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Thread: Polishing finished .224 RF jacketed bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    Polishing finished .224 RF jacketed bullets

    I'm getting ready for some bullet swaging in the colder weather to come. I've been de-rimming .22lr cases, annealing, tumbling & sorting jackets at a marathon pace. Only have a few thousand left to go. All my final jackets are squeaky clean, but they are ugly & dull! I know that shiny bullets shoot the same as dull ones, but after all this work & attention to detail I want beautiful bullets!

    I tumbled some finished bullets in walnut media to a nice shine but their hollow points had to be picked clean of media! No way, never again!

    Do any fellow swagers insist on shiny bullets too? Do you ever polish the final bullets some how? Do you vibra-polish & if so what media(s) do you use? Do you wet polish with or without pins? Do you ever coat the final bullets with some type of liquid wax or magic elixir to retard the tarnishing process?

    I apologize if I seem a bit OCD here, but I think a touch of OCD has got to be a common trait for anyone that spends the time & money at this hobby.

    TIA for your comments & suggestions.
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    I add a cup white vinegar, 2 tblsp dawn, 1 tblsp salt and a dash of "lemi-shine" to a gallon of water, tumble for 2 hours and you better be wearing sun glasses when you take em out! ALSO I use stainless steel media in mix.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

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  3. #3
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    I clean them in a solution of citric acid, rinse and then tumble in 20-40 ground corn cob with Berry's Brass Polish. They come out shiny bright.

    If you want to preserve the shine, put some liquid car polish in some untreated 20-40 corn cob and tumble them for about an hour or so. It doesn't seem to matter what brand of car polish, but the ones with carnuba in them seem to last a little longer.

    Link to the corn cob: https://www.zoro.com/zoro-select-bla...40/i/G2165387/

    Link to the citric acid: https://www.dudadiesel.com/search.php?query=citric

    Link to the brass polish: https://www.berrysmfg.com/item/brass-bright-polish

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman Replacement Ceramic Media for Moly Bullet Finishing Kit 1.75 lb


    Improvised tumbler for small batches. Someone gave me a small vibrator tumbler for larger batches.


    The last batch I polished.
    Last edited by supe47; 09-19-2018 at 02:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Super47, do you add anything to the ceramic media? That looks good!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Not really, just the media, bullets and enough water to keep the media wet and not splash with a couple drops of Dawn. A decent shine takes less than a half hours in my tumbler. Our SoCal sun does a fine job of drying.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    It might help also to polish before forming the cases into jackets. Corn cob and walnut media are available in different grit sizes, finding one that wont fit into the hollow points might help.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just curious. What is your concern with the tiny bit of media in the nose? I rotary tumble mine with rice and a dab of Brasso. A piece of rice will get stuck in the cavity and if it sticks out of the HP I just rub it on a piece of fine sandpaper to cut it down. I do that so it won't inadvertently get "pried" out and cause a problem with the rifle if I'm feeding from the magazine, which I seldom do.

    I have been unable to detect ANY difference in accuracy between those that have rice stuck in them and those from which I painstakingly removed the rice bits. They have been fired from several guns including a nearly worn out AR to a very accurate varmint rifle. Given the inconsistencies of the RF case, even if sorted by headstamp and such, they are not match grade bullets as far as I'm concerned, so a wee bit of "stuff" in the HP will cause less inaccuracy than the nonconcentric RF case itself.

    I make 1000s of these things because they are so cheap and VERY effective on pds out to around 250-275 yards (I can't hit them much past that regardless of what I'm shooting) because of their "explosive" nature from the soft, thin brass jacket. Virtually all of them have rice in the nose.
    Liberals don't know they're stupid in the same way a fish does not know it is wet. It is just their natural state of being.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roysha View Post
    Just curious. What is your concern with the tiny bit of media in the nose? I rotary tumble mine with rice and a dab of Brasso. A piece of rice will get stuck in the cavity and if it sticks out of the HP I just rub it on a piece of fine sandpaper to cut it down. I do that so it won't inadvertently get "pried" out and cause a problem with the rifle if I'm feeding from the magazine, which I seldom do....
    Of course you're right, but it also goes to the idea of why tumble at all? The mottled bullets shoot the same.

    In the particular instance that I mentioned, I tumbled in walnut media (I don't know what size) & some of the noses were full & some not. It could be "picked" out with a wire probe. I tried vibrating the bullets without any media to shake out or loosen some of the stubborn impactions. That helped, but in the end I told myself that there must be a better way & I figured I'd better ask the experts here on our forum.

    Thanks for the rice tumbling/brasso idea, I'll give that a try. Some great info here & I have a number of things to try out now.
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselhorses View Post
    I add a cup white vinegar, 2 tblsp dawn, 1 tblsp salt and a dash of "lemi-shine" to a gallon of water, tumble for 2 hours and you better be wearing sun glasses when you take em out! ALSO I use stainless steel media in mix.
    All the ingredients make sense here but the salt. What does salt suppose to do for the mix?

    TIA...
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    not positive, but doesn't the salt react with the vinegar to make a mild acid ?

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Vinegar is a mild acid (acetic acid to be more precise).

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy

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    This is what got me going with really nice results (except I add some lema shine) and I use pins and tumbler.

    https://youtu.be/t8vJ7MiHAuI

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipefitter View Post
    Vinegar is a mild acid (acetic acid to be more precise).
    Yes, But by itself wont clean brass. Or maybe I should say it wont clean as good by itself. Somehow the salt and vinegar together cleans the brass. I'm not a Chemist, just trying to remember school in the BC era.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    It makes a solution of sodium acetate and HCl.

    It pulls some of the zinc when it removes the oxidation

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