Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Process question (order of operations)

    My Christmas haul included a lot of reloading tools. This morning I was filling in the missing blanks (media and solution for tumbler, etc...) and got to thinking about how I should work my reloading order.

    I'm going to be using a progressive, so ideally, I'd start with cleaned and inspected and measured brass with no primers, run them through the press to get finished ammo.

    But how to get to that start.

    If I tumble, and inspect and measure, then run through, it will de-prime and re-prime with dirty (or at least, not cleaned) primer pockets.

    I could also tumble, run through the press with only the de-prime & resize die, then tumble again with steel shot and inspect and measure before running them through the press again with no resize die.

    Or I could get a manual de-primer, de-prime, tumble with shot, inspect and measure (maybe sort for midway between trim-to length and max length?), then run through press with resizing die included in the full setup.

    I know I don't want to run through the resizing / de-priming die without tumbling.

    What would be the best process?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    Are you loading for rifle or pistol? I do 90% pistol. From what I've experienced it really doesn't matter with pistol. The ammo just doesn't make that much of a difference. I just run it through the tumbler and then inspect each case as I load it into the press. I don't bother measuring the cases or cleaning the primer pockets. Rifle I don't do enough to offer any good advice.
    "Take the guns first, then worry about due process" Trump

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    I was planning on doing both, but primarily pistol.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    This is want I do.

    I deprime all my fired brass, rifle & pistol, with a lee decapping tool then I clean the brass.

    I separate all commercial brass from military brass. For hunting and match ammunition I will separate the rifle brass by manufacturer.

    I resize all of my rifle brass on my Mec single stage press then trim the brass if required. If I am loading rifle match or hunting ammunition I use my single stage press for the entire reloading process. If I am reloading rifle ammunition for plinking I will reload them on a dillon progressive press after I resize them on my single stage press and trim them. I never use my dillon presses to resize rifle brass.

    I reload all of my pistol ammunition on my dillon progressive stage presses.

    Just how I do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    Quote Originally Posted by MD66948 View Post
    This is want I do.

    I deprime all my fired brass, rifle & pistol, with a lee decapping tool then I clean the brass.

    I separate all commercial brass from military brass. For hunting and match ammunition I will separate the rifle brass by manufacturer.

    I resize all of my rifle brass on my Mec single stage press then trim the brass if required. If I am loading rifle match or hunting ammunition I use my single stage press for the entire reloading process. If I am reloading rifle ammunition for plinking I will reload them on a dillon progressive press after I resize them on my single stage press and trim them. I never use my dillon presses to resize rifle brass.

    I reload all of my pistol ammunition on my dillon progressive stage presses.

    Just how I do it.
    Why not resize rifle brass on the Dillon press?

    I have never heard anyone express any concern over cleaning pistol brass before depriming. I have heard of folks who never even clean their brass before reloading and that those folks never had to worry about anyone wanting to 'borrow' any of their ammo either. Being new to reloading myself I cannot offer anything based on experience yet but I would wonder about cleaning media getting caught in the primer pocket more than I'd be concerned that it's not clean in there.
    Stupidity is inherited, ignorance is a choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    I never clean after de-priming, because getting media out of primer pockets is a giant pain the the ass. Unless you're reloading super precise rifle ammo, or are having trouble with tight fitting primers don't bother with the primer pocket at all.
    NOBODY NEEDS ASSAULT SPEECH

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Folsom, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    I’ve never seen any reliable evidence that cleaning primer pockets improves accuracy at all. I don’t do it.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2014
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    I only load pistol (well I touch shotgun like once a year), but I clean using an ultrasonic cleaner, then dry using a dehydrator, then reload.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Quakertown, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    Sounds like de-priming prior to the progressive isn't an issues.

    So, the tentative plan is:

    Tumble, inspect and measure for length (I'll probably set up a go/no go snap gage). Load up on the progressive and go from there.

    (Yes I'm getting a media separator for when I use the steel pins, and I'll probably let them dry for a minimum of 24 hours before inspecting.)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Process question (order of operations)

    I sense that lead poisoning is a real threat when reloading so keep that in mind during your cleaning process. If you have public sewer any waste water can just be put down the drain, if you have on-site septic I would advise against contaminating your ground by putting waste water down the drain. If you are using a dry media cleaner beware of the dust in the media after cleaning. Wear a respirator and keep your fingers out of your mouth.
    Stupidity is inherited, ignorance is a choice.

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