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Homemade cleaner for brass cartridge cases

Updated April 17, 2017

Cartridge cases are the outer sheath of firearm ammunition that contains the bullet, gunpowder, and primer. After ammunition is discharged, the cartridge cases are leftover. If used brass cartridge cases are collected, they can be reused in the assembly of new ammunition. Cleaning and polishing the used brass cartridge cases is a vital step in the process of recycling ammunition. This is done in order to remove debris and irregularities from the spent cartridges before they are assembled back into live ammunition. A case tumbling medium is used in a tumbler to clean the brass cartridge cases. While some ready-made case tumbling mediums are available for purchase, you can also make your own with everyday household ingredients.

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  1. Combine two pounds yellow or white cornmeal, one cup of plain table salt, a quarter cup of cornstarch, and five to six blocks of two inch by two inch wood into a four gallon bucket.

  2. Mix the ingredients with your hands until they are well-blended.

  3. Place the lid on your bucket and store it in dry place until the next time you need to clean brass cartridges.

  4. Tip

    Put a label on your bucket to make sure its not mistaken for something different.


    Make sure the lid on your brass cartridge cleaner is securely fastened. If it is exposed to moisture, it may clump together or gather mould. Also, some cats are known to mistake brass cartridge cleaner for litter.

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Things You'll Need

  • Two pounds yellow/white corn meal
  • One cup of plain table salt
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • Five or six blocks of wood, measuring two inches by two inches
  • Four gallon bucket with lid

About the Author

Evan Fulford has a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in psychology from Wayne State University in 2008. He has been writing academically for over six years on topics including mental illness, social policy, linguistics and political science.

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