Tumbling Brass - who deprimes their brass before tumbling

Just asking the question as to who deprimes their brass before tumbling. Do you resize them and then tumble or do you deprime them, tumble them then resize them?

I am wondering how much wear and tear your dies get if you resize dirty brass.
As I am getting into pistols shortly I will be buying a large amount of once fired brass and was thinking of getting a cheap press and a universal depriming die, deprime and then tumble.
I guess this would also apply to rifle brass.

Interested to hear what others do.

Hi mate. I had a vibratory tumbler, but it took hours. And without good results. Then I got a cheap Chinese wet tumbler and it has been worked pretty hard. I love it. I don’t get too crazy on shiny, but 30 minutes per batch and they come out as new. I also use a dehydrator to dry them.

Thing about wet tumbler with stainless steel media, it cleans very well, as well as inside the case and inside the primer pocket. Does it matter? Probably not.

Depends on brass, I sometimes use a universal decapping die. However, 44 and 357, when I use them, I use a lot and doing decapping die and then sizing die is a pain. Especially since most pistol dies are carbide now and require no lubrication… I just run everything as is through a FL sizing die. Then into the tumbler. I also clean and lube a die set after I use them, so there’s really no chance of damage. I have an old bore brush and a blast of Lanox after use.

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I never deprime prior to tumbling in a vibratory tumbler as the media can get stuck in the flash hole and is a pain to remove. Keep your media fresh, whether you use natural such as corn cob or synthetic such as shredded plastic and it works fine. You don’t need your brass shiny just clean of soot. My own method after the range, throw in tumbler, go have coffee, then scotch, clean guns etc. After a few hours run brass through resizing die to size and deprime. This has worked well for me over hundreds of thousands of rounds and several decades of shooting, the most important part is the Scotch, (I believe it is possible to substitute Bourbon, Rum, Gin etc, but if you load Lebel it must be Absinthe) Cheers.


I tend to resize before I wet tumble. The only part of the die that is going to wear if any would be the inner mandrel and they are like $8 or less. I keep the dies clean so there is no build up of any dirt.

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Thanks for that gents.
I currently use a vibratory tumbler but I will be updating that to a wet tumbler soon, more on that in a couple of months :wink:.

I am not into super shinny brass but as long as it is clean I’m happy.

@no1mk3 I am so glad that you added Bourbon as my method Is similar to yours except I skip the coffee. Scotch would be my second choice but I have never found a Rum that I like.

I’m pretty sure he said scotch, @1Fatman. Also, don’t speak of coffee like that. That’s very offensive.

Nah coffee is not good for you, now Milo however is a different story :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Actually, coffee has been proven by many peer reviewed studies to have an obundance of short and long term health benefits. It not being good for you is an old wife’s tale. Milo on the other hand is sugar and milk. Both poison for adults.

I deprime first in a lee universal deprimer die before chucking them in the wet tumbler. if its annealing time i’ll do that and give them another tumble before i load them.

not sure if i’d bother depriming first with bulk stuff for pistols. I probably still would as it doesn’t take long with the Dillon. Spare toolhead with just the deprimer die, can do them as quick as the case feeder can drop them.

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Just lucky I never grew up to be an adult :rofl::rofl::rofl:

@TheDude Thanks for that. The Dillon is on my list of goodies but there are a few things in front of it. The second toolhead set up for depriming is a great idea.

If the brass is really dirty I’ll use the Lee universal decapper. There like $20 bucks. I don’t clean my brass that much. I only wet tumbler with stainless steel media. I prefer with primer out as it cleans the primer pockets fairly well.

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I use a Lee depriving punch, but I don’t tumble. Just a chemical clean. I don’t shoot off many rounds hunting so it’s not much work or time for me.

But I’m about to buy one of thos Lee decapers.

Exactly what I do…

6 posts were split to a new topic: Buying VS reloading ammunition

A question for those of you who use a wet tumbler. I have been reading a few reviews and what other people are putting in to help clean the brass.

One ingredient that keeps popping up is Armour All wash and wax. They say it helps clean and coats the brass with a very thin coat of wax that helps keep the brass shiny for longer.

A few also say it helps in the reloading stage more so with pistol brass. The question is does anyone on here use it as well and does it work?

I use dish washing soap the real cheap stuff and a little bit of citric acid. I would be real wary of using anything that is going to leave any sort of residue on the case. Just a little bit of water on the case can cause you grief. It changes the way the case expands and grips the chamber. I dont remember all the details and would need to go and brush up on all the facts.

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Yep, like leaving oil in the chamber. Brass will not “grip” the chamber well resulting in more rearward thrust on to the lugs.

I imagane straight wall cases would be less of a problem.