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Thread: Wet Tumbled Brass - Condensation in ammo can and bucket - Ideas Why?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wet Tumbled Brass - Condensation in ammo can and bucket - Ideas Why?

    I've been wet tumbling lots of brass passed week using the hot Cali sun to dry them.

    I opened a 50 cal can of brass I cleaned 3-4 days ago and the top layer seemed dull. I further checked and the insides and inside lid had condensation on them.

    Any ideas why?

    These brass was bone dry when I put them in the ammo can and brought the can in side the house. It is in direct line of sun and maybe got hot and cooled down?

    So I then checked a 5gal plastic bucket that's 3/4 full of 9mm I cleaned. The lid is not on tight, just resting. I lift the lid and the notice the side of the bucket and lid also have condensation.

    I'm gonna dump out the 50 call can leave them in the sun all day.

    The 5 gal, I'm gonna leave the lid off and put in the sun, let the bucket and brass heat up and maybe evaporate.

    Not sure what would have caused the condensation.

    I did use dawn, lemi shine, and a tiny bit of KrudCutter (just to see any difference). I didn't use the krudutter in every batch so it would be hard to tell if that caused anything.

  2. #2
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    Flailguy's Avatar
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    Are you depriming before tumbling? If primers are left in they are hard to dry completely. I typically do the same as you but will leave the lid off for a week or so to let any remaining moisture out.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flailguy View Post
    Are you depriming before tumbling? If primers are left in they are hard to dry completely. I typically do the same as you but will leave the lid off for a week or so to let any remaining moisture out.
    Not with the pistol brass. Ill leave the lid off in the garage after they sit in the 85+ sun all day. The 45 I'll have to re-tumble.

    Maybe after they air dry with lids off I'll toss in some desiccant packets.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I guess my California sun is different than yours, the high for today is 106* lol

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Humidity

  6. #6
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I agree with the wet primer comment.

    My thought is one of the benefits of wet tumbling is getting clean primer pockets.

    I saw somewhere that a person wet his brass before de-priming. If you have a way to deprime wet brass it will be healthier for you.

    2 of the biggest health concerns reloading are the dust from: dry tumbling brass and depriming.

    I wet tumble the same way year-round.

    Deprime all brass

    2 gal tumbler, 7# pins 90% full of brass, hot water 2 squirts dawn, 1 teaspoon citric acid.

    rinse well when done I dump brass and pins in rotary case/media separator to remove pins

    the brass then goes in a bucket of car wash/wax & water, gets dumped back in the rotary case/media separator (salvaging the car wash/wax solution)

    rinse off the excess bubbles spin to remove excess water

    dump brass on a towel, create a "hammock" and rock back and forth to remove a water drops from the outside

    then I pop them into one of my food dehydrators (usually cheap at a thrift store) and let it run for a while.

    then they go into zipper bags and get stored.

  7. #7
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    Eddie17's Avatar
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    I’ll second humidity. Possible it was a humid day when you closed the lid!

  8. #8
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    I've dried a lot of deprimed brass in the New Mexico summer sun. An hour or two in the sun and it's so hot it feels like it was just fired so no issues with condensation. It's not 85 in the summer, though. Mostly high 90s; sometimes HOT. Summer humidity is very low, though. I was cleaning with citric acid; not tumbling but wet is wet. I've never wet primed brass. I do believe that citric acid softens the primer pocket residue so that might be a benefit to pin tumbling.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Uh, I'll guess they were not dry

  10. #10
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    Maybe the hot cases cooling slow in the confined container with over night cooler air caused the condensation. Did you let them cool down before placing in the containers?
    Steve,

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    I found that even with de-priming the cases, when you go to dry them there is still moisture that likes to hide in primer pocket and flash hole. Im kinda anal when I dry mine so I hit the base of each one on a towel before I stand each one up to dry for 24 hours. Never have condensation in zip lock or other containers!


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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    How cool does the air get at night?
    The air in a close fitted but not air tight container will expand during the warm day and will cool during a cool night. This breathing of the can will suck in moisture and it will condense if your nights go below the dew point.
    EDG

  13. #13
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    retread's Avatar
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    Primers stay wet a long time if not removed.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I'm just guessing, but maybe you sealed them up before the temps adjusted back to room temp? I use the hot sun during the Summer and the oven during the Winter and have not had this problem.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bayou52's Avatar
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    Sounds like retained moisture inside the primer pockets. I decap first, then wet tumble. Cases must be completely dry before storage.

    I look inside the cases with a flashlight to assure they are dry before sealing them up...

    Bayou52
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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Is the brass all spread out or in a container? If in a container did you shake or mix the hot brass up after it being in the sun? Just because water has dried doesn't mean there isn't water vapour trapped in the mound of brass... lots of little pockets.

    That and/or primers retaining moisture as noted above are my guess.

  17. #17
    I would not wet tumble with the primers in if I wasn't loading the brass right away.I buy once fired L.C. brass sometimes the seller will wet tumble with the primers in and there will be primers corroded tight.A food dehydrator works great for making sure your brass is completely dry.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy

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    Warm brass inside a closed container, if the container cooled down from ac faster , the warm brass would set up condensation inside the container. They need to cool down together unsealed.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check