Experiment

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VenisonRX
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Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:38 pm

Found some 44 colt brass in an old box that had been forgotten about. Shot it about 15 years ago when I was a lot dumber and didnt know I was supposed to clean black
powder casings after you shoot them. Tossed it in that box and it’s been there ever since. So as an act of penance I’m gonna try a little experiment and see if any of it can be saved. Gonna start simple and wash it out and let it spend the night in my tumbler.

I’ll post my results and of course if anyone else has tried this I’d love to hear what has or hasn’t worked for you.

I’m not expecting miracles here so if it’s not salvageable I won’t be upset. If it’s trash anyways then I figure I’ll have some fun and see what I can do.
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—Tom

JonnyV
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Re: Experiment

Post by JonnyV » Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:10 pm

Thumler's Tumbler, ceramic media, hand dish soap, warm water, and just a pinch of Lemmi-shine....three hours later, it will look brand new. Don't let it go all night though, bungs up the case mouths....

beltfed
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Re: Experiment

Post by beltfed » Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:42 pm

I hope you are not going to shoot it in a very valuable gun
Well, I suppose that a BP load would not blow up the gun.
beltfed/arnie.

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:16 pm

beltfed wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:42 pm
I hope you are not going to shoot it in a very valuable gun
Well, I suppose that a BP load would not blow up the gun.
beltfed/arnie.
No plans to shoot it. I don’t have the dies or molds to load for it if I wanted to. I’m just one of those guys who never throws brass away. This stuff was shot through a repro conversion revolver. Uberti I think. I’m not much of a pistol guy anymore so it rarely sees the outside of the safe. This was just to see if I could clean up black powder brass that was never cleaned after being shot and sitting for so many years. I’ve got plenty of good brass to use if I ever feel the need to reload for this. Besides my current project is perfecting a BP load for my 45-70 now that I was able to buy some.

It’s out of the tumbler. I just have a vibrating tub with crushed walnut hulls. It polished the areas without corrosion very well but they pretty much look the same just no longer green. The other casings I had in there look brand spanking new now though.
—Tom

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powderburner
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Re: Experiment

Post by powderburner » Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:47 am

They would probably clean up with soap and pins but would always be suspect at the head joint for brittle, and separation.
Dean Becker
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kenny sd
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Re: Experiment

Post by kenny sd » Wed Dec 01, 2021 9:19 am

I found an old apple in the back of my fridge. It's green and black. I think I'll clean it and try to eat it...HA

Time to throw away the old and buy new. the brass MAY have pitting you will not see until you go BOOM. I agree with the above comments on
safety first.

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Dec 01, 2021 11:29 am

As I said before I have no intention of shooting this stuff and don’t have the tools to load it even if I did. I just wanted to see how clean I can make it look and see how far the observable damage goes on neglected black powder brass. Guess I should have Army proofed the title of the post with a disclaimer.

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. THIS EXPERIMENT IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. NO GUNS WILL BE HARMED IN THIS EFFORT. EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE.

Please don’t make me Marine proof this. I’m all out of crayons…

But seriously trashing sketchy looking brass is always a safe practice and I agree. When I said I don’t throw out brass I meant that in the reason I have a handful of brass that I can’t reload for. Not that I will load up any brass no matter how bad it looks.

Haven’t had time to mess with it today but walnut media in the tumbler didn’t do all that great a job. I don’t have pins and ceramic to try. I did chuck one of them in the drill press and ran some 0000 steel wool around it with limited benefits. Might try redoing that with a little Nufinish and see if that wont buff it out. So far though this is looking more and more like these turds cannot be polished at least with the tools I have.
—Tom

bobw
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Re: Experiment

Post by bobw » Wed Dec 01, 2021 11:37 am

You got an ultrasonic cleaner? Brass that long untended might be shot in the ass. 1st things first deprime it. 2nd put the brass in a jar, water ,a squirt of dish wash soap and a couple oz. Of white vinegar. Screw on the lid and shake it good . loosen the lid let it set for an hour. Now put it in the ultrasonic for an hr. While your waiting go get your rechargeable drill . Take a baco case brush (45 or 50 cal)and cut the loop handle off with a side cutter about to 3" of twisted shaft. Chuck it up in the drill. Next part works better if you time all this before your woman goes shopping. Soon as she leaves haul all the stuff to the stainless steel kitchen sink pull the drain plug out and a med stream of warm water. Hold the cases under the stream , stick the chucked up brush in the case and pull the trigger keep your rpm low in and out .when black and green water stop coming out the flash hole you got it. Soaking it an hr loosens it up, using the drill cuts time . Rinse them and primer pocket it down on your coil burner electric stove dries them on LOW position
If they are clean of corrosion and dry now you can tumble or vibrate them shiny. If you still see green add some steel wool (a wisp) to 45 cal pistol brush chuck in the drill and get it done. Holding wool on the outside and spin cleans the out side of green too. Now vibrate or tumble them. If at this point they look ok annealing them is next... bobw
.
bobw

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:40 pm

bobw wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 11:37 am
You got an ultrasonic cleaner? Brass that long untended might be shot in the ass. 1st things first deprime it. 2nd put the brass in a jar, water ,a squirt of dish wash soap and a couple oz. Of white vinegar. Screw on the lid and shake it good . loosen the lid let it set for an hour. Now put it in the ultrasonic for an hr. While your waiting go get your rechargeable drill . Take a baco case brush (45 or 50 cal)and cut the loop handle off with a side cutter about to 3" of twisted shaft. Chuck it up in the drill. Next part works better if you time all this before your woman goes shopping. Soon as she leaves haul all the stuff to the stainless steel kitchen sink pull the drain plug out and a med stream of warm water. Hold the cases under the stream , stick the chucked up brush in the case and pull the trigger keep your rpm low in and out .when black and green water stop coming out the flash hole you got it. Soaking it an hr loosens it up, using the drill cuts time . Rinse them and primer pocket it down on your coil burner electric stove dries them on LOW position
If they are clean of corrosion and dry now you can tumble or vibrate them shiny. If you still see green add some steel wool (a wisp) to 45 cal pistol brush chuck in the drill and get it done. Holding wool on the outside and spin cleans the out side of green too. Now vibrate or tumble them. If at this point they look ok annealing them is next... bobw
.
I don’t have an ultrasonic cleaner but might need to get one. Do you find the additional step of using that makes for better shooting cases in the long run or expand the life of them? Or do you just like to have very clean cases?

Incidentally do you put your brass into the ultrasonic cleaner in leu of soaking them or do you bring water with you to the range and soak them and then put them in an ultrasonic cleaner when you get home? Also do you prefer dish soap? I’ve always used murphys oil soap and never tried anything else. Or is it just one of those things where they’re both valid techniques that work just as well. The reason for the oil soap is it seems to prevent rust a little bit and doesn’t really hurt wood finish if it gets on there. I just use the same bucket of water for cleaning my rifles as soaking my brass. I use a bore mop to scrub out my brass after my rifle is clean. They don’t corrode afterwards but they aren’t factory clean on the inside.

I deprime my cases before they go into water with a depriming tool. It sounds like that’s the preferred method. I assume you do the same?
—Tom

George Babits
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Re: Experiment

Post by George Babits » Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:21 pm

Since you mentioned it, the Marine solution is to shitcan it and requisition new brass. Even if you remove the corrosion, the brass will still look pitted, Interesting experiment. Good for entertainment maybe, but a waste of time in my opinion.

Semper Fi
George

bobw
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Re: Experiment

Post by bobw » Wed Dec 01, 2021 6:26 pm

My ultrasonic bit the bullet awhile back and have not replaced it yet. Just soaking will loosen up the fouling making it fast work for the chucked case brush. Sometimes it takes the brass brush and steel wool to remove the green inside and out while under the faucet. After drying only you can make the decision to use or discard.
bobw

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:37 pm

Sorry Bob I meant those questions about the ultrasonic cleaner as general casing maintenance questions. Do (did) you find using one extends life or improves consistency in results in any kindof noticeable way? My cleaning regimen is the first I’ve tried and it seems to work good enough but I am by no means experienced with black powder cartridges. I’ve only been putting real effort into it for about three years now and that’s ranges limited to about 100 yards and sporadically in between moving around a family of five and transitioning into civilian life. I’ve only ever competed with rack grade M16s so you guys who take these things to matches are way more knowledgeable than I am about what makes them shoot well.

I tiptoed into this hobby via my first shiloh which was a 63 carbine. Very different ball of wax. Then I learned how to get a conversion carbine up and running but never really strove for great accuracy being pretty limited on resources at the time and was satisfied with the fact that a 156 year old gun got to speak again. Now I’m finally able to work with a shiloh in 45-70. Unfortunately in Arkansas I think I’m the only person shooting this stuff. You ask a gun store clerk if they sell real black powder and they say yeah and point me to the pyrodex pellets…
—Tom

George Babits
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Re: Experiment

Post by George Babits » Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:49 pm

Tom,

Welcome to the game and thank you for serving. Cleaning the brass after shooting is really pretty simple. You don't need anything but a plastic bucket with hot water and non-sudsing soap. Deprime the cases, toss them into the bucket, stir them around, and then brush them while in the water. Buffalo Arms has some nylon brushes, probably test tube brushes, that work very well. After brushing them, dump the dirty water and rinse with hot water. That is about all I've ever done. You can get burried with all sorts of gear that is supposed to make things easier, but the simplest way is always the best. I'm still using 45-70 brass that I bought in the late 1960s and, while it may look a little grungy, it is still solid after many many reloadings. By the way, there is nothing like making a 145 year old rifle or carbine come to life. They may not be competative in today's equipment race, but there is a certain magic you get when shooting them.

George

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:04 pm

Hey thanks George. Yeah that’s pretty much what I do. Bucket, hot water, oil soap, bore mop for gun and brass. Obviously the gun gets more care after that but the brass gets dried and tossed in the tumbler. Just a simple affair with ground up corn cob (sorry I said walnut back there) and a little Nubrite to make it pretty. I thought I might give cleaning up this trash brass a try and hope to learn a few things along the way and see if there’s anything I might incorporate into my simple preparation regimen. So far I’m enjoying the cleanup process. Anyone who’s had to pass a white glove m16 inspection knows there’s nothing more difficult and messy to clean than modern “easier to clean than black powder” firearms.

And yes there’s nothing more magical than the big puff of fire and smoke barking out of the muzzle of a piece of history and hearing a 400plus grain lead bullet you cast yourself splatter against steel or pass through meat.
—Tom

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VenisonRX
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Re: Experiment

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:51 pm

George Babits wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:21 pm
Since you mentioned it, the Marine solution is
Also sorry about the crayon joke. Just a little veteran humor. I flew C-130s for almost 15 years and the marines were always the easiest to work with. So thank you for that. Nothing more painful than seeing the frag tell us we were supporting the army… 😉
—Tom

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