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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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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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Originally Posted by mtrvl View Post
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.


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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