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Wet Tumbling Without Pins

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I use water with Lyman turbo sonic cleaning solution and wet tumble for 15 min. Rinse twice. 45 min in Dryer. Brass clean and stays shiney. An hour+ chore. 

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On 3/30/2018 at 4:35 PM, bishop414 said:

 

Toss them into a dry tumbler for 20-30 mins.

Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of wet tumbling?

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21 hours ago, racerba said:

Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of wet tumbling?

1) Wet tumble.

2) Lube cases to resize and make ammo.

3) Dry tumble to remove lube.

 

Not sure why you think it defeats the purpose of wet tumbling.

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1 hour ago, Tom S. said:

1) Wet tumble.

2) Lube cases to resize and make ammo.

3) Dry tumble to remove lube.

 

Not sure why you think it defeats the purpose of wet tumbling.

because one of the reason people wet tumble is so they don't have to dry tumble (too much dust)...if I was going to dry tumble anyway, i would just dry tumble from the beginning and add case lube during the process (which was what i did prior to wet tumbling).  the case lube does not get sticky and therefore i do not need to tumble the second time:
1) dry tumble with case lube
2) make ammo

3) go shoot

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Tumbling to remove lube is a 10 to 15 minute operation.  Dust is not an issue.

I only tumbled to remove lube when using the Dillon lube.  When using the spray lube Case Slick by RCBS, I don't tumble afterwards.

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Still an extra step I don't need to do...
However, to answer the original question - dry tumbling would be the best way to remove the lube so it doesn't get sticky...
I'm using the Hornady One Shot...it doesn't seem to get sticky either...

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I am new at wet tumbling. I am using Harbor Freight dual tumbler, no pins. I tumble for 3 hrs, simply because the way my time is divided. My brass, either rifle or pistol are the cleanest ever. bright and shiny on the outside and roughly 80% on the inside, even the heavily tarnished that dry tumbling never cleaned. I even pulled brass out of the recycle that I gave up on is looking bright and clean. Does the Auto soap and wax help keep them from tarnishing? Do they clean up quicker? All I use is a couple drops of Dawn Dishsoap and about a teaspoon of Lemishine. I rinse until clean use Dillon Brass/Corncob seperator, put in a brownie pan and put in oven I use for baking powder coat for 10 to 15 minutes at 210 degrees and they look new.

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On 4/3/2018 at 12:54 PM, racerba said:

because one of the reason people wet tumble is so they don't have to dry tumble (too much dust)...if I was going to dry tumble anyway, i would just dry tumble from the beginning and add case lube during the process (which was what i did prior to wet tumbling).  the case lube does not get sticky and therefore i do not need to tumble the second time:
1) dry tumble with case lube
2) make ammo

3) go shoot

 

If you dry tumble with corn cob instead of walnut shell you won't have the dust to deal with.

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I should never have traded my rock polisher for the big Dillon Vibrating brass cleaner and media seperator. I could do 500 large pistol or 300 .308 cases at a time, but wet tumbling was all but unknown around my area 40 yrs ago.

Someone here said to load ammo then tumble clean the lube. Doesn't that change the powder by breaking it down and changing the burn rate? I was told never to do it that way because it was unsafe.

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11 minutes ago, odette said:

 

Someone here said to load ammo then tumble clean the lube. Doesn't that change the powder by breaking it down and changing the burn rate? I was told never to do it that way because it was unsafe.

Fake news. There have been tests where ammo was tumbled for days and there was not one single change to the ammo's performance. If you do a search here you may find it. I find it easier to just google it. Half the time the search turns up an enos thread anyway. :)

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What Sarge said. I've tumbled a lot of rifle and pistol ammo (and sometimes have forgotten it in the tumbler most of the day) and have never seen any indication of powder breaking down. 

 

The only problem I've ever had with tumbling ammo is small corn cob kernels packing into rifle bullet hollow points, or flakes of it between bullet and case mouth if the flare isn't removed completely. I do avoid tumbling my match hollow point rifle ammo for that reason, although even that probably doesn't really matter on target. 

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On 8/8/2019 at 7:18 PM, Yondering said:

 

If you dry tumble with corn cob instead of walnut shell you won't have the dust to deal with.

why wouldn't you?  you'd still get dust... whether form the media and/or from the dirt and stuff being cleaned off of the brass.  You'd at least get some lead dust in the air from the brass...

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, racerba said:

why wouldn't you?  you'd still get dust... whether form the media and/or from the dirt and stuff being cleaned off of the brass.  You'd at least get some lead dust in the air from the brass...

 

 

To be clear - tumble with corn cob and case polish (the Dillon polish works well and lasts a long time), not just dry corn cob. There is no dust from the corn cob media, and anything cleaned off the brass gets picked up by the case polish. There just isn't any dust to deal with when doing it that way, speaking from experience of the last ~20+ years. Every few years I've scraped some built up crud out of the tumbler bowl; that seems to be where the "dust" goes. 

 

When you tumble with walnut shell, most of the dust is from the media itself; corn cob doesn't do that. You can add strips of paper towel to walnut media to pick up a lot of the dust, but it's still dusty and messy; corn cob tumbling leaves the cases clean and bright. 

Edited by Yondering

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1 hour ago, Yondering said:

There just isn't any dust to deal with when doing it that way, speaking from experience of the last ~20+ years. Every few years I've scraped some built up crud out of the tumbler bowl; that seems to be where the "dust" goes. 

 

to be clear, I'm not saying that there's a cloud of dust in the air.  did it your way for years also with the dillon polish - and yes, scraped the black gunk form the wall of the tumbler every so often.  I also did it in the garage or the shed.  there is dust in the air from pouring the media into the tumbler, from the tumbling and from the separation process...I do reuse the media and the media does retain the polish...but you have to ask yourself:
would you do the whole tumbling process in your house?  in your baby's room?  in the kitchen?  I definitely would not...
but I digress...you don't have to believe there is dust...I do...I've seen it...next time do it when there is sunlight shining over the tumbler...

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I do the tumbling in my basement. No dust with corn cob. Tons of dust with walnut. If you've got dust in the air with corn cob, something's not right; add some polish or a capful or two of mineral spirits. I'm not guessing here, like I said, been doing it for over 20 years and many many thousands of rounds...

 

Besides, if you're dry tumbling after a wet soak or tumble, where would the dust come from? It's not from the corn cob, and the cases should be pretty clean, just not shiny yet. 

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You can definitely get dust from walnut itself or lizard bedding. so use corncob, it will last a long time if the cases are clean to begin with.

 

There is no question cases come out cleaner with wet tumbler. once pistol cases are wet tumbled I just load them. never a stuck case. I purchased some Armorall wash and wax that may smooth the operation. With rifle I wet tumble, lube, and process. Then dry clean for 30 minutes and put away till ready to load

 

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I think some folks are over-thinking the wet tumbling.

 

I wet tumble (without pins) for ~90 minutes, rinse and tumble with synthetic car wax for ~15-20 min., no rinsing required.  Then I lay the cases on a table to air dry for a day or three.

 

Benefits for me:

  • no dust
  • very little time messing with cases (fill the tumbler, rinse and done; total time is ~3-5 minutes)
  • No need for additional case lube or additional tumbling to remove lube
  • Normally have several 1000 cases prepped for loading, so drying time isn't an issue
  • No issue with (reported on internet forums) old primers being 'welded/stuck' to cases after wet tumbling.

 

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35 minutes ago, muncie21 said:

tumble with synthetic car wax for ~15-20 min., no rinsing required. 

 

What kind of car wax are you using, and do you mix it with water or use it straight?

 

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4 minutes ago, Yondering said:

 

What kind of car wax are you using, and do you mix it with water or use it straight?

 

I currently use 'Ice' by Turtle Wax with some hot water, however i believe it's been discontinued. 

 

I tried a petroleum based wax previously and ended up with a gunky mess to clean up.  So didn't want to repeat that one again.  No idea if carnauba based waxes would any better/worse, but no need for me to experiment as I've tumbled 10s of thousand cases using the procedure describe, with excellent results. 

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On 8/8/2019 at 7:47 PM, Sarge said:

Fake news. There have been tests where ammo was tumbled for days and there was not one single change to the ammo's performance. If you do a search here you may find it. I find it easier to just google it. Half the time the search turns up an enos thread anyway. :)

I have personally done this on accident,  tumble overnight. Chronod the rounds,  checked for poi shift and group size.  It was indistinguishable from the rounds that were not tumbled overnight. 

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On 8/12/2019 at 2:25 PM, Yondering said:

When you tumble with walnut shell, most of the dust is from the media itself; corn cob doesn't do that. You can add strips of paper towel to walnut media to pick up a lot of the dust, but it's still dusty and messy; corn cob tumbling leaves the cases clean and bright. 

 

I use dryer sheets (after they get used in the dryer) instead of paper towels.  They do a fine job of collecting the dust in the tumbler, and they're tough--they hold up better than paper towels.

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I was always told to put a cap full of mineral spirits in the walnut media and it would keep the dust down. I tumble with both corncob and walnut and don't have any dust issues. 

 

Guys I shoot with went wet/pin and their brass does come out looking pretty nice. After reading this entire thread I may need to try it since I get a lot of outdoor sourced brass and I hate putting it in the ultrasonic.

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You don't need to wet tumble with pins to get them shiny.  I don't use pins and fill my Frankford wet tumbling drum (1 gallon) about 3/4 full with brass, mostly full of COLD water, 1/2 tablespoon of citric acid crystals or Lemishine, 2 tablespoons (1oz) of car wash + wax, run it for 30 min, dump in the toilet, fill/dump out 3-5 times until the suds stop and it comes out clean and bright.  You can tumble longer to get more shine/polished cases, but it's pretty damn shiny after an hour of tumbling, the insides of the cases are pretty clean too.  Not as clean as with pins, but it's also a lot quicker and easier to do without pins.  I pour the wet cases into the media seperator and then shake out as much water as you can (maybe 30 seconds of shaking), then pour the brass on to a big ass dry towel, fold the towel length wise over itself so the brass is in a tube of towel, hold the two ends of the towel with brass in it and tip it side to side so the brass goes from one side of the wrapped up towel to the other a few times.  This drys a lot of the brass, keeps water spots from forming too.  If it's summer, take the towel outside in the hot sun and put it on the ground and spread the brass out and let it dry.  If it's cold out, food dehydrator works great.  The car wash + wax gives the brass a good shine, keeps it from discoloring with time and gives a slick finish that seems to be nicer when resizing.  Tumbling/rinsing in cold water keeps the brass from turning dark in color.

I got the Turtle Wax Super Foaming Car Wash and Wax 128oz jug at Autozone for $7, citric acid crystals on Amazon cheap, for a little less than $3/lb

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I use ceramic media as indicated here.  The 3/16 diameter media will pass through a Dillon sifter yet won't get jammed in 9mm case.  It works about 90% as well as SS pins.

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i did a few loads without pins.  the outside came out nice and shiny as usual ,but the inside were not.  they were clean, just not shiny.  i think the outside of the cases rubbing against each other give them the shine and the pins only are needed if one wants the inside clean . 

 

for me i don't care about clean inside so am going to continue without pins.  lots less work and concern about getting every pin out.   i have a franfurt case dryer also and just leave it on for an hour and then let it cool down.   thats usually enough to dry them 

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