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 Wet Tumble Brass question 
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Location: Oly/Thurston Co
Joined: Tue Oct 9, 2012
Posts: 203
Just started to wet tumble (always used corn cob/walnut up until now) and have only done batches after removing the primers first.

The question is, Is there any issues in wet tumbling with primers still in the brass? I picked up a bunch of brass off the wet outdoor range today, and since its wet already, I was thinking of just wet tumbling it first, before removing the primers.

I know the pockets wont get clean, but other than that is there going to be any issues going this route?

( i tried using search, but didn't come up with anything)


Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:34 pm
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Location: Renton, WA
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Real Name: Steve
Nope, you should be good to go.

What you're describing is my standard practice for pistol brass. I wet tumble the dirty range-pickup brass, then size/deprime/load all in one swoop on the progressive press.

As with any wet tumbling, make sure your brass is dry before you put it away. I use a dehydrator, but you can also just air-dry or even use your oven, as long as you keep the temp very low.

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Leave it cleaner than you found it.


Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:41 pm
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Ok, perfect. That's what I have is a bunch or pistol brass.

I usually dry in oven after tossing around in a towel after tumbling.

I just wasn't sure if leaving the primers in would trap water/corrosion in the pockets if i didn't get around to depriming in the next month or so
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:45 pm
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No.

No. I mean it will work, but better to pop the primers out first. Reason: One huge benefit of wet tumbling is clean primer pockets. Seems senseless to by-pass this benefit. 2nd reason, the primers have the most residual lead. It will be much more concentrated in the wash solution and then to the sewer. Not ideal. Much better to capture primers dry, then to the landfill. 3rd, albeit skimpy reason is after hot wet clean and then hot dry, the primers get a bit more stuck.

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:47 pm
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Location: Renton, WA
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Pablo wrote:
better to pop the primers out first. Reason: One huge benefit of wet tumbling is clean primer pockets. Seems senseless to by-pass this benefit.


I'm going to disagree with this portion of your post.

Yes, clean primer pockets are nice but let's face it, nobody really cares once the new primer is in place. :bigsmile: Plus, I don't think they'll have ANY effect on pistol accuracy.

For me, it's just not worth the hassle to run the cases through the progressive press twice, just to get clean primer pockets.

For rifle, my process is:

- Minimal (30 minutes?) tumble in corncob, to get the major crud off.
- Lube, size and deprime.
- Wet tumble so that everything is lube-free, shiny and beautiful . . . including the primer pockets.
- Swage primer pockets and trim, if needed.
- Load.

But for pistol brass . . . meh. Since I'm using a progressive press, I never actually *see* the dirty primer pockets, and I don't care.

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Leave it cleaner than you found it.


Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:51 pm
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I just like dealing with spotless brass. But I am different than some reloaders. My brass cleaning is a totally separate (somewhat dirty) process. I have a separate universal diprimer die and press. I then clean, dry and bag large quantities of spotless brass. Put it in storage, and always have mucho on hand, for the separate reloading process - I usually just keep the deprimer pin in to assure the flash hole is clear.

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:03 pm
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Pablo wrote:
I just like dealing with spotless brass. But I am different than some reloaders. My brass cleaning is a totally separate (somewhat dirty) process. I have a separate universal diprimer die and press. I then clean, dry and bag large quantities of spotless brass. Put it in storage, and always have mucho on hand, for the separate reloading process - I usually just keep the deprimer pin in to assure the flash hole is clear.


Very similar to what I do, unless its 9mm. We are going through so much 9 right now in the match guns, that the extra step of depriming before cleaning is just a time waster, better spent behind the press loading

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:45 pm
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TwizDD wrote:
Pablo wrote:
I just like dealing with spotless brass. But I am different than some reloaders. My brass cleaning is a totally separate (somewhat dirty) process. I have a separate universal diprimer die and press. I then clean, dry and bag large quantities of spotless brass. Put it in storage, and always have mucho on hand, for the separate reloading process - I usually just keep the deprimer pin in to assure the flash hole is clear.


Very similar to what I do, unless its 9mm. We are going through so much 9 right now in the match guns, that the extra step of depriming before cleaning is just a time waster, better spent behind the press loading


Makes sense. I don't even reload 9mm anymore, it's so cheap and I don't shoot a ton. (more .45ACP and 10mm)

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:15 pm
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Pablo wrote:
I just like dealing with spotless brass. But I am different than some reloaders. My brass cleaning is a totally separate (somewhat dirty) process. I have a separate universal diprimer die and press. I then clean, dry and bag large quantities of spotless brass. Put it in storage, and always have mucho on hand, for the separate reloading process - I usually just keep the deprimer pin in to assure the flash hole is clear.


That's what I do. Rock chucker with a Lee decapping die.

Otherwise your washing dirty used primers with the same solution you're trying to clean your brass with.

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 pm
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RocketScott wrote:
Pablo wrote:
I just like dealing with spotless brass. But I am different than some reloaders. My brass cleaning is a totally separate (somewhat dirty) process. I have a separate universal diprimer die and press. I then clean, dry and bag large quantities of spotless brass. Put it in storage, and always have mucho on hand, for the separate reloading process - I usually just keep the deprimer pin in to assure the flash hole is clear.


That's what I do. Rock chucker with a Lee decapping die.

Otherwise your washing dirty used primers with the same solution you're trying to clean your brass with.


That's where I'm coming from. I do understand that people just want to use ALL the stages in their automated presses, I know it works fine, and at least with wet not so much nastiness is near the pristine ammo. And yes I know it does not impact accuracy that can be detected. STILL I just want brass to be as new. New brass, bullets, primers and powders - still plenty needs to be monitored. It's messy enough knocking out primers separately dry - I cannot abide having that near my actual reloading.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:10 am
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If you leave the primers in after "wet cleaning" for any length of time you may notice some blue-green corrosion in the pocket when you finally do remove the primers.

I like to de-prime all my brass first as this is when I cull the cases with loose primer pockets and split necks/shoulders, not to mention the dreaded case head separation "line" that might be developing in a rifle case. I also use a go/no-go gauge on primer pockets during this inspection.

Is it necessary to remove primer pockets before cleaning?? No, but it is for so many other inspection steps why not just do it and get it out of the way. I use a Frankford Arsenal Hand De-Priming tool that collects all the schmutz that falls out when a primer is removed. I can sit on my butt watching TV and de-prime a couple hundred cases in an evening. Once cleaned in the SS Pins and soapy water it's then just like working with brass fresh from the box.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:39 am
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