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Dry pin tumbling ?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Hangfire, Jun 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM.

  1. Hangfire

    Hangfire Sharpshooter

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    I've been dry tumbling with a 50-50 mix of corncob and walnut since hector was a pup and it's always done a fair enough job but seeing pics here and other places of bright and shinny inside and out of wet pin tumbled brass has got me to thinking.

    Not lazy but I don't want to go through the extra steps I've seen on Youtube videos of rinsing the brass and then waiting for it to dry.......just wanting to tumble, sift and reload as I've always done.

    Don't know but it seems like to me that stainless pins would have a tendency to peen the brass......that a problem ?

    So can brass be pin tumbled dry and if so where would I start as far as getting geared up ?
     
  2. BReeves

    BReeves Sharpshooter

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    Good post that I will be following. Going to be needing to clean my 45Colt brass when I run out of new cases to reload.
     
  3. RickN

    RickN Sharpshooter

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    I have wet pin tumbled many, many thousands of cases and I would be very wary of doing it dry. The water helps carry off the crud that comes out of the cases plus the Dawn and Lemishine help clean and make the brass bright.
     
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  4. Oklahomabassin

    Oklahomabassin Sharpshooter

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    If you don't want the extra labor, just continue using corn cob and/or walnut in a vibratory tumbler.

    For some reason, I feel that the fluid in a liquid rotary tumbler is important. Maybe somewhat helps as lubrication, cushion, and to keep some particles suspended so they are deposited in smaller nooks and crannies.
     
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  5. Fyrtwuck

    Fyrtwuck Sharpshooter

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    I used to wet tumble with pins. The brass turned out really clean, but it created other problems.

    Separating the pins from the brass.
    Even if I used a big magnet there were always pins I had to remove one by one. I stopped pin tumbling rifle brass because I started finding pins that had been left behind after I thought I had them all out.

    Brass was too clean.
    I started having problems with the brass sticking to the case mouth expander/powder die on my Dillon 650. After reading a few articles and talking to Dillon, I found that the brass was too clean and removing the lubricity (sp?) of the brass was causing it to stick. I was told I had to take an extra step to lube the insides of the case necks.

    Drying the brass.
    After cleaning, I would boil some water and rinse the brass then pour it out to let it air dry. This seem to work.

    Now I still wet tumble after Decapping the brass without pins. I use a Frankford Armory rotary tumbler with a couple of small squirts of Dawn dish soap and 1 9mm case full of lemishine. After tumbling I rinse with hot tap water, shake the brass to get the majority of the water out and then throw it all in a media tumbler.

    It still comes out clean and dry and now loads without sticking.
     
  6. Aries

    Aries Sharpshooter

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    I've never heard anyone try it, and my gut feeling is if it worked someone would be doing it. swampratt will know if anyone here does, that guy tests *everything*. LOL
     
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  7. Cowbaby

    Cowbaby Sharpshooter

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    Use dish liquid and a squirt of lemishine and no pins if I clean at all. Sometimes I just brush the neck out and go but I take care of my brass and rarely use mixed heads or range stuff other than Lake CIty occassionally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 10:20 AM
  8. RickN

    RickN Sharpshooter

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    Some tips I learned thru the years of cleaning brass for you guys. Wet tumble in the hottest water you can. I used a tablespoon of plain blue dawn and a teaspoon of Lemishine. If your brass is too clean, cut how long you tumble it.

    Rinse in cold water. Once well rinsed I would place the brass neck down in plastic ammo trays on a towel and leave them overnight. Rifle brass I would then tumble in corncob media for the extra shine and because the polish left a slick coating on them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 12:55 PM
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  9. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    It is just eye candy and heavy stainless does peen the brass a bit.
    I bought stainless pins that were kind of long and those peened the brass to the point I could see it and it did not feel slick.
    I tried BB's in my vibratory with walnut.
    Do not do that.
    Cleaned no better and left some sort of metal dust that stuck to my fingers and everything else.

    I bought glass beads very small ones to use in the vibratory.
    I had to get a 50lb sack of them and that was expensive.

    You could run your hand into the bag of glass and it felt like silk.
    The cases took forever to clean in those glass beads but they felt like silk also.
    8 hours of vibrating to get clean and still not as clean as pins.

    I tried wet pins in my vibratory.
    Yea that was a mess and did not work.
    But I have never tried dry pins.

    For pin removal I take 1 case in each hand and clack them together 4 times mouths down.
    At the same time i can look at the primer pocket and see if any pins are stuck in them.

    I use Homemade Copper pins.
    I have always lubed inside the case necks weather it be walnut or pins.

    I hated the dust of the walnut media and rolled all my walnut cases on a bath towel to remove any dust and Qtipped the insides.
    I did dryer sheets and paper towels and car wax and orange peels in the walnut as experiments.
    Orange peels worked best for me.

    I never tried corn cob.

    I will bring you my pin tumbler to use if you want to try it out.
    It is a bit more work than a vibratory.
    Hot days we have today I would lay the brass on the hood of the vehicle on a dark towel to dry.

    Or just lay it on a towel in the house and next day it is dry.
    My rifle brass all gets annealed after tumbling and that helps dry it out.

    Is Accuracy better I will say No not any better.

    Now I did read an article that I am hard pressed to find. It is about throat erosion and carbon left in the case and primer pockets.

    A bench rest shooter would have to rebarrel or set the barrel back a thread or 2 after I think he said 1500 rounds.
    As he had .020" more lead or something like that and he thought the not so clean brass could be the culprit.
    He experimented with pin tumbled cleaned cases that were spotless vs his vibratory or hand wiped cases.
    With the pin cleaned cases he noticed 1/2 the amount of throat or lead wear.
    He mentioned dried carbon is a very hard substance.

    That was the gist of it anyway.
    That got me to wanting to get all the carbon out.

    I do not shoot competition and it should not really matter to me.
     
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  10. Hangfire

    Hangfire Sharpshooter

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    First off I really appreciate everyone's input and the offer from @swampratt for the loan of his tumbler.

    Since it looks like liquid is always involved for pin tumbling and the fact that I don't want an extra step or two I believe I'll do as @Oklahomabassin suggested and just continue to use dry tumbling media as I've always done for now.

    Thanks again for the replies fellas.
     
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