Walnuts in my primer hole - THR

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Old Yesterday, 09:15 PM   #1
Join Date: July 10, 2013
Location: Somewhere in Georgia
Posts: 33
Walnuts in my primer hole

Hello all,

I've done a few thousand pistol loads so far (cleaned with walnut media in a vibratory cleaner) BEFORE de-priming with no issues.

Now, I've stared reloading .223 rifle brass and followed the same process. However, I've seen videos of people throwing the resized/deprimed brass back into the vibratory cleaner to clean the case-lube off the brass before neck trimming and swaging. After this second, short cleaning cycle, I notice alot of walnut media in the primer hole (not the pocket, the hole between the primer and the gunpowder section of the case. Is this normal? I ended up having to use a toothpick to push out media from about 1/3 of the 500 cases I started to prep.

Also, as a side question, do you swage, then neck trim? Or, trim then swage?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 PM   #2
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Location: Alabama
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That's a mighty big primer hole!

If you use the smaller corn cod media available, it will be rare to have any stick. I poke them out as well, but don't worry about missing one as they don't stand a chance in hades of stopping the primer explosion from reaching the powder.

It's called the flash hole.
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Old Yesterday, 09:23 PM   #3
Join Date: September 30, 2005
Posts: 5,296
That is normal. Tumble then size/deprime and post load tumble to knock off the lube.

I size/deprime and trim with one machine then swage and load on another but you can swage at anytime, trimmed, sized or not. It makes no difference.
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Old Yesterday, 09:25 PM   #4
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Media in flash holes is normal, if your media is too big.
I use Zilla brand lizard litter from Petco, and hardly ever have any.

I look at it all and inspect for defects anyway, so poking media out of flash holes is no big deal.

In fact, I generally set them mouth down 50 at a time in a loading block to count them.
And it's very easy to give them a poke then if you see any stuck media.

Swaging before or after trimming makes no difference.
As long as you have re-sized before trimming.

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Or all your primers in a glass jar!
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Old Yesterday, 09:25 PM   #5
Join Date: September 30, 2005
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That's a mighty big primer hole

Likely the fine ground "lizard litter" walnut shell.
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Old Yesterday, 09:56 PM   #6
Join Date: October 19, 2010
Location: East TN
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As said, finer ground media will have a less chance of being stuck in the flash hole.

I use a stiff piece of wire like welding wire to insure the flash holes are clear. A small awl or a dental pick would do a similar job.

I resize and clean cases shortly after shooting so batches are small, I do not spend much time prepping the small batches, and the drudgery is low. I then store the cleaned and prepped cases for loading at a later time.
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Old Yesterday, 10:31 PM   #7
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Slightly different...

One of my reasons for tumbling/cleaning fired brass is to get rid of all the gunk that might scratch the dies.

I usually tumble with used primers still in the case. I've done some checking and find no real difference between 'dirty' and 'clean' primer pockets. I do have a couple of 'precision' rifles - at least in my somewhat ravaged mind - and I clean the primer pockets on those.

So I deprime with a universal depriming die, then tumble. All the residue media lodged in the primer flash hole comes out when I re-size and deprime.
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Old Today, 12:35 AM   #8
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Media comes in different sizes. I use mostly corn cob from Grainger and it is available in two grit grades: 12/20 which is larger and will definitely get stuck in flash holes. Then they offer 20/40 which is about half the size of 12/20 grit. That stuff just falls out of the brass and doesn't get stuck at all.
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Old Today, 12:55 AM   #9
Join Date: September 10, 2008
Location: SW Arizona
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It really doesn't matter what order you do things in, other than, I like to get all my case preparation done, resizing, trimming, ream / chamfer, clean primer pockets, then I tumble them real good to remove any remaining lube residue. Once all that has been taken care of, I then clear all the flash holes of media. Even though it probably makes little or no difference, I still like to have my flash holes completely clear of anything.

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Old Today, 01:16 AM   #10
Join Date: May 1, 2013
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I use corn cob media in my tumbler and the occasional piece gets stuck in the flash hole. Easiest solution is I keep an unwrapped paper clip on my reloading bench to poke them out.
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Old Today, 01:44 AM   #11
Join Date: July 10, 2013
Location: Somewhere in Georgia
Posts: 33
Thanks, all! I know, now, that it's normal to have walnuts in my flash hole.

And, thanks for the tips; I won't worry what order I trim/swage in, then. I guess I was reading how some others see some slight dimpling right around the primer pocket after swaging, and wondered if it would affect case OAL or not... looks like I don't need to worry about that, then, if it happens to me (and obviously still fits properly in the case gauge).

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Old Today, 06:33 AM   #12
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Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Peidmont/Triad, NC
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I used to get a lot of corn cob and especially walnut stuck in the flash holes. I bought one of the tumbling media seperators and that cut the problem down to almost none.

I still look though
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Old Today, 07:02 AM   #13
Join Date: July 27, 2010
Posts: 1,040
"...people throwing the resized/deprimed brass back into the vibratory cleaner to clean the case-lube off the brass...."
Don't bother. Residual case lube in "normal" quantities beyond simple wipe-off w/ a paper
towel has near minimal effect on bolt thrust, and actually assists in gas gun functioning.
See http://www.varmintal.com/afric.htm


Last edited by MEHavey; Today at 07:08 AM.
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Old Today, 10:45 AM   #14
Join Date: July 27, 2007
Posts: 923
1) Unless you have a rear-locking bolt action rifle and are loading over 60,000psi, a little case lube is NOT an issue. Even the latest Hornady manual only warns about case lube if you are shooting rifles at max pressures.
2) Use 20/40 grit and you won't have any in the primer pocket or flash hole.
3) If you run the cases through a decapper, most/all of the grit will fall out.
4) If you handle the cases while reloading single-stage in batch mode, your hands will remove all the lube you need to, even for max loads.
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Old Today, 12:23 PM   #15
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Walnuts in my primer hole

OUCH! Sounds like a personal problem!
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