Anybody else wipe off their cases after tumbling?


February 13, 2011, 10:58 PM
I picked up the habit of wiping off each case that comes out of the tumbler after reading that this would be a good idea in one of the reloading manuals I got when I first started.

After a few hundred cases, a white cloth will turn a little grey, but this is a time consuming step and I kind of wonder about the utility. Does anyone else do this, and/or does it serve any real purpose other than keeping a miniscule additional amount of crap out of the sizing die? I could pick up some speed if I dropped this and just sorted by headstamp and/or caliber instead of actually wiping each one down.

If you enjoyed reading about "Anybody else wipe off their cases after tumbling?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 13, 2011, 11:05 PM

Frequently I use a large Dillon way I'm wiping a giant tub of pistol or 223 cases. I use a rotary sifter and then it goes straight into a bucket.

February 13, 2011, 11:22 PM
I actually wipe off the case after tumbling, but only for rounds that will go into my bolt action rifle. I figure the cleaner the round, the less crud fouling up the chamber. I don't bother wiping off plinking/blasting ammo.

February 13, 2011, 11:40 PM
I use a old tee shirt to wipe off my rifle brass after removing them from the tumbler. I Use Flitz in my walnut media it leaves a residue on the brass.

February 14, 2011, 01:23 AM
I have never wiped off brass after tumbling. Actually, I've never thought of doing it.

February 14, 2011, 05:26 AM
I like to wipe the residue off each case out of the tumber. I like each round to be shiny and clean. I used nickel plated brass for all of my calibers. Just like shiny stuff...

February 14, 2011, 05:28 AM
Nope. I spritz a little water and car wax into my tumbler. It cuts down on the loose powder. What's left on the cases acts as sizing lube and protects the brass from tarnishing.

February 14, 2011, 07:31 AM
If you use that Lyman media with the red coating, it would be a good idea to wipe the rouge off.

February 14, 2011, 08:15 AM
I like to get any tumbler dust off the brass before I run it through my resizing die - I don't spend much time with it, just dump them onto an old bath towel and rub them around a bit. I get a lot less dust, and much shinier brass in less time, since I started adding a couple capfuls of Nu-Finish car polish to my media.

February 14, 2011, 08:21 AM
I've found the cases come out dust free if you sprinkle in some mineral spirits with a strip of paper towel to absorb all the debris from the media. I don't know why but with mineral spirits the cases come out almost repelling dust like a coffee table with pledge on it. It works well.

Gary Wells
February 14, 2011, 09:25 AM
I shoot & load .45 auto only, use nickel plated R-P brass only, have found that any old car polish will work as well as Nu-Finish, & use a few cut-up drier sheets in with the media. Never have noticed a film or dust, never wipe down.

February 14, 2011, 10:12 AM
No. If they come out all gritty, it's time to change the media and tumble them again.

February 14, 2011, 11:30 AM
I toss mine in an old flannel pillow case and shake them around a bit. Takes a minute. Takes all the dust and rouge off.

Carl N. Brown
February 14, 2011, 11:37 AM
When I help my son, I make a point of checking primer pockets and flash holes for media. I guess handling the casings with a cloth amounts to wiping as well.

February 14, 2011, 11:42 AM
I wipe off every one, five times.

Once when I pick them up out of the media seperator to get them in zip lock bags.
Again when I prime them all.
Again when I put powder in each one.
Again when I seat the bullets.
And finally, when I pick each one up and put it in the cartridge boxs.

Then I wash my hands that I "wiped" them off with!


February 14, 2011, 11:56 AM
I have some walnut I use for the last few minutes after using walnut with rouge.

When it starts to get dirty I add rouge and throw out the previous batch.

A new batch for final tumbling is then started.

February 14, 2011, 06:22 PM
I do , but I'm sure it isn't necessary. It's just something I've been doing for many years because of media dust concerns that I'm sure probably don't have much of an effect, if any, on powder burn rate.

February 14, 2011, 08:59 PM
Every single time!

February 14, 2011, 09:17 PM
I'm curious...for the people that do wipe cases, how much do you load?

I have a feeling the people that wipe don't load in quantity, while the ones who don't wipe are exactly the opposite.

February 14, 2011, 10:03 PM

I toss in a few (used) BOUNCE dryer sheets to collect any dust.

I use corn cob media and NU-FINISH car polish

This has worked well for me for many years

February 15, 2011, 06:38 PM
I dump tumbled brass into a bucket of hot water, swirl them around, drain, let air dry.

February 15, 2011, 07:23 PM
I never wipe mine down. They are cleaned in a Dillon that has the lid off outside. I will spray them down with Hornady One Shot when I load them. After they are loaded I wipe them down with a towel soaked with rubbing alcohol. It has worked well for me for a bit over 30 years now.


February 15, 2011, 07:35 PM
I have a towel that I use to clean off any dust that the used dryer sheets miss. I put a hundred or so casings on the towel, folding it over and rolling the top around. This does a good job of capturing any dust that is still on the casings. After a few uses, the towel goes in the laundry and the warden washes it along with my work pants. I also turn the casings upside down and knock them to make sure there is no media in the casings.

February 16, 2011, 12:02 AM
I don't wipe them off, but after the first trip thru the walnut/Nu Finish cycle, I toss them into another tumbler of corn cob to clean the Nu Finish off. After 10 min., I pull cases and clean out what little cob is left and ready to go.

February 16, 2011, 07:27 AM
I use the Lizard Litter (crushed walnut shells) and cut up used dryer sheets, and the cases are still a little dusty. After running them through my media seperator, I have an old hand towl that's a little oily from gun cleaning that I drop all the cases into. I gather the ends of the towl up like a little hammock, and move the ends up and down so the cases tumble in the towel. This takes about 1 minute to do, and gets the dust residue as well as additional media from the cases. Seems to work fine so far.

February 16, 2011, 02:17 PM
I use corn cob,cut up dryer sheets, and NuFinish. They come out slick and shiny. Nothing to wipe.

February 16, 2011, 03:33 PM
why? Didn't you tumble them to clean them?

February 16, 2011, 04:44 PM
I wipe them every time but I've never used dryer sheets or NuFinish. I am going to have to try that this weekend.

February 16, 2011, 07:52 PM
After tumbling in corn cob media, I used to tumble them again in plastic pellets. The pellets would pull all the dust off the cases and then I would wash the pellets after a few uses.
I got the pellets from a plastics factory I used to work at, they were little cylinders, roughly 1/8" long and 1/8 wide.
I rarely do that anymore.

February 16, 2011, 07:56 PM
Nu finish and dryer sheets (used) here. No wiping. I toss my media frequently too. About 2-3K of rounds go through it I'd guess before I put new material in tumbler and start over. Walnut media starts getting grey looking.


February 17, 2011, 07:28 AM
I like to wipe the residue off each case out of the tumber. I like each round to be shiny and clean. I used nickel plated brass for all of my calibers. Just like shiny stuff...

Other than .223 and .243 I load all my own cast bullets so I gave up on shiny :)

February 17, 2011, 11:03 AM
I've changed to the Stainless Steel pins for tumbling media. Clean cases, inside and out, with clean primer pockets as well, all in one process.

No more looking for deals on corncob or walnut shell as the stainless media is permanent. No dust either.

Every case coming out of the tumble/clean process looks just like a piece of brand new brass fresh from the factory.

If you enjoyed reading about "Anybody else wipe off their cases after tumbling?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!