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Old July 2, 2012, 02:53 PM   #1
Manbearpig
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Cleaning loaded rounds

I recently opened a box of 45 rounds i loaded a year ago. I noticed that the brass appears a bit tarnished. I was considering putting them in a batch of corn cob to shine them back up. Is that ok or will there be issues due to live primers, crimp, seating depth, etc?
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Old July 2, 2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Primers could bet banged around and ignite. But more important is the heat generated by the tumbling. I wouldn't do it.

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Old July 2, 2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Not a good idea, try doing it by hand with some brasso!!
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Old July 2, 2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Nothing wrong with tumbling loaded ammo in a vibratory tumbler. I wouldn't use a rotary.

There's no way to set off a primer in a vibratory tumbler, the heat is less than you would get in your car on a hot day, and do NOT use Brasso on cases. The ammonia in it will degrade the case integrity.
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Old July 2, 2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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bright & shiney

Shine the brass back up after you shoot them.
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Old July 2, 2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Nothing wrong with tumbling loaded ammo in a vibratory tumbler.
This.....

Quote:
There's no way to set off a primer in a vibratory tumbler, the heat is less than you would get in your car on a hot day, and do NOT use Brasso on cases. The ammonia in it will degrade the case integrity.
.....and this.....
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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I always tumble loaded rounds to get the case lube off. If you tumble your brass (and loaded rounds) in a capful of 50/50 NuFinish/mineral spirits it leaves them with a thin coat that prevents tarnishing. Not enough to gunk up your guns, though. Some folks use a little kerosene to get similar results.
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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my experience with tumbling loaded rounds has been less than satisfactory.

I have yet to have a primer ignite or anything major like that but since I load with cast boolits the tumbler actually removes a lot of the lube from the bullet and leading occurs. I am still not sold on the powder breaking down theory(at least not for the 5 minutes or so that I tumbled them).

So, in my opinion, Dont worry about it unless it will affect the chambering or safety of the rounds and then hand polish
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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How does tumbling remove lube? The lube is in the grease grooves down inside the case.
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
How does tumbling remove lube? The lube is in the grease grooves down inside the case.
I think they are talking about sizing lube not bullet lube.
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Old July 2, 2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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I think he's referring to the grease that seems to coat the outside of cast bullets by the time they are loaded. I also tries (once) to clean loaded cast bullets and ended up with cob stuck to the bullets. Also don't try to tumble HP ammo-- the holes in the bullets will clog up with media.
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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Cleaning loaded ammo

I used to tumble ALL my reloads in a small concrete mixer (late 1960's) till I got a vibrating tumbler (somewhere in the 1970's), now I clean ALL my reloads in it. It has been 4 decades, well over a million rounds, and I have NEVER had a detonation of a loaded round during cleaning. I suppose the posibility is there, but I believe the probability is very low. Cast bullets that are tumble lubed have bullet lube all over and cleaning will remove the lube outside the brass, but sometimes, if the media is dirty, not all lube is removed, and dust from the dirty media sticks to the spots of lube leaving black clumps stuck to the bullet which then should be wiped off. Do what you feel is safe. If you tumble clean your loaded ammo on the basement floor you probably won't have any excitement if one detonates, other than some media on the floor. The empty piece of brass and the media will go further than the bullet will.
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:18 PM   #13
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Putting them in a vibratory case cleaner won't hurt them or cause any problems. I do it all the time. There is also a thread on another site where rounds were tumbled for 200+ hours without hurting the primers or damaging the powder.

Quote:
Not a good idea, try doing it by hand with some brasso!!
DO NOT use Brasso or anything else that contains ammonia. It'll make the brass brittle and will cause a problem.
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Old July 3, 2012, 05:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kealil
I have yet to have a primer ignite or anything major like that but since I load with cast boolits the tumbler actually removes a lot of the lube from the bullet and leading occurs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwalchmai
How does tumbling remove lube? The lube is in the grease grooves down inside the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shootest
I think they are talking about sizing lube not bullet lube.
But removing sizing lube won't cause leading.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:25 AM   #15
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It does remove some lube from the bearing surface above the case neck. This has never caused me an issue though.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:31 AM   #16
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Nathan, could you post a pic of your outside lubed rounds? All mine are inside lubed.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwalchmai
Nathan, could you post a pic of your outside lubed rounds? All mine are inside lubed.
I know where this is going, and we're not going there...
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:04 AM   #18
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Sorry, just trying to understand his point.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:04 AM   #19
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gwalchmai

please read any reloading manual and check rifle round reloading. Without case lube applied to the outside of the case you will get a stuck case! There is a VERY small amount of lube applied to the inside of the case neck also.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtpzwms
gwalchmai

please read any reloading manual and check rifle round reloading. Without case lube applied to the outside of the case you will get a stuck case! There is a VERY small amount of lube applied to the inside of the case neck also.
Tumbling loaded rounds doesn't remove any lube inside the case neck.
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Old July 3, 2012, 08:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89blazin
Shine the brass back up after you shoot them.
Best answer so far!

There is no need to clean brass because of tarnish. Just shoot the stuff and clean it later. Or just wipe it off and reload it again in its tarnished state. Won't hurt a thing.

Running it through the tumbler won't hurt a thing either, IMHO. It's just a waste of time and effort unless your range has ammo beauty contests that you're trying to win.
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:22 AM   #22
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If it bothers you tumble away otherwise just shoot them as normal. There is no danger in tumbling live rounds.....how do you think the factory gets them so shiny before packaging them?????

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Old July 3, 2012, 09:33 AM   #23
Nathan
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While not mine, mine look like this roughly:


My point was that the lubed portion of the bullet in the case stays lubed and there is some groove dia lead which will have it's thin lube coating removed. That's all. Not sure if it could cause leading or not
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:42 AM   #24
gwalchmai
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No, there's no lube on that shoulder, not intentionally, anyway. Lube is forced out from the grease grooves upon firing.

Just to add, I use moly-coated boolits (Bear Creek) and tumble them in loaded cases. The coating is cleaned and polished but not removed.
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Old July 3, 2012, 10:16 AM   #25
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Quote:
I have yet to have a primer ignite or anything major like that but since I load with cast boolits the tumbler actually removes a lot of the lube from the bullet and leading occurs.
What kealil is talking about is the thin coating that clings to the front driving band of most lead boolits that are loaded with that driving band exposed. Tumbling them would most certainly remove that lube. It's the first part of the boolit to encounter the rifling, some lube there, albeit very little, will aid in preventing leading.



Sizing any lead boolit in a lubrisizer will result in some lube being deposited on the driving bands both top and bottom. It can't be stopped, in fact it is desirable. The star sizer is different, but it too will have a small amount of lube on the driving bands.

As for the tumbling live ammo debate goes, it winds up being about 50/50. Those that are convinced it will cause damage to the powder, and those that know it doesn't hurt a thing.
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