Stuck Case after using Stainless Media

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jrock, Jun 13, 2019.


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  1. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a stuck case or anything close to it in my life. My dad bought a tumbler with SST media and I thought I would give it try on some of my 338 NM brass that I was ready to anneal. I noticed that the SST media gave the outside surface a peened look but didn't think anything of it. I use RCBS lube on a pad and inside the necks of the case. Went to the press and the first one got stuck in the die. After removal I inspected and cleaned everything and ran a few more through with more effort than usual. Then I had two cases stick back to back. After getting upset at loosing several pieced of expensive brass, I decided to liberally lube the case by hand. Worked fine. Tried adding some dry imperial neck lube and it worked a bit better. Proceeded with extra lube and didn't have any issues and the pressure felt normal. I started thinking that maybe the peened surface caused the lube to get pushed into the dimples and prevented it from working. Anyone with similar experiences?
     
  2. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    No problems here, and I've been using stainless for several years.

    But, I also use Imperial Sizing Wax when doing case bodies. I only use the dry lube if I'm doing neck sizing.
     
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  3. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    My experience is that stainless tumbling for very long can cause the necks of the case to become thicker or flare out a bit...I don’t know which bc sizing should fix a flare and the case mouths measure about the same size with a micrometer. My strong guess is that it is thicker at the very end and it is hard to pinpoint just those handful of .001’s on the micrometer.

    If I place calipers around the middle of the neck it measures the size of my neck bushing, and if I slowly pull the case out vertically and let it adjust the calipers it measures .003-.005 thicker right at the end of the neck right before it comes out of the calipers.

    The end result is that cases with bullets seated won’t Chamber bc they won’t go into the neck. I need to turn the necks to get rid of it and have switched to sonic cleaning, which solved the problem.
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    I chamfer the necks before sizing and seating. That gets rid of the slight mushrooming of the brass at the end of the opening, and they load just fine. Sometimes I do it before I anneal, sometimes after. All depends on my mood that day, I guess.
     
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  5. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Been stainless tumbling a few years and found tumble time in most cases was too long. Been checking after 1 1/2 hours and no more than 2 hours. Less time appears to reduce peening while still getting brass as clean as new.
     
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  6. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    I have been using ultrasonic cleaning but its a small machine and can't do more than a handful of the big 338 cases at a time. I agree that 1.5 hours seemed like the max I would do and would shoot for less in the future. After cleaning, I annealed and FL sized. I did notice that some were rather difficult to seat bullets. I even double checked my expander diameter which checked out. Thanks for the tip on the necks. I'll check my loaded rounds and remember for next time. Might just stick with my small sonic cleaner for my precision rifle cases.
     
  7. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    I have sonic cleaners at the office and at home. I have not found them to be as fast or as good at cleaning as the stainless media so far. YMMV, as they say.
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    All cases need sizing lube after cleaning or Tumbling. The cases will often stick or be very hard to size if you don't use something when sizing. To prevent over lubing, occasionally I will run a dry case through the sizing die to remove excess lube and can tell that it is tighter and could stick if another case is sized without some type of die lubricant.

    Once sized, I like to solvent clean all the sizing lube/wax off before loading.

    Sizing cases without any lube or wax is very risky and not recommended. Carbide dies for straight wall pistol cases are the only exception.

    J E CUSTOM
     
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  9. mike06

    mike06 Well-Known Member

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    I use Brass Juice in my sonic Cleaner. My buddy uses it in his Wet tumbler without the ss pins. https://www.thereloadingstation.com This company recycles brass give them a call. In my sonic cleaner I use 2 oz. to I gallon of distilled water for about 1 hour then rinse and dry.
     
  10. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    You tumbled the cases too long, the cases should have a shine but not look sand blasted.
    I wet tumble my cases using a timer set for one hour at a time and check the cases.

    The stainless media should be tumbled first without any cases to wear down the sharp cut ends that can chew up the brass. If your cases look like a herd of Beavers were chewing on them, then you are doing something wrong.
     
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  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

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    Zinc was removed for the outer surface. Zinc acts as a lube.

    Cartridge Brass-
    Material is 70 copper/30 zinc with trace amounts of lead & iron , called C26000.
     
  12. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    JE, I used the dry case method on smaller cases. The big 338 cases seem like every case needs lube.

    I didn't even think of tumbling the SST without brass. I will run that for a good long time before I put more cases in. I did wet tumble the brass I did do. I do think the cases looked a little sand blasted. I ran them 30 min and they weren't too clean so put them in for another 45. Guess that was a bit too long with new media.

    I use a bit of vinegar and soap in my ultrasonic with great results.
     
  13. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    I have been ss tumbling for around 5 years, and never have had an issue, even with 338 Norma brass. I use dish soap and hot water and tumble it in my frankford arsenal wet tumbler for 2 hours, drain the water rinse set all brass up on my special cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 180° for 45 min, then use Hornady one shot lube and size away, never an issue.

    I know if you leave your brass in the water for very long after its done tumbling, the carbon starts to stick to it and it gets a tacky feel and looks dirty, if I forgot it in there I always rinse it add new water and tumble for another 30-45 minutes to get rid of it. Better to get it out asap after its done.
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    All good Info, But I would be careful using the Vinegar for cleaning brass cases because Vinegar is used to etch Zinc for painting to give it an anchor pattern.

    Also if a large case it tight while sizing, don't continue to size it, It is best to remove it before it becomes stuck, Lube it and continue sizing it. A press can exert tremendous pressure and a case can become stuck and very hard to remove. Better safe than sorry.

    J E CUSTOM
     
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