Reloading brass refers to once-loaded brass shells that are fired and then reloaded once more. From 1910 until World War II brass shotgun shells were commonly used. Those brass shells are rarely damaged when fired, thus leading to the practice of reloading the shells and firing them again. To reload a brass shell the technique requires you begin by preparing the shells, prepare components for loading and actually loading, clean the shell and remove any extended primers. These are the four necessary steps a user takes to reload a brass shell or case.
1) Preparing the Shells with Dry Tumbling
Vibratory tumbling uses dry media like nutshells (crushed pecan or walnut shells) or corncobs. Untreated media will clean the brass shells but will not polish the shells. For polished shells, you’ll need to use treated media. Dry tumbling should last two to three hours.
2) Wet Tumbling
Rotary tumbling uses a drum that spins along with stainless steel media and water. You insert the shells inside the drum with the media and the water along with a cleaning solution. This process is completed faster than rotary tumbling and the media doesn’t wear out. It is a little messier than rotary tumbling and the shells do need to be dried. You may have to purchase a case drier system.
Ultrasonic cleaning uses ultrasonic frequency, heat, water and specially formulated cleaning solutions. Always use distilled water. The cleaning time will be approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
3) To reload the shell you will need several things:
De-Primer or De-Capper
Capper or Priming Tool
Adjustable Powder and Shot Measurer
A Wide Guide
Waterglass Glue for the Top Wad
After your cases have been sized, you can reload them. First, pour in the recommended amount of powder for the shell you are using. Insert the over-powder wad next. Press it down using the wide guide and ram. Insert the cushion wad next. This wad absorbs the shock of the shot. Once again position it with the wide guide and ram. Load the required amount of shot next and follow with the over-shot wad pressed in place with the wide guide and ram. Circle the interior wad with a thin application of glue. It will harden in a few minutes and your shell will be ready to fire when inserted into the rifle chamber.
4) Primers often get dislodged when the shell is fired.
You may require a primer pocket preener to resize an enlarged primer pocket. Once the pocket is tightened place your primer back in its place.
You may need to decap and size prior to tumbling and reloading, but you can choose to tumble prior to decapping and sizing. Whatever your preferred method of working, re-using your brass shells will save you a significant amount of money. If you enjoy shooting, reload your own shells and shoot, shoot, shoot.
If you enjoy shooting, reload your own shells and shoot, shoot, shoot.