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Not reloading yet, but I have questions :)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by scythefwd, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Using tumblers is to clean your brass correct?
    How well does that clean out the inside?
    Does it get all of the burnt powder residue out?
    Is it necessary if you are not trying to cloverleaf your shotgroups?

    I want to reload for economical reasons. If I can get 3 shot groups into 1 moa, I'd be happy. Im sitting at 1.5 - 1.75 now from the prone using a rolled up moving blanket as a hand rest. I expect to see some improvement as I am using round nosed bullets right now (commercial .30-30) and will be moving to nosler partitions (found load data from the manufacturer of the round for different powders).

    Is this .5 - .75 moa decrease in group size easily attainable, or will I be be pushing my luck to drop that much?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Brass will stay dirty "looking" on the inside. Won't hurt a thing.

    .5 to .75 groups? Depends on the rifle and the shooter. It's a nice goal.

    Mini 14? Nope.

    AR? With a good barrel, yes.

    Most stock bolt guns? Probably not, but some do.

    Your 30.30? Probably not, but does it need to? Nope.

    1.5" from a lever action 30.30 is not bad at all. A different bullet might fall in love with your rifle and do better, just maybe. :)
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    1.5 to 1.75 from a .30-30? At what range are you shooting? My 60 year old mod 94 can just keep them in a 3" red dot at 100 yards with 170 grain Speer FNSP.
     
  4. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    I already shoot 1.5 inch 3 shot groups from my .30-30. It is a savage 840 (bolt action) with a 2x weaver scope. I am using 170 gr corelokts, and I suspect a bullet with a better ballistic co-efficient will do better. I would like to get to 1 inch, but I am not sure that is possible.

    Walkalong,
    I am not looking for .5-.75 inch groups, I just want to drop that much from my current groups. I will also be moving up to a 3 X 9 scope as well. Right now my crosshairs completely cover the x-ring. I don't like that. I don't know if I will bed the stock or not. If I see 1.25 inch (only a quarter inch to a half inch decrease) groups, I probably won't do it. You are right that I don't need a moa gun for hunting, but it is nice to know that I will be hitting exactly where I aim at (I'd rather take a spine shot if the deer isn't broadside and I won't attempt it with a 1 3/4 moa gun)

    Bushmaster, 100y is the range I am shooting at.
     
  5. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    It does clean the insides, but rather poorly.
    That doesn't make any difference.
     
  6. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    So the tumbler is mainly to get your brass shiney? What useful purpose does it serve?
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Have you ever washed your car?

    Seriously, it keeps the grit & grime from wearing out your loading dies, and scratching the brass when you resize it.

    It makes finding empty cases on the ground slightly easier.

    BTW, IMO: If you are not OCD enough to take pride in clean/shiny brass on your finished ammo, you probably shouldn't take up reloading.

    rcmodel
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The functional purpose of tumbling brass is to remove grit that will scratch up the loading dies. I tumble mine only enough to clean, not polish. I loaded a lot of ammo before I bought a tumbler, just wiping off the rifle cases to protect the dies.

    Ballistic coefficient is immaterial to accuracy at 100 yards. If you want better accuracy for neck shots you may have to try a lot of different bullets and loads.
     
  9. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    rcmodel, clean is different than shiny. Shiny is looks. Clean is free of grit and and contaminants. Oh, and I rarely ever wash my car. It will still last me to 300k, and it's mileage hasn't dropped since I got it (still 47 mpg). Washing a car is purely cosmetic and doesn't affect the drivetrain, cooling, combustion, fuel distro, braking, or handling. Having a clean shell is about maintaining your equipment. Thanks.

    If the inside doesn't get that clean using a tumbler, don't you still run the risk of messing up your dies (since they are used inside the shell). I'm now wondering if running the shells through the dishwasher would work as well if you dried the properly.

    Next question. How do you get any grit that is in the shell out? Do most tumblers use a dry media or a paste? Could that be a problem getting all of that out of the shell?
     
  10. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Jim, not necessarily neck shots. The spinal column from between the shoulder blades to the base of the spine. I am thinking that if the deer is with his rear facing me, that shot should still be effective of dropping the deer cleanly. I stand hunt, so I do get a pretty good shot at the whole spine from up there.
     
  11. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    The smart reloader listens up when RCmodel speaks...

    or, for that matter, most of the folks on the reloader forum here..
     
  12. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    if you want to use the dishwasher to clean brass, go right ahead....

    just don't come crying to us when you're experiencing lead poisoning problems
     
  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    rcmodel...Cover your rear...Here comes JeepGeek...I do have to agree with JeepGeek though...
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Aw shucks guys!
    But hey! I know when to give up.

    If scythefwd gets 300,000 on his car without washing it, more power to him.

    Round these parts, the road salt would eat the body off way before that if you didn't wash it every 100,000 miles or so! :D

    rcmodel
     
  15. JeepGeeek

    JeepGeeek member

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    "rcmodel...Cover your rear...Here comes JeepGeek.."

    WTH??
     
  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I have to agree with others. My vehicles would also rust out from all the salt 6 months of the year during the time we call winter.

    I also agree that, if you don't care about how your finished reloads will look, then perhaps reloading isn't for you.:scrutiny:
     
  17. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    I still don't get the "if your rounds don't look good, then you shouldn't be reloading" mindset. I care how it functions, and color of the shell isn't a factor (that is simple physics). I do listen, when I can see a valid reason to do so. I don't see cosmetics as a valid reason. I have purchased factory ammo and then not shot it for a several years. The case, and the jacket both were dull but they fired fine. Much of my surplus ammo isn't bright. I just take exception to the sentiment that if you don't care how it looks on the outside, then you don't need to be doing this. It bases a full assumption on looks. It doesn't take into account the quality of the work (good or bad) and dismisses any and all people that don't polish their brass.

    I have heard "If it ain't pretty, it don't work" before. That is in BIC, which is the military equivalent of BICSI. I didn't agree then, it just ain't pretty, it will still work. The point about interior contaminants is taken to heart. At this point, I will agree to disagree and leave it at that.

    Good point about the lead poisoning. I didn't think of that. Modern Reloading even mentioned that it can be a hazard when using a tumbler, I should have realized that this applied to all things used to clean your brass.
     
  18. Blacklabelz

    Blacklabelz Member

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    Reloading is a timely process that you need to invest hours into. If you don't, you might end up hurting your investments (guns), or injuring yourself. The people on this forum who like "shiny" brass obviously invest enough time into the reloading process that they like their creations to reflect that investment.

    So basically.. If you think you're going to take a bunch of nasty brass, reload them with minimal time investment, and sling them down range.. you are going to get a kaboom sooner or later.

    /2 cents
     
  19. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I spent a while in protest of tumbling, because I didn't see the point. It seemed dumb.
    *whee, the brass is shiny*
    Then, I reloaded dirty brass, which meant cleaning out dies more often, and seeing the occasional scratch on the dies from grit, etc. Once fired, you can get away with. Twice fired gets filthy. You'll start to need case lube to get that brass through the dies, with the accumulated residue. That lube starts to trap more residue. Running the handle on the press becomes a real chore, with all that friction. Then your gun starts gunking up faster.

    The easy way is to tumble your brass. If you live in the Norfolk area of VA, I'll tumble your brass for you, just PM me.

    You can drive a car without washing it, but you could also probably live a lifetime without ever washing your a**... the choice is yours.
     
  20. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...mainly to get your brass shiney?..." Nope. Like you say, brass doesn't need to be shiney, but it does need to be clean. That's what the tumbler does. Cleans off the carbon etc from firing.
    Some of the 'Shiney Brass' set put Brasso in their tumblers. Brasso has ammonia in it. Ammonia eats brass.
    Few tumblers throw any dust into the air, so contaminates aren't an issue. Most of 'em are vibrators and don't actually tumble anything anyway.
    It's not about how accurate the ammo is though. It's about saving wear and tear on your dies.
    "...Washing a car is purely cosmetic..." Not in places that have winter and the roads are salted.
     
  21. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Blacklabelz,
    I have no intention of firing "nasty brass". I plan on inspecting the each and every brass, weighing each and every charge, mic'ing every neck, weighing every case, weighing every bullet, weighing every finished cartidge, and using calipers on every round to verify oal. I will probably spend 5-10 minutes per round, if not more. The brass I use will be cleaned, either by hand in a solvent or by a machine, but you can guarantee that I won't be polishing my brass. My garand has a new stock on it because my grandfather put too hot of a load into it and fired. The pressure blew out the bottom of the stock in front of the trigger. Surprisingly, the oprod made it through unscathed. I do understand the what can be at stake when you are reloading. It is more than just a stock, it is your life. I don't fire any rounds without inspecting them already and that is with factory ammo. You can be doubly sure I will be checking at each and every stage I can when I am loading my own.

    For those with more experience, I should be looking for brass that is scored, been fired too hot (inspection of the primer well help identify, correct?), out of shape (neck, shoulder, rim, body) and dispose of that correct? The only brass I plan on reloading is from stuff I have shot myself (at this time that is feasible since I have enough brass saved in the original containers for what I shoot a year). If it doesn't look factory fresh (other than brightness, I'll accept dull, but not severely tarnished), I won't reload it. I also don't plan on reloading more than 9-10 times per casing (less for the semi-autos as the will be full case resized instead of neck resized). Is there anything else I should be looking for in damaged cases, or how many times I should quit reloading at? I will not be using the max load info. I will start at the starting load and if that works leave it there if at all possible.
    Thank you for explaining that side of the mindset, as I couldn't see it myself.
     
  22. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Floppy D,
    Not quite that close. Im up in Caroline county north of richmond. Thank you for the offer though. I might look into a sonic cleaner like they use for jewelry (do not put pearls in them, they will disintegrate). Has anyone used one, and what were the results.

    Oh, and about the car... I drive 172+ miles a day on my commute, and I live in the country. I could wash my car every day and it would still look dirty in the morning.
     
  23. cliffy

    cliffy member

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    Tumbling is merely a crucial part of reloading

    Tumblers are CHEAP; media is CHEAP; cleanliness is PRICELESS. How can there be a debate regarding tumbling? I have given up on hand-spinning brass against 000 Steel Wool. That sort of shimmer is not required except to impress others. Shimmering Cartridges can be embarrasing if one cannot shoot straight. cliffy
     
  24. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...looking for brass that is scored, been fired too hot (inspection of the primer well help identify, correct?), out of shape (neck, shoulder, rim, body) and dispose of that correct?..." 'Scored'. Depends on how deep they are scored. Pitch any with deep scratches or cracks. 'Fired to hot'. It'd have to be really hot and repeatedly to cause the primer pockets to expand enough for the primer to not stay put. 'Out of shape'. The sizing die will fix most of that. If you find any with dented case mouths that the expander button won't fit into, needle nosed pliers will work to open the mouth up enough for the expander button to do its job. In short, don't worry too much about bent case mouths. Brass fired out of an M1 Rifle regularly has dented case mouths. No big deal.
    "...mic'ing every neck, weighing every case, weighing every bullet, weighing every finished cartidge..." You don't need to do all that. Those are benchrest shooting loading techniques. Not required or necessary for hunting ammo. A visual inspection is enough. Doesn't hurt if you do it though.
    "...will be full case resized instead of neck resized..." You're .30-30 will need to be FL resized too. Assuming it's a lever action. Neck sizing is for bolt actions using the brass fired out of that rifle only. If you have a .30-06 bolt action and a semi or two .30-06 rifles and you're using the same brass in both, you'll have to FL resize when you load for one or the other. Chamber dimensions are different in every rifle.
    "...start at the starting load and if that works leave it there if at all possible..." No. You have to work up the load to find the most accurate load for your rifle. Do this.
    Beginning with the starting load given in your manual, load 5 rounds only(or the number of rounds the mag holds if it's less than 5). Go up by half a grain of powder, loading 5 of each keeping them separate until you get to the max load in your manual.
    Then go shooting. Shoot at 100 yards, for group only, slowly and deliberately off a bench.
    Change targets between strings of 5 and allow time for the barrel to cool.
    When you find the best group, sight in. Look at ballistics tables(Remington's site has 'em for their ammo. It'll be close enough) to determine where the group should be at 100 yards for longer ranges with no hold over. For example, a 170 grain .30-30 bullet sighted in 2.7" high at 100 will put you on target out to 150 with no hold over. That bullet(Remington factory) drops 2.7" out at 150 with a 100 yard zero. Mind you, there's not enough energy much past 100.
    http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/
     
  25. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    5-10min spent /rd is being very thorough. Very. Holy cow, I almost feel guilty with my 10 seconds /rd, tops.

    With all of that invested time in mind, I can't see not spending a little tumbling time. I retire my pistol brass when it splits. I retire my rifle brass around the same. Have you seen the Frankfurt Arsenal kits? They beat the cost of solvents, quick.
     
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