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Old June 18, 2012, 09:53 PM   #1
frumious
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Bench grinder for cleaning rifle case necks?

Hi All,

I shoot .22-250 with Varget and .308 with AA 2520. My .22-250 is a single-shot and the .308 is a bolt action. I neck size only, and this seems to keep the case bodies clean. But the necks get dirty. More so the .308's than the .22-250's, maybe because of the powder I am using? All my brass is R-P.

Anyway, the .22's necks come clean after a couple hours vibrating around in untreated walnut. But the .308's are only maybe halfway clean after 24 hours. I have been cleaning the .308's the rest of the way manually with steel wool. This is a pain in the hand, even with grippy gloves on.

I tried chucking cases into a drill (actually into a Lee zip-trim case holder chucked in a drill) and that takes forever and still requires me to squeeze the steel wool tightly - again, pain in the hand.

So I was thinking about a smallish bench grinder. Maybe with a fine steel bristle wheel or a brass bristle wheel? I don't mind handling individual cases so much as I mind having to apply so much pressure with my fingers.

I also thought about wet tumbling but that seems like a mess and a pretty drawn-out process besides. Although with steel media and Lemi Shine or whatever it sounds like necks and primer pockets and everything else comes really clean. Hmmm....

-cls
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Old June 18, 2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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I think that the wet tumbling with stainless steel media would be less trouble than the wire wheel on a bench grinder and no chance that you would damage the brass.
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Old June 19, 2012, 06:37 AM   #3
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Have you tried any powder solvents when wiping by hand? If you do that a lot, I guess you should find a solvent that does not contain ammonia.

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Old June 19, 2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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SL1 you know what, I read about the old school way of wiping cases down with a rag dampened with mineral spirits...maybe that's all I need to do.

-cls
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Old June 19, 2012, 12:02 PM   #5
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Add a capful of NuFinish and they'll be pristine after a couple hours.

If you overload the tumbler, nothing will help.

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Old June 19, 2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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don'tworryaboutit! Why are you worried that your necks are dirty? They won't shoot any better if they're clean.

As said, some tumbler case polishing media added to the walnut will take car of the dirty necks.

Get some of this;

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/212...ss-case-polish

Or just about any car polish works too;(the liquid in the bottle)

http://nufinish.com/products/car-polish

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Old June 19, 2012, 03:35 PM   #7
frumious
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snuffy, the first batch of 308 I ever had, I loaded until the cases started separating. I never cleaned them, and those cases had so much black stuff on the necks they were slightly sticky. Since I neck size, I figure that stuff was getting up into my neck sizing die, not to mention the chamber of the rifle. I don't really care about clean brass, but when one part of the case seems to collect more and more crap it seems like cleaning that part off might be a good idea.

-cls
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Old June 19, 2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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Odd; my .308 necks get pretty dirty as well, but they're like your .22... only takes a couple of hours in the corn cob media to get them shiny; 50-75 at a time. No extra effort involved. Never more than 3. Is your tumbler... tumbling?
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Old June 19, 2012, 11:13 PM   #9
frumious
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Wwwjd, LOL yes it is tumbling (well, vibrating). I got to thinking, though...I only recently started cleaning brass; previously I had only used the tumbler for cleaning the lube off of 45-70 cases after resizing/decapping. So this batch of walnut was pretty "full" of Frankford Arsenal case lube I guess. It had been used for 10+ batches of 50 45-70 cases.

With that in mind I have tossed that batch and put in a fresh batch. I will add a shot of mineral spirits and tumble without brass for 15 minutes then put in the brass and see how "doctored" fresh walnut works.

-cls
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Old June 19, 2012, 11:20 PM   #10
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Add brass polish to your media and it'll do 100% better or use the zipp trim with a cordless and hold some Wonder-Wad around it. It's sold at walmart or auto parts.
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Old June 22, 2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
So I was thinking about a smallish bench grinder. Maybe with a fine steel bristle wheel or a brass bristle wheel?
Sounds like way too much trouble to me, but a felt wheel with some fine polishing compound would probably do the trick. I'd think a steel or brass brush would eat through the case necks pretty quick.
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Old June 22, 2012, 11:21 PM   #12
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if you still have powder residue after 24 hours in a tumbler, your media definatly needs changed!!!
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Old June 24, 2012, 06:50 PM   #13
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Take a wet rag with ya and wipe off the necks after 5 rounds or so. If you are not shooting hundreds of rounds, you can easily clean the carbon off the case neck, before it hardens and needs solvent or abrasive.

This also can save some scrubbing time on the outside revolver cylinders.
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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I just finished running my first batch of 100 .308's through treated but otherwise fresh walnut media. I did not decap them so I cannot say how well this media cleans primer pockets but I will say the cases themselves are so bright they are almost white. There is still minor staining on most of the necks but it is very livable. I ran them for almost 24 hours. Not sure how much of that time was actually necessary. I am running 22-250's now and will check them tonight before deciding to tumble them all night.

Looks like dirty media was most of the problem.

-cls
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:24 PM   #15
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I like my brass SHINY... here is my method.

3-5 hours in walnut. I treat the walnut with a "squirt" of case polish every 4-5 batches.

Then its 2-4 hours in corncob, that gets a "squirt" of case polish every other batch.

Walnut doesnt polish as well as corcob, so by forcing it to polish by running it 24 hours, i think you might by wearing it out prematurely...
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:36 PM   #16
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dacaur, I don't necessarily want them polished; I just want the necks clean.

-cls
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:25 PM   #17
frumious
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Although I have to say, walnut + mineral spirits makes for some really shiny brass. I tumbled the 22-250's for maybe 8 hours and they are just like the 308's...almost white. Turnes out one of them was decapped so I got to see what this concoction does to primer pockets - pretty much nothing. Oh well. I will continue reducing the time until I know what the minimum is.

-cls
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:39 PM   #18
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When I get cases with dirty necks, usually range pickups or yard sale finds I take one of the fiber scotch brite pads and some of the Nu-Finish 2000 auto polish I add to my media and give them a few quick turns by hand and then pitch them into the media without wiping off the excess polish. If you dont do this first it takes 3 times as long to get the entire case clean. I like them nice abd clean to keep my dies that way as well.
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:50 PM   #19
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I would say you are over loading the tumbler.

A cap of Nu-Finish, walnut Zilla that is 7 years old, 2 hours, and my cases are cleaned to perfection.

Mirror finish with zero carbon anywhere.

I bought 2 bags of Zilla lizard litter 7 years ago and still have a bag left because there has never been a reason to discard the first bag:thumbup:

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Old June 25, 2012, 11:35 PM   #20
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if you still have powder residue after 24 hours in a tumbler, your media definatly needs changed!!!

I agree. If after 24 hours they are not clean, something is very wrong. How pretty do they need to be? I vibrate in walnut or corn for 3 or 4 hours and call it done. I am reloading not making jewelry.
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