think the one we have is big enough. The drum turns at about 70 rpm and that seems to work ok.
This is where he found the original one that he sort of followed the design.

Home Made Tumbler Plans with Pulley Size and Drum explained.





 
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