How do YOU prep your rifle cases?

Messages
16,079
Reactions
42,213
I made a comment on another thread that left room for discussion on the many different ways that each of us prep rifle brass before the actual reloading process begins. Here is my comment on that other thread.

leaving lube on cases

I am relatively considered a n00b at reloading but I have worked in many fields where you have many different ways to achieve the desired results.
That said, my process for prepping rifle brass (since I bought a Lee turret press) is inspect, decap, lube (lanolin & alcohol mix), resize, trim, cut primer pockets (if military crimps are present), clean primer pocket, tumble (1-3 hours). All the press work (decapping & resizeing) happens on my spare RCBS press since I want to keep the turret reloading press free of the depriming crap that comes out when decapping.
I do all the case prep before any cases go onto the press. I bought 2 extra 4 hole turrets originally but am considering switching to a 3 hole setup since I do not deprime or resize on the press. But that is for another thread.;)
 
I suspect that this is going to be like a "red vs blue" discussion (presses, not politics; although on reflection either may be considered)
Personally, I use a Lee recapping die first, pop the primers and then tumble in SS media. Before I used SS media, I had a prep station for cleaning primer pockets and chamfering the neck... Now I just chamfer a trim job. After dry, I use RCBS lube (because I always have) and put a THIN film on the case necks and shoulders and full resize. I reload for several different rifles of the same caliber, so FL is my only real option. Then I check case length, trim if necessary. While handling checking case length, I wipe off any excess lube. Then I hand prime watching TV usually. Final stage is to throw powder and reload.... Works for me...
 

DizzyJ

Messages
4,663
Reactions
4,737
Clean in the vibratory tumbler or SS media tumbler, lubricate, size and de-cap in one step, remove lubricant from sizing operation, trim to length (if necessary), debur the flash hole, chamfer the inside of the case mouth.

I don't use military brass with crimped pockets, or id throw that operation in there after sizing and de-priming.

I don't clean the primer pockets as I've never seen it make any difference whatsoever.
 
OP
Caveman Jim
Messages
16,079
Reactions
42,213
I suspect that this is going to be like a "red vs blue" discussion (presses, not politics; although on reflection either may be considered)
Personally, I use a Lee recapping die first, pop the primers and then tumble in SS media. Before I used SS media, I had a prep station for cleaning primer pockets and chamfering the neck... Now I just chamfer a trim job. After dry, I use RCBS lube (because I always have) and put a THIN film on the case necks and shoulders and full resize. I reload for several different rifles of the same caliber, so FL is my only real option. Then I check case length, trim if necessary. While handling checking case length, I wipe off any excess lube. Then I hand prime watching TV usually. Final stage is to throw powder and reload.... Works for me...
I can relate to the "doing it like I've always done it" routine in other things but I'm still learning and picking up things from you experts....:)
Thanks for the tips.;)

Clean in the vibratory tumbler or SS media tumbler, lubricate, size and de-cap in one step, remove lubricant from sizing operation, trim to length (if necessary), debur the flash hole, chamfer the inside of the case mouth.

I don't use military brass with crimped pockets, or id throw that operation in there after sizing and de-priming.

I don't clean the primer pockets as I've never seen it make any difference whatsoever.
I heard from someone that dirty primer pockets are bad but then again I've never heard that they caused any problems so it must be someone's pet peve... another of the many step on the Lyman Express case prep center, that thing is awesome!!!!:D
Thanks for the tips.;)
 

ageingstudent

Messages
1,470
Reactions
3,361
Well for .223 I wet tumble in the Frankford arsenal tumbler (it cleans the primer pockets I wouldn't if it wasn't for that) and load with the auto index on a LCT press so it's: decap, swage primer pockets, trim .005 shorter than trim to length, chamfer, then into the wet tumble followed by a dry tumble in cob. When I feel like loading a crapload of .223 I have several thousand ready to go and from there it's just like a pistol cartridge except for lube. I like to lube inside the neck with Mica. For 22-250 I do those like a single stage because they aren't so high volume.

I think my blastin' ammo for my AR turns out pretty nice:). My AR seems to like it. The pic is 160 rounds the actual on the press time is about 2 hours for a box like this. Good enough for a country boy living in the city.
20170414_210451.jpg
 
Geez.... I probably reloaded thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rounds and never cleaned the primer pockets... of course back in "the day" there really wasn't an effective way to do so either... we were too busy being excited about the invention of fire and seating bullets with our previous projectiles of choice...now known as rocks :rolleyes:

I never had a "problem" with a load from not cleaning the primer pocket.... but in the ever elusive attempt to be more accurate than I am, I started cleaning the primer pockets along the way. Logically it makes sense to me to do so from a consistency perspective, but I have and still do load plinking rounds that I don't bother with cleaning the pockets.
 

jordanka16

Messages
2,082
Reactions
2,155
New cases get the flash holes uniformed, and then trimmed and chamfered. Then I usually sort for weight. If they chamber I don't size new cases, the first shot is more for fireforming anyway.

After they're fired I deprime first, either with a Lee die at home or for black powder I use a Harvey deprimer at the range if I didn't forget it. Then a tumble in SS media. Then every case gets full length sized the minimum amount, the only exception is .303, those get neck sized, and blackpowder, which doesn't get sized at all. Then I check the length to see if they need trimmed, after that they get primed, then loaded.

There's a lot more you can do, but I don't shoot bench rest so this works for me.
 
OP
Caveman Jim
Messages
16,079
Reactions
42,213
Well for .223 I wet tumble in the Frankford arsenal tumbler (it cleans the primer pockets I wouldn't if it wasn't for that) and load with the auto index on a LCT press so it's: decap, swage primer pockets, trim .005 shorter than trim to length, chamfer, then into the wet tumble followed by a dry tumble in cob. When I feel like loading a crapload of .223 I have several thousand ready to go and from there it's just like a pistol cartridge except for lube. I like to lube inside the neck with Mica. For 22-250 I do those like a single stage because they aren't so high volume.

I think my blastin' ammo for my AR turns out pretty nice:). My AR seems to like it. The pic is 160 rounds the actual on the press time is about 2 hours for a box like this. Good enough for a country boy living in the city.
View attachment 356841
I look at every primer pocket after decapping & if it's funky I'll just move it over to the next position on the lyman prep center (it has 5 stations) so I chamfer, inside & outside, run a bristle brush in the neck cavity (by hand), primer pocket cleaner, primer pocket reamer & primer pocket uniformed.

I want the cases completely prepared for the press to load.
As of now (until I find that perfect load) I put mine in margarine tubs (have over 2k now prepped) with tape & sharpie marked according to manufacturer & 5.56 cases get the 62gn penitrators...... Freedoms Boolits...:p

Then they will get loaded into magazines for the ready!!!
 
Last edited:
OP
Caveman Jim
Messages
16,079
Reactions
42,213
Geez.... I probably reloaded thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rounds and never cleaned the primer pockets... of course back in "the day" there really wasn't an effective way to do so either... we were too busy being excited about the invention of fire and seating bullets with our previous projectiles of choice...now known as rocks :rolleyes:

I never had a "problem" with a load from not cleaning the primer pocket.... but in the ever elusive attempt to be more accurate than I am, I started cleaning the primer pockets along the way. Logically it makes sense to me to do so from a consistency perspective, but I have and still do load plinking rounds that I don't bother with cleaning the pockets.
Consistency is what I want to achieve from making my own ammo so willing to do what I can. I do rather enjoy the process and the tedious work that goes into it. :)
 

Dyjital

Messages
11,327
Reactions
22,683
Old cases I've worked before:
Roll on lube pad
Size & deprime
Tumble/clean
Trim, chamfer and debur

New to me cases...
Roll on lube pad
Size & deprime
Tumble/clean
Trim, chamfer and debur
Swage primer pockets

Depending on how dirty the cases are, some I will use the universal deprime die and tumble for 30 mins before running through the sizing die. But that's it.
 
OP
Caveman Jim
Messages
16,079
Reactions
42,213
Yep, so many options for each case. I separate into two different categories, .223 & 5.56 I'll load the .223 for plinking and the 5.56 gets the precision loads for the Defense of Freedom.;)
 

Capn Jack

Messages
3,836
Reactions
7,215
I always tumble my cases before removing the primers. It saves having to take a dental pick and knocking the pieces of walnut shell out of the flash hole. :p

I've also learned not to tumble 9mm and .458 brass together. That saves having to fish the 9mm cases out of the .458 cases. :eek: .....Now where did all of those 9mm cases I put in there go? :rolleyes:
 
Messages
6,597
Reactions
19,154
Fired cases:
Wash 'em, inspect necks, check the length using calipers like a go/no-go gauge (Max length -.005), and lube/deprime/resize.
Check the flash holes and clean primer pockets.

New cases:
Check necks & flash holes and uniform as necessary.
Lube/run them through the sizer.
Chamfer mouths and check the length.

Then all my cases get their primers installed. I don't keep unprimed cases around unless they're used/still dirty.
 

P7M13

Messages
7,102
Reactions
15,866
Basically what @Dyjital & @Jamie6.5 do. The only cases I've swaged were Mil surp brass that had been fired through a MG with the primers crimped in place.
If it's a magnum case, I will also anneal after 3 or 4 loadings before tumble.

I've used lanolin/alcohol for years. Last fall, started using coconut oil and I'm not going back. It doesn't gum up like the lanolin.
Plus, the coconut oil I use is organic (it's just what we had in the kitchen).

I can now tout among hipsters and fruitcakes that I reload organically. :D
 
Messages
3,483
Reactions
8,695
I am super laid back about reloading my AR ammo. I tumble cases in cob for a while, reload cases on a Dillon 550. If I find one that is obviously long I set it aside to the "trim later eventually" container, if I find a split case which I do occasionally I toss it. I do not clean the primer pocket, sometimes after I deprime I pull the case out and ream the primer pocket to allow easier seating of the new primer if it is obvious the brass needs it I can tell by feel and sight. I do 100 rounds in 27 minutes this way on the Dillon. It has served me well for several years and I never have had a problem after thousands of rounds. My accuracy is still 1 MOA or better out of the AR's I shoot.

If I am reloading ammo for precision work with a bolt gun I give the process more care.
 
Messages
1,036
Reactions
682
This method is for brass that has had the crimp removed.

-30min-1hr in the vibratory using walnut
-Lube, resize/decap
-30mins in a wet tumbler using ss pins and dish soap(To remove lube)
-Dry cases using a towel
-Trim/chamfer (same time)
-Wet tumble for another 30min/1hr depends on how dirty they are.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

22 Rimfire Challenge
Redmond Rod and Gun Club
Redmond, OR 97756, USA
Rimfire Challenge May 8th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Professional business
    This business has been my go to transfer dealer for years. Best you can find in Washington County
  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Fantastic Customer Service!
    Recently, they helped my lady transfer a pistol to a family member in CA. Most FFLs would have told us to pound sand when we mentioned where we...
  • HighLine Firearms
    5.00 star(s)
    One of the best!
    I have bought from online and in person. Great store, he had things I did not know were needed. I try and recommend Highline Firearms to people I...
  • Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    The only gunsmith I'll use
    Tim has done a few projects for me and the result is always the same. Amazing. End of story. From complete refinish to custom machining, Tim is...
  • Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    great work refinishing my 27 year old 1991 a1 compact colt .45
    Tim did a great job making my gun look brand new again and replacing the old parts inside. Super Happy!!
Top Bottom