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  #51  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:09 PM
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Who is johngalt and where did he go?
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  #52  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:20 PM
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I think you're being overly concerned also. I use pet cage walnut media and scoop the cases out with my hands. I keep my hands away from my face and wash them afterwards.
I could not disagree more with the people who say this is not an issue. Lead dust is an inhalation hazard and the bad effects take time to show up.
It's up to us to take care of ourselves. It's our individual responsibility. I protect my hearing with ear plugs when using power tools or the lawn mower, and stay away from Roundup and stuff like that.
I'm 63 and my health is very important to me. The little things you do that are good for you add up over time.

And besides - the warm water, soap, salt, lemon juice method makes your brass shine like new.

Last edited by max503; 07-11-2018 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:40 PM
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I thought I posted yesterday. Pitch your media once a year of more often if dirty. Media is cheap.
You did. But on that thread about Czech powder.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:04 PM
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The cut-up used dryer sheet with crushed walnut is the method I use. For the first few batches, the sheets will come out opaque tan from catching mostly walnut shell dust. After that, they come out gray from catching the soot and primer dust. If they come out black, you probably are tumbling too many cases or not using enough dryer sheets.

Keeping other stuff off the media like mineral spirits and NuFinish will also make the media last a lot longer before it turns black or very dark brown. I clean about 10,000 cases per year and 3 pounds of crushed walnut will last about a year and a half to two years. I bought a 50 pound bag for $17 at a feed store many years ago and I don't think I've even gotten halfway through it. No matter, it doesn't go bad and I keep it sealed in a 10 gallon bucket.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:39 PM
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I have an RCBS ultra sonic cleaner and it seems to get brass clean enough. Not polished and shiny but certainly good enough for reloading.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:33 AM
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I went through the whole progression of brass cleaning methods, my aim was to clean the most amount, in the shortest amount of time. I started with media and vibrating bowls (good results, slow, noisy, and messy to separate. Next was ultrasonic cleaning, worked well, too small to do many cases at a time. Next was SS pins and liquid in a small tumbler, nice results, again too small of a batch. Then I went to a cement mixer with SS pins. Worked great, did this for a year of so. One day I wondered, "what would happen if I didn't use the pins?". Tried it, came out shiny and I didn't have to separate the pins. Now I throw about 2500 cases in my cement mixer, a sprinkle of Lemi Shine, a glob of Turtle wash and wax, a gallon of water. Run it for an hour, rinse off many times, spread the cases out on a towel on a table for a few days (usually a week) Spray with Dillon lube and dump them in the basket next to the press. I don't deprime first. This is all 9mm cases. All Total I have around an hour and a half in brass cleaning. I've shot over 100K of ammo prepared this way. Can't think of any more ways to cut down the time spent on case prep.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:55 AM
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I just got done cleaning 300 .44 and .41 Magnum cases using the Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler. Fve pounds of stainless steel pins, 4 capfuls of their brass cleaner and some hot water and 90 minutes later, all the Unique, H110 and primer residue was history.

I use a universal depriming die on all my cases before tumbling.

I then use a media separator basket to flush the pins away from the cases, put both the pins and clean brass on cookie sheets and put them in the over at 175-200 degrees for an hour or so, stirring the pins once.

They come out looking pretty much new. I use carbide dies and just size and expand them, and call it a day.

Now all I have to do is prime and reload.

I started off with a wet tumbler, and have had no desire to use dry media.

Ninety minutes to tumble them, and it seems like another 20 minutes to separate the pins from the cases and clean everything up.

Then 45 minutes drying them and I’m done. Somewhat of a hassle overall, but it is kinda nice having new-looking cartridges when I load up a batch.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:57 AM
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I just got done cleaning 300 .44 and .41 Magnum cases using the Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler. Fve pounds of stainless steel pins, 4 capfuls of their brass cleaner and some hot water and 90 minutes later, all the Unique, H110 and primer residue was history.

I use a universal depriming die on all my cases before tumbling.

I then use a media separator basket to flush the pins away from the cases, put both the pins and clean brass on seperate cookie sheets and put them in the over at 175-200 degrees for an hour or so, stirring the pins once.

They come out looking pretty much new. I use carbide dies and just size and expand them, and call it a day.

Now all I have to do is prime and reload.

I started off with a wet tumbler, and have had no desire to use dry media.

Ninety minutes to tumble them, and it seems like another 20 minutes to separate the pins from the cases and clean everything up.

Then 60 minutes drying them in the oven and I’m done. Somewhat of a hassle overall, but it is kinda nice having new-looking cartridges when I load up a batch.

So overall time-wise, both methods might be the same, with wet tumbling a little faster; but the absence of dust makes wet tumbling the process of choice for me.

Last edited by jmclfrsh; 07-12-2018 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:56 AM
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Most accidents occur in the home and of them, most in the shower. How many of you wear your helmet while showering? How many wear chain mail gloves when cutting meat in the kitchen? Maybe leather aprons and welder's gloves while cooking? Most automobile accidents occur within 10 miles of home. How many of you wear your helmet and fire suit when going to the store? Too radical? To me the fear of tumbling media dust contaminating everything within 10 meters and cleaned brass will poison the entire family if dried in an oven and the precautions taken are just as radical. Nope I'm not hap-hazard about my health and safety (I don't chew on a freshly cast bullet when casting and I don't do deep breathing exercises over my tumbler. I wear safety glasses when casting and shooting and I have good hearing protection.) I just use common sense...

Last edited by mikld; 07-12-2018 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:45 PM
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Get cases too clean with some methods and the cases will stick on the powder through expander funnel and make progressive reloading more difficult. Just tumble and leave a little carbon inside the case. I use a dillon separator outside and do not snort the dust. You can also add a capful of h2o to the media to keep the dust down.
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  #61  
Old 07-12-2018, 01:59 PM
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When Frankfort Arms came out with their wet tumbler and the very cheap dryer, the dry vibe was retired to the shelf forever.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:21 PM
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. . . I've been doing this for 10 years with no ill effects, but I am tired of the mess and am looking for a better method.. . .
You've convinced me you're serious about eliminating the mess and any potential safety issue, so I'd advise you to change to tumbling with stainless steel pins (and water and additives).

Problem solved, cleaning and shining improved. Downside is you want to be there when the tumbling is done because you will be using a slightly active chemical solution. You also have to separate and save those pesky pins, and you have to dry your brass.

Perhaps you'll want to give some thought to what you'll do with the "contaminated" water. Or perhaps not

If you want to stick to dry tumbling . . .

IME the dust comes primarily from the media itself. And I, too, tumble outside which eliminates both the noise and the debris from the house.

Don't use an open/slotted top tumbler, and consider using the smallest size Corn Cob Abrasive Blast Media. Far, far less dust. Does a better job of clean/polish too, and without additives. Also pour very slowly, and do not miss your target
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:29 PM
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When Frankfort Arms came out with their wet tumbler and the very cheap dryer, the dry vibe was retired to the shelf forever.
Yeah, that reminds me of seeing people post about using a food dehydrator to dry their brass. You can use that instead of your oven to dry your brass if you wet tumble. Just don't use the dehydrator to make beef jerky with after and you should have your cleaning problems solved without exposing yourself or your family to "lead contamination".
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:35 AM
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Any dust into yur lungs may be harmful. Awhile back had this concern and had blood test for lead. Can't remember the amount, but it was very low and not a concern for doctor.

Am still using a dry tumbler and walnut shells. Adding a little water to the media on occasion keeps the dust down, and increases the effectiveness of the walnut media. The damp dust collects on underside of the lid, which gets wiped down. Am talking maybe tablespoon or two of water, run tumbler for a short while to distribute. Experiment a little.

Am now looking at getting into wet tumbling for all the range pickups. Once they are deep cleaned once, a short trip through dry tumbler keeps em clean.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:25 AM
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If one were to choose wet tumbling, how would the toxic liquid be properly/safely handled and disposed of? Just as much (maybe more) lead will be in the liquid as in the dust...
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:35 AM
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Just wear a full-body HazMat suit and move on.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:05 AM
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johngault I to got tired of all the mess from using dry media so I went with the Frankfort Arsenal steel media wet method and have been very happy with it.
I hand de-prime while watching the news then tumble for a couple hours using lemishine & dawn, the water is nasty black when it comes out but that just gets dumped out back.
I dry them in the garage on a wire mesh panel under the ceiling fan overnight.
The primer pockets are completely clean and the brass is nice and shiny.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:33 AM
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I do have a RCBS separator, with the inner slotted basket. I pour it into the basket, close the lid, crank the handle. It does a pretty good job of separating the media.

The problem is pouring from the tumbler to the separator, then the separator back into the tumbler, and digging the brass out of the basket. I keep my brass in ziplock bags. Some always spills, dust gets in the air and all over me and the clothes. Then it gets tracked inside and can contaminate the kitchen. The brass, even if supposedly clean, is still covered with a thin film of dust.

I have had a blood test, my lead levels are normal. I don't consider it to be silly to take precautions to avoid preventable chronic conditions. I also don't shoot indoors.
This reminds me of what old timers (with their false bravado) used to think about ear protection...it wasn't manly. Of course all of them are stone deaf now. There is absolutely nothing wrong in taking precautions against lead poisoning when reloading. Do what ever makes YOU comfortable. Having known folks who did extensive reloading for police departments (back in the day) and took no precautions, lost tremendous amounts of weight and couldn't remember their names, I say precautions are very reasonable and necessary, especially if you have contact with young children, who are more likely to have an adverse reaction to lead poisoning than adults.

Last edited by BE Mike; 07-14-2018 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:00 AM
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Default I did everything wrong, but it works

I bought a 40# bag of corncob grit from WW Grainger's in 1997. I filled 2 Midway vibratory tumblers, and stored the rest in 1 gallon milk jugs with the tops screwed on. I put a well used dryer sheet in my Thumler's tumbler (3 Midway and 2 Harbor Freight tumblers have died) with a tablespoon of mineral spirits, 1/2 gallon of brass, and let it run for an hour. Clean & shiny.

I'm still using the original media [GASP! 20 + years later!] but have added fresh over the years to keep the tumbler bowl full. I cast bullets, shoot lead indoors, reload ammo and have a blood level <10. In the past 20 years, the EPA or AMA has / have lowered lead blood limits twice.

I'm enjoying my hobbies, but not worried about petty nonsense. I'm sure that a 40# weight gain after 2 replacement knee surgeries is far worse health wise than tumbling brass cases with old media or shooting lead bullets.

It is time to walk more, shoot at the outdoor range, and finally go fishing!
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:31 AM
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Wet cleaning is the answer but a lot more work imo. To do it right you need to deprime first, so the pockets will dry out. Then they musy be 100% dry prior to loading.
I dry tumbled for decades now. I am not getting the dirtyy thing. Use a closed lid tumbler, the old luman vented lid is an abortion. Useca media separator. Just dump it in, close the lid, turn it a few times, wait 30sec for any dust to settle. Yes do ot outside, yes stay upwind, but its not a huge deal.
I shortcut method that straddles wet & dry is wet a towel with lemishine/water mix. Roll the cases around in that, then again in just a wet towel, water only. The cases are suoer clean, no decapping first, no dry time.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:26 PM
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Eighty percent of reloading methods are personal choice. Safety should be on every reloaders mind, but fear can be paralyzing and turn a simple hobby into a "Hazmat Level 1" situation. I can tell of my annual blood tests for 25 years of reloading and casting and indoor shooting a min of 200 rounds three times per month, and my methods but who cares except me? "Safety/Health" issues are more often than not overblown on forums (for more reasons than personal experience, many "I read...", or "I heard..." and very few verifiable facts). Any substance in excess can cause cancer or death, and I really don't care how fearful some one is and what extent they go to "protect" themselves and the world, but the problem is when they post their "tinfoil hat" methods on a public forum, some innocent new reloader will actually believe them and think a full haz-mat suit and breathing apparatus is necessary to deprime 200 cases.

Almost all my posts/answers are aimed at newer reloaders (who can tell an old reloader anything?) and K.I.S.S. is my first suggestion to new folks. If you have been going to extremes to "protect" your health, fine continue to do so, but don't get upset if someone recommends common sense instead...
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:03 PM
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I don't worry about media dust but what I do after vibrating in media
is vibrate again in the solution that HVac guys use to clean AC coils.
Comes in gal jugs, fairly cheap and is consentrated. A gallon goes a long
way. It does dull the shine a little but cleans out any residue from inside
the cases left by media. Birch Wood makes same type product in liquid
concentrate. I forgot to mention these solutions require rinsing brass in
water and naturally the drying period.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:22 PM
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I hope you guys worried about dry tumbling are NOT shooting indoors without a face mask. You will be exposed to far more airborn lead particles at the indoor tange, regardless of how well ventilated it is.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:48 PM
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I hope you guys worried a out dry tumbling ate NOT shooting indoors without a face mask. You will be exposed to far more airborn lead particles at yhe indoor tange, regardkess of how well ventilated it is.
That's quite a statement. I don't suppose there are any real facts to back up that claim? Actually not smoking or eating when shooting or reloading will help reduce exposure to lead. Cleaning up immediately after shooting/ reloading, especially with specially made products, is good, too.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:07 PM
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I think Fred is using sarcasm to make the same point you are.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:18 PM
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Fred is an old gentle giant who would never offend anyone with sarcasm. He may drowned them in personal opinion, common sense, and facts, but never sarcasm.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:30 PM
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I hope you guys worried a out dry tumbling ate NOT shooting indoors without a face mask. You will be exposed to far more airborn lead particles at yhe indoor tange, regardkess of how well ventilated it is.
Oh Kr-rapp, oh Kr-rapp, oh Kr-rapp, ya'all meanz this +66yr old iz goin'ah die prematurely at the age of 97yr old because of making sure his "brass" is clean?...
My mama never told me this when I wuz young!... I so cornfused...
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:55 PM
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That's quite a statement. I don't suppose there are any real facts to back up that claim? Actually not smoking or eating when shooting or reloading will help reduce exposure to lead. Cleaning up immediately after shooting/ reloading, especially with specially made products, is good, too.
I have plenty of facts and data to "back up" the claim that shooting in an indoor range without a respirator will elevate your serum (blood) lead levels. In my case, it's about 10 years of records tracking changes in my own serum lead. I used to spend about 4 evenings a week in indoor ranges. My all-time high was 31 mcg/dl, reduced to 16 mcg/dl after one year of respirator use, then to about 8 mcg/dl a year later. Bounced back up to 16 mcg/dl when I thought newer and stronger exhaust fans at our range would solve the problem (they didn't). I put the respirator back on, and the levels came down again. I also have data from others on my shooting team(s) that show the same, the worst case being one individual at over 60 mcg/dl, reduced similarly with respirator use.

Your are correct about washing after handling lead and lead-contaminated objects as a good means of decreasing exposure to environmental lead.

I spent many years working as an environmental, safety & health consultant and know a good bit more about this stuff than the average bear. The lead issue is real - sure, there are plenty of other more important health risks, but it's real, and can be avoided with a few relatively simple behavioral modifications.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:44 PM
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That's quite a statement. I don't suppose there are any real facts to back up that claim? Actually not smoking or eating when shooting or reloading will help reduce exposure to lead. Cleaning up immediately after shooting/ reloading, especially with specially made products, is good, too.
I've known several indoor only shooters whos lead levels spiked quite a bit when shooting weekly indoors. One leo range master I knew got to retire his lead levels were so high.
When a round fires the lead styphinite is blown into the air. If the ventiation is not straight up or forward, it all comes back into your face & is fine enough to be inhaled. You can google search it too.
Unless you ate standing over your tumbler & inhaling while its on or when separating, it isnt going to affect your blood lead levels. I have been casting, reloading & shooting, mostly outdoor, for decades & my lead levels are a bit high but just into double digits.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:51 PM
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I think Fred is using sarcasm to make the same point you are.
Sort of but it is an honest question. If one is ahooting indoors & worried about his brass cleaning, I think they need to shift focus.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:02 AM
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I've known several indoor only shooters whos lead levels spiked quite a bit when shooting weekly indoors. One leo range master I knew got to retire his lead levels were so high.
When a round fires the lead styphinite is blown into the air. If the ventiation is not straight up or forward, it all comes back into your face & is fine enough to be inhaled. You can google search it too.
Unless you ate standing over your tumbler & inhaling while its on or when separating, it isnt going to affect your blood lead levels. I have been casting, reloading & shooting, mostly outdoor, for decades & my lead levels are a bit high but just into double digits.
My question is that you imply that shooting indoors will actually expose someone to more lead than dry tumbling and pouring out media. I don't know that that is the case. No doubt that both expose one to lead contamination. The fairly new commercial range I frequent has very good ventilation. I probably get exposed more to lead by collecting my brass there than actually shooting. One other thing I think you might agree with me is that different people will retain lead at different levels even with the same exposure.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:58 AM
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My question is that you imply that shooting indoors will actually expose someone to more lead than dry tumbling and pouring out media. I don't know that that is the case. No doubt that both expose one to lead contamination. The fairly new commercial range I frequent has very good ventilation. I probably get exposed more to lead by collecting my brass there than actually shooting. One other thing I think you might agree with me is that different people will retain lead at different levels even with the same exposure.
Yes lead absorbtion is like any other exposure to stimulants, it is going to depend on your health & physiology. Still, very diff to absorb lead thru the skin. If you believe inhaling lead dust from a tumbler is any diff than lead dust from 1000s of fired cartridges, well I just dont know what to say. I can hold my breath for the 30sec I dump my tumbler into the seoarator & crank the handle. Pretty sure you are not holding your breath for 1-2hrs at the range.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:27 PM
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Surplus chem suits and gas mask or just separate outside like I do. I get downwind and have a dillon separator .
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Old Yesterday, 03:56 PM
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Surplus chem suits and gas mask or just separate outside like I do. I get downwind and have a dillon separator .
You might try getting crosswind instead.

I think a little lead is good for us. Helps keep us from floating around all over the place.
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Old Yesterday, 04:11 PM
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@ the OP.

If you are reloading, I reckon that you shoot. If cleaning the brass worries you, what about shooting? Lead vapors, powder residue, brass shavings... The whole 9 yards.

Maybe you should swap to fishing. But beware of the bears, they like fishing too and hate competition.
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Old Yesterday, 04:25 PM
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Old Yesterday, 09:50 PM
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