Bronze Wool?


#1

Could use some info. I’m new to cartridge collecting ( 43 Mauser ) & was reading that you can use bronze wool to clean cartridges. What condition should the cartridge be to use bronze wool or use on any condition ???.
Neil


#2

Neil,
Bronze wool, while great for things like unpolished aluminum car parts, is pretty aggressive for cartridges. I have used newsprint, course kraft paper, and a product called “Never-Dull” that we used on military uniform parts for cartridges. To answer the question, I would recommend bronze wool ONLY on the most heavily tarnished or nearly “corroded” cartridges, not on just dirty or “old-looking” cartridges. Of course some collectors recommend against nearly any cleaning, and bronze wool is way up there on the scale of things to avoid. Just my two cents worth.


#3

Cleaning rounds is a personal preference. Collecting ammunition and accoutrements is similar to coin collecting. If one extensively cleans more than just the crud off an example, most collectors have lost interest in your item. There are a lot of different methods of cleaning to not detract value for resale or interest of others. Vodka or isopropyl alcohol is used by most collectors to remove crud. I have tried it and wood alcohols, but I prefer to use denatured alcohol. I have tried various agents over the years and even have some made up just for me by an acquaintance that owns a local chemical supply company. Denatured is the most reasonable and least toxic. Be very careful with primer annulus colors, neck sealant colors and the like, as it will easily remove dyes and lacquers in an instant. When using it to clean grime off lacquered cases, be very careful. Just gingerly wipe them briefly. If you want to remove the lacquer someone applied to a round that was not originally manufactured as such, denatured alcohol works very well and easy. Many people like Acetone. I could go on and on about why not to use acetone and why denatured Alcohol is better, but it is all opinion. Even though the US FDA approves the use of Acetone in the food we consume here in the good old USA, I do not feel it is as safe as denatured alcohol. Also, acetone tends to initiate a patina of its own over time from the residue it leaves. Clean a piece of raw brass from the hardware store with acetone and let it sit for a while and do the same with denatured alcohol, you will see what I mean. Some people, myself included, like to take some other undesirables off cartridges like extra patina (some patina is good, don’t get me wrong) and also removing verdigris. One method is to use EXTA FINE bronze wool. You can get is off ebay. Like $3 a pad. Has to be EXTA FINE! Do not be too aggressive with it and it will leave some micro scratching. If you are just reselling a round, I would never clean it up much, as let the new owner decide for himself what he likes. Some collectors polish the round up like a mirror with brasso or the like and even dip them in shellac or lacquer. You will find this is not the general consensus of what is desireable. Also I would never mess with to much at all, the exposed lead portion of a projectile, as if you polish it up at all, it will easily remove it’s patina, this is also a general dislike.
Hope this helps a bit, but read this cartridgecollectors.org/?page=guide#cleaning
Joe


#4

Joe’s advise is good, and please also do a “cartridge cleaning” search (click the magnifying glass logo upper right ). It’s an often asked question & the threads will provide others opinions and materials to use or not use.


#5

Thanks for the info. Vodka Will ask the wife If she can give me some of here Vodka so I can clean my cartridges. I would bet I know what her reply would be… This is the cartridge I was talking about U.M.C . Probably would not come clean.


#6

I would just leave it as is. It is to far gone.


#7

Sounds like a good idea. And thanks again every one for the info. Very helpfull.


#8

No ones going to give you anything for a cartridge in that shape. Leave it alone!


#9

If that was a Mk III 303 ball round in that condition and offered to me, I’d grab it so fast he would have a friction burn on his hand :)

However, I would leave it as it is. I mainly just clean off any loose stuff. I have some rounds that many would have tossed but I really like the colours.