A Trick For Stubborn Carbon Removal

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz

Christmas is past, New Year’s has come and gone so now what is there is look forward to… Spring?  Could it be brass prep for the upcoming season?  Probably not you say.

Match season is almost upon me and typically I have left detailing my brass for a “better time.”  Actually there is no “better time.”  The time to detail brass is when you have time and are in the mood, but it has to be done so you might just as well get started.  I have discovered some shortcuts to help boost production and I’d like to pass one along.

One of those shortcuts involves stubborn carbon deposits on the case necks.

Recently I was cleaning some 6×47 cases in a Lyman vibratory tumbler using nutshell media.  After a couple of hours I checked on the cases and they were nice and shiny BUT I still had some carbon on the necks.

Bore-Tech-C4-Carbon-RemoverThere just happened to be a bottle of Bore Tech C4 Carbon Remover nearby. Being familiar with how well this product works in a barrel I wondered why it wouldn’t work just as well on these unsightly carbon stains on my precious Lapua cases.  After reading the label carefully I knew there was no brass killing ammonia present so I wet a shotgun patch with a small amount of C4 and wiped a case neck with it and the carbon disappeared.  It was so effortless I wasn’t positive there was any carbon present.  Even though I knew there was carbon on that first case I purposely picked one I was certain had major carbon stains.

Not only did light finger pressure remove the carbon but the anneal marks as well.  My case necks are now carbon free, clean and polished.  Carbon removal is no longer the chore it used to be.

I have a couple of other ideas to try out that might streamline this even more but I need another month or so to report my findings.  Stay tuned and we’ll see where this goes.

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1 Response to A Trick For Stubborn Carbon Removal

  1. Gerald says:

    I am in the habit of using a very fine steel wool, by hand, to clean carbon off necks. I often clean the cartridge after reloading with alcohol to take off the lubes. I am not sure if lube left on or taken off affects the cleaning of the necks. Also not sure if helps the brass seal to the chamber. I keep my chambers clean. Final step is usually a alcohol swab. Since using the steel wool method I no longer have carbon creeping past the neck. I am also going to try cleaning the necks just after shooting, while the brass is warm. Kleenex has worked , so if I remember very fine steel wool next time, it will have to work even better. This will also give my firearm more time to cool, and I will take more time to inspect my brass. I have used Brasso as well, works crazy fast. I avoid tumbling, other than to reclaim real ugly stuff. If I reload a few more years I will qualify as an amateur.


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