Quick 20 minute brass - Good enough to reload?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bds, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. bds

    bds Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Northwest Coast
    In the midst of wet tumbling world of brilliant clean inside/out brass, below is my spent brass shot last few weeks and dry tumbled in new corn cob for "quick" 20 minutes in Cabela's vibratory tumbler (Berry's 400).

    It is my belief that a bit of carbon soot inside the case won't affect powder burn enough to show on target (If you like, we could do a myth busting thread :D).

    BTW, they were loaded with RMR pulled 115 gr plated RN with 4.0-4.2 gr of Promo and loaded to 1.125"-1.130" OAL.

    Well, are they "clean" enough to reload for you?


    Attached Files:

  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Preble County, OH
    I remember the days before tumblers. I don't think tumbling increases accuracy (I have no scientific data to support this) but it is sure one heck of a lot nicer to work with tumbled brass.
  3. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Central MN
    Send it! I fire lots of "filthy" brass through my revolvers and autos in the summer as I run out of time/ambition to wait for the tumbler before loading. I'm also not above a quick 5 minute run to get any grit off .223 brass before loading it at night and firing it in a HP match tomorrow when time and ammo get short by the end of the summer. Never had a FTF or any accuracy issues I could trace to "dirty" brass. So long as it isn't gritty or showing active corrosion, I will run it if I feel short of time for tumbling.
    Heir Kommt Die Sonne likes this.
  4. Tony k

    Tony k Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    I'd load those in a heartbeat, and theydt cycle just fine.

    This trend to having showroom clean brass for pistol plinking and target practice is a conspiracy by the wet tumbler/SS pin lobby.

    Beware of the ultrasonic industrial case cleaning complex!
  5. Stevenvalleyky

    Stevenvalleyky Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    Thats clean enough. I usually want my bolt action rounds to have that jewelry like shine. I dont care that much if my pistol brass is shiny, just gotta be free of grit and grime. I sometimes have pistol cases that I literally dig out of the mud and they are packed full of dirt. In my homemade wet tumbler, it would take about 20 to 25 minutes to look like that starting packed full of mud. If the outside is clean so it can seal properly with your chamber and the interior of your case is not packed full of junk, just stained so nothing to reduce capacity then it should be fine to load. Load them and send them, you won't tell any difference.
  6. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Southern CA
    I loaded 9mm for 6 months or so before buying a tumbler. (dry type for the first one)
    Soak brass in a bucket of soapy water for a couple days, swished around every now and then, let dry, loaded it.
    Seemed to shoot fine so yes I would not be afraid to use those, but then an 1 hour in a wet tumble with pins and they would be clean inside and out except for the pockets,
    and you know we just can't have dirty pockets, so I would have to tumble for a 1/2 hour first then dry and deprime them and then tumble again.
    I would then have nice shiny clean brass.
    Would it make any difference in how the ammo shoot? Not likely, but clean brass makes me happy.
    Happiness has to count for something.......

    OK for your mythbusting thread:)
    X rounds of some pistol ammo all new same lot brass. 9mm, .40 or whatever.
    Fire once.
    Don't clean 1/3 at all, just load it
    1/3 dry tumble for an hour, then load.
    Last third, deprime wet tumble until the brass including the pockets looks new and unused.

    Guessing the results will not show enough difference in shot groups between the three groups of cases to make a difference.

    And if that proves to be true I will just go cry on my pile on nice clean/shiny brass and go right on cleaning it the way I do.
  7. higgite

    higgite Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Sorry, I can't tell from the picture. You'll have to send them to me for closer inspection. And perhaps a range test. Or two. :D

    They actually do look better than some that I've loaded in the past. Carbon on the inside won't hurt your dies, even retards sticking to the powder funnel of your powder drop, and I doubt that it appreciably affects POI at typical pistol distances. But, if you still have doubts, see my first paragraph.
    sparkyv likes this.
  8. RikSors

    RikSors Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Looks clean enough for reloads. My quick clean is 5 minutes longer than the OP’s. Been doing it for awhile now for pistol loads.

    Just like my wife’s washer has a quick wash option. As far as I know, it hasn’t been moved since we bought it years ago.
  9. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    NW Ohio
    Good enough! :)

    All I've ever used for cleaning is a vibrating bowl with crushed walnut, for about 1 hr. or less. I still have some of the original media, as I just add more when I have lost enough from spills or such. Maybe I'm a brass slob, but the targets don't know that. :D

    I doubt I will ever "upgrade" to other methods.
    adcoch1 likes this.
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    They look good to me. A little soot inside the case doesn't bother me in the least. I mostly tumble the brass to remove any foreign matter so it doesn't end up in my dies.
  11. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Piedmont/Triad, NC

    Over on The Firing LIne their moderator (Uncle Nick) has some interesting facts and opinions on the benefits of cleaning the carbon out of the cases before shooting them again.
    In case the link doesn't take you to the post in the thread I am alluding to skip down to post 17 in the thread.

    He says that shooting the carbon through the barrel will accelerate barrel ware.

    I particularly like the part where he says that using citric acid will render the lead styphanate waste harmless. I hope he is right on that because many of us wet clean and it would mean we are doing the right thing even if we didn't know it.
  12. waldens

    waldens Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    Smoky Mountains, NC
    Oh aye, clean enough to reload and fire again. One stupidly oversimplified way of looking at it: we’re just building a leetle teeny tiny fire in that case. And just like with a fireplace, we don’t need to mop and wax it to just build another fire in it. (Wow, that’s, well ... reaaally stupidly oversimplified.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I wet tumble, I like it, I’ll stick with it. Other than the health benefits already mentioned, it’s just so much cleaner to handle, store and load rounds with well-tumbled brass. I’m trying to get the whole family into shooting too, and for the females, shiny and clean can’t hurt. Maybe some day my wife might even say, “Wow, honey, that shiny brass really sets off the lights in the eyes of your shiny copper hollowpoints.”
  13. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    Oklahoma, out in the red dirt.
    I've been reloading since the late 1980s. I didn't own a tumbler until about 6-8 years ago.
    I just wiped the case with a rag. If it was real dirty, I would wash it with hot water and dish/laundry soap.

    The only reason I have a tumbler now, I got one in a bulk purchase.

    Like most here say, just shoot em.
  14. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    Reason I switched to wet tumbling is to keep the air and my hands a little cleaner. I don’t like black fingers covered in soot. :D
    Dudedog, Skgreen and dh1633pm like this.
  15. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

    Apr 23, 2011
    SE Virginia
    If they cycle, they are clean enough!
  16. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    Clean enough to throw in the brass feeder and go back to work with a AP. I remember the days when I just wiped them off and loaded. Was not shooting high volume handgun back then though.
  17. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

    Jan 26, 2010
    The carbon turns to DIAMONDS and wears the barrel down to bare metal!:rofl:

    Richard Lee, "dirty brass shoots as well as clean brass"
    sparkyv and Texas10mm like this.
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Yes, when I first started I had no tumbler at all and just wiped all the cases clean, lie a few diehards still do.

    Pretty is nice, but free of debris that might scratch your dies is all that is needed. Wipe the outside, use a neck brush, load them.
    Tony k likes this.
  19. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Piedmont/Triad, NC
    If that were true I'd never clean a case again or a barrel.:neener:
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    Walkalong likes this.
  20. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    McKinney, TX
  21. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    They appear to be clean enough to reload.

    However, since I have the equipment and time and interest, *I* would choose to really clean them prior to reloading them.

    It is simply a question of choice.

    50 years ago when I had no proper/dedicated cleaning equipment, I would clean them in detergent water with a little bottle brush, dry them and load them.

    Each one of those scrounged 7,92x57 cases quickly became quite fugly ... but my reloaded ammo was consistent & accurate. :)
    Walkalong likes this.
  22. lightman

    lightman Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    All a case needs to be is free from dirt and grit that could attach itself to your die and scratch the following cases. Or enough dirt and grit to get into your chamber and barrel. They don't have to be jewelry store sparkly clean.

    Its easier to sort clean brass and easier to inspect it for defects. Its also a matter of pride to some shooters. But it don't have to be sparkly clean to load and shoot.
  23. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Load them and shoot them. You'll be fine. I've loaded god only knows how many dirty cases in my time. As long as there is not actual mud or grit you can feel with your fingers you should be A ok.
  24. NapalmMan67

    NapalmMan67 Member

    May 2, 2013
    With an old lady in her shoe.
    Looks as clean as all the 9 brass I ever reload. If I ever get enough rounds down the pipe of my gun pushing all the "diamonds" to wear it out, a replacement one is easy enough to get.
  25. Sourdough

    Sourdough Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hutto, Tx
    I have been reloading for 70 years and have never cleaned my brass. Looks bad but works fine.
    Ken T, Offfhand and Series70 like this.
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