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29 Nov 2019
@ 08:48 pm (GMT)

Alistair Birrell

G'day folks,

To the point: Is brasso OK for polishing reloading brass?


My beginner reloading journey is going along great and I'm having heaps of fun. Thanks all for the recommendations. The Lee Hand Press is awesome. I've deprimed using a universal decapping die then cleaned the brass a bit in a bucket of water, dishwashing liquid and vinegar (it sits in the back of ute for a few days as I drive gravel roads). I've then FL sized, only sizing the shoulder back 3 thou off my once fired brass (I use a Blaser...) I'm now trimming as necessary using Nathan recommend setup of a Lee set in a cordless drill.

I didn't have a white poly pad handy for polishing the brass and the green scotchbrites seem a bit savage. Instead I had a bottle of brasso sitting around in the cupboard so I've put a little bit on a rag and am giving it a whiz in the drill before polishing it off immediately with a clean rag while in the drill. It works great and is a pretty quick and painless process.

I made the mistake of googling it and apparently brasso is the worst thing in the world to use. The ammonia will make your brass weaken and crack. Will this really happen if a tiny amount is applied on rag to the outside and then immediately polished off? Seems a bit extreme.

The next time I'm in a decent sized town I'll get a white poly pad but the brasso and rag seems to work a treat.

Interested to hear your experiences.


30 Nov 2019
@ 12:29 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Brasso
Hey Alistair. I read about Ammonia making brass brittle just the other day looking at gas pipe fittings, the soapy water used to check for leaks must be washed off to avoid brass from reacting

No Ammonia

Your BBQ valve and fittings are made from brass.

You must never use any soapy water solution that contains ammonia, when you do your testing.

Ammonia can cause brass to become brittle and crack.

Be aware that ammonia is found in many pre-prepared glass and surface cleaners, so make sure you read the label before use.
30 Nov 2019
@ 01:02 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Brasso
I use the green, brown, gray, maroon pads. Some are more aggressive than others, just use less pressure.
30 Nov 2019
@ 07:48 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Brasso
Oh I forgot to add....... If you make a case tumbler as some of us have you can add a drop of car polish to the cleaning media. I use crushed walnut shells. Some use fine chipped stainless steel. the car polish gets my cases super shiny.
01 Dec 2019
@ 05:14 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Brasso
Most auto supply stores have, or will order in, Autosol. Highly recommended.
01 Dec 2019
@ 08:49 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Brasso
Hi Alistair
I made a homemade tumbler and when I first started I used bit of brasso until I found same info like you.
I now use bit of nu finish car polish in with the media.

When I did it by hand I just used maroon or grey poly pads.

Not sure you'll ever notice any effect on brass using brasso but then again if theres better options why use it?
02 Dec 2019
@ 10:40 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Brasso
I F/L size and clean the primer pocket every firing (1 thou bump at best).

Then fit the brass into the case holder in my cordless then trim with the Lee trimmer. De-burred inside & out by hand, not spinning the drill. There is enough case lube (Imperial or Hornady wax) left from sizing to very lightly polish, running a clean rag up and down whilst slowly spinning up with the cordless drill.
If the case in ruffed up or marked run a fine steel wool or poly pad over it instead of the rag. Can be done very efficiently once you get the hang of it.

And one more thing to do is check the case rim, if its marked from the ejector or shell holders lightly run the poly pad around it by hand.
Never needed to polish cases using that method unless that's the look you want.
06 Dec 2019
@ 10:10 am (GMT)

Alistair Birrell

Re: Brasso
Thanks again folks. Appreciate the time taken and detailed responses.

I managed to get into town and tracked down a suitable poly pad. They come up pretty good and I'll check my OCD on the ultra shininess. The can of Brasso can go back in the cupboard...

07 Dec 2019
@ 03:28 pm (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Brasso
I used the pads to clean brass for a while then I made a tumbler and use stainless steel pins and pieces with a little dish detergent. I can do 100 7mm mag cases at a rip. They come out all shiny, primer pockets and inside the cases look new.

The cons: You need to check each case for the SS pins and pieces. I use a magnet. The cases need to be dried (dehydrator, oven, or hot sun).


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