Deprime before or after cleaning

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by stev32k, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I clean them lube and deprime/ resize. Then mine go back in to the tumbler for a second go round to clean all the lube off of them.
  2. bustedmp

    bustedmp New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Shamokin PA.
    It all depends on if my cases where picked up from a shooting table or the ground. My range brass that never hits the ground gets a neck brushing, lubed, resized/deprimed, then into the tumbler. The stuff that hits the ground get a quick tumble, lubed, resized/deprimed, then back into the tumbler for a good cleaning. I never run my cases into my dies without at least a quick cleaning.

  3. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    I too, deprime without sizing and then clean.
  4. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    What is the "very noticable" difference?
  5. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    It's the black carbon ring in the primer pocket. Compare the top and bottom rows. Notice the clean looking brass primer pocket in the top row compared the black ring in the primer pocket around the flash hole in the second row.
  6. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Hi Steve,
    I'll start out by saying that I clean my brass before I resize them. But I use corncob/walnut media too, not the SS pin setup that you're using.
    With corncob or walnut media, you can and will get pieces of media stuck in the flash hole that will cause misfires if you miss one before you reprime/reload.

    With the SS pin stuff It sounds like that problem is non-existent so if you like to deprime before cleaning, then it should be perfectly fine to do so.
    I would definitely make checking that the flash holes are clear a step in the reloading process if you haven't already.

    My next comment is unrelated to your cleaning procedure but by reading your posts here as you've gotten started in the reloading hobby I see that you do have an extreme close attention to detail.
    Now...I might just throw you into fits by mentioning this, but if you're loading mixed brands of brass, as pictured above, you're introducing a whole lot more inconsistency than you'll get from your current reloading process.
    Different brands of cases will vary in internal capacity, neck wall thickness and ductility of the brass (causing differing neck tension).
    You might want to check into segregating your brass by brand if you're looking at another step towards making more consistent ammo.

    Myself, I'm about as meticulous as you are (trim length, seating length, etc down to 0.0001") when it comes to rifle ammo, so I do understand your attention to detail.
    But for the majority of my pistol ammo, I load mixed brass and tend to stick with somewhat looser tolerances since I'm loading and shooting a lot larger quantities and the time becomes a factor.
    Don't take this as me discouraging you from your detail level...everyone develops their own preferences and "system" for how they load.
    Note I didn't say anal-retentive...although that IS how I describe my rifle reloading procedure. There are quite a few times that I wonder why the heck I just spent 4 hours crafting only 50 rounds or less! :)
  7. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    I'm just finding out how much inconsistency there is in the brass. I weighed 50 unsorted cases that were deprimed before cleaning and 50 that were deprimed after cleaning. The range of weights for brass that was deprimed before cleaning was 7.3 grains (highest weight - lowest weight). The range for cases that were deprimed after cleaning was 9.6 grains. So depriming before cleaning does reduce the variability some what, but the real variability is in the cases themselves.

    I was surprised to see just how much the weight varies from case to case. Especially considering that 9mm cases are not very big.

    I am now in the process of separating the cases by head stamp. I will determine the weight variation by brand to see if it is really worth the time and trouble to separate them before loading.

    I have also measured case length and wall thickness and find about the same variation in unsorted as in cases sorted by head stamp. I could not find any real statistical difference between the sorted and unsorted groups. They all varied more than I expected.
  8. steve2md

    steve2md New Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    I use a universal decapping die, then clean. Even if there is no true benefit, it makes me feel better, so I do it. Confidence in one's reloading process will improve groups, since it's one less thing to worry about when you are behind the trigger. Plus, I tumble with ss media, so I don't have to worry about media stuck in flash holes or primer pockets. If I get a pin that gets stuck in a bottle neck case, I toss that pin. They should all be short enough to not bridge.
  9. Same here.
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    normally clean first then deprime/size. but sometimes I'll pop em out first but either way, the pocket gets hit with the cleaning tool.

    sometimes (like my hunting ammo or if I want to make it really puuurty) I will do two trips, one prior to sizing and one after. I also use a bore brush in the drill to clean the necks on bottleneck rounds mostly.
  11. time2shoot

    time2shoot Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Brandon SD
    I do both, simply I dont want anything on my brass before resizing and decaping.
    Then i run them again. It helps that my kids love the tumbler.:D
    but it is just my prefrence
  12. I clean my cases in a 50/50 mix of walnut and corn cob media laced with a capful of nu-finish 2000 before sizing/depriming. Keeps my dies cleaner and scratch free . In the time it takes to get that media out of the flash holes I spend that time with a primer pocket brush chucked up in a lightweight cordless drill. Takes me about 4 minutes to clean 100 primer pockets this way.
  13. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    FWIW; I rarely clean primer pockets. Some cases I will deprime before cleaning, but I don't like carbon/soot getting on my press so some times I'll punch the primers out manually. I have been reloading off and on since '69 and really have found no need to clean primer pockets. 90% of what I reload is handgun ammo (80% revolver, 20% semi-auto) and have never had a failure to fire because of dirty primer pockets or mis-seated primers. I reload .223/5.56 and use a lot of military brass so I de-crimp the pockets but don't scrub them. But I do inspect the entire cartridge (before, during, and after reloading) and if I ever saw anything in the pocket, carbon, soot, etc., of course I would clean it out but haven't needed to yet. I'm not a benchrest shooter but my .223 can hold 1" at 100 yds when I do my part...
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  14. streetbob

    streetbob Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    Gulf Coast, Texas
    I usually do both, I give my brass a heavy cleaning before reloading them with some Frankford Arsenal case polish and corn cob media. Then after I completed the rounds I throw them back in with walnut media for a hour or two to get the lube and fingerprints off then wipe them with a microfiber cloth to get all the dust off.
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