Wet tumbling without pins

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Charles L. Cotton
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Wet tumbling without pins

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:23 pm

I looked at wet tumbling my brass, but chose not to switch because of the extra work removing pins. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing very good results wet tumbling without the SS pins. I may have to give this a try. The results seem to be better than what I'm doing now, even inside, and in far less time.

Some people say the inside is not as clean as it is with pins, while others claim otherwise. Is anyone wet tumbling without pins?

Chas.



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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby Richbirdhunter » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:38 pm

I use an ultrasonic cleaner for my brass, it’s not good as new but it’s good enough for the range.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby WTR » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:08 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I looked at wet tumbling my brass, but chose not to switch because of the extra work removing pins. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing very good results wet tumbling without the SS pins. I may have to give this a try. The results seem to be better than what I'm doing now, even inside, and in far less time.

Some people say the inside is not as clean as it is with pins, while others claim otherwise. Is anyone wet tumbling without pins?

Chas.





I was taught reloading in the 80s by a man who had been a Hornady factory shooter at one time. He only wet tumbled with Wisk ( at the time....now Persil) and Cream of Tartar. I tumbled a lot of cases with a tables spoon of Wisk and a 1/2 table spoon of Cream of Tartar ( used a three drum rock tumbler) and they came out great.

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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby Beiruty » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:32 pm

I am now using the crashed SS shreds. They work fine, nothing to get stuck in the case or primer's pocket. Like new result. I use McGuire Car wash and wax, and 1 oz of Lyman's Turbo Sonic
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ASWnCElBoZ9YwERF2

Downside, they came mixed with non-SS so you have to deal with rust in the water for while
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby flechero » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:53 pm

I normally use pins but have run a couple batches without them over the past year, once to satisfy my own curiosity and again out of pure laziness. They came out pretty clean- the trick (I think) is to use the hottest water you can if no pins.

I decapped a couple hundred today... If I have time tomorrow, I will run them w/o pins, taking a before/after pic to give you an example... not sure it's going to be any more informative than the video, but it will be an honest run and feedback.


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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby george » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:00 pm

I have been cleaning without pins for a couple of years now. I do not have a tumbler.

I have a Dillon media separator, and the plastic tube that comes with it. CM-500.

I fill the basket with brass, and the bucket with water. Add a little car soap and a little citric acid. Spin the handle a few times. Go back to reloading. Come back 15 minutes later and spin the handle a few more times. Go load some more. After about an hour or so, the brass is nice and shiny. I do a few rinses with water to get rid of the soap residue.

Works for me. I was always paranoid of leaving one of those pins in a case and ruining an expensive barrel.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby krieghoff » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:30 pm

I too have been curious as to not only how the brass looks without using pins but with pins as well. I have always been partial to walnut or cob media. When I started reloading in 1963 I was a junior in high school. I had a small rock tumbler I had built out of pipe so I used it for the brass. At the time I used crushed pecan hulls I got free from a pecan shelling business a few miles down the road. It took time but the brass looked fine and it worked. Through time I have worn out several case cleaners including the Dillon FL-2000. The motor finally gave way several years ago so I bought the Dillon CV2001. I use it to this day and love the way it works. That being said I finally went to the dark side tonight and ordered the Frankfort Arsenal tumbler. I have somewhere around 10K rounds of once fired .45 brass that I intend to split between the Dillon and the water machine to compare the results over several loads each. The only thing that I am not sure of is just how I am going to dry the brass to keep it from spotting. That’s a step I am not used to. With the Dillon, you dump the brass into the squirrel cage, rotate a few turns to shake out the media and you are ready to load. I guess I will find out soon enough if I like the new machine or not. It’s the “extra” steps that I will have to work my way through. Hopefully my results will be worth the extra effort.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby PBR » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:55 am

I have wet tumbled a ton without pins or shavings and all come out clean and nice. Did they come out cleaner and better with pins? Well yes but I'm not that ocd so they dont have to be spotless. Not sure if you remember Mr. Cotton but you came and bought a few thousand 9mm or 40cal cases some time back. They were wet tumbled with water, soap and lemishine only no pins. Main difference notice is primer pockets other than that rest of brass comes out just as clean to me.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby PBR » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:41 pm

Mr. Cotton if you would like to give it a try your welcome to pick up my Frankford Arsenal unit. I have the pins that came with the kit and then shavings or you can give it a shot without them. Your more than welcome to come pick it up and use it to test and give a good run through to make your mind up. I'm not using it nor will be using it for some time, I'm all loaded out and up. It's just sitting there collecting dust.



edited: Or if you would like you can drop off some brass and will clean it for you without the pins so you can see. Goes for anyone in the Houston area if your wondering about wet tumbling or would like to check it out more -- with or without pins
Houston, Tx.
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Received Pin# - Feb. 25th
IN HAND!!!!!! June 9th

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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:37 pm

PBR wrote:Mr. Cotton if you would like to give it a try your welcome to pick up my Frankford Arsenal unit. I have the pins that came with the kit and then shavings or you can give it a shot without them. Your more than welcome to come pick it up and use it to test and give a good run through to make your mind up. I'm not using it nor will be using it for some time, I'm all loaded out and up. It's just sitting there collecting dust.



edited: Or if you would like you can drop off some brass and will clean it for you without the pins so you can see. Goes for anyone in the Houston area if your wondering about wet tumbling or would like to check it out more -- with or without pins


That's a very generous offer and I may take you up on that when the flood damage repairs are complete. Right now only one car and a mosquito can get in my garage. Hopefully, the home will be finished in a month, then the garage after that.

Let me know if you have more 9mm or 45 ACP brass to sell.

Thanks,
Chas.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby PBR » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:37 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
That's a very generous offer and I may take you up on that when the flood damage repairs are complete. Right now only one car and a mosquito can get in my garage. Hopefully, the home will be finished in a month, then the garage after that.

Let me know if you have more 9mm or 45 ACP brass to sell.

Thanks,
Chas.


No problem, I have some 45 and 9mm you can have. It's not a bunch probably few hundred each or so. Will dig it out I packaged it all up and stored all the reloading stuff since have nothing to play with right now.
Houston, Tx.
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Received Pin# - Feb. 25th
IN HAND!!!!!! June 9th

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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:50 am

PBR wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:
That's a very generous offer and I may take you up on that when the flood damage repairs are complete. Right now only one car and a mosquito can get in my garage. Hopefully, the home will be finished in a month, then the garage after that.

Let me know if you have more 9mm or 45 ACP brass to sell.

Thanks,
Chas.


No problem, I have some 45 and 9mm you can have. It's not a bunch probably few hundred each or so. Will dig it out I packaged it all up and stored all the reloading stuff since have nothing to play with right now.

Don't get it out now, unless you need to get rid of it. I won't be doing anything for at least 6 weeks or more.

Thanks,
Chas.
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Re: Wet tumbling without pins

Postby warnmar10 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:32 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I looked at wet tumbling my brass, but chose not to switch because of the extra work removing pins. ...
With stright wall pistol cases the only extra work is tumbling the shell casings under water. Water breaks the surface tension and the pins fall right out.

My wet separator is a fully enclosed model from Cabella's, ~$37. I fill the bottom half with water, the basket with cases, close the cover and spin. My process is 25 slow but deliberate rotations in each direction.

At that point the cases are rinsed and ready for drying and you would have had to rinse them and dry them anyway.

I damp dry my cases by laying them in a hammock of an old beach towel. Lay the towel flat, place the brass in the middle. Gather the corners, the two near ones in each hand. Raise and lower your hands in a reciprocal motion tumbling the brass in the bottom. Do this for 30-40 seconds. At this point I hose them down with some home made Dillon case lube. This serves only one purpose and that is to keep the cases shiny for months before they start to noticeably tarnish. I tumble them in the towel for another 30-40 seconds then dump them on a sheet pan and into a 120° oven until dry.

I checked every single case from the first three batches and found not a single pin in a case, flash hole or primer pocket. I no longer bother.

That Cabella's separator is of maddeningly low quality and I will replace it in an instant when I find a better one. It had the advantage of a fairly low volume lower basin and it was in stock. I have a Dillon that I like very much but its basin is huge it would be like filling a bathtub.

With bottlenecks, it's complicated.


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