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Thread: Tumbler Media?

  1. #61
    Boolit Master tchepone's Avatar
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    I have always used ground walnut or corn cob, with various additives, for cleaning and polishing my brass. Does anyone have experience using ground almond shells or ground apricot pits? I know Sierra Bullets uses almond shells, (or at least used to) to polish their bullets as the final step before packaging.
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  2. #62
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by joec View Post
    Or best yet if you have a Harbor Fright in your area buy their Walnut media and it comes in fine (which I use) or course. I find it is even cheaper that the pet store stuff also. I mix it with a couple of table spoons of Franklin Arsenal brass polish or Flitze brass polish. I also through it a lint sheet for driers cut into about 4 pieces. It works really well too.

    Does Harbor Freight have any corncob media? I like corncob better than walnut. While corncob takes a bit longer to clean the cases, it will put a much shinier finished product.

    If I want a REALLY good cleaning job I use a wet rotary tumbler and stainless steel media. That gets out exterior heavy tarnish better and cleans out the black carbon build up in the primer cups and inside the cases a vibratory tumbler would not even touch. And the stainless steel pins never wear out and are infinitely reusable. Look at my before and after pictures here.

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    Primer cup clean!
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    Last edited by gandog56; 08-02-2013 at 08:19 AM.

  3. #63
    Boolit Master

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    Just got a 5lb harbor freight tumbler on sale for $50. Im going to try what I haveon hand. Rice, bought 3 25lb bags on sale for $10 each last year, acetone and flitz. We will see
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    Non nobis Domine,
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  4. #64
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    getting ready to try dukeinmaine's method.
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  5. #65
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    getting ready to try dukeinmaine's method.
    Using Dukeinmaine's method with my new tumbler:

    Attachment 79379
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    Bastiat

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
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  6. #66
    I did this by accident, Had some buffing compound(turtle wax Brand) that I left the lid loose on for way to long,and this stuff got like a rock. I thought about tossing it out. And idea come to me,how about taking a hammer and busting this stuff up into powder and putting it in my tumbler,with my media. I always let it tumble over night. This is some of the brightest brass I have ever seen. Jerry

  7. #67
    Boolit Bub

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    Have always had great luck using NuShine and cob media. Got dirty quickly so started washing brass first with Dawn and hot water, then rinse, then a short dip into acid bath. I use the Lemishine now, love it. Just started using ground walnut and NuShine, results are really good and no more picking out cob from primer pockets! Going to try the turtle wax idea, I use it to protect the finish on the exposed metal of my guns. Sounds promising for the brass.
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  8. #68
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Just got a 5lb harbor freight tumbler on sale for $50. Im going to try what I haveon hand. Rice, bought 3 25lb bags on sale for $10 each last year, acetone and flitz. We will see
    Tried the rice with mineral spirits not acetone. Didn't work very well and left a residue cake around the edge of the tumbler. I had to wash it out with Dawn and hot water. Used Dukeinmaines method with nufinish and mineral spirits in corn cob and that worked very well.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    Bastiat

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
    Knights Templar

  9. #69
    Boolit Master Johnny_V's Avatar
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    I recently built a wet tumbler similar to the one that is sold buy Biggdawg Tumblers. I use stainless steel media (.041"), Dawn (one good squirt), and Lemi Shine (one teaspoon). I tumble all my brass for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and it all comes out looking factory new. I am selling my Hornady M2 and the media from Franklin Arsenal as wet tumbling is the only way to clean brass (in my opinion). I can do about 450 .223, or 1000 9mm or 40cal, or about 300 .308's in one load. Posted are some shots of the processed brass (all pictures are random, not selected pieces).

    Johnny V
    NRA Endowment Life Member
    Last edited by Johnny_V; 09-21-2013 at 10:22 AM.

  10. #70
    Boolit Buddy
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    Apricot pit for very dirty brass. Most abrasive companies will give you 1-2# sample pkg, free.

    Nutshells fromChristmas will work. My wife keeps the shells for me. Holiday season produces about one RCBS vibrator bowl for me each year. This material works more slowly but is a lot cheaper than pet litter. :>)

  11. #71
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm quite sure this has been covered, but....


    I stumbled into a 50 pound bag of crushed walnut and a 50 pound bag of crushed corn cob at a local pet store. They couldn't get rid of it in bags that size, so they sold it to me below cost if I bought both bags just to get it off their inventory.

    I've run the same media mix for roughly 3 full 5-gallon buckets of brass with no issues. I added a tube of Flitz to it a few runs back and liked the results.

  12. #72
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Just got a 5lb harbor freight tumbler on sale for $50. Im going to try what I haveon hand. Rice, bought 3 25lb bags on sale for $10 each last year, acetone and flitz. We will see
    Watch the Harbor Freight tumblers, they often wind up with loose wires and the bowls aren't very sturdy (depending on which one you get). For the extra money it made sense to buy name brand. However, if HFT offers the replacement guarantee option on the tumbler that's not a bad choice.

  13. #73
    i have been using rice in my tumbler since ive started reloading and i like the way it works. leave the tumbler running for 2 1/2-3 hours and the brass looks new.
    for the really dirty brass i use sand for about ten mins to an hour (depending on how dirty the cases are) then switch em into the rice.
    For small volume cartridges i just use lees case trim shell holder and a piece of 000 steel wool. works like a charm but is time consuming in large amounts.

  14. #74
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by realllynow View Post
    i have been using rice in my tumbler since ive started reloading and i like the way it works. leave the tumbler running for 2 1/2-3 hours and the brass looks new.
    for the really dirty brass i use sand for about ten mins to an hour (depending on how dirty the cases are) then switch em into the rice.
    For small volume cartridges i just use lees case trim shell holder and a piece of 000 steel wool. works like a charm but is time consuming in large amounts.
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  15. #75
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcwit View Post
    MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm OKay!

    Just when did you start reloading?
    For the worst of cases I use vinegar for a maximum of 15 minutes for the life of the case meaning I do not make it a habit. Before that? There was cleaning and pickling, then there were short runs, I can clean 20 cases with spinners faster than I can tumble, and there are those times when I am at the range and want to show off with cases that have bling.

    F. Guffey

  16. #76
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    But can you be casting or reloading or some other beneficial activity while your cases are tumbling? If you are only doing 20 cases at a time then I can see hand cleaning. I usually do 100 to 200 at a time so it would take quit a while to hand clean every case.

    Quote Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
    I can clean 20 cases with spinners faster than I can tumble,
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  17. #77
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch-1 View Post
    But can you be casting or reloading or some other beneficial activity while your cases are tumbling? If you are only doing 20 cases at a time then I can see hand cleaning. I usually do 100 to 200 at a time so it would take quit a while to hand clean every case.
    I go or we go to the range, something does not work, instead of groups I get patterns, something like a rifle shooting like a shotgun, I have no clue what someone else would does, I make case spinners, I said I can clean 20 cases with spinners in less time than it takes to tumble. I have no problem with calling another reloader and explain I am at the range with a rifle that does not like anything, point, he lives closer to the range, this cuts down on turnaround time. He also uses spinners for short runs or he has cases that require days to clean when tumbling.

    I can spin the cases and clean or he can, we will load another 20 rounds and get back to the range, pay once and shoot all day, leaving during the day does not require the shooter to start over.


    I understand I-Go, WE-Go and YOU-Go sounds like a Yugoslavia auto that is no longer made, and yes, while tumbling it is not necessary to watch the tumbler in action, when multitasking? I have at least 7 rifles in various stages of being built. When one of the rifles makes make it to the range and disappoints, I get focused and intense.

    F. Guffey
    Last edited by fguffey; 12-27-2013 at 01:38 PM. Reason: change do to does

  18. #78
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psypher View Post
    Watch the Harbor Freight tumblers, they often wind up with loose wires and the bowls aren't very sturdy (depending on which one you get). For the extra money it made sense to buy name brand. However, if HFT offers the replacement guarantee option on the tumbler that's not a bad choice.
    Been using it for a little while now and so far no problems. For the money I'm pretty happy but I don't do large volumes everyday either.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    Bastiat

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
    Knights Templar

  19. #79
    Boolit Buddy
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    hi guys, I'm new to reloading and even newer to casting. i've only casted 30lbs of lead so far but havent been able to load any yet...powder shortage. i did however just clean aprox 8,000 .223 cases and 1000 .40s&w cases. got the standard corncob media but noticed on e-bay stainless steel media. the same night i read a post about using "000" steel wool to give your brass a jeweled shine which got me thinking. when i got home i dumped my tumbler of the 1st 150rds and after 9 hrs they looked great. when i put the media back in i threw in 2 hand fulls of my kids Quick silver BB's and since my tumbler has the bolt in the center that goes threw the lid all the way to the floor i pushed a few pices of "000"steel wool over the bolt. now the bb's work with the media and as the brass circulates through the tumbler they rub the steel wool. the result was once fired old military brass comming out looking perfectly new in a few hours. awesome results!! and the way i will continue to use the tumbler- hope this tip helps

  20. #80
    Boolit Bub Blublister's Avatar
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    I have been tumbling in a vibratory RCBS tumbler for years. I want to go to wet tumbling because I like the eye blinding shine and the fact that it cleans the inside of the case and the primer pockets.

    I am currently building a homemade rotary tumbler with a 5 gallon drum and a geared down wiper motor. I have no doubt it will be able to drive somewhere between 30 and 40 lbs.

    Has anyone ever tried to make their own ss media pins by cutting welding wire. (not the flux core ones) I know how ridiculous this sounds but I am seriously considering it.

    Reasons listed bellow
    1) I am cheap as hell
    2) Cant get it anywhere in SA
    3) Postage to SA would be more expensive than pins
    4) I would be willing to sit and cut for a whole day if I have to just so I can get started
    5) The amount I need to keep 5 gallon tumbler happy

    Please feel free to tell me I'm crazy. I know the edges would be rough. Can i tumble the pins only for a day to debur them and would it really matter? Maybe line the inside with sanding paper to debur pins. And remove sanding paper when pins are up to par and rinse.

    Thanks

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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