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Guess I got away with one yesterday...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by theflyguy, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. theflyguy

    theflyguy Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    My buddy is doing some LEO training and was able to get me a mix bag of brass from the training. Before depriming I run the brass in the tumbler to clean it up.

    Well yesterday after emptying the tumbler and sorting the brass I found two (2) live rounds. One 9mm and one .40.

    Guess I got lucky that neither round went off while tumbling.
  2. P7id10T

    P7id10T West Slope Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Guys who like their ammo to look bright and shiny tumble finished rounds all the time. Google it.
    It takes a significant impact to set off a primer. That's why weak striker fired guns sometimes won't fire a round.
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Phrank

    Phrank Forest Grove Active Member

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    I've tumbled live rounds for years, quick and easy for removing case lube.
  4. quneur

    quneur Mukilteo, Wa Member

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    Newbie here but I always deprime and clean the primer pocket before tumbling. Am I doing it wrong? :)
  5. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Yes or No, I deprime after tumbling. Cleaning primer pockets is a pain depending on you tumbling media. If I deprime after tumbling cleaning primer pockets only happens rarely.
    Most primer pocket cleaning is only done on new brass.
  6. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

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    It is up to you, for instance, I clean the spent brass after the range, I toss them in the tumbler for 2-3 hours, I then deprimes/resized the empty cartridges, toss them back in the tumbler to get rid of the wax/lube that remained in the spent casing after depriming/resizing. I then clean the primer pocket, then toss them into the tumbler for the last time to get rid of any other remaining residue. I do not think this is a common practice, it takes a few more extra step in preparing the brass for reloading, this method works for me. In any case prepping the brass takes the most work when It comes to reloading.

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Just don't tumble ammo with lead bullets. It ruins walnut shell media.
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'm still waiting for proof that tumbling a live round, or for that matter a whole batch, will actually cause them to "explode".

    Lots of talk but no proof. Pictures would be nice.

    I've been cleaning finished ammo since I bought my first tumbler well over 30 years ago. Have yet to see a round go off while doing so or for that matter, having the tumbling change the performance of any rounds.

    There have been numerous tests where people have placed live rounds in their "tumblers", both vibrator type and the rock polisher type, turned it on and left it running for up to several days, and then disassembled the ammo. Microscopic examination of the powder has shown no so called "grinding effect" whatever.

    Considering that those who tumble live ammo as a final cleanup only do so for 15 minutes or so, I would say that any risk is somewhere near that of winning the Megabucks Lottery when the Jackpot is $500 million.
  9. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    If you tumble deprimed cases, there is a chance of getting media in the flash hole, so I would check for it. I tumble before I deprime almost all the time, most loading is handgun on a progressive, so depriming would defeat the gain of using the progressive. I don't think a pistol shooter anywhere could tell the difference in accuracy. If you are shooting varmints or benchrest, the extra steps cleaning and uniforming flash holes might be worth it. Usually I see no need to clean primer pockets when loading for my rifles, just inspect them.
  10. Blue Devil PA

    Blue Devil PA Boise Active Member

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    Can't tumbling change the physical structure of the powder itself, i.e. won't it break up larger particles, therefore adding surface area and increasing the ignition rate and increase pressure. BTW I tumbled a round of 5.56 yesterday, doh!
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If that were the case than it couldn't be handled in mechanical systems for transporting in factories, loading equipment, etc.

    Wouldn't be able to ship it over rough roads in trucks.

    Wouldn't be able to carry in helicopters or C-130's to re-supply troops at forward positions.

    A powder granule is a fairly strong item. It's designed to be durable under the widest of conditions and to make things even more stable, most all granules are coated with a graphite powder that allows the particles to move without "grinding up it's neighbors". The graphite also reduces the chance of static electricity setting off the powder as it's handled in various manufacture/packaging/loading operations.

    Your fear is the same as has been floating on the internet for almost as long as since Al Gore invented it.

    Just remember, there are Lawyers out there that would sue a tree for dropping leaves on the ground if they could figure out how to make a buck. For that reason, and only that reason, you will see all kinds of warnings about tumbling loaded ammo in the "tumbler manufacturer's" instruction books. Just remember, all Firearm manufacturers say "Do Not Shoot Reloaded Ammo.

    For some reason the very people that are adamant about not tumbling loaded ammo just ignore the firearm makers admonition about shooting reloads.
    bcdon and (deleted member) like this.
  12. PMB

    PMB Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Spot on Deadshot2. Thanks for the information regarding graphite- hadn't seen that before.

    I have regularly used a vibratory tumbler on reloaded rounds to clean them up if needed. It doesn't matter to me if they are cast lead or TMJ bullets- I am not tumbling for too long on live rounds though- Not because of concern about a round firing off, but just because they don't need much for the "touch up" cleaning.

    For rounds that have been stored properly I don't need to do this, but occasionally I'll come across a batch that was taken out to our range and they somehow got wet or dirty.

    " Just remember, all Firearm manufacturers say "Do Not Shoot Reloaded Ammo. "

    That statement by Deadshot2 is a super example of one way that myths can get started.

    If a reloader double charges a cartridge and blows the receiver apart, guaranteed there's going to be a lawyer trying to get the fellow or his survivors to sue somebody... hell, they'll try to get the lawsuit to include the gun manufacturer, the reloading equipment manufacturer, the powder manufacturer... ad infinitum.

    Common sense SHOULD be our guiding principle, but that is not the province of most laws. Therefore, that is not the province of most manufacturers warnings.
  13. springfield0612

    springfield0612 Poulsbo Member

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    I've found through extensive research that a casing that has turned dirt brown from exposure to the elements shoots as reliably and accurately as one that is once fired and is still shiney.

    The only time I tumble brass is when selling it or trading it to others. My guns, reloading equipment, and I don't care if the brass is a mirror finish. As long as there are no burs, it will not affect function or the life of your dies or gun. I run my brass in an ultrasonic cleaner to get rid of the carbon build up and any dust or dirt. It's not a beauty competition. :thumbup:

    Edit: I made my tumbler out of an old Ronco Showtime Rotiserrie machine and a plastic jar with wood agitators inside. I spent $16 to make it. I like to keep my money and spend it where it is needed!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013