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#5557357 - 01/22/15 07:04 AM case cleaning sonic vs tumbler
mreed Offline
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Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 611
Loc: wise county
Which one would you guys recommend for a beginner? I have priced both, the smaller sonic cleaners are basically the same price as a media tumbler and I won't be reloading much more than 50 cases or so at a time so capacity isn't much of an issue. I read that a tumbler will get the outside of a case clean but won't do much for the primer pocket or the inside of the case, and the sonic will get the whole case clean but it is more of a hassle. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
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#5557380 - 01/22/15 07:21 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Sonic never got the cases as clean as stainless for me. Dont know who said the stainless media doesnt get the inside and the primer pockets clean. That has not been my observation.
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#5557387 - 01/22/15 07:23 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
dee Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 4665
Loc: Red River way
I sonic clean then throw them into the walnut media tumbler.
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#5557421 - 01/22/15 07:33 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
mreed Offline
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Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 611
Loc: wise county
I was referring to the vibratory tumbler that use walnut media, sorry for the confusion. I looked at a Thumbler SS tumbler but I'm not quite ready to spend that much yet. I guess my question should have been what is the most cost effective case cleaning setup for someone who is just starting out?


Edited by mreed (01/22/15 07:41 AM)
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#5557594 - 01/22/15 08:32 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Ah! Then what dee said.

Sonic, then dry them, then run them through a vibratory. That is if you want them to be pretty. I have two methods of drying. One you probably have what you need but it is time consuming. Put a ball needle on a blower hooked to the air compressor and run it in the flash hole to blow the water out of the inside of the case, hold the case with a towel to dry the outside, repeat.

The other option is to use a little toaster oven. Put your cases in a steel, cast iron, or ceramic pan, put them in the toaster oven on 200 degrees or so, and in less than an hour they will be dry. You may cook on some water spots just making a little tarnish, but the vibratory will take care of that.
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#5557606 - 01/22/15 08:36 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
dee Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
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Loc: Red River way
Heck I barely wipe mine down and just throw them in the tumbler.
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#5557712 - 01/22/15 09:23 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: dee]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
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I can't bring myself to put wet brass into media. I envision a paste being created. barf

Could just be in my head.
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#5557734 - 01/22/15 09:31 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: FiremanJG]
RLoving1 Online   content
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Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 2277
Loc: Odessa Texas
Maybe I tumble my brass too much! But corncob media is what I use with polish. I tumble them before I put them through any dies to remove tarnish or debris and inspect to weed them out, size/deprime, then tumble agin and clean flash hole. I use the polish from Cabelas and does decent enough job, had friend using Brasso but told him to stay away from ammonia based cleaners and brass.
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#5557935 - 01/22/15 10:55 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: RLoving1]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
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Loc: Wolfe City, TX
That does a fine job for the outside of the case, but it does not address the inside of the case. Sonic, and stainless scrubs the carbon built up from the outside and the inside of the case, inlcuding the primer pockets.
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#5558038 - 01/22/15 11:36 AM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
dee Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
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Loc: Red River way
I bushing neck size which is easy to see debris after that if dirty I will sonic then tumble fallowed by the body die. Most of my brass stays somewhat clean so it usually isn't a issue.

Throwing them in wet doesn't seem to cause any problems or fix the occasional flash hole blockage.
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#5558184 - 01/22/15 12:50 PM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
blackcoal Offline
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Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 7568
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Clean them by hand if you only have 50 cases. That is the way it was done for many years with shooters getting excellent results. Once you have enough brass then buy a concrete mixer, soap and water and you are good to go.

Don't over complicate a simple procedure. Go back and read some of the earlier articles about reloading, many of the top shooters didn't clean cases. Sonic & stainless media are relatively new, but doesn't mean you have to use them. Matter of fact, some top shooters drive older trucks and use older tractors.
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#5558210 - 01/22/15 01:07 PM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
mreed Offline
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Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 611
Loc: wise county
Thank you guys for the info! I think I'm going to go with a vibratory tumbler with corn cob media. While I'm here I have another question, one of the main rifles I will be reloading for is my .257 Weatherby mag starting out and I've been told to only neck size since the reloads will be for the same gun that they were fired from. When I set my resizing die up I'll need to take the ram all the way up then screw the die down until it touches the ram then back it out a full turn then check the case and keep adjusting down until I see where the neck has been sized but the shoulder is untouched and that will allow me to decap and only neck size correct?


Edited by mreed (01/22/15 01:46 PM)
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#5558353 - 01/22/15 02:17 PM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Neck sizing only is asking for a stuck case or one that is hard to chamber in the first place. Full length size with a .003" bump on the shoulders. There is a special headspace gauge needed for the Weatherbies. Measure a fired case and set the FL die to push the shoulders back .003". You're not overworking your brass, ir is reliable, and it is making all the velocity it can make only flowing the shoulders forward .003" each firing.
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#5558362 - 01/22/15 02:21 PM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
mreed Offline
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Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 611
Loc: wise county
This is what you are referring to correct?

http://ubel.marxiv.com/case-gauges-amp-h...therby-mag.html


Edited by mreed (01/22/15 02:37 PM)
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#5558414 - 01/22/15 02:46 PM Re: case cleaning sonic vs tumbler [Re: mreed]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Yessir
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