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Old March 26, 2020, 09:36 AM   #1
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Wet tumbling case mouths

I just started wet tumbling last fall and really like it, gets the cases really shinny and clean. I have noticed one thing. The case mouths seem to get peened slightly from the cases hitting each other. I really don't think this is a problem but just wondering if anyone else is having the same result. I use SS media, lemi shine, dawn and water. For 400 cases or so, I usually tumble for 1 1/2 hours, maybe too long? Your thoughts?

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Old March 26, 2020, 09:58 AM   #2
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peened case mouths are just one of the trade offs. 1.5 hours is not overly long in my opinion. I usually do a very light chamfer after wet pin cleaning unless I will be using an M type die.
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Old March 26, 2020, 10:17 AM   #3
Bart B.
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Sierra tumbles their bullets in rubber lined tubs like concrete mixers full of wood chips. Their bullets get all the sizing lanolin scrubbed off and highly polished. Their heels have tiny peened dents that have no effect in accuracy tests.

Same as new case mouths.

The sharp edge inside case mouths caused by deburring tools is a problem because it often scrapes off bullet copper unbalancing bullets. Pass deburred case mouths on then off a bronze bore brush in an electric drill to round that edge to not peel off copper strips from bullets.

Last edited by Bart B.; March 26, 2020 at 10:25 AM.
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Old March 26, 2020, 04:40 PM   #4
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You can try adjusting the number of cases to SS pins on your next few runs to see if it improves or worsens. Too many cases in the tub, the cases hit each other, too few and the pins work on the brass too much.
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Old Yesterday, 04:22 PM   #5
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You might try smaller stainless steel pins. They come in different sizes.

By chance are you using the harbor freight plastic rock tumbler or an actual bullet tumbler like a lyman or a franklin? My canister on my lyman is rubber lined and I don't see the damage you're seeing on my pistol brass no matter the load volume. I usually go for 2 hours on indoor range brass and 3 hours on outdoor range brass.
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Old Yesterday, 06:04 PM   #6
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Not to get into a pizzing contest with anyone, but the peening I see is from brass cases falling/banging into other brass cases.

The rubber lined Thumblers or other copy cat rubber lined wet tumblers can not prevent the cases from falling onto/into each other. The rubber is in there to prevent the drum from wearing out and noise reduction.

As to size of the pins, I find it hard to imagine how those incredibly tiny lightweight pins suspended in water could peen much of anything. Simply not enough velocity is generated inside the drum. If the drum were spinning fast enough to generate the required velocities, centrifugal forces would hold everything against the walls of the drum and no cleaning (or peening) would occur.

jp2rk is most definitely on to something by suggesting an adjustment to the ratio of pins to brass to minimize peening. But then those pins ain't exactly cheap. I run up to 15 pounds of pins, but then my tumbler is way larger than most home use wet tumblers at 8" X 23".
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Old Yesterday, 09:03 PM   #7
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Or you could just tumble it in a dry media tumbler.
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