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Primer question and lead cleaning question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by XDRoX, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    OK to leave primers in the primer tube on my 550B for extended periods of time? What say you?

    I just started reloading lead for the first time.
    How often do I need to clean my dies, which ones do I need to clean, and what should I use to clean them?

  2. cysoto

    cysoto Gone Shooting!

    Jan 21, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I have sometimes loaded primers into the tubes and left them there for a few weeks without any issues. I am not sure what do you mean by 'extended periods of time' but, if you are planning on leaving them there for a month or so, I don't think that you will have any problems. Moisture cannot ruin primers though I wouldn't recommend keeping them in a moist environment. The best thing is to leave them in the container that they are sold in and store them in cool and dry place. If stored this way they will last a very long time.

    When reloading lead bullets what I see most often is the lubricant of the bullets rubbing off on the dies. I usually clean my seating and crimping dies about every 500 rounds. I just take a brass brush (one that hasn't been used to clean any barrels) and lightly brush the inside of the die. I have never had the need to use any solvent of any kind to clean these dies.

  3. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
  4. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Other than some possible safety concern such as forgetting they're in there leaving primers in the tube really isn't a problem. I can't really imagine why you'd do it since a tube only holds a hundred or so but unless you have a fire sprinkler system in your loading room and it goes off you really won't have a problem.

    Loading lead leaves more debris, (lube) in your dies than jacketed bullets will. Obviously there will be no difference in your sizing and expanding die but your seating die will accumulate lube in and around the seating stem over time.

    Unless your bullets are grossly over lubed with overflow all over the nose or you're using a very soft lube that gets sticky and messy you really don't have to clean the die all that often. I go thousands of rounds before even thinking about pulling the stem and giving it a quick wipe down. (I use a very high temp flow lube so it set up very hard. Very clean to work with.)

    Just be cognizant while you're seating your bullets, you'll develop a sixth sense as to hoe each bullet should feel. You'll notice when seating feels just a tad harder or when the bullet seems to be dragging just a bit when coming out of the die. Obviously if after you seat a bullet if it's sitting totally in the case that should raise a red flag that you might have just a wee bit of lube stuck up in the seating stem.

    Just unscrew the stem, or pull the clip, depending on the type of die, rub off the lube then wipe the die down with some alcohol. While you have it apart soak a Q-Tip with alcohol and swab out the inside of the die.

    Put it back together and start loading again... you've had a long enough break.

  5. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Thanks Jack.
  6. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Primers can stay in the tubes for decades.
    Clean the dies right before they start causing problems. So yeah, that depends. I clean mine every 500 or so. But my lead bullets are pretty clean.
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    The only issue I have w/ loading tubes & leaving them is what primers are in them? I leave primers in the tube in the press all the time, no issues. Like Jack said, loading lead means you clean your seating/crimping die more often. I doubt I clean the sizing die once a year. Loading jacketed, probably get by w/ once a year general cleaning.