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Thread: Depriming for case cleaning

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master








    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NyFirefighter357 View Post
    Removing the primers before you wet tumble does more than clean your primer pockets. It allows a better flow of the solution through the brass, it also allows the solution to leave the brass after removing the brass from the solution, helping with drying. I see that system doesn't use pins but if using SS pins in bottle neck cartridges, if you don't de-prime your going to have a hell of a time getting the pins out. I also see several people who left the primers in and didn't remove them in a timely fashion afterwards report the primers were stuck tight into the brass. I usually use a universal depriming die first then wet tumble my brass.

    Your solution is just a phosphate based dish detergent & water with approx. ph-4.
    https://www.brownells.com/userdocs/M...73_default.pdf

    A 10lb tub of powdered phosphate detergent like Bright and Fresh Dishwasher Detergent would make a lot of that solution for $45

    Many guys are just using citric acid with a squirt of Dawn or car wash soap with wax. Citric acid is about $32 10lbs

    What ever you use be sure to rinse the brass well afterwards.
    my buddy who wet tumbles has a different idea on it. He wet tumbles with the spent primers still in the brass. He knows clean primer pockets are unnecessary and says what leaving them in does is wet them enough that the dust and crud from depriming on his dillons is cut to nothing,.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    high standard 40's Avatar
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    Lee makes an affordable decapping die. I deprime before wet tumbling with s/s pins. I like clean brass. As far as clean primer pockets, I'll give you a good reason to do so, at least as it applies to my loading procedures. I have used a Lee hand priming tool for many years. I noticed a considerable amount of increased effort to seat primers into dirty primer pockets. I broke a few Lee hand priming tools because of this increased effort. Since I started cleaning primer pockets, that problem disappeared. I can get a much better feel for consistently seating primers if the pockets are clean.
    Last edited by high standard 40; 05-12-2021 at 11:13 AM.

  3. #23
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwrx View Post
    So, more important to clean cases first before resizing, than to have the primer pockets cleaned at the same time. Ok good. Thanks for the input!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I use the lee universal de-priming die (it de-primes ALL cases [haven't tried 50 BMG] without the cases touching the die)

    I de-prime on a single-stage, never on my progressive

    I wet tumble my brass so I like to clean the primer pocket with the rest of the brass.

    I'd NEVER run dirty brass through my dies --- don't want to risk scratching them up.

    ** De-priming and Dry vibratory cleaning are the 2 processes most likely to put hazardous particles in the air**

    IF you could see how NASTY the water is after wet tumbling you probably would never Dry vibratory clean inside again

    my results


    Last edited by Conditor22; 05-12-2021 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    I use the lee universal de-priming die (it de-primes ALL cases [haven't tried 50 BMG] without the cases touching the die)

    I wet tumble my brass so I like to clean the primer pocket with the rest of the brass.

    I'd NEVER run dirty brass through my dies --- don't want to risk scratching them up.

    ** De-priming and Dry vibratory cleaning are the 2 processes most likely to put hazardous particles in the air**

    IF you could see how NASTY the water is after wet tumbling you probably would never Dry vibratory clean inside again

    I agree.

  5. #25
    I wet tumble primed brass with soap, citric acid. No pins. Change the water and run the brass with armor all car soap. Sort my brass, then into a air dryer. After 2 washes the primer pockets are pretty clean.

    Biggest problem is when 9mm brass nestles into 40 s&w then they nestle into 45 ACP. Iíve thought about sorting first but want to keep dust from dirty bass to a minimum.

  6. #26
    Boolit Man Norcal707's Avatar
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    Ironwrx

    If you decide you want to decap/deprime as a first step, you can buy the Lee #90292 Universal Decapping Die for $13 @ MidwayUSA.com or on eBay for a little more. If you want to PM me your address, I'll send you some Citric Acid Powder for free.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    I de-prime manually with a lee primer punch set, then de-burr the flash hole, then uniform the primer pocket, then I soak the cases in IOSSO to clean inside and out, then I dry them in an old fruit dryer, and finally I tumble polish them with a home made mixture of 1/3 Mother Wax, and 2/3 mineral spirits. Now they are ready to size. After sizing, I will trim the case to its proper length. Rifles every second or 3rd loading and pistols the first time I get a case to load and then probably never again as straight walls do not grow like necked cases. My way and suits me just fine but I don't force my way on anyone. I have been told before that I overdo things but so what, I am happy with the way I do things and that is what counts. Not trying to recommend my method to anyone else just stating the fact mam. james

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    As mentioned above, I deprime before wet tumbling to help with solution flow and drying to avoid corrosion in the primer pocket. I have both the FA hand deprimer and the Lee universal depriming die, both work well.

    I have sometimes just wiped brass clean and sized it with no damage to the dies or brass, but I wouldn’t want to do it for thousands of rounds...I can tumble faster than I can wipe.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    I can tumble faster than I can wipe.
    At my age I have that problem also.
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  10. #30
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    Jes my opinion; I have been reloading since '69. I reloaded 12 years before I got a tumbler and never ruined/scratched any dies or chambers. I have maybe cleaned primer pockets a dozen times, but I have removed a few thousand primer crimps. I have never used an ultra-sonic cleaner for my brass (but I have used one at work many times). I do not wet tumble. I have never damaged any tools by using brass that was just wiped with a solvent dampened rag. I have never had a primer that I wasn't able to seat properly. I have never had a misfire from a "dirty" primer pocket. I have mainly used a sizing/decapping die for the13 cartridges I reload, although I have a universal depriming die I use occasionally (mostly when a size/deprime die is being used).

    Many, many parts of reloading are just personal choice. Many, many parts of reloading are often a victim of over thinking and case cleaning is probably the most talked about (mainly fretted over by newer reloaders) but least important part of reloading...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub
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    The slight downfall with tumbling or any in depth cleaning is your cleaning all the carbon from inside the necks. A little carbon inside the necks is a good thing.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    I de-prime (w/ a universal de-primer) all my brass first, then dry tumble in walnut for 2-hours (have a christmas light timer that the tumbler is plugged into). If there is not be any sizing lube needed when sizing (neck sized bottle-neck cases or handgun using carbide dies), I then re-prime, charge and seat. If I need to lube when sizing, then they go back into the walnut cleaner for 2 hours, then prime, powder charge and seat. The primer pockets are clean enough for me. Everyone has their own ritual. Welcome to the forum! Reading here for a few days/weeks will put you years ahead of trial & error learning!

    I do use a citric bath if I get some nasty old/tarnish brass.

    That carbon will make the expander slide easier. Sinclair's graphite neck lube can replace that.
    Take a kid to the range, you'll both be glad you did.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Put me on the Lee Universal decapper first team, then clean in my HF ultrasonic cleaner. Never run dirty brass through a sizing die. I am sure there are other ways to skin this cat, but this works for me.

  14. #34
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    I hand deprime before cleaning. There are several ways tis can be done. A simple base and punch with a hammer will remove primers ( aka the lee loader type set up), a hand type deprimer similar to the pope or frankfort arsenal. A large die in the press with a small expander ball.

    I have used the the lee type for awhile and the hand tool. I deprime bpcr cases at the range and soak in water with lemon shine and dawn to keep fouling soft and stop the salts from working. I have settled on the hand tool for this.

    I tumble in corn cobs to shine and clean brass. I remove primers in the soak its amazing how long the pockets take to dry with primers in. In the corn cob so the media can get in and work.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master JoeJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    Jes my opinion; I have been reloading since '69. I reloaded 12 years before I got a tumbler and never ruined/scratched any dies or chambers. I have maybe cleaned primer pockets a dozen times, but I have removed a few thousand primer crimps. I have never used an ultra-sonic cleaner for my brass (but I have used one at work many times). I do not wet tumble. I have never damaged any tools by using brass that was just wiped with a solvent dampened rag. I have never had a primer that I wasn't able to seat properly. I have never had a misfire from a "dirty" primer pocket. I have mainly used a sizing/decapping die for the13 cartridges I reload, although I have a universal depriming die I use occasionally (mostly when a size/deprime die is being used).

    Many, many parts of reloading are just personal choice. Many, many parts of reloading are often a victim of over thinking and case cleaning is probably the most talked about (mainly fretted over by newer reloaders) but least important part of reloading...
    Thanks for adding your view of it. I rarely clean my brass; only load a box or two at a time, but was beginning to feel left out in the cold on this one. Not sure if this matters, but I never shoot at a range; so no range brass, and I police my own brass.
    Britons shall never be slaves.

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    I started just washing in the sink with Dawn, then got the US cleaner - it works but not well. Now I use a rotary with SS pins/Dawn/water. I deprime with Universal decapper, wash/dry, case lube & size. Wash in sink with Dawn. Never used anything but Dawn & lemishine (citric acid). Pistol or rifle, same treatment. 40sw & 9mm cases don't need any case lube if die are carbide.
    Whatever!

  17. #37
    Boolit Man


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwrx View Post
    .... I was reading through my Lyman reloading handbook about reloading pistol ammo, and they suggest for ultrasonic or rotary tumblers that use a liquid cleaning solution, that it is best to use a separate die for strictly decapping fired cases prior to cleaning.
    Lyman would be very happy if you, and everyone else, bought ultrasonic or rotary tumblers, and the recurring supplies needed to clean brass. Selling rotary, vibratory, and ultrasonic cleaners, tumbling media, cleaning solutions, brass separators, stainless steel pins, pin separators, ..... is a great way for them to make $$$ .

    You will not have any issues resizing dirty brass. The only reason to clean brass is if you do not like the look of it. Long before my time, folks who wanted shinny clean brass washed it in a bucket using hot water, vinegar, and soap.

    When I started reloading I did not have a tumbler to clean cases. I wiped them off and resized. I cleaned the primer pockets with a brush after sizing because the brush came with my press. Generally I did not see much difference after brushing.

    Eventually I gave in to the lure of shinny brass and bought a rotary tumbler and dry tumbled before sizing. The brass looked cleaner and the sizing operation was a little cleaner. Then I tried wet cleaning my brass in a bucket using hot water, vinegar, and dish soap. My brass was much cleaner than tumbling, but I did not like waiting for it to dry.

    The rotary tumbler was used for moly-coating bullets for a while, but it rarely tumbles brass.

    Now I wipe my brass off and resize.

  18. #38
    I always de-cap all my brass, tumble in steel pin with about 2tbs dawn and a dash of Lemi shine for 2 hours. Cases come out looking BETTER than new. I even tumble new cases for this reason. Then they all go into a Hornady media separator and get rinsed off with plain water. Finally they go into my Lyman case dryer to dry. Last I put them into bags and label them. I should mention I use a Lee de-capping die, I only resize after the brass is clean.

  19. #39
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    I use the dry media tumbler as well as the wet pin cleaning system. I use the Lee universal deprime die to remove the primers before wet cleaning. It really makes no difference since they are all going to be sized (and deprimed) at the next step in case prep. For those that deal with range brass, it is a lot less of a problem to find those "ringers" in cases before they go into the reloading press than during the reloading process with a progressive press. A "ringer" is when the primer anvil is pushed out, along with the flat portion of the primer cup, and the skirt remains in the case. After wet cleaning, the deprimed cases dry so much faster without any time in an oven. Whatever best serves your needs at the time.
    I do like the idea of drying in an oven. I have a dedicated old toaster oven for just this purpose. Letís say I have 50 rounds spread out on a mesh tray. How long, at what temperature do you think I would need to bake them for for drying only. I donít want to affect the temper of (or anneal) the brass.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #40
    Boolit Man Norcal707's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwrx View Post
    I do like the idea of drying in an oven. I have a dedicated old toaster oven for just this purpose. Let’s say I have 50 rounds spread out on a mesh tray. How long, at what temperature do you think I would need to bake them for for drying only. I don’t want to affect the temper of (or anneal) the brass.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I use a Nesco Circular Food Dehydrator set to the maximum temperature setting of 145 degrees for about 1-1/2 hours after wet tumbling in my Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler.

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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
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