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Tumble brass before decapping?

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I'm getting ready to start reloading and I'm going to buy equipment in stages. I'm not sure if I should get a tumbler first and clean the brass or if I should get a press and a decapping die and remove the primers first, before I tumble.
What would you all recommend?
 
OP
D
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I prefer to decap before tumbling. I use a Lee universal decapping die for all of my cases. That way it isn't trying to shape the case, just press out the spend primer.
If you deprime first and then tumble it's been my experience that some of the media will lodge itself in the primer pocket which necessitates inspecting each case and poking it out.
Thanks. I should have clarified I'll be starting out with 9mm and 45. And I'm leaning towards getting a wet tumbler with stainless steel media. For the press it'll be a single stage.
 
So, if your going wet tumbling, I’d go with decapping using a Lee Universal decapper, as has already been suggested. That will give you the best clean possible. Also, I’ve noticed some differences is decapping wet tumbled rounds, don’t get the same forceful ping from my decapping/resizing die...

Single stage press is more work, but certainly the best way to learn reloading, in my humble opinion. I’ve been reloading on a single stage for more than 30 years... And still learning...
 
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Get a good hand held de capper. You can watch TV while de capping. If you decide to get a nice brass tumbler remember most of the vibration type make some noise when set on high. I hate noise. Others do not care. The old fashioned barrel rotating tumblers work with lots of stuff besides gun brass. Also very quiet.
 

41mag

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I prefer to clean em first then run thru Dillon. And yes I started learning on 450 original model 40 years ago. Not as complicated as some tried to make it back then yet a steep learning curve. The :eek:pleasures of producing 1 round with each pull of the lever requires adequate focus and results in more time shooting than prepping:cool:.
 
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If you deprime first and then tumble it's been my experience that some of the media will lodge itself in the primer pocket which necessitates inspecting each case and poking it out.
um
The de-priming pin in the sizing die will dislodge any media left in the primer pockets from dry/vibe tumbling.
I don't see the need to either inspect or poke the media out by hand.
jmo
:D
 
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HighlandLofts

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I like to knock the primers out the tumble the brass before I go any farther. Wet tumbling with just a touch of Lenishine and a cap full of Armorall wash & wax the brass somes out really nice & clean. Pistol cases are resized with carbide dies so lube is not needed.

Rifle cases are lubed with liquid lanolin and 100% alchohol (red jug of the red Heet Dry Gas) ten to one mix.
I then resize, afterwards I will tumble them in walnut hulls or corncob. I have that cheap $2 pick set from harbor freight and take the time & poke the media out of the cases. It gives me a little hands on to inspect the cases.
 
I have Dillon 1050s with auto case feeders, but for 9MM I still go right from the range to the wet Cleanning process. The extra step to polish 9mm primer pockets in my opinion is just not worth it. Especially first learning and using (and the best way to learn) on a single stage press.

9mm:
Wet polish and dry.
Load into the press to, de prime, resize and seat the new primer.

Good luck with getting going with reloading! It is a ton of fun for me and a way to keep shooting long after leaving the range.
 

Alexx1401

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When I bother to clean I do it dry and first. Since I don't care what the ammo looks like I often don't bother to clean. As others have mentioned if you de prime first you do have to take a quick look at each case after. Some will end up with some crud in the pocket.
 
When I bother to clean I do it dry and first. Since I don't care what the ammo looks like I often don't bother to clean. As others have mentioned if you de prime first you do have to take a quick look at each case after. Some will end up with some crud in the pocket.
I always clean the brass first. I do not want mainly dirt and small rocks that are picked up at the range going though my reloading gear.

As for prices of cleaning media getting stuck in the primer pockets. It’s irrelevant to me. I run de capping pins that will clean out any media left behind. I do not visually check every piece of brass I clean, I shoot way too much to do so.

Personally I run a multi stage press so pocket one is a Lee universal decapping pint with reinforced Squirrel Daddy decapping pin, then the Dillon resizing die with a RCBS spring loaded decapping pin that will rocket any debris or missed primer out.

With a single stage press I would do like my last post, wet tumble then dry the brass right from the range . THEN load in the single stage press to decap, resize and prime each brass. ONE HUGE advantage of a single stage press is the fact you personally Handel each piece of brass. That is your chance to eyeball it as you feed it into the shell plate. Dented bad, toss, bent, toss chuck of gravel stuck in it toss, split lip toss etc.
 
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I'm in the same boat as you. Getting my press and accompanying accessories before getting the cleaning equipment due to having gotten a fantastic deal on cleaned and sized brass that's itching to be reloaded first and before I do anything else.
 

Mikej

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I only do handgun at this point on a single stage RCBS. I use a vibratory, walnut shell with a couple teaspoons liquid car wax, before decapping. I don't worry about primer pockets. There is some carbon remaining in the pockets but it doesn't seem to affect the seating of primers using the RCBS hand primer. One thing I'll note, If I were to take the time and scrape the corners of the primer pocket there would be some carbon come out of it. After priming, when I'm putting shells into the shell holder in preparation for charging, I tap the primed shells up side down on the table and a small amount of carbon ends up on the table. It would seem that the new primer being seated dislodges some of the carbon left in the primer pocket when being seated. I figure it's good getting that out of there. Just something I pick up on when I started loading in 2011.
 
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I prefer to decap before tumbling. I use a Lee universal decapping die for all of my cases. That way it isn't trying to shape the case, just press out the spend primer.
Yes,
By de-capping with a universal de-capping die you get to FEEL any primers that are CRIMPED by the added pressure needed to dis-lodge them.
You can then deal with that crimp right there, when you FEEL it, by removing the crimp with a case de-burring tool.
This method negates the need of a tiring visual inspection.
And is much easier to deal with than crushing a primer during priming/re-loading.
jmo
:D
 
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If you deprime first and then tumble it's been my experience that some of the media will lodge itself in the primer pocket which necessitates inspecting each case and poking it out.
I decap before tumbling then I use a primer pocket tool. A lot of my brass is mil-spec, so generally the pocket needs to be de-swaged. I then take that opportunity to inspect the primer pocket and primer hole. I generally do not reload to save money, I reload to make ammo that is not available commercially; e.g., low power rifle loads - so taking a bit of extra time in prep doesn't bother me.
 
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I do a pre clean of my brass with dawn, lemon juice & hot water in a plastic canister with a tight lid. I shake it vigerously then let sit for a while then rinse and dry.
THEN I size & deprime, flare and trim & deburr (when loading rifle brass), THEN I liquid tumble with SS pins.
This way it is all done and I can store it until ready to prime, charge & seat bullets.
A load of finished 9mm brass from the other day!
IMG_1515[1].JPG
 

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