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Posted: 7/22/2011 2:23:51 PM EST
I bought some Argentine M33. It is rather patina'd. Anyone ever polish their ammunition?
Link Posted: 7/22/2011 2:28:12 PM EST


That's a funny question. And the answer is the same as the question. Have you ever waxed your wand? So, yes I am sure that everyone has at one time or another or every chance they get will polish their ammo. Well maybe not a batch of 1K
Link Posted: 7/22/2011 2:34:51 PM EST
Thought about putting some in the vibrator polisher but had a thought.
The powder is granular all but very small. the vibrator would turn it to dust , mmmmm that could be very bad.
Link Posted: 7/22/2011 3:09:52 PM EST
I've taken ammo that was pretty tarnished or had been in links and gotten rusty where the links had rusted and lightly polished it with 0000 steel wool.
Makes it run a little smoother in my 82A1. Bolt guns don't seem to care.
Link Posted: 7/22/2011 4:50:57 PM EST
I agree that tumbling or vibrating loaded ammo to clean it is NOT a good idea. Not only will the granuales get reshaped (whether ball/spherical or stick powder), but any applied deterent coatings can be rubbed off. The result is likely a change in the burning rate, and an unpredictable result. Rubbing the outside with steel wool or even some mild polishing chemical shouldn't hurt, so long as any chemical is not corrosive to brass. I know I've read about this issue in some NRA publication, but can't lay my hands on it right now.
Link Posted: 7/22/2011 5:29:04 PM EST
I've vibrated rifle rounds for a few minutes to remove tarnish after reloading. Can't be any worse for them riding in a huey's door gun for days at a time.

Never done .50 BMG rounds though, because I haven't reloaded it yet.
Link Posted: 7/23/2011 12:24:09 AM EST
If the ammo is dirty, tumbling for a couple of hours should clean it up just fine. I set my tumbler in the middle of a concrete patio in case a primer ever got bumped off just so it couldn’t start a fire. So far I’ve tumbled thousand of rounds about 2K of which was Malaysian .308 that was cruddy hell. So far I’ve never had any problems – but I don’t load the bowl up too much so the shells don’t hit each other too much.

All the talk about powder kernels crumbling or breaking down is nothing more than a myth. It’s right on par with the myth that a .50 BMG upper will destroy an AR lower…

Of course I wouldn’t be satisfied unless I actually did some good old-fashioned hillbilly testing. Since I had several cans of .308 that needed cleaning I took 200 rounds and cleaned 100 of them by using an old T-shirt rubbing each one down individually. For the remaining 100 rounds I broke them into 3 groups of 2-4-8 hours of tumbling for 30 or so rounds each. The cartridges were as clean as I wanted them at 2 hours, but I went ahead and tumbled others 4–8 hours just to see it there was a noticeable increase in pressure.

I performed testing using my M1A over an F1 shooting chrony. If powder was really breaking down or turning to powder, I figured I should see an increase in velocity as a result of the higher pressure. As it turned out tumbling didn’t affect the performance of the ammo at all. In fact the hand-cleaned group posted velocities higher than some of the tumbled groups did.

Next, I pulled the projectiles on a couple rounds and messed around with the powder kernels (it was “stick” type). The kernels turned out to have a “plastic-like” consistency. I mashed some and pinched some with pliers and none of the kernels were brittle enough to break or crumble.

After all that time spent testing, I realized that they ship ammo over nasty roads (or no road at all) hauling it to use on some distant battlefield. All those hours of vibration in the back of the smooth-riding military trucks accomplished much the same thing with regards to the powder.

In the end, with the myths dispelled, I still tumble live ammo when it benefits from cleaning and I also bought a Tactilite upper to use on an AR-15 lower for when I have time to drive out-of-state to shoot.
Link Posted: 7/23/2011 3:45:20 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2011 4:03:06 AM EST
I left a few BMG rounds in a tumbler for a week (sat-sat)

They chrono'd same as the non vibrated ones, powder look the same as well
Link Posted: 7/23/2011 3:35:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
I left a few BMG rounds in a tumbler for a week (sat-sat)

They chrono'd same as the non vibrated ones, powder look the same as well


Wow! 168 hours pretty much dwarfs the vibration times in my tests. While I suspected no change would result in tumbling for extended periods of time - it's nice to hear from people that performed tests similar to my own.

This "tumbling breaks down powder myth" is one I'd like to see go away as much as the ".50 BMG wrecks AR lowers myth".
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 3:01:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By Snot-Rocket:
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
I left a few BMG rounds in a tumbler for a week (sat-sat)

They chrono'd same as the non vibrated ones, powder look the same as well


Wow! 168 hours pretty much dwarfs the vibration times in my tests. While I suspected no change would result in tumbling for extended periods of time - it's nice to hear from people that performed tests similar to my own.

This "tumbling breaks down powder myth" is one I'd like to see go away as much as the ".50 BMG wrecks AR lowers myth".


I have to admit that I was one of those who believed in the breaking down of the powder. But it is hard to hold on to that belief once people start coming on here and telling how they have tumbled loaded rounds for 8 or more hours. Point out what must be going on with door gunners in choppers and how much vib that ammo gets. All I can say is that it sure do sound like it would be possible for the powder to get shook to death.

Thanks gents for setting things straight. Cleaning via a vib bowl is not going to harm the ammo.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 4:22:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Thanks gents for setting things straight. Cleaning via a vib bowl is not going to harm the ammo.


The only real problem I'll have is that I can't put many rounds in my vibrating tumbler!
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 5:39:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By ODA_564:

Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Thanks gents for setting things straight. Cleaning via a vib bowl is not going to harm the ammo.


The only real problem I'll have is that I can't put many rounds in my vibrating tumbler!


Damn if that does not sound like a whining. Well you have two, no three options. 1) dont clean your ammo. 2) get one with a bigger bowl. 3) do batches for as long as it takes. May need to combine #2 and #3. But note, none of us really care that you only can do a few at a time. Man up why dont you.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 6:00:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By ODA_564:

Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Thanks gents for setting things straight. Cleaning via a vib bowl is not going to harm the ammo.


The only real problem I'll have is that I can't put many rounds in my vibrating tumbler!


Damn if that does not sound like a whining. Well you have two, no three options. 1) dont clean your ammo. 2) get one with a bigger bowl. 3) do batches for as long as it takes. May need to combine #2 and #3. But note, none of us really care that you only can do a few at a time. Man up why dont you.

Good-bye.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 7:23:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 7:52:31 AM EST
I have tumbled hundreds of loaded rounds with no ill affect yet. I would put them in the tumblers (3) before I went to work and take them out when I got home. They would be nice and shiny and I didn't have to hear them for hours.

Ed
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 9:26:38 AM EST
How many rounds did you get? Are they all in the same condition?
If it's a lot of rounds, try to find someone with a large Dillon tumbler. You might be able to do 50 at a time, max.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 9:53:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By 50cal:
How many rounds did you get? Are they all in the same condition?
If it's a lot of rounds, try to find someone with a large Dillon tumbler. You might be able to do 50 at a time, max.


I bought 100 rounds of it from SGAmmo with 75 head stamps (12.7x99!). It actually is not as bad looking as the Salt Lake 58 stuff I got on links from Widener's (the picture on Widener's website doesn't look like what was in the can I got!).

This is pretty much what it looked like (only slightly dirtier):



The rounds really feel tacky / greasy. Not as greasy as the SL 59 felt, though. Almost like they had case lube left on them (if you've ever used the old RCBS tube case lube).

My RCBS tumbler (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=103614) does 20 rounds at a time and then I have been giving them a buff with 000 steel wool and 00000 bronze wool. I tumbled the unshot SL 59 first. I started this morning. I have 20 rounds in the tumbler now and 45 to go.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 10:06:25 AM EST
I hauled some .270 ammo in my pickup for several years. It was for my wif'e's rifle. When I went to shoot it to empty the brass it went off like a blue pill load. Cratered primer and it had also flowed around the cup. So I"m going to throw the BS flag on the "MYTH" comment. I've seen it first hand rumbling factory ammo around in the pick up for several years. I will not do it again nor will I tumble loaded ammo. How about chucking it in a Lee shell holder for their 50 BMG trimmer. They polish up very easy spinning in a drill and it can be done in about 1 minute or less.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 11:23:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By ridurall:
I hauled some .270 ammo in my pickup for several years. It was for my wif'e's rifle. When I went to shoot it to empty the brass it went off like a blue pill load. Cratered primer and it had also flowed around the cup. So I"m going to throw the BS flag on the "MYTH" comment. I've seen it first hand rumbling factory ammo around in the pick up for several years. I will not do it again nor will I tumble loaded ammo. How about chucking it in a Lee shell holder for their 50 BMG trimmer. They polish up very easy spinning in a drill and it can be done in about 1 minute or less.


Ridurall,
Is it possible that there was another factor involved in your case. Might the ammo have been subjected to high temperatures. Remember that gun powder aka smokeless is an organic compound. And organic compounds break down. Heat increases the speed which this happens. I suspect that your powder was in advanced state of this breaking down. Might this have been the case?
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 11:36:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By Snot-Rocket:
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
I left a few BMG rounds in a tumbler for a week (sat-sat)

They chrono'd same as the non vibrated ones, powder look the same as well


Wow! 168 hours pretty much dwarfs the vibration times in my tests. While I suspected no change would result in tumbling for extended periods of time - it's nice to hear from people that performed tests similar to my own.

This "tumbling breaks down powder myth" is one I'd like to see go away as much as the ".50 BMG wrecks AR lowers myth".


I have to admit that I was one of those who believed in the breaking down of the powder. But it is hard to hold on to that belief once people start coming on here and telling how they have tumbled loaded rounds for 8 or more hours. Point out what must be going on with door gunners in choppers and how much vib that ammo gets. All I can say is that it sure do sound like it would be possible for the powder to get shook to death.

Thanks gents for setting things straight. Cleaning via a vib bowl is not going to harm the ammo.


check the reloading forum. there is a thread on this, where a member tumbled for a week or two, and did a comparison under a microscope and recorded the FPS of a tumbled vs non tumbled from the same box.
heat and humidity on the other hand, will have an effect on the ammo.
tumbling? not worth worrying over. toss the dirty ammo in a tumbler and take it out a few hours later.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 12:55:25 PM EST
FWIW, I’ve never tumbled any .50 BMG ammo to clean it up because it’s large enough to clean by hand using old T-shirts and maybe a little alcohol if there’s some greasy coating.

I performed my tumbling experiment using surplus 7.62x51 ammo – because there was a pretty big disagreement on the subject in a handloading forum that I participate in. I didn’t know which side of the argument was right since no one (in the discussion) had any actual first-hand experience other than to voice an opinion. The results from my experiment showed that there was absolutely NO ill effects on tumbling live ammo for the short time it takes to simply get it clean.

In the end, I’m just some guy on a forum (like anyone else) that actually did perform the test. I’ve reported my results and I’m satisfied that tumbling live ammo for a short period in a place safe from a fire (should a round ever go off) isn’t going to be a problem.

Like everything in life, you will have to decide for yourself what you are comfortable with. I totally respect anyone’s decision NOT to tumble live ammo if you’re not comfortable doing it.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 2:56:20 PM EST
The difference.

Link Posted: 7/24/2011 3:01:18 PM EST
There is no danger tumbling loaded ammo.
It does not degrade the powder even after many hours of tumbling and it will not detonate in the tumbler.
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 8:41:19 PM EST
dont laugh but a dremel with the polishing wheel and some mothers makes quick work of dirty ammo
Link Posted: 7/24/2011 9:01:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By ridurall:
I hauled some .270 ammo in my pickup for several years. It was for my wif'e's rifle. When I went to shoot it to empty the brass it went off like a blue pill load. Cratered primer and it had also flowed around the cup. So I"m going to throw the BS flag on the "MYTH" comment. I've seen it first hand rumbling factory ammo around in the pick up for several years. I will not do it again nor will I tumble loaded ammo. How about chucking it in a Lee shell holder for their 50 BMG trimmer. They polish up very easy spinning in a drill and it can be done in about 1 minute or less.


I hauled a box of factory 9mm ammo in my truck for years and then tried to shoot it because it was in there for years. About half of it would not shoot or went off and the projectile stuck in the 4" barrel about half way. I really don't think it was from bouncing around but from the extreme temp and humidity changes it went through.

Ed

Link Posted: 7/24/2011 11:59:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By ridurall:
I hauled some .270 ammo in my pickup for several years.

Heat does more damage(proven) than vibration, which you left out of your "conclusion" or better yet, assumption
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 4:01:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By ODA_564:
The difference.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v220/ODA564/Guns/50polishedjpg.jpg




Wow. Looks great. I've tumbled Israeli surplus 7.62x51 that was pretty grimy but didn't let it tumble long enough to get it looking that nice.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 9:05:05 PM EST
I guess we all have opinions. When I pulled the bullets on the rest of the box the powder that was an extruded type powder had a lot of dust that looked to me like it had crunched up do to bouncing around. Could it have been due to heat, sure but I think think that way at the time. I just assumed that the bouncing around acted like a tumbler. For what it's worth, do what you feel is necessary. I won't tumble loaded brass. I will spin it using a Lee trimmer and I don't carry ammo in my vehicle long term. It's good to talk about this.

Ron
Link Posted: 7/28/2011 6:14:08 AM EST
Meh.....not too much cares for shiny brass, just brass that works.
Link Posted: 7/31/2011 5:39:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
This general topic has been discussed many, many times in the Reloading Forum and you can be assured it harms NOTHING to tumble loaded ammunition until it is nice and shiny.


/\ /\ /\ This /\ /\ /

CP
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 3:05:16 PM EST
Eagle one mag wheel polish works good
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 5:29:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By busabill1397:
Eagle one mag wheel polish works good


Wait a minute. Are you suggesting to use a polishing wheel that is mounted to a bench grinder? Do you realize the heat that you generate with one of those polishing wheels? And combine that with the need to keep your ammo cool, not hot? You will degrade your powder when it gets hot. Sorry I have to say that this might not be a good idea.
Link Posted: 10/2/2011 11:06:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By busabill1397:
Eagle one mag wheel polish works good


Wait a minute. Are you suggesting to use a polishing wheel that is mounted to a bench grinder? Do you realize the heat that you generate with one of those polishing wheels? And combine that with the need to keep your ammo cool, not hot? You will degrade your powder when it gets hot. Sorry I have to say that this might not be a good idea.

Now that would be a very bad idea using a bench grinder, what i mean is to use Eagle one or Brasso too hand clean the brass case!!
Link Posted: 10/2/2011 3:48:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By busabill1397:
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By busabill1397:
Eagle one mag wheel polish works good


Wait a minute. Are you suggesting to use a polishing wheel that is mounted to a bench grinder? Do you realize the heat that you generate with one of those polishing wheels? And combine that with the need to keep your ammo cool, not hot? You will degrade your powder when it gets hot. Sorry I have to say that this might not be a good idea.

Now that would be a very bad idea using a bench grinder, what i mean is to use Eagle one or Brasso too hand clean the brass case!!


Ah, I see now. Mag wheel as in a car's wheel. Ha ha was thinking of a polishing wheel on a bench grinder to spin the wheel. I see now that this is a solution that you put on a rag.
Link Posted: 10/2/2011 6:07:27 PM EST
Don't Use Brasso or anything else that contains Ammonia / Ammonia salts , it will make the brass brittle. If you must polish the ammo use a scotchbrite pad ( Lightly )
Link Posted: 10/3/2011 1:56:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By Lilis:
Don't Use Brasso or anything else that contains Ammonia / Ammonia salts , it will make the brass brittle. If you must polish the ammo use a scotchbrite pad ( Lightly )


Lillis thanks for the info about Brasso,time retire it back too the garage.
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