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  #1  
Old 06-23-2019, 6:15 AM
Rocketrob Rocketrob is offline
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Default Brass Prep - Order of Operations

Good Morning I have learned a lot and recently bumped up my game - equipment wise. AMP annealer, FX120i scale, and 21 Cent neck turning jig - now I have to figure out how and in what order to use it.

On brass prep I have listed the various steps below in my assumed correct order of operations, would you be so kind to let me know if it would be advantageous to do anything before or after what I am guessing about?

Assuming freshly fired cases or new cases w/o basic case prep
1. Tumble cases for a light cleaning
2. Lube and deprime and full size resize cases (assumed single die operation)
3. clean primer pockets and debur primer hole flash from inside
4. Trim case to "cut size" if needed
5. Anneal Cases
6. Neck concentricity check
7. Turn necks/recheck concentricity
8. Weigh/Capacity check cases, blow out w/compressor

Would I be better annealing earlier before full size resizing? and do the other operations order make sense?

Thank you for helping to clear the fog!
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2019, 7:48 PM
RestrictedColt RestrictedColt is offline
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If you anneal before sizing I think the cases would last longer and be a little easier to resize.
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2019, 4:29 AM
Dragginpanda Dragginpanda is offline
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I don’t reload rifle, but I wash the brass again after depriving.

I hear all the time how it’s not needed, but I like to do it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 7:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketrob View Post
Good Morning I have learned a lot and recently bumped up my game - equipment wise. AMP annealer, FX120i scale, and 21 Cent neck turning jig - now I have to figure out how and in what order to use it.

On brass prep I have listed the various steps below in my assumed correct order of operations, would you be so kind to let me know if it would be advantageous to do anything before or after what I am guessing about?

Assuming freshly fired cases or new cases w/o basic case prep
1. Tumble cases for a light cleaning
2. Lube and deprime and full size resize cases (assumed single die operation)
3. clean primer pockets and debur primer hole flash from inside
4. Trim case to "cut size" if needed
5. Anneal Cases
6. Neck concentricity check
7. Turn necks/recheck concentricity
8. Weigh/Capacity check cases, blow out w/compressor

Would I be better annealing earlier before full size resizing? and do the other operations order make sense?
Agree with Panda, in that you need a second tumble to remove lube (unless you use something like Hornady One-Shot, or don't mind sticky hands from handling lubed cases.) That would be item 3 and kick everything else down further.

You'll also need to debur and chamfer the case mouths if you don't use one of the 3-way cutters, so that should be #5 on your list.

Annealing is to condition the neck and minimize springback from work-hardened brass. It makes more sense to anneal before sizing if you are looking to get the necks consistent, especially if you are annealing after every firing. If you prioritize consistent seating force over neck consistency, then after is fine. Be aware that there are shooters find that brass seems to stabilize one or two firings *after* annealing (I'm not one of them; just passing info along.)

Does your chamber require necks to be turned? Factory chambers are generally generous enough that turning or not won't make any difference on paper. If you don't need to turn necks to get the cartridge chambered with a couple thousandths to spare, it's likely a waste of time (though it's also a one-time waste of time - up to you.) You will need to expand the brass prior to turning, then debur the outside of the case mouth and resize after turning, so you'd want that earlier in your process. You'll do this once per piece of brass, prior to your first or second firing. If you need to re-turn brass, something else is probably wrong.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2019, 7:42 AM
RestrictedColt RestrictedColt is offline
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I generally clean after decapping to get the pockets & flash holes clean, even if it doesn't truly matter. If I were going to the extreme of annealing, neck turning, flash hole deburring there's no way I could feel good about having dirty pockets.

More importantly in OPs situation; cleaning would remove any stray bits of brass generated during the cutting operations and further smooth the cut surfaces so it should be done after any cutting is done. It would be my last step before loading, after that much work I'd want the prettiest shiniest brass possible.
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2019, 9:42 AM
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Default Brass Prep - Order of Operations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketrob View Post
1. Tumble cases for a light cleaning
2. Lube and deprime and full size resize cases (assumed single die operation)
3. clean primer pockets and debur primer hole flash from inside
4. Trim case to "cut size" if needed
5. Anneal Cases
6. Neck concentricity check
7. Turn necks/recheck concentricity
8. Weigh/Capacity check cases, blow out w/compressor
Here's how I do it

(if the brass is really dirty, like I shot in the rain or mud I'll clean it first, then do it a second time. Most of the time, brass fired at the range, isn't dirty enough for me to worry about my dies)
1. Anneal
2. Lube/FL Size/Deprime
3. Trim if needed, clean/uniform primer pockets, and deburr flash hole (the flash hole only needs to be done one time. After you've deburred it, its fine for the rest of its life.)
4. Tumble (this way I'm only cleaning brass once, and I'm getting all the shavings out as well)
5. Ready to load

Now if I was turning necks, I'd do that around the trimming stage. But I also buy good brass, like Lapua that doesn't really need to have the necks turned. If your shooting a factory barrel and chamber, unless your brass case mouths are way out of center, you're not going to gain much here at all.

Again buying good brass, I'm not going to sit here and sort cases by weight/water capacity, or any other method. If your trying to save money by using cheap brass (which I don't think you are considering the tools you have listed) your going to spend way more time bringing that brass up to par then the savings worth.

With the two above steps, ask yourself why you're doing them. Are they really needed for you? Or are you just buying into doing them because lots of others on the internet do them.

If you think that spending all this extra time at the bench is going to increase your hit rate or shrink your groups I think your wrong. I mean this as nicely as possible, but most guys can't shoot well enough in the first place to sit here and tell the difference between groups with sorted cases and groups without. The margin of error all this extra work puts in, shrinks maybe 5% at best. Make wind call that is off by 1-2 MPH and you miss plates. Rush a shot or not having your NPA set correctly, you miss the target.

Just food for thought. I listened to some top shooters that asked these same questions and it really made me think about my own shooting/reloading.

Last edited by NorCalFocus; 06-25-2019 at 3:27 PM..
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2019, 8:24 PM
moxford moxford is offline
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I have the Lee Universal de-priming die, so I don't really care if it gets dirty.

1. Deprime
2. Wet-tumble (pins + dry)
3. Lube
4. FL size
5. Expander mandrel pass
6. Trim
7. Wet-tumble again (pins + lemishine + dry)

The only annoying part is drying the brass twice. When I had a truck with a bed-cover I'd lay out a shirt or two in the bed when I got to work and parked in the sun... spread the brass out and it would be dry when I came out of work in the evening. Lemishine to make 'em pretty.

I don't anneal (yet), but for me that would right after cleaning (so 2.5)

-mox

Last edited by moxford; 06-24-2019 at 8:26 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2019, 6:23 AM
Rocketrob Rocketrob is offline
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Wow, All great information! Thanks guys. I need to reread all posts a few more times!
Thank you all!
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2019, 8:21 AM
JackEllis JackEllis is online now
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If I’m starting with range brass, I’ll wash it after decapping with a universal decapping die. Tumble a bit after size/debut/chamfer to get the lube off and capture stray brass shavings. I don’t bother with turning necks or annealing. Being able to deal with the wind is a bigger factor that making relatively small improvements in the consistency of my ammunition, at least for the time being.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestrictedColt View Post
More importantly in OPs situation; cleaning would remove any stray bits of brass generated during the cutting operations and further smooth the cut surfaces so it should be done after any cutting is done. It would be my last step before loading, after that much work I'd want the prettiest shiniest brass possible.
There is some data around that says there's a possibility of peening the necks when wet tumbling. The end result is a case neck with a sort of mushrooming at the mouth of the case, which will affect seating force. I've seen it once; prompted me to load up my tumbler with a second batch of pins in a bid to minimize cases beating against each other. I've now gone away from wet tumbling my precision brass, so it's not an issue for those.


Quote:
Again buying good brass I'm going to sit here and sort cases by weight/water capacity, or any other method.
NorCalFocus; I assume you missed a "not" in that sentence somewhere?
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2019, 12:47 PM
moxford moxford is offline
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Peening, if any, would be superficial and likely wouldn't make a difference at all, because the deeper layers wouldn't be affected like a high-velocity process.

I'm curious about the mushrooming, though. What tumbler, what speed, and for how long? That's a large amount of force to actually deform the cases, especially if you have a decent amount of water in the tumbler slowing down the velocity of the individual pins/cases inside. Not saying it couldn't happen but ... interesting.

-mox
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Old 06-25-2019, 1:09 PM
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Here's my process.

1. De-prime with Frankford Arsenal Hand de-priming tool
2. Ultrasonic clean for 45-120minutes, depends how much brass.
3. Bake in De-Humidifier for 2-3hrs @ 131*F, or longer depending how much brass
4. Anneal with AMP
5. Collet Neck size with Lee Collet Die (This may lengthen the neck and overall length)
6. FL Bump size with or without Neck Bushing (This will set shoulder back and shorten overall case length)
7. Check Case overall length and Trim if necessary (I do this now since the case is dirty due to the Imperial Wax. The Wax may also help smooth out trimming.)
8. Back to the Ultrasonic cleaner.
9. Back to De-Humidifier Bake @ 131*F for 2-3hrs
10. Dry tumbler. this helps add wax and any leftover carbon to the neck for easy/consistent seating. (I may skip this step and start using Imperial Dry Neck Lube with the Ball media. this should achieve the same thing)
11. Prime and Load.

Last edited by DDRH; 06-25-2019 at 1:12 PM..
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2019, 3:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divingin View Post
NorCalFocus; I assume you missed a "not" in that sentence somewhere?

Yes you would be correct. I’ll edit my post.
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Old 06-25-2019, 8:30 PM
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Are you shooting a bolt gun or semi auto?

For target shooting with a bolt, I don’t full length resize. No need to work the brass and to factory spec as I am not going to shoot it in multiple guns.
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2019, 5:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Are you shooting a bolt gun or semi auto?

For target shooting with a bolt, I don’t full length resize. No need to work the brass and to factory spec as I am not going to shoot it in multiple guns.
Important point I have not considered. Shooting/loading bolt action in 300 RUM (elk) 6.5Gap4s (antelope) and .17 Hornet (varmint).
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Old 07-02-2019, 9:52 AM
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In my progressive, for handgun straight walled(ish) cases, I tumble and load. Rifle bottleneck cases get sized then tumbled again.
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Old 07-16-2019, 8:26 PM
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You have to full length size so your necks are all at there maximum length before trimming to there final length.
You neckturn only after trimming so your cutter goes to the same place on the shoulder each time.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:10 AM
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Lazy method (not going for sub sub MOA accuracy):

Dry tumble
Lube, resize with X-die.
Dry tumble

Use it 🤣
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Old 07-17-2019, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divingin View Post
Agree with Panda, in that you need a second tumble to remove lube (unless you use something like Hornady One-Shot, or don't mind sticky hands from handling lubed cases.) That would be item 3 and kick everything else down further.

You'll also need to debur and chamfer the case mouths if you don't use one of the 3-way cutters, so that should be #5 on your list.

Annealing is to condition the neck and minimize springback from work-hardened brass. It makes more sense to anneal before sizing if you are looking to get the necks consistent, especially if you are annealing after every firing. If you prioritize consistent seating force over neck consistency, then after is fine. Be aware that there are shooters find that brass seems to stabilize one or two firings *after* annealing (I'm not one of them; just passing info along.)

Does your chamber require necks to be turned? Factory chambers are generally generous enough that turning or not won't make any difference on paper. If you don't need to turn necks to get the cartridge chambered with a couple thousandths to spare, it's likely a waste of time (though it's also a one-time waste of time - up to you.) You will need to expand the brass prior to turning, then debur the outside of the case mouth and resize after turning, so you'd want that earlier in your process. You'll do this once per piece of brass, prior to your first or second firing. If you need to re-turn brass, something else is probably wrong.

By no means can I claim the experience of the others that have responded. Like OP I am trying to learn from all of them. But my understanding of the question asked by OP, the issue annealing before or after resizing, I would add the comment that AMP recommends annealing prior to resizing at page 7 of the manual -- for whatever that's worth.
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Old 07-18-2019, 6:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxford View Post
Peening, if any, would be superficial and likely wouldn't make a difference at all, because the deeper layers wouldn't be affected like a high-velocity process.

Peening is the action that damages the case. Mushrooming of the metal at the case mouth is the result. Sort of like a chisel that been beaten on too much.

It's the mouth of the case that gets peened, causing a thickening of the brass right at the case mouth. The extra thickness on the exterior of the case is not critical unless it deforms enough to cause chambering problems. The extra thickness on the interior of case mouth, however, really screws with seating force.

When it happened to me, it was a fairly full load of once-fired, fully prepped .308 brass in a Thumlers AR-12 with 5 lbs of pins and filled up with water. Run for about 3 hrs, as I recall. I suspect that after neck turning, chamfering, and deburring, the reduced thickness at the neck made it more susceptible to damage. Oddly, I had run the same stuff many times before and never had a problem.

In any case, I added another 5# of pins after that incident (but also moved away from wet tumbling my bolt rifle brass, and I don't shoot AR's too much anymore.)
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Old 07-19-2019, 1:50 PM
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I will typically tumble, anneal, lube, size, trim, deburr, light tumble, and reload on progressive for target loads...… shoot and repeat.
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Old 07-20-2019, 7:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert101 View Post
I will typically tumble, anneal, lube, size, trim, deburr, light tumble, and reload on progressive for target loads...… shoot and repeat.
Same here, except I lightly tumble first, just to get the crap off the brass and save my sizing die, then I tumble for a while later after everything else and store for when I'm ready to load.
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Old 07-21-2019, 2:49 PM
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wash in soapy water, rinse, dry
lube
punch primers and resize
size and trim
tumble
prime
charge
projectile
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