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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just picked up a tumbler. never tumbled { wet or dry} my brass before. Is it advisable to tumble cases that heve been primed? I use walnut medis with some nu finish in it. I've got some {150-200} 38spl cases primed that are smutty/tarnished that I who like to clean. but If It might cause a problem with the primer not liteing the powder I'll just load and shoot them as Is. thanks for your help. TOMD1943
 

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I've just picked up a tumbler. never tumbled { wet or dry} my brass before. Is it advisable to tumble cases that heve been primed? I use walnut medis with some nu finish in it. I've got some {150-200} 38spl cases primed that are smutty/tarnished that I who like to clean. but If It might cause a problem with the primer not liteing the powder I'll just load and shoot them as Is. thanks for your help. TOMD1943
A definite no TOMD1943. Enjoy the tumbler.
 

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three possibilities:
1. contaminate primers, click no bang.
2. primer detonates in tumbler (this speaks for itself)
3. works (maybe you would get lucky)
I would also shoot and then tumble. reloading is NOT like baking a cake. ALWAYS err on the side of caution. if the cake is bad we laugh and throw it away. if the bullet is bad you may blow up a good gun, and or anyone in close proximity. even if no one dies, the possibility of permanent injury exists.
welcome to our addiction. good question. the only bad question is the one not asked.
 

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In general, not a good plan. If you want to tumble the brass you already have primed, just check the flashhole on each piece as you take it out of the tumbler, and you should be OK.

Go thou and sin no more.

The advantage of tumbling deprimed or spent cases is that the reloading process will clear the flashhole for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks all for your replys. I'll load them up shoot them then clean them. I'm cleaning around 2000 9mm that I had deprimed. next time clean than deprime. you always learn things even at 71yrs old. thanks again for the replys. TOMD1943
 

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I agree with these posts. Never tumble primed cases for the reasons stated in earlier posts.
I have been doing wet tumbling for a little over a year. With a thumbler tumbler some Dawn dishwashing soap, water, stainless steel pins and a little bit of Lemi-Shine, you will end up with cases clean on the inside and outside. The primer pockets will come out clean. Then run them through your vibrating tumbler for 30 minutes to an hour and you will end up with cases that are clean and polished without any tarnish. Easier to find any problems with clean polished brass.
I deprime and expand the case mouths before I clean them in the wet media. After the crude is going and the cases have been tumbled dry. The case primer pocket expander. Should expain that vibrating the the cases after running them through the soap cleaning process removes any tarnish on the brass.
 

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I find it works best for me to sort and tumble my brass (without depriming) soon after I get back from the range. When I am ready to start reloading I have clean brass that easier for my older eyes to inspect. Also, I don't like the walnut media that gets stuck in the flash hole if I deprime first.
 

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If you tumble them with the primers installed to clean the brass, more than likely many of the flash holes could be plugged with the media.
Whether that affects ignition in a 38 spl to the point you would notice are doubtful.
The primer should burn/blow out any media in the flash hole enough to ignite the Go Fast.
You might notice inconsistencies of incomplete ignition due to a bad primer or obstructed flash hole more in a longer bottleneck type cartridge in long distance accuracy.
Dirty brass looks bad, but doesn't affect the "Boom!".
If you trust the primers enough to invest the time and money to load them, use them. They'll look better next time around.
However, if the primers are old and have absorbed moisture from being exposed, you could have incomplete powder ignitions, squibs or hang fires.
Hang fires, by far, are the worst. No telling when that thing is going to go off.
Primers are pretty cheap. If I have older ammo that I de-cap or older brass with primers of unknown history, I just take them out back and shoot them into the ground or into the garage and shoot them into a bucket.
Any that didn't ignite, I toss in water for a couple days before punching out the primers.
I prefer no doubts and that my reloads always react the same when I pull the trigger. :cool:
 

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I have a universal deprime die that I use to deprime cases before tumbling. I have it permanently set up in a little cheapo LEE press, but you can use it in your main press as well. Using a separate press keeps powder/primer residue off of my main press and removes the necessity to set up the deprime die each time although that would only take seconds.

I then tumble cases in a Thumler tumbler using crushed walnut hulls as media. This produces clean cases to run thru the resizing die, and cleans cases to my satisfaction although they will not come out looking "brand new".

Cases are then resized, with the decapping pin in the sizing die knocking out any walnut media lodged in the flash holes. Actually, I see very few instances of this happening, but it's possible.

Been doing it this way for over forty years and it works just fine for me.

All JMHO, of course.

:)
 

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Back when I was shooting handgun metallic silhouette (late 70's, early 80's) I clean my nickel plated cases with Scotch-Brite non-scratch scour pads on the outside and nylon bristle brush on the inside. I made a mandrel out of a brass rod by making a turned down, taper end, to hold the cases by the mouth so my fingers didn't take a beating. That was before I new about tumbling.

Now I bought a Lee universal decapping die which I'll be using in an old, unused Lyman Spartan press just like Ale-8(1) said he does above.

Like others have said, sparkling clean brass is not a necessity and I'd never tumble primed brass.

Good Luck and have fun.
 

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I wouldn't worry about a primer detonating in a "wobbler", but I would be concerned about a chunk of media getting stuck in the flash hole; if a case is unprimed and a chunk gets stuck in the flash hole it's easy to spot during the in-process inspections...
 

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I wouldn't worry about a primer detonating in a "wobbler", but I would be concerned about a chunk of media getting stuck in the flash hole; if a case is unprimed and a chunk gets stuck in the flash hole it's easy to spot during the in-process inspections...
I agree and mikld is spot on. Tumbling primed brass or finished ammo has been demonstrated safe but you do have to check to make sure any media is removed from the flash hole in plain brass whether you have primed it or not.

That's why, when loading necked rifle brass that I've run through a case prep cycle and stored (my usual procedure), I have a universal decapping die in station #1 of my reloading toolhead so that it automatically clears the flash hole prior to priming on my progressive press. That way I don't have to worry about manually checking for and removing stuck kernels of media.

At $10 per die, I feel it's cheap insurance and it allows me to avoid the time consuming process of light checking every flash hole.
 

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. . . I have a universal decapping die in station #1 of my reloading toolhead so that it automatically clears the flash hole prior to priming on my progressive press. That way I don't have to worry about manually checking for and removing stuck kernels of media.
. . . as mentioned in posts #12 & #13 above.

:D ;) :D
 

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There are folks that tumble briefly after loading, or so I've been told, to remove lube from cases. Point is that I wouldn't tumble primed cases, but you could finish loading and then tumble if you want to.
 

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There are folks that tumble briefly after loading, or so I've been told, to remove lube from cases. Point is that I wouldn't tumble primed cases, but you could finish loading and then tumble if you want to.
I may be confused, but if you tumble finished ammo, are you not tumbling a primed case?

I do not tumble my ammo, I use an ultrasonic cleaner after de-priming, but I would not tumble primed cases or loaded/finished ammo & I would not care who told me to do it and/or it was safe.

That is me & I could be wrong.
 
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