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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Professor Marvel)  |  Topic: cleaning bp shells 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: cleaning bp shells  (Read 1746 times)
LonesomePigeon
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« on: July 02, 2017, 12:29:21 am »


I just learned that when you shoot black powder you should put the empty shells into some water to prevent corrosion. I had about 20 empty shells, that were fired with black powder and I did not put them in water. They sat in a bag for a few weeks before I cleaned them. How bad is this? Are these dangerous to reload? They are all mixed in with a bunch of other shells that were only used with smokeless. I'd hate to have to toss the whole bunch just because of those 20 shells but I guess I will if I have to.
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greyhawk
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 05:20:42 am »

Take a good look inside you might be able to pick them out - otherwise go ahead n use em - learn the lesson though! Just dunk em in a soda bottle of water, shake em up, renew the water, let em sit for a bit then dry -- its about chemistry, BP residue is salts that attract moisture and activate to corrode metal, takes a while to do real harm - however if you using substitute powder - pyrodex and co - some of these have perchlorate in the makeup and its way more corrosive than real BP residue - cleanup after BP does not take long - its more about getting into the habit of doing it pronto.   
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August
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 10:01:53 am »

Likely they're O.K. if you shot them with black powder.  If, however, you used a black powder substitute, they are probably toast by now.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 10:16:37 am »

Not    Necessarily     TRUE.  However .....

There are some "Old Wives Tales" that just refuse to die.  Or even just go away.   Shocked

I am always amazed at the BP shooters whom are frantically searching for their jug of soapy water to immediately immerse their obviously contaminated cartridge cases in.  Most of the time I just chuckle quietly as I walk by.

Some times it days before I clean my BP and Subs cases.  A.  I'm lazy and B.  I forget.  Regardless, at a match I just toss my brass in my cartridge bag and don't worry about it.  It's not about to suddenly dissolve.  After I get home (next day - next week) I dump my brass inna sink with warm water and fair amount of WHITE VINEGAR.  Soak for half our.  Rinse.  Dry.  Tumble for about an hour (unless I forget).

Where was I ......... Oh yea......

Don't panic if your not diligent with your fired cases.  Not gonna dissolve.  May not look pretty, but their just fine. 

Oh yea, and I also suggest if your shooting a Toggle Link rifle with a Brass Carrier Block, Pull the carrier block and put it in to soak with the brass.  Tumble it too.  Just don't use smokeless solvents on it first.

Coffinmaker
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 11:22:37 am »

This forum is a great source of knowledge, thank you.
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pony express
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 12:56:04 pm »

I used to use Pyrodex for my shot shells, and if not cleaned immediately (and sometimes in spite of immediate cleaning) it would cause rust on the "brass colored" steel heads of the shot shells. Used Pyrodex because I could get it real cheap on clearance at Wally World back then. Used brass colored steel head shotshells instead of real brass, because I was shooting a 16 and you had to use whatever you could get, usually the cheap black plastic Remington ones.
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Scattered Thumbs
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 03:41:06 pm »


Oh yea, and I also suggest if your shooting a Toggle Link rifle with a Brass Carrier Block in .45 Colt, Pull the carrier block and put it in to soak with the brass.  Tumble it too.  Just don't use smokeless solvents on it first.
if it's chambered in one of the original cartridges you can do it once in a while if you are really anal about it


Coffinmaker

There, I've fixed it for you.  Grin
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 11:15:13 pm »

Or just never clean the carrier block more than just wiping it down with ballistol and water. If you are using WCF cartridges all it does is stain it and make it the mustard color it's supposed to be.

I've forgotten about brass for a week or so and had it turn blue on the ends and just cleaned it up and used it. Once tumbling with stainless pins you can't tell it from the rest of the brass.
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 12:11:34 am »

Given the relatively short time you've neglected them, you shouldn't have any trouble.  I, too, missed the information about cleaning one's brass appropriately when I first started loading BP, and I had some cases that sat for many, many months like that--perhaps over a year.  They were pretty cruddy when I finally tumbled them, and they got mixed into the other cases.  To this day, I'll encounter an occasional case body split, which I attribute to one of those cruddy cases that was weakened by neglect and then mixed up with my other brass.  As the incidents have decreased significantly over the years, I think they've just about culled themselves out.
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wildman1
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 08:06:43 am »

Given the relatively short time you've neglected them, you shouldn't have any trouble.  I, too, missed the information about cleaning one's brass appropriately when I first started loading BP, and I had some cases that sat for many, many months like that--perhaps over a year.  They were pretty cruddy when I finally tumbled them, and they got mixed into the other cases.  To this day, I'll encounter an occasional case body split, which I attribute to one of those cruddy cases that was weakened by neglect and then mixed up with my other brass.  As the incidents have decreased significantly over the years, I think they've just about culled themselves out.
If you DON'T forget to clean your cases after you shoot BP you will still get an occasional split case.
Even with smokiless.
wM1
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Mean Bob Mean
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 08:32:09 am »

I leave some water jugs with a tad (small amount now) of soap in them in the van.  These get warm in there and you toss your cases in before you go home.  The drive home sloshes them around.  Rinse off at home then cleaning process as desired.  As noted, that day, next or who cares.  Best of everything to you. 
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pony express
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 08:42:13 am »

Oops, when I read the OP's post, I read shells, but assumed shotshells.

I usually used 777 in my .45 Colt loads for my '66, again because of Wally World's clearance sales, and no local source for the real stuff. I always used a bottle of warm water and dish soap, and they still turned black.

I use the real powder in my 45-70, and it seems much more forgiving about cleaning brass.
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Fingers McGee
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 11:13:57 am »

Not    Necessarily     TRUE.  However .....

There are some "Old Wives Tales" that just refuse to die.  Or even just go away.   Shocked

I am always amazed at the BP shooters whom are frantically searching for their jug of soapy water to immediately immerse their obviously contaminated cartridge cases in.  Most of the time I just chuckle quietly as I walk by.

Some times it days before I clean my BP and Subs cases.  A.  I'm lazy and B.  I forget.  Regardless, at a match I just toss my brass in my cartridge bag and don't worry about it.  It's not about to suddenly dissolve.  After I get home (next day - next week) I dump my brass inna sink with warm water and fair amount of WHITE VINEGAR.  Soak for half our.  Rinse.  Dry.  Tumble for about an hour (unless I forget).

Where was I ......... Oh yea......

Don't panic if your not diligent with your fired cases.  Not gonna dissolve.  May not look pretty, but their just fine. 

Coffinmaker

+1 to what CM said.  Sometimes it's a couple weeks before I wash my BP brass in hot water & Dawn. 
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Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
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"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce
greyhawk
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 10:22:46 pm »

+1 to what CM said.  Sometimes it's a couple weeks before I wash my BP brass in hot water & Dawn. 

Hey
Fingers and Coffinmaker
Thats ok for you guys that remember to do it in a couple of weeks (or whatever), some of us ifn we dont do it pretty soon - well forgot is forgot at my place and it tends to be permanent - months later you stumble opon this bean can or baggie full of bluegreen corroded brass - lurking in some dark corner of the place -- jeez ! I wonder where that came from? forgot all about that lot eh?.......what the newbies need to get is at some point it is necessary to do this...You guys think sooner is not better than later? I disagree.
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Fingers McGee
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 10:38:09 pm »

Hey
Fingers and Coffinmaker
Thats ok for you guys that remember to do it in a couple of weeks (or whatever), some of us ifn we dont do it pretty soon - well forgot is forgot at my place and it tends to be permanent - months later you stumble opon this bean can or baggie full of bluegreen corroded brass - lurking in some dark corner of the place -- jeez ! I wonder where that came from? forgot all about that lot eh?.......what the newbies need to get is at some point it is necessary to do this...You guys think sooner is not better than later? I disagree.

I did say sometimes.  My normal procedure is to wash/rinse my brass when I get home after a match.  For a local match, it's the same or next day.  If a major away match, it may be four or five days before I get around to it.  As CM put it, they're not gonna dissolve if you don't drop them in a jug of cleaning solution when you leave the firing line.
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Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
SASS Regulator 28654 - LTG; NCOWS 3638
AKA Man of many Colts; Diabolical Ken's alter ego; stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer; Rangemaster
Founding Member - Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Member - Southern Missouri Rangers; Moniteau Creek River Raiders, The Ozarks Posse, Butterfield Trail Cowboys
NRA Endowment Life: GOA; CCRKBA; SAF; SV-114 (CWO4 ret); STORM 327

"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce
Coffinmaker
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 03:50:07 pm »

PLUS ONE to Fingers.

Greyhawk has missed my point.  Wait till I poke him wid da really sharp one  Grin   The routine for me is the same as Fingers.  It is important to get use to cleaning your cases, just as it is to clean your guns.  However, if you don't get to it 15 minutes after you walk in the door, not to panic.  There is time.

I have developed a fool proof method to remind myself to wash my cases.  I set my cartridge bag on the Toilette Seat Lid.  Makes the little Baggie a little hard to miss.  Well, it's a good sized Baggie.  When you shoot All Brass shotgun hulls, it can be a fair size pile of cases.  And, the sink is right next to da toilette.  Handy it is.

Coffinmaker

PS:  Kinda gives new meaning to the term "Powder Room" don't it  Roll Eyes 
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greyhawk
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 05:34:35 pm »

PLUS ONE to Fingers.

Greyhawk has missed my point.  Wait till I poke him wid da really sharp one  Grin   The routine for me is the same as Fingers.  It is important to get use to cleaning your cases, just as it is to clean your guns.  However, if you don't get to it 15 minutes after you walk in the door, not to panic.  There is time.

I have developed a fool proof method to remind myself to wash my cases.  I set my cartridge bag on the Toilette Seat Lid.  Makes the little Baggie a little hard to miss.  Well, it's a good sized Baggie.  When you shoot All Brass shotgun hulls, it can be a fair size pile of cases.  And, the sink is right next to da toilette.  Handy it is.

Coffinmaker

Nah didnt miss the point at all ! Pretty much foller your system (or who is follerin who ? I started shootin black in 1965 --my dad was goin to the city and he brought me back 5 pound of it in his briefcase on the DC3) .....however I have on occasion stumbled onto those little caches of shells that that I just clean forgot about - many months down the track - they are not pretty by then .... yeah a week or two is ok - can even do it with a gun in our dry environment - but I put a CVA back on the rack one time and forgot it - not a good result! I got that barrel back shooting ok with steel wool and cutting compound and still use it in offhand matches but put my endoscope light down it a few days ago ............not a pretty picture at all - the muzzle end is ok but down the hole eeeeerk .
Pleased to read you are not seriously constipated!
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2017, 08:12:44 pm »

Do you folks realize just how much fun this place is when everybody has a sense of HUMOR!!  Gotta LOVE it!!

Coffinmaker
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greyhawk
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 06:56:02 pm »

Coffinmaker
Thanks! ..... I figure if I live to be really,really, really ------really old - I got 40 years (maybe kiddin me self that makes 108) anyway it will disappear way too fast - I have got a lot of good information here and a couple other forums I read - its let me succeed at doin things I otherwise might not have got done so easy. Saved a lot of head bangin I reckon - thing I like about you guys is you give it out (superior knowledge) without talkin down - thats pretty rare these days. The fun stuff is workin the same, its not at the other guys expense - thats an even rarer thing..........
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Abilene
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 08:47:48 pm »

A bit off topic but still regarding cleaning brass -
A lot of folks say that your brass doesn't need to be shiny to reload and function, just needs to be clean.  This is true.  However, my main posse duty has always been brass picking and I can tell you that you will get more of your brass back if it is shiny!
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Fingers McGee
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 12:05:16 pm »

I put a CVA back on the rack one time and forgot it - not a good result!

I had a similar experience with a .50 Caliber  CVA Hawken that I had been shooting Pyrodex out of.  Was at a large rendezvous and finished the days shooting and set the rifle in the rack in my tent.  Got involved in social activities that night and didn't clean the rifle.  when I went to swab the bore, prior to reloading for the days shooting, the patch came out the prettiest shade of reddish brown you ever saw.  Took a while to get it clean enough to load, and fortunately suffered no lasting damage.  Haven't used Pyrodex in anything since. 

FM
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Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
SASS Regulator 28654 - LTG; NCOWS 3638
AKA Man of many Colts; Diabolical Ken's alter ego; stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer; Rangemaster
Founding Member - Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Member - Southern Missouri Rangers; Moniteau Creek River Raiders, The Ozarks Posse, Butterfield Trail Cowboys
NRA Endowment Life: GOA; CCRKBA; SAF; SV-114 (CWO4 ret); STORM 327

"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce
Doug.38PR
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« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2017, 10:17:58 am »

I use American Pioneer Black Powder substitute a lot.

Put the shells into cup, pour about 1/4th white vinegar and 1/2 water and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  You will see the Black Powder fizzle off the shell.   Afterwards they should be clean as a whistle
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2017, 03:27:35 pm »

I had a really nasty experience with a .50 Caliber myself.  Horrible.

Oh, Wait ...... Mine was Ma Duce.  Inappropriate topic.  Sorry  Shocked   (not)

Coffinmaker
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