First batch of clean brass - I'm impressed

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by stev32k, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Just took the first batch (250) of once fired 9mm brass out of the tumbler. The cases look like they just came from the factory inside and out. The flash pockets and primer holes are clean as new - not a speck any where.

    The next step is to dry them in the oven on low temperature for an hour or two.

    The next batch of 40 caliber is in the tumbler now.

    Attached Files:

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Me, personally, I like 'em dirty on the inside.

    I've noticed that with NEW brass, the expander sticks. Takes a little force to remove it. Doesn't happen when I'm doing fired brass. Up and down, no pain, no fuss.

    I presume that is because either residual graphite from the powder, or the burned powder residue itself, acts as a dry lubricant, and allows the expander to slide in easier.

  3. X Ring

    X Ring Active Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    They look real good, you should be able to load some ammo you can be proud of. I assume you are using SS pins to tumble them.
  4. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Nice looking brass. What kind of media did you use?
  5. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Yes, 5 lb of stainless steel pins, 1 tablespoon of cascade and 1 teaspoon of lemon cleaner. Added 1 gallon of cold water and tumbled 4 hours.
  6. garydude

    garydude Member

    Beautiful Stev- I've been thinking of going wet instead of dry tumbling.

    Alpo, any reason you couldn't resize and bell before you clean the brass?
  7. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Because that defeats the purpose of cleaning the brass. The point is to protect the dies from the dirty bits on the cases. Resizing dirty cases can ruin dies.
  8. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    When I reloaded about 30 years I didn't clean brass at all except to blow the dirt out of the case. Every now and then I got a dud and twice the primer fired but the power didn't ignite and I had to dig the bullet out of the barrel. Back then I blamed the primers, but more than likely it was debris in the case or flash pocket.

    I vowed this time it would not happen and spent some extra money on the tumbler to eliminate that problem. And besides I like nice shiny, new looking cartridges. Just got the second batch in the oven and they look as good as the first.
  9. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    any reason why you can't use die lube on pistol brass ( coming from a guy that does lots of bottleneck rifle brass.. etc )
  10. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV

    What temp are you at with the oven? I've tried baking them at 200 and it helps. Since I live in the desert I have found cradling them in a loosely wrapped towel and tossing it from side to side, then letting them air dry overnight works just as well. That Thumlers is a great machine, brass looks great and you will rarely need to clean your dies or work area; a huge plus in my book.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    i put mine on the show rack in the clothes dryer in a reuseable turkey roaster disposable pan plus a paper towell
  12. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    I use the lowest temperature setting I can. I read that if you dry them at too high a temp it can tarnish the brass. It's about 125 deg and it takes about an hour.
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    A couple of things:

    The residue inside the cases is mostly carbon and it acts as a lubricant when you size and bell the cases and seat the bullets. If you remove it all then you may have to resort to NECO internal neck lube graphite to size the cases without too much force and to avoid the bullets collapsing the wall of the case as the bullets are seated.

    Don't over heat brass cases as you effect their temper and strength. The case head is especially important to keep from over heating as it is the strength of the case. If its strength is destroyed by the heat then so may your gun and you when you fire one of these weakened cases. I think if you insist on using a liquid media then you need to let the cases air dry after removing most of the trapped water by shaking the case. It might take a day or even two to be sure the interior of the cases are completely free of moisture. This is the main reason I do not like any cleaning process that includes water. I take my cases from the vibrational cleaner tub directly to the reloading bench. No waiting.

  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012

    I thought anealing a brass case made it better handle stresses by preventing cracking.

    also on the carbon in the cases.

    I wonder how that relates to soot.

    soot is abrasive. I know in the engine work i do, we look at soot as an abrasive and damaging particle in the engine. I take it soot is not abrasive and damaging to the case and die set?

    just wondering.

  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    One correct way you anneal brass (and you only anneal the shoulder and neck) is to sit the head of the case in water to assure it is not heated at all. If any of the head is annealed, the case is useless and dangerous.

    While soot may be abrasive, the residue inside fired cartridge cases aids reloading with no ill effects on the hardened tooling. Dirt on the outside of the cases scratches the sizing dies and ruins them.

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