Saving cartridges

Hello my friends
What do you do to clean & save your cartridges from tarnish and keep them shinny.
I tried cleaning them by ketchup :) . Then spray with satin spray (varnish). Is that a good idea or you have some better idea?.

I don’t clean cartridges, I think a cartridge looks better with an age patina. Doesn’t add to the value of the cartridge polishing off the years old patina, more likely to devalue the cartridge. Wait for other collectors to add their thoughts.

I agree with TonyG. If a specimen has actual scaly crud on it, though, I use a small wire brush with soft brass bristles to carefully clean the residue. I don’t brush and buff the whole cartridge, just the thick stuff. The brass bristles do a swell job on the green stuff without affecting the normal patina of the rest of the cartridge.

Avoid the ketchup. The cleaning you’re noticing is the vinegar in it. That acid can harm the cartridges over time. Also varnishing is looked down upon as well.

I give mine a wipe down with a cloth and then apply wax. Read the guide to ammunition collecting on the home page, right side link, to learn more.

Started collecting at age 10. In my youth I would put a buffing wheel on a 1/2" grinder and make them shine like they never did when new. After a decade of ruining many antique cartridges and knives, I learned there is beauty in a well aged item. No longer do I do anything but stop corrosion or rust. That being said, the best 45-75 in my collection was is such a state of “crud” I actually threw it away, twice. The last time I retrieved it, my thinking was, I would clean it up and give it as a gift to a new collector. Dang it cleaned up nice.

Wipe them down gently with an oily cloth. That’s it. You want to preserve their originality, appearance, and any color markings. NEVER use varnish!

by polishing a cartridge you remove slight and sometimes significant tool marks and coloring due to processes original to the manufacture, for instance neck anneal.

If you were to refinish an old car, or whatever, is it still original?

When you spray them that coating adds the the actual size & so when and if you do measure it, you get a false reading.

That said cartridges you own are yours do do with as you see fit, even shoot them. But unless really rare don’t expect top dollar for them when you decide to trade or sell them.

patina is important.

I do clean the surface crud off as it will effect others in the same close area if left. I work carefully on just the crud & try not to remove original coloring next to the effected area. A brass tool with a sharp edge is carefully & gently worked will clean the white crud. Green crud is Verdigris & it can be scraped away with a finger nail and although it will leave a bright area it will soon tone down to not be so bright in contrast to the rest of the cartridge.

Terry Castle wrote an article on how-to in the Australian Journal not too long ago.

thank you all guys . but still interesting in polishing & varnishing . i think i have different hobby it more in collecting samples of each size and each manufacturer.