Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Shotgun Ammunition Reloading.
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Scorpion8
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Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:00 pm

Got in a big bag of once-fired 12-GA Winchester AA red hulls, and a lot of them are, hmmmmmmm, quite dirty. Now if they were cartridge brass like any of the calibers that I shoot, I'd just toss 'em in the vibrator and tumble them overnight. There's a pretty big volume discrepancy between shot shell hulls and an equal number of rifle or pistol brass. So...... what's the best way to clean them up? I was thinking (a) small batches in the tumbler (pro: already have it, con: would take awhile), or (b) put into a mesh bag in the dish washer (pro: already have it, con: wife would be the beneficiary of my life insurance once she hid my body), or (c) put into a tub outside with dish detergent and swish them around a bit outside (pro: already have the stuff, con: it's winter in Alaska so it's friggin' cold right now and the hoses aren't hooked up), or finally (d) I have no option d.

Thoughts? What does anybody else do, or do you even need to do anything besides my OCD for making my reloads look spiffy?
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John A.
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by John A. » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:49 pm

You know, now that you mention it, I've never cleaned a shotshell that I have reloaded. Least not like I do brass.

If they're terrible and have mud and other stuff caked in them, I just put those in the trash and reload the others. This makes sense for me because I get a lot of mine for free that I just bend over and pick up anyway, so I'm not out anything either way.

But I've never cleaned my hulls.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
-John A.

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Scorpion8
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:22 am

John A. wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:49 pm
You know, now that you mention it, I've never cleaned a shotshell that I have reloaded. Least not like I do brass.
Nah, just dark powder residue. No dirt or mud. Just doesn't seem smart to stick residue into a barrel that you try to keep powder foulding and residue out of....
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efriedrich
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by efriedrich » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:45 am

Scorpion8 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:00 pm
(b) put into a mesh bag in the dish washer (pro: already have it, con: wife would be the beneficiary of my life insurance once she hid my body)
Take your lovely bride out to dinner while the dish washer is running..

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Synchronizor
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by Synchronizor » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:07 am

I don't really clean shotshells. If they're really nasty-looking, as if they've been sitting out in the elements for awhile, I won't bother with them. Sunlight & weather breaks down the plastic in hulls, and for two-piece hulls that have a separate base-wad, water getting in there can make the base-wad come loose, with a number of potentially bad effects. This goes especially for two-piece hulls with cardboard or fiber base-wads; I won't even touch those if I didn't see them hit the ground myself.

I'm more comfortable buying unibody hulls like the Remington STS or Federal Gold Medal from random garage sales or digging them out of garbage cans. I'll still pass on them if they look too weathered or abused, but small amounts of rust or tarnish are acceptable. For those hulls, steel wool works well for quickly shining up the metal cups and cleaning out primer pockets.

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Scorpion8
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:08 am

Synchronizor wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:07 am
I don't really clean shotshells....
Perhaps I need to mentally adjust to this new reality. I can put my OCD away for awhile. But the wife would soon discover my dishwasher useage allowance was being exceeded otherwise....
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Scorpion8
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Re: Cleaning Shot Shell Hulls

Post by Scorpion8 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:51 am

Was doing some research on this topic, and found a thread identical on Trapshooters.com. The OP was wondering the same thing. Responses ran the horizon from outright indignation at anybody who would do this, to "why not" shoulder shrugs. And everything in between. Down to one guy who rubbed each newly reloaded shell with Lemon Pledge(R). Okay. My OCD pales in comparison....
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