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Reloading Berger Bullets


Cleaning loaded cases

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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 236
Re: Cleaning loaded cases

Seems like everybody has their own idea about cleaning loaded brass...Mine is all hand cleaned but not in the volumes that some of you do....

Boss Hoss has some very good points that I agree with....I make special efforts to control seating depth and seating pressure...Personally I believe low seating pressures are a big factor in keeping my SDs low (single digits & teens).....If I drop a round (even a short distance) most certainly the OAL will change and bullets seated farther out in the case often will be knocked out of reasonable concentricity....Certainly tumbling some of my loaded ammo will be undesirable for me with light seating pressures and shallow seats...

On the other hand, loading a pile of .223 for rapid fire in an AR that has a pretty tight neck pressure and SAMMI COAL, will probably not be affected much by tumbling...Especially so if the 600+ yard precision that some of us strive for is not required....

Personally I wouldn't tumble loaded ammo for any reason.....My hand and eye inspected cases go through several cleanings during the process of one reloading and none of them are done in a tumbler...The first is with a clean cloth before lubing....The second is with a solvent (Kroil) rag only after sizing & decapping and inspecting the "dirty" primer pocket ...The third cleaning again with a dry cloth after trimming, primer pocket cleaning and a light brushing of the inside....After the case is primed & charged the final cleaning is done with a slightly damp solvent rag and then a dry clean cloth....Of coarse my volume of less than 2000 cases a year now allows me to do this easily....

A guy commented on the lack of luster of my handloads at the range compared to his "golden marvels"....I shrugged it off (even though they don't look bad to me)...He didn't say any more after we went down and retrieved targets....We both shot groups a little over an inch and we also both shot a group around 4"!.....His were shot at 200 yards and my two were 400 & 600.....

An actual primer strike to set off one is pretty harsh...I will not comment on the safety aspect of tumbling loaded cases especially if manufacturers do indeed do it....But safety first wins out with me on any questionable process....

Good loading & shooting,
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Unread 10-06-2012, 08:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 4,120
Re: Cleaning loaded cases

No AR platforms here. In fact, I don't care at all for the AR style or platform. My 223 is of the target (100 yard benchrest) variety with a segmented ring 1.5" in diameter, scored on the ring, not the target itself, 10 targets to a sheet.

I actually shoot a very tricked out (by Accuracy Systems, International) Ruger Mini 14 target, setup to single fire, with no magazine.

BTW, I tumbled over 1300 rounds and boxed them last week. I'm not tumbling for shiny but for removal of any external deposits on tnhe brass such as case lubs that can carbonize upon ignition. After the final tumbling, I wear cotton gloves so as not to contaminate the cases when boxning them and I box in cardboard boxes with styrofoam trays

I worked up my load a long time ago and other than variations in powder lots, it's very consistent.
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
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