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Clean Your Reloadable Brass With Rice

It is a proven fact the clean reloading brass will work a hundred times better than dirty, as well as lead to far less equipment malfunctions commonly attributed to dirt and residue left on the brass. Foreign material in or on our cases can cause all kinds of problems. Damage to expensive reloading dies, damage to rifles, and various other issues can arise if proper care is not taken. One of the proven, and most commonly used, methods of doing so is tumbling the reloading brass clean using tumbling media, such as walnuts and corncob-based media. However, there’s one product that most of us have likely never considered using; Rice

Problems with traditional Media

One of the biggest concerns when using traditional media to clean reloading brass is the particles that tend to go airborne when separating the brass from the media. This residue is laced with all kinds of undesirable substances that have a negative effect on human health. The actual tumbling doesn't cause much of an issue, as most tumblers have sealed lids, but when it comes time to separate the media from the brass, this black soot becomes intermingled with the media and tends to go airborne as any other dust would.

Using Stainless Steel media poses issues, as well. On the front, the reloading brass comes out so clean you could drink out of it. The concern, however, is the dinged-up case necks. While this problem is remedied by loading more media and less cases, perfectly shaped and trimmed cases still come out dinged. Plus, there’s the issue of drying time.

Other cleaning method concerns
One of the latest technologies in cleaning reloading brass is called “ clenicultrasoni ng.” This essentially uses the power of ultrasonic transducers to literally explode the dirt off the surface of the brass. While it does get the brass exceptionally clean, there are a few concerns; one is that is becomes too clean.
What’s been noticed is that brass cleaned with this method is so clean that it effecynegativel ts the accuracy of precision rounds. Also, the chemicals added to the water are extremely harsh to the brass, and to humans, requiring an extra step of “deactivating” the cleaning agent to prevent the reloading brass from becoming etched. Another down side to this method is its low quantity threshold.

Using Rice as an alternative
Rice would seem like the furthest thing away from acceptable media when is comes to cleaning reloading brass. The truth is, rice is perfect. Rice is relatively hard and has some nice edges on it, allowing it to break through dust and debris. It also has absorptive qualities, which could help with removing sizing lubricant. Rice is ridiculously cheap, as well. Making it extremely cost effective.

As far as residue is concerned, rice produces little to none. Furthermore, there’s no risk of toxicity, making it perfectly healthy to use. Rice is nice and clean, without much in the way of "powder" in it. Plus, the amount you can use rivals that of the standard media, meaning you can work through large batches in no time.

One of the downsides, though minor, is the rice getting caught in the larger flash holes. Since rice is brittle, it is easily removed using an old decapping rod. This is a little inconvenience when you compare the money saved and how clean the reloading brass becomes. Giving the advancements of technology, this “old-timer” method is still better and more efficient at cleaning reloading brass than any of the alternatives. It’s amazing what you learn by trying new things.