Brass Tumbling

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by swpc629, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. swpc629

    swpc629 Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    I am curious when is the best time to tumbler brass before or after it has been sized? I have noticed some marks where you can see how far down the brass the die has sized it. I know it is best with brass that is badly tarnished or dirty to tumble it first so the die will not be damaged. But I would like some opions on this subject.
  2. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    I like to de-prime, tumble, then size.

    That way the primer pocket gets clean and any media stuck in the flash hole gets pushed out by the pin.

    I use a Lee universal de-priming die first.
  3. Hobo

    Hobo Active Member

    Apr 9, 2011

    I always de-prime and neck-size my brass then clean it good in the ultrasonic cleaner.... Next I check the OAL and trim as needed followed by champering both the inner and outer neck rims..... Final cleaning and polishing is accomplished with the vibrating tumbler (corn cob media with a polishing agent ) is next,,,,, followed by picking all the tumbling media from the flash-holes.... My brass is now ready for reloading..... If I'm not going to be loading immediately after this prepping process I will place the brass in heavy duty freezer zip-lock bags and seal after removing as much air as possible....

    I'm wanting to try the stainless steel pins in a rotating tumbler but just haven't got around to it,,,,,,,,,,, yet!!! I really can't see how the SS pins/rotating drum method can possibly leave the brass looking any better that my current method described above...

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  4. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    i tumble twice. First thing I do is tumble, then lube, resize and deprime. At this point I tumble it again for a short time to remove any remaining lube that would not wipe off. Clean out the primer pockets after this and finish reloading.

    I like reloading nice clean brass and have found that running it through the tumbler a second time sure helps to remove any remaining lube that sure attracts anything down the road after it completely dries.
  5. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Lately I've been annealing first (something new to me trying to improve the neck tension) dump in water to cool. Let cases dry then lube and resize, immediately run through case trimmer and then dump into the tumbler to remove the lube. I then have annealed, sized, trimmed and clean brass ready to prime and load. Seems like the proper order as each step improves upon the next without backtracking or repeating procedures. Once the cases some out of the tumbler I wear gloves from then on to keep them shiny. I've found nice clean brass helps me spot any potential problems with cases. Can't wait for my new die to solve my neck tension issue. Annealing did not make it go away but I figure it can't hurt.
  6. jorvin

    jorvin Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2009
    i use a depriming die so i don't get my sizing die dirty. then i do a cleaning tumble. than i do all my brass work and do a final tumble.