Case prep questions

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by smlranger, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. smlranger

    smlranger New Member

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    I have been tumbling my cases (9mm and 40) in corn cob media. I understand some folks use a bit of polish (even car polish) in the media to help shine up the case. Is this a necessary step and, if so, what is the best kind of polish to use?

    I also spray Hornady One Shot case lube on the cases before the sizing process and it does make it work better even with my Dillon carbide dies. Is it necessary to wipe the cases after loading (I don't use much of the spray)?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    i use lyman or dillon media polish, but they all work well. Just be sure to buy one made for polishing cartridge brass, stick with a reloading supplier. You do not want any ammonia in your brass polish.

    Yes, if there is lube on the case, give them a quick wipe. Be sure to clean the dies too.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    smlranger:

    I quit using the liquid polish as I had some block the primer pocket hole causing the handgun bullet to lodge halfway up the barrel since none of the powder burned. If you must (and excessive cleanliness of brass is not required) run the vibratory cleaner for several minutes after adding the liquid polish before adding the brass.

    Also I prefer walnut shell media as it cleans the cases faster. The corn cob media takes longer but leaves the brass shinny rather than a dull clean surface as does the walnut shell media.

    There is no need to use any lube with any straight walled case and carbide dies (most pistol rounds). It is imperative that you get all the lube off the case if you do use it and that goes for rifle cases, too. The case is a gasket that seals the chamber. The "design" is such that the case gets pushed to front of the chamber by the firing pin force, then the case walls grab the chamber sides hard to seal the chamber. If the case can move from its forward position to the rear of the chamber from the gas pressures then the bolt gets more pressure than it normally would on its face and ultimately on its locking surfaces. Most instructions for guns warn agaisnt oil in the chamber for this reason. The lube is a lubricant just like oil and should not be allowed to remain on the case after reloading.

    I don't know about the spray lubes but the roll pad that RCBS sells along with their lube for it are water soluable. So I wipe every lubed case off with a damp rag then a dry rag. I do it as the last step of reloading but if you single stage reload you could choose to do it after sizing. No matter.... get that lube off the case!

    Carbide dies DO NOT need lube for straight walled cases so don't use it to avoid having to wipe down the cases in the end. The lube doesn't help that much so why use it? The whole idea for straight walled cases and carbide dies is no lube required.

    LDBennett
  4. smlranger

    smlranger New Member

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    That was my understanding. However, the reloader who sold me my first loading components and coached me thru my first 9 mm reloads (using his equipment), gave me a can of One Shot and let me feel the difference when using it. He did not say I needed to use it but suggested it would ease the process. I'll try the next session without it. No need to add steps if really not needed.
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    I go with the walnut as well, I add a touch of polish and let the tumbler distribute the liquid for 15-20 minutes.

    As far as lubing cases, I can agree that it does make things smoother, but it becomes a real pain if you are in a progressive loading sequence. I also agree with LD, the carbide eliminates the need for lube. Well I compromise a bit and with one shot, spray the carbide ring on the sizing die every hundred rounds. Also before starting, spray half the cases I plan to load, then mix the other half of non lubed cases together. It works out very well, never too much and just a little here and there to make the sizing nice and smooth, and never a nasty buildup on the sizing die
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  6. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Walnut is harder than cob so it won't polish as well. It's the best for cleaning dirty brass however. I put about a capful of NuFinish car polish in my tumbler and run it 10 minutes or so to distribute the polish, then dump the brass in.

    If you have any lube on your cases, you can dump them in the tumbler for about 5 minutes after loading to give them a quick clean-up.

    You might want to try Imperial Sizing Wax even with the carbide dies, It doesn't take much and cleans off very quickly in a post-loading tumble. Do a search for "stuck brass" and you will discover most of the stuck cases are from using spray lube. I don't touch it any more, just use Imperial.
  7. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    You might want to have second thoughts about tumbling loaded rounds. Not that an AD is going to happen but the vibration can break down the powder in the loaded rounds, changing it's burn characteristics and possibly causing an unsafe condition.

    It is better to make sure no lube is present before primer and powder is introduced into the case. You can cheat a little by lubing the dies as stated above, and you might try a shot of silicone dry lube to the resizing die and letting it dry off before use.
  8. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    I do the same as you but use walnut instead of corn cob. I only dump in a piece of cling free to soak up some of the dirt. I also use One Shot. I have thought about mixing corn and walnut just for the fun of it. Walnut cleans faster from what I hear. I always wipe when finished.

    Are you having problems with your reloads or just trying to make them look pretty?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    myfriendis410:

    Several people here tumble (vibratory cleaner) finished rounds. They say they have no problems when I object with the same reasons you posted. To say the least I agree with you on this point.

    The bottom line on ANY lube you put on the case during reloading is that you have to get it off the case before putting such rounds into any guns chamber. I think it not productive to spend extra money for carbide dies that are designed to eliminate the use of lube on the case for sizing then add lube. Why not just save money and buy steel dies if the reloader wants to lube the cases?

    It amazes me how so many reloaders experiment with almost every aspect of the reloading process, not following the written literature on how the processes should be done. They obviously believe they know more about reloading than the reloading tooling manufacturers, the powder manufacturers or the bullet manufacturers that print reloading guides and manuals. I'm not that smart and follow the instructions written there with great success for me. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

    LDBennett
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I do the same thing but I use walnut and corn 50/50. I don't lube pistol brass and only tumble loaded rifle ammo.

    A good point and I see this a lot. The only problem I have with it is I have never seen proof of tumbling affecting the powder or burn rate. I know a couple of guys that have tumbled loaded rounds for different amounts of time up to a few days. They have before and after pic's and the powder doesn't look any different.They have shot them over a chrono with rounds that weren't tumbled and there was no difference. To me there seems to be a lot more facts that tumbling won't hurt than facts showing it will hurt.
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    RustyFN:

    I can think of at least seven different powder suppliers (there are more, I'm sure) and each supplies several different powders from several different processing methodologies. Each has its own hardness and resistance to vibratory action. Have all these powders been tested to determine if they change their shapes with vibration? Is not a key component of a powder design the shape of the grains? Have each been tested to see if their deterrent coating survives vibratory cleaning? If the coating is removed the burn rate changes. Has anyone seen any reloading manual even suggest using a vibratory cleaner to remove the lube on finished rounds?

    In the light of no evidence that it is a safe thing to do, I would not do it. Of course, a person can choose to do what ever they like but I like to point out to newbies (if any are tuned in) that I know of no recommendation from any reloading manual that states that it is OK. So I don't do it or recommend it to others. But, hey. That's just me. I like to be safe and I like to make consistent ammo so I follow the instructions in manuals, not invent processes that are not documented there. Maybe I missed it so I will ask to be informed if I am wrong.

    LDBennett
  13. duckcommander707

    duckcommander707 New Member

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    i agree that just seems like your asking for trouble tumbling loaded ammo. if you want shinny brass for shooting do what i do get some 0000 steel wool and polish the brass by hand alittle manual labor never hurt anybody. if your just getting lube off the cases wipe em off with a little damp cloth
  14. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Brasso works faster! It's what I use.
  15. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Some very good points re: tumbling loaded ammo. I didn't mean to stir the pot: it's just that Murphy is alive and well in my garage! Any chance that I might change my load for the worse is something to avoid. If you are like me, a lot of work goes into developing a load that shoots well in a particular firearm. You want to do everything EXACTLY the same every time and any deviation of any particular step in the process is to be avoided. Hell, I load my rifle rounds by batch, I dispense powder for a load at one sitting, etc.

    This is all preaching to the choir, I know.

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