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Old 05-12-2018, 06:56 PM
crankyoldlady crankyoldlady is offline
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Got a new tumbler. Came with cob medium. I've never used anything but walnut.

First test batch I notice about 30% of the cases have a tiny piece of cob in the flash hole. Never had that happen before.

They are easy to remove. A light poke with a toothpick does it.

I'm thinking about just leaving them there and prime away. Surely the primer will blast right through.

Go ahead, tell me my pistol with blow up taking my arm and head with it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:09 PM
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No you don't want to do that....if you have never had issues with walnut the just use that.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:21 PM
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I would think clogged flash holes would lead to inconsistent ignition.
Why not just poke the hole?
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACORN View Post
I would think clogged flash holes would lead to inconsistent ignition.
Why not just poke the hole?
Its not as if they are clogged solid. It'll be a little piece with some daylight. Some times a light tap on the bench does it.

I guess I'm lazy. Sorting, searching, and poking is so tedious.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:49 PM
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I've found some that were tightly lodged. A primer might blow them out and might not. Easier to do it the right way. You won't get much mileage out of a toothpick. Something sharp and pointed like an ice pick or dental tool works a lot better.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:50 PM
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Sounds like you're de-priming before you polish? If so, why would you run dirty cases thru your dies? The first thing I do when cases come back from the range is tumble them. If there's something in the flash hole after that, it will go out with the primer.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:58 PM
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I use cob, and don't de-prime first. Works great.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:03 PM
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I switched to pet bedding from Pet Smart.Cleans well and no clogged holes
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankyoldlady View Post

I guess I'm lazy. Sorting, searching, and poking is so tedious.
Toss the brass back in after you've removed the cob.. a few seconds should loosen up most of them..
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay View Post
I switched to pet bedding from Pet Smart.Cleans well and no clogged holes
There's a bunch of materials they use for pet bedding. I look for the reptile bedding that's crushed walnut. I also de-prime after tumbling.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:59 PM
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First off you'll have FTF and I use a course corn media. I also tumble with old primers still in. You don't want to have poor burn and a stuck bullet in barrel.

Last edited by daniel lawecki; 05-18-2018 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:00 PM
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Tumble the brass unsized, with the fired primers in place. Next step is to size the and deprime the clean cases. Clean cases are easier to size and the depriming will take care of any pesky hole cloggers.
After many years of trying stuff that's not made for case polishing I can tell you the treated shell media sold by Midway USA is the best value.
Pet bedding materials are usually not the correct size. The treated shell polishes and lasts a long time. Corn cobb is softer and doesn't polish like the treated nut shell.
You can get the nutshell lizard stuff but it's not treated....now you have to buy additives and the proper additives ( Rooster Labs polishing additives) is expensive...it eats up your savings...just get the stuff from Midway USA...much better deal than DIY with lizard litter.
Gary
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:22 PM
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Lizard litter with a cap full of Nu-Shine car polish works as good as anything. As far as a clogged flash hole. It's a non issue. The primer will blow it out. Been polishing and loading rifle cases like this for years.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:23 PM
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No big deal.

What is an extra Squib or two?
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:45 PM
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Any primer that doesn't blow a piece of corn cob media out of a flash hole is a dud.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike campbell View Post
Sounds like you're de-priming before you polish? If so, why would you run dirty cases thru your dies?
I'm not sure why it sounds to you like that's what I'm doing but since you asked...

Dirty brass is washed when I get home from the range. Next, I sort by caliber and deprime on a dedicated press using a universal depriming die. Then I tumble. I like to start with clean polished brass when I am ready to resize and flare.

I'm not new to handloading.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:30 AM
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What you describe is why I switched to walnut. Corncob seems to work faster, but I'm too lazy for that extra step of checking the pockets. It's not quite as bad as having somebody next to you at the range shooting !%$## small primer .45, but it's close.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:53 AM
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I also deprime, using a universal deprime die, prior to washing and tumbling.

And, I also got tired of having to poke the cob media from the primer holes.

Which is why I switched to ground walnut shells. With a dab of Nu-Finish, and a tiny splash of mineral spirits, it does everything I need done, and doesn't clog the flash-hole.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:48 AM
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You definitely do not want to leave anything in the primer pocket, flash hole or inside the case!

I have always used crushed corn cob media and I learned that it is best to clean the cases first, then run them through the resizer/depriming die.

That corn cob is not going to clean fouling from the primer pockets, so if that is your goal, then I suggest manually cleaning the pockets with a primer pocket brush.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumpStick View Post
I also deprime, using a universal deprime die, prior to washing and tumbling.

And, I also got tired of having to poke the cob media from the primer holes.

Which is why I switched to ground walnut shells. With a dab of Nu-Finish, and a tiny splash of mineral spirits, it does everything I need done, and doesn't clog the flash-hole.
Curious here. What is the purpose of the mineral spirits? It seems as if it would counteract the polishing/lubing effect of the Nu-Finish. Like mixing solvents and lubricants.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMSgt View Post
Curious here. What is the purpose of the mineral spirits? It seems as if it would counteract the polishing/lubing effect of the Nu-Finish. Like mixing solvents and lubricants.
I would imagine it is to thin the wax so that it is distributed over the media better and will evaporate in short order, leaving the media thinly coated with the wax.

With that said, I've been using the Lyman Green media for 25-30 years at least as it does a nice job of cleaning and polishing the brass and lasts a long time also. It's a corn cob media and it will get in the flash holes, but I clean my cases before I resize and deprime them when I am not wet tumbling.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:51 PM
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Maybe all I need to do is put the depriming pins (I removed them) back in my sizing dies. The pin would knock out any thing in the primer pocket.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Tumble the brass unsized, with the fired primers in place. Next step is to size the and deprime the clean cases. Clean cases are easier to size and the depriming will take care of any pesky hole cloggers.
After many years of trying stuff that's not made for case polishing I can tell you the treated shell media sold by Midway USA is the best value.
Pet bedding materials are usually not the correct size. The treated shell polishes and lasts a long time. Corn cobb is softer and doesn't polish like the treated nut shell.
You can get the nutshell lizard stuff but it's not treated....now you have to buy additives and the proper additives ( Rooster Labs polishing additives) is expensive...it eats up your savings...just get the stuff from Midway USA...much better deal than DIY with lizard litter.
Gary
I'm on board with all this, except ....

I've always used the "red" treated walnut, such as Lyman sells. It's red because it's treated with red rouge. I buy red rouge powder for a buck or two an ounce and re-treat the media 2-3 times before tossing it. I also bought some cerium oxide powder( about $10 for 8 ounces) which is used to polish glass....windshields and headlights for instance.

The expense for those compounds is pretty nominal...maybe 50 cents to treat a batch of media that will polish several thousand cases.

Since I'm buying the polishing powders to get the most out of my media, I decided to try some lizard bedding walnut. The combo of walnut and powder additive is pretty much a wash with buying treated media. Both types of walnut do a fine job of polishing with different handling characteristics. I'll use both until I run out and since I'll probably run out of walnut before additives, I'll likely stay with the lizard bedding.

In 50 years of handloading I've never "washed" brass. Guess I'd rather fish than cut bait.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:03 PM
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Most of my shooting is in an indoor range. Brass is swept up rather than picked up which increases lead dust. For me, washing dirty range brass minimizes contaminants and keeps my medium cleaner longer.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMSgt View Post
Curious here. What is the purpose of the mineral spirits? It seems as if it would counteract the polishing/lubing effect of the Nu-Finish. Like mixing solvents and lubricants.
The mineral spirits thin the NuFinish, and help keep the dust down. About a teaspoon is all it takes.
The NuFinish just seems to work better that way.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:01 PM
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I used crushed walnut pet bedding plus dryer sheets for dust plus the occasional additve for a few years. Then someone I respected told me that corn cob COULD polish/clean better. It also COULD have almost no dust, last longer, require no additives that add cost and can gook up the works . . . all while leaving nothing stuck in the primer pockets or anywhere else in the brass.

The specific product required is small ground corn cob blast media, 425-1000 micron range . . . like this product: Corn Cob Abrasive Nlasting Media .

You still need some process to separate the media from the brass (I use a rotary separator for about a minute), but the keys are the dust has been lost in the sieving process and the particles are too small to stick anywhere.

Other stuff can certainly be used, but the ones I've used each require some other product(s) to offset the disadvantages.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:27 PM
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I decap first, then run the dirty cases in the cob media. I resize and clean the primer pocket. Next it goes in the walnut media with some brass polish for its final cleaning. My ammo looks like new.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:43 PM
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Personally, I clear all the clogged primer holes before priming. That said you may find this link an interesting read.
Box Of Truth actually did an accuracy check with both clear and clogged primer holes w/ a .223. Very interesting results.
Educational Zone #152 - Does Polishing Media in Flash Holes Affect Accuracy? - The Box O' Truth
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old&Retired View Post
Personally, I clear all the clogged primer holes before priming. That said you may find this link an interesting read.
Box Of Truth actually did an accuracy check with both clear and clogged primer holes w/ a .223. Very interesting results.
Educational Zone #152 - Does Polishing Media in Flash Holes Affect Accuracy? - The Box O' Truth
That's weird. I would have thought a clogged flash hole would have caused inconsistent ignition of the powder, but based on group sizes... it has the opposite effect? I wish he had also made a chronograph comparison between the two.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:01 PM
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:11 PM
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I'm not sure that a primer will blow out a piece of tightly lodged cleaning media. Maybe, but unless someone knows this positively, I would assume it won't work with near 100% reliability. It's really pretty easy to dislodge cleaning media from a flashhole.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:05 AM
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A "me too" post.
Why de prime and then clean.
Clean then de prime.
You might see a flake or two of cob inside the case per 500 , but nothing like a problem.
I would not think that priming with a piece of cob in the priming hole would be advisable . That ignition hole is pretty small .
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:37 AM
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I’ve killed one tumbler. My Lyman sound like I was cleaning rocks. Bought a new one. Then two of my friends bought SS rotary case cleaners. One a Lyman the other Frankfort arsenal.
So I waited and bought big green.
I use a lee decap die, then save up enough brass to make it worth while.
R
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:33 PM
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The active ingredient in most primers is lead styphnate. It is a high explosive with a wavefront velocity on the order of 16,000 feet per second.

A small piece of media stuck in the flash hole will not stop the explosion from reaching the powder and unless you're part of the "five shots-one hole at 1,000 yards" crowd, it will not have a noticeable effect on the performance of the ammunition.

If you need to prove this to yourself, prime a case with a clear flash hole and one with an obstructed flash hole. No powder, no bullet, just a primed case. Darken the room. Manually load and fire each one. Compare the resulting light show coming out of the muzzle and see how much of an obstruction a piece of corn cob really isn't.

All of that said, when I tumble brass, I always inspect the cases afterward and use a toothpick to knock out any media in the flash hole. This is not because I think the media might cause a misfire, but because it seems to me to be leaving the job incomplete to not knock it out.

Last edited by hdwhit; 06-05-2018 at 04:35 PM. Reason: finish last sentence
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:48 PM
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I use one of the LEE brand de-caping rods, the ones designed for manually hand de-caping cases by setting them in a small steel base.
The rods come in two sizes 22 cal and 30 cal.
I just use the rod, no base and push the pin into the primer pocket knocking the corn cob blockage out the case mouth.

I started unplugging the flash hole with a long pin but the pin was too thin and would sometimes pass by the blockage rather than push it out, so I found that the pin on the LEE de-caping rod did the job.
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