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Posted: 9/1/2010 5:35:39 PM EDT
How important is decapping the primer before tumbling?

Will it really clean the primer pocket?

Is the extra step worth it?

Why do you do it?

Why do you not do it?
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:49:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By onibaba:
How important is decapping the primer before tumbling?

Depends on how grungy the brass is, if it's been wet I'll do it - Also depends on what you're loading. I don't shoot precision stuff, so I seldom decap first.

Will it really clean the primer pocket? yup, but I have a problem with media sticking in the flashhole.

Is the extra step worth it? Depends on application, for me mostly not.

Why do you do it?

Why do you not do it?


Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:49:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:09:46 PM EDT
I don't bother because the media doesn't clean them out. Not much room for the media to slide around and rub the gunk off.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:16:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 7:16:46 PM EDT by danpass]
I clean using the water/lemishine/dawn method in a rock tumbler and decap before cleaning (lee universal deprimer).


simply to keep the primer gunk out of the final water solution
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:17:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LtBlue425:
I don't bother because the media doesn't clean them out. Not much room for the media to slide around and rub the gunk off.


Yep.

I don't worry too much about cleaning pockets out, preferring to go three cycles, after an 'initial' uniform job.

I also prefer not to have to punch out stuck media that wedged into the flash hole, when tumbling after depriming.

Cleaning brass is the first step I perform after getting the stuff out of my range bag. It's like brushing my teeth in the morning and making my bed once out of it––just good ways to start my day off.

Chris


Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:46:35 PM EDT
I tumbled my last batch after sizing to remove the case lube.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 8:41:22 PM EDT
I don't decap any calibers before the initial cleaning from the range tumble. I tumble everything from the range and then determine what steps to take next. For pistol calibers, they are ready to load for me, but for rifle calibers, I do my resizing and trimming and primer pocket cleaning(for precision loads only) as I see fit.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 10:48:09 PM EDT
I tumble them once before I remove the primer. This is just the first tumble to clean them before inspection. After resizing, they get tumbled again for a few hours to get any lube off.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 2:47:23 AM EDT
I tumble with walnut before I do anything with the brass. This gets grit and gunk from the range and the ground off the brass-I use "used" walnut media for this.

After size/deprime/trim, I used to tumble again to remove lube, and I would see some improvement in the primer pocket, but I'm moving toward a wet cleaning with LemiShine which thoroughly cleans out the primer pocket.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 3:36:41 AM EDT
+1 GHPorter. I de-cap cases on a single stage press using a Lee universal decapping die before tumbling. Gives me a chance to give the brass a quick once over for problems, caliber (like 380 vs 9MM) and hit each primer pocket with a cleaning tool at this stage. These days I also find the occasional oddball primer pocket size like a small pocket in 45 ACP brass, etc. I like resizing clean brass, and the sizing die will punch out the one little piece of media stuck in some of the primer flash holes. Ive also noticed in the past that sizing tumbled, primed brass I would eventually have tumbling media packed up in the sizing die from the occasional piece of media stuck in the pocket of the un-primed/tumbled case.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 6:48:55 AM EDT
I decap before tumbling, because the crushed walnut shells are small enough to fit through the flash hole. If I don't decap before tumbling, the media gets into the primers, and spills out over my press and bench upon decapping.

So, I do it because it's less messy.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 9:09:39 AM EDT
I FL size and decap after vibrating... most of the time.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 9:42:11 AM EDT
I read about this over on 68Forums: http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

Apparently this stainless stuff can be so small is goes through the flash hole and cleans out the primer pockets very well. I plan on getting some and trying it out as others reported it works pretty well. They also used it in larger commercial style tumblers for nuts/ bolts like available at Harbor Freight.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 10:11:33 AM EDT
I decap and clean the primer pocket before I tumble.
Usually I use a universal decapper before tumbler then I resize after they are clean.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 10:59:42 AM EDT
The only time I decap before resizing is for OFB, Lake City, that still has the crimp over the primers. I then resize and load, then tumble to remove One Shot case lube.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:25:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
I read about this over on 68Forums: http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

Apparently this stainless stuff can be so small is goes through the flash hole and cleans out the primer pockets very well. I plan on getting some and trying it out as others reported it works pretty well. They also used it in larger commercial style tumblers for nuts/ bolts like available at Harbor Freight.


Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check it out. Been in this reloading game since 1972 but always open to new ideas.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:43:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thelaw09:
I tumble them once before I remove the primer. This is just the first tumble to clean them before inspection. After resizing, they get tumbled again for a few hours to get any lube off.


This is what I do, first with walnut, second tumbling with Lyman corn cob cleaner. Even with Pistol ammo I usually do a second tumble after sizing just to shine it up a bit but I'm thinking I might do that after the rounds are loaded in the future...just to avoid de-corncobbing the primer pocket.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:53:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I decap before tumbling, because the crushed walnut shells are small enough to fit through the flash hole. If I don't decap before tumbling, the media gets into the primers, and spills out over my press and bench upon decapping.

So, I do it because it's less messy.

Any media stuck in the flashhole is going to get punched out with the primer and fall into your spent primer cup, tube, etc. The only reason it would spill all over your press is if you're primers are dropping onto your bench. That, or you are leaving loose media inside the case when you decap and resize them. Both are indications of poor operation because there shouldn't be any media that, "spills out over my press and bench upon decapping."
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 12:01:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LtBlue425:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
I read about this over on 68Forums: http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

Apparently this stainless stuff can be so small is goes through the flash hole and cleans out the primer pockets very well. I plan on getting some and trying it out as others reported it works pretty well. They also used it in larger commercial style tumblers for nuts/ bolts like available at Harbor Freight.


Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check it out. Been in this reloading game since 1972 but always open to new ideas.

I like the idea, too bad for the initial cost, and the fact that there is drying time.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 3:47:05 PM EDT
I've found that freshly fired (meaning today) brass, if deprimed and thrown directly into untreated walnut for a three hour vibratory tumble will come out clean, including primer pockets. If left overnight it usually won't. It seems as though the carbon hardens with the passage of time, old brass is the hardest to get clean.

For everything a person does there are consequences. This is true for reloding techniques along with everything else. If I decide to knock the primers out and tumble my brass prior to resizing, I just added another unecessary step. It consumes time and energy, the thing that life is made of. I do it anyway because I like the crud addressed by the vibrating tumbler before I get a look at it.

There is nothing wrong with tumbling with the primer intact. It will get knocked out when resized and the tumbler will have a little time with it while you tumble off the lube. The only down side to this method is that cruddiest coursest stuff in the case ends up all over your press. Including your ram, shell holder and possibly your dies. Make sure you wipe it down as the evening proceeds so it doesn't get a chance to take over.

I like the way a primer seats in a clean primer pocket. You can feel the difference. Primers seated in dirty pockets will shoot just fine so long as they are sitting all the way to the bottom.

This all ends up being a personal decision based on what's important to you. I have no information to back me up, but I always felt better about long term storage of completely cleaned brass over anything less than that.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:00:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ChrisGarrett:
Originally Posted By LtBlue425:
I don't bother because the media doesn't clean them out. Not much room for the media to slide around and rub the gunk off.


Yep.

I don't worry too much about cleaning pockets out, preferring to go three cycles, after an 'initial' uniform job.

I also prefer not to have to punch out stuck media that wedged into the flash hole, when tumbling after depriming.

Cleaning brass is the first step I perform after getting the stuff out of my range bag. It's like brushing my teeth in the morning and making my bed once out of it––just good ways to start my day off.

Chris




Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:10:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By COSteve:

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I decap before tumbling, because the crushed walnut shells are small enough to fit through the flash hole. If I don't decap before tumbling, the media gets into the primers, and spills out over my press and bench upon decapping.

So, I do it because it's less messy.

Any media stuck in the flashhole is going to get punched out with the primer and fall into your spent primer cup, tube, etc. The only reason it would spill all over your press is if you're primers are dropping onto your bench. That, or you are leaving loose media inside the case when you decap and resize them. Both are indications of poor operation because there shouldn't be any media that, "spills out over my press and bench upon decapping."


Maybe "spills" is the wrong word, as the amount of media is small, but the walnut media IS getting into the primer cups through the flash hole. A dump and quick glance shows nothing in the case before decapping, but the media nonetheless pops out of the spent primer cups when they hit the press, and before the spent primers get caught by the spent cup.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:18:03 AM EDT
I tumble clean then resize and remove old primer then trim and back to the tumbler to get lube off, I have a universal decapper in station 1 on my 550 to get media out
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:46:20 PM EDT
I clean brass as-is with primers intact to the point it is clean enough to resize and load if wanted. I then decap, size and trim on a Dillon 650 in one pass. next I acid wash to remove lube and remaining oxidation stains, and tumble with ceramic media for about 1.5 hours.

The brass looks literally like new- inside, outside, and primer pockets are done.

Brass will dry by itself overmight so no extra time is spent drying versus removing stuck media. All of this is done without handling individual pieces of brass, and my average is about 15 pieces per minute for the prep and about 5 minutes handling time for a 1 quart batch in the tumbler/media seperator.

When the Zombies attack I will probably be found dead in a ditch surrounded by spent brass, and by God, I want it to look good. I am going to watch Zombie Strippers for motivation this weekend before tackling another 3000 or so casings
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