Brush with COPPER bristles


Can anyone tell me where I can find a brush with [color=#FF0000]COPPER[/color] bristles? I have tried everyone from my local hardware store, to my local gunshop, but nothing.
I even emailed Fuller Brush Company!! (No kidding)

A brush with [color=#FF0000]copper[/color] bristles would enable a person to “clean” a brass case of any major surface dirt or surface “crud” without scratching the case or altering the patina.

Any suggestions on locating this [color=#FF0000]COPPER[/color] bristled brush would be helpful.


R.A. Wegele, Jr.


I have never seen a small brush with copper bristles. My local hardware store always has the brass bristled version. If I need copper bristles, I just use a large rifle bore brush, such as a 50 caliber. It is awkward to hang on to, but it works. I have used brass bristles on my cartridges for many years. They work well and do not harm the natural patina. Brownells may have copper brushes. Good luck!


Bob, welcome to the forum!
I looked at Brownells and found no copper brushes there nor have I ever heard of them. I’ve always used brass wool myself. However, I do know copper scrubbers are available for cleaning pots in the kitchen and are available in grocery stores and the like. I’ve yet to try one on cartridges, they seem a bit course, but they are readily available. Here’s a picture of one we keep around the household scullery.


Be careful with those pot scrubbers. Some are not 100% copper. Make sure the package label says pure copper, not copper plated steel or something similar.

I use copper bore brushes screwed into the end of a pistol length cleaning rod. The larger the diameter, the longer the bristle thus, the “softer” the brush. A .22 or .30 caliber is pretty hard, .45 caliber is “medium” and a 12 guage shotgun sized brush is pretty soft. You can also use wire cutters to trim the brushes to get specific shapes to get into small areas. For 1-3 dollars each, it’s not a bad investment.



You can also use a product called Bronze Wool (very similar in appearance to steel wool) you should be able to find it at a hardware store or they should be able to order it for you. It comes in fine and medium grits. It works very well at removing grime without destroying the patina.


Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I have actually found a place that has copper bristle brushes. It is a ski shop in upper Wisconsin and the maker of the brush is TOKO ([color=#FF0000][/color]). From the aforementioned site you can find local dealers in your area. I have never skied in my life but from what the ski shop website says they use copper brushes since they are softer than brass to clean their skis prior to waxing. This is the last application that I would have thought of.
Thank you all again!

R.A. Wegele, Jr.


Chief Shotmeister makes mention of a place I hadn’t seen in a few. [color=#0000FF]Scullery[/color].

Good one Chief. I was one of the few that beat the Mess Decks duty requirement('cause I was special), saving me from a week in the aforementioned. I was blessed.


I soak my brass shells in a 2/3, 1/3 mix of vinegar and water for about 15-20 min. Cuts the propellant from inside the case and the crud from out side. Rinse them well and wipe off.


Just a few random ramblings.

I have never seen a copper bore brush. All that I am aware of are bronze.

Adding a dash of common table salt to a vinegar/water solution will speed things up.

R.A. - After all of your trouble in locating a copper brush, I think that you may be disappointed in the results. I use bronze wool and even it seldom removes much in the way of verdigris. Surface dirt or crud, yes. But plain old soap and water and a wash cloth will do the same thing.




Yes, of course you are correct. Bronze, not copper. But, why bronze and not copper? Are there exceptions? Surely some of the brushes in my cleaning kit look more copper than bronze…




My bet on bronze over copper is copper bends where bronze will have a little more spring to it, allowing for more scrubbing action. I’m sure all that tech talk will throw some off. DaveE’s an engineer or something, maybe he can 'splain it better.



Sure, throw me in…And just so you know, that “Engineer thing” only came about because I thought they were gonna let me drive a train.

There are a “bazillion” variations of copper and its alloys as far as mechanical properties go especially when including treatment processes. In very general terms, you have your “pure” copper, brass (cu alloyed with zinc, “cartridge” brass being 70/30%) and bronze (cu alloyed with tin, typically 95/5% and was sometimes used in U.S. one cent coins before 1982). As you pointed out, pure copper lacks the “springy” nature to work well as a brush bristle and is easily deformed to a new shape. Bronze bore brushes sound about right for the purpose at hand and you can get handles for them to make them easier to use than with a length of cleaning rod. (Inside neck lubricator for reloading). Brass brushes would likely allow for a more aggressive scrubbing for stubborn gunk.



A copper brush would not work and I have never seen one. Copper as a metal is too soft. I presume it is vernacular for a bronze brush of the bore scrubbing variety beloved by people like me with dirty barrels to clean. A similar brush resembling a large tooth brush and called a spark plug brush is available from car accessory shops.
On the subject of vernacular, scullery is an old (obsolete) word for kitchen originating from the North of England. Haven’t heard it used in many a year. My grandmother always referred to the kitchen as the scullery when i was a boy.



Scullery is a common word in the U.S. Navy. Mostly refers to the steam cleaning area where the dirty dishes are pre-washed prior to going through the washer. Was also where we cleaned all our filters. A hot, nasty job, if ever there was one. A very low seniority position.



Scullery is still a common term used by Sailors and Marines. In fact, we still use the term at the local Legion hall…