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Cleaning and polishing brass

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Desertfox19, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Desertfox19

    Desertfox19 Oregon New Member

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    Should it be done after the primers have been removed or before they are removed. Or dose it make any difference.
     
  2. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    If you de-prime first it will help clean the pockets, but you will have to be sure to clear the flash holes of any media or pins used. A downside for me is that when I see a clean case sans primer has it been resized yet or not? If you leave the primers in the pockets don't get cleaned nor the flash holes fouled and people like me find it easier to keep track of what step in the process the brass is at. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.
     
  3. Desertfox19

    Desertfox19 Oregon New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I will try both ways.
     
  4. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Happy Valley Active Member

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    I like to tumble first. Then Size and deprime. Then tumble again. True that you have to check all your flash holes for media, but the dies don't get all dirty from sizing dirty brass.

    HotRod
     
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  5. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    Wet tumble to clean, dry, process and wet tumble again with SS pins to clean primer pockets and finish to a mirror like shine.
     
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  6. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    If it's range pickup I tumble first if it's really dirty/nasty.


    Typically I size/deprime then tumble. I wet tumble. I always tumble after if I used a lubricant. Then when the brass is dry it's ready to load.

    My own pistol cases, I'll clean every couple of reloads because they aren't that dirty.

    My primer pockets are sparkling clean.

    Some say it's useless to clean brass to a polished state. I did some arm placebo tests a while back and found that clean brass doesn't stick as much on the Lee expander powder through. They glide on and off much easier. After realizing that on .357 cases, 9mm cases I decided to start cleaning every couple. Even if it's just for a bit to knock off the extra gunk.

    I also tumble as the last step to remove any die sizing marks from the brass, purely for aesthetics.
     
  7. SHPD_Retired

    SHPD_Retired Saint Helens Well-Known Member

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    I deprime first then tumble in SS Media. I do not have any trouble keeping track if the ones without primers are already sized or not, I just mark the container I put them in.
     
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  8. Papercidal

    Papercidal Vancouver ,Wa Active Member

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    Clean before depriming if using a dry tumbler deprime first if using a wet tumbler or ultra sonic.
     
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  9. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Getting fairly-good results with a citric-acid/water mixture.
     
  10. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Note that depriming doesn't always mean resizing at the same time. You can use a universal deprimer, tumble, and then resize. If done in that order your decapping pin helps ensure a clear flash hole but I'd still visually inspect them all first for media anyways.
     
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  11. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

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    This too, is how I clean brass.
     
  12. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Tumble first. Brass goes straight from the range bag to the tumbler. When clean it goes in the storage bin. I have enough brass that it might be several weeks before the brass I shot/cleaned today gets reloaded. This week, I'll be reloading brass that I cleaned several weeks ago. Well, except for a few closely matched rifle cases. Still, tumble, then de-prime.
     
  13. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Shoot, dump em' in vibratory cleaner, size / decap.

    Repeat :)
     
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  14. Hayshaker

    Hayshaker Irrigon Active Member

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    That's the way 've always done it Some times will ream the pocket if it's real dirty. Never had a ftf be cause of the primer. If the hole is clean it'll fire. Period . Do not like anything wet in my brass so never wet clean them. Always tumble first right offthe range even old tarnished brass. May not be shiny but fires just aa well as polished. Been at it for over 50 years
     
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  15. Tony C

    Tony C New Member

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    This is my process also. I put the brass in my Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler without the pins or any cleaner, just in hot water, and tumble for an hour. My only goal here is to get the mud and dirt off. Then I dry and send it through my decapping die, resize, and tumble with the pins and cleaners for three hours to make them nice and shiny.
     
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  16. Hook686

    Hook686 Northern California Active Member

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    I clean every 3, or 4 shoots, or if it is unreasonably dirty. I never polish my brass. Why waste the time that can be better spent is my thought. I shoot handgun and have not needed to trim yet. I do have a 30-06 that I occasionally shoot and check case length before I neck size. If needed I re-size but clean before trimming if any of the cases are really dirty.

    Different strokes for different folks. What ever floats your boat is my thoughts and do not think there is any, 'Should' that applies.
     
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