Case Lubrication



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  • Case Lubrication

    I am NOT an experienced reloader!
    A friend of mine has been helping me through many of the gotchas of reloading and showed me how he does his case lubrication prior to resizing.

    He takes a towel or other rag/cloth large enough to completely enclose all the cases he will resize and lays it out on the floor flat.
    He dumps his cases on the towel and then evens the cases out to a single layer.
    He then takes his spray/pump lube and gives them all a good spray.
    He pulls up the edges of the towel and makes a bundle out if of it and shakes them vigorously for a minute or so and thats it. The layer of lubrication gets distributed over the remainder of the cases by the towel and at the same time the wicking effect of the towel leaves only a thin film on the cases. I have adopted this technique and it seems to work pretty good for me.
    He does goes ahead and tumble them again after resizing but I haven't been.

    Does this seem to be a sound procedure?
    Should I tumble after resizing?

  • #2
    Tough call but I would say yes. After sizing I do uniform the primer pockets and de burr the flash holes on new brass and trim to length. On previously prepped brass I just clean the pockets after sizing and trim to length. I do run the cases through the tumbler for about 15 minutes while I clean up my work area and prep for the loading stage. 15 minutes is not much time but it gets the lube off and any residual soot from the inside. I then put the cases in a mixing bowl and give them a light spray with simple green to cut any remaining lube or tumbler dust. I rinse with hot water and dry with compressed air. The cases are spotless and ready to load at this point. Some guys just wipe them off and have great results, I'm a neat freak.


    • #3
      Sounds good to me, a fine coating is all you need. It needs to get a little in the neck as well. What spray is it your using? One-shot works well for me but like I said it must get inside the neck or you will not like it.
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      • #4
        I hold 3 cases at a time between my thumb and forefinger, give'm a shot of one shot and rotate them a half turn and give'm another shot. I give the inside of the die a shot now and then too. works fine for me and have never had to retumble. The one shot dries well.
        "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
        ~ John Quincy Adams


        • #5
          I lay mine 5 at a time on a lube pad and roll them back and forth once.

          What kind of spray lube are you using?

          Your method sounds good to me, and I might try it. I have 100 Federal cases that I am starting to dislike and 100 once fired Winchester cases which I have yet to reload. So far I have been shooting all the cases then siting down and sizing, trimming and deburring all of them. This saves I lot of time in loading as I most always have cases ready to load. Lubing 50 or 100 at a time seems like a nice idea.


          • #6
            resize lube

            Thanks for replies.

            I stayed out using the RCBS pump bottle lube but that ran out a couple of weeks ago and so I picked up a refill. Only problem was that the 'refiller' was actually fairly thick in consistency and designed (I think) to be used with lube pads. In my penny pinching ways I decided that I could thin it out and use it in the pump bottle. The pump bottle smelled something like alcahol so I dumped some of both into the bottle. Gave it a shakes and tried it out. Worked OK so far. It was a lot cheeper than the pump bottle too.

            I am working on the 35 Whelen and 358 Norma Magnum brass right now waiting for my 250g partitions and 280g A-frames to show up. Can't wait to try them out. I'll be loading up some Speer Hot core 250g in the mean time.


            • #7
              NO WAY. (Mostly, because itís not how I doit.)

              I finished preparing 67 ea, 7x57 cases just today.

              * I stood them upright in an old wooden reloading block reserved for this purpose.
              * Sprayed them with Hornady One Shot, every whichaway, at angles soís the lube would enter the necks.
              * After trimming, chamfering, and cleaning PPs etc. I cleaned the lube off with that liquid case cleaning mixture you hear about. Theyíre sitting neck down over the heating vent drying out right now.

              I sometimes apply lube the outsides of cases with my fingers, (Sinclair Lube, or Similar) and apply it where I want it, and put some inside the necks with a Q Tip. That seems to me, a lot easier than the way your friend does it, but anything is probably better than using RCBS Sticky Lube, and those Lube Pads. They collect too much dirt. Maybe, thatís why he came up with an alternate method.

              You need lube on the necks and some on the body, mostly down near the base, and also some on the INSIDE of the necks.

              At least some, perhaps all, loading instructions fail to mention lube inside the necks, and donít stress the need for lube on the BASE, which is a beegest reason for cases stuck in the sizing die.

              Smitty of the North
              Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
              Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
              You can't out-give God.


              • #8
                Not me

                I want my brass clean before I run it through my dies. I therefor clean my brass in a vibrator/tumbler then clean the residue from the cases with rubbing alchohol (blow dry cases) then lube, with spray Canola oil (PAM). I spray the canola oil on a towel and roll the cases on the towel to lube.
                Then resize and and clean the lube off with MEK. Now they are tumbled clean, resized, residue free, and ready to reload.

                Tumbling cases after sizeing allows many primer pockets to become clogged with tumbling media; NOT a good thing. You have to check the pockets and remove the residue manually one at a time.


                • #9

                  When I started reloading I had only the new WSM cases/cartridges adn from what I hear they are really easy on the brass. Not much resizing necessary.
                  Now I am doning a little more traditional type of cases (Whelen & Norma) and may need to watch the resizing a little more closely.
                  I started with the RCBS pump laying them flat on a rag and spraying at an angle towards neck allowing some to get into the inside of the neck as Smitty points out. I would then roll them 180 to get the other side and once this wqas complete I would grab the edges of the rag and roll them back and forth spreading the lube evenly and removing excess.

                  My freind doesn't wash them with soap or chemicals after all the work is done. He just puts them back in the tumbler for a day or two to get them extra shiny.

                  Sounds like tumbling them a second time would be a good idea to get the lube out of the necks. Maybe even after a bath of soapy water. I don't have any of the special cleaner solution but dish soap should work(?).

                  I need to get something going for cleaning the primer pockets. My friend has the RCBS prep center that has attachements for the inside and outside of the pockets and thats what I used on the WSMs. The last round I made with those I just ran a brush in them and that got the gunk out. I don't think a little discoloration will hurt. Maybe thats good enough.

                  The ones I am doing now are brand new and so I don't have any crud to clean out of the primer pockets. The resizer didn't really change the dimensions either. I just wanted to make sure all was right with the cases.

                  The PAM trick really sounds like a great one. Thanks brav01. Sounds easy to use and not too expensive.

                  In preparing for the Whelen I grabbed 20 or so 30-06 roiunds that my son had picked up at the range and ran them through the tumbler with some of my WSMs. I could't believe how much of the grey powder gunk accumulated at the top of tumbler and it turned my media all dark and looking dirty. Some of my WSM cases were pretty corroded as well. Seems I left them in a rag that I had used some Sweets with at least thats what it looked like. Is the grey powder build up in the tumbler normal? I was using RCBS corncob media and the little packet of polishing powder they include with their media.


                  • #10
                    I use a Primer Pocket Uniformer from Sinclair to take care of cases initially, and to clean them thereafter.

                    PP Uniforming is a bootiful thang. I never have a problem getting primers seated below the case head.

                    The only case cleaning I do is on the necks, with steel wool, and sometimes the liquid cleaner I mentioned, to get the lube off. If I have a small batch to load, I just wipe the lube off with a rag, or shop towell for the outside, and clean the inside with a cleaning loop and a cleaning patch.

                    Case Tumblers are for superfluous, IMHO. They offend my sense of propriety.

                    Besides, those SHINY cases reflect the sun and scare off the Caribou.

                    Smitty of the North
                    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                    You can't out-give God.


                    • #11
                      I use carbide dies !

                      I tumble all my brass in walnut shell prior to sizing/deprime! The sequence is sorta like this --1- tumble fired brass -2-blow out the dust with air -3-size and deprime -4- clean flash holes and primer pockets -5- flare cases . then I usually store the prepped cases until I am ready to load ! I seldom use any lube at all ! I do clean my dies though ! Good luck ! and be careful !! Kevin
                      Little bullets might expand ! But big bullets never shrink !
                      When you swim with big fish try not to act like bait !


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