Southwest Firearms
Oregon Rifleworks
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Simply Triggers
HighLine Firearms
Defensive Arts
Gun Deals
J&B Firearm Sales
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Sporting Systems
Low Price Guns
Messages
663
Reactions
172
I'm new to this and being reloading supplies and ammo is extinct I figured i would start preping brass for when I can find reloading supplies to start reloading

So curious whats best and most efficient way to remove primers and should i do that be4 or after cleaning brass.

Also should I use a tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner or both and if both which one 1st
Thanks
 

DizzyJ

Messages
5,442
Reactions
5,694
I'm new to this and being reloading supplies and ammo is extinct I figured i would start preping brass for when I can find reloading supplies to start reloading

So curious whats best and most efficient way to remove primers and should i do that be4 or after cleaning brass.

Also should I use a tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner or both and if both which one 1st
Thanks
Welcome to the madness!
If pistol, I tumble in dry walnut shell media then deprime/size in one step with carbide dies.

If rifle, I deprime using a universal decapping die then wet tumble using stainless media, or just the brass itself using a Frankfort Arsenal tumbler.

I also dry tumbled rifle brass for years, then lubed and sized/deprimed in one step as well.

I never have used an ultrasonic cleaner on brass, though it seems others have done so with success.

Lots of options.
 
Messages
663
Reactions
172
Welcome to the madness!
If pistol, I tumble in dry walnut shell media then deprime/size in one step with carbide dies.

If rifle, I deprime using a universal decapping die then wet tumble using stainless media, or just the brass itself using a Frankfort Arsenal tumbler.

I also dry tumbled rifle brass for years, then lubed and sized/deprimed in one step as well.

I never have used an ultrasonic cleaner on brass, though it seems others have done so with success.

Lots of options.
Whats wet tumbling I have yet 2 read about that
 

Dungannon

Messages
2,147
Reactions
6,748
Everyone has their preferred method, with variations even among reloaders that use the same equipment. I wear nitrile gloves and a wet tumbler to minimize my exposure to airborne lead dust. Do a search on 'brass cleaning for reloading' on Youtube for a variety of opinions and the reasons for each.
 

DizzyJ

Messages
5,442
Reactions
5,694
Whats wet tumbling I have yet 2 read about that

 
I'm new to this and being reloading supplies and ammo is extinct I figured i would start preping brass for when I can find reloading supplies to start reloading

So curious whats best and most efficient way to remove primers and should i do that be4 or after cleaning brass.

Also should I use a tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner or both and if both which one 1st
Thanks
What I do for case prep may be overkill but I deprime by hand with a Frankford Arsenal platinum series hand depriming tool I think I got from Midway USA. I do ultra sonic cleaning first with a Hornady cleaner.

Then I let the cases all sit out and dry for a day or two (some people bake them a bit in the oven which is faster). Then I check case pockets and clean a bit if needed with hand tools from Lee. If the cases cleaned really well in the ultrasonic machine they’re ready for length checking and loading.

If the brass is really nasty I may run them in a Hornady dry media tumbler. The dry media (corn I think) is great polishing the cases but is a bit dirty and the media can get lodged in the primer pockets. These then need a bit of a wipe with a dry rag and all the pockets double checked for debris in the primer pockets.

The ultra sonic works really well for most cases...
 

partsed

Messages
2,923
Reactions
6,676
I deprime all my brass and then wet tumble with the Frankford Arsenal tumbler with stainless pins and their cleaning packet. When it is done tumbling I rinse the cases thoroughly and lay them out on a towel in the sun (lately) to dry for a couple of hours.

AC13B2D3-EA63-4ECB-AB41-737D7FB7CCB9.jpeg 2699CD39-7BD2-49BF-8037-90632D57C79D.jpeg 54955E24-7C26-48A2-814D-ED23323A21C0.jpeg
 
Messages
217
Reactions
424
I am also new to reloading, I would suggest reading and watching as many YouTube videos as you can, because we all have individual budgets and needs.
There seems to be pros and cons to each method of cleaning brass and I noticed opinions differ amongst experienced reloaders... I happened to already own an ultrasonic tank, so that is what I tried first and I liked the results. I dry the cases in a food dehydrator bought at a thrift store for $10, to be used only for that purpose. A good ultrasonic tank is not inexpensive, I would have tried wet or dry thumb!ing first if I didn't already own mine.
I have noticed that methods/steps also vary amongst experienced reloaders for the other processes as well. I bought unprocessed, once-fired military brass (5.56). My first step was to deprime on my press with a Lee Universal decapping die, I bought spare decapping rods from Squirrel Daddy per others suggestions (Glad that I did, I bent the tip of the Lee within a few days). There are others brands of decapping dies that have a reputation for being higher quality at a higher price.
I bought a Frankford case prep center (without trimmer) to remove the military primer crimp and uniform the primer hole (currently $90 on Amazon). I like it and would recommend it. Here again, there are a variety of opinions and methods to remove the original military primer crimp. If you are working with 100's or 1000's of cases you want the process to be accurate and as quick as possible. Choice may depend on your budget and if you prefer to swage the excess material or remove it with some form of trimmer.
I also bought a Ballistic Tools go-no-go gauge to quickly verify the primer pocket sizing, certainly not necessary to have, but I like it.
 

Mikej

Messages
14,710
Reactions
30,481
When I started, loading hand gun only, I went basic. A used vibratory tumbler, and walnutshell. (shortly after used a couple/three teaspoons of car wax with the media). The wax helped put a nice shine and less dust. ( A couple strips of dryer sheet helps too). And the wax residue is said to help keep the brass from tarnishing. Tumble first then size/decap. I'm using an RCBS Rockchucker press for size/decap. I've never messed with trimming straight wall pistol cases. (If you're going to load cases that get a roll crimp you'll need to trim to uniform length). I've been doing it this way for ten years. Stainless pin tumbling leaves brass oh so beautiful! But for me it's too much for what little I reload and shoot. For you? My opinion, if I were going to clean my brass in a wet solution, I would use stainless pins. If I have to mess with drying brass it's going to be pin tumbled.

I recently started loading shouldered rifle brass. For bolt action I don't feel you need to tumble before decap/resize. The brass isn't that dirty so no worries of wear and tear on dies. I do tumble after resizing to remove the trace of case lube though. I don't mind checking flash-holes for stuck media. I consider another handling of the brass one more inspection/opportunity to find bad brass.
 
Sporting Systems
Let Freedom Ring
Copeland Custom Gunworks
Southwest Firearms
Cerberus Training Group
Advertise on Northwest Firearms

Upcoming Events

Tactical Ordnance Gun Show
St Helens, OR
Arms Collectors of Southwest Washington Gun Show
Battle Ground, WA
Wes Knodel Gun Shows
Redmond, OR
Rickreall Winter Gun Show
Rickreall, OR
WAC Washington Arms Collectors Gun Show
Puyallup, WA

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Top