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Old January 3, 2007, 05:25 PM   #1
dbuffington
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Wanted: Tumbling media that doesn't stick in the flash hole

Sigh. I'm a low-volume reloader, and a friend bought me a Lyman tumbler for Christmas. (Good friend ).

But the Lyman green media that came with the tumbler sticks in every single flash hole of every single cartridge.

Now, I'm only looking to get the cartridge clean for safe use in the dies and guns. I'm not going for maximum brightness or minimum cost.

Can anyone recommend a tumbling media that doesn't stick in the flash hole?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old January 3, 2007, 05:36 PM   #2
skipjack
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Dave, I tumble before depriming. I haven't found any other way around plugging the flashhole with media. I tumble, resize, wipe case lube off with a rag damp with mineral spirits, reprime and reload the case.
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Old January 3, 2007, 05:53 PM   #3
Ausserordeutlich
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While I've always found it difficult to force myself to enter into discourse with a man who sighs, I'd also opine that you won't have any problems with those flash holes if you'll decap after cleaning, like 99% of reloaders in the known universe.
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Old January 3, 2007, 06:31 PM   #4
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In 46 years of reloading, I have not cleaned, nor found the need to clean primer pockets, even with the dirtiest powders.

I agree with skipjack and Ausserordeutlich about depriming after tumbling!
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:01 PM   #5
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Either way

Tumble before or after deprime/resize? I do both. I tumble my brass before sizing, and again after (to remove lube). It does clean the primer pickets some.

Yes, the media does plug up the flash hole. I just poke/clean it out with a small piece of wire, a blowgun dart (don't ask), sometimes a horseshoe nail. I do this as I inspect/sort brass. I don't use one of the fancy media separators, I use a plastic bucket and a plastic colander (for draining pasta), both bought in the grocery store, for about $3 (local).

Just dump the tumbler into the colander (which sits in the top of the pail), and shake a little. Media drops through, leaving the brass. Dump the media out of the cases as you pick them up, check headstamp, poke media out of primer pocket, and drop in appropriate box for later reloading. When finished, pour the bucket of media back into the tumbler. The whole thing is harder to describe than to do.
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:29 PM   #6
skipjack
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"The whole thing is harder to describe than to do."

I get your drift...sounds about what I do, as well. I have been doing a fair amount of .223 lately, and was tumbling twice, as you do, 44amp. I just got tired of poking the flashhole, and decided to wipe with mineral spirits. Either way will work, of course.

With pistol brass, and carbide sizer dies, I can skip the lube part.
I have an old set of steel 44 mag dies...they really make me appreciate carbide!
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:37 PM   #7
Don H
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Actually, you're tumbling cases not cartridges in this instance. Although a lot of people do tumble cartridges briefly to remove lube.
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Old January 4, 2007, 01:23 AM   #8
PsychoKnight
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Plain 'Ol White Rice

Un-cooked of course. Its the newest thing in tumbling. Cheap, less grinding into media dust, doesn't get stuck in flash holes, works great even without additive.
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Old January 5, 2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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I've tried white rice and I have to say I wasn't impressed. Of course, clean and shine are not synonymous.
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Old January 5, 2007, 01:32 PM   #10
TJ Freak
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Tumblers

I'm researching before I am going to start buying for reloading. I purchased Richard Lee's book on reloading. I was surprised that he does nor recommend tumbling at all. He says the residue can build up in the case. He suggest that if you must clean the use steel wool or a scotch pad on the lathe used for chamfering. I think I will try it his way for starters.
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Old January 5, 2007, 04:54 PM   #11
TimRB
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"I think I will try it his way for starters."

I predict that will last approximately twenty rounds, and then you'll be on the phone to Midway. Countless thousands of reloaders (me among them) don't seem to have residue problems (whatever that means).

Tim
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Old January 5, 2007, 07:58 PM   #12
swmike
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Richard Lee's "Book" (Modern Reloading, 2nd Edition) deals primarily with reloading of rifle rounds. Try cleaning 2-3 Thousand Pistol rounds with steel wool in a lathe.

Just tumble cases before de-capping.
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Old January 5, 2007, 08:24 PM   #13
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Old January 5, 2007, 08:35 PM   #14
rem33
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Decap, then clean with Dawn, 409, Simple Green, or a simular product with some Lemon concentrate in water, dry at 150 in the oven, and forget the media. Thats is what I have been doing.
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Old January 5, 2007, 10:49 PM   #15
essixx
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Back when carbide pistol dies were too expensive for me to purchase compared to the price of steel dies, I just used a portable air tank with an air gun attached. I held about 10 cases upright in my hand and used the air gun to blow down into the cases. The air blew most of the tumbler media out of the primer pocket. Maybe 50 out of 500 needed the media to be picked out with a small screwdriver.
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Old January 6, 2007, 07:15 AM   #16
dogfood
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Quote:
I purchased Richard Lee's book on reloading. I was surprised that he does nor recommend tumbling at all.
I guess I wouldn't recommend tumbling, either, if I was the only major reloading equipment manufacturer who didn't sell a tumbler.

I always decap first, then tumble ... and I have no data whatsoever that says this is better or worse (or even different) than tumbling first. I then dump everything into an old rotary sifter from Midway - and it does a pretty good job. I take a quick look at the flash holes, and it media is stuck (about 1 in 10 cases), I just punch it out with an old decapping rod (as someone said earlier, a wire or nail works just fine, too).

Yep, it's a little more tedious, but it only takes a few minutes to run through several hundred cases.

dogfood
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Old January 6, 2007, 03:21 PM   #17
TJ Freak
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Tumblers

Ouch.

Didn't mean to sound too ignorant. I had heard that Lee was a good product for the price. I apologize for sounding off without first maybe looking into things more before I post.
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Old January 6, 2007, 08:08 PM   #18
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"I apologize for sounding off without first maybe looking into things more before I post."

Oh, gosh...please don't take our comments that way. What I (for one) meant to say, and probably should have said, is that internet reloading is just like everything else. Namely, for every product, you'll hear from a bunch of shooters who wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole and then just as many who have been happily using it for 30 years.

Try it any way you like. Just keep your eyes and ears open, because often there is an easier or better way.

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Old January 7, 2007, 10:02 AM   #19
dogfood
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Quote:
Didn't mean to sound too ignorant. I had heard that Lee was a good product for the price. I apologize for sounding off without first maybe looking into things more before I post.
TJ:

Gee, I wasn't trying to come down hard on you ...

From my perspective, Richard Lee really helped change the reloading industry, because he brought along many inexpensive, and sometimes innovative, products. I started with a Lee set-up, and I continue to use Lee products (as well as those from just about every other manufacturer). And, yes, I have Lee's book.

However, Richard Lee is definitely opinionated (aren't we all?) and he has certain ideas about the right way to do just about everything when it comes to reloading. Sometimes I agree ... other times I don't ... but I certainly wouldn't say that I am always right.

Opinions are just that ... opinions, and sometimes they are based on significant experience and data, and sometimes not. And sometimes they are developed to match a specific product line or offering. The Lee's want to sell Lee equipment ... and the folks at Lyman want to sell Lyman equipment, etc. So I try to keep this in mind when evaluating info received directly from the manufacturers.

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Old January 10, 2007, 07:40 AM   #20
dgc940
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RELOADERS CHOICE

A new innovative tumbling media made from plastic. It is reuseable. It can be used wet or dry. Use it with or without your favorite polish. RELOADERS CHOICE will not "bridge" or plug flash holes



Options: RELOADERS CHOICE, 7 1/2 pound (+$24.95)RELOADERS CHOICE, 5 pounds (+$17.95)


http://www.neconos.com/shop/?shop=1&cat=16&
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Old January 13, 2007, 08:04 AM   #21
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I tumble then decap-resize.
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Old January 13, 2007, 09:42 AM   #22
WSM MAGNUM
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Quote:
I don't use one of the fancy media separators, I use a plastic bucket and a plastic colander (for draining pasta), both bought in the grocery store, for about $3 (local).

Just dump the tumbler into the colander (which sits in the top of the pail), and shake a little. Media drops through, leaving the brass. Dump the media out of the cases as you pick them up, check headstamp, poke media out of primer pocket, and drop in appropriate box for later reloading.

44 AMP, that`s the beauty of the Dillon media separator. You don`t have to pick up each case and dump the media out of every case if you don`t fill the separator packed. Just keep turning the handle until the media stop falling out. Worth the $60, every penny.
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Old January 15, 2007, 09:30 PM   #23
jsflagstad
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Tried the Rice, Not for me...

Just pulled some 300 WSM brass out of the tumbler and Uncle Ben is stuck in about every flash hole.

Back to my 3 year old polishing compound saturated media I go.....

JSF

Last edited by jsflagstad; January 15, 2007 at 09:31 PM. Reason: typo
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