How long to you tumble your brass?

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I am new to reloading. I was wondering how long does it take to tumble your brass? And how clean is “clean”? I have a Lyman tumbler.

thanks for any input
 

headednorth

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I tumble for between an hour or two. Im just looking to get the grime off, I dont feel the need for "Hornady advertisement" tier brass.
 

yogi

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I'd tumble dirty brass around 4 - 7 hours. But this was for 357 magnum brass and it was my brass that started out virgin and that I got up to 10 reloads out of (starline brass is excellent) and I used RCBS medium which had an additive in it. Good luck!
 

Artie

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I wet tumble with just hot water, dawn and lemishine for 30 min to get dirt, carbon, lead dust, etc. off. I then deprime, resize and trim, then I dry tumble for about 1 hr with walnut. Have fun and good luck
 

greencobra

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I tumble until I'm happy with the way it looks. sounds like a crass response but it is what it is. the older the media the longer it goes. I usually tumble and let it keep going while I go out for a few hours of socializing and running chores. I'm happy as long as it's not grimy and gritty, it doesn't have to be brand new looking.
 
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Brass really just needs a quick douche, not a high polish. I dry tumble for about 45 minutes at the most.
 

meh

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I wet tumble my revolver caliber brass for about 2 hours without pins with the Hornady case cleaner solution. I've only recently stopped using the steel pins. I have a FA media separator that works great, plus a magnet, but the pins definitely add more steps and hassle to the process, at cleanup, too. Without the pins the insides of the cases and the primer pockets are not perfectly clean, but everything that one can see after loading looks and feels brand new, and the process seems so much simpler and easier. The pins have no added effect on the outside of the cases. They are only for knocking off any residue inside and in the primer pockets.
 

WanMan99

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YMMV but I tumble for around 2 hours. I am not looking for perfection but I do want the cases clean to minimize damage to the dies as well as grime build up in the press.
 

jek

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Usually works out to be about 3 or more hours with the dry tumbler (10/14 corn cob w/a squirt of Nufinish every few runs and pieces of used dryer sheet every run). I usually start it when I have other stuff to do which sometimes results in more time than intended. If I was paying attention, probably 1-2 hrs. with fairly new media. Longer with old media.
 

mac1911

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long times in the tumbler just wear out your brass faster! Where is the NES sarcasm meter pinned meter emoji

Cleaning and sorting brass is a pita, Tumbling is right up there with trimming. Hate doing it. I run my brass with the "critter litter" walnut stuff. Cap full of Nufinsh and odorless mineral spirits every once in a while.
toss in a few few dryer sheets too. I will run it about 1hr unless for some reason its tarnished something awful?
 

76Too

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I do 2 hours max with walnut and then after resizing with case wax/hand priming I do 15 minutes with treated corn cob to get the lube off and give it a nice final shine.

When I asked this question 5 years ago, @mac1911 told me he just drops his brass from waist height onto the floor to knock the sand off :D
 

Mountain

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A couple hours should do, but I tend to throw mine in overnight especially once the media is used up a bit. Tends to help find brass in the grass when it's nice and shiny.
 

mac1911

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I do 2 hours max with walnut and then after resizing with case wax/hand priming I do 15 minutes with treated corn cob to get the lube off and give it a nice final shine.

When I asked this question 5 years ago, @mac1911 told me he just drops his brass from waist height onto the floor to knock the sand off :D
I only tell a select few how to really do it!

that said I ruined a good shirt today wiping the lube off some 308 for next Sunday!
started like this
Wife: " are you going to change before you go down stairs"
Me: " yeah"
 

meh

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I guess a better question would have been - how clean is the inside supposed to be?
I don't know if there are experts on on that or not, but I just checked, and I don't happen to be one. My guess is that any normal amount of carbon fouling inside the casing wouldn't matter a bit. Most people don't de-prime before tumbling, which means that they'll end up seating a new primer in nasty-looking primer pocket (which they will never see). If that doesn't cause problems, I don't see how a case that has carbon fouling inside would.
 

andrew1220

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I do 2 hours max with walnut and then after resizing with case wax/hand priming I do 15 minutes with treated corn cob to get the lube off and give it a nice final shine.

When I asked this question 5 years ago, @mac1911 told me he just drops his brass from waist height onto the floor to knock the sand off :D
Do you find the corn cob dust sticks to the inside of the casemouths and media sticks in the primer pockets? I don’t know wtf I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m using too much lube?...
upload_2019-10-27_21-8-59.png
 

mac1911

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I don't know if there are experts on on that or not, but I just checked, and I don't happen to be one. My guess is that any normal amount of carbon fouling inside the casing wouldn't matter a bit. Most people don't de-prime before tumbling, which means that they'll end up seating a new primer in nasty-looking primer pocket (which they will never see). If that doesn't cause problems, I don't see how a case that has carbon fouling inside would.
I think our resident expert had declining accuracy with case being to clean inside?
 

Mountain

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Do you find the corn cob dust sticks to the inside of the casemouths and media sticks in the primer pockets? I don’t know wtf I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m using too much lube?...
View attachment 309695
Tumble before you de-prime. No way to keep media other than properly sized stainless steel pins from jamming in the primer pockets. I used to take one of those small steel primer pocket brushes to every case, but that's overkill for almost any application except possibly benchrest. I don't waste time on that anymore. Just make sure the primer holes in the case are consistent- you'll want to ream one if it has some metal flash obstructing part of the hole. Any carbon fouling in primer pockets can be ignored- just press in the new primer and forget about it.

Media may be getting gunked up if it's sticking inside the case mouths. Time to change media if it is.
 

76Too

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I only ever tumble primed cases (spent or new). I found out that every piece of dry media becomes magnetized when it reaches a primer pocket and it's effectively impossible to remove without running the case though the depriming process again OR just loading and shooting like it never happened (haven't experienced any noticeable difference in my otherwise mediocre shooting by OCSA standards).

SOMETIMES, I do get treated corn cob in my case necks, but I think it has more to do with static and I just load normally and shoot it with the corn cob as 'filler' for the powder. Again, no noticeable difference noted in accuracy.

I'm not quite to the mac1911 approach to tumbling yet, but I'm starting to see a LOT of merit in 'just fill the newly primed case with powder and a bullet and shoot the damn thing' method.

Six or seven years into owning firearms and four or five into reloading and I'm convinced that any error on target is due to the nut behind the trigger.
 

andrew1220

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Tumble before you de-prime. No way to keep media other than properly sized stainless steel pins from jamming in the primer pockets. I used to take one of those small steel primer pocket brushes to every case, but that's overkill for almost any application except possibly benchrest. I don't waste time on that anymore. Just make sure the primer holes in the case are consistent- you'll want to ream one if it has some metal flash obstructing part of the hole. Any carbon fouling in primer pockets can be ignored- just press in the new primer and forget about it.

Media may be getting gunked up if it's sticking inside the case mouths. Time to change media if it is.
Well I tumble the cases prior to sizing but to remove the lube I tumble them again - prior to priming. I guess I could prime then tumble but the cases are goey from the case lube. I may be using too much. I just throw them in a bin and spritz them with homemade lube (iso alcohol and lanolin oil).
 

beaker

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I use corn cob media, with a mix of 50% NuFinish and 50% mineral spirits. Walnut shell is pretty aggressive and you have to watch the time. Corn cob won't damage your brass. I give it an our or two, but sometimes I just let it go overnight, depends on how dirty it is.
 

76Too

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the only sign i KNOW OF using too much lube is if you get dimples in the case necks (and i still shoot them, but mostly for plinking/practice ammo)...otherwise, lube as you are currently.

do you hand prime? i do, personally...and though a little slippery, it doesn't hurt to take care of it pre-secondary tumble. and as previously stated, the secondary tumble is just to clean the lube off and polish and not much else. make yourself a sandwich and by the time you're done eating it the brass is done.
 

TrashcanDan

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I'll cram as much brass as I can in that "dirty" vibratory tumbler and run it for a few hours for no other reason than I'll go off and do something else.
Theres no real benefit to it. And I'll run that thing with drier sheet strips until the corncob is black.

Once I get 1500 or so empties, I'll kill a day or so and knock the primers out.
It'll run again through the "clean" tumbler which has polish in it for an hour or two.
 

jek

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I just throw them in a bin
I usually lay the brass down on a towel on the bench and spray them (and roll them to spread the lube). I use the same towel each time and stuff it into a zip lock bag after use. It's to the point where I wonder if I even need to add more lube given the amount of lanolin in the towel now.

I have also put them in loading blocks to spray if there is a large batch to do. I try not to get much if any in the case mouth. If it's a small batch I hand lube them. When I tumble to get the lube off, it is only a few minutes and there is no media inside the case. I do use the universal decapping die in my turret press after this step as insurance to insure there is nothing in the primer pocket.
 
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