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Thread: Importance of case cleaning?

  1. #1

    Default Importance of case cleaning?

    I was curious how important cleaning your old cases is. Assuming the case are not dirty (from dirt/mud, ect.), and that the hole at the end of the case where the primer ignites the powder is clear, how important is it to accuracy to clean the the old residue from the inside of the case?

    Also, if you clean your case and there is a residue of soap/cleaning agent on the inside of the case can that mess with accuracy?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Luke

  2. #2
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    Luke,

    The importance of cleaning cases has more to do with case life and die life than from an accuracy perspectiive. Carbon and powder residue can bulid up on cases and when sizing can cause scratching of both cases and dies. Residue can be wiped off (mostly) with a dry cloth or paper towel or can be tossed into a vibrating/tumbling case cleaner with corn cob media with a commercial case cleaner agent. I would not use any liquid cleaner or solvent as many of them can be harmful to brass. Cleaners and solvents designed to polish brass belt buckles and such, can attack the copper in brass and cause the case to prematurely fail. The black powder shooters use soap and water on their brass, but there is no need to go that extreme to clean cases for smokeless powder. I would not do that.

    The primer pocket should always be cleaned between loadings. Accuracy can suffer without this but simply because it provides an inconsistant seat for the primer. The primer will sit on the residue and move slightly when struck by the firing pin and will not perform at it's best. Clean pockets of uniform depth are a significant factor in the accuracy of any load. I use a Sinclair carbide primer pocket uniforming tool, of the correct size for the cases. i.e. Large rifle, large pistol or small rifle/pistol. Three different sizes. The carbide tool can be used to clean and even out the pocket after after each use. The carbide will not dull from the carbon and the primer residue.
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  3. #3
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Case cleaning...

    I throw my cases into the tumbler before sizing to preclude damage to the dies and the cases. I also use the tumbler to remove the lube that I apply.
    By the time they make two trips through the tumbler, they look pretty good, and it's easier to spot defects in them. I've got one .35 Whelen with a chamber that's just a mite long, and noticed a bright spot ahead of the web that wouldn't have shown up if I hadn't cleaned the cases.
    Range pick-up brass can sometimes be full of crud. Depending on how nasty, they might get a soak and then tumbled. I'm always leary of using a liquid of any kind in the cases unless I know they're going to get a very long time sitting to dry.

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    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    To me there is nothing worse than spending time cleaning your gun and getting it back to 'like new' condition and then putting it back in a dirty case.

    Duh!


    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoldotnaDave View Post
    To me there is nothing worse than spending time cleaning your gun and getting it back to 'like new' condition and then putting it back in a dirty case.

    Duh!


    Ahh...Dave..Ahh..I think he was talking about ahhhh...well I don't think exactly that's what ...ah..he was.....Thanks for your input. Hang in there, winter will be over soon.

    Did you ever think of throwing the gun case in the washer with ...ya' know dirty socks and such? Maybe that would ....ah...ya' know get 'em clean!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6

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    Thanks for the imformation. I guess that explains why I've had to spend more time cleaning my rifle lately.

  7. #7
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Having clean cases as stated in the previous posts gives you a chance to see defects in the brass.

    I have switched from the corn cob to ceramic media and a model B Thumbler Tumbler . No comparison at all to using dry media .
    I am one of those black powder shooters that used to clean each case with soap and water one at a time . Not no more .
    My cases are long 45-120 and the ceramic cleans inside and out even the primer pockets . The brass looks better than off the shelf store bought ....

    The short of it all is use clean brass .

    RR
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    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default I must be behind the times...Ceramic Media???

    Gotta be honest, it sounds good, just never heard of it before now.
    Got any more information on it?

  9. #9

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