Brass cleaning question


Question on brass cleaning.
Part of the reloading process pops out the old primer and insets the new primer. But this is after cleaning. So the cleaning didn’t get into the primer space. Is that a potential problem or not matter? De-priming before cleaning is more tedious but I would think that area needs cleaned.


I’ve not had any issues depriming after cleaning.


I clean primer pockets with the proper tool.
But only if visual inspection shows it’s necessary.
Primers usually have a tight enough fit to prevent needing much cleaning of the primer pocket.
Looks like this:

It only becomes a problem wth old brass that’s been reloaded many, many times.


@mquinn55 This is my process for clean pockets.
Step #1 : Fire freedom
Step #2 : Use the lee universal decapping tool to press out the old primer before cleaning.
Step #3 (only if dry media is used): Using a primer pocket cleaner or uniform tool on a drill, clean the hard chunks quickly from the pocket.
Step #4 Tumble.

Pockets are like new every time doing it this way. Usually don’t clean the pockets prior to wet tumbling with SS pins because they really do a GREAT job cleaning the pockets. The cleaning helps then tumbling with lizard litter or any other dry media. I wet ruble only every 4 or 5 loadings because it takes so long for the brass to dry and I am constantly shooting mid-range events or practices. So I dry tumble in between.


I tend to ignore the primer pocket on my handgun plinking rounds but on rifle and anything that I’m going to carry or use for accuracy load workups I remove the primers first, then wet tumble in a Frankford Arsenal tumbler with steel pin media, a little degreasing dish soap, LemiShine, and a cap full of automotive wash and wax containing Carnauba wax - looks like new brass after a couple of hours.


Cleaning only makes them shinny. It 's a step I hardly ever do. And the times I do clean is when some of my 9 mm cases were getting carbon on the outside due to not sealing properly in the chamber and then i use vinegar in a gallon jug and 10 min. later rinse them off.


Thanks everyone for your help. My concern as a beginner here was that perhaps not cleaning the pocket could result in a deformed or poorly seated primer. Seems like it won’t be an issue unless I push the limits of reusing brass.


My .02 worth…
My OCD wont let me leave the cases dirty but you really don’t need to clean them that often. I do believe in thoroughly cleaning the primer pockets every time. I tumble before resizing/decapping for two reasons… I dont want the crud building up in my dies and, if the primer pocket is open, i have to dig media out of most of the primer pockets in the clean cases. As you load more, you will settle in your own process.


New member here but would like to put my 2 cents in as well. Personally, I think a lot of it is your preference. I like to do a quick cleaning of all the brass (wet cleaning), then sort it out. If it is rifle brass (or big pistol brass), then resize and decap it. Tumble again (wet and dry both this time), then I can do a good job of inspection and sorting out the bad brass or wrong sized primers (hate it that 45s have two primer sizes). Is it a lot of work? Yep, but it works for me.


Same here. For my handgun loads, I don’t clean the pockets every time. I prefer to use the dedicated tool to manually clean the pockets after several reloads. Tumbling with the primers removed will also work, but if you use walnut or corn cob, be aware that pieces of media will get stuck in some of the flash holes. This will require another inspection of each case after tumbling, plus manual clearing of the flash hole if necessary. To me, it just seems easier to manually clean the primer pocket one time with the cleaning tool. Just my $0.02.


Same without the wax


I use the Lee universal depriming die and deprime before I clean my brass


Manual labor lol