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Thread: I need some tumbling help.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I need some tumbling help.

    I have a cabelas tumbler, corn cob media, and cabelas case polish. My brass has soot around the mouth that will not come off in the tumbler. I do not resize first, and the soot just gets shiny with the brass. I can scour it off with a scotchbrite pad and the brass polishes up good. I tried running the cases longer, even over night without removing the offending soot.

    Should I try a different media?

    What do yall reckon?

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub




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    I swear by walnut shell for smokeless and black powder


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Ground Walnut hulls are a harder sharper more aggresive cleaning than the corn cob is. It may do more for you, as a pre polish. Clean cases first in walnut then an hour or so in walnuts to get the bright shine. A short soak in citric acid (lemon shine granuales from the grocery store) may loosen it for the corn cobs to remove also. Some powders and or lubes stain the brass making it very hard to remove. CAn you feel the edges of it or is the case smooth? It may be a stain on the brass.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    I've used long grain rice and BB's to help loosen tougher gunk. My preference is wet tumbling with stainless steel media in a home made tumbler made with a car wiper motor, 2 gal buckets some rollers and wood. kind of like these but I use 2 buckets, 1 attached and the other slid inside, screwed 4 small aluminum angle inside for agitators. Make sure the lid has a rubber gasket. 2 hrs with 5# stainless steel, 1 tsp lemi-shine and 2 squirts dawn dish soap get everything clean. can do up to 1200 9 MM at a time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bXLq_9CW4c
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyXJI-9EzyY
    Last edited by Grmps; 01-19-2017 at 07:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    TREATED walnut shell will solve your problem. Get the red colored treated media, it has red brass polishing rouge in it.
    Corn cob will lightly clean , but is woefully inadequate in the tough cleaning and polishing department.
    Rice , kitty litter and pet bedding are a waste of time, the red treated walnut media will do the job in one session , with no need for a drying step .
    I've tried it all.
    Gary

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have dry tumbling for years using commercial media, don't know what it is, with a Midway polishing liquid. Have had good results. With that said I am now moving to the wet/stainless pins to try and get primer holes a bit cleaner.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Sometimes I've had old discolored cases and have removed the worst of it with Brasso or Semichrome metal polish before tumbling.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I loaded for a lot of years without a tumbler; cases don't need to be shiny, just clean. I am really resisting going to the wet pin type.

    I found that corn cobs do great for polishing, not so great for cleaning.

    Walnut hulls do a better job of cleaning. The ground English walnut hulls sold as lizard bedding works better than the black walnut hulls, I believe they are a bit harder.

    As for treating the media; I don't like the rouge types, they always seemed to leave a bit of dust on the cases, and rouge is a polishing compound. I don't need that stuff going into my dies. I do occasionally put in a capful of Nufinish car wax and run it a few minutes before putting the cases in.

    Robert

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold Cottonpicker's Avatar
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    I had a problem with sooty buildup on bottleneck cases. Seemed like the NuFinish I was using as a brightner was getting gummy. Stopped using brightner and just used plain walnut hull and the problem went away. Cases aren't as shiny but I don't have the buildup anymore, plus the media lasts longer before change out.
    IDENTIFY>RESPOND

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I've found a difference between "cartridge tumbling media" and "blast media", with blast media being more aggressive and consistent. The original crushed walnut I tried was from Petsmart, a dark, coarse grind, dry walnut, bedding (the light blond colored "Desert Blend" does no better than corncob tumbling media). After trying everything from beach sand to dried coffee grounds to ceramic pyramids, I settled on corn cob blast media http://www.drillspot.com/products/49...bs_blast_media

    But having said all that, I reloaded for 12 years before I got a tumbler. I jst wiped each case with a solvent dampened rag as I inspected it. Nope, no ruined/scratched dies and yep, I could easily spot any defects in the brass...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Yodogsandman's Avatar
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    I have the same problem and don't want to tumble twice, once with walnut and once with corn cob. So, I've always "bit the bullet" and cleaned the case mouths first with 0000 steel wool and Hoppes #9 before polishing cases with the corn cob blast media treated with Midway polishing compound. It really just takes a few minutes to do.
    A deplorable that votes!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I was going to make a50-50 mix of corn cob ad walnut to try as an all around polishing media but never did. I wet the corn cob with 2-4 ozs of rubbing alchlol and let run for 3-5 mins to distributeit thru the media then add a cap full of Iosso brass cleaner polish and ifits hand a cap of nufinish polish. This gets al but the most stborn deposits stains off. The Alchlol seems to rejuvanate th left over Iosso and Nufinish.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
    Skunk1's Avatar
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    Harbor freight walnut and Nu finish for years. Not as clean as SS pins but good enough for me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Try a citric acid wash, swirl and shake for 5 minutes, then 2 or 3 good rinses and lay them out in a warm place to dry. Mine come out clean enough that my vibrating tumbler no longer gets used.

    It may not look like new, but you can see clean brass clear to the touchhole and the soot is gone off the outside.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ok, so I went to down my reloading room and looked at the vibratory media I'm using. Frankfort Arsenal Treated Corn Media #5 and Midway Polishing liquid. Still have most of it after 5 years running two vibrating tumblers. Brass always came out, clean and shiny. Never had any problems with them being dirty, except the primer hole. Have tried sonic cleaner after tumbling. Did a better job.
    Now I'm gonna try wet/SS pins. I like shiny brass. Also keeps dies much cleaner.


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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Harbor Freight has some tumbling media that I use for tools, rusty parts, etc., in my rotary tumbler. I also mix this with corn cob blast media, 50/50 for some real cleaning of stubborn tarnished brass http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...tumbling+media
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyones replies thus far. Perhaps I just need to use walnut media. I had a tumbler once before and cannot remember for sure, but I think i used walnut media, whereas this tumbler came with cob media.


    The edges of the offending soot are smooth. It seems like a discoloration of the brass, a stain. It doesnt come off easy, but requires a fair amount of scrubbing. I have it happening on 30-30 and 44 magnum brass. 30-30 brass was loaded with 748 powder mostly, and the 44 was loaded with AA9 mostly. I know that brass doesnt need to be shiny, I dont care if it shines, as long as its brass colored instead of brown/black.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    As a big plus, shiny brass is easy to see on the ground! 😆

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  19. #19
    I always used walnut shells with flitz media additive. Come out nice and shiny


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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Frankford Arsenal tumbler. A most bad one for $154.00 at CABELA`S. Missed sale by 12 hours
    Clerk wouldn't give me sale price.
    Just have to wait till it goes on sale again


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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