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Discussion Starter #1
This area of case prep frustrates me so much I finally just stopped doing it entirely. Here's what I've tried so far:

1) Tumble cases as they come off the floor
2) Decap and size
3) Clean primer pockets by hand, one at a time using pocket brush

*I don't have that kind of time and it's tiring.

Next approach, Steps 1 and 2 followed by chucking primer brush in hand drill

*All-metal brushes last about 250 cases, maybe less. Then are junk. It takes too much time.

Next approach, Steps 1 and 2 followed by using Lyman primer pocket cleaning tool

*Tool is a primitive blade-type cutter. It does nothing at all--might as well use harsh language.

Next approach, grind an F letter drill off flat on the end, chuck that into a drill, do Steps 1 and 2 above then, by hand, slowly turn the modified drill bit into the primer pocket.

*Cleans pocket well, especially the bottom of the pocket, and leaves a nice finish. Can't do this by hand and of course it's not the safest thing to do. Too tiring on the hands and far too time-consuming.

This is senseless. I feel the need for a jig, a drill press, and a chuck mounted on some kind of spring-loaded spindle that allows it to bottom out on the pocket without cutting a deeper pocket. Do the ultrasonic case cleaners actually get the pockets clean?

There hasn't been any downside to simply not cleaning the pockets at all--in about 5,000 rds I haven't had any problem. But it feels just so wrong. Suggestions?
 

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You don't say whether you are loading handgun or rifle. However, if it doesn't make any difference, why do it?
I don't clean any of my primer pockets, rifle or handgun. If you are loading in bulk, then it really becomes a nugatory step.
 

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I've never once, in 20+ years of handloading, actually "cleaned" a primer pocket. I use the aforementioned Lyman tool to scrape loose scale from the primer pocket, which really takes no longer than the obligatory process of ensuring the flash hole is clear, then I seat a new primer. Done and done. Work good, last long time!
 

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Like al and broom, I haven't cleaned a primer pocket in 50 years. At MOST, I'll tap the case on my bench to shake out any loose ash - but that's it.

(Al, accept my sincere admiration for knowing and using "nugatory"!)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
These are .45 ACP, you've convinced me to worry about something else, and I have never in my life seen or heard the word 'nugatory'. I'm surprised not because of my advanced years, vast experience, extensive vocabulary and extraoridinary intelligence, but rather because of how broadly applicable the term is, and how enjoyable to say. In fact, I find it applies to most of my activities while at work, if not quite so many while at leisure. :D :D

But seriously...thanks. I kind of assumed everyone was fussy on this matter and I was just being a slacker. My only concern is that the primer seats well, and they seem to be seating just find given that I nearly crush them when putting them in. In the Canadian neck of the woods is the emphasis on the 1st or 2nd syllable...that's what I want to know. NUgatory, or nuGAtory. If used on conjunction with and as an adjective for the word 'process' pronounced with a long 'o', I can see a number of opportunities to interject during work sessions at the office. It will sound much better than saying 'useless waste of time'.
 

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Nugatory is where the insides of a candy bar gum up the works. ;) Naw. I expect it's either a local corruption of "negatory" or a typo of the same? Don't give Al too much grief over it. :D

Primer pocket cleaning is done in benchrest case prep, and some primer residue gets crusty enough that it can start to cause primers to seat high. Those are the only two times I'm aware of that anyone claims to detect a serious difference in the loading process. I've never bothered when progressive reloading .45's on the Dillon. Dillon claims to have studied the matter and proven it doesn't matter unless you start getting high primers. I suppose, in theory, the residue is a low grade cushion that might might affect ignition speed. That may be what the benchresters worry about?

Member Humpy gave a reason for cleaning them based on the residue increasing barrel wear when it blows through the gun (see his post #25, here). He gets rid of it by using the right tumbling method (rotary) and medium (stainless wires). More recently, with Hornady's ultrasonic case cleaner coming on the market, you are seeing folks do it that way.
 

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It's NEW ga-tory. Click http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nugatory and then click on the little red speaker to hear it spoken. Neat feature of that site.

Just the other day, I learned that I'd been pronouncing desultory wrong my whole life. I always put the emphasis on the "sult" because I learned the word while reading and pronounced it phonetically. Wrong!
 

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Nugatory: That sweet, chewy sensation you get when eating a Snicker's candy bar...nugatory. :D

( You realize I HAD to look it up, right?? )
 

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Rocky,

You know the rules about spoiling our fun!

Actually, that was a new one on me. Hadn't run into it before, so Al gets the last laugh on the non-cognoscenti.
 

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Quick process with one of the carbide primer pocket uniformers. If you can rig one up in a drill press, so much the better.
 

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Just the other day, I learned that I'd been pronouncing desultory wrong my whole life. I always put the emphasis on the "sult" because I learned the word while reading and pronounced it phonetically. Wrong!
I'll be danged. Me too. Fortunately, it doesn't come up in casual conversation all that often...
 

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Nick, if Al or I or anyone else can slip a little serendipitous learning into the conversation, I count it a success. (Heck, I'd be happy to have people use "your" and "you're" correctly - but I won't be adumbracious about it...) ;)
 

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Rocky's not a gunsmith...he's a "wordsmith"! :) (and I could not approve more!)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I'll be danged. Me too. Fortunately, it doesn't come up in casual conversation all that often...
Well, what I DO know is that if I bring this kind of crap up in 'casual conversation', I seldom get invited back to the parties. It's been awful. Folks be wanting to talk 'lakers this' and 'healthcare that', but seldom do they have much tolerance for where any particular word comes from or how it's used. A good escape if I make the mistake of asking about such things is to quickly change topics to 'hey have you gone shooting lately'?. This always seems to provide a chance at redemption, if I'm careful not to get to inquisitive about what was shot, at what or for what purpose.
 

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Try telling them about TCP/IP, or Active Directory.... :p :p :p
 

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I have the RCBS case prep center, pick up a case, turn it over once, remove military crimps, uniform the depth of the primer pocket, camphor and bevel the neck clean the neck with a rotating brush, put the case down, start with another case, I do not get in to mortal combat with the reloading process, and If I hate to do it, I do not do it. There are a lot of steps involved in reloading, I enjoy each step.

I am not a big fan of watching especially when it comes to tumbling cases, I do not wait to see if the cases are going to be clean and I do not invest a lot if time in tumbling, again I use vinegar (and nothing) for 15 minutes to reduce tumbling, 15 minutes in vinegar can reduce tumbling by three days, from 3 days to one hour, and I make spinners, I can spin 20 cases in less time than I can tumble 20 cases, and the cases look gun on the bench at the range, look good until the atmosphere gets to them, then oxidation, the difference, I do not have to start with vinegar,just a refresher run in the bumbler.

F. Guffey
 

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+1 for the case prep center. My new job gives me access to 9mm and 5.56 military brass by the bucketload.

I can ream, clean and chamfer about 300 pieces an hour. I clean the pockets after reaming to help make sure all the brass shavings are out. For routine pistol reloads, I only clean pockets if I'm terminally bored and just trying to stretch the process out.

For cleaning range brass, I dunk 'em in liquid case cleaner for 10 minutes or so, rinse 'em, dry 'em next to the wood stove, and then dump 'em in the tumbler for 3-4 hours. Again, this is only the first time around on particularly nasty brass.
 

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Mike's and Mr. Guffey's descriptions remind me that the web between the inside of the case and the bottom of the primer pocket will often flow back a little and need its depth touched up anyway.

Also, if you've used vinegar or sulfamic acid (commercial brass cleaning acid) to process cases, you'll have noticed the primer pockets fizz in the acid a little after first contact. Apparently carbonates or some such compound are included in the residue. That reaction loosens some of the pocket residue and makes it easier to clean.

Rocky, could at least give us a vague or sketchy description of the meaning of that word?
 

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Certainly!

Nugatory means inconsequential, picayunish, or what the GIs call "nit noy."

Adumbracious means to make others angry, causing umbrage.

(My delight in all things sesquipedalian does tend to obnubilate a conversation!)
 
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