Drying Some .223 / 5.56 MM Brass

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This is a bunch of range pickup brass I collected on my last visit to my club range. It was all once fired laying everywhere. There was more, but my back was getting sore from bending over to pick it up. The stuff was dusty inside and out. So I put it in a few of those zippered mesh bags. (The kind women wash their bras and panties in). Then I soaked it in a couple of 5 gallon pails of hot water for about an hour. After that I rinsed them with the hose, then spread them out as you see here with a fan on them. It will hit about 105F this afternoon. So by tomorrow morning they be dry inside and out. Then I'll full length resize and deprime them. After that they'll get run through my Giraud Powered Case Trimmer. Lastly I'll give them a good polishing, then through the Dillon they'll go. I try to keep my range visits to Monday mornings early. There is usually a ton of .223 and 9 MM laying around from all of the weekend shooters free for the picking. So many of these guys don't reload, and just leave perfectly good once fired brass just sitting there. It sticks out like a sore thumb it's so shiny. Sometimes I'll find other calibers as well. It just depends on what they leave. Last year I found about 250 rounds of once fired 8 MM Mauser. It was all Prvi Partizan brass. Good stuff. I haven't bought any brass since I retired. And I sure am not going to spend $7.00 a box on .223 when I can reload this stuff for pennies.
 
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You full length resize before you polish? Are you using Dillon carbide .223 dies? I only ask because I would be concerned about scratching the dies. Just my process (everyone has a slightly different method), but I polish twice--once before FLR and once after to remove the case lube. If you are using carbide dies, I would be interested in how they have held up for you (understanding that bottle neck cases have to lubed no matter if the dies are carbide or not).
 
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Quite a bit of brass. I remember when metals where high a few years ago, you'd never see brass lying around. People would come and take it all for scrap. Move it into the sunlight to dry it really fast.
 
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Probably easy in AZ where you have low humidity. Around here, I'd probably just put it in the oven at 225 degrees for 30 minutes and be done. It won't hurt the brass unless you get it over 600 degrees and water boils at 212. Win-Win
 

ZeeOSix

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I think I'd dry them in the oven at 200 degrees for quite awhile instead of outside. Shell casing cookies.
 

billt460

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Originally Posted By: 2015_PSD
You full length resize before you polish? Are you using Dillon carbide .223 dies? I only ask because I would be concerned about scratching the dies. Just my process (everyone has a slightly different method), but I polish twice--once before FLR and once after to remove the case lube. If you are using carbide dies, I would be interested in how they have held up for you (understanding that bottle neck cases have to lubed no matter if the dies are carbide or not).
I'm not using carbide. I have a set of Lee dies I've been using for the last couple of years. I probably have around 6,000 to 8,000 cases through them at this point. I wash to get most of the dirt off. Then resize, trim, swage the primer pockets, (some are military cases), and finally polish to get the resizing lube off both the case, and the inside of the neck. When I run them through the Dillon, instead of the resizing die, (since they're already resized and deprimed), I use a decapping die in it's place. That insures a decapping pin will pass through the flash hole right before the case is primed, and remove any corn cob media that might become stuck in it from the polishing process. I use ground corn cob and Dillon Rapid Polish. With a tablespoon of Flitz Metal Polish thrown in for good measure. The cases come out beautifully polished. I usually let them run overnight. I'm not sure if this will make it through in a single batch. I might have to divide it in two.
 
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I pick up a LOT of .223/5.56 and 9x19 after 3GN matches. For the .223, I tumble it once without pins to clean them up and dry them in a food dehydrator (much more efficient than the oven and is not weather dependent). I then decap them all and run them through the tumbler again with the stainless steel pins and dry them. They come out looking like new and I rarely have any issues with water spots, discoloration, etc. People can't tell if I'm using factory new, Freedom Munitions remanufactured, or handloaded stuff unless they ask. I run them through the Dillon 550 without a decap pin in place. I broke two decap pins on some [censored] brass that had flash holes smaller than the decap pin. I've been filtering out that stuff as I go through it all. That batch of brass has cost me a few RCBS decapping pins, too. I still have yet to call Dillon to get my decapping pins replaced. They bent pretty easily, so I was not happy with them. I don't trim .223 or pistol brass unless I'm matching the headstamps and working up a load or building an accurate batch. How much are you loading .223 for? I have Hornday 55 gr FMJBTs for $0.085, S&B primers for $0.027, and 23.5 gr of H335 for $0.084 (on a bad day if powder is $25/lb). This comes to a grand total of about $0.196/rd plus my time if nothing is on sale. That's only $3.92 for a box of 20. The same box of ammo costs $7.51 after tax at Cabela's on a good day. Don't get me started on how much I save when I load something like the 75 gr A-Max and try to find an equivalent load at the store. Those rounds cost AT LEAST $12+tax/20 for the cheaper brands.
 

billt460

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Originally Posted By: 94JeepCherokee
How much are you loading .223 for?
My costs are close to yours. The last batch of 6,000, 55 gr. FMJ Hornady's I bought, I paid right around $465.00 delivered. Which I though was good because they weigh a ton. I like H-335 or else CFE-223. Both go through a Dillon measure good. I'm getting 8 pound jugs for around $165.00. I lucked out some months back on primers. Cabela's had them on sale, plus I had one of those, "$25 off on a purchase of $100 or more", coupons. It ended up costing me a little over $23 a thousand. I'm still shooting those primers, but I'm running low.
 
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Originally Posted By: billt460
Originally Posted By: 94JeepCherokee
How much are you loading .223 for?
My costs are close to yours. The last batch of 6,000, 55 gr. FMJ Hornady's I bought, I paid right around $465.00 delivered. Which I though was good because they weigh a ton. I like H-335 or else CFE-223. Both go through a Dillon measure good. I'm getting 8 pound jugs for around $165.00. I lucked out some months back on primers. Cabela's had them on sale, plus I had one of those, "$25 off on a purchase of $100 or more", coupons. It ended up costing me a little over $23 a thousand. I'm still shooting those primers, but I'm running low.
I've been considering ordering the bullets in a huge batch like you do. I get the reasonable deal I have because I order them by the thousand. Do any of the extruded powders run through the Dillon powder measure well? I must have 4 lbs each of 4381 and 4895 to burn up, and I know I won't be shooting .338 Win Mag THAT much! I actually got the H335 I'm currently using for $12.50/lb. Bought it from a local guy who's father-in-law passed away and had a small gun shop that was still stocked. The gunpowder I bought was all from 1990-1992, but it burns just as good as the new stuff! How do you like CFE223? I've heard that it burns really dirty unless it's pushed at or near maximum pressures.
 

billt460

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Originally Posted By: 94JeepCherokee
I've been considering ordering the bullets in a huge batch like you do. I get the reasonable deal I have because I order them by the thousand. Do any of the extruded powders run through the Dillon powder measure well? I must have 4 lbs each of 4381 and 4895 to burn up, and I know I won't be shooting .338 Win Mag THAT much! I actually got the H335 I'm currently using for $12.50/lb. Bought it from a local guy who's father-in-law passed away and had a small gun shop that was still stocked. The gunpowder I bought was all from 1990-1992, but it burns just as good as the new stuff! How do you like CFE223? I've heard that it burns really dirty unless it's pushed at or near maximum pressures.
No! Extruded powders are the downfall of all Dillon powder measures. They like medium sized ball powders. H-335 is just about perfect. The problem with ALL Dillon measures is they are made from Aluminum castings. The fit between the powder bar and the housing is not as close as with the rotating drum type measures. As a result they do not shear very well. Also, the linkage system does not have very much mechanical advantage either. Add it all up, and stay away from long kernelled extruded powders. They will give you nothing but problems in Dillon powder measures. They will also bind up with very fine grained ball powders like H-110. It will get between the bar and the housing, and seize up the measure. I'm on my third powder measure on my Dillon Square Deal. Dillon was very good about replacing all 3 of them. So that tells me they know about the problem. Thus far I like CFE-223. It really makes copper fouling non existent. I don't run maximum, and for the most part, I've found it to be no dirtier than H-335. Which overall, is a pretty clean powder. If you look around you can find good deals on the 6,000 box of Hornady 55 grain FMJ's. Widener's offers good deals on them from time to time with free shipping. That's important because if they hit you for shipping it's no deal at all. They are heavy! When USPS delivered my last box the girl USPS driver and rang my bell. She asked if I could help her carry it off the truck. Of course I did. The poor gal couldn't have weighed 105 pounds soaking wet! The box weighed over 47 pounds.
 
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Originally Posted By: billt460
No! Extruded powders are the downfall of all Dillon powder measures. They like medium sized ball powders. H-335 is just about perfect. The problem with ALL Dillon measures is they are made from Aluminum castings. The fit between the powder bar and the housing is not as close as with the rotating drum type measures. As a result they do not shear very well. Also, the linkage system does not have very much mechanical advantage either. Add it all up, and stay away from long kernelled extruded powders. They will give you nothing but problems in Dillon powder measures. They will also bind up with very fine grained ball powders like H-110. It will get between the bar and the housing, and seize up the measure. I'm on my third powder measure on my Dillon Square Deal. Dillon was very good about replacing all 3 of them. So that tells me they know about the problem.
Copy all. I loaded up some .223 with Varget, but that was on my single stage RCBS with their normal rotary disk powder thrower. It was very consistent, even with having to shear the powder granules on the throw. I'll have to check the fit of the powder bar to the hopper casting on my 550. I may be able to mill out a new powder bar that fits a bit better for the finer-grained magnum powders. I haven't tried H110 or any extruded powders in it, yet. hornets
 
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Get them all decapped promptly. The primer pockets can harbor moisture a long time even after "drying". Corrosion can set in and can cause decapping and/or priming problems later.
 
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De-capping a handful or so after the 200F drying should show whether the drying method used completely dries the primer pockets out.
 
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