Case prep and sealing

Case prep and sealing

This is a discussion on Case prep and sealing within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Hey guys, new here, but I have been shooting for as long as I can remember and started reloading about a year ago. Anywho, the ...

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Case prep and sealing

  1. #1
    New Member Array nukehayes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Groton, CT
    Posts
    8

    Case prep and sealing

    Hey guys, new here, but I have been shooting for as long as I can remember and started reloading about a year ago. Anywho, the only cases that I have reloaded so far have been the stuff that I shot and pick up after myself, the majority of those cases were store bought so that I could get a decent brass inventory up. I recently obtained a metric butt ton of DoD once fired 9mm from a friend, most of which was shot and swept up that day. However, I have run across a few really old and tarnished pieces of brass whose headstamp is about 4-5 years older than the rest of them. My question to you is, how do you get these really old cases polished up and new looking. I have a Frankford Arsenal tumbler that has been really good to me. I use walnut media and works amazingly well on all the new, once fired stuff, but after even a few loads, I keep throwing the really old stuff in there to see if they will get better, but to no avail. Any tips on how to pretty them up?

    Ok, next question, say I wanted to seal my primers to make them more weather resistant. Does anyone sell primer sealant or can I use nail polish or something similar? Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2,046
    If they're tarnished enough that they won't clean up in a tumbler, I'd trash them. A few pennies worth of brass isn't worth blowing up a gun from a case failure.

    Unless you're planning on swimming with your ammo belt on, I wouldn't worry about sealing the primers. You're much more likely to get moisture intrusion around the bullet than around the primer. The military seals their ammo because a soldier may have to wade creeks, rivers, swamps, etc. up to his neck with his ammo in tow. I've hunted the majority of my life using reloaded ammo in some extremely unfriendly weather conditions and I've never had a round fail to fire.

    Hoss
    Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
    Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357

    NRA Life Member
    My Web Site

  3. #3
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black.
    Posts
    17,590
    Yes, there is a commercial case sealer. But like CVHOSS said, unless you're planning on swimming with your ammo or spending days standing in the rain, it probably isn't needed.

    I don't get too concerned about the "shine" of my brass. I want it clean so it doesn't harm my carbide die. If it's only a small amount and it causes you concern, I'd say toss them. Could they be steel or some other alloy? If so, ylou may not want to reload them anyhow.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Naugatuck, CT
    Posts
    2,406
    One more vote for not needing to seal anything. As long as the primer pockets are tight and you have a properly sized and crimped case, nothing is going to get into the case, including water, WD-40, RemOil or anything else.

    You can throw your ammo in a buck of water for a week and it will shoot just like "dry" ammo. Been there; done that; proved it - years ago.

    As for making the brass look "pretty", there are all sorts of polishing compounds you can add to the polishing media to make brass shine. Unless you are wearing some kind of dress rig and want to show off, it isn't worth the effort, IMHO.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,470
    I don't worry about stubborn tarnish unless the surface of the brass is also degraded by pitting or roughness. If only a stain remains after cleaning, the cases is cycled through the loading process. Some .38 Special and .45 ACP cases I load regularly have been reloaded many times over many years time though they are ugly. The cartridge case's value is for the function it serves and not for its external appearance unless one obsesses about such things.

    I have a couple of tumblers but rarely use them. I occasionally tumble cases to clean up an accumulation of scrounged range brass or for small batches of deprimmed brass that I'm preparing for special accuracy applications and cleaned primer pockets are especially desired. Most often I just wash cases, soaking them in warm water with added vinegar, then rinsing and allowing them thoroughly dry. Sitting them case mouth up in the warm sun will dry in an afternoon, even down into the spent primer. Otherwise just wash them several days in advance of the intended loading session so that they may be completely dry.

    Primers fail mostly when contaminated by oil or chemicals before or during the loading process or else because they were incorrectly seated in some fashion. While it isn't desirable, it is amazing how many times primers will still function even when seated crocked or half crushed in the seating process.

    Both military and some commercial ammunition employs a primer sealant but I don't know what it is nor the process for its application. Perhaps it has some value for ammunition that could be stored for extended periods in less than ideal conditions. The primer in military ammunition is also typically crimped into place as well yet handloaders don't fret about crimping. They can't anyway as there is no method available to them for crimping primers into cases.

    Sealing primers appears to be an exercise in futility to me. I've also used thoroughly wet handloaded ammunition and have never had a failure to fire. I've also never found that primers in handloaded ammunition deteriorate with age. In the past 10 years, I've fired some .30-30, .220 Swift, and .257 Roberts ammunition that a good friend loaded up in the 1950s and 1960s. All worked perfectly.

    I'm not about to waste time fiddling with some substance and a method for sealing primers. As far as I know there is no commercial product specifically marketed as a primer sealant and I wouldn't use it if there was. Some recommend using nail polish or even hair spray which is just silly. None of my admittedly older loading manuals recommend primer sealing nor do they give any instructions in how to accomplish primer sealing. Sealant material could flake off and accumulate, gumming up the works. In worse case scenarios, some substances pressed into service as a sealer could collect in firing pin channels, extractors, or locking lugs, rendering the firearm unreliable.

    Attempts to apply sealers to primers is of limited benefit and could aggravate some conditions which could decrease the reliability of the ammunition.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2,046
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    ................As far as I know there is no commercial product specifically marketed as a primer sealant and I wouldn't use it if there was..............
    There is at least one:
    Markron Custom Bullet and Primer Sealer.
    I can't imagine that they sell much of it though.

    Hoss
    Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
    Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357

    NRA Life Member
    My Web Site

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    15,179
    I've sat in water with shotgun shells submerged before and never had a problem with a primer failing to function,wet powder was a problem until I swithed to Drylok shells,water seeping in around a crimped bullet and seated primer would be highly unlikely unless it was submerged for a long time,if you don't believe me reload a bullet and throw it in a bucket of water,then after several days pull it out wipe it dry load it in the gun and pull the trigger.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,470
    Thanks Hoss, I learned something today.

    I read the blurb.

    "...will even keep moisture out up to 30 days of water submersion."

    One has to wonder if handloaded ammunition would have remained just as dry inside if it was submerged 30 days without the sealer.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    15,179
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thanks Hoss, I learned something today.

    I read the blurb.

    "...will even keep moisture out up to 30 days of water submersion."

    One has to wonder if handloaded ammunition would have remained just as dry inside if it was submerged 30 days without the sealer.
    I will check it out,I'm going to reload 4 9mm FMJ round and throw them in a bucket of water,every week I will remove 1 round and take it to the gun range and try to fire it,will post results
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Naugatuck, CT
    Posts
    2,406
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Primers fail mostly when contaminated by oil or chemicals before or during the loading process or else because they were incorrectly seated in some fashion. While it isn't desirable, it is amazing how many times primers will still function even when seated crocked or half crushed in the seating process.
    I'm curious ...

    Have you ever had this happen? I ask because I have squirted WD-40 into primers and had them fire just fine. Yea, I know all the warnings in the manuals and elsewhere, but I have been unable to deliberately make primers fail this way.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

  11. #11
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black.
    Posts
    17,590
    Quote Originally Posted by cvhoss View Post
    There is at least one:
    Markron Custom Bullet and Primer Sealer.
    I can't imagine that they sell much of it though.
    Cabelas carries it. $6.99 Probably nothing more than overpriced nail polish, but if you want it, there you go.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,470
    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    I'm curious ...

    Have you ever had this happen? I ask because I have squirted WD-40 into primers and had them fire just fine. Yea, I know all the warnings in the manuals and elsewhere, but I have been unable to deliberately make primers fail this way.


    Don't know about WD-40. Did you give it time to soak in? I would have expected that it would.

    I once stored my "ready primers" just in front of the area where I cleaned guns on my work bench and at the same level. These were stacks of single trays. I went through a period where I got an occasional mystery "dud" round. I took away those primers and used them up. The CCI trays were open on either end for sliding out of their packaging. I did not observe whether it was only CCI that were troublesome. The Winchester and Remington trays had end flaps. Only later was I gratified to observe that duds had stopped so I assumed it was the Hoppe's vapor and droplets.

    I noticed that the shelf and its contents had a build up of over spray from vigorous scrubbing of firearms and parts with Hoppe's No. 9 and old toothbrushes and bronze brushes. This discoloration was on the ends of the primer trays.

    Machine oil with kill a primer. I've tested that. Handling individual primers with oily fingers could cause failures. Of course I subjected a few primers to more oil than would accumulate on fingers normally.



    A fun test dukalmighty! I'm thinking that all will fire normally but we'll see.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Naugatuck, CT
    Posts
    2,406
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thanks Hoss, I learned something today.

    I read the blurb.

    "...will even keep moisture out up to 30 days of water submersion."

    One has to wonder if handloaded ammunition would have remained just as dry inside if it was submerged 30 days without the sealer.
    I've never gone 30 days, but I did the test with my handloads for a week with no problems.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Naugatuck, CT
    Posts
    2,406
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Don't know about WD-40. Did you give it time to soak in? I would have expected that it would.

    I once stored my "ready primers" just in front of the area where I cleaned guns on my work bench and at the same level. These were stacks of single trays. I went through a period where I got an occasional mystery "dud" round. I took away those primers and used them up. The CCI trays were open on either end for sliding out of their packaging. I did not observe whether it was only CCI that were troublesome. The Winchester and Remington trays had end flaps. Only later was I gratified to observe that duds had stopped so I assumed it was the Hoppe's vapor and droplets.

    I noticed that the shelf and its contents had a build up of over spray from vigorous scrubbing of firearms and parts with Hoppe's No. 9 and old toothbrushes and bronze brushes. This discoloration was on the ends of the primer trays.

    Machine oil with kill a primer. I've tested that. Handling individual primers with oily fingers could cause failures. Of course I subjected a few primers to more oil than would accumulate on fingers normally.



    A fun test dukalmighty! I'm thinking that all will fire normally but we'll see.
    I squirted them and left them overnight and then loaded them into empty cases and fired them. Same deal with RemOil with the same result. I have a hard time believing Hoppes vapors could have any effect at all. Please note that I am NOT guaranteeing that nothing will happen, just that I have not been able to make make primers die other than shooting them. YMMV!!!

    In spite of my experience with solvents and primers, I STILL make sure my hands are dry and everything that is supposed to be oil and solvent free, IS! No use giving God the opportunity to chastise me for my perceived arrogance.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. CCW Course Prep
    By zeppelin03 in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: August 24th, 2010, 04:47 PM
  2. Prep for econ downturn
    By Paymeister in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: March 5th, 2009, 08:21 PM
  3. steel case vs. brass case
    By HKing in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: February 19th, 2009, 01:55 PM
  4. How much prep for carry?
    By Cyklopz in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: September 2nd, 2008, 03:59 PM
  5. JIC Case
    By rokclimbertx in forum Related Gear & Equipment
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: June 13th, 2008, 06:41 PM

Search tags for this page

case prep 38 special

,
case prep for 38 special
,
commercial brass prep macine
,

commercial case prep machine

,
how to prep brass for sealing
,

how to prep case for 38 special

,
markron bullet sealer yes or no?
,

markron primer sealer

,

markron sealer

,
reload 9mm bullet sealant
,

reloading commercial brass prep machine

,
using markron custom bullet and primer sealer
Click on a term to search for related topics.