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Reloading Berger Bullets


Alternative to tumbling

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Unread 07-29-2009, 11:18 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Eastern Montana
Posts: 282
Alternative to tumbling

My tumbler crapped out today. Are there any other good alternatives to cleaning brass?

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Unread 07-29-2009, 11:58 PM
JLM JLM is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WY
Posts: 20
Re: Alternative to tumbling

0000 Steel Wool if you aren't doing a bunch of them.
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Unread 08-01-2009, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871
Re: Alternative to tumbling

Have someone take a rod that will chuck up in you drill motor and turn a taper on the other end so that it will slide into you case neck.

With the steel wool mentioned above you'll get every thing except the inside of the case.

Works for me.....
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Unread 08-02-2009, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,499
Re: Alternative to tumbling

Over the years I've used various media in a tumbler and have used ISSO liquid for soaking quite some time ago.

Now I just use 0000 steel wool on the outside of the necks for a better and faster cleaning. I use a worn brass bore brush with a little steel wool on it to clean the inside of the necks. I chuck the brush up in a hand drill and just lay it on its side. Then I manually push the cases over the spinning brush. Every now and then you need to add a bit more steel wool.

The inside of the case bodies never get cleaned any more. If there is a down side to this, I haven't seen it. I would be interested in anyone else s opinion of NOT cleaning the inside of the case body.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Shangri-La
Posts: 964
Re: Alternative to tumbling

Hey buckbrush

After resizing, I trim, chamfer, clean the outside of the case body, clean the inside of the case neck, and apply mica to the inside neck at one station. The brass can either be shiny or matte.

This is the finished product

I can do 50 cases in about 45 minutes

I use a Zip Trim attached to a piece of 2x4 and mounted in a vise

trim using the Lee case length attached to a ball cutter

apply Flitz using one of those sponges that come in the top of TSX boxes

hold a rag against it and spin to take the Flitz off

and clean the inside necks with steel wool around a 22 caliber brush

Gives me very consistant results and a protective coating on the shells.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chatham, VA
Posts: 436
Re: Alternative to tumbling

I love to reload, but if I had to do what woods does I think I would go crazy. I do run a nylon brush in and out of the necks and I might try some mica though.

A couple of $35 tumblers from Midway do the trick for me. If I want the cases more shiney I run the tumbler longer. Tumblers and media are cheap. One of my tumblers has probably run 12 hours a week for the last 5 years.
"My greatest fear is that after my demise my wife will sell my guns for the price I told her I paid for them"
-don't know where it came from...but true
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Unread 08-02-2009, 07:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Alternative to tumbling

I use my tumblers to clean brass that I've shot and dropped on the ground (40sw etc.). But I rarely tumble my LR brass, I keep them segregated by runout (so if the same brass has poor runout a couple times in a row, I know it's the brass).

I will typically wipe them clean, lube, resize and wipe clean again. They aren't sparkling beauty like some I see here, but I don't think they shoot any worse because of it

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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