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Cleaning Primed Cases - is it Dangerous

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by marsche, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. marsche

    marsche Member

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    Has anyone put primed cases in a tumbler and cleaned them? I have a bunch of them here and want to clean them but am a little shaky on the idea. The idea has two possible drawback:

    Do you think there is a danger of a primer going off?

    If the media in the tumbler is treated, could it effect the primer so they don't work?

    Thanks for any experience you can share. :scrutiny:
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, they won't go off.

    But if they are primed, we can assume they were relatively clean at one time.

    That being the case, go ahead and load them, and then tumble them for 30 minutes or so to bring up the shine again.

    That's what the factorys do!

    rcmodel
     
  3. marsche

    marsche Member

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    Thanks! I'll do it. :eek:
     
  4. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    I would bet that the media gets stuck the flash hole, and is a pain to get back out.

    But I am paranoid.

    Mike
     
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    +1 for RPCYemen`s comment .
    +1 for rcmodel`s comment too.
    lod em & tumble em.

    i`ve tumbled many (live ) rounds & although some argue it`ll ruin the powder it has`nt yet.
    i have some with 10hrs on em .
    I borrow a chronograph & they shoot the same speed .

    GP100man
     
  6. Bozo

    Bozo Member

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    If you have just a few cases that you want to shine up, then just do it by hand, that's what I do when I am bored. Doesn't take long at all. Otherwise I will put them in the basket and let them shake till sparkling.
     
  7. possum

    possum Member

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    it might not be dangerous, dangerous, but it is more dangerous than tumbling without primers.
     
  8. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    It's prolly safer than depriming live primers (which can be reasonably safe, if care is used) to tumble the cases again, but like RPCVYemen said, media is likely gonna plug some flashholes.

    +1 for rcmodel's suggestion
    Give them a bit of a tumble after they are loaded, to bring back the shiney. :)
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. :)
     
  10. moosehunt

    moosehunt Member

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    Why the concern about the "shiney" in the first place? It doesn't make 'em shoot any better.
     
  11. scrat

    scrat Member

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    tumble them i seriously doubt you will get anything in the flas hole. they usually get stuck in the primer pocket then the flash hole from the primer pocket. your chances of getting a piece stuck in the primer pocket from the inside is very very rare. Just one tip. baby powder or Talc powder. put it on your hands when you go to remove them from the tumbler and handle this will prevent finger prints. dont you love it when a month from now you look over some reloads to see finger prints you never saw before.
     
  12. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    Marche, if the tumbling media was too large to plug the flash hole and if the media was without dust, not a problem but the flash hole is large enough to allow dust and small grains into the flash hole, I would say remove the primers, or do as I do, I make a case polisher, it is faster than tumbling 20 cases for developing loads and the polished cases look good on the table at the range.

    F. Guffey
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    My least shiney rounds were always my Benchrest loads. Clean, but not shiney. They only needed to shoot through one hole. All my other stuff is shiney, because I like it that way.
     
  14. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    and it is about keeping up with more than one thing at a time, if lube was used to size and tumbling came before sizing, what happened to the lube that was still on the case? If the lube is left on the case when fired, what effect does the lube have on the ability of the case to grab/hold onto the chamber, or long term storage.

    I tumble, again, after sizing, I also wipe ammo at the range before firing, it is the last chance, not all erosion to the barrel is caused by hot high pressure metal cutting gas and by the bullet passing through, some erosion is caused by dirt.

    Brass has an embedability characteristic, and a lead bullet with lapping compound has embedability but the barrel is shined all the same, a clean shiney case has less embedded material than a dirty case.

    F. Guffey
     
  15. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    and I size new cases with a gap between the shell holder and bottom of the die, .004 is a good number, just in case the distance between the head of the case and shoulder is beyond SAMMI specifications, the extra is a bonus so I do not want to mindlessly loose it by sizing.

    F. Guffey
     
  16. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

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    There are some excellent posts above!

    My opinion: don't take the chance of getting a primer hole blocked by tumbling compound by tumbling primed cases. Wait until the cartridge is complete, them tumble the loaded cartridges in separate corn-cob media saved for the purpose. You can squirt a couple of jets of car polish in the media to preserve that shiny brass for years.

    I've never heard of a round being set off by finish tumbling...consider, even a light primer strike that dents the primer won't do it.
     
  17. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    I tumble my brass before I resize and prime it.
    I have been hesitant to tumble finished ammo because I have heard that it can break down the powder inside, make it finer, and lead to over-pressures when fired. I dont know if its true or not though...
     
  18. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

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    I've heard that commercial ammunition companies tumble finished cartridges with polish-treated corncob media to get that many years-lasting shine...can anyone verify that?
     
  19. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I've solved the problem with media packing in the flash hole, however it was by mistake. I ordered a 40 lb. bag of media from Graingers and ordered the wrong size 20/40. It looks about like fine grass seed only not long, was my mistake so I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Added my couple of capfulls of Nu-Finish and it works GREAT, and is small enough it doesn't get caught in the flash hole. Fantisic!!
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It's not!

    Consider that the manufactures do tumble loaded ammo to give it the final "factory finish".

    Consider that powder is tumbled for hours during the manufacturing process to add graphite & other coatings without damaging the grains.

    Consider that military ammo is carted all over the world in cargo planes.
    Then loaded into trucks, tanks, and other means of ground transportation.
    It may not be fired for years, all the while getting hauled & handled five times over.

    All the while getting the dog snot vibrated out of it.

    Anything you can do with a tumbler in 30 minutes to an hour will not break down the powder into dust and blow you up!

    rcmodel
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Ditto, great stuff. I like the slightly bigger stuff (14/20) for general use with pistol brass since I do not usually tumble with primers out, but the fine stuff is super with rifle brass. Runs out through the necks much better.
     
  22. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

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    For my final cleaning and polish on loaded ammunition, I tumble for half an hour in corncob with three short squirts of Dupone Teflon Car Polish added to the media. Try it...you'll be amazed about how much better your reloads look! And it lasts for years.

    Keep the final polish media separate from the initial tumbling media (walnut).
     
  23. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    It's tumbled out of the factory, which is why new ammo arrives shiny. Shiny might mean little, but it does mean clean. It's easier to find on the ground. It looks good, too.

    Further, most loaded cases don't have a whole lot of room for movement inside the case. Also, they don't have the walnut or corncob chunks bumping their innards... there is minor movement inside a loaded case.
     
  24. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    thanks for the info... now I can have nice and shiny cases without worrying!
     
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