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Thread: Case Preperation - how anal are you?

  1. #1

    Case Preperation - how anal are you?

    A pal has just been round to my place to load himself some 308's. He is fairly new to the sport and has no reloading gear of his own so he uses all mine while I supervise him.

    While he was priming his cases, I continued to prep my 243 wssm cases ready for their next reloading. It was while doing this that my pal strated to rib me over my case preperation routine. Thinking about it, I think he may be right! This is my routine.

    After putting the guns away, I go into the garage to start preping the cases ready for next time.

    1. all cases go in a tub with a solution of case lube. a good roll round, and then each case is deprimed using a universal decapper in the press.
    2. cases are then neck sized only (I f/l resize every 5 reloads).
    3. primer pockets are cleaned using a lee pocket cleaner.
    4. cases are trimmed to length on the pillar drill.
    5. cases have a slight flare put on them using a lee flaring die.
    6. burrs are removed using a lee burr remover.
    7. cases then go in to a solution of "road and traffic film remover" for and hour.
    8. cases are put in double pillowcases and put in the washing machine on a 50 degree wash with non-bio powder (have to be enviromentally friendly )
    9. after rinsing, the pillow cases are put on the radiator to dry the cases out.
    10. when dry, the cases are tumbled for an hour in coconut media with a drop of brasso.

    Exessive? Probably

    What is your case preperation routine? Any different methods? (I know some chaps at the club use a dishwasher, some use commercial machine cleaner etc etc)

  2. #2
    Mr Manc! really !
    I guess its the prep that makes the sharp end work properly !! I have had primer failures , in the past , so I guess all is relevant,I think I have found another use for the washer though, I only get 30 ish cartridges in my sonic cleanser! (will run this one by Mrs Trapper)who will nod and say get on with it ,. Not sure on the
    powder though !
    Q, Are your groupings better on this regime , or is your mates groupings better , having a duller looking cartridge . I am sure this thread will go onto , How I shot a !!! with a dead rusty barrel , and my cartridge was falling apart , I dont know how I got it / or missed , all good fun .(sometimes its good to be PRECISE)

  3. #3
    1. Cases deprimed
    2. Cases annealed using a blow torch.
    3. Cases cleaned using a 5min cycle in an ultrasonic cleaner and stacked to dry.
    4. Cases resized (lubed if full re-sizing)
    5. Primer pockets cleaned using lee primer pocket cleaner (usually not neaded due to untrasonic cleaner being great)
    6. Cases trimmed to length if necessary, deburred, etc.
    7. Cases weighed and separated into lots and stacked ready for re-loading.

  4. #4
    How I prep cases depends on the cartridge, the dies I'm using, and what loads were fired in it. The case I reload for the most is the Hornet, and for that I wipe the brass with a soft dry cloth to remove any dust, neck size in a collet die. I run them on through a Lee Zip Trim where they are trimmed, chamfered and deburred, then polished lightly with #0000 steel wool. (And since I don't let my brass get into the dirt, that is optional) The primer pockets are cleaned and the case necks flared. That's it.

    I don't tumble / clean cases as a rule anymore and have a huge rotary polisher sitting idle in my garage. If cases are kept clean I don't mind then being tarnished. I do clean cases that have been used with black powder: 577 Snider, 45-70, 44-40 and the like. ~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by scotsgun
    7. Cases weighed and separated into lots and stacked ready for re-loading.
    a lot of the benchrest guys do this too. how do you decide on a figure (weight from/to) to start grouping batches? also, do you notice much differency in accuracy between the weight groups?
    i think this could be a new step in my routine!

  6. #6
    unsure if groupings are better with this regime as i have always done it so have nothing to compare it too. my pal shoots a 308 and i dont have one, so no comparison there either.

    i do spend a little longer on the wssm and wsm cases though, as with really hot loads the extraction can be a little stiff sometimes. if i keep the cases and chambers super clean i get no probs

  7. #7
    i used to do alot of target shooting before getting involved in Deer Stalking and i spent alot of time and tax payers money learning to shoot accurately.

    I learned to batch along time ago, but essentially as you use your brass, trim, etc weighing is practically the only way of ensuring a level of consistency once you have weighed the charge, etc.

    We were sent to the armoury once to learn how important it is to achieve a satisfactory uniformity to our ammo. Issued with a vernier, set of scales and micrometer, we were each given a large box of 7.62 and told to record each and every rounds length, dia, seating depth, presence of burrs, weights, etc. We were pissed at the exercise but soon realised its importance when we started recording (working through the box) and realised how lacking in consistency.

    Not only does the practice make a difference to your shooting but even doing it occassionally will identify the odd round which is significantly lighter or heavier then the rest. These rounds i disgard.

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Here's what I do that you do:

    1. Each case is outside lubricated between thumb and forefinger then deprimed and sized using a full-length sizing die in the press. Then the lube is wiped off with a rag.

    3. Primer pockets are cleaned using a a Forster primer pocket cleaner. Or I use a suitably sized and shaped screwdriver!

    I seem to have omitted rather a few steps that you take!

    However I do check cases for "growth" in overall length and if there is any use a Forster trimmer to trim to length. Then de-burr inside and out.

    With jacketed bullets I do not think that flaring the case mouth is required or even desirable.

    When I used cartridges that went through a semi-automatic pistol I would use a case tumbler to clean and polish after each firing.

    Given the massive mechanical advantage that a bolt action has I don't bother. In fact I don't now even own a case tumbler.

  9. #9
    1 Neck Size (No Lube)
    2 Tumble
    3 Prime and Load

  10. #10
    All new cases:
    trimmed to length, case necks sized for neck turning, neck turned, primer pockets uniformed,flash hole deburred, neck sized, chamfered and weight sorted prior to loading for first time. Then fire formed to chamber

    Fired cases
    1. wipe off
    2. tumble - corncob media
    3. trimmed to length
    4. primer pocket cleaned/recut
    3. lube, deprime, and neck size, redding bushing dies
    4. wipe off
    5. prime etc

    Probably the most anal so far but it keeps me happy!!

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