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New to reloading, gifted 1000 pre-primed cartridges - looking for sage advice

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Nwfa reloaders...

I'm new to reloading. Told my uncle who reloads that I'd love to learn and spent a day getting lessons last weekend and ended up being gifted a new rcbs rock chucker Supreme, trickler, 223 dies, powder and more! So excited to get started with such a generous intro.

Now for the question, he also gave me 1000 cartridges he had primed and re boxed some many years ago. (bonus!)

As I was going through them and moving them from their paper boxes to an ammo box, I noticed that many of them are now a bit dusty/dirty.

Does this matter? Are they good to go or should I worry about cleaning them somehow before adding powder and projectile?

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They need to be tumbled in corn cob media and then should be good to go. Just make sure the isn’t any media left in the case.
Stacy
Those are live primers, I would not tumble. You will never get all that media out of the primers. It would most likely cause some failures. I would load and shoot. Nothing wrong with tarnished brass. Then get a Frankfurt arsenal wet tumbler.
 

scrandall01215

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Those are live primers, I would not tumble. You will never get all that media out of the primers. It would most likely cause some failures. I would load and shoot. Nothing wrong with tarnished brass. Then get a Frankfurt arsenal wet tumbler.
Personally I haven’t ever had a problem with it, myself but I can only speak to my experience.
Stacy
 
Load them up and shoot them as is. If they were mine, they would get loaded up and vibrated in rouge salted corn or walnut crumbs to clean em up some.. which I have done many times with old ammo stock. Of coarse its out in the shop, and not under the kids bed, and mother told me not to run with knives also, and ignored that too, but neither have caused me problems and I'm still here after seven decades. My opine will be received as Stupid, luck, or maybe I know what I'm doing even. The fact remains that many things can blow you up if conditions are right that doesn't stop most from doing those things or living. throwing ammo in a fire while not a good party idea, is not likely to shoot bullets into anyone, but could start a fire from blowing hot debris, A loose or corroded main connection in your circuit breaker panel can literally blow it off the wall and your house with it should a big enough current surge happen. I watched a guy in an old pickup go off a cliff when the pressed in axel came loose and his rear wheel and axel came off on a curve. yet we still drive cars and use electricity.
I don't know you, so in my opine, running with knives or polishing up live ammo in corn is entirely on your back. I wouldn't presume to know enough about you to advise you. clean or not, I wouldn't waste the 1000 primers but also wouldn't use them for self defense applications.
 
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They look pretty grody but I've never tumbled my brass, just wash it with soap and Lemishine -primers in. If it was packaged to preclude mud daubers etc. and moisture, I'd load and shoot them.
 
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Man I don't know. Those case mouths look pretty dirty. I'd at least wipe them down and try to clean out the mouth area.

As mentioned, I'd also make sure they're sized far enough to chamber in your rifle.
 
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Lasers
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Lots of good advice here. I'm going to start by checking all the case lengths and go from there.

I have the franklin tumbler and there is a lot of conflicting advice on tumbling with primers, but if my live rounds can survive in an ammo can while my rig bounces around the logging roads without a discharge, I'd guess the primed cartridges can handle bouncing around in some walnut media... although I'd still do it out in shop (away from the house). Still not sure on that one.

Maybe it'd be a good idea to chamber a few of the cartridges and make sure the primers are good?


Thanks again everyone for taking the time to help.
 
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... I have the franklin tumbler and there is a lot of conflicting advice on tumbling with primers, but if my live rounds can survive in an ammo can while my rig bounces around the logging roads...
I'm in the don't tumble crowd but it isn't so much because you might end up lighting off primers (even if one did pop, I seriously doubt there would be a chain reaction) -- it's about the flash hole. Every time I do cases in dry media, some small percentage will have a bit of media lodged in the flash hole even after aggressive agitation in a rotating media separator. I always put my shells in a loading block and then look through them with a bright white background below, and poke out those bits of media with a needle tool in every flash hole I can't see light through.

You won't be able to tell if the flash hole is clogged if you dry tumble primed brass. That's why I wouldn't do it.

EDIT: the problem this might cause in my opinion, is failure to fire or worse, a hang fire.
 
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I'd also say after checking the shoulder bump, only load up about 10-20 to make sure the primers all ignite. That'd suck to load up several hundred to a thousand cases and find out you've got a bunch of duds or squibs.
 
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Question for you. Are the cases dry and dirty or is there case sizing lube still on them? When I see dust and lint sticking to a case mouth like that it makes me think there's lube residue still on them.
 
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Question for you. Are the cases dry and dirty or is there case sizing lube still on them? When I see dust and lint sticking to a case mouth like that it makes me think there's lube residue still on them.
If there's lube on them I'd still just load them (given that they'll chamber etc.) and then just degrease the loaded rounds with the solvent/towel "tumble" method.
 
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If there's lube on them I'd still just load them (given that they'll chamber etc.) and then just degrease the loaded rounds with the solvent/towel "tumble" method.
That's good advice. Part of my concern was if there's lube inside the case as well. Will affect bullet pull/neck tension, but may also compromise the powder.
 

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