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Problem cleaning insides of brass


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In cleaning up the reloading room I found about 250 38 special cases that didn't make it into the tumber right after a match. About 1/2 of the the cases that had been fired with APP had green corrosion both inside and out. Dropped them into my wet tumbler for a couple of hours and now the outsides are clean however the insides are still green.

 

What do I need to do differently to get the insides clean?

 

I use a thumlers model B tumbler with SS pins, a pinch of Lemi-shine, shot of scrubbing bubbles, and liquid soap. Add enough water to cover the cases + an inch or two.

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Stratosheen may do the trick added to your current recipe. I've never had trouble removing corrosion with it in the mix.

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Soak in a jar of vinegar and water over night.

 

 

I would not recommend doing that. It of course depends on how much concentration you use, but any acid will tend to leach the copper out of the brass, making it brittle.

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I'd put them back in the tumbler and let it run overnight. Won't hurt the brass or the tumbler. I accidently let a load of 38 special tumble over a week end. No damage to machine or brass. they surre were clean though.

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If you leave them in vinegar for more than a couple minutes or so the solution starts turning green. That's the copper dissolving out of the brass. Just tumble some more if they bother you. Or load 'em & shoot 'em. No one will know they're a little cruddy inside ! :D :D :D

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I purchased some on line that had that problem even though they were supposed to be "cleaned and polished". I soaked them in CLR for about an hour, washed them in hot water, dried them, then into the tumbler. It was a lot of trouble for "cleaned and polished" brass but it worked.

 

Blackfoot

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I soaked some cruddy brass in vinegar to help clean it out, before I had a sonic tumbler to augment my dry media tumbler.

I guess that's why I started to experience case splitting.

Any danger that CLR does anything like vinegar does to the brass?

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Any danger that CLR does anything like vinegar does to the brass?

The reason vinegar will leach the copper out is because it is a mild acid. Any acid will do that. I have no idea about CLR but I doubt it.

 

Frankly, if it was my brass with a little bit of verdigris inside I would just load it up with more Black Powder and shoot it.

 

But everybody knows I don't care if my brass is shiny.

Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283
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CLR is non corrosive and non toxic. We've been using it for years to clean our Bunn coffee maker. We run that through it mixed with water and then rinse with plain water.

CLR MSDS

 

It is corrosive. It contains Latic and gluconic acid.

 

 

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

I seldom use BP or subs anymore. I don't have spare time to clean guns. :rolleyes:

I use treated walnut shell media. About 20% of my media is Daisy BB's.

They haven't lodged in my cases yet and the sides get cleaner.

 

Merry Christmas,

Mustang

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

I seldom use BP or subs anymore. I don't have spare time to clean guns. :rolleyes:

I use treated walnut shell media. About 20% of my media is Daisy BB's.

They haven't lodged in my cases yet and the sides get cleaner.

 

Merry Christmas,

Mustang

+1 I use about 2# of BBB steel shot.

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Whatever the CLR is made of it did well getting the green off of the brass and did no damage. After soaking and washing the brass it polished well and has stood the test of time.

 

Blackfoot :)

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Don't leave brass in any of the solutions mentioned above for more than the time it takes to dissolve the carbonates and sulfates that are the residue in the cases.

 

The fasting acting corrosion cleaner I have found (by experiment with solutions plumbers use for cutting scale off plumbing fixtures) is:

 

Quart water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon crystalline sulfamic acid (a grout cleaner from Home Depot or Lowes or tile stores)

 

Warm this to as hot as you can stand to handle. Use thin latex or nitrile gloves. Place corroded brass in solution JUST long enough to stop bubbling - that is the carbonate being dissolved. This works on corroded brass, it works on brown patina (copper oxides) brass. It won't take more than a couple of minutes.

 

Drain and rinse in water.

 

If you have dissolved a lot of copper carbonate, or softened lots of brown patina, you will have some re-plated copper on the case surfaces that will be bright pink. I scrub that off easily with a greenie scrubbing pad. I've shot tons of pistol brass saved from a few months laying on the range - no more cracking on those cases than on non-corroded cases. BUT - If you have severe pitting on the brass surface - it's history with any treatment technique.

 

You will only eat into the copper and zinc of the case walls if you leave it in acidic solutions for a long time. The trick is to drain off the acid just as soon as the residues are dissolved!

 

Good luck, GJ

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