Depriming brass with Lee sizer-deprimer question


December 25, 2007, 10:38 PM
Firstly, I'm new at reloading, perhaps three hundred rounds of .45acp so far. I own a Lee Turret and am having a slight problem. I clean my used brass after using the sizer-deprimer die so I can clean out the primer pockets. But this technique make a turret press useless because I am removing my brass to clean and reinstalling to load, seat & crimp. This basically causes me to use my T.P. as a single stage press.

What are you guys doing about cleaning & depriming? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious in the process. The only solutions I can see are:

1. Clean and tumble brass with old primers in, place in sizer-deprimer die and use auto-prime with dirty pockets!

2. Remove old primers, clean & tumble brass, clean pockets. Then place back in sizer die and begin again going through the four die process. This would size brass twice and the depriming tool would be running through an empty pocket, no harm.

3. Deprime old cases, clean and tumble brass. Rearrange dies in die plate so the sizer - deprimer die is last in line since these two functions were performed in a separate (single stage) function.

I'm thinking that there is an easy solution and that in my usual way, I am over complicating the issue. I'm opening myself up the Newbie DUH Award, but go ahead, it only hurts the first two hundred times. My heads killing me! :banghead:

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December 25, 2007, 10:53 PM
Welcome to the world of reloading!

I use method number 1. I've never cleaned a handgun primer pocket and since I started using a progressive I don't even see the empty primer pockets.

Why do you think you need to clean them? As a general rule primer pocket cleaning is done mostly by bench rest rifle shooters.

If you insist on clean(er) primer pockets get a universal decapping die. That way you could decap before cleaning. Of course then you could worry about the stray kernels of walnut hull stuck in flash holes...

December 25, 2007, 11:03 PM
Method #1. I never clean them either. They are deprimed in station #1 and reprimed in station #2 in as long as it takes me to move the handle up and down once.


December 26, 2007, 09:49 AM
Method #1. For pistol, I do not clean pockets unless I'm encountering seating problems, and even then, the dirty pocket usually isn't the cause.

December 26, 2007, 09:59 AM
Ok, I guess I don't have to clean primer pockets on my handgun reloads. It just seemed like a good idea at he time! It is a time consuming task. I think I will go home tonight and try method #1.I'll clean & tumble, size -- deprime and carry on! Thanks everyone for helping a newbie!

December 26, 2007, 11:27 AM
Not to worry that the primer pockets will not get too gunked up; the buildup will flake off as it reaches a certain thickness.

December 26, 2007, 12:44 PM
The idea of depriming before cleaning is listed in some older reloading manuals that I have read,and they were pretty much slanted towards rifle reloading as I recall.
It has never made sense to me to load the pockets with media to have to fuss with,so I"ve never done it that way.

I just load 'em and shoot 'em.

December 26, 2007, 07:13 PM
I can't recall why I felt the need to clean primer pockets on pistol ammo. Could have been a obsessive-compulsive thing triggered by the fact the Lee was kind enough to include a nice little tool just for this unneeded process! After reading responses to my question, I now assume this tool is mainly intended for rifle cases.

Thanks for the help everyone. Five responses and no one has proclaimed me a winner of the Newbie DUH Award!

I can't wait to try out the new process & use my press as an actual turret press as it was designed. I just hope I can sleep at night knowing I have dirty pockets!

December 26, 2007, 07:36 PM
I have never cleaned pistol primer pockets. I load on a classic turret and think it's an awesome press. I'm sure you will be very happy when you load on it as intended. Did you get the classic turret or deluxe turret? The way you are talking about loading is how I load rifle. I clean the brass, then size and deprime. Then do all of the case prep and prime like on a single stage. After I get 1,000 to 1,500 cases ready then I start to reload them.

December 26, 2007, 09:22 PM
I just hope I can sleep at night knowing I have dirty pockets!

Don't feel bad. I don't even clean my brass.

I do wake up in a cold sweat sometimes though.

The Bushmaster
December 27, 2007, 10:26 AM
1...Tumble fired brass for about 15 to 20 minutes (never run dirty brass through a resizing/decapping die).
2...Resize/decap on a single stage press.
3...Tumble resized/decapped brass for about one hour.
4...CLEAN ALL PRIMER POCKETS (The way I do it...It only takes me about a minute to clean 50 pockets).
5...Prime brass on a single stage press.
6...Set up my turret press and charge cases, seat bullet and crimp (I have one of the older Lee turrets with 3 stations).

I do this routine for both rifle and handgun ammunition except with Rifle I charge them seperate in a loading block and use my turret as a single stage and manually rotate from seating die to crimping die (if a crimp is necessary)

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