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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 6/5/2008 7:04:34 AM EST
So a buddy of mine just gave me a 40-60 brass casings that he forgot to tumble before he placed the new primers in. Is it safe to tumble this brass with live new primers in them?

-carlo
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:06:44 AM EST
It's safe, but you'll plug-up the flash holes that way. Why not just shoot them? Or deprime? Primers are cheap. Or you can even reuse the same primers.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:14:11 AM EST
Depending on how fine and used the tumbling media is, there maybe the issue of getting media plugging the flash hole. It may block the hole enough to cause some pressure variation....or not. I'de just use them as is or wipe them down by hand if really dirty.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:27:58 AM EST
I've head that it's OK, but personally I don't do it. YMMV.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:33:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bacchus:
I've head that it's OK, but personally I don't do it. YMMV.



I've been tumbling live rounds for years now without any issues
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:38:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lowco:

Originally Posted By Bacchus:
I've head that it's OK, but personally I don't do it. YMMV.



I've been tumbling live rounds for years now without any issues


I believe they're talking about primed brass, not completely loaded rounds.
I don't think it is smart - you'll eventually plug a flash hole and have a squib round.
As far as tumbling live rounds, it's probably OK with some powders.
Extruded powders can break up while being tumbled and that can cause higher pressure, may even over pressure.
Ball powders are probably OK in live rounds that are being tumbled.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:43:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 7:45:56 AM EST by FriscoPete]
I wouldn't do it - and not because of any safety issue. The aforementioned media in the flash hole and the fine dust present in the media could possibly cause ignition problems. What does 40-60 primers cost? $1.00 - 1.50? Why take chances for pocket change? Just don't "biggie-size" your hamburger order next time if money is the issue.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:53:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By FriscoPete:
I wouldn't do it - and not because of any safety issue. The aforementioned media in the flash hole and the fine dust present in the media could possibly cause ignition problems. What does 40-60 primers cost? $1.00 - 1.50? Why take chances for pocket change? Just don't "biggie-size" your hamburger order next time if money is the issue.


That's some economically-smart thinking there, FriscoPete!

I'm going to use that on my wife next time: "Honey, I promise I won't supersize the next 5 meals if I can buy that 1 box of bullets right now".
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 8:07:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sheldon:
Depending on how fine and used the tumbling media is, there maybe the issue of getting media plugging the flash hole. It may block the hole enough to cause some pressure variation....or not. I'de just use them as is or wipe them down by hand if really dirty.


Sir, I also would avoid tumbling primed brass. I have enough issues removing tumbling media from the flash holes of unprimed brass I wonder how bad it would be trying to get tumbling media out of the flash hole inside the case.

If you seriously think the brass needs to be tumbled before you can finish reloading it, simply deprime it. I've never had any problem doing this and reusing the primers, but while a bang is unlikely when you do this it remains possible. HTH, 7zero1.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 8:36:07 AM EST
Why not just load the brass and tumble when done?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 9:23:12 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 9:52:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 9:53:12 AM EST by FB41]

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By danc46:

Originally Posted By Lowco:
.


<snip>
As far as tumbling live rounds, it's probably OK with some powders.
Extruded powders can break up while being tumbled and that can cause higher pressure, may even over pressure.
Ball powders are probably OK in live rounds that are being tumbled.


That wives' tale has been disproven many times.

Powder and ammo companies have been contacted, and confirmed, many times that it is NOT unsafe to tumble powder.


And the chances of a primer being denotated by a bullet's nose are off the charts. Not enough resistance in the mix.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 10:43:02 AM EST
All the big manufactuers tumble their rounds AFTER loading to clean them up and remove lube. Heck, I've even bought Black Hills OTM rounds with media in the HP before.

For the OP, is the brass is so scungy you don;t want to put it through your dies, then shove some cotton balls (or similar) into the brass and tumble as normal, just inspect carefully afterwards to verify that no media got into the flash holes.

Otherwise, just load and tumble for a 1/2 hour or so.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:00:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 12:01:37 PM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 3:16:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By vanrichten:
Why not just load the brass and tumble when done?


+1?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 6:38:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By danc46:

Originally Posted By Lowco:
.


<snip>
As far as tumbling live rounds, it's probably OK with some powders.
Extruded powders can break up while being tumbled and that can cause higher pressure, may even over pressure.
Ball powders are probably OK in live rounds that are being tumbled.


That wives' tale has been disproven many times.

Powder and ammo companies have been contacted, and confirmed, many times that it is NOT unsafe to tumble powder.


Have you got any links to that information by chance?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 6:40:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 9:39:20 PM EST
Don't do it. I put some rounds (both reloads and factory) in a vibe polisher for two hours because I like shiny ammo, and I'm now dead.

If there is .mil ammo 40 years old bing used, after all the beatings that stuff has taken, do you really think a tumble or two will hurt?

TACK, IN BOLD AND CAPS PLEASE! Reading the forum and/or searching is just too hard to do.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:24:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 4:33:20 AM EST by danc46]

Originally Posted By Tromatic:
Don't do it. I put some rounds (both reloads and factory) in a vibe polisher for two hours because I like shiny ammo, and I'm now dead.

If there is .mil ammo 40 years old bing used, after all the beatings that stuff has taken, do you really think a tumble or two will hurt?

TACK, IN BOLD AND CAPS PLEASE! Reading the forum and/or searching is just too hard to do.


Have you ever used different variations of a powder with the designation SC after it?
H4831 vs H4831SC?
It is extruded powder that is "Short Cut". It seems to me to have a higher pressure than the standard powder using primers as indicators.
Tumbling cartridges with ball powder is not going to hurt a thing.
But with extruded powders, I do think it makes a difference if you're running near max loads.
I don't have a strain gauge to check the pressure differences but from switching back and forth between the standard powder and SC powder, I do notice a difference in grouping and the primers. That inidicates difference in PRESSURE with the SC powder being the greater.
And obviously you've never used old powder or examined it under magnification in comparison to newer powder. You will see a difference in the ends or edges of the extrusions or flakes.
And that will make a difference in ignition rate and PRESSURE.

ETA:

Q. Is tumbling loaded ammunition dangerous?

A. Short term tumbling will have no real affect on loaded ammunition, but extensive tumbling can cause the breakdown of the powder grains. This would have two major effects. First, smaller grains will ignite more quickly than larger grains, and second the deterrent coating on the outside of the grains may be rubbed off and will be absent from any fractured edges which will cause the powder to burn more quickly raising pressures.

Tests run some years ago by a commercial entity did indicate that potentially dangerous changes in powder charge burning characteristics do take place after PROLONGED periods in either a vibratory or a tumbling cleaner.

The key word here is prolonged. Many manufacturers of ammunition do a final cleaning of their product either by tumbling or a vibratory process before boxing it for shipment. In no case is this allowed to exceed more than just a couple of minutes. The intent is not so much to "polish" but to remove any traces of contaminants which might in time leave marks on the finished product. There seems to be a consensus among the ammunition manufacturing engineers that a minute or two of vibratory cleaning has no discernable effect on burning rates, especially for loads that are compressed, or nearly so. However, all have emphasized the need for EXTREME CAUTION not to overdo the process.

They also pointed out that there is a considerable difference in effect on the powder charge depending on whether the process is by "tumbling" or "vibrating." It would appear that tumbling has less effect on the powder than vibrating, though this is mostly a matter of degree. The admonition to use EXTREME CAUTION to insure that the process never exceeds a couple of minutes applies equally to either process.

Ideally you should do your reloading after an extensive cleaning of the empty brass so any cleaning after loading is merely to remove traces of lube or to keep fingerprints from staining after a couple of months storage. A two stage process is recommended. One minute or so in a fairly abrasive cleaner with a tiny bit of solvent added to it to remove any traces of lube left on the brass, followed by one minute or so in clean corncob media to remove any traces of abrasive. Religiously follow several basic rules: use only a small amount of solvent and do the cleaning in a well ventilated area; change your media frequently, never letting it "load-up" with lube; and never "let it run while you do something else" and run the risk
of letting it run too long and altering the burning rate of the powder.


And some yahoos will take old tarnished loaded cartridges and leave them in a tumbler until they come out clean.
That ain't smart.
Tack that in bold capital letters, Ace!
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 7:25:59 AM EST
Q. How much vibration do you think ammo has been subjected to by the time it reaches your gun's chamber?
A. A lot.

Between the boat ride from Ammosurplusistan, the 18-wheeler that trucked it across the country, the car ride home, and the car ride to the range, your powder and ammo have seen tons of vibration.

Comparing factory short cut ammo to tumbled ammo is comparing apples to oranges.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 7:53:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 8:06:49 AM EST by ma96782]
A little off of the OP topic but..............


Originally Posted By NVGdude:
All the big manufactuers tumble their rounds AFTER loading to clean them up and remove lube. Heck, I've even bought Black Hills OTM rounds with media in the HP before.


YES, I've seen bullets (I'm not talking ammo) straight from the box with media stuck in the HP of my "name brand" BTHP bullets. But, since I bought the bullets for accuracy, what do you think I did with the bullet(s) with the media stuck in the HP openings? That's right, I tried to remove the media. IF the media didn't come out.....they were regulated to "practice rounds." PIA. So, why would I want to do that (tumble/vibratory clean) to my loaded rounds?

And, even IF the loaded rounds didn't have a HP tip.........the mfn of the tumbler/vibratory machine (example: RCBS) says not to. Maybe, for a good reason, huh?

Anyway: "What you do, is up to you."

There is more than one way to skin a cat. My way of doing things may not be suitable to some of the other folks out there. So, take it for what it's worth.......this is/was, only my advice, which you got for FREE. YOUR MILEAGE WILL VARY.

Aloha, Mark

PS...........I would imagine that mfns have various "safety measures" that they use...........beyond what we home re-loaders may think is needed/necessary.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:03:40 AM EST
danc46,

That is an excellent quote. Can you provide the web link (if possible). I'd like to keep it for my files.

Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:10:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By strat81:
Q. How much vibration do you think ammo has been subjected to by the time it reaches your gun's chamber?
A. A lot.

Between the boat ride from Ammosurplusistan, the 18-wheeler that trucked it across the country, the car ride home, and the car ride to the range, your powder and ammo have seen tons of vibration.

Comparing factory short cut ammo to tumbled ammo is comparing apples to oranges.


It is shipped in a static position, not tumbled end over end, side to side.
And if you get old surplus ammo to shoot, have you ever pulled the bullet on one round to check out the type of powder?
That is advisable.
And comparing short cut EXTRUDED POWDER to the same uncut powder is fully applicable.
Short cut extruded powder has more burning surface than the standard powder which will speed up the ignition rate and therefore PRESSURE.
Which is what we are talking about when tumbling and vibrating old tarnished rounds that are loaded with extruded powders.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:13:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By ma96782:
danc46,

That is an excellent quote. Can you provide the web link (if possible). I'd like to keep it for my files.

Aloha, Mark


Mark,
Try here:
www.frfrogspad.com/miscellc.htm
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:34:02 AM EST
Thanks.......danc46.

Aloha, Mark
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