Unsure how to use reloading equip.

Back in the 1970's I did some small scale reloading on a bottom of the line RCBS reloader in .38 special. Nothing very fancy but I was able to do some inexpensive shooting. Now, 30 years later, I was lucky enough to come into some fairly elaborate Dillon reloading equip. I am working on learning about the loader/press but I am in the dark about the case cleaner. It is the pot kind containing what looks like ground corn cobs. It also has what looks llike some old .45 brass. The brass looks weird because it is almost black with green specks in it. I just went ahead and dumped some .38 special cases into it, turned it on and let it vibrate for a few hours. When done I did not notice that the cases were much cleaner. What should I do?

I read the Dillon catalog and it looks like I should order some crushed walnut shells and use that for polishing the .38 cases. In addition, what should I do about cleaning grease, burnt power, etc. off the cases? And should I purchase a primer pocket brush and clean out the primer pocket each time I reload?

Thanks for any help.


  • konamtbikerkonamtbiker Member Posts: 284 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The pot thing you have is called a Tumbler. The crushed corn cob stuff is called Media. If its 30 years old i would go and buy some new media. I recommend the RCBS corn cob media, it will come with a power agent that will polish the cases. As far as cleaning grease and other cleaning materials I would not buy almost always the RCBS media will clean any case just fine. The RCBS media is small and wont get stuck in your flash hole of the case. I would only use crushed walnut media if my cases were severly tarnished. Sounds like your cases are with the green matter on them. That is actually moisture reacting to the brass. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=413893

    As far as the pocket primer brush. I would buy one yes. I use one for every case i reload. Some guys dont clean the pocket. I do becasue i belive the ignition from the primer is more consistant.

    Also i would buy a flashhole deburring tool. It will clean the flash hole from power foul up.

    Hope this helps some.
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490
    edited November -1
    I have used walnut and corn for years but thanks to someone (I can't remember who) on here I tried rice for cleaning and it works great. Walnut and rice work well for cleaning and Corn for polishing. I know several people that just use corn but I think cleaning with walnit or rice for an 1-2 hours and then 1 hour with corn is the best. My brass usually looks as good as new. I would suggest using Dillons or Midway's media polish it helps (you just add a couple of table spoons to the media mix it in and polish away). Remember that when using a Dillon you size/deprime as one step and then prime at the bottom of same step and then the head moves to the belling powder drop stage. You will defeat the quickness of the machine by sizing/depriming and then pulling out your brass to clean the pocket. This concerned me as well when I went to a progressive press. I have a good friend that shot at that time over 100,000 rounds a year and never had a problem with not cleaning the primer pocket. I went with it and I have not had problems either. I do size my 223 brass and clean iff the sizing lube and clean the primer pockets before I put them through the Dillon. I just leave the sizing die out.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Hello I have been loading 5000-7500 rounds of 45ACP on a progressive "STAR" reloader for the past 35 + years. I also have done a lot of testing on Ransom rest for the same time. I shoot NRA Bulls-Eye and need good groups at 50 yards. I like both Rice and Walnut hulls for cleaning cases. . Like every thing time spent vs group size is the key to me . I don't bother cleaning primer pockets as testing both ways showed no improvement "bench rest rifle may vary in results". I load OAL to be about .005-.010 below flush to the end of the hood of the barrel chamber and I don't ever roll crimp " because different case lengths will = different crimps and blown groups size> I use taper crimp with case mouth crimped to .469 + or - . "PRAISE THE HARD-BALL GUN"
  • PearywPearyw Member Posts: 3,699
    edited November -1
    +1 on rice. I also learned that here and have been using it qand Midway polish for several years.
  • tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    Thanks everybody. Sounds like some good advice there. I will heed it. Don't believe I could have obtained it anywhere else.
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