Hull Cleaner

Dear Technoid,

Friend of mine uses Armoral[l] auto shine/cleaner to clean/lube hulls before reloading. He wipes each hull down with a cloth sprayed with the liquid. He claims that the reload press does not get dirty up inside the dies and they move though the press easier. Anyone else using this technique? Any other cleaner available that works better? I have tried his technique and it seems of marginal value to me.

Would appreciate your views.


Dear Phil,

Armoralling each hull? Wow, does you pal have some extra time on his hands. I suppose Armoralling it doesn’t hurt anything, but the plastic in most modern hulls has the lubricity built in. I don’t think that the value of the Armorall is in its lubricity as much as it is in it’s simple cleaning action.

The clean hull- dirty hull argument has been around for a long time. I once tried taking a bunch of dirty hulls and running them through the washer and dryer. The improvement in the hulls was marginal because most of that stuff is burned into the plastic. The response from my wife was not marginal in the least. I never knew that women felt so strongly about washers and dryers.

I put the hulls on top of the furnace to dry out. It wasn’t too hot, but it was just hot enough to loosen the seal between the plastic and the brass. I started to pull the brass when I used the hulls. Not a bright move.

I guess that it might make sense to wipe a hull down if it is covered with dried mud. You don’t want to get that into your reloader or your gun. Other than that I just shoot them and load them. The MECs, Ponsness Warrens and Pacifics I’ve used don’t seem to care one way or another. I’ve never noticed that the machines went more smoothly with new hulls or well used ones. Maybe I’m just insensitive. Correct that. I’m definitely insensitive, some might say insensate. See washer dryer incident above.

That said, I do take a quick glance at each hull before I reload it. I check for really bad splits at the neck or any split at all at the base just above the brass. I also tap the hull upside down once on my reloading bench to dislodge any pebble or chunk of clay target that might have gotten inside. This latter move is really helpful as some of my reloaders are hydraulics and they don’t have the same “feel” for obstructions as the manually operated ones do.

I think that the way you prep your hulls really has a lot to do with where you get them. If the hulls go directly from your gun to your pocket, they ought to be pretty clean. If the hulls are scavenged from a dusty or muddy field, then more personal attention makes sense. It really should be a crime to stick a dirty, gritty hull into the chamber of a really nice gun. You know some of that dirt is going to migrate into the action to gouge and scratch your little beauty. A quick wipe with a moistened rag might not be such a bad idea. We have the time now. Especially since that football season is over, baseball hasn’t started and TV only shows endless hours of underwear sports.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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