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October 27th, 2016

No More Dirty Brass — How to Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Do you have some old, tired brass that needs a thorough cleaning — inside and out? Consider using an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.” Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.

Ultra Dry Necks After Ultrasonic Cleaning — Some Suggestions
The Ultrasonic cleaning process gets cartridge brass so “squeaky clean” that increased force may be required to seat your bullets, or they may “grab” as they go in the necks. To reduce bullet-seating effort, you may benefit from adding a little dry case lube inside the case-neck before loading (use a nylon brush). Another trick is adding a teaspoon of Ballistol lube to the cleaning solution. That provides a trace lubricant inside the necks, but does not interfere with powder ignition in any way.

The RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. The RCBS ultrasonic machine can be found under $140.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $50 purchase or $50 off $300.00 purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
May 5th, 2012

Lyman Releases New Large and Small Ultrasonic Cleaning Units

Lyman Ultrasonic Turbo®Sonic Cleaning machineLyman has introduced two new Turbo®Sonic Ultrasonic Cleaning units, a large 6.3-quart model TS-6000 and a smaller 23.6 oz. model TS-700. Along with the original mid-sized TS-2500 model introduced in 2011, Lyman now offers a full line-up of three (3) ultrasonic cleaning units: large, medium, and small. By most reports the TS-2500 worked well, so we expect the new TS-6000 and TS-700 will also handle ultrasonic cleaning duties well.

The large Model TS-6000 processes up to 1300 9mm cases or four handgun frames in less than 15 minutes (when the built-in heater is used). This workhorse is powered by two industrial-grade transducers and has an integral drain and hose for easy solution changes. The unit’s two-color LED display panel controls five different timed cleaning cycles.

The small-footprint Model TS-700 fits in tight spaces. This unheated model handles up to 100 9mm cartridge cases. The compact TS-700 can also clean parts such as dies, muzzle brakes, and mould blocks. Note: Lyman recommends using its Steel & Stainless Steel Solution for dies and other steel components. The TS-700 features oscillation circuitry and five (5) timed cleaning cycles.

The mid-sized TS-2500 model, with heated tank, shown below, process up to 900 9mm cases per cleaning cycle. Introduced in 2011, this product has been widely adopted by hand-loaders. The TS-2500 will clean cases inside and out, including primer pockets, in less than 15 minutes.

Lyman Ultrasonic Turbo®Sonic Cleaning machine

Lyman TS-6000 and TS-2500 Units Can Heat Solution for Faster Cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning machines employ ultrasonic cavitation to gently lift and dissolve carbon, dirt, lubricants, and other residues left on fired cases and small metal parts. Lyman’s TS-6000 and TS-2500 TurboSonic cleaning units feature tank heaters to warm the cleaning solution. Because ultrasonic cavitation works faster and better with a warm solution, Lyman claims its machines’ built-in heaters will speed up your cleaning job, by cutting processing time.

Lyman Cleaning Solutions (Three Types) — Lyman now offers its Brass Cleaning Solution and Steel & Stainless Steel Cleaning Solutions in 4 oz., 16 oz. and 32 oz. sized bottles. For even more versatility a new 16 oz. Jewelry Solution is available. For more information visit

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 1 Comment »