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Old January 30, 2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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Loading old .30 cal bullets

I've got a bunch of 150 grain FMJ bullets among some reloading stuff I inherited from my grandfather. The story is that he made his .30-06 hunting ammo by getting surplus ball ammo, pulling the bullets, and reseating 150 grain spitzers.

At this point I'm just making some paper-punching ammo, so I want to use those old FMJs, but they're a little dull looking. No green corrosion or anything that bad, just really dull looking. Any reason I couldn't just throw these into my tumbler to clean them up?

I'm not too concerned with how they look, I just want to take off the little bit of oxidation, and possibly any tiny embedded grit that may be there to help ensure I don't damage my rifle bore.

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Old January 30, 2006, 06:06 PM   #2
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150Gr FMJs

I think your tumbler idea will probably work OK for what you want to do, but probably won't do quite as good a job on the bullets as it would do on empty brass cases. Reason being; I think they would tend to sink to the bottom of the tumbler right away and not get the kind of agitation you get from the empty cases. Let us know how it works.

Another concern you might want to address is the diameter and the roundness of the pulled bullets. If you don't have a good micrometer, maybe borrow one from somebody and check the bullets for diameter and roundness. The pulling method(???) could have distorted them somewhat.
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Old January 30, 2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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Surplus bullets generally aren't going to shoot fantasic in the first place. I wouldn't feel bad about tumbling them.

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Old January 30, 2006, 06:30 PM   #4
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Ahh--that's a good point about the pulling method possibly distorting the bullets. I'll have to look at them more closely.

Thanks to both of you for replying!

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Old January 30, 2006, 11:00 PM   #5
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Good advice above. BTW, I call dibs if you don't want them.
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Old January 30, 2006, 11:40 PM   #6
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I dunno how much my post will help but I used a piece of old cracked brass and a bullet to make a key chain, I tumbled each in some treated corncob for 8 hours and they both came out very shiny, almost a mirrored finish so the tumbling did make a big difference to the bullet, made it really smooth too.
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Old January 30, 2006, 11:56 PM   #7
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Can't see how tumbling would hurt a FMJ. I cleaned up some old stuff that came my way a while ago and it worked great on everything but the match bullets. Didn't think about the media getting in the hollow points, but they were rough before so no great loss. I say shine them up and shoot'em
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Old February 2, 2006, 02:12 PM   #8
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I have buckets of .308 bullets, and because they aren't in boxes, they get dull looking. Easiest way I have found is to spray them with chemical copper cleaner(Several kinds of good copper cleaners on the market) rinse them in cold water and dry them off. Takes less than 5 minutes and leaves them looking like new.
Be sure bullets haven't been distorted by the puller before loading, and throw them away if they have been because they might mess up your dyes.
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