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 Cleaning & Preparing Fired Cartridges... A Beginner's Guide

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Cerwyn (Site Admin)
Cerwyn (Site Admin)

Number of posts : 10778
Age : 59
Location / Country : North Wales
Registration date : 2008-07-20

PostSubject: Cleaning & Preparing Fired Cartridges... A Beginner's Guide   Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:58 am

Cleaning and Preparing Fired Cartridges

Arguably the biggest and most labourious chore we'll come accross, cleaning cartridges after firing has to be it!
The fact is though, that if your cartridges aren't cleaned properly and cared for, your model gun will not work properly.

This is a 9mm Marushin MP40/UZI cartridge after being fired once. If all th black soot and deposits aren't cleaned off imemediately the cartridge will corrode quickly and will not function properly.

There are a few different methods you can use, but I find this method the easiest and the least work so ....

Tools for the job are:

UltraSonic Cleaner

Polishing Machine

Step 1.

Dismantle your cartridges and discard the fired cap.
Remove any loose dirt and soot with a mascara brush

Step 2.

Place all the cartridge components into the UltraSonic Cleaner, then fill the basket with hot water and a little washing up liquid

Switch the Cleaner on and let it run. My machine runs in 3 minute bursts so I found that 3, 4 or so bursts plenty to get most of the dirt off.

You'll be surprised how dirty the cartridges are!

Sometimes it's worth changing the water and letting them run again

Step 3.

Pour the cartridges out through a kitchen sieve so you don't lose the internals down the plug hole... (Yes, I have lost a few parts before today)

Step 4.

Dry the cartridges on some kitchen roll or a towel. If you're in a hurry, blow dry them with a hairdryer

Step 5.

Place all the cartridge components into the Polishing Machine. Mine was designed to take 300 real brass cartridge cases so I have been putting anything up to 100 complete cartridges into it.

The polisher vibrates and tumbles the cartridges through a medium of crushed and treated walnut husks. Leave the machine on for a couple of hours while you get on with something more interesting.

Step 6.

Pour the contents of the polisher into a collender or similar and sieve the polishing compound out.

All the components will be highly polished and gleaming. I've found that rubber O rings used on MGC cartridges are undamaged by the polisher. If used every time, minor nicks and dents on Cartridge Rims are smoothed away but it obviously won't deal with more serious damage.

If you're storing them, a light spray of silicone oil won't go amiss.

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