I'm finding that cleaning primer pockets and inside necks are two steps I am not fond of. I currently tumble with corncob or walnut media but am thinking of switching to stainless chips to help with cleaning primer pockets and inside of necks. The negative I've read is that the inside of the necks are too clean and cause too much friction with the seated bullet, which is obviously a problem.
Those of you who use stainless media, how do you assure you have consistent neck lube with minimal friction? I use imperial dry lube when using mandrels to expand necks. Will this suffice for seating bullets? I've read others use neolube #2 or a paste.
I was hoping to get some feedback from others that use stainless media before going the trial and error route. Thanks.
This is my tried and true method and trying everything from corn cob, to walnut to Russian groats to wet tumbling with stainless media to just Water and ultrasonic.
Alot of people have trouble with this part of reloading because most of the info they get is outdated bullshit that keeps getting re-posted.
First of all, fuck all the dry media shit. Who the hell wants that mess and sorting out all this shit, not to mention having to ensure every piece of debris is out of the case or not stuck in the primer pocket. So vibratory tumblers go in the trash. Aint nobody got time for that.
Now we get to wet tumbling. Using Stainless steel pins or chips or whatever WILL do a superior job of cleaning out the primer pockets and insides of the cases. The problem is 3 fold. First, they are not needed. You don't need sparkly clean primer pockets or inside the case. A little carbon baked on there does no harm and does not effect accuracy/SD/ES/ED or AIDS. Some F-class world champs dont even clean their cases before they reload them, but my balls aren't that big yet. Second, I have experienced peened case mouths when running steel too long while wet tumbling. Yes you can peen case mouths by running just cases for too long (Over an hour, especially with cases that were trimmed/chamfered making it easier to roll the edge). I ruined like 500 Lapua cases when my tumbler broke and the thing ran for hours. I had to hand chamfer the inside of every case mouth just to get them wide enough to fit over the pilot of a henderson and ended up having cases .015 shorter than spec as a result. This royally sucked and I wont do it again. 3rd is time. Spending time draining, straining and ensuring every piece of steel is out of the case before it gets dried (What do you think a steel pin in the case will do to your accuracy not to mention barrel when its fired?) is a pain in the ass. Now this was traditionally done with some Dawn and lemishine like most do. It worked but was a pain in the ass and took way more time that I wanted to spend.
What I have learned is to just wet tumble with a good brass cleaning agent like Brass Juice or Boretech Brass Cleaner. I will typically anneal, deprime then clean the cases before I size/mandrel them. Throw the cases in with a oz or 2 of the Brass Cleaner and let it go for 20-30 minutes. Cases will come out sparkly clean on outside but you will still see some carbon inside case neck and primer pockets, but this is NOT an issue. Just dump the dirty water and clean brass soup into a strainer, run some fresh water over them to rinse off the solvent and throw in dryer. What took like 10-15 minutes with steel media now takes 30 seconds. I will then throw the cases into a food dehydrator that I bought my wife for Xmas (Didn't fool her) and let them dry out for a few hours. Once they are good I will size them.
Another thing I learned is Fuck imperial wax, dry graphite, hornady 1 shot,ect. Dealing with a giant fucking mess, horrible chemical smells, inconsistent shoulder bumps and stuck cases resulting in destroyed custom bushing dies is not fun. A friend showed me the Lanolin/Alcohol method and I will never use anything else. Its cheaper, cleaner, faster, and more repeatable than anything else I have used. I do not have to lube the inside of the cases because not only does some of the lanolin get in there, but that carbon that we did not completely clean out because we aren't fucking idiots, acts as a lube for the mandrel. Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesey. After Sizing/mandrel, throw in the Henderson for a nice trim/chamfer clean up and back into the ultrasonic cleaner for about 10 minutes just to wash the lube off. Then back in Dehydrator waiting for Priming, charging and seating bullets.
The last method is ultrasonic, which is similar to the above method just except they dont tumble, the water molecules actually scrub the cases. You need to be carefull with solvents and certain chemicals in an ultrasonic as the heat generated can hit the flash point and become explosive if vapor builds up under the lid. IF I couldn't wet tumble without media, I would use the US cleaner. Problem is its a big fucking mess, Takes forever to fill it with 25L of water, then you have to drain it and clean it out, plus it makes the most annoying high pinched wininig sound that makes you want to stick a chop stick in your ear. Its a good method if you dont want to wet tumble, but I still think its more work.