Fellow Shooters - March 2015 | Top Rated Supplier of Firearm Reloading Equipment, Supplies, and Tools - Colt

Fellow Shooters - March 2015


Let's talk a bit about case cleaning this month. Case cleaning is a job that most handloaders do but don't enjoy much. Even so, if you take the time to carefully work up the most precise load possible for your rifle, it only makes sense to make sure old carbon and primer residue won't contaminate that new load. It's also easier to inspect cases for damage when they're clean, and clean ammo won't introduce nasty residue and gunk into your rifle's chamber.

The classic way to clean cases is with a vibratory tumbler and treated media, usually ground walnut shells or corn cob. This method consistently produces impressive results, but sometimes leaves bits of media and grunge inside the case or even lodged in a primer flash hole. A more-advanced take on this method is to use a Thumler's Tumbler with steel media and water mixed with Lemi Shine, or just plain soapy water. Many reloaders tell us that the Thumler gets cases absolutely brilliant, both inside and out.
 
Thumler's Tumbler
Thumler's rotary drum Tumbler with stainless steel
media is one way to get brass squeaky clean.
 
The downside of the tumbler method is that it can take a long time, up to 4 hours with the Thumler, and maybe as long as 8 hours with a traditional dry vibratory tumbler.

Lots of handloaders have found that ultrasonic cleaning or chemical cleaning can shorten the process. Ultrasonic and chemical cleaning typically won't give your cases that "factory-fresh" shine, but they'll get your cases plenty clean to make consistent, accurate handloads from them.
Ultrasonic Cleaners
Ultrasonic case cleaners use high-frequency sound waves to create millions of tiny cavitation bubbles in a fluid. Depending on what you are cleaning, this fluid might be plain tap water or a cleaning solution specially formulated to create a lot of bubbles. The tiny bubbles penetrate into every nook and cranny of the objects in the solution and power away dirt, grime, and anything else that might be sticking to the surface of the brass. Most cleaning solutions are very environmentally friendly, and the cleaners run very quietly and efficiently.
 
Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner
An ultrasonic cleaner uses sound waves to
provide the cleaning action.
 
Ultrasonic cleaning can be accomplished in only a few minutes. In fact, the longest part of the process is often waiting for the cases to dry out once you've rinsed them in a strainer to get all the solution off. One way to speed up the drying process is to spread the cases out on a cookie tray and put them into an oven heated to less than 200 degrees. The heat will evaporate the rinse water without affecting the brass itself.
 
Cases in Ultrasonic Cleaner
Cases going into an ultrasonic cleaner.
Chemical Cleaners
More and more handloaders are discovering the joys of chemical case cleaning. Think of it like ultrasonic cleaning without the specialized equipment and no high-frequency sound waves. Chemical cleaning is as simple as putting dirty cases into a bucket with a specially-formulated chemical cleaning solution and letting them soak for a while.
 
Cases Soaking
Cases soaking in chemical cleaner.
 
Iosso makes a non-toxic, environmentally-safe chemical case cleaning solution. After a short soak, rinse the cases in hot water, and dry them, either by letting them sit overnight, or using the low-heat oven method. The cleaning solution itself can be reused several times until it gets too dirty, when it can be simply poured down the sink.
 
Cases Rinsed
Rinse the cases thoroughly before setting them out to dry.
 
So it turns out case cleaning does not have to be all drudgery and tedious labor. The handloader has plenty of options to achieve the level of case-cleanliness he desires, without getting dishpan hands.
Team Sinclair Update
Our friend and Team Sinclair member Derek Rodgers recently accomplished an astounding feat at the Berger Southwest Nationals in February. Shooting the match as an individual, Derek won the F-TR class with an amazing score of 1234-56X.  The next highest score in F-TR was 1220-46X. What's more amazing is that Derek's 1234-56X would have taken Third Place in the F-Open class, only 2 points off Bob Sebold's F-Open winning tally of 1236-63X. Congratulations, Derek!
 
Derek Rodgers in Team Sinclair livery
Another time, another place:
Derek Rodgers in Team Sinclair livery.
 
If you'd like to learn a little about Derek's personal strategy for long-range rifle competition, check out his tips in the new Sinclair 2015-A Reloading & Shooting Catalog, hitting the streets in the next couple of weeks. Inside, you'll find more tips from Team Sinclair and some exciting new products we hope you'll like. Keep an eye on your mail box!
Spring Approaches
Even though Winter has only just loosened its grip here in the Midwest, the calendar officially says March, which means the first day of Spring warmer temperatures are fast approaching. Now's the time to get your guns and gear ready, so when the warm Spring sun finally dries out the range, you can enjoy one of those long afternoons we all love to spend at the range.
 
All The Best,

Sinclair International, Inc.