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Ultrasonic Cleaner
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

Being the obsessive-compulsive type I started my search for the ultimate cheap cleaning solution for my new ultrasonic cleaner. Of course I could always go with commercial products sold by the same people who sell the unit but that would mean mail-order as no one here stocks them. I did the Google thing and found a number of recipes and one comparison test. I tried the chosen mixture from the test (vinegar, water, soap) and it worked okay but I could see need for improvement. I added a dash of CLR and it got a bit better but still I had a bit of carbon in a few primer pockets and in the bottom of the cases. Repeating the cleaning started to turn the cases in colour indicating the acid was starting to leach out the zinc. So my fellow powder junkies do you have any recipes you want to share? Hopefully no Komodo dragon urine or other exotic ingredients as the witches and warlocks chain hasn't set up a retail outlet here yet. Very Happy

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I've been getting pretty good results with a home-made brass cleaner that uses citric acid as the cleaning agent. You can find citric acid sold inexpensively at health-food stores, and some drug stores, farm-supply stores, etc.

The citric acid powder is mixed 2 tablespoons to a quart of water. Citric acid is the active ingredient in home-made brass cleaners that use lemon juice. Same stuff. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to the mix.

The citric acid will not turn the cases to different colors like vinegar does.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

When citric acid works, then I would also recommend oxalic acid. When you cannot find oxalic acid in your drugstore: it's the acid in rhubarb (and professional glassgarden-farmers use it to clean their windows).

As for the utlrasonic cleaning: I cannot help. I tried to make such a cleaner many years ago but I think I didn't use the right speakers. Still have the ultrasonic generator somewhere... maybe one day when I have a lot of time and little to do...
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Donut Slayer
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I use the hornady stuff. I double the strength and let it soak for about a hour. It cleans everything, even the primer pockets. I havent found a home made brew that comes anywhere close.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

+1 citric acid.
I have been using this for a few years now.
Absolutely great stuff.

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res45
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I don't have a sonic cleaner but do soak some old crusty range and mil-surplus brass on occasion. I use 1 tsp. of Lemi-Shine dishwasher detergent crystals per quart of hot water in an old one gal. plastic container.

I let it soak for about an hour and give the brass a couple shanks about halfway through then rinse with cold water to remove any residue and lay it out to dry on an old towel. Any tarnish turns a light pink color and is easily removed with about a one hour tumbling.

The Lemi-Shine does a pretty good job as well of removing powder residue although it want remove all of the primer pocket residue if you soak with the primers removed but I clean my primer pockets last anyways before loading so it's no big issue.

Ketchup will do the same thing but it a bit messy.

Before


After,kind of amazing isn't it for not much work involved.
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English Mike
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

That light pink colour is copper matey - what's left after the more reactive zinc has been removed from the brass.
If the corrosion is bad enough, you'll get case perforation, as I did when using some pretty nasty Indian military surplus 7.62x51 last week.
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MacD
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I was going to mention the zinc/acid problem and the change in case colour. My goal in cleaning is to remove as much carbon residue as possible without visible leaching. I polish the cases with superfine steel wool while they spin in my drill press. I check length and trim at the same time.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

Wow! A lot of work and time spent soaking, cleaning, and drying. I'll stay with my Lyman "Turbo" tumbler/vibrater.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I don't clean mine at all. They function just fine. They are either in the magazine or in the chamber where the light doesn't shine on them anyway.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

hear hear SlimJim my primer pockets get cleaned and thats about as far as my cleaning programme goes apart from maybe scrubbing off a little blood etc if its too bad, Ive never seen the need to get all fancy but shiny brass does look good.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

I tumble mine just to get the dirt and potential grit off of them to save wear and tear on dies. Having scratched a sizing die once (and I can only assume it was from grit) I'd rather be safe than sorry. I have always been a little suspicious of chemical cleaning agents and what effect they might have on brass life.

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

One good reason for shiny cases is that it makes finding them easier - maybe not so critical when hunting but some of the Practical Pistol courses I've shot have a air amount of vegetation to search through & bright brass stands out well.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Ultrasonic Cleaner Reply with quote

Clean shinny brass makes it easier to inspect too.

ByTheWay Mike...How was your trip?

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