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Is anyone using the Hornady (or others) ultrasonic cleaner for brass cleanup? How does it work? Are you satisfied with the results?

Steve
 

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I have been using a Harbor Freight 2.6 qt. ultra sonic cleaner (about the same size as Hornady). I do use the Hornady cleaning solution. I have an unusual ritual for cleaning my brass but the end results are great. If you are looking to do large numbers, this method may not be for you. The nice thing about the sonic cleaner is it removes all the carbon inside the case. this keeps the case presure constant with each reload.
I do 15-20 cases at a time in a hard clear plastic 2 cup measure. 16 minutes of the Hornady cleaning solution ( .5 oz of solution mixed with 14 oz water), then 8 minutes in another container with 14 oz of rubbing alcohol. (dries quick and does not stain the brass.) I finish the brass up with West Marine NanoTec Metal cleaner polish using a l Lee shell holder and a Skil pistol style screw diver. Makes them nice and shiny.






Glenn.
 

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That sounds like to much work. I'm trying to save time. Does the solution clean out the primer pocket?
 

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That sounds like to much work. I'm trying to save time. Does the solution clean out the primer pocket?
It gets about 95% of the primer pocket clean. I get the rest out with #0000 steel wool. I do not use a tumbler. I first take a fired case and put it in the Skil/shell holder and run it in a Flitz pad. This smooths out any hits from the op rod. I then decap and size the case, trim to length, debur and camfer. Back into the Skil/shell holder and hit it with #0000 steel wool. Then it goes in for the sonic cleaning/polishing. And then priming and loading.
Yes this takes time, but it gives me multiple chances to inspect each case. To me this is the safest way to reload ammo. (I also hand measure my powder charge and check it on two different scales, I'm anal that way) I think everyone has their own system. What I am willing to do may be too much for someone else.

Glenn
 

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I've been using the Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner for parts for some time. The Hornady ultrasonic cleaner is the same one, except it's twice the price. I use the Harbor Freight cleaning solution and I bought a gallon of the lubricating solution from Brownells.

It works great for small parts, but I hadn't thought of using it for brass until I saw the Hornady version. I've started using it on my brass after I resize it to get all of the Imperial sizing wax off.

Save your money and get on down to HF.
 

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I have to say that is the Brightest Shiniest Brass I have ever seen Wow
But just to much work for the Volume I do
 

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I have and use the Harbor Freight model as well with good results. Recently I've gone to Stainless Steel Wire Shot Media and it surpasses everything as far as good results.

This morning I just finished my first, experimental batch of brass with this stuff. (150 rounds of mixed headstamp range pickup .223). The stuff was pretty grungy. I started by running it through my Ultrasonic Cleaner with a mixture of hot water and some dish washing soap to get the grit off so I wouldn't scratch my resizing die. I then full length resized and deprimed it with a RCBS Small Base Resizing Die. After that I ran all of them through my Dillon 600 Super Swage to remove any crimp on the primer pockets. Not all were military, but it was easier to run them all through rather than waste time separating them. Next I ran all of them through my Giraud Power Case Trimmer. It does a really nice job of trimming them to length, plus it puts a nice chamfer on both the inside, and breaks the burr on the outside of the case at the same time. It's amazing how much brass it removes from just 150 cases trimming them to minimum overall length.

After that I tossed them into the Thumlers Tumbler with 5 pounds of the Stainless Steel Media, a tablespoon of "Dawn" dish washing liquid, and 1/8th teaspoon of "Lemi-Shine". I then filled the tumbler up to within an inch of the top with luke warm water. I then installed the lid, tossed it on the tumbler, and plugged it in at 1:30 PM yesterday afternoon. I decided to let it run overnight because the brass was really dull and dirty, and also because my Thumlers Tumbler has a 1,500 RPM motor. The newer units have the 3,000 RPM motor, and give faster results. I didn't want to rush it, and I wanted the brass to be as clean as possible.

I got up at 3:30 AM this morning because I've got an early dentist appointment, (6:30 AM), and I wanted to get the brass out of the tumbler, rinsed, and drying before I left. THE BRASS CAME OUT BEAUTIFUL! Without any exaggeration the stuff is cleaner and shinier than new brass. The primer pockets and flash holes were absolutely spotless, and the cases shined inside and out. I'll try to get some pictures up later this afternoon when they're finished drying.

The only issue I had was partly my fault. The video on this stuff shows them using a Frankford Arsenal Media Separator. Cabela's has them and they're not that expensive. I was going to go pick one up yesterday, but I was too lazy. Melanie and I had a few glasses of wine each, and I wasn't going anywhere. The media separator allows you to float the Stainless Steel Media out of the cases by tumbling them partially submerged in the provided bucket you get with the separator. This is important otherwise the surface tension of the water will cause the media to stick to the sides of the case. I only had 150 cases so I just ran them under a light stream of tap water and it worked fine. I'm going to get the media separator because it would be a PITA to do that with a large batch of several hundred cases. This is the way to go if you want really nice clean brass. I'm still in the experimental stage with this stuff. Next I want to find a method and tumbler for large amounts. It all sounds more involved than it really is. The actual cleaning of the brass itself is an all but effortless process. Prepping the brass is always a pain, but you have to do it if you want good reloads. Remember, this was range pick up brass. It was filthy, dirty, and totally grungy inside and out. Even the inside of the case rims shine like new brass, and they were completely black!

This is about the best I could do with my crappy little Sony Cybershot. But it shows how well this media works.



















The photos show the cases drying in the Sun, and also show how clean the Stainless Steel Media gets the inside of the cases, as well as the primer pockets. It also shows the size of the Stainless Steel Wire Shot used in the process. I just wish I had taken some "before" photos, so you could see how bad they were before I started. If you look closely you can see it even polished the burrs on the inside of the flash hole! Bill T.

http://www.youtube.com/user/billt460#p/f/15/kdvq3Kc_Vm0

http://www.youtube.com/user/billt460#p/f/14/i-6SOiWE8Hc
 

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Another vote for the stainless. It will cost alittle
More because of the tumbler but the media will last forever and does a better job with less tweaking. I wish they had this stuff years before I bought my tumbler.
 

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I can imagine using stainless which is harder than brass would eventually wear the brass out.
 

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I can imagine using stainless which is harder than brass would eventually wear the brass out.
You will shoot it out from reloading it long before you will wear it out from using Stainless Steel media. Bill T.
 
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