Today I’m cleaning a whole pile of brass that I haven’t been able to get to as of late. Often people ask about how to properly clean their brass casings. There are many different ways of doing things.
First you have a choice in media. The media is what is used to physically clean up the brass. Most reloading equipment providers sell media made from ground corn cob and walnut. I’ve only used corn cob media so far and it’s been working well for me but I hear more people swear by walnut media. But if you want to save some money take a trip to the pet store and pick up some fine walnut based bedding. It’s pretty much the same stuff as tumbler walnut media and does the exact same job for less.
Now the media alone won’t leave you with polished brass. To give your brass a shiny look you need some way of polishing it. Once again most reloading companies sell stuff called polishing compound. The idea is you throw some of this stuff in with the media and it will polish the brass. There is one down side though, if you don’t clean the polishing media off of your brass it will wreak havoc on your reloading dies. Polishing media is abrasive and hence it will destroy your dies after a while.
What I do is throw to used dryer sheets into the tumbler each time I tumble some brass. The cases come out looking just as good as they would with polishing compound, the dryer sheets absorb a lot of the dust, and I don’t have to pay anything extra since I’m just recycling dryer sheets I’ve used for launder (see that’s how green of a person I am, I recycle dryer sheets). After a couple of hours in the tumbler the brass will look great although the sheets will be colored a lead grey.
Anyways it’s something to try if you reload ammunition and don’t like messing with polishing compounds.