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  • #16
    howdy and welcome

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    • #17
      Wow. So I got started today, sorting and cleaning. I did not finish. There are about 1700 .45 cases, probably about the same of .223 and about 100 each of .40 and 9mm. There's a couple hundred .44 that are nice and shiny, I don't even shoot .44.. I got 600 .45 cleaned up in the tumbler and 200 of the .223. The cases in that box with the corrosion are much better than they look in the picture. It's mostly just the top layer and I did some trial runs soaking them in vinegar which was effective. I'm considering dumping the whole lot in a bucket of vinegar, then washing, drying and tumbling them. I also came across a handful of oddities. About a dozen .223 had splits down the necks. Found a few live rounds and a few duds with primer strikes. There are a bunch of .45 cases in gray or silver, do I toss those? And I found one .22 case that my 4 year old was stoked about because it's 'his'. I fully expected to get farther along today but it's pretty time consuming sorting and counting. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

      I know it's very subjective, but how many rounds do you guys keep in rotation? I don't have a final count yet, but I have to be close to 4000 pieces of brass. And how do you organize these? I have everything in sandwich bags right now but they should probably move somewhere more official, especially if they are loaded up. Just stuff I'm thinking about! Haven't even popped a primer yet!

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      • #18
        My "using" brass is stored in Sterilite containers, medium r large, depending on the amounts. The small boxes are good for cast bullet storage. All are nice and tough, and pretty inexpensive. I buy them at Waltopia. Extra brass I sometimes sell goes in gallon ziplock bags. The greyish cases are probably aluminum, don't other with them. Silver might be nickel plated brass.
        "The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That\'s why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter

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        • #19
          I would buy a Strong Mount for the SDB. I don't like bending over to load. The strong mount lets you stand up so as to watch what your doing. I have 4 SDB's set for MY calibers & loads. 44 mag, 44 Spl., 41 mag, 45 acp. Good loader to learn/start with and Keep! Good Loading!

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          • #20
            The brass is cleaning up nicely, but with a limit of 2-300 rounds in the tumbler it is certainly taking a while. I have tried times of 2, 4 and 8+ hours (overnight) and there does seem to be a correlation with the longer times coming out cleaner. Hopefully in the future this won't be an issue as I won't be regularly processing this quantity.

            The badly tarnished stuff in that box is shining right up. I washed them in vinegar for about 15 minutes and dried them in the oven at 200* for a few hours. I looked them over to check for pitting but they looked pretty solid. I ran them through the tumbler and they came out great. I will check them each for damage from corrosion but so far it looks like most of them are good to go.

            After the wash, going into the oven:
            IMG_20171204_230126660 by rocketaudi, on Flickr

            And after an overnight stint in the tumbler:
            IMG_20171205_231631496 by rocketaudi, on Flickr

            I finished cleaning the .45, though I may run some through again if they were from the short run test batches, I figure I might as well start fresh, right? I noticed that some of the cases have small primers and some have big ones. I vaguely remember this being a thing. I'd say I have less than 10% small primers. Can I reload those using a smaller primer or are those couple hundred not worth it? To be thorough while checking primer sizes, I sorted them by brand. It took a while, but I figured I'd also ask if there was any brand of brass out there that I should be avoiding. And would there be any reason to keep them separated into brand lots or are they the same provided they have the same size primer? There are also silver and gold primers, I'm assuming that's just a color thing? Here's the bulk of the brass bagged and tagged:
            IMG_20171205_165942526 by rocketaudi, on Flickr

            I also have about 100 .45 cases that are shiny silver. They are the closest bag in the above pic. I found some aluminum looking ones too, but these are a suspect for nickel plated brass if I ever saw one. These are usable?

            It will take me the rest of the week to finish cleaning. I have done a fair bit of reading in the meantime, including the manual for the square deal, and I think I'd like to get started with a single stage press. The square deal looks great for production, but I think I'd prefer to be more involved with the process for a while. Plus, as I understand it, a single stage press will offer more flexibility and would generally just always be a good thing to have anyway. I haven't started looking into options here yet and any recommendations on either features or brands, etc would be appreciated. The time is coming soon that I'll need primers, powder and bullets too and I'm sure there will be plenty to consider on those as well.

            I have to prep a work area to mount that press and keep my stuff. I have a solid built-in (by me) bench and shelving in the garage, but it's a bit of a nightmare at the moment. The more I read, the more it seems to me like this is a clear-head, no-distraction, neat-and-clean sort of operation so I'll take some time to make that area functional. I have a picture and I love to share so here you go.. It's a wide shot from a garage discussion but the bench in question is to the left of the yellow chest, buried in nonsense. It's two layers of 3/4" plywood on enough 2x4 framing to hold up the house. Don't judge me on the state of things, I have a 4 year old. I know, it's no excuse.
            IMG_20171110_175657031 by rocketaudi, on Flickr

            And that's the update! Should I pick this up in a thread somewhere other than the introductions? We just kinda jumped in here. And I appreciate everyone's input, thanks again!

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            • #21
              You can go to the learning to handload area, if you want. The bagged brass closest to the camera sure looks like nickel plated. It loads fine, but sometimes nickel plated brass has a shorter life. Seems a bit more prone to spitting at the case mouth. The small primer 45 ACP brass will load fine, but be sure to keep it separated from the standard large primer 45 ACP brass. It is a PITA when it gets mixed together, trust me. Several have commented on that here. Your bench looks like it will work fine for reloading. No comment on the clutter, I DON'T have a four year old, and mine is considerably worse!
              "The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That\'s why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter

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              • #22
                Ok! The tumbler has been running for a full week but the brass is all clean. Total count is 4,444 pieces, mostly .45 and .223. I found a local reloading supplier so I went down and checked it out. Seems to be some knowledgeable folks so I bought a few things and I ordered a rock chucker. I'm going to take this over to the learning to handload section, but I wanted to thank everyone again for the welcome and the help getting started. one more picture for the road:

                2017-12-10_02-46-01 by rocketaudi, on Flickr

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