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Sonic or Tumbler

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by magshooter, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. magshooter

    magshooter oregon Member

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    Getting back into reloading I was wondering what is your opinion between sonic or regular media tumblers for brass? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Sonic cleaners do have an advantage. They can also be used to clean firearm parts.

    For brass I have gone totally to the Stainless Steel Pin media in a tumbler. Does a fantastic job cleaning inside, outside, and primer pockets. It's like reloading with NEW brass every time. Cost wise, the stainless media is more expensive initially than corn cob with 5# costing anywhere from $30-$50 but it's permanent. Doesn't get dirty, dusty, or wear out into powder. A Tumbler is less than $200 for a large one. Most Sonic Cleaners can run big bucks for the same capacity.

    But then again, you can clean your pistol in a sonic cleaner if you want to take it apart.
     
  3. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Federal Way Active Member

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    How much of a difference is there between the Sonics and the SS media as far as primer pockets? I've seen pics of the SS media's handywork and it's beautiful. How close to that can the sonic cleaners get to that new look?

    You also mentioned that you can clean parts with the sonic. Can it get the really tough carbon off? I'm talking about the stuff you need to scrape with a dental pick.
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The sonics are good cleaners. My only issue is that those large enough for my jobs are real expensive. For small parts cleaning they will take off crusty carbon but it takes time.

    It really depends on the job you intend for the system. If you need the ability to clean small amounts of brass and small parts then a Sonic Cleaner will work great. The stainless/tumbler is OK for some parts and no good for anything that has a finish coating you want to keep such as parkerization or bluing. If you need to clean large quantities of brass cases and not small parts then get a large tumbler and stainless steel media.

    Unlike a pair of "Stretch Pants" one size does not fit all.
     
  5. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    One thing to consider with the sonic cleaners is you need to let your cases air dry for awhile at least a day. last thing you want is moisture in your case when you dump powder. So keep that in mind. Just one of the problems i have heard of from guys. with corn cob or other dry medias you can take a case straight from the media dump it out and load. I do like the idea of cleaning gun parts in the sonic cleaners think that would be real handy for my ar bolt.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For cleaning AR bolt and carrier have you ever tried SLIP 2000 Carbon Killer? I got a jar of this about a year ago and just soak all the parts for 1/2 hour to 1 hour before I tackle cleaning. Loosens the carbon so instead of having to chisel and scrape, most comes off in flakes, real easy. Takes the parts right down to metal but doesn't remove any parkerization, etc.
     
  7. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Hey thanks for the tip. so do you tear down the bolt and carrier? or just soak the whole thing at once -firing pin? was thinkin sonic i could just throw in as a complete unit and avoid tearing it down.
     
  8. Hotwheelz

    Hotwheelz Pierce County Member

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    Ive spent 20min looking at alot of diff. Stainless Steel Pin media and not sure what size or a good place as far a price is concerned could you point me in a direction and maybe the size you would recomend Im very interested.. thanks
     
  9. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Here's one site that sells it in 5# quantities. A little pricey and it can be obtained for about half price from several commercial sites. Savings varies as to the amount you order and the shipping.

    Stainless Steel Reloading Supplies | Tumblers, Seperators, Media & More!

    Just remember that it's permanent so what you buy will be with you for many years.

    This site also had some good prices on tumblers too.