Finally, batch processing lots of rifle cases

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by stoatman, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. I finally have a method and equipment to process large quantities of rifle cases (admittedly in batches) in a way that until now I could only do with pistol cases! This finally removes the effort and hassle that were the obstacle to shooting lots and lots of hand loaded 223 rather than just occasionally when I had had the time to trim 100 or so...

    What you need:

    Tumbler, large sieve , bucket , old cushion cover, baking tray, spray bottle, RCBS case lube, alcohol, reloading press (or 2), Dillonprecision motorised case trimmer, full-length size die, large Tupperware container, naphtha, colander or sieve, a small random container, and another old cushion cover.

    1. Tumble the hell out of the cases.
    2. Separate from media using the sieve and the bucket.
    3. Remove the worst of the dust like residue by shaking the cases around in the 1st old cushion cover.
    4. Spread a single layer of cases on the baking tray, and spray with a 2-3% mixture of case lube in alcohol. Let dry.
    5. Run cases through motorised trimmer, then full-length sizing die.
    6. Transfer cases to large Tupperware box, pouring a load of naphtha (available in supermarkets on the continent, it's rather like a cross between white spirit and lighter fuel -- I think the Americans call it white gas). Give it a good shake.
    7. Using the colander, strain the cases.
    8. Give the cases a final shake in the 2nd cushion cover to make sure there's no half-full cases kicking around, and let dry.

    From emptying the tumbler to having several hundred cleaned, trimmed, sized, degreased cases ready to go: 20-30 minutes.

    I shall never use Lee case lubricant again! Nor their case trimmer (unless it's unavoidable -- the Dillon case trimmer is only available for certain calibres...)

    Apologies for the above post, I'm bored and I wanted to share ;)
  2. I don't know if you could use this Aspen fuel instead of Naphtha Aspen fuel LINK
  3. Haven't got a clue what you're talking about, but from your description of the naphtha, would this be the same as Coleman fuel and therefore easily obtainable from a camping shop?
  4. Just looked it up. It is basically the same as Coleman fuel.

    But we get it here in the supermarket extremely cheaply.

    After shaking the cases with it you get quite a lot of sediment -- it also helps dissolve and/or carry away any kak that the tumbling didn't take off. It is best to filter it before returning it to the bottle!
  5. Aspen fuel is the same as Coleman Fuel except for one thing: You can actually afford to buy it and use it.
    If you and your friends have Petrol stoves it is worth buying 5 litres and sharing it out
    5L of Aspen = £14 approx
    5L of Coleman fuel = £25 approx
  6. You've got a Bunker? I just have to make do with a crowded cellar
  7. ancienturion

    ancienturion LE Book Reviewer

    So, SM, how long does the media last and how many cases do you reckon to run at any one time please?

  8. Even cheaper is 'panel wipe' bought from most accessory shops. Use it in my camping stove. Paid about £6 for 5 litres from memory
  9. Cow

    Cow LE

    I appreciate you've got a bit of a lob on over this, but for those who don't know why could you explain?

    Is it a cost + quality thing or just something you like doing?
  10. all three
  11. Cow

    Cow LE

  12. It lasts rather a long time . Once starts to get a little too dusty a bit of baby oil or massage oil drizzled into the running tumbler sorts it out a treat (there are all sorts of expensive proprietary products for doing this, but forget them).

    I can fit about 300 223 cases into my tumbler. I leave that running during the day when I'm at work, and then it takes me about half an hour or so to do the rest of the process in the evening for that batch.

    If I had a Dillon progressive press instead of a hornady I would be able to mount the motorised trimmer and the size die on the same press which would avoid having to run the cases on 2 separate presses. I can't mount it on the hornady because the tool head is too thick.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I think you are getting a bit too detailed for PR style shooting, the ammo should be consistant but only in the same manner as service ammo rather than F class or match.
    My Kiwi mate who travels around the world competing at Match is thoroughly **** at batching cases. It matters when you are looking for the extra V bull at 1200 yards but for PR work I suspect you could chill out a bit. I tumble my brass twice, once in rouge and once in corncob/walnut to clean. I usually do this after resizing with imperial wax but I never have to clean with spirits and havent worried about that since I gave up using RCBS resize liquid lube.
    I know where you are going with this but even in an AR platform F class level OCD is way over the top!
    You need to drink some of that marvellous gin!