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Chemical structure changing on a rifle brass cartridge

I am a upcoming competition shooter. I recognize everything has to do with miniscule details. I want to clean the carbon out of the inside of the spent cartridge. I would like to know If barrel carbon remover will change or weaken in any way the brass. Chemically or physically 

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Re: Chemical structure changing on a rifle brass cartridge

Cleaning the carbon residue from the inside of spent rifle cartridge cases is a common practice among competitive shooters, and it's generally safe to do so with the right approach. However, you do need to be cautious about the chemicals you use, as they can potentially impact the physical and chemical properties of the brass.

Here are some key points to consider:

Barrel carbon removers:

  • Many barrel carbon removers contain solvents, such as mineral spirits, acetone, or other strong degreasers.
  • These solvents can potentially weaken the brass over time by causing slight corrosion or embrittlement if left in contact with the brass for too long.

Physical changes:

  • Aggressive scrubbing or the use of abrasive materials (e.g., steel wool) to remove carbon can cause minor physical damage to the brass, such as scratches or thinning of the case walls.
  • This physical damage is generally not a major concern for competition shooting, as long as the case remains within the acceptable dimensional tolerances.

Recommended approach:

  • Use a brass-safe solvent or cleaning solution specifically designed for case cleaning.
  • Apply the solvent, let it sit for a short duration (following the manufacturer's instructions), and then gently scrub the inside of the case with a soft-bristle brush.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure of the brass to strong solvents or abrasive cleaning methods.
  • After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the cases with water or a mild cleaning solution to remove any residual solvent.
  • Dry the cases completely before reusing them.


It's important to note that the overall impact on the brass will depend on the specific cleaning products used, the frequency of cleaning, and the care taken during the process. As long as you use brass-safe cleaning methods and avoid excessive exposure to harsh chemicals or abrasion, the impact on the physical and chemical properties of the brass should be minimal.

It's always a good idea to consult with experienced competitive shooters or the manufacturer of your specific brass for their recommendations on the best cleaning methods to maintain the integrity of your cartridge cases.

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