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Thread: Cleaning brass and walnut residue...

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning brass and walnut residue...

    I have just started tumbling my own brass and see that there is walnut residue on the inside of the cases which would be hard to get out ...does it effect anything just to leave it in the cases when I start to reload...?

  2. #2


    I've never worried about it. Maybe I'm wrong, but if so I've been wrong for close to 40 years without causing any problems that I can detect.

  3. #3

    Default Residue

    Walnut hulls clean pretty well. Just make sure that you don't have them lodged in the primer hole;They can cause inconsistent flash problems, I'm not sure the effects of blowing tiny molecules of media and rouge down the bore. Probably
    If the dusty red residue bothers you, you can remove it with a fast drying liquid cleaner like MEK. It IS flammable though so use it outside and it dries quickly at room temps. I use a metal gallon paint can and a wire basket and just dunk'em and shake the basket a little,just spread the cleaned cases out on a clean piece of newpaper and it evaporates quickly, residue free.
    Don't breath the fumes or be in an enclosed area, and don't smoke.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Spokane, Washington

    Default Cleaning Brass.

    I'm a bit anal about cleaning and reloading, but this is what works for me: If the brass is really dirty or tarnished, I put it in the tumbler with walnut shell media and a couple tablespoons of cleaning solution prior to resizing, trimming, etc. After a few hours of cleaning in the tumbler (I use a electric timmer so I don't have to try and remember to shut if off) I blow out the cases with compressed air. While resizing I check to make sure the walnut shell media isn't plugging the flash hole. After resizing, trimming, etc. I run the brass in the tumbler again. This time I use corn cob media and a small amount (approx. one tablespoon) of brass polish for a couple hours to clean off any oils and case lube left from working the brass. Lastly, I blow out the cases again with compressed air to clean out any media stuck in the cases. I've been reloading for 30+ years and I've only had two duds, that I can remember anyways. The last one being last year hunting black bear on the Grande Ronde River in Oregon. When my buddy pulled the trigger on one of my handloads in his trusty 30-06, it just clicked - no bang. After pulling apart the cartridge, it was obvious that the primer never went off, it was well struck by the firing pin too. In my haste to finish his handloads for our float hunt I didn't seal the primers with sealant. After several days on the river the water managed to get into the primer causing it to fail. The second round fired fine, but he missed. Still to this day he says it's my fault. I always remind him that everybody needs a fall guy, now he's got one.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    welfare state of Alaska

    Default Ultrasonic cleaner

    I clean all my brass in an ultrsonic cleaner.

    A real eye opener is to clean some tumbled cases in an ultrasonic cleaner and then let the crud you clean out settle to the bottom of the cleaner. It's hard to believe all the crap you leave in your ammo loaded in tumbled cases if you don't go the extra step of first cleaning them thoroughly.

    Only downside of cleaning in an ultrsonic cleaner is that it cleans them so good they will discolor / tarnish over time. I've been considering tubling them again in avery hard wax and clean media to get a little protective film back on the cases.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  6. #6

    Default I mostly tumble handgun brass 400 at a time then

    hit the bench and reload a use the process that Woody does would take forever, but I can see where reloading rifle hunting ammo you would want yer brass as clean as possible on the inside...I take more time to clean and reload my hunting rounds and buy factory denfense loads for my handguns..


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