Brass tips


Problem:  I have a few hundred empty brass casings for 5.56.  Old military stuff from Serbia.  Being good engineers and strictly observant to SAAMI standards, the former communists went one better.  They crimped the primers into place, so they are less likely to fall out.  Thus, there is the crimp “ring”.

DSCN1686That isn’t a huge problem in itself but it frequently causes the new primers to miss the pocket during reloading.  The common solution is to take the case mouth trimmer and ream the pocket just a little.  I use the reamer pictured below which has the disadvantage of having three sharp prongs on the holding side, since this same tool works to trim the outside of the case mouth.
DSCN1688Here’s how it’s done.  Meticulous, time consuming work with small sharp objects in each hand.
DSCN1690MY SOLUTION:  The interior tang in the reamer tool fits just right in the chuck jaws of my drill press.   I don’t even remember why I bought this.  But this is the first time I remember using it.

DSCN1687

You may want to wear heavy gloves and eye protection for this.  Also, use the lowest speed setting your power tool will permit.

The result is batch processing a hundred of them with no trouble in a few minutes and no harm done to my hands.

Just thought I would share.

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About Professor Hale

Currently living in Virginia
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12 Responses to Brass tips

  1. maxsnafu says:

    Good lord dude, you’re gonna kill yourself. Get one of these: http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25290/catid/8/Super_Swage_600_parts

  2. But then I wouldn’t have found a use for that Chinese Drill press.

  3. Giraffe says:

    I have an RCBS Primer Swage. I don’t have a Chinese drill press. I’d like too, though.

    I just tried tumbling cases in stainless steel media. So far I’m underwhelmed, but I only used water and media, so perhaps if I add the right soap it would actually get them clean.

  4. I saw the ad for that and was tempted to try it myself.

    Any idea how long dry media lasts? I use the green stuff. I’ve had mine now for four years and it still works.

  5. Is it really stainless (nickle)? Or just plated? (Does a magnet pick it up)?

  6. Giraffe says:

    I think it is stainless, but I don’t know, have not tried a magnet. For what it cost, it better be stainless. I can’t beleive they’d lie to me.

    I bought a double tumbler from harbor freight. While I don’t have a chinese drill press, I do have a chinese tumblre. It sat in the garage for a couple years because I didn’t have the media.

    The media was expensive, and I wasn’t reloading a lot so I waited. I got some from midway about a month ago on sale.

    I have some .22-250 to load so I threw them in and ran them. I didn’t remember what soap to use so I just used water without soap. So the cases aren’t very clean. And after reviewing the youtube, I see I didn’t run them long enough.

    {more later}
    The cheap tumbler leaked a little. The water came out filthy. The cases were cleaner, but I did not use soap or lemishine so they were still visibly dirty. I’ll try it again.

  7. Giraffe says:

    The .22-250 cases were a pain. The media are small pins. The .22-250 case is wide enough in the shoulder area to allow these little pins to turn sideways. I think they measure .265 in length. Then they don’t want to come out. Combined with them sticking to everything due to surface tension I had to dry them out to get the pins out. I would not want to have to pick every piece of brass up and shake it a half dozen times to get the pins out. They should fall out easier when dry. On youtube they use a separator that is submerged to break surface tension.

    I’ll throw in a few .223 cases to see if they work better.

    From their website:
    Q. Is your Stainless Steel Media Magnetic?
    A. Yes it is. If you spill any pins you can pick them up using a magnet. Place a plastic bag over the magnet so you can pull the pins off the magnet.

  8. Giraffe says:

    As far as how long media lasts in a tumbler, I don’t know. My media outlasted my vibratory tumbler.

  9. Dalrock says:

    @Giraffe

    Then they don’t want to come out. Combined with them sticking to everything due to surface tension I had to dry them out to get the pins out. I would not want to have to pick every piece of brass up and shake it a half dozen times to get the pins out.

    Would a magnet pull the pins out of the brass?

  10. If the media is only chrome plated the coating will gradually flake off over time leaving you with a rusty mess in a few years. But they look the same

  11. Magnets don’t work on good quality stainless steel because the iron content is too small.

  12. Giraffe says:

    Would a magnet pull the pins out of the brass?
    I doubt it would do better than gravity does now. It is actually like a log jam behind the neck.

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