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topic 2271

Removing tarnish from handgun shell casings before reloading


The shooting team of my State Police has asked me to try and find a chemical dip to remove the tarnish from handgun shell casings before re-loading...any suggestions ?

Doug Littlefield


Dear Doug ,

there is a product sold by MacDermid , called ( or used to be ) K30 PR it was an excellent bright dip for copper & Brass


John Tenison-Woods
John Tenison - Woods
- Victoria Australia



Check with Macdermid, Waterbury Conn., for their Chemical Polish BCB. Contact Bob Griffin

Ray Delorey
- Cambridge, Ont, Canada


I have had good results cleaning stained brass using kettle cleaner.The type used to remove lime and scale buildup inside a tea kettle.After they have soaked for about an hour rinse them with HOT water and a bit of baking soda [linked by editor to product info at Amazon].After they have completely dried put them in a tumbler or shaker,and you will have brass that looks like NEW.

Robert Baxter
Thamesville Rev. Club - Mt. Brydges Ont. Can.


Several years ago I used to use a compound that was made up of white vinegar, salt, and powdered laundry salt. I don't remember the exact mixture (it was also mixed with warm water) I actually found this forum when looking for this recipe. But it worked very well as a pre-cleaning solution for dirty shell casings, in most cases it would remove any discolored oxides (the blacks, browns, and greens) without any trouble. It also removed much of the residue on the inside of the casings and left them a slightly dull color, but it was perfect for throwing into the tumbler and making them look all pretty. I will see if I can find or reproduce the recipe and get back to you. Let me know if you want a follow-up.


Andrew Van Lahr
- Glendora, California


Yay I found it: Here are the recipes for cleaning 'really dirty brass' :

1 quart of water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup laundry or dishwashing detergent
1/8 cup salt

1 pint of water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon laundry or dishwashing detergent
1 tablespoon salt

In either case, agitate every few minutes for 15-20 minutes, then remove and dry your brass. These cleaners tend to give the brass a pink hue, but will "shine right up" if you then polish them in a tumbler.

Hope this helps!

Andrew Van Lahr
- Glendora, California

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