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SS pins for tumbling

bsdoylebsdoyle Member Posts: 279 ✭✭
So Im bout ready to jump on the SS tumbling wagon. Do they get stuck in the flash holes and necks of .224 brass. Anyone tumble without depriming???? Thanx


  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    Just talked to a friend tonight that is tumbling with stainless pins.
    He was talking about doing 223s with great results, so I'm thinking you'll be fine with the 224.
  • casper1947casper1947 Member Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The pins can get stuck in the flash holes of any caliber, de-primed or not. It is rare but does happen I would estimate that I have about 1 in 500 (not de-primed) with a pin stuck.

    I remove the primer on the brass I reload before cleaning. I went with SS because I got tired of picking walnut out of the primer pocket.

    I would suggest removing the primer first in that it will greatly reduce drying time. I use trays from commercial ammo (open on the bottom) and put the brass in primer UP. Then take another tray (make a sandwich) and rap them on a hard surface to further remove water and lose pins if remaining. Let dry overnight or use a dryer.

    Regardless, always inspect before reloading. I have had de-cap pins broken when using walnut so do not expect less from SS.
  • Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 13,609 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I never remove the primers before tumbling. That would be an extra step in the reloading process. My press deprimes the cartridge as it resizes it and then seats the new primer.
  • bigborefanbigborefan Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've been using the SS pins since they first came out and they make your brass look better than new inside and out depending on how long you tumble. As far as getting stuck in the body or neck, it's almost none existent. The soapy water makes them all fall out with a little shake. I've used them on small 223 cases all the way to 505 Gibbs with equal results. You will be pleased with the results, trust me.
  • GUNFUNCOGUNFUNCO Member Posts: 2,921 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have the Frankford Arsenal set available from It's also available from Cabelas and Gander Mountain.

    It looks like this...

    I wasn't sure about the quality from looking at it but I took a chance and bought one. I have been very happy with mine so far.

    If you just want clean brass, you don't even have to use the pins-here's what I do for most cleaning with the primers still in the cases.

    Fill the tumbler about 2/3rds full with brass. Add warm water until almost full. Add 2 oz of Dawn dish detergent and add about 2 45 acp cases full of lemi-shine (I use a 2.5cc little plastic scoop from a LEE loader set). Then fill the rest of the way with water and cap. I run it for about 2 cycles of 3 hours each.(This is overkill but I like really shiny cases.) Don't use too much Lemi-Shine or your brass will turn orange (I made this mistake a couple times early on.)

    After tumbling, I rinse in a 2 or 3 gallon pail like the ones laundry soap comes in from Sam's club. I then put it back in the tumbler with the strainer caps and shake and flip it back and forth to get most of the water out.

    I then pour them on a towel on the basement floor and grab the corners of the towel on each end to roll them back and forth in the towel to dry them off and then lay the towel down and spread the cases into a single layer. I then make sure they all lay on their sides. I have one of those high velocity fans running all the time in my basement to keep the air circulating to prevent dampness from the laundry room.

    The fan looks like this...

    and I just point it at the brass on the towel and it dries the brass and the towel out in less than a couple hours.

    I then decap and resize most pistol calibers and they are ready to load.

    If I'm doing rifle loads for hunting or accuracy loads, I clean like above but only run for 1 cycle of 3 hours, then decap, resize and trim the cases and then tumble again with the stainless pins and then dry them again.

    The pins will clean the primer pockets and deburr the case mouths. They will literally look like brand new cases with no residue in the primer pockets.

    I then store them in cardboard boxes and 5 gallon pails but they will tarnish a little over time. (I think you might be able to package them in plastic bags and they might not tarnish if not exposed to air but I don't worry about it too much.

    I have done thousands of brass cases in the last year or so, and the tumbler and media is still working like a charm. If you use the pins, it is a little more work because you have to rinse and shake them over a pail so you don't lose the pins down the drain. I use the big transfer magnet that midway sells to pick the pins up from the bottom of the pail and transfer them into a smaller pail. The transfer magnet looks like this...

    I also keep a cow pill magnet around to throw in with the cases in the towel while I am rolling them back and forth in the towel and the cow pill will pick up any loose pins floating around.

    The wet tumbling absolutely beats the heck out of the old corn cob and walnut shells I used to use to clean my brass. I am still on my first 5 lb bag of pins and I used to go through a lot of corncob media.

    And I almost never have pins stuck in the primer holes, either.
  • casper1947casper1947 Member Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    +100 for the Frankford tumbler.

    I have been using it for about 15 months and am totally satisfied with it. If I remember correctly I paid $175 and it came with 5# of stainless pins.

    The weight limit is 30#. they claim 1000 223's, I don't know about that.

    I got curious about the amounts so I weighed a typical load.

    9# of water
    7# of pins
    6~10 # of brass.

    The amount I clean at one time is actually determined by my dryer (de-hydrator) to use 2 trays. Using 4 trays allows for drying of 2~3 hours before I need the trays again (I have 5 trays). Normally a tumbling cycle is 1:45~2 hours. These are the brass I put up on the auctions side, The brass I reload is only tumbled for 1 hour.

    You can see the results in the photos in my auctions, and the feedback. I am rather proud of .
  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,312 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    S/S pins are the best method I have ever used, I'll never go back!
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