SS pins - a note of caution

Varmint Hunter

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I always have the LabRadar running while shooting at our club. A shooter a few benches away asked if I would shoot his 300WBY to determine the velocity of his reloads. My equipment is set up for a left hand shooter so I shot the rifle rather then having him shoot it "over the screens" himself.

After the shot I ejected the shell which landed on the concrete slab. I noticed immediately that a few kernels of powder fell from the case. Looking closer I realized that they were actually two blackened SS pins! I asked if he was using a SS pin tumbler and he acknowledged that he was.

It made me wonder how many pins may have been in that load and what they could do to a barrel. Who even knows about the safety aspect of pins in a full pressure load?

Just a reminder to use due diligence when handloading because unexpected errors do happen.
 

Calvin45

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Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
I always have the LabRadar running while shooting at our club. A shooter a few benches away asked if I would shoot his 300WBY to determine the velocity of his reloads. My equipment is set up for a left hand shooter so I shot the rifle rather then having him shoot it "over the screens" himself.

After the shot I ejected the shell which landed on the concrete slab. I noticed immediately that a few kernels of powder fell from the case. Looking closer I realized that they were actually two blackened SS pins! I asked if he was using a SS pin tumbler and he acknowledged that he was.

It made me wonder how many pins may have been in that load and what they could do to a barrel. Who even knows about the safety aspect of pins in a full pressure load?

Just a reminder to use due diligence when handloading because unexpected errors do happen.
Maybe it just makes the rifle more effective…at close range it is now also a shotgun in a way haha
 

P7M13

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It made me wonder how many pins may have been in that load and what they could do to a barrel.
Think of it as "cleaning out the bore" with a stainless scrubber. :oops:

It's an easy mistake to make if you're not careful. One thing I will do to check is to take the brass, after they have been dried, and tumble them in a towel like I do when I pull them out of the rinse/depin step. If I see pins in the towel, I have to check more.
Kind of like carpenter ants. If you see one in your house, might be a fluke. If you see two, you have them.
 

matt_3479

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Jan 31, 2010
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Southern Ontario
I deleted the pins. Soap, Lemi Shine and warm water. Works like a champ.

it’s funny I did the same thing. I add pins every 4-5 firings to just get a slightly deeper clean if that makes sense but an extra careful with them. I have found pins after drying and ready to load and double check and there they are!!
 

Tidus56

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I have found myself only using ss tumbling with 9mm or 556 brass. My other stuff I am just using corn cob. I like the cleanliness of ss tumbling but I worry about cold wielding and the pins getting in my amp or reloads. Just my take on it.
 

Dosh

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Perhaps an issue with cleaning a large batch, but a quick look when rinsing/spinning in a hand tumbler and possibly another look when sizing should reveal all pins. Certainly wouldn’t want pins in my loads.
 

Varmint Hunter

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I own, and occasionally use, a SS pin tumbler. But mostly I do not see the need to clean cases. I use steel wool on the outside of the neck and a quick brushing of the inside of the neck. Pockets get cleaned with a uniforming tool. Rifle brass just doesn't get dirty.

I mostly use the tumbler for dirty pistol brass and 458 SOCOM brass which is usually filthy. I'll be visually inspecting them a bit closer in the future.
 

Korhil78

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I own, and occasionally use, a SS pin tumbler. But mostly I do not see the need to clean cases. I use steel wool on the outside of the neck and a quick brushing of the inside of the neck. Pockets get cleaned with a uniforming tool. Rifle brass just doesn't get dirty.

I mostly use the tumbler for dirty pistol brass and 458 SOCOM brass which is usually filthy. I'll be visually inspecting them a bit closer in the future.

I do the exact same thing.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
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Canada, Ontario, Ottawa
I use a F.A.R.T. and ss pins. Had a few cases of 5.56 with ss pins stuck in em. I check every case. Not sure if it's a good use of my time wrt reloading, or not. But I love my rifle and she shoots well, so better safe than sorry.
 

vortech347

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Nov 20, 2013
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I stopped using pins when wet tumbling. The cases still get very clean and it's one less thing to take up time gettimg all those pins out of the cases.
 

jrock

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Mar 12, 2014
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Idaho
I have the Frankfort Arsenals SS tumbler. The media is such a pain to remove from the drum. I think its due to the wet media sticking to everything. I dry the brass in the oven and any media still in the cases practically falls out. I don't care to use the SS media due to the extra time required to sift it out.
 
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