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Thread: 6.8 Brass vs. concrete mixer

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    6.8 Brass vs. concrete mixer

    Here is the results of my stainless pins/concrete mixer setup for brass cleaning. I love it. This is about 2000 cases. So much quicker than my vibratory tumbler and no dust! I can run about 1 1/2 five gallon buckets at one time. 3 hours later, the come out looking new.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I guess I'm gonna have to figure out how to post to youtube to get the video up.

  2. #2
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    How many pounds of pins are you using in it?

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    15lbs right now. Appears to be plenty. I plan on ordering more and trying about 25lbs to see if it makes a difference. The concrete mixer has a 285lb capacity, so I got room.

  4. #4
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    That has got to make one hell of a racket when it is spinning with that much brass in it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    I think it is about the same as my vibratory tumbler was. The water kinda kills the noise. I could be wrong though. I run this outside and I ran my regular tumbler inside in a small room while reloading.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    You can get a concrete redi-mix truck and go all over the country, cleaning brass as you go. This might launch a new career for you.
    yooper

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yooper View Post
    You can get a concrete redi-mix truck and go all over the country, cleaning brass as you go. This might launch a new career for you.
    yooper
    Hmmm... The local rental company has a concrete mixing trailer. You rent the trailer, buy the mix from them. It mixes as you drive home and is ready to go. Bet I could clean up at the gun shows. Minus the concrete of course!

  8. #8
    I've heard the pins flow right through the flash hole. Have you tried with de-capped brass?

  9. #9
    Love Life
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    Wow I am impressed. 1 1/2 5 gallon buckets is a bit over 2,000 308 cases (40 lbs per bucket). So you used 15 pounds of pins to about 50 lbs of brass? I have pins and this looks legit. What did you do for media separation? A giant cat litter dookie scooper? Scoop out with a bucket and dump in the media separator?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Do you have a metal or polymer drum?

  10. #10
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Yes, is this a plastic drum mixer?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    I haven't tried with no primers yet. Once I size what you see in that pic, I will probably run it again to clean the primer pockets and lube off. It is a plastic drum. I use my RCBS rotary media separator to separate the pins from the brass.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    Attachment 66035
    This is the separator I currently use. I will probably build a bigger one because the size of this one slows my production down.

  13. #13
    Love Life
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    I have a metal cement mixer and I am concerned the pins would take the paint off and deposit into my brass. Hmmmm. I'll give it a try this week with a small batch, but then I would have no use for my Bigg Dawg tumbler.

    Dang new ideas.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    You should be very careful about using pins without removing the primers. You can get pins jammed into the flash hole and you will not know it until you deprime your brass.

  15. #15
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    Why not just use water, dish soap, and some citric acid? I use it in 3lb rock tumblers to clean brass. Just wondering.

    Thanks.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageRifle View Post
    Why not just use water, dish soap, and some citric acid? I use it in 3lb rock tumblers to clean brass. Just wondering.

    Thanks.
    I might do this on my next run of brass that I sell. That would do away with my most time consuming step. The stainless media works so good, I might not be happy with it any other way.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy lmfd20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Life View Post
    I have a metal cement mixer and I am concerned the pins would take the paint off and deposit into my brass. Hmmmm. I'll give it a try this week with a small batch, but then I would have no use for my Bigg Dawg tumbler.

    Dang new ideas.
    My original plan was to use a metal mixer and I had the same concerns. I was going to spray it inside and out with bedliner material. But I found the one with the poly drum cheaper than I could buy a metal one of the same size and do the bedliner.
    Since you already have the metal one, it might be worth it to have it sprayed or do it yourself.

  18. #18
    Love Life
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    Hmmm. I looked for a poly drum mixer, but none were available locally and they cost more than the metal mixer at Home Depot and Lowes. I may get the poly one any just to do this. This way I can keep the metal one filled with corn cob and polish to run the brass through to keep it from tarnishing. If one cement mixer is good, than 2 are Mo' better.

  19. #19
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    lovelife: That's the spirit! More machines!

    As far as finding a plastic mixer try Lowes or Home Depot online. You can order one and then have it shipped to your local store, usually for free. Local pickup better.

    You could get four kids running 4 little Lee presses with depriming dies to do the depriming operation,and then some Dillon primer pocker swagers,,This would get you going until you could afford some automated Dillon 1050's.

    Then you'd have a real factory going, and you'd be producing a real quality product.

    Deprime, sized, primer pockets swaged, clean with pins, polish with cobs and nufinish, package, ship.

    Ready to Load Product!

    You could get .20 ea easily for this product, and sell all you could make. It's called "Value Added," and it is what you are trying to do.

    Just a matter of working up to it. This is how all the big guys got that way.

    I just bought 1000 rounds of OF cleaned, sized, trimmed, and primed, ready to load5.56 brass. All LC headstamp, for .23 per round From Top Brass. That was $230+$20 tax or $250 for the thousand Really .25 ea at my end.

    I add 25 gr of BLC2, a bullet and crimp. Ready to shoot for .37 per round!

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 04-01-2013 at 01:35 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  20. #20
    Love Life
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    I'm slowly getting there W.R. Buchanan. With just one cement mixer, some 30 gallon totes, 80 lbs of corn cob, 2 pounds of citric acid, 2 bottles of Nu-finish, and some mineral spirits I was able to clean and bring 1,500 lbs of 308 brass to market in 2 weeks...by myself with no end in sight. I work 5 hours a day AFTER I get home from my real job. No complaints as it is the American way. Work hard and you are rewarded.

    Right now I am running an 85% keeper rate because some brass has stubborn spots the corn cob doesn't remove. That is where the SS tumbling comes in. 99% keeper rate and well worth the investment. I just need to run some testing to see if SS tumbling is acceptable if the brass is not de-capped and what the drying time would be so people don't end up with water all over their presses. As for the the Super 1050 I have been all over looking for one, but I'm not paying current market prices for one. I may just put an order into Dillon and wait...

    At this time all my sizing is done on a Lee Classic Cast and all trimming done on a RCBS power trim pro. While the Dillon won't reduce the number of handle pulls it WILL add convenience with the auto index and case feeder. Trimmer wise I was looking at a Gracy or Giraud. The Dillon trimmer doesn't provide the quality chamfer and debur that I want in my brass and expect from prepped brass I buy.

    So right now I am getting along with what I have, but some equipment upgrades will increase both productivity and quality of my finished product. I am eating this elephant one bite at a time.

    On a side note if anybody has a spare Dillon Super 1050 with case feeder just collecting dust I would love to take it off your hands...

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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