Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Some Newbie reloading questions.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by eldbillbo, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,179
    Likes Received:
    881
    Ok I am a newbie on reloading got a few questions

    Q1. do you need to tumble once fired brass if it looks clean ? does it serve any other purpose other than make the brass purdy.

    Q2. I was watching a u-tube video about the lee turret press (which is what i got thanks to a member of this board) and he did not trim the case so is trimming always necessary ? i will be loading for 1 rifle and the ammo will be for that rifle only. In the video he ran it into the sizer die that de primed and primed it then it auto powdered it then he put a bullet it in it and seated it . which leads me to

    Q3. do you have to clean the primer pocket.

    Thank you and look forward to sequel , Some more Newbie reloading questions part Deux
     
  2. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    627
    A1. Yeap, purdy. And there is nothing wrong with that. :) I recently switched from brass polish to mineral spirits. The results are amazing!
    A2. If you exceed the max case length, you may get very high chamber pressures. Particularly true for bottle necked rifle cartridges. I always process my brass fully before priming. Of course, I only have a single stage. But, if I were to have a turret or a progressive, that's one thing I'd never, ever change.
    A3. You dont, and I often don't to plinking handgun brass. For rifle, I always do.

    I got one of these a few months ago. The best money spent! I clean pockets with attachments sold separately.
    245424.jpg
     
  3. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,179
    Likes Received:
    881
    Thanks

    so what is the name of that thing? i have been looking at different models of trimmers but have not seen that one.

    and so trimming is not as important on non bottle neck cases like pistol cases
    ?
     
  4. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    67
    I started reloading in the early 70's and have never tumbled brass. In my opinion crappy looking brass with dirt and possible corrosion spots doesn't get good cause you shined it and dark stains are nothing that matters. Like I said my opinion. You should verify that the brass is in tolerence for OAL and sometimes that changes after sizing. If primer pockets look bad clean them but usually it won't matter. If you know the history of your brass then you probably can load it as you described and run spot checks to see if there are changes. If you don't know then check every one the first time you load. You may want to bevel the mouth the first time. If you load enough times that it needs several trims realize that it is getting thin and may be time to send to recycle bucket.
     
  5. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,179
    Likes Received:
    881
    ultrasonic vs media? for cleaning brass

    if i got a ultrasonic cleaner i would not need to tumble it right?
     
  6. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    43
    Q1 Clean brass is easier to inspect (in my opinion). I use a tumbler.
    Q2 What civilian75 said plus consistent case length will help in the crimp department.
    Q3 I deprime then tumble my brass to kinda clean the primer pockets prior to sizing and loading. On my rifle hunting rounds i clean and trim every case.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,593
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    I found a 3way cutting head on a case trimmer is WAY easier then the tool pictured above.
     
  8. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    80
    I use the Ultrasonic on all brass -- easier to see problems when its clean...and do a second cleaning on rifle brass only to get the lube off and to clean the primer pockets. For pistol brass, just the one cleaning.

    For rifle brass it is always measured and trimmed as necessary.
     
  9. Velillen

    Velillen Port Orchard, WA Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    22
    What solution do you use? Also what is your method for drying the cases after you clean them?

    If you don't mind me asking
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    Absolutely!! And if it has the replacement Carbide cutter (for length trim function) it's even better.

    A 1. You don't really need to tumble brass. It's usually a good idea to do so if only to remove any dirt/grit that might scratch the sizing die. How shiny? It's up to the person themselves. I use the Stainless Steel Pin media which cleans outside, inside, and primer pockets. All my fired brass comes out of the cleaning/tumbling process looking like it was just poured out of a factory package. They don't "crap up" my dies and expander balls/die. It's easier to see developing flaws like cracks that will become a split or separation the next time it's fired. Other than that, it's a matter of choice, not a requirement. BTW, you don't absolutely need to wash dinner plates between meals either if you're the only one eating off them. For some reason, most do.

    A 2. This is really the prelude to Q 3.

    A 3. Clean primer pockets allow for the primer to be seated properly each and every time. Since the video was a demo, the process was overlooked no doubt. In the real world, cleaning primer pockets can be as basic as a quick scrape with a straight blade screwdriver that reaches into the pocket or with a fancy tool designed for the task. Problems with dirty primer pockets will arise when there is sufficient carbon accumulated in the bottom of it to interfere with the seating of the primer cup and proper seating of the anvil against the bottom of the pocket. Reloaders that want good, reliable, and accurate ammo, don't overlook this simple task. There are lots that don't bother and then complain about a given brand of primer or seating tool, never the fact that they were perhaps a little lax on their procedures.

    Since you are a beginner my suggestion is get a good reloading manual on the basics. Not one that deals with specific loads and bullets but with the reloading process itself. The ABC's of Reloading has been a great resource for beginners for years. Follow all the steps as you're starting out. Then, when you fully understand the purpose and value of all the steps, decide which ones are unimportant for you.
     
  11. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    80
    I use the Hornday one-shot cleaner and get 2 full cleaning cycles (140 degrees for 35 minutes) out of every capful of their solution...that's with a full basket of either 9mm or 30-06 brass. What I find works the best is to set all of the brass case head (bottom) down and fill with water before setting in the cleaner.

    After coming out of the solution I rinse and then just lay the brass out on some micro-fiber towels and just let them sit for a day...I have plenty of brass in my "system" so letting it sit for a day is not a bug deal.
     
  12. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    627
    Added a link to the picture of the rotary trimmer.

    It is important to trim cases if they exceed max OAL. It so happens, in my experience, that straight walled handgun cases do rarely perceivably stretch. Only exception, hot revolver loads, but crimping, chamfering and deburring combined keep case length at bay. Besides, since revolvers cartridges head-space in the rim, not the mouth, do not have the same overpressure risk as with semiauto handguns.

    As some said above, I either tumble until I get the "like new" look, or just enough to make brass easy to inspect. I normally tumble after depriming, resizing and pocket cleaning, not just to clean but to remove the lube. Cleaning gunk out of dies is not a big deal for me. I just have a single stage. Could be an issue for folks who load hundreds at a time with a turret or a progressive press.
     
  13. rdt

    rdt SW Portland Active Member

    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    55
    more experienced will correct me please but this is what i have found personally and after alot of book & internet reading.

    q1 - No you do not have to tumble, but Yes there are other reasons than making in shine. Tumbling cleans the case. Clean cases are easier to inspect for cracks, easier to pass through the sizer die, and easier to sight check the powder charge prior to seating bullet. Also makes the brass easier to see on the ground after you shoot it. You can find anecdotes online of "it looked clean and i was impatient so now my dies are scratched up :(" Clean brass is important if not critical. Tumbling is often preferred to wet-methods because tumbling only takes (minimum) an hour to clean and there is no drying process. Tumbling is preferred to hand cleaning because of volume of brass, time, and labor. Havent used ultrasonic myself but if it works its probably a step up from tumbling in terms of noise mess consumables and time. Im starting to talk myself into stainless media.

    q2 - No, trimming is not *always* necessary. Straight wall cases (like 45acp) actually *shrink* over time. I dont trim my 45acp. As mentioned above, trimming has mostly to do with getting a consistent crimp, though you can get some extra leeway with cannelured bullets and a roll crimp (rimmed, belted, or bottleneck rounds which do not headspace off the mouth of the case.) Like Citizen pointed out if cases get *too* long they stick too far into the throat or can keep the bolt from fully locking up. This is a bad thing = damage to firearm and/or your hand/face/etc.

    q3 - Not absolutely. Primer pocket cleaning can improve accuracy and consistency, though typically only if done along with the other "perfection steps." After many firings the carbon can build up to the point where a fresh primer will not seat. If you keep your batches of plinking brass together give them a thorough tune up every 3-5 firings. I use a lee zip trim so when i trim cases i have to deprime them, so it is natural to clean the pockets and chamfer the mouths at this point.

    If you plan to load a relative handful of accuracy/hunting rounds I would do all the perfection steps: Handpick matching brass, trim & chamfer, clean p. pocket, de burr flash hole, hand weigh each charge, weigh each bullet; to be really exact i believe thre are devices that check the concentricty of the bullet and the cases etc. But for plinking ammo im much less exacting.

    +1 on getting ABCs of reloading or something like it. Also the intro sections of as many reloading manuals as you can access, including old editions. Lots of tidbits scattered throughout the literature. hope it helps, ymmv
     
  14. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    80
    Seems like people like to crimp their bullets in bottle neck cases. Unless it's a semi-auto, I never crimp; not required. just fyi.
     
    Spitpatch and (deleted member) like this.