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Thread: Tumbler Media?

  1. #41
    Just tried the stainless steel wet rotary tumbling method. 2 hours from very dirty to brand new looking brass inside and out. Amazing. All the stories are true. I used the Lortone tumbler, not the Thumlers. I can't say if it is better but I heard some people thought it was a better system I used the 12QT Lortone. Cleans about 160 .223 cases at a time. The photos at the top of the forum home page are legit. Exactly what I ended up with. I'm sold.

  2. #42
    Boolit Bub trapper300RUM's Avatar
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    I have 2 tumblers a old Midway 1200 & the Little Smartreloader 737 Nano I use Walnut in one & corncob in the Nano IMO i like the walnut media better it seems to last longer than the corncob does to me anyway

  3. #43
    I use a double drum rock tumbler from Harbor freight with SS pins.A powder measure spoon (.50) of citric acid dishwasher despotter and a few drops of Dawn detergent.1 lb or so of pins in each drum and about 100 cases with enough water to cover the contents.I change the water after an hour and stop at 2 hrs.Shiny like new inside and out including the primer pockets.I tried dry tumbling with cob and crushed walnut shells first,the pins are expensive,but will last forever.They can be picked with a magnet too.Ebay has the pins in various sizes and amounts.

  4. #44
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggdawg View Post
    lizzard litter from most any pet store is walnut shells that is what i used when i dry tumbled.

    here is an example lizzard litter
    Problem with this one is if you buy this media packaged commercially, it often has things like Jewelers rouge in it You really don't want that going down the bore of a weapon. If will lap the bore.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by philthephlier View Post
    Just tried the stainless steel wet rotary tumbling method. 2 hours from very dirty to brand new looking brass inside and out. Amazing. All the stories are true. I used the Lortone tumbler, not the Thumlers. I can't say if it is better but I heard some people thought it was a better system I used the 12QT Lortone. Cleans about 160 .223 cases at a time. The photos at the top of the forum home page are legit. Exactly what I ended up with. I'm sold.
    Just wrote an article for Sinclair's on this one. Since one of the guys that developed SS media is a friend, we listed everything you need to know and watch out for when using SS media. I just cycled 2600 .308/7.62 cases last month. You have to be careful about the weight of the brass, given that the media is 5lbs, water is 7-8 lbs and you only have about 2 1/2 lbs for the brass. Total weight limit of the Thumbler TUmbler Model B is 15 lbs.

    It's also important to watch out for the SS pellets when you take the top/gasket off so pellets don't go down the drain, same goes when emptying out the drum, because surface tension will carry a pellet out with an air bubble. Also is a big help to flush the brass/media twice after to clear out any residual chemicals and brass particles. When done, refill the drum and agitate the cases by the head under water to allow the pellets to exit the case mouth and thereby remove any possibility of surface tension retaining pellets inside the case (it happens). If you uniform your flash hole, be sure to eyeball the flash holes to make sure you don't have any pellets in them.

    Or just go to SinclairIntl.com and do a search for tumbling with SS media. Not sure when or if they're put it online yet. But when the guys read it, they wanted it. There's also a list of tumbling times with and without Lemi Shine. I also use it to soak the brass in as I clear out the pellets to help replace the chemical protection used in production to keep the brass shiny. The article also shows you have to get longer life out of the tumbler.

    Yes, some of us have been using it for a lot of years, I even tumble .50 cal.

  6. #46
    Boolit Mold
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    I have an ultrasound cleaner I use for gun parts, I won't do brass in it because I don't like chemical residuals on my brass. Crushed Walnut has been used for Decades, but the problem with it is typically it's packaged with Jewelers rouge in it and I won't tolerate that going down the bore of a weapon.

    30+ years ago, we mainly used Corn Cob for a lot of reasons. We custom built a rather large tumbler because of the amount of .45acp brass we cycled constantly (we shot typically 1-3000 rounds a month). With a current Dillon (LARGE) vibrating tumbler, corn cob works nicely, especially since the Dillon's are tough enough to take additives like paint thinner to cut crud and bullet lube that's on the outside of a loaded round and can caused problems in a tight chambered pistol. Typically I still do pistol brass in Corn cob/Dillon, but all my rifle brass gets done in a Thumbler tumbler model B (which is 37 years old), with Ivory soap (NOT DAWN) since it cleans gunk and carbon better and Lemi Shine (you can get it at Wal Mart).

    Go to SinclairIntl.com and search the knowledge base, if you don't find it, do it again in a week or so.. they ought to have that one up. It gives a full run down on using SS media and everything you want to know about it. Right now I have .45acp in it just to see how it turns out. But I'll most likely hold to my normal corn cob for pistol, SS for rifle. I have tumbled .50 cal brass in it.

  7. #47
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    Rojkoh: You recommend Ivory over Dawn? Dawn seems to be the detergent of choice for this but I have always wondered why as all detergents work on a common principle although the brand names are better than the store brands requiring less to do the same job.

    I worked in a lab doing Western Blot ( extracting and id'ing proteins ) at one point and we always used Ivory Dish Soap to clean the glassware but come to think of it I never asked why Ivory. I just figured if it was good enough for a lab it was good enough for me.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRUMPA View Post
    Usually anybody that buys once fired rifle brass prefers that it be left alone. Once polished there's signs that have been removed, don't ask me what signs I'm talking about but there was a post about it not long ago and most wanted the brass to be dull/dirty or basically as is. Seems most people that sell it clean it up to make more money from it, me I'll pass on the clean stuff and continue with the dull stuff myself.
    Doesn't matter if it's once fired or not. If you tumble it right (I use SS for rifle brass) and then anneal it properly, the "marks" are back. I tumble pistol in Corn cob with no additives, SS for rifle up to .50 cal. Just wrote a thing on it for Sinclair. Covers all the tricks and the results are beyond reproach, but I don't do it the "easy" way because of some of the quirks of using the SS media. TUmbler Tumble with Lemi Shine and you basically get new brass every time.

  9. #49
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    I live where there isn't a Grainger, Harbor Freight, PetCo or PetSmart within 120 miles. Some of us like it out here in the sticks. There's a WalMart and a Tractor Supply Center within an hour drive. If I can't get something there, it pretty much has to come by the little brown truck of happiness or when some relative visits from the land of too many people. But there is a feed store and they might be able to grind dry cobs there. How big are these grits?

  10. #50
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    I like walnut media from petco, walmart, reptile letter really works good, but doesn't give a great shine like corn cob media. Don't use corn cob media from petco or petmart. large corn cob was a pain to get of 9mm casing okay with .40 S&W and 45 acp or big casing.(just not with small casing) had to learn hard way

  11. #51
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvald1982 View Post
    I like walnut media from petco, walmart, reptile letter really works good, but doesn't give a great shine like corn cob media. Don't use corn cob media from petco or petmart. large corn cob was a pain to get of 9mm casing okay with .40 S&W and 45 acp or big casing.(just not with small casing) had to learn hard way
    I use Iosso case brite with the lizard litter. Has no ammonia so is not harmful to cases. A couple capsfull every once in a while and cases come out nice and shiney on the outside.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  12. #52
    Boolit Bub
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    I like corn cob the best gets dusty faster

  13. #53
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    I've been researching the SS pins, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Did find one bit of information where a certain size is liable to "double up" in the primer hole and get stuck. Don't remember if it was large or small, rifle or pistol, or if they might even all be the same size, but I doubt that. Just something to consider if you're thinking of the SS pin media.

    Ken

  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy

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    I threw 2 cups of rice into walnut shells and it worked great. I also use Ivory and lemi shine powder in my hi speed Thumbler B and it works great on grungy PB cases. It even cleaned the furry green ones I found on the bottom of my shooting box.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cesure View Post
    I live where there isn't a Grainger, Harbor Freight, PetCo or PetSmart within 120 miles. Some of us like it out here in the sticks. There's a WalMart and a Tractor Supply Center within an hour drive. If I can't get something there, it pretty much has to come by the little brown truck of happiness or when some relative visits from the land of too many people. But there is a feed store and they might be able to grind dry cobs there. How big are these grits?
    Cesure,

    The 14/20 is quite small, polishes well and is too small to get stuck in primer flash holes.

    I was going to recommend Drillspot.com for a good price on ground corncob media again but checked the website to make sure my information was correct. I ordered 40 pounds of 14/20 grit 5 or 5 years ago for about $23.00 delivered in a day or two, shipping included. It's now $35.28 for the media + 3 Business Day Shipping at an additional $34.43. Not a great deal any more but that's still under $2/lb.

    David
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  16. #56
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks, David. I had a visitor from the Detroit area who brought some ground walnut shells. I'll ask the feed store about fine grinding corn cobs.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master


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    Cesure,

    I like walnut shell for serious cleaning, like really dark brass. For ordinary cleaning like getting my action pistol brass ready to reload, corncob lives a higher polish and works plenty fast. The last walnut shell I bought came from Petco and was about the same size as the reloading company stuff at a much better price. Good luck! I understand the challenges of rural/small town living. Every time I have transferred in my job I end up in a smaller town than the last. I like smaller towns except for the difficulty of buying anything that isn't a mainstream item.

    David
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  18. #58
    Boolit Mold
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    My trusty components dealer recommended a mix of 50% crushed walnut, 50% corncob and I also add a few caps full of Lyman turbo brite polish. I get very good results with about 1-2 hours of tumbling around 150 cases of 308win.

    My cases are always a bit waxy and sooty on the outside after firing and the wax makes it much harder to clean, but I still end up with new looking brass:

    http://i.imgur.com/gz52yuR.jpg

    I only wipe the brass by hand with a rag a lot of the time, but occasionally when I've cycled through my whole set once or twice, I'll tumble it all again for good measure. Can't deny I like a shiny looking piece o' brass!

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRUMPA View Post
    Usually anybody that buys once fired rifle brass prefers that it be left alone. Once polished there's signs that have been removed, don't ask me what signs I'm talking about but there was a post about it not long ago and most wanted the brass to be dull/dirty or basically as is. Seems most people that sell it clean it up to make more money from it, me I'll pass on the clean stuff and continue with the dull stuff myself.
    I agree with you about buying un-processed brass.. Half the price of processed.. sure you might get some steel or aluminum cases but not that much.. most people who are selling the brass are basicly honests and don't catch everything.. It is like when you as how many are berdan and how many are boxer.. I like to be process them myself.. deprime with a Lee universal deprime die and wet tumble with stainless steel media.. then check the round.. once it is dry I use a vib and corn cob with NuFinish to put a coating on them.. after all that I don't scratch them when I send them up the sizing die..

  20. #60
    Boolit Buddy Bayou52's Avatar
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    There are several sizes of SS pins. I've used two sizes - the smaller ones (0.041" diameter that came with my tumbling kit) and the slightly larger ones (0.047" diameter that I bought separately). With the smaller pins, 3 -5% were getting double pins stuck in flash holes. With the larger pins, I haven't had a single incident of stuck pins after tumbling several thousand brasses so far.

    I'm more than pleased with these results.
    Bayou52
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check