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Old 08-05-2017, 03:26 PM
Pondoro Pondoro is offline
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So I've reloaded pistol rounds for years. Bought a 223 and shot it for the first time today. Of course I picked up the empties.

Do people tumble them? Does the cleaning media get into those tiny necks?

I always pick up my brass and clean it, but I don't plan to reload 223 soon. Just save it for a rainy day.

What I do with pistol brass is 1) wash with soapy water, 2) rinse, 3) let it dry, 4) deburr, 5) tumble 6) bag for later

I do this for the stuff I reload (32, 38, 357, 44, 45) and also for 380 and 9 MM, though I've yet to reload any of those. That way all the brass in my house is "ready to go."
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:50 PM
MichiganScott MichiganScott is offline
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I've tumbled everything I have shot for years with dry media, including thousands of .223.

One of the best purchases I've ever made. RCBS case/media separater.

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Old 08-05-2017, 03:52 PM
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Skip the soapy water wash, it will take your cases too long to dry. Just tumble for a couple of hours to clean and shine, separate the media, and save your brass for reloading. I've saved tumbled brass for 2 years before reloading without problems. Some of the shine is gone, but that is not a problem for me.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:06 PM
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I've never washed brass, just tumble with corn cob media and a capfull of Rooster brand brass polish. I have some brass cleaned up several years ago but not reloaded yet, no problem. Clean and dry and ready to load.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:17 PM
Johnrh Johnrh is offline
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I've never deburred a pistol case and I've shot the same cases for so many times I couldn't count. Waste of time.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:40 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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If you aren't going to reload 223, just put the brass in a zip-lock bag. When it is full trade or give to a friend that will. While everybody enjoys free brass, rifle shooters like to treat the brass in there own system.

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Old 08-05-2017, 09:06 PM
otisrush otisrush is offline
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When I was dry tumbling (now I wet tumble) i once tumbled my .223 in corncob media and forever regretted it. The corncob media was just the wrong size. It got stuck inside the case and the primer pockets.

From that point forward I'd do .223 in crushed walnut media. And my pistol rounds went in corncob. (Since, in my experience, corncob did a better job of shining up the cases.) But from a pure cleanliness perspective, walnut media was just fine.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:45 PM
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I always wash my brass. In the summer I set it outside in the sun to dry. In the winter I put it in the oven at 180 for an hour then let it sit until it's cool. I polish with walnut media prior to sizing and decapping.

If you size and decap prior to polishing you can run the risk of the walnut blocking the flash holes. That can cause problems.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:49 PM
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If you wet wash/clean, you need to decap 1st to do it right & let the primer pockets dry. If you dry tumble, my preference, then you leave the spent primer in. Yes the media can stick inside the small necked 223, but just tapping the case usually frees it up.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:05 AM
TjB101 TjB101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondoro View Post
Do people tumble them? Does the cleaning media get into those tiny necks?

I was worried about that too... I wet tumble my 223's and dry in a dehumidifier. I've tried with and without ss pins. Pins with a little tough removing from the cases.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:30 AM
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Some very good info above. Corncob kernels at times do wedge into the flash holes. I now also wet tumble 223. Below is a picture of military range brass which needed cleaning before I even began processing. Primers were left in at this stage and no stainless pins used. Just brass, Dawn and some lemon shine. All the brass gets dried in a food dehydrator (3 hours @ 115 F). As for removing the stainless pins when used, the Frankford arsenal quick and easy tumbler rotating 1/2 submerged in water does an excellent job. As I rotate it the water flushes all the pins out. Very pleased with the wet process.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:11 AM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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Quote:
pondoro wrote:
Do people tumble them?
What I do is:
  • Inspect the brass, removing any damaged, corroded or obviously unsevicable cases.
  • Decap the brass using a universal decapping die.
  • Wash the brass in a solution of dishwashing detergent and 1 teaspoon of Leni-Shine in a quart of hot water
  • Agitate the brass for about 30 seconds every five minutes for a total of about fifteen minutes. This citric acid solution is much stronger than most people who wet tumbler use, so don't exceed 15 minutes.
  • Rinse the brass thoroughly in hot water.
  • Allow to air dry (you can use heat if you would like but I find if I spread them on a shop towel before I go to bed, they will be dry by the time I get back from work the next day).
  • Inspect; discarding any unusable cases.
  • Lubricate and re-size.
  • Tumble in walnut media to remove the lubricant.
  • The walnut media will not get clogged up in the neck, but a piece may occasionally get wedged in the flash hole. I use a toothpick to remove it during a second inspection of the cases.
  • Remove primer crimp if applicable.
  • Trim, chamfer and debur as necessary.
  • Prime the cases.
  • Seal the primer in place with fingernail polish (not necessary but I like the look).
  • Place in plastic storage box.
  • Document the process to date, assign the plastic storage box a number and add it to my reloading records.
  • Pack the plastic storage boxes in a sealed container with a dessicant and store until needed.

The cases can now be held for decades if necessary until ready to use.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:16 AM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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Quote:
Pondoro wrote:
Does the cleaning media get into those tiny necks?
Whether it is corn cob or walnut shell, the cleaning media will get inside the case, but will not get stuck there. Dry tumbling media will not, however, make the inside to the case as shiny as when it was new.

When I finish dry tumbling, I separate the media from the brass using a plastic colander and fitted bowl that I bought at Wal-Mart in the 1980's for less than $3. You can probably pick up something similar at the dollar store today for about $2.
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