Case preparation

     The first step in the reloading process is cleaning the fired case.  I use a vibratory case cleaner with corncob media for most applications.  If I want to put a finish polish on my cases after the bulk of the case handling chores have been done I then use the tumbler with crushed walnut shells media.  Certain types of corrosion can be removed quickly with liquid case cleaner but I seldom use it.   I use Ultra Vibe tumblers exclusively,  my older unit is seventeen years old and is still humming.

      The second step in case preparation is trimming the case to length.  All reloading manuals give the recommended trim length for most calibers.   For short runs I use a R.C.B.S. manual trimmer and for any run of over twenty rounds I use my R.C.B.S. Trim Pro powered case trimmer.    When combined with the R.C.B.S. three way cutter you are able to trim to length, chamfer and debur the case all in one step.

    The next step is to size and deprime the case.  I prefer R.C.B.S. Rock Chucker presses and carbide sizing dies when available.  The exception to this is depriming military cases.  For these I prefer Lee's "unbreakable depriming tool".  I still break them occasionally but they happily replace them every time.

     Now it is time to clean and uniform the primer pockets.  I now use the R.C.B.S. powered case prep center to handle these chores.  Hand powered tools can be purchased for very little money and will serve most people well.  Once again I prefer the R.C.B.S. versions.  If you need to remove the crimp from military cases the powered case prep tool is the bomb.  If you don't have three way cutters on your case trimmer then you can debur and chamfer the case at the same time.

    For most shooting purposes these steps are sufficient to guarantee consistent quality cases to base the actual loading process on.  For long range accuracy there are more steps that can be done to insure even more consistency. 


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