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Is there a way to restore brass?

This is a discussion on Is there a way to restore brass? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Originally Posted by sr9c sr22 Or a can of brasso and a polishing cloth. I know the above reply was meant as a joke but ...


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Old March 27th, 2017, 01:50 PM   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr9c sr22 View Post
Or a can of brasso and a polishing cloth.
I know the above reply was meant as a joke but be advised that the ammonia in Brasso will adversely effect the brass, weakening it thus rendering it unsuitable for shooting.



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Old March 28th, 2017, 10:59 AM   #32
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Why do you even need for your brass to be all shiny and pretty? As long as it functions reliably, what difference does it even make ?
90% of shiny brass is just cosmetic. I reloaded for 12 years before I got a tumbler. I just wiped my brass with a solvent dampened rag as I inspected it. Nope, no scratched dies. Yep I could spot any defects. If I wanted BBQ brass I'd spin the case on a mandrel and polish it. The only need I have for shiny brass is to find empties flung out into the dirt by my 1911 and Garand.

I used to hang out at a police range in the '60s and was watching two fellers that were shooting a lot. I got closer to get a better look and saw some excellent targets coming back (1, 2" hole @ 50' shooting 1911s) and I noticed all their ammo had brown cases, not shiny brass. One feller noticed me watching and we talked. They were reloaders, and I didn't know anyone that reloaded, but I guess it wasn't a necessity to have glossy brass back then, their targets talked for themselves...

Last edited by mdi; March 28th, 2017 at 11:02 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #33
 
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Dawn and Lemi shine will make them look better than new. The trick, as has been mentioned, is that TOO much Lemi Shine will actually dull the brass. One suggestion was to use a teaspoon. Actually that may be way too much. Try a quarter of a teaspoon to start.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #34
 
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You can buy powder citric acid the kind used for canning food, wally world has it in the canning section.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
I mistakenly thought that a rotary tumbler (the kind with the steel pins) would clean brass better than my vibratory tumbler, so I purchased one from Franklin Arsenal. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that this type of tumbler leaves the brass dull and discolored. (See photo)



Does anyone know of a way to restore the color and sheen to this brass? I'm thinking of putting it in the vibratory tumbler with some Nu Finish to see if that works, but wanted to hear from the experts first.

Thanks

Pam
Go to your local grocery store and purchase alum in the spice section. Add several teaspoons to a pot of water and bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Add the deprimed brass and let it cook till the brass shines. The alum removes the brass tarnish.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #36
 
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Lyman sells stuff that removes tarnish. I can't recall what it's called. I can check. The stuff works great. I usually soak the brass in it for about 5-10 minutes before I media tumble it. Turns out great.

Cheers!
Mike.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #37
 
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Corn cob, and Nu Shine mine always shine like new.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 10:19 AM   #38
 
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Want shinny brass. Do what I did last week. I forgot about the Dillon cleaner being on in the garage until the next day. Talk about clean, must have ran for 12 hours.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 10:52 AM   #39
 
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While I do use an Midway vibrating polisher to clean my brass, I don't get too worried about how shinny the brass is. On a few occasions I've left the brass in the device for many hours and it does turn out very bright. My goal is to get the brass clean enough that it doesn't carry dirt into the dies, functions well in my guns and I can spot defects easily. Beyond that, I don't care if it's shinny.

A previous poster talked about the trouble of using a tumbler and a liquid solution. I sort of agree with that. I'm sure the stainless pins and liquid bath tumblers do a great job of making shinny brass but I don't want the hassle of separating the pins from the brass and drying the brass. I sort the brass by type, dump it in the bowl and turn it on. After few hours (often spent cleaning guns and reloading other cartridges) I dump the brass and media into a rotary sifter and separate the brass from the media. At that point the brass is ready to reload, no drying needed. The media goes right back in the device and the brass goes in some receptacle (usually a big coffee can).

I suppose if I wanted REALLY shinny brass or I was cleaning HUGE volumes of brass, I might see an advantage to the liquid cleaners.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 04:14 PM   #40
 
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Treated walnut shell polishing media. The shell is treated with red polishing rouge, which polishes the cases to a bright shiney finish...just like new.
You can spend money on all kinds of household and automotive stuff to add to the water and hope something works.
I tried it and found they don't stay shiney. Vibrate or rotary tumble with the treated walnut shell media and they come out and will stay shiney...easiest and cheapest way to go and you don't have to worry about drying the cases.
I don't care for water and pins....
Gary
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Old May 13th, 2017, 04:40 PM   #41
 
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For the last hundred years or so I've used a Thumbler's Tumbler, with two drums and Lyman crushed walnut shell media. The two barrels, or drums, hold fifty rounds each so my brass does not get mixed from lot to lot.

I think this outfit was originally for rock polishing, but with the Lyman media does a superb job on my brass.

Bob Wright
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Old May 13th, 2017, 05:20 PM   #42
 
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I'd mentioned the 'soup" method of just soaking brass in a citrus soup and then rinsing and drying..then if high shine is wanted I use "zilla mix" lizard bedding from the pet store (fine does not clog the flash holes) and mix in a cap full of "nufinish" car polish (old time stuff in an orange plastic bottle)..I use the soup first as it does a better job of cleaning the inside of the case than just the walnut shells. when I started loading washing and rinsing was the only thing we had..soap flakes, white vinegar and a pinch of salt in hot water...and it worked just fine..no tumbler..no pins...nothing...want them to shine? use steel wool.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:17 PM   #43
 
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Originally Posted by OldHippie1968 View Post
Lyman sells stuff that removes tarnish. I can't recall what it's called. I can check. The stuff works great. I usually soak the brass in it for about 5-10 minutes before I media tumble it. Turns out great.

Cheers!
Mike.
The stuff I use is called Lyman Turbo Case Cleaner. I usually soak the brass in it for about 5-10 minutes depending on how dirty it is. I do this after I do my case prep. De-priming. sizing, and trimming. Then I tumble the brass. Comes out bright and shiny. I also heard from a few oldtimers that straight white distilled vinegar will also do the trick, but I haven't tried it yet. Hope this helps you out.

Cheers!
Mike
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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:27 PM   #44
 
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I've been using citric acid and dawn with great results. Found the citric acid with the canning supplies. 1 tsp citric acid to a couple quirts of dawn. cover the brass and pins with water and a couple of hours later bright and shiny!! With my dirtiest brass - twice through has always worked
Tim
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Old May 16th, 2017, 09:19 AM   #45
 
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Not into shinny new so just use a sonic cleaner with citric acid and dawn. Have large house filter with softener so just use hot tap water. Run thru twice, approx. 100 rds, rinse with a little baking soda added to water, then re rinse with plain water. Deprime brass first. A friend who lives further out and has well water, very hard, uses the SS pins with same solution and his comes out shinny clean. He also uses distilled water.
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