The Reloading Itch Has Started

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LT USN (Ret.)
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The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:12 am

OK, I "think" I want to get into reloading. So I bought 1000 145gr polymer coated bullets, 1 lb. of Sport Pistol Power and 1500 small pistol primers.

Plan was to go to buddies house who has two Dillon XL-650 reloading stations and take one for a test drive. We were going to load a variety of charges and go chronograph them looking to get to 130 PF +/-1 or so. These rounds are specific to competition use. Well, that WAS the plan.

So as we are all mostly on lockdown I was bored and the OCD is kicking my butt. So what to do, what to do. I know, I'll "prime my brass!" Boredom being the mother of all inventions (as in, "Hold my beer and watch this $h!t!") and having no deprimer, I bastardized a setup.

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With a drill press, a small punch, an old cutting board, a couple of washers, a catch jar and super glue, I was ready to experiment. Note: drill press is never turned on, it is strictly being used as, well, a press.

Part I

1. Drill hole in cutting board (or plywood) just a little bigger when the diameter of a primer (sizes and measurement available upon request and receipt of funding)
2. Super glue two washers onto the cutting so the center is centered around the hole from step one. I, by accident, selected two washers that fit a 9mm with a little wiggle room but was too small for a 40; we call this "luck" and self-sorting.
3. Place small punch into drill press chuck.
4. Gently lower chuck to find the center of the primer and once there, clamp cutting board to drill press.
a. There are a bunch of ways to lockdown the cutting board base. Clamping was what I had available.
5. Leave ~2" between the top of the brass and the punch when the chuck is fully up and at rest. This makes it easier to move the brass around.
6. I set up two trays to the left of the drill press. One with the to-be-deprimed brass and one with the postmortem brass.
7. As you get into the rhythm of placing the brass into the washers, press punch down with with right hand just enough to hear the primer fall into the catch jar while left hand is getting another brass, then throwing the brass into the deprimed pan. It really helps to hum the song from a Bugs Bunny cartoon they played while showing a Rube Goldberg segment.

What to do, what to do with a bunch of deprimed brass?!?!?! Well, you clean it.

Part II
Ultrasonic cleaning of brass

1. Get out cheap-o Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner
2. Add Simple Green (green version) to cleaner at a 10:1 ratio with hot water and 3-4 drops of Dawn Dish Washing Soap.
3. Layer tray with dirty brass and punch up 480 seconds and hit "on". I ran two cycles of 480 seconds for each tray.
4. Transfer brass to small colander to rinse well and drain.
5. Transfer to large cookie sheet with edges (trust me on this one) and I lined it with parchment paper.
6. Set oven to 170 (lowest setting on mine) and bake brass for ~30 minutes or until dry.

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So, what do you get for all this? Clean brass and the ability to scratch that OCD waaaaaaaaay down in the corner of your soul. First picture shows on the right some raw brass intermixed with deprined brass. Second picture shows the end product.

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End results; a bag of brass you can't do anything with cuz you don't have a reloading press and a jar that makes a lot of noise. Oh, and the Mrs. had a day of me playing quietly.

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"Oh dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?" (Name that movie!)
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by deserttrans » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:26 am

One can get a lot of self satisfaction when reloading. I have not done it in years. I did really enjoy it.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by Jester560 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:38 am

Welcome to reloading! Get a hand priming tool and start priming away. They are cheap and you will be able to prime cases while watching tv.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by deserttrans » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:44 am

I remember doing that Jester. While watching Bonanza.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by GlennSFX » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:23 am

Personally, I'd just wait and see the whole process being done on the Dillion.

The only thing I can say about ultrasonic cleaning is...I had issues with it on my 650 with the brass being TOO clean. I purchased 6000 cleaned cases from Ammobrass.com which were wet tumbled with steel media. Maybe that cleans it better than the ultrasonic, not sure. They looked like new and were priced right. Problem was the brass was getting stuck while sizing and de-priming. I use plenty of "One Shot" lube and carbide dies, but some/most required a hard pull on the handle to get the brass out. A few other people I know who reload said that "too clean brass" can be a problem. I ended up running the brass in the vib with crushed walnut. That's what I use with my range brass after a quick wash with a little Dawn soap and water in a Gator Aid bottle. Never had an issue sizing and de-priming. Press always ran smooth as silk until the purchased brass.

Hopefully you have better luck than I did. I'd clean some and leave the primers in and see what happens on his 650.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by gunn » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:11 pm

Welcome to the world of handloading. I have been doing it for over 60 years. Great relaxation/Stress Relief.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by Bigmaico » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:46 pm

gunn wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:11 pm
Welcome to the world of handloading. I have been doing it for over 60 years. Great relaxation/Stress Relief.
Yup! A great way to relax for me.

For those of you that don’t have drill press, Lee makes a anvil & punch set for about $15.00

I think they list it as a decapper & base.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by Jester560 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:50 pm

deserttrans wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:44 am
I remember doing that Jester. While watching Bonanza.
I get you. :-Q
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by Tactv93 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:26 am

Don't use simple green to clean your brass, it contains amonia which is bad for brass. It can oxidize your cases and make them weak or brittle. Just get some actual case cleaner from Hornady, lyman, or Frankford arsenal
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:34 am

Tactv93 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:26 am
Don't use simple green to clean your brass, it contains amonia which is bad for brass
Here's the list from the MSDS for Simple Green that I used, no ammonia. Unless the $3 science words are ammonia. :d

Water 7732-18-5 > 84.8%*
C9-11 Alcohols Ethoxylated 68439-46-3 < 5%*
Sodium Citrate 68-04-2 < 5%*
Sodium Carbonate 497-19-8 < 1%*
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate 51981-21-6 < 1%*
Citric Acid 77-92-9 < 1%*
Methylchloroisothiazolinone 26172-55-4 < 0.002%*
Methylisothiazolinone 2682-20-4 < 0.001%*
Fragrance Proprietary Mixture < 1%*
Liquitint Colorant Proprietary Mixture < 1%*
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by ncjw » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:09 am

Tactv93 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:26 am
Don't use simple green to clean your brass, it contains amonia which is bad for brass. It can oxidize your cases and make them weak or brittle. Just get some actual case cleaner from Hornady, lyman, or Frankford arsenal
I remember hearing the same somewhere. I have never used it on brass as I tumble in walnut with some torn blue paper towel pieces and a tspn of car wax to keep the dust down. Try Google for others' experience.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by colonel00 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:52 pm

In my Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler I just use water with a few drops of Dawn and a 9mm case full of LemiShine. Works great. Not sure if it would do the same in a ultrasonic cleaner but just a suggestion.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by GlennSFX » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:36 am

:-? ...@LT USN (Ret.) have you not reloaded at your friends due to social distancing???
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:07 am

Correct. He has a couple of younger boys so so haven't gotten together.
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Re: The Reloading Itch Has Started

Post by ncjw » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:25 am

GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:36 am
:-? ...@LT USN (Ret.) have you not reloaded at your friends due to social distancing???
You would need a 6 foot long lever...
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