I hate dry tumbling after resizing - what are the alternatives

st1650

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I don't mind dry tumbling my fired brass since I usually leave it on in the shop for 5 hours but I hate having to do the process again after lubing and resizing because then there's always shit in the primers flash holes and I always worry that a tiny piece of corncob get stuck inside the case. If I don't really case about flashy brass, can't I just get a wet tumbler without the SS pins and simply remove the lube that way ? But then you have to dry them and that also involves more work. I do have a food dryer that I barely ever use so I guess that would work for a small batch.

Or if I only do a batch of 100x 6.5 or 308 at a time, wouldn't a small ultrasonic be better ? Right now I'm looking at the Frankford ROTARY TUMBLER LITE for wet tumbling or the Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner
 
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Huskydriver

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Wet tumbling with pinch of oxy clean and limi shine with no pins ....
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KZP

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Use imperial sizing wax, resize, wipe off with microfiber towel. Ends up being a shorter time period than dealing with wet tumbling post resize. I don't let my cases fall in the dirt so I skip the first cleaning step. Once every 8 firings or so I will wet tumble to clean out built up carbon in the case interior.
 

straightshooter1

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I don't mind dry tumbling my fired brass since I usually leave it on in the shop for 5 hours but I hate having to do the process again after lubing and resizing because then there's always shit in the primers flash holes and I always worry that a tiny piece of corncob get stuck inside the case. If I don't really case about flashy brass, can't I just get a wet tumbler without the SS pins and simply remove the lube that way ? But then you have to dry them and that also involves more work. I do have a food dryer that I barely ever use so I guess that would work for a small batch.

Or if I only do a batch of 100x 6.5 or 308 at a time, wouldn't a small ultrasonic be better ? Right now I'm looking at the Frankford ROTARY TUMBLER LITE for wet tumbling or the Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner
Sounds like wet tumbling without SS pins is the way for you to go. Whenever I wet tumble, I do so with my Frankford rotary tumbler and don't use pins either. And I found it quite effective by using very hot tap water with Dawn and some Lemi Shine and only need to tumble for only 1/2 hr. to get the cases nice and clean on the outside. Afterwards, as the brass lays on a towel, I use my heat gun to heat them up and dry them out, which only takes 5 minutes or so. Then after they've cooled down they're ready for further processing.
 
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st1650

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BTW ... I decap before I wet-tumble. That helps clean out the flash hole and primer pocket. My sequence is decap - clean - lube - size - mandrel - clean - prime - charge - seat - shoot
Yeah that's how I would do it if I switched to wet tumble.

Now what's the real advantage between wet tumble vs ultrasonic ? Is ultrasonic just more convenient for time ? Because I work from home now I have unlimited time to start batches so I don't really care about time spent cleaning and more about lessening the amount of work.
 
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rustyinbend

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    BTW ... I decap before I wet-tumble. That helps clean out the flash hole and primer pocket. My sequence is decap - clean - lube - size - mandrel - clean - prime - charge - seat - shoot
    Oops ... forgot "Anneal" ... prior to lube. Can't believe I forgot that critical step. I hope my AMP doesn't hold it against me.
     

    simonp

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    I deprime and wet tumble with pins before sizing and then wet tumble again after to clean off excess lube, brass shavings from girarud,etc. Bit time consuming but worth it I think - also depends on quantity of brass you are talking about, my process above is for 5.56 which is in the hundreds.
     

    lightman

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    If I didn't want to tumble them again I would lay them out on an old towel and spray them with brake cleaner. Spray them and roll them around on the wet part of the towel before the brake cleaner evaporates. Just remember that the brake cleaner will also remove any wax or protective film thats on your brass.
     

    pell1203

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    For drying you can just spread them on a 1/2 sheet baking tray in a 200 F degree oven for 20 minutes. You can shake the tray to roll them around after 10 minutes if you’d like, though it’s really not needed.
     
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    cruze5

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    i have never double dry tumbled in almost 10 years of rifle reloading.. shame on me?

    i deprime, wipe the necks from all the mess from the suppressor.. if i didn't have time at the range for this step
    toss in the tumbler for 2 hours then verify they are empty of cleaning material
    size, using either wax or oneshot crap
    trim necks to size
    prime
    powder
    seat projectile
     

    Mudflap621

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    Change your media to lizard bedding, since I have not found a single piece of media in a flash hole "knocks on wood". I don't care if my brass is shiny new and Id rather keep some carbon in the necks so I prefer dry tumbling. I run first batch after firing with primers still in, process brass, than a quick 30 minute tumble to get sizing lube off of cases. I don't want to deal with having to dry brass or lube necks because they are squeaky clean. Just my two cents...
     

    Cascade Hemi

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    It depends on the gun, quantity of brass, and use. If the brass went from box to gun to box I don't even bother tumbling before sizing. If the brass went into the dirt and is filthy I'll wet tumble first and dry tumble after sizing. If I'm only loading a dozen or two pieces of brass I just wipe off the lube with a blue shop towel. It's a wild and crazy world, I can just decide for myself at the time which method I think will be better given a variety of considerations.
     

    HemiPowrd

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    After bullet seating I wipe each cartridge down and then check it in a Sheridan Engineering ammo gauge.
     
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    r.tenorio671

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    ....I had a situation with crushed shoulders during seating of Hornady 87Vmax & 108ELDM in some virgin Starline 6.5G brass that I converted to 6ARC. The brass had been annealed straight from the bag before resizing to 6ARC. After sizing I wet tumbled w/SS pins. After 4 crushes I took a very slight dab of Imperial Wax rubbed between my thumb & forefinger and just twirled the bullet bases between them before seating, no more crushing. The loaded cartridges sat for about 1-1/2 weeks before I got a chance to fire them, didn't observe any adverse effects on retention, movement or "cold welding".

    ...can't really attribute it to any one thing, cases had been chamfered, but I wasn't going to spend alot of time to figure out what was happening as I had already loaded quite a few previously with no issue, the mitigation of a minute amount of Imperial Wax on base just eliminated any more crushing in quick order.

    ...I have loaded thousands of 223/556, 300BLK & 308/762 that had been wet tumbled w/SS pins and never experienced a crushed shoulder. All of my 300BO brass is "converted" brass, mostly LC. I doubt the 4 crushed cases I had were the result of overly dry necks from wet tumbling, nor do I think the brass had been over annealed (Starline claims their new brass is annealed). If anything, I lean towards the seating die (Horndy w/micro adjuster) and my 1st time use of it and "learning it" in getting the proper adjustments down, especially when switching between bullets as I was doing.

    YMMV
     

    wade2big

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    I pour A strip of alcohol on a rag about 8-10” long. I line up 10 or so rounds and roll them back and forth with my hand over the alcohol. You can do 100 rds in just a few minutes. Easy peasy. No fuss.

    I don’t tumble at all. I pour my brass in a 5 gallon bucket with enough hot water and dish soap to cover the brass and agitate a bit. Rinse clean and lay on a towel to dry. Also takes just minutes. I want clean brass. I couldn’t care less about shiny brass.
     
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    Jefe's Dope

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    I use the lizard shells for dry tumbling and just use compressed air to blow out each case after tumbling.

    It doesn't take near as much time as it might seem. I have a small nozzle with a trigger. I just hang the air hose over my neck, makes the angle just right and easier to hold and control, and clean each case, primer hole side first then in the neck. It's ready for priming at this stage. I never have any tumbling media in/blocking the primer hole. You could easily do this prior to decapping as well. Just easier for me to blow out the case from the open primer hole.

    If you're processing more than a few hundred cases, this is probably not the method for you.
     

    CK1.0

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    I use lanolin/alcohol case lube and dry tumble after to get it all off. I've been using this for about a year:



    20-40 grit corn cob blasting media - this is A LOT finer than the corn cob tumbling stuff most of us are familiar with (which is usually a much larger/coarser 12-20 grit).

    It runs through the flash holes like water when you're done tumbling. I throw the cases in for ~1 hour or so and they come out lube-free and perfect, and the stuff just pours right out the cases without even really having to sift the cases, shake them, or anything else.

    I think I heard about it from some Benchrest thread.

    It felt weird spending like $40 on fancy corn cob media, but the shit has been worth every penny in saved time and annoyance not having to clear flash holes ever again, and one box is probably enough for life. I'd never go back to the coarse stuff.

    But, this stuff is pretty much garage-only. It's not the dust so much (because it's not really any more dusty than anything else), just because the stuff is so fine it can get everywhere if you're not on top of it.
     
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    r.tenorio671

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    Anneal AFTER sizing?
    ....based on the theory that the sizing work hardens the brass, post sizing could "relax" that work hardening and reset the ductile properties. I'm still exploring processes with annealing. Annealing the small batches of fired, dirty brass takes a minimum of time for me, less than a half hour and allows for better& easier reset of the shoulder bump and case mouth dimensioning during the sizing (IMHO). Waiting until I have a mass of dirty brass takes more time to process than I care to expend. To me, these cases can accumulate until I tumble them to clean off the lube and then anneal again and at same time dry them rather quickly. If any work hardening occurs during the wet tumbling (I can't say if it does or doesn't (thats a rabbit hole I don't care to explore) the anneal after should be resolving it, just in case.

    In the end, my process still achieves MY goal of having annealed brass right before loading, YMMV.
     
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    2aBaCa

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    a quick wipe with a rag and acetone after seating a bullet, visual inspection then it goes in a cartridge case.
    .
     

    acudaowner

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    save cleaning till after you are done resizing and everything just before you re prime this way your only cleaning and drying once .
     
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    Feniks Technologies

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    ....based on the theory that the sizing work hardens the brass, post sizing could "relax" that work hardening and reset the ductile properties. I'm still exploring processes with annealing. Annealing the small batches of fired, dirty brass takes a minimum of time for me, less than a half hour and allows for better& easier reset of the shoulder bump and case mouth dimensioning during the sizing (IMHO). Waiting until I have a mass of dirty brass takes more time to process than I care to expend. To me, these cases can accumulate until I tumble them to clean off the lube and then anneal again and at same time dry them rather quickly. If any work hardening occurs during the wet tumbling (I can't say if it does or doesn't (thats a rabbit hole I don't care to explore) the anneal after should be resolving it, just in case.

    In the end, my process still achieves MY goal of having annealed brass right before loading, YMMV.

    Firing brass will harden it more than the sizing. As well as one firing and such isn’t enough work hardening to be an issue. As far as brass life.

    Brass also springs back more when it harder.

    Annealing after sizing but not before won’t help your process, but it may very well lead to inconsistent shoulder set back. As annealing prior, if done properly, eliminates most or all spring back. Resulting is more consistent sizing.

    More consistent sizing = more consistent case volume = more consistent velocity.
     
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    CommissarGrub

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    I don't bother dry tumble a second time after resizing.

    Brass gets tumbled as it is when back from the range.
    Then it gets deprimed and resized, and I just give the bottom of the primer pocket a quick scrub with an El cheapo pocket cleaning tool. The depriming pin already made sure that there's nothing left in the flash hole for me.

    I don't really see the need for a second tumble session, the less the pocket gets eroded by extra abrasive cleaning, the less likely the brass will be discarded due to loose primer pocket.
     
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    Tokay444

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    I don't bother dry tumble a second time after resizing.

    Brass gets tumbled as it is when back from the range.
    Then it gets deprimed and resized, and I just give the bottom of the primer pocket a quick scrub with an El cheapo pocket cleaning tool. The depriming pin already made sure that there's nothing left in the flash hole for me.

    I don't really see the need for a second tumble session, the less the pocket gets eroded by extra abrasive cleaning, the less likely the brass will be discarded due to loose primer pocket.
    How do you get the lube off?
    If your media is eroding your pockets, switch to a different media.
     
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    Superjet

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    I don’t clean primer pockets. I dry tumble with primers in. Cases are resized with imperial wax. If polymer tipped bullets are used, I dry tumble the loaded ammo for about 10 mins to remove the lube. If I’m using OTM bullets, they all get wiped off.
     
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    2aBaCa

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    I don’t clean primer pockets. I dry tumble with primers in. Cases are resized with imperial wax. If polymer tipped bullets are used, I dry tumble the loaded ammo for about 10 mins to remove the lube. If I’m using OTM bullets, they all get wiped off.
    What does it matter?
     

    CommissarGrub

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    How do you get the lube off?
    If you media is eroding your pockets, switch to a different media.

    Wiping it off with a cloth rag and a touch of alcohol. It makes a good excuse to individually inspect my cases for defects/fatigue signs.

    I do not have any primer pocket issues but I keep reading here and there people ranting about throwing away their otherwise serviceable brass for this reason. I don't know the main reason of this, no idea if some of them are dry tumbling as well but in my mind, less tumbling doesn't hurt.
     
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    acudaowner

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    you could stop washing it your self and have a couple kids and start your own slave brass washing farm lol . Think of the possibilities nation wide you could force your kids till there 21 or until they move out to wash your brass and the brass of all the millions of new friends you could make across the country , employ all there kids making you not only popular , but rich maybe so rich you never need to shoot dirty used brass ever again (y)(y) .
    slave labor I mean kids are the answer to 80% of the world problems when looking for workers for dirty jobs you don't wanna do yourself and you don't have to pay em if you don't want to let them work for food .
     
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    2aBaCa

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    you could stop washing it your self and have a couple kids and start your own slave brass washing farm lol . Think of the possibilities nation wide you could force your kids till there 21 or until they move out to wash your brass and the brass of all the millions of new friends you could make across the country , employ all there kids making you not only popular , but rich maybe so rich you never need to shoot dirty used brass ever again (y)(y) .
    slave labor I mean kids are the answer to 80% of the world problems when looking for workers for dirty jobs you don't wanna do yourself and you don't have to pay em if you don't want to let them work for food .
    Ukraine has brass washers on sale.
     

    marchboom

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    I don't mind dry tumbling my fired brass since I usually leave it on in the shop for 5 hours but I hate having to do the process again after lubing and resizing because then there's always shit in the primers flash holes and I always worry that a tiny piece of corncob get stuck inside the case. If I don't really case about flashy brass, can't I just get a wet tumbler without the SS pins and simply remove the lube that way ? But then you have to dry them and that also involves more work. I do have a food dryer that I barely ever use so I guess that would work for a small batch.

    Or if I only do a batch of 100x 6.5 or 308 at a time, wouldn't a small ultrasonic be better ? Right now I'm looking at the Frankford ROTARY TUMBLER LITE for wet tumbling or the Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner
    Eliminate the problem! I use Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend from Amazon. Inexpensive and it's small enough so it doesn't get stuck in the flash holes. Been using it for years after giving up on corn cob media.
     

    r.tenorio671

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    Firing brass will harden it more than the sizing. As well as one firing and such isn’t enough work hardening to be an issue. As far as brass life.

    Brass also springs back more when it harder.

    Annealing after sizing but not before won’t help your process, but it may very well lead to inconsistent shoulder set back. As annealing prior, if done properly, eliminates most or all spring back. Resulting is more consistent sizing.

    More consistent sizing = more consistent case volume = more consistent velocity.

    ....I hope this doesn't degenerate in the fiasco that the EC Tuner discussion did and continues 🧏‍♂️

    ...you do you, I'll continue to do me. You may have missed that I actually "anneal" 2 times. My first anneal is the dirty brass before anything else occurs. The batch size of the dirty brass from any session is relatively small in size so it is very "time" manageable to anneal at that time, less than 1/2 hour. I don't have the luxury of a dedicated reloading room where my equipment is just sitting out set up ready to go, but to unpack the stored annealer and run it takes just a few minutes. My time, my management of it. This annealed dirty brass can them be chucked into the collection container until I have a sufficient quantity of either brass or time/desire to do the next phase, decap w/universal decapper and wet tumble with pins. I won't run dirty brass thru my dies for the obvious reasons. Tumbled brass can go back into a collection container until I feel the desire/time to lube & size it. Once lubed & sized, I tumble again w/o pins to clean off the lube then anneal a second time, which really just returns the ductility and dries it at the same time. Back into a collection container until I decide to load it.

    My time is valuable to me and I manage it in the manner that I decide. I always have ready to load brass on hand for when the mood strikes me so my method doesn't prevent me from being able to load when that occurs. I also have sufficient loaded ammo on hand for when mood, time & opportunity presents itself to go shooting. I'm a recreational shooter, not a competitor or shooting industry entity so my "life" doesn't revolve around shooting and the dedication of time to it.

    The methodologies may differ between individuals, but the core functions are consistent.

    MY method suits me and the objectives of having annealed & prepped brass ready for loading is met.
     

    patriotnation

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    Eliminate the problem! I use Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend from Amazon. Inexpensive and it's small enough so it doesn't get stuck in the flash holes. Been using it for years after giving up on corn cob media.
    Sounds great
    I am going to grad a bag tomorrow at Petco and give that a try. I was sick of picking corn cob out of pockets.

    I assume I should still toss a dryer sheet in there to absorb the carbon?
     
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    superde

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    I have thrown my sized brass in my Hornady Ultrasonic for 20 minutes and then dried them in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour. A friend told me I am wasting time. He has 2 five gallon buckets, a gallon of acetone, and a strainer. Dumps sized brass in the bucket with the acetone for 5 minutes, maybe stirring a few times, and then dumps the brass into the strainer sitting on top of the other bucket. Then he dumps the brass out on a towel to pat dry. Says brass is completely dry inside and out in a few minutes and starts loading. This should cut over 1 hour out of this process, but I still haven't tried it.
     

    max1840

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    I wet tumble with pins for about 30 minutes after sizing to remove the lube. I transfer the clean but wet cases to a stainless strainer and put them in the clothes dryer on the sneaker rack for about an hour
     

    Fat Dark Earth

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    Fired brass goes into the wet tumbler with FA case wash or Dawn and Lemi-Shine but has no media in.
    30min later they come out clean and after rinsing they get tumbled and dried in a dehydrator.
    I do it the night before cuz I plan ahead🤣(lies)…

    Then I put cases on an old cookie sheet. Spray with One Shot. Then decap and resize, prime and mandrel on the 750.

    I don’t wipe off the lube…
    That’s right.

    Load and go shoot. I’ve never had any issue with that in thousands upon thousands of rounds in any chamber or magazine.

    Ever. 🤯

    Solves that pesky problem of wiping off lube.