Brass Cleaning 101

with Emily Stuchell

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There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the sun shine on a batch of freshly cleaned spent casings. Not sure what we mean? There’s plenty of different ways you can get your brass perfectly clean before it heads to the press. From different types of media to different types of tumblers, here’s your go-to guide on the best ways to get your brass squeaky clean. When cleaning large amounts of brass, you’re going to want to invest in a tumbler. These machines make for consistent and easy brass cleaning for loads of hundreds, even thousands of casings. When it comes to tumblers, you have a few options on the market.

Vibratory Dry Media Tumbler

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The vibratory tumbler is probably the most popular brass cleaning method currently on the market. A plastic tub sits on top of an electric motor that vibrates the tub with a consistent buzz. All your spent casings will go in the tub along with a type of dry media, and as the bin vibrates the media gets into every nook and cranny, cleaning and polishing your brass. Just let it run for a few hours, sift the contents, and you’re all set. When it comes to dry media you essentially have two options; corn cob and walnut. Corn cob is best for brass that is less tarnished and does not need too much polishing, whereas walnut is best for your dirtier, more tarnished brass. When shopping for dry media you will see that you can choose between “treated” and “untreated”. “Treated” media will polish your brass much better than untreated, however, many prefer untreated media so they can add their own specific amount of polish and have more control. Too much polishing can cause quicker corrosion in brass casings, so many serious reloaders prefer purchasing untreated media and Brass Polish separately to come up with their own perfect ratios.

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While dry media is effective there are some drawbacks. Dry media can be quicker to corrode your brass than other forms of media and it can often be dirty to work with, plus the media itself breaks down and has to be replaced every so often. However, this option is one of the most cost-effective on the market.
If you’re looking for a simple and cost effective way to clean your brass, get a vibratory tumbler like the Quick-n-EZ Case Tumbler Quick-n-EZ Case Tumbler. For sifting your casings and dry media, you’ll also want a Rotary Sifter Kit. You can check out our Case Tumbler Kit that has all these products available in one easy bundle.

Rotary Wet Media Tumbler

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If you’re looking for the quick and effective way to clean your brass, look no further than a rotary wet media tumbler. Load brass into the tumbler along with a liquid bath and some small stainless steel pins. The small pins get into the brass cases and even inside the primer pockets to get every inch of brass nice and clean. You can use your own concoction of soap and water or purchase premade cleaning packets like our Instaclean Brass Cleaning Packs that make it easy to clean in loads of 500.

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