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  • Wet tumbling and clean primer pockets?

     Steven updated 3 years, 7 months ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Steven

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    So I recently dived into wet tumbling but it’s just not getting the primer pockets clean. I’m loading the 7L frankford tumbler with 5lb of pins, ~300 decapped 308 brass (more than half but less than 2/3 full between brass and pins) and then filling with water a few inches from the top (around where the tumbler starts sloping in to narrow for the screw on lid). I’ve tried a few different methods but the most recent one I added 2 squirts of dawn and a 9mm case of lemishine and tumbled for an hour, rinsed out the dirty water real good and refilled with clean hot water and tumbled for another 2 hours with another dose of dawn and lemishine. Even after 3 hours total tumbling the primer pockets are still pretty dirty.

    Anyone have any tips on getting the primer pockets clean?

  • Shotsheller

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Dirty primer pockets effect nothing. I don’t even deprime before washing.

  • Mnemonym

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    I think you are putting in too many cases to be cleaned.

    I have the larger drum from []( with 5lbs of pins, and I only fill with 100-200 308 cases, and then I typically run for 4 hours with more lemishine and detergent than you are running.

    If I run for 8 hours my brass gets some lovely colouration on the outside due to oxidation 😀

    So I might be adding too much lemishine.

  • ILostMyTalisman

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    I tend to over soap and stub my toe on the limishine. I also start at three hours of tumbling before rinsing.

  • DonBosman

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Try different batch sizes. Try a smaller number of cases per batch. Try hot water vs tap water. Try different surfactants. Detergent is the one most of us use, but soap is an option. Try laundry detergent rather then dish detergent.
    I developed my “recipe” over time as I cleaned 1.25 tons of ex-mil 9mm brass. In an open front cement mixer my best results came from the brass sloshing around in less water, but more suds.

  • 32SWL

    July 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned vinegar or citric acid (maybe that’s in the Lemishine). The formula that was suggested for my wet tumbler was 4 cups (1 litre) water, 1 cup (1/4 litre) white vinegar, 1 teaspoon citric acid powder and 1 teaspoon (5cc) dishwashing detergent. Plus SS pins of course. You can scale up or down depending on the size of your tumbler. Doesn’t need more than 1 hour. Should try to avoid choking up the tumbler with too many cases at one time. With the above mix in my tumbler (3 litre tumbler and 1kg pins = 6 US pints + 2.2lb) I was able to tumble 200 no. 7.62 x 38 R revolver cases without a problem. Came out sparkling after a good cold water rinse to separate the pins and the remnants of the washing mix. Air dried. Could use an oven at lowish temperature < 100 degC / 200 degF. Primer pockets were spotless!

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