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Brass Prep Question .223

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Flip853, May 21, 2009.

  1. Flip853

    Flip853 Monkey++

    For all you reloaders out there I am looking for sugestions on what tumbling media you use for .223. I have been using crushed walnut which does a great job but if the brass has already been de-primed the small peices of walnut get stuck in the primer flash hole. So I switched to corn cobb which solved the flash hole problem but now I spend my days removing the corn cobb from the case and case mouth.

    My process is to:

    1. Clean / tumble the once fired brass.
    2. Remove primer crimp
    3. Lube
    4. re-size / de-prime
    5. 2nd tumble to remove lube
    6. Dig out media :censored:
    7. Start the loading process.

    I just can't stand to leave the lube on, it is some what sticky and seems like it would build up up in the chamber which in turn would collect residue. The majority of my brass is military so when I get it it's right nasty as I'm sure you know.

    Or should I just switch to carbide dies and forget the lube all to gether. This would definetly cost more as carbide rifle dies are over 100.00 FRN's.

    Any thoughts
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I hear tell all sorts of stories about media and dies. But the experts can be found at the HandloadersBench via the link on the main page. Those guys know what's what.
  3. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    1) You will always need case lube with rifle cartridges. Carbide dies wil last much longer, but still require lube. You will know the first time you try it dry- a stuck case and much swearing and elbow grease to get it out.

    2) get a case/media sepperator, I use a plastic collander that I enlarged the holes in. I can replace the lid on my tumbler with it and turn it upside-down. After running a minute or so, the cases are free of media.

    3) To remove the case lube from loaded rounds, tumble them for about 5 minutes. Some people will claim that it breaks down the powder and makes it explosive. My family and friends have been doing this for 20+ years without problems. I wouldn't tumble it more than 5-10 minutes, though, just in case. If you really don't like this idea, then: Deprime and resize, swage primer pockets, and then tumble them. After that, just load like they were fresh (virgin) brass...
  4. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That is just the price you pay for reloading. You will learn a process that works for you. For me, it's a straightened paper clip for the walnut and a small screw driver for the corn cob.
  5. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    The only other thing to do is to remove the decapping pin from the resizing stem for some brands of dies, ie RCBS and Lyman are this way. Then resize without decapping, tumble, then decap with a decapping only die, which in turn saves you from poking outb the stuck media.
  6. CraftyMofo

    CraftyMofo Monkey+++

    Great question! I ran into the same thing.

    I picked up a media sererator:
    but it still leaves a possibility of media in the flash hole. (Maybe 1-2 out of 100).

    Seems like it happens less frequently using one-shot case lube, but there's no way you'll ever get away from inspecting every case.

  7. Flip853

    Flip853 Monkey++

    Some great ideas guys....thanks for you input, sounds like someone needs to get into the media business and make a cleaning media that will work for the 223 and the likes. A larger corn cob media would work but I can't seem to find anything other than the standard size.

    I wonder if sand would work in a tumbler or maybe a the glass beads for a sand blaster? It's small enough to pass through the flash hole and I would imagine it would do a good job cleaning out the inside as well. My only fear would be the weight on the tumbler.

    I have been reloading for roughly 16 years and am always looking for ways to speed up the process while staying safe and accurate.
  8. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Go to a pet store for your corn cob, it's a larger size and a LOT cheaper, I have tried sand, aqarium rock/coral, and countless other items. Corn cob and walnut media is the best.
  9. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The only problem with this method is that it still doesn't answer the problem with the corn cob media. Also, with walnut it will still stick in the flash hole of the round on the inside. When you use a universal decapper, you can break pins when it encounters the walnut chunk in the flash hole. I actually ruined my universal decapper that way.
    Someone mentioned sand, it will scar the brass bad enough to weaken it and cause case failure.
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Or, get away from the insistence on bright shiny cases. Just wash them in a mild detergent solution with a small amount of lemon or orange juice or koolade - takes the crud out and cleans the cases nicely - then dry in the sun. Works for me.
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