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Cleaning Old Hulls

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by bubba68, May 18, 2011.

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  1. bubba68

    bubba68 Member

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    Have the opportunity to get a good quantity of once-fired, old style AA hulls at little or no cost. Problem is they have been stored for a couple decades in a garage and/or attic. They are in excellent shape, except the base on several of the hulls have some corrosion.

    Here's my question: Do any of you have experience with the best/quickest way to clean the bases?

    My first thought was emery paper and doing it by hand. My other thought was to put a soft metal brush on the bench grinder and run them over the brush one by one.

    No matter what, I know there is going to be some effort and time involved, but given the quality of the hulls, it would be worth it.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. Russ-in-Pa

    Russ-in-Pa Well-Known Member

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    If the corrosion is just on the surface, and not pitted, load and shoot.

    If they are pitted deeply, I would not want to load and use them, clean or not.
     
  3. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    I'd try some steel wool or whatever you use for your pots and pans and use it dry as possible but still flexible. If to heavily pitted just toss those few. I had some just like yours in the subguages, so it was worth my time. All I needed was a smooth surface, don't mind the corroded look as long as its smooth. I believe I used a light coating of Rem oil or simular and sprayed the pad down every dozen or so. Made if abit easier and helped stop future rusting. Have fun. and Break-em all. Jeff
     
  4. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Tarnished brass can be cleaned with a solution of citric acid. I purchase powder form sellers on EBay.

    A solution made from 2 teaspoons of the powder per quart of HOT water does a good job.

    I have never done hulls but it works well on brass cases.

    Don Verna
     
  5. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Don, Now you reminded me of boat cleaning in the old days. I believe it was lemon or lime juice they used to clean the very popular brass items on boats in saltwater. It think it was lemon though. It will not polish up and make the brass look nice, as most boaters like to see today. Break-em all. Jeff
     
  6. Sam (ATA Noobie)

    Sam (ATA Noobie) Member

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    Lemi-Shine is the holy grail of citric acid cleaners in the metallic reloading world. I've used it with mixed success.

    Why couldn't you use a regular tumbler? SHould clean the brass right up.
     
  7. bubba68

    bubba68 Member

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    Sam,

    I don't have a tumbler, but if I did it would take forever. I have a friend that reloads metalic and runs his brass for about 8 hours to get them clean. These would need every bit of that much time given the amount of corrosion. Plus, you could only get a handful of AAs in a tumbler for each run.

    Thanks for the ideas - sounds like steel wool would work pretty well.
     
  8. SeldomShoots

    SeldomShoots Active Member

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    bubba,

    I have some experience using fine steel wool as Jeff suggested. It works pretty good, but your fingers and hands may get a little sore. I also considered using something like Flitz and a cloth buffing wheel. But I didn't have enough "roughies" to go to that trouble.

    Good luck, John
     
  9. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

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    Even if there is corrosion on the brass, it is no where near as hard as your chamber. These are brass bases not brass plated steel. The brass on a AA hull is not even needed except for headspacing and a good hold on the primer anyway. Give 'em a wipe and load em.

    JK
     
  10. AEP

    AEP Member

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    I throw mine in the wash machine with some large shop towels. I then add what ever clothes soap the wife has purchased and add, about 1/4-1/2 cup of "Aluma Prep" by 3M. Set the wash machine on warm or hot water and let it rip. Those hulls come out shinning. If the tarnish is real bad it will improve it but won't make it all go away. For those shells that are really bad take a plastic pan. Add water to cover the hull, then add 1/2 cup of Aluma Prep. Place the hulls with the brass down and the mouth of the hull standing up. That should do it.

    Note: This is all done in a front loader wash machine. The towels help with the cleaning.

    For drying I put the hulls in the dryer on that tray for drying shoes. Set the heat on LOW. Do not set on med or high. The hulls will deform.

    Andy
     
  11. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    Good lord! Just load them and shoot them. It's not going to hurt anything. If you just "want" the brass to look good, I would suggest an SOS pad. Good luck!
     
  12. bubba68

    bubba68 Member

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    Jeff, no, I don't just want the brass to look good. I worry that the corrosion may not allow the shell to seat completely in the chamber. And, I don't mind spending a little time to clean those up versus trashing them.

    I am getting these for little or no cost - and there are thousands of them. So, a little work one time for some inexpensive, good-quality hulls that should last me for years is more than worth the work.

    Thanks all for the suggestions! I have a few ideas to run with.
     
  13. below 0

    below 0 TS Member

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    Try useing a Scotch Brite pad...Works great and leaves no residue..Odie
     
  14. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    Put some Tarn-X in a pan, grab 4 or 5 hulls in one hand and swish the bases in it then rinse, let dry.

    I won't "polish" them, but the corrosion will be gone!


    http://www.jelmar.com/TarnXbasic.htm
     
  15. gun1357

    gun1357 Active Member

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    I have been told to just throw them in the washing machine with the wife's unmentionables. It would sure save wear and tear on the shop towels. Ron
     
  16. bubba68

    bubba68 Member

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    Gun1357 - Let me guess...you're not married!? ;-)
     
  17. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Borrow a concrete mixer from a lead maker or brass reloader.
     
  18. shooterIII

    shooterIII Member

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    GOOD GRIEF: LOAD IM AND SHOOT IM !!!!!!!
     
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