Reloading - How much prep do you do?

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by RatBikeRod, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Noel

    Noel Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2018
    I deprimer and resize first, then ultrasonic to clean out the pocket, then tumble in corncob to polish. Then I check for length and trim, check the pockets for corn-in-the-hole and hand prime next. Then a single stage press for the finish. Most of what I do is .45 ACP with carbide dies.
  2. Denver1911

    Denver1911 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    For years, I washed brass in hot soapy water, sat it on a towel in the sun to dry, and went to loading. Once I got a progressive, I deprime on it. I did get a tumbler a few years back and like that better than the water, but never found it necessary.
    gps man likes this.

  3. pistolgrips

    pistolgrips New Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    I only load what I have previously shot- no range brass - and load by headstamp. Walnut and corncob media to a brilliant shine with spent primers in place. Spray lube lightly with One Shot and into the press they go. I visually inspect the case &
    primer and “ballpark”” weigh each 9mm and 380auto (only). As for weighing the smaller calibers - I just want to make sure the press didn’t miss something with the powder throw. 45acp and 10mm auto get primer and case inspection only. I box and label by lot number and box number.

    I don’t know if any of this makes a difference in performance but it seems to make for a smoother reloading process. I’m running two Lee Load Masters. I have a Dillon but retired it in favor of the Lees.
  4. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Wet tumbling with Ivory and Lemi Shine works wonders. Mine only go 3 hours, both rifle and pistol (when I wet tumble them).
  5. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    With rifle it is. You're clearing out residual carbon, and carbon is far worse on a barrel than anything else. This came directly from the old bullet smiths at Sierra.
    simonp likes this.
  6. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
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  7. Whiten

    Whiten Well-Known Member

    Jun 9, 2017
    I deprime after I shoot so not bad when I get a pile. Wet tumble with Frankford Arsenal Cleaner and 1/2 bag of pins for a hour. I found it works best to only fill 3/4 way up brass then dump pins in.

    simonp likes this.
  8. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod You Don’t Know Me!

    Nov 22, 2017
    So it looks like wet tumbling with SS gets the brass a bit cleaner than dry. Also, possibly the pockets get cleaner. I know my brass comes out dusty from being in the dry media, but they are pretty clean.

    I got the RCBS universal decapper, and I am going to add that step in to my activity prior to cleaning. I see the value in that.

    The question now is whether to move over to a wet tumbler. My dry media tumbler is super old. I bought it used with my first reloading setup over 20 years ago, maybe more.

    I guess too wet tumbling with SS means not having to replace media....
  9. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Rat, what calibers? 45acp just doesn't need to be wet tumbled everytime if you keep you dry media fairly clean. Corn cob is cheap.
  10. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod You Don’t Know Me!

    Nov 22, 2017
    Mostly 9, 38 super, 357 magnum and 45 ACP. I am hoping to get back into 300 Blackout at some point.

    I am thinking if I got a wet tumbler I would then have either way I could go.
  11. Heavyopp

    Heavyopp Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    I stopped dry tumbling when I had a child with a nut allergy — walnut shell dust could be potentially deadly — corn cob never worked as well for me
  12. Rick McC.

    Rick McC. Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2013
    I do exactly as you do.

    If I wind up with military range brass; after the Dillon sizes and deprimes the case, I set it aside to run through a swaging die that I keep in my old Rock Chucker.
  13. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017

    OK I do not wet tumble pistol brass everytime. It depends on the powder you're using and primers. if the brass does get fairly nasty than I'd wet tumble more. However with the components I use, it isn't required and basically kind of a waste of time in my opinion.

    Rifle ammo, you bet after every case is decapped. BUT, I load precision ammo for rifle and I do go the whole 9 yards when I load. That way I know what the ammo will do in each rifle, if it doesn't, it's my fault.
  14. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    What were you tumbling? Back in the bad old days of SWPL we built a large tumbler and cycled a lot of brass at one time, all in corn cob, but we kept the media clean with no additives.
  15. AUSSIE1911

    AUSSIE1911 Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2019
    I haven't read every comment but I get the feeling I'm the only person that doesn't tumble my brass.
    I deprime give the pockets a very quick and light half turn with a pocket cleaner then run mine through an ultrasonic cleaner with my own home made cleaning solution (dishwasher liquid and a good splash of vinegar) and let them dry out in the sun and then of to the press for me.
  16. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    I am not consistent in my process because I seldom load brass in one setting. I generally run it thru the tumbler for an hour or so before I de-cap and size it just so I am not running filthy range pickups thru the die. Usually, it goes from there back into the tumbler, but often not in the same day. I use a hand primer, so I will take anywhere from 3-500 and prime them in one setting, and then they usually go back in the jug for reloading later.

    Once I get ready to reload, I take them from that stage to the finished product in one sitting, 2 or 3 hundred at a time(whatever I figure I fired on the last range day).

    As a rule, I reload more than I shoot, so my supply grows rather than shrinks, as long as supplies are available.
  17. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Get carbide dies. No lube! :)
  18. Riflecrank

    Riflecrank Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2019
    Like some here I reload a lot of match rifle ammo, so I am a bit anal. I don't shoot handgun nearly as much, so I buy my brass in 500 rd lots. I'll shoot the lot until the case mouths start to split, then toss the lot and start over. I stopped picking up range brass because for me, I'm not willing to run brass through one of my guns that I don't know the history on. I reload with a single stage press, so my methods may not apply to most people here. I wet tumble with pins after depriming. It really cleans the primer pockets well. I use Redding titanium carbide dies and expanders so I don't have to lube. You can really feel the difference between titanium carbide and regular carbide dies. Having said all this, I'm not sure I would clean with steel pins if I ran a progressive press. The big drawback of steel pins is the potential risk of a pin getting stuck in a case. I inspect every case before reloading to ensure its clear. Kind of negates the convenience a bit if you use a progressive press. If I had to sum up my rambling here, I would say that unless you shoot bullseye competition, it probably doesn't matter much how you clean, lube or load your brass as long as you use good reloading practices.
  19. CoalCracker.

    CoalCracker. Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2020
    My brass i decap and tumble for 30 mins. Picked up brass if it's dirty. We shoot out in the old mines a lot. So it gets dirty from the coal dirt after it's been laying around. So the dirty stuff gets a pre clean in walnut and corncob and mineral spirits combo. Then i inspect it for cracks and other damage. If all good. I decap then final tumble in corncob and auto polish.

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