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...quite by accident. Maybe I'm the last to figure this out, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.

I recently switched to wet tumbling for cleaning cases. After having refined my routine, I much prefer it do dry tumbling, but that's a topic for a different post. My wet tumbling, however, led me to discover something interesting about case inspection.

You see, part of my drying technique is to bundle a large pile of wet cases into a bath towel, gather up the corners, and toss them around for a minute. One day, as I was dumping them out of the towel, I heard something distinctly different from the normal sound of brass clinking together. I would characterize the normal brass clinking sound as similar to the change rustling in your pocket. But this sound had a distinct "ringing" quality to it. As I spread the brass around, I heard this ringing sound again. I scooped up a handful, tossed it in my hand, and, sure enough, distinct ringing. I started to sort through the handful, and, shazam!, a single case was split lengthwise down one side, and that was the one doing the ringing.

That was a few weeks ago. Last night, as I was tossing another batch, I heard that distinct ringing sound again. I sorted through the pile handful by handful, and, sure enough, another split case (and this one was so subtle I might have missed it during normal inspection.

So, lessons learned:
1. Case splits are probably more common than I imagined.
2. A split case will sing out to you if you just jiggle the pile a little.
3. Stop picking up the rejects Charlie leaves lying aroung at the range. :wink:
 

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WaltGraham,

if you think that Charlie's busy, you oughta see me at any range that i go to. = i always come home with a lot more cases than i arrived with.
i've been known to pick up several hundred on a visit. - mostly .243, .06 & 9mm Parabellum.
(my brother-of-the-heart calls me the "range cleaning detail" & LOL.)

he & i also "mine" the backstop on the days that the local range is CLOSED.
(the last time we did that, i got over 4 five-gallon buckets full to melt. - that's why we can afford to reload so much & shoot it up w/o worrying about money = primers & surplus powder is cheap shooting.)

yours, sw
 

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Charlie Petty,

CHUCKLE!

i don't suppose that you know anyone who has a set of .400 Brown-Whelen Improved forming/reloading dies, do you?
(my "usual source" have none.)

yours, sw
 

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CharliePetty,

i HOPE you're "jerking my chain" cause otherwise i'll WEEP bitter tears!

yours, sw
 

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Since it's well known Charlie uses rifles with strange nomenclature like "obturator" and such and has been know to use sand bags, ballistic plates and a pull cord during tests, I might suspect any brass he left on the range.
Rumor has it Jamie Hyneman looked at the label on one of his MTM boxes and departed for the next county...RAPIDLY...screaming something about burst radius.
Geoff
Who prefers less excitement...in a chamber inches from my own personal visage.
 

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I live but to serve...

I have told several friends, including the good capt. that if I never pick up another piece of .45 brass it is highly unlikely that I will ever run out. I'm pretty sure I still have some I brought home from the USAF.

But I also like to leave some seeds and it warms the cockles of my heart to see the children... it's almost like Easter... oh the joy.

Way back when a good friend and I mined the old police range at CLT. There were so many bullets in there that we had to use a pick axe to break the chunks into carryable sizes.

Back then we shot a lot of PPC and in those days bulk brass was not available so each case was a precious jewel. Split cases were common but until the split was more than half the case length we could load it with care, use a bit of scotch tape to cover the hole, and then peel the tape off as we put it in the cylinder.

So, by comparison, these are the good old days...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmm...it seems that someone resurrected a two year-old thread.

At any rate, it's good to see that the brass market has eased a little these past twenty-four months, as have (it seems) the markets for centerfire ammo, bullets, rifle powders, and most categories of primers. LPP's, pistol powders, and rimfire ammo still have a way to go.

Here's hoping that another couple of years will see rationality returning to these markets.
 

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...quite by accident. Maybe I'm the last to figure this out, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.
ON that different subject, wet is THE way to go. My first tumbler (and I still have it) is a large Lortone that's actually a TUMBLER, not a vibratory. Mine looks just like this: http://www.lapidary-solutions.com/s.../fde07e1c7f27b6029d9db36582245991/5105_1_.jpg

It's a solid rubber drum that seals up water tight. The reloading shop I bought it from had some awesome liquid media that I've never been able to get and I've never seen it's equal. One that supply was gone, I started buying the liquid media from Thumler's and it was pretty decent. I haven't done much reloading in the past 6-7 years because I never have any time. I'm not sure if the Thumler's is still available, I have about 1/2 bottle left from the case I bought about 15 years ago.

I hear that Dawn dish soap and some citrus cleaner combined does a great job, but I've never tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kevin, you're right about wet tumbling. I've done it both ways and much prefer wet. Like anything else there's a learning curve, but once you've climbed it you never want to look back.

The formula I use in a Thumler's is 2 teaspoons of Dawn and a quarter teaspoon (that's right...just a pinch) of LemiShine for a full drum. I can't imagine any other solution doing any better.

Thumlers seems to have caught on to the fact that their customer base has evolved beyond rock polishers to reloaders and have come out with an "extreme" model specifically for stainless tumbling. It's bigger than the Model B, and it's black. I think it's pretty handsome:

Stainless Tumbling Media | Thumler's Tumbler High Speed Model B

Larry Potterfield also seems to have noticed the trend, because MidwayUSA has come out with their own rotary tumbler under the Frankford Arsenal brand:

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Case Tumbler
 

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I don't know now big that is, but I can get 600 .45 cases in my Loretone and 900 9mm; that's a lot of tumbling in one batch. And typically only takes 45 minutes, as opposed to the hours it takes for dry media.

I've always done dry media in my large Dillon vibratory, I'll have to check and see if it's water tight for wet, I'm betting it is.
 

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Back then we shot a lot of PPC and in those days bulk brass was not available so each case was a precious jewel. Split cases were common but until the split was more than half the case length we could load it with care, use a bit of scotch tape to cover the hole, and then peel the tape off as we put it in the cylinder.
I recall an ejected empty at an IPSC match that left a vapor trail. Once the stage was over, there was a mad dash by many to find that case. It had a split in the web area and was a marvel to see. The finder gave it back to me and suggested I could still use it if I'd switch to a stick type powder.

Vuz dat you Charlie?
 
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