Stuck Case after using Stainless Media

270jim

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Dec 26, 2014
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13
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?

6.5 Guys posted a youtube video 4 years ago on case cleaning and mentioned that the stainless steel pin method got their pistol cases too clean, causing them to stick in carbide die. Said a little carbon on the cases helps to lube them. Might relate to rifle cases too.
 

Remmy700

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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.
Man I had a batch of brass pretty sure it was lapua brass that was once fired. Tumbled it, annealed it and then sized it in a Forster BR f/l die and I had that same thing. Slight flare at case mouth. Could hardly measure a difference in thickness but holding cases at certain angle the flare was very evident and there definelty was not a flare prior to these steps on the fired brass. So u are saying u seen this from tumbling in SS for to long?
 

kraig

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Jul 9, 2010
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Georgia
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.

When I first got my SS tumbler I had a batch that came out a little rough and was a little harder to put through the press, so what bigedp51 says makes sense to me. At some point I stopped using the SS media and just wet tumble the brass by itself w/dawn & lemi shine. Cases come out great but the primer pockets don't get as clean, but it saves time separating the media from the brass when I rinse with hot water & then let the cases dry in the sun or by fan. Haven't had any issues since that first batch but I can't say that is it because I've also switched to using imperial sizing wax and like it so much better than one shot or the kind you roll the brass on the foam mat with.

Good luck.
 

gruising

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Mar 31, 2011
Messages
31
Well I resize before I tumble as I want the primer pockets clean. I have a pretty big tumbler and use just a tablespoon of Sonic Clean per batch. I have never noticed and peening. The cases are not totally smooth like they have been buffed but look good. I have noticed that larger cases beat the heck out of each other. 50 BMG cases look beat when I take them out of the tumbler. My 338 Lapua don't look like that nor does my 300 RUM. I tried tumbling a single 50 case and it looked good. I tried the 50 in treated walnut and it looked beat to heck also. I do however use a lot of pins, the big tumbler has 25 pounds and the smaller one fifteen.
 

Tatsnscoots

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Jun 13, 2019
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Texas
I add stainless media to my tumbler, fill wilts water and add a squirt of dawn dish soap and a sprinkle of LemiShine, tumble for 1 1/2 hours and have better than new, clean cases. I have never seen any peening or pitting. Sounds like you’re tumbling too long? I use RCBS spray on case line exclusively and have never had a stuck case.
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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I know from experience , lapping high pressure safety valves , that if you lap to a high polish the two surfaces will stick together and not be able to release when they should . We would lap to 1200 grit to make sure there were no scratches in either surface then break it back to 600 grit so they would release at 1850 lbs.at 850 deg. F .You can have too much of a good thing . In the last thread on a similar issue it was discussed that the tumbling of brass with S.S. medium would flair the end of the case mouth by letting them hit each other and peening the edge over . So then some of the things I have gathered form reading this site is , don't leave your brass to tumble too long, tumble your S.S. pins by themselves to dull them first , you don't need a highly polished piece of brass just cleaned , use a good lube when sizing your brass then clean the lube off after sizing and loading and chamfer the inside and out side of the case mouth before sizing . Is that what I should have gained from these threads and have missed anything . I am here to learn and it seems there is a lot for me to learn here .
 

Remmy700

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I would think this problem is just a little combo of a couple things. Maybe a little to long in a tumbler but I think u perhaps were not using enough case lube. With them larger cases like lapua and NM I always use imperial.
 

Ga6570

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Jan 20, 2019
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SW Montana - Bozeman Area
I think it was just said but don’t use vinegar!

I’ve never had a problem with SS tumbler in the last 5-6 years. Best cleaned brass I’ve ever had.

I use some liquid dish soap, a dash of lemi-shine and water. Set the timer for 2 hours and let it go. If I forget and it sits very long not tumbling I turn it on for a few more minutes to dislodge and settled grime and then drain, rinse and dry.
 
D

Deleted member 107796

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Sounds like many have had good success with SS media but for me, I'd never use a harder material than what I'm polishing. I get great results with corn cob or walnut shell media and the only secret is to change out your media and use a good polishing compound.
 

Remmy700

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I have been using SS for years I will never go back to dry media. It’s all in what u add to the water, how much water and how long u tumble.
209C8968-A7E5-47E1-9059-FE0F7502E706.jpeg
 

Dosh

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Aug 6, 2013
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Arizona
If you are getting a rainbow or spotting on the SS tumbled brass after rinsing thoroughly, try compressed air to quickly dry and remove the moisture. The chamfering after tumble helps a lot. Don't need an oven to dry anything here in Az, 1 hour in the blazing sun quickly drys and sometimes will almost anneal if left too long lol.
 

wv270wsm

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May 10, 2016
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The only cases that I’ve ever had stick are 300 win cases . I don’t know how or why this is . It has happened to me 4-5 times now .
As soon as I get back from the range I deprime all fired cases. Then tumble all cases in corn cob. Then it off to the sizer die with a good roll on the rcbs lube pad and yes I’ve reapplied lube to the pad. But almost always I end up with one stuck 300 case.
It’s never the same brand of brass I’ve had a stuck case of all headstamps
 

The Oregonian

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Jul 20, 2012
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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.
I did the same but one instance I let them go too long. The directions say for 3-4 hours and that was way, way too long and only turning necks will solve it. I trimmed to trim length with Giraud and it chamfers inside and out but I have neck thickness .003-.004 more at the very very end.
 

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