Reloading tips by Sarge
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:29 AM   #1
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Default Reloading tips by Sarge

I just finished 500 5.56 (223) empty brass, getting it ready to reload. Because most of these empties were range pick-ups (courtesy of the US Army) they were dirty and had dirt, sand, rocks, and gunk inside and outside. The first thing I did was to fill up one of those 1 gal. ice cream plastic containers with the brass and squirted several squirts of liquid dish soap in on top of them. Then I ran the water in the kitchen sink until it was hot and steaming. I filled the container full with hot water. Sloshed it around some with one of the wife's big metal spoons. Then found a place where Lt.Linda would not find it and let it set for a day. Back to the kitchen sink and more hot water to flush out all the crud that was desolved by the soapy water. Then drained ever drop of water I could out of them (bouncing them up and down to get water out of inside the cases)
Then I took them out to the shop and turned on my air compressor. I set it at 150 psi. (Note my compressor will go up to 300 psi but I deliberly set at 150 psi for this reason.) If you are holding the empty cartridge case and shooting compressed air at it, your fingers will be within 1/4" to 1/2" of the blast of compressed air. If you slip a little and hit your finger with very highly compressed air you can blow a fingernail right off or worse yet blow a hole in your skin. So keep it down at 150 psi. I then hit the case with one of those rubber tipped air blowers and it will blow out any residue that the water didn't get and dry the inside of the case.
Now I can take them back to my reloading room and lub and size and decap them. After that they are covered with lub so I go back to my ice cream tub and soap. You would be surprised how much dirt is still in the cases. Back to the shop and the air compressor. This time I blow the case out through the primer hole. This gets the last bit of dirt or rocks stuck inside. And cleans the primer pocket well enough that you do not have to use one of those little primer pocket cleaners. The only thing I do is check the cases for military stamped crimps and cut the crimp away so you can get a primer in it.
Then I set up my press and prime, powder, and seat. Takes about 3 hours for 500 rds. and that includes setting up the powder measure. You also might put them in a vibrator case cleaner before you deprime them and that helps them look better but is not really needed. ( I do it cause I am fastidious)

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Old 12-13-2010, 08:07 AM   #2
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I just finished 500 5.56 (223) empty brass, getting it ready to reload. Because most of these empties were range pick-ups (courtesy of the US Army) they were dirty and had dirt, sand, rocks, and gunk inside and outside. The first thing I did was to fill up one of those 1 gal. ice cream plastic containers with the brass and squirted several squirts of liquid dish soap in on top of them. Then I ran the water in the kitchen sink until it was hot and steaming. I filled the container full with hot water. Sloshed it around some with one of the wife's big metal spoons. Then found a place where Lt.Linda would not find it and let it set for a day. Back to the kitchen sink and more hot water to flush out all the crud that was desolved by the soapy water. Then drained ever drop of water I could out of them (bouncing them up and down to get water out of inside the cases)
Then I took them out to the shop and turned on my air compressor. I set it at 150 psi. (Note my compressor will go up to 300 psi but I deliberly set at 150 psi for this reason.) If you are holding the empty cartridge case and shooting compressed air at it, your fingers will be within 1/4" to 1/2" of the blast of compressed air. If you slip a little and hit your finger with very highly compressed air you can blow a fingernail right off or worse yet blow a hole in your skin. So keep it down at 150 psi. I then hit the case with one of those rubber tipped air blowers and it will blow out any residue that the water didn't get and dry the inside of the case.
Now I can take them back to my reloading room and lub and size and decap them. After that they are covered with lub so I go back to my ice cream tub and soap. You would be surprised how much dirt is still in the cases. Back to the shop and the air compressor. This time I blow the case out through the primer hole. This gets the last bit of dirt or rocks stuck inside. And cleans the primer pocket well enough that you do not have to use one of those little primer pocket cleaners. The only thing I do is check the cases for military stamped crimps and cut the crimp away so you can get a primer in it.
Then I set up my press and prime, powder, and seat. Takes about 3 hours for 500 rds. and that includes setting up the powder measure. You also might put them in a vibrator case cleaner before you deprime them and that helps them look better but is not really needed. ( I do it cause I am fastidious)
I was wondering what to do with an old ice cream churn that I had sitting on a shelf on the shop. I had bought a White Mountain and was too stubborn to simply throw away a working unit. It sat there for a couple of years until I had an epiphany. This thing was made of extremely sturdy and rust/corrosion resistant material. I took it down, dusted it off, filled it up about half way with some filthy range brass I had culled and tossed in a bucket under the bench. The only thing wrong with the brass was the dirt and crud. Of course, I had utilized the usual procedures of dealing with this problem, but time budgeting issues dissuaded the reclaiming of the brass by those methods.

I filled in up with hot,soapy water,slipped the lid on, and plugged her in. It made a god-awful racket so I sat it outside and got out the trusty extension cord. After about an hour, I dumped it and refilled with clean water and let it run for another 10 mins or so. Then checked the results. Excellent! The brass was clean. Taking the concept to the next level found me filling the container with corn cob media charged with some Brasso. Another 30 mins, a quick shake through a spaghetti strainer to remove the polishing media, and presto...

This cut my brass cleaning time in half and the machinery was cheap. I even make my own corncob media out of cobs harvested from my garden. After shelling the corn, I toss them into a covered bin and let the sun and air do the rest. After thoroughly cured, I run them through an industrial strength blender I picked up at a local Good Will or Salvation Army store for a couple of bucks. If I remember correctly, I had to replace the cord. Buying media is simpler, but as I have said before...I love the DIY concept. Though I do tend to get my priorities screwed up once in a while.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:59 PM   #3
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(Note my compressor will go up to 300 psi but I deliberly set at 150 psi for this reason.)
What model of compressor is this? I GOT to get me one of these!
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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The only thing I do is check the cases for military stamped crimps and cut the crimp away so you can get a primer in it.
Don't you have to cut the crimp away to get the old primer OUT?
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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Nope. (10 char)

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Old 12-13-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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I've had a dickens of a time depriming some Speer .223 cases I was given by an LEO friend of mine.....? They were crimped.

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Old 12-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
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Don't you have to cut the crimp away to get the old primer OUT?
they deprime easy enough. you should only need to cut the crimp to reprime. I have some WCC nato brass in my 9mm bucket. I know as soon as the primer arm hits the case(rockchucker) that its the crimped brass. THey get tossed to the recycle bucket.




I was given a 5 gallon bucket of LC military brass in 5.56. It was also full of dirt and bugs, and crap. I cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned. Hot water, soap, buzz bucket, soap, hot water. Eventually had to get a pick out and scrape all the remnants. Not worth it.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:21 PM   #8
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I've had a dickens of a time depriming some Speer .223 cases I was given by an LEO friend of mine.....? They were crimped.
These are what I use to deprime crimped military brass...work like a charm

Lee Precision, Inc. Shopping Cart
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #9
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What model of compressor is this? I GOT to get me one of these!
My original compressor was a Sears-Roebuck It blew the back off the cylinder and damn near got my son in the leg. It was 1yr and 1 day after I bought it. I took it back to the store where I bought it and they refused to replace it. Because it was one day over the warrentee. Now it was obvious that the casting had a weak spot as there was no way we could have blown the cylinder up. (this one did not have a pressure adjustment on it) I had to have a compressor as I was in the middle of painting one of my classic cars. So I bought another one from them and finished the car. Then I took it back and asked for my money back. They had to give it all back too. LOL I then bought a bigger compressor from Northern Tool and it had a pressure adjustment gauge on it. I tossed the broken Sears compressor except for the tank. Put the new compressor on the old tank and I was back in business again. I had noticed in Sears that the tank I had on old Sears tank was the same as the ones that they used on their bigger compressors. And it had a pressure rating of 500psi. Normally I run it at 150psi for general all around work but sometimes 250 is needed for air operated tools.

Sarge
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If a man strikes you on the cheek
Being a Christian the only thing you can do
Is to help him up off the ground.
Sarge


Last edited by sarge_257; 12-13-2010 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:10 PM   #10
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These are what I use to deprime crimped military brass...work like a charm

Lee Precision, Inc. Shopping Cart
I use Lee products also. About 80% of my reloading tools are Lee. I use their Lee Decapping die as it is hell for stout. But I did manage to break one and Lee replaced it free of charge.
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If a man strikes you on the cheek
Being a Christian the only thing you can do
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