Tumbling completed rounds

wilssoon

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May 9, 2015
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9
So, I have noticed that the case lube I used during the reloading process makes for some very dirty and grimy hands when loading rounds at the range. Not a huge deal, but a bit annoying.

I have heard some guys dry tumble their completed rounds to remove the excess case lube. I have also heard it could cause a round to discharge ( I highly doubt that). I tumbled about 500 rounds today for about an hour and it did a good job removing the excess lube

Is this a good practice, and would 20 minutes do the job, let's say?

What say you?
 

Rick Richard

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I will tumble just the cases after resizing to remove lube and etc, but would not consider a loaded round.

If there is even a slight possible of a discharge, then why chance it. Also, I meticously set seating depth and take care in protecting the projectile for consistency. I would not want to change that by loads 'banging' against each other.
 

MagnumManiac

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Tumbling loaded rounds poses a problem in that it MAY cause the powder to break down, changing it's burning characteristics or building up enough static to cause a discharge.
I simply wipe my cases down with a damp rag, but I use good old RCBS case lube 2. I also use Imperial wax, it, too, just wipes off.
It's been a good while since I loaded at a match, I just do it a week before these days, but I never FL sized back then, only necked my cases.

Cheers.
gun)
 

J E Custom

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Tumbling loaded rounds poses a problem in that it MAY cause the powder to break down, changing it's burning characteristics or building up enough static to cause a discharge.
I simply wipe my cases down with a damp rag, but I use good old RCBS case lube 2. I also use Imperial wax, it, too, just wipes off.
It's been a good while since I loaded at a match, I just do it a week before these days, but I never FL sized back then, only necked my cases.

Cheers.
gun)

+1
Tumbling or polishing loaded rounds is not a good idea.

It does change the burn rate and the case density of the powder and on a max load could over
pressure the load.

It also changes the amount of the coating that ******* and stabilizes the granules on the powder that controls the burn rate and the temperature.

The risk of a round going off is possibility if a static charge is built up.

You are right to wipe off any sizing lube because it also increases bolt lug loading because the round/case cant grip the chamber as good while being fired.

I don't recommend polishing any loaded rounds for safety's sake.

J E CUSTOM
sensitivity
 

predator 22

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Apr 2, 2014
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What I do is after I size my brass it gets washed in rubbing alcohol or acetone to get all the lube off of the outside and inside of the neck. Then let it set for a day or two or put it in front of a small fan if I'm in a hurry. As stated previously static build up could be dangerous.
 

bruce_ventura

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May 22, 2011
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For less than about 40 cases, I wipe them with a rag after sizing. For a large number of cases in one batch, I toss them back in the tumbler.

For all of the reasons cited above, tumbling loaded cases is a really bad idea. Nor would I fire lubed cases. I like my reloads to look and feel like factory ammunition.
 

eshorebwhntr

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Apr 11, 2009
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If you want to clean them and make them look factory...

1. Resize/decap
2. Tumble/clean
3. Prime, charge, press bullet.

The tumbling granules will get stuck in the flash hole sometimes so make sure you're not priming/loading with them in there.

If you're not rushed this process will get you to where you want to be with clean brass.
 

maninthemaze

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Jan 11, 2015
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Flatlander KY
My process seems a little different than you guys.

1. Tumble the brass after firing so that it's clean before going into the die.
2. Resize/ deprime the brass.
3. Tumble again to remove case lube and polish the brass
4. Let brass air dry for a few days, or bake at lowest setting for 15 to 20 minutes if in a hurry.
5. Prime, charge and load bullets.

I don't want dirty brass going into my dies. I also don't want brass with case lube on it going anywhere near my rifle. I guess wiping off the brass with a rag would work, but it won't clean any lube that has made it's way inside the case. I also use the stainless tumbling media to clean the brass.
 

wc872

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Apr 26, 2006
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108
How do you suppose the factory gets the sizing lube off and manage to have the case and bullet all shiny & new looking?
 

MagnumManiac

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How do you suppose the factory gets the sizing lube off and manage to have the case and bullet all shiny & new looking?
The factories tumble their brass BEFORE it's loaded, just as we do. In fact, factory brass is tumbled after every annealing step, which may be 4 times within the sizing/drawing steps. Some factories don't tumble after the final annealing, which is why Lapua and Hornady clearly have the annealing marks when loaded.
Have you ever seen unfired NEW brass with sizing lube all over it? I know I haven't.

:rolleyes:
 

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