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Wet Tumbling....I'm Sold!

medicmike

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I never really cared about super shiny brass when reloading, always gave it a spin in walnut hulls and processed. Finally decided to bite the bullet and get a wet tumbler. Tossed some stainless media, a bit of Dawn, a dash of Lemi Shine and some water with a handful of dirty 45 Colt brass. 90 minutes later it looks almost like new. Not only prettier but going to be nicer to handle and I'm sure easier on dies etc, not to mention faster. I'm not going to laugh at the wet tumble guys anymore.
 

762gunr

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Super nice for dirty range brass. Especially when we could get military range 7.62 brass for 8 cents.
Wash briefly with soap......like 5 minutes.
Rinse.
Anneal(this also evaporates water on the outside of the brass.
Wait for brass to cool down to warm and shake in a 1 gallon ziplock back with ISO and RCBS case lube.
You now have super clean brass and a very even layer of lube.
 

W.E.G.

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Lot of folks love the shiny brass.

I won’t do it for these reasons.

(And mind you, these concerns are more significant when dealing with bottleneck rifle brass)

1. Extra step decapping before tumbling.
2. Excessively clean, work-hardened necks may create neck-tension issues (and I’m damn sure not adding ANNEALING to an already very time consuming process).
3. Need to inspect EACH CASE (especially .223) for pins stuck in the case.
4. Another sloppy “wet” step. I already wash case lube off sized cases before storing them for loading at some distant future moment. I’m not washing those cases TWICE on the way to producing a loaded round. Just not happening.
5. More gear. Admit it guys. You aren’t giving up your dry tumbler when the UPS guy delivers your new wet tumbler. So more gear to climb over in the basement.

My rifle shoots the same with clean, still-tarnished brass as it does with clean, shiny brass. Still using the same dies since many tens-of-thousands rounds. Dies no worse for the wear. Maybe measured in HUNDREDS of thousands cycles, the clean(er) brass is easier on the dies. I’ve got maybe 40k more rounds to load before I shake these mortal coils. The dies are gonna outlast me. RCBS small-base if anyone cares.

But I get it. Some folks are all about the shiny brass.
 
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Slaughter

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I wet tumble the 223, 308 and 6.5 PRC. The pistol is not worth it. The brass "grabs" onto the powder drop/flare funnel in my Dillon 550 and 750.
 

TerryN

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I remember back in the olden days when we wiped our brass off with a rag, and maybe spun the neck in #0000 steel wool before loading it. I wonder how much money the people that make and sell tumblers and media have made over the years. A lot, I'm guessing.
 

Parga

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I decap all of my brass separately so I can inspect each case, always have. That way I can inspect cases and toss what I need to before resizing. Never though too much about wet tumbling until I was given a pile of WWII once fired '06 that was filthy. After tumbling It came out looking better than never brass and the primer pockets were clean as well(I hate cleaning them). Since I load in bulk and hardly ever get to shoot, I basically load to store, (I don't even handle anything after tumbling with bare hands) so it's nice to have everything clean as possible...Yeah I'm weird
 

mpddoug162

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It’s nice since it cuts down on airborne crap coming off the cases when it comes time to separate them from the dry media. I think it’s a whole lot easier to pour dirty water out and separate stuff through a mesh strainer and not have to bother with wearing a mask to avoid the dry media dust cloud. Plus you don’t have to replace the ss pins or add stuff to prolong the life of say walnut media.
 
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W.E.G.

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I tumble my brass (dusty cloud issue) outdoors these days.

I remember way back in the day when I tumbled it indoors in Washington DC, with a white carpet! 😷

bench - 1115.jpg



My first air-conditioner, and my first dishwasher - and that little gadget on the counter over the dishwasher made CRUSHED ICE - 🤩

gun cleaning 1115.jpg
 

medicmike

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So, what's the shopping list, exactly?
I bought a Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler

The magnet to make dealing with the media a little easier

I went with this media instead of pins as was recommended by my kid that has been wet polishing for a while. The pins do tend to get stuck in the cases

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0187PFCXY/?tag=akfnfal-20

Already had a bucket strainer that I used to separate dry media, Dawn dish detergent and Lemi Shine was already on hand in the kitchen. So less than 2 bills total.

First run of brass came out pretty good.

1650768825583.png
 

Hebrew Battle Rifle

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I use Tide liquid laundry detergent, to keep the sudsing down, with White vinegar. After separating the brass from the pins, I put the brass in a cake pan and bake it @ 300 for an hour to evaporate the water. Once the brass is dry, the pins will fall out when I run them through the separator again.
Clean brass is easier to inspect for defects than dull brass.
 

TenTea

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I bought a Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler

The magnet to make dealing with the media a little easier

I went with this media instead of pins as was recommended by my kid that has been wet polishing for a while. The pins do tend to get stuck in the cases

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0187PFCXY/?tag=akfnfal-20

Already had a bucket strainer that I used to separate dry media, Dawn dish detergent and Lemi Shine was already on hand in the kitchen. So less than 2 bills total.

First run of brass came out pretty good.

View attachment 199021
Thanks for the list and links!
I like your media choice and the magnet seems handy, also. (y)
 

medicmike

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I use Tide liquid laundry detergent, to keep the sudsing down, with White vinegar. After separating the brass from the pins, I put the brass in a cake pan and bake it @ 300 for an hour to evaporate the water. Once the brass is dry, the pins will fall out when I run them through the separator again.
Clean brass is easier to inspect for defects than dull brass.

I haven't tried baking mine, I rinsed them good in very got water and it seemed to evaporate off quickly. Like the idea of using Tide. I also heard that Simple Green works well. My kid uses a dry powder detergent he uses in his parts washer.
 

V guy

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Old advice on using vinegar, from Hornady.
 

hueyville

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Have an Ultravibe 18 run walnut in and another with corncob. Also have a Model B for wet tumbling that is only used in very extreme circumstances. It's a pain, makes a mess but when needed it's a good machine to have. That said 90% of case cleaning is done in walnut and corncob. It's all I need unless get a batch of old corroded cases need to be sure there is no damage under the mange.
 

Mauser48

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I've come to really like using armor all wash and wax instead of dawn. It makes the shine stay much longer than regular dish soap. Also gives it a slight slick feeling.
 

K. Funk

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I use a Lortone rock tumbler, no pins. Just water with a few squirts of simple green and a teaspoon of phosphoric acid. Tumble for about 30 minutes, rinse and put in the baskets for the case drier. I wash bottle necks twice; wash the fired brass, size, trim and wash again prior to priming. If I ran .223 on the 550, I would still size/trim/wash and then load. Probably size on the Rock Chucker and prime/load on the 550.

krf
 

V guy

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Like Hornady says, acid weakens brass.

Cases need to be clean and not slick; case needs to stick to the chamber wall during firing, and then spring back.
Waxing is like oil on the case...increased bolt back thrust.
 

gordo63

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I've done it a few times but didn't like the hassle. Back when I shot high-power rifle competition, I thought it important to radically clean my brass. As I got more experienced (i.e., "older/lazier"), I just focused on regular tumble cleaning and cleaning out primer pockets with a drill/uniformer tool.

It does clean good though.
 

lew

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I wet tumble the 223, 308 and 6.5 PRC. The pistol is not worth it. The brass "grabs" onto the powder drop/flare funnel in my Dillon 550 and 750.
Use case lube to A) make sizing easier and B) eliminate galling on the powder funnel.

As for the topic, as long as the brass isn't tarnished, I don't give a shit what it looks like. Corn cob works for me.
 
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