Need to start prep on 5-6k 223 brass

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by TAJ45, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Gold $$ Contributor

    May 12, 2007
    I have new LC, 1x LC- some 20 yrs old, new Lapua.
    Large Dillon vibe, small vibe, Thumler rotary and Harbor Freight small cement mixer. Cob, walnut and proper size SS pins but only one bag (5#?) and a good spray bottle.
    My Mighty Armory decap, pp swage and size outfit says No Spray Lube. Yet I read where several have done 50k+ w that.
    My primary area I'm looking to streamline is the initial lubing, sizing and pocket swaging. Still not settled on the lube, even after reading many posts. The lanolin is waaay more expensive than the mineral oil. Cut the oil w 91%? What ratio?

    I'll be making 20VT and 20Prac from some of the 223. Also some will be fire formed to 223AI in the field.

    I need to load for a squirrel trip or two next year. I want to carry 5k w me as it's abt a 3 day trip from IN to N Nevada. Gotta make it worthwhile.

    I'm retired, nice climate controlled reloading shop, so time and winter are non events.
    I need some high volume processing tips.
    No real "well, I've always done it this way set in stone habits" even though reloading off and on as Life allowed since '68.
    I'm pretty much a clean sheet of paper so feel free to advise.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    djporter likes this.
  2. thatguyshm


    May 15, 2017
    I haven't heard of the company before, but I just went to the website. I'm not sure exactly what equipment you have, but the 223 decapping die page says lanolin lube works best. I use it quite often. I started with a bottle of Dillon spray lube and when that ran out I used the recipe from the 65 guys and made my own in the bottle. Looks exactly the same, works just as well. I bought a two pack of 99% alcohol off Amazon when I bought the 8 Oz bottle of lanolin. It mixed well and it's easy to use. I think I had 20 bucks into the supplies. I wouldn't try to cheap out and use any substitute, including isoheat or anything like that.

    For that volume of sizing I would probably start out with a quick 30 minutes in corn cob just to clean off the brass, then toss them in a zip lock bag, spray and mix a few times, then leave the bag open and let the alcohol dry off. Size and decap, stainless pin clean, then get to work on straightening up primer pockets after you dry the brass.

    That's just my thoughts on that process. Take your time, go as long as your hands don't start cramping and enjoy the long process.
    bullseyeshooter likes this.
  3. danny


    Mar 9, 2016
    High volume tips ARE about time.

  4. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 11, 2011
    Case lube: I use liquid lanolin ($6.47 from Amazon) with Iso Heet (about $4.50). I mix 12:1, so my lanolin makes 4 mixes. That will size more than 6K rounds of brass with the 4 mixes. If you think the lanolin is too expensive, think about what the 22 pounds of powder are going to cost, 6K bullets & primers, etc. I do in batches of 144 cases at a time, because that is just a nice tumbler load in my Lyman 1200.

    Sizing: I use a Redding 223 FL sizing die with a carbide expander. After sizing I toss my lubed & sized cases into a tumbler with fine corn cob to remove the sizing lube. 30 to 60 minutes is plenty.

    Swage: I used the RCBS swage for way too many years. Get a Dillon Super Swage 600 tool, money well spent. And if you ever get to the point where you no longer need it, you can probably sell it for what you paid for it.

    How I lube my cases:
    Case Lube.jpg

    I just put 36 in a row facing me (13 1/2" if you don't want to count and use a ruler). I spray into the mouth of the case and roll them around in the pan. With the Iso Heet I can start sizing immediately, but normally wait a couple of minutes to let the solvent flash off.

    You didn't mention case trimming, hard to beat the WFT.
    mac86951 and Lone Hunter like this.
  5. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 24, 2015
    What I would do...

    wash in soap and water, in your cement mixer, for 30 minutes as fired.
    dry in a hot air environment, 180-200F.
    Dip lube in lanolin and an evaporative solvent such as 99% isopropyl alcohol. Allow all the alcohol to evaporate. Store batches in ziploc bags.
    Size and deprime at the same time.
    Swage the primer pockets.
    Trim using a tri-way trimmer head under power.
    Then wash with soap and lemishine in hot water to degrease
    Vibra polish
    Now you have ready to load brass.

    before I reformed to 20 something, I’d anneal the neck and shoulder.
    mac86951 and Lone Hunter like this.
  6. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    May 8, 2014
    You need a giraud trimmer, a dillon swage tool, and a dillon loader of your choice (550 and up). You also need a mighty armory decapping die and that big tumbler for ss pins. Spend 3-4 days getting decapped, swaged and tumbled then trimmed. Then all you gotta do is keep the hoppers full
  7. SPQR70AD


    Oct 27, 2019
    you guys are really into it lol. I just buy once fired brass decapped trimmed and cleaned
    snert and group therapy like this.
  8. Metal God

    Metal God

    Dec 9, 2017
    The lanolin spray is what you want . I put my cases in a 12"x20" plastic tub which holds 1k 223 cases easy . Spray about 4 misty squirts of the solution , mix with my hand ( with latex glove ) spay another 4-ish squirts , mix and let dry . Might need to mix once or twice while drying if you have a lot of cases in the tub , then rock and roll . NOTE : If you have a heavy duty tub . Tossing them around in the tub will orient most of the cases mouth up which allows spray to get inside the case mouths and aids in the resizing process . With this method I've done multiple thousands 5+ and have only used 3-ish oz of the 8oz bottle of lanolin . Not sure where you think it's expensive , It's by far the cheapest way I've found that works every time with out fail . I've calculated with 3 - 8oz bottles of lanolin and the proper amount of alcohol , I likely will never need to buy lube again . That should do 100k + cases maybe even 200k
  9. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 7, 2018
    I can loan you a dillon super swage of you need.
    You cover shipping.
    Lube your dillon press!
    That's my advice

    Roughly 1lb of powder per 280 rounds figured @ 25gr per round = 3.5 lbs per 1000
  10. rwj

    rwj Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 16, 2017
    I’ll take Dusty’s recommendation further to include case and bullet feeders. Dillon also makes a trimmer that can be mounted on the press tool head. Might need a 650/750 for that option.
  11. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Gold $$ Contributor

    May 12, 2007
    Absolutely GREAT replies. Just what I was looking for.
    Bc'z: A heartfelt thanks.:) A good bud has one en route.
    Yes, when putting an eye on the cost, I was automatically thinking in terms of a quantity lanolin purchase but apparently not needed.
    Bc'z likes this.
  12. L.Sherm

    L.Sherm Silver $$ Contributor

    Feb 10, 2012
    I would not anneal before making 20VT out of 223 it seems to crush the cases when forming but definitely after.
    Get a mini chop saw set up with a stop to cut the long necks off to length.
    ricco1949, bullseyeshooter and Bc'z like this.
  13. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 22, 2017
    Electric everything...!! lol... Hand cranking anything one a project this size will slow you way down. Also economy of motion when working. Small movements to grab brass and preform the process at hand and dump the brass in a bin...
    Set up of your work station should make everything easy and comfortable.

    I lad a lot of cement block this summer and found I worked better with everything pre positioned and at a proper level...
    Bc'z and mikeinct like this.
  14. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Gold $$ Contributor

    May 12, 2007
    Yer right Steve, set up for motion economy is paramount. Can use the machining/assy skill set on that.
    mikeinct likes this.
  15. ebb


    Oct 31, 2010
    Pull the handle on the press. This keyboard won't getter done.
    snert, joshb, acloco and 2 others like this.
  16. Rustytigwire

    Rustytigwire Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 20, 2017
    Figure what you want to do
    Run 50 thru to test
    Start to finish
    Then 100 or 200
    Start to finish.
    Cant do them all at once at first.
    You can refine as you go.
    Its fun!
  17. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    May 28, 2012
    Per cleaning run, I use a Thumler's tumbler with 5 lb SS pins: 125 pcs .223 Rem brass, several tablespoons Dawn and a couple tablespoons Lemishine, and hot water to fill the tumbler. After ~30 min tumbling, rinse several times in hot water, quick-dry the outside of the cases in a towel, shake out any excess water from inside the case, then put them into a food evaporator for 30-45 min. Repeat as many times per day as you have the energy to do.

    Afterwards, I give primer pockets the once over with a primer pocket uniforming tool, then anneal using a Giraud annealer, which can hold at least 200-300 .223 Rem cases at a time. I then re-size 50 cases at a time (i.e. one full reloading tray) after spraying them liberally with Hornady One-Shot lube. After accumulating 200-250 re-sized (lubed) cases, I clean the lube off with three 5 minute soaks/rinses in the same Dawn/Lemishine/hot water mix in a plastic bucket (i.e. no pins or tumbling), followed by several rinses with hot water to remove the detergent. I then dry them in the food evaporator by the exact same process. Finally, cases are trimmed using a Giraud trimmer.

    You can pretty much stop at any point in this procedure when the cases are either dry, or still coated with One-Shot lube, and wait until the next day, or whenever you may have time to start up again. I keep cases in large Tupperware containers in-between the various steps, with a careful record on the lid that contains the date, the type of brass and Lot #, the total number of firings it has undergone, and the exact steps in the process that it has undergone. Even if I have to leave it alone for a few days, I always know exactly what it is, and where in the prep it is, simply by checking the container lid. I typically use this approach on 300 to 500 total cases at a time, which is what I like to have for each rifle. It might take me a minimum of 2-3 days to do a complete run of 500 cases, if I apply myself. If I take a more leisurely approach, I might do 500 cases in a week or so; it's pretty much up to how much energy I have and how badly I need them.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    bullseyeshooter likes this.
  18. jpx2rk


    Dec 21, 2015
    I've processed a 1K at a time, and just do the same step for all 1K cases before I move on to the next step. That way I can stop when I get tired of doing it, and pick it back up when ever I feel like doing more w/o worrying "where" I am in the process. I'll ss tumble them all and dry over several runs, then start on the next step. I use a checklist I found online, and just check off the steps as completed. It's good winter project, I just get the brass clean during warmer weather.
  19. argrendel

    argrendel Silver $$ Contributor

    Jun 28, 2008
    If you are lacking on reloading equipment, there is an add on “The Highroad” / THR. Dillon 1050 and a ton of accessories and components. If I was twenty years younger, it would be mine.
  20. Zeke 225

    Zeke 225

    Jul 3, 2018
    Dillon 1050 will do all the prep work for you, just tumble first then start loading

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