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Thread: I need some tumbling help.

  1. #41
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    A hot soak in citric acid will remove real grimmy stuff.
    For general use, walnut shells with a small splash of mineral spirits and a cap full of "Nu Finish" car polish.
    You can find this wherever car wax is sold. Add the spirits ans polish to your walnut and let it run for about 30 min. until it is mixed together well. Add your brass and tumble for 4-5 hours. Your brass will look like new.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  2. #42
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I finally got around to trying the media that kywoodwrkr gave me. The walnut, untreated, It did markedly better than the corncob i'd been using, but it still is not to my satisfaction. It removed the black soot, but did not remove the underlying stain. So the brass is clean, but stained. So, i'll try various additives until I find something that cleans acceptably. After having used the walnut media, I am certain that what I had previously was walnut.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master
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    So I think you need to try Wet S/S tumbling. I just bough t a Frankland Arsenal tumbler. Wanted to see if I could get primer holes cleaned better. First batch was a previously and accepted batch of 45s. Boy, was I surprised on How Dirty the water was. I like like new looking brass. I think it just looks better and definitely keeps my dies cleaner.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about wet tumbling, but I really want to avoid it for several reasons. It may come to that, but for now, im hoping to find a happy middle ground. I dont like the idea of the drying that comes with wet tumbling.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master Phlier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I've been thinking about wet tumbling, but I really want to avoid it for several reasons. It may come to that, but for now, im hoping to find a happy middle ground. I dont like the idea of the drying that comes with wet tumbling.
    The complete Frankford Arsenal wet tumbling system is very nice. Their wet media separator removes *all* the pins, quick and easy. Out here in the desert, it's very dry. With our low humidity environment, it only takes an hour for the Frankford Arsenal brass drier to dry 1,000+ 9mm.

    Wet tumbling can be a real chore without the right setup. Get the complete kit, and you'll most likely never wiggle a case again.

    My vibratory tumbler is now only used for removing case lube from .223 brass.
    "Things sure are a lot more like the way they are now than they used to be." --Yogi Berra

  6. #46
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I'll ponder on it. I like the look of the lyman walnut tumbling media with rouge. I havent given up on what I have though, im experimenting on how to make it suitable to me.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master map55b's Avatar
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    I second GhostHawk. I'll use citric acid to clean cases that are nasty this way before putting them in the tumbler. You can find it in the grocery store as Sour Salts: https://www.americanspice.com/citric-acid-sour-salt/

  8. #48
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I havent tried anything new yet, But I'll most likely try mineral spirits next. About how much is a smalls splash?

  9. #49
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I used the walnut media that KYwoodworker gave me, with a splash of the cabelas case polish and it gives me the finish im looking for. Clean and dull bright. Walnut does a much better job vs corn cob in cleaning. Thanks for all the replies and advice.

    ~Bazoo

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
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    I mix the OMS with NuFinish in a small prescription bottle, add it to the walnut media, and run it for a few minutes before adding the brass to my vibe tumblers.
    Hydrating the walnut media with odorless mineral spirits (OMS) cleans the primer pockets and eliminates dust...for me.

  11. #51
    Boolit Man McFred's Avatar
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    They don't have to look pretty so long as they're clean (enough) and accurate. Pic below is after 5 years and 30 reloads of full pressure jacketed rounds:




    I induction anneal, toss them in some plain corncob to get the dirt off and neck size with some molybdenum disulfide in a bushing die. Sometimes I need to FL size so I use dishsoap and some citric acid in warm water then I dump them back in corncob to dry.

    Seems the moly and powder residues that stay in the neck reduce bullet seating effort and I get more consistent velocities than I do with pretty, squeaky-clean brass.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master

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    I am so retentive about keeping my press and dies clean I deprime with a small Lee Reloader press. 30+ years ago, Midway had a special where if you bought dies, you could get the press for $10, but it is still a bargain today. Anyway, hot soapy wash with Dawn, it cuts grease! (and vegetable oil) If loading bottle necked brass, I put the brass in a container with a screw on lid such as the larger cashew container. Add a dribble of vegetable oil and shake vigorously to apply an even coat. While sizing I am only handling the brass with my left so I get oil on my fingers. Every fifth or so piece I wipe my finger across the case mouth to apply lube for the expander ball and it doesn't take much. When done, hot soapy wash followed by soapy wash with lemon juice, maybe a table spoon per 1/2 gallon. I let that sit for 5 minutes, longer if the brass is really tarnished. I strain but don't dry the brass as it is going straight to the tumbler. The media is lizard bed walnut with 2 tablespoons of Turtle Zip Wash as it shines and seals the pores of the brass to prevent future oxidization. By leaving the brass wet, it reactivates the Zip Wash. And, what does wood fiber do when it gets wet? It expands. Over time, the media gets smooth from working against the brass. The wet brass reactivates the media as well. The media I have been using for the past 5 years (yes, he said 5 years) is still going strong because once it is really sooty, even after all the brass baths, get placed in a small zippered burlap bag that some brand of rice comes in. I take the bag to the sink, put some Dawn in it and rinse the heck out of the media until the water runs clear. I zip the bag shut and hang it on a fence post in the sun. Oh, those bags have a handle. Once the bag/media is dry I set it aside as the second bag of media that has already gone through the cleaning cycle goes into the tumbler. All of the other usual things as have been stated before are accomplished and everyone develops their own style and habits. Amusing anecdote, back in the 1970s when dad was teaching us boys to reload, we used steel dies and only wiped the lube off the cases. Nothing ever got washed and the brass turned darker and darker. Dad used to say that brass showed experience, like the Uki (Japanese belt for the Gi) started out white and turned darker from the oils of the hands until it turned black, signifying your experience level.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  13. #53
    Boolit Man McFred's Avatar
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    Fcvan, I envy the time you have to devote to brass cleaning. I know I couldn't follow your protocol.

  14. #54
    Boolit Man
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    If you absolutely can't get dry media to do the job, maybe it's time to give wet tumbling a try. The Harbor Freight dual drum rock tumbler is cheap and has enough capacity to easily keep me in brass for my Mosin, AR-15, and M&P 9. Hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and a sprinkle of Lemishine + two hours in the tumbler = great looking brass for me. I stopped using the steel pins even; they weren't needed for my cleanliness goals.

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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