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shred

More General Reloading Tips And Tricks

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NOTE from moderator: This thread was spun-off from benos' Which Dillon topic. Please forgive the "holes" in the discussion.

One question (that probably doesn't belong in this thread)-- How do y'all get the case lube off the loaded rounds? I used to tumble them, but then I started using JHP's, and got cleaning media stuck in the hollowpoints, which would then extract itself on being loaded into a magazine or the chamber or somewhere equally irritating.

Edited by shred

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Patches,

Thanks, I don't know how that got in there.

shred,

I thought about including that solution in the spiel, but decided I'd wait until someone asked. Actually, I don't use the Dillon lube because I don't like to waste time tumbling it off. I use (I think Hornady makes it) One Shot case lube. You just leave it on the cases. Actually, it may improve feeding; I don't really care because I never have to mess with it. But, if did need to remove the case lube after loading, I tumble it off by adding about a capful of Prep Sol to the corncob media. You can get Prep Sol at an auto body supply store. It's a brand name, so if they don't have it  - it's the cleaner body shops use to remove absolutely everything before they paint. It leaves no residue whatsoever.

be

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Thanks. I'll try the Hornady 1-shot.

My problem with tumbling is the corncob media I use ends up packed into in the JHP cavities, only to pop out later under recoil. Do you have some special corncob media size to fix that?

(Edited by shred at 4:09 pm on Dec. 8, 2001)

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That's one of the biggest losers known to the "loaded ammo tumbler." I know someone makes a fine grade corncob media, but its been so long since I've seen it I can't remember... Anyway, that's a good reason for the 1-shot, no more worries media in the mags worries.

be

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Another solution to Shed's lube removal problem is to use a large towel (read beach towel) and dump 200-300 loaded rounds onto it.  Then holding the end corners in each hand, roll them back & forth inside the towel about 10 times or so.  I use the Dillon Case Lube and this method removes 90%+ of the lube without the hassle of media stuck in the hollowpoints.  Works great!

  Alan~^~

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I've used Alan550's method for years, even adding a light mist of brake cleaner to the rounds for super quick, problem free cleaning. Many might shudder at the thought of spraying brake cleaner on loaded rounds... I've never had a problem using it vary sparingly. And, be sure to NEVER use carb cleaner!

be

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Hi all, I've lurked on this board for a while and got some really interesting info so thanks to Brian and all who post regularly =)  

This may be a little off topic as it is in regard to tumbling finished ammo.  I have heard/read that it may not be a great idea to tumble finished ammo for very long as it can change the size of the powder grains in the case and lead to different powder chacteristics.  I don't tumble finished ammo myself but I know some who do.

Is there any actual evidence showing if tumbling does effect velocity/accuracy? I guess brand of powder, powder speed, powder size, etc would also be factors

Any thoughts?

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"Is Tumbling Loaded Ammo OK?" is one of the perennial arguments like Is-Lee-as-good-as-Dillon? or Will-XYZ-Stop-A-Bear? over on rec.guns (and a whole lot of other places). Many people do it successfully, many advise against it.

Some people tumbled rounds for hours or even days with little change. Who knows though-- the powder you use might be different from what they had. I've done it occasionally w/o problems.

For the curious, hit www.deja.com and search a while and check it out..

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Quote: from Greg G on 5:31 pm on May 29, 2002

Hi all, I've lurked on this board for a while and got some really interesting info so thanks to Brian and all who post regularly =)  

This may be a little off topic as it is in regard to tumbling finished ammo.  I have heard/read that it may not be a great idea to tumble finished ammo for very long as it can change the size of the powder grains in the case and lead to different powder chacteristics.  I don't tumble finished ammo myself but I know some who do.

Is there any actual evidence showing if tumbling does effect velocity/accuracy? I guess brand of powder, powder speed, powder size, etc would also be factors

Any thoughts?


We just had a long discussion on this on another bulletin board at http://www.loadyourown.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000120.html

My conclusion, based on my testing and testing by others, is that cleaning handgun rounds in a vibratory "tumbler" for 10-15 minutes is going to have no effect on the performance of the round. Rounds are not going to blow up in the "tumbler" (and if they did, they would not represent any kind of safety hazard).

Back in 1998, rec.guns denizen Geoff Beneze decided to gather some real, rather than apocryphal, data on whether tumbling had a measurable effect on the powder in loaded rounds.

He loaded rounds with flake, (Unique), Ball (W748) and extruded (IMR 4064) powders. He chronographed and retained a baseline sample of each reload. He began "tumbling" (in Dillon vibratory cleaners) the rest.

He ran the "tumblers" 24/7 for **four weeks**. He removed a sample of each load at one-week intervals, and chronographed them along with rounds from the baseline control sample.

None of the "tumbled" ammunition was measurably different from the control group, even after sitting in the "tumbler" for four weeks (672 hours)!

He also examined the powder granuals under magnification, and could not see any difference in the visual appearance of the "tumbled" powder from the stuff in the can.

Does this mean that it's safe to tumble rifle rounds using extruded powders for long periods? I dunno.

Tumbling my 9x21, .40S&W, and .45ACP rounds for 10-15 minutes removes the lube for me. Not removing lube prior to firing is an actual safety issue.

If anyone has *evidence* that shows a hazard to tubling live ammunition, please present it.

Anyone ever had a round set off while cleaning in a vibratory "tumbler", or know anyone who has?

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Thanks for the reply jmaass, that's exactly the kind of proof I was looking for.   I wasn't really concerned with the rounds going off in the tumbler but a change in the characteristics of the powder if they were left for a long time.  Seems that you've answered my question perfectly.. tnx

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The simple solution to the lube problem, is to use a carbide sizer die in station one.  Using a carbide die with straight-walled pistol cases eliminates the need for case lube.

You'll note, that this works only for straight-walled cases.  Bottlenecked or tapered-wall cartridges still require lube.

Some folks will claim you should still use lube, but I've loaded hundreds of thousands of .45 ammo this way, and measured many many cases.  No negative effect there I can see.  Once the die gets a little burnished, there's no difference in the amount of effort used to resize.  Just be sure to clean the brass well before loading it.  The abscence of case lube (wax) has beneficial effects for the machine too, since the dies stay cleaner, and the wax would collect particulates everywhere it becomes smeared.

One other thing I'd add for Dillon owners.  Once a year, tear down the linkage and lubricate it according to the manual (grease on bearings, SAE30 on the ram).  The upper link bearings in particular, will run dry of lubricant and gall without occaisional service (cmon, once a year is nothing).  When this starts to happen, all sorts of weird things go on, particularly problems seating primers.  A little lube, and a Dillon runs like glass indefinately.

You also want to be a little anal about cleaning the primer bar on a 550 - use alchohol.  

As for the quality of the Dillon - I don't think it's possible to truly appreciate these machines, without having spent some time on the machines available before Dillons showed up.  Ever try feeding your shooting habit on an RCBS "Green Machine"?  *shudder*

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Tapper,

If you clean your brass, use lube and a carbide size die you will reduce the effort of reloading by so much you will cry that you did not do it earlier.

Yes the lube is messy, but use a fine grade of media in the tumbler, or the roll around on a towel method, and its gone. I use very little lube, it makes so much of a difference. I hate accidently getting an unlubed case in the line. You can feel the difference. It also reduces the stress on any reloading machine. Less stress more consistent.

BE. Call Midway, their plain corn cob is about the finest grain size I have found. 15lb boxes real cheap.

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It's true, the pressure required on the downstroke is slightly higher, perhaps a pound or so, but this has never been an issue for me.  I'll gladly trade it for the hassle of cleaning the lube off the cases before running them through the remaining stages, or the increased frequency of cleaning the press necessary.  In addition, dillons should be operated briskly anyway, to ensure proper functioning of the powder measure (i.e. preventing bridging and keeping the powder settled in the hopper).

As for additional stress - these are straightwall pistol cases, and the amount of sizing force needed is minimal anyway.  The Dillon compound linkage is plenty robust to handle it without any additional wear.  Just keep it lubed, and crank away.

If you do lube, the "right" way, is to size and decap the case first, tumble clean, then run the cases through the press using the first station to seat primers only.  Otherwise, you end up pushing wax up into the powder/expander die and seater die as well.  Beyond that, using lube means cleaning a lot more often, since the stuff attracts primer residue and creates a lovely abrasive paste everywhere it accumulates.

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OK, I'm gonna make a statement :) - If you're not using Hornady's One Shot lube (on straight walled cases), and then just forgetting about it, (meaning not tumbling it at all), you're not only loading slower, but with more strain on you, and the machine. In addition, I feel the case lube (left on from loading) may actually help feeding...

be

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[Yul Brenner Mode On]

So it is written, and so it shall be done!

[Yul Brenner Mode Off]

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PLS drop an eye there and any question will be answered quickly, this new case cleaner I designed and  manufacture since 99 has almost replaced classical medias here in France , it is now used in some other european countries, Belgium, Netherland, Luxembourg , UK . armi & Tiro in Italy wrote about it last January issue. one does not need to add any "regenerator" and it last at least 200 cycles , cleaning necessary time being between 10 & 30 minutes. NOBEL Sport / SNPE stocks it and can send it along with french powders to your local distributor. distributors enquiries welcome;see you

PS this is not a marketing product, this is a product designed an d made by somebody who needed it, a shooter....

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drop an eye = have a look , sorry direct translation or I heard it somewhere...

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The Hornady One-shot lube that Brian advocates is in an aerosol can. How is this applied to the cases without getting lube IN the cases?

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I don't worry about it getting in; it doesn't affect anything.

I use a plastic bag on my bench, with the brass spread out flat inside. Then spray, shake, and load.

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George D,

The One Shot.  I also doubt there is a problem with getting some in the case.  But, here is what I do...

I have a carboard box that I drape a towel over...letting the towel become a liner for the box.  I dump in some brass, then smooth the brass down so that it is mostly laying on it's side.  I squirt on some One Shot, then grab the corners of the towel.  Two corners in each hand.  then I see-saw the corners up and down.  This rolls the brass around inside the towel...helping the evenly distribute the lube.

Takes longer to describe than to do.  Also lets me handle the brass one more time...sort out any questionable pieces.

(the box is shallow...and, about one foot by two feet)

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I've used Alan550's method for years, even adding a light mist of brake cleaner to the rounds for super quick, problem free cleaning. Many might shudder at the thought of spraying brake cleaner on loaded rounds... I've never had a problem using it vary sparingly. And, be sure to NEVER use carb cleaner!

be

Berry Brake Clean will take the oil or grease off of any metal surface. It is some great stuff for cleaning a gun before smithing on it.

The good news is according to the label it only causes cancer in California.

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The Hornady One-shot lube that Brian advocates is in an aerosol can. How is this applied to the cases without getting lube IN the cases?

I throw the clean brass in a large Acro bin and spray a short 1-2 second shot of lube on them. Shake and repeat a few times. The One Shot drys inside and out and has had no effect on my reloads.

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thanx for the info! i asked this question awhile ago, and got a newbie rant from some dweebs about wasting space in the forum, check the search function, blah, blah, blah..... i guess i'm a little off-topic, but these forums have helped me learn alot about this sport, and i have always thought there was never such a thing as a dumb, honest question. especially one about something that could affect the safety of reloaded rounds. anyways, good info!! :angry:

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I use Case Slick by RCBS, its the stuff that comes in the pump bottle rather than the aerosol. For rifle rounds, I generally leave it on. For pistol, i rarely use anything on my carbide dies.

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