Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Stainless Steel tumbler or Ultrasonic Cleaner???

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by vertical ascent, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    94
    I am in a quandary, I can't decide which one to purchase, my primary/ultimate goal are clean primer pockets. Any one have any suggestions?
    Currently I am using corncob media and it is awesome for polishing but not so good when it comes to cleaning the primer pockets.

    thanks
     
  2. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    93
    Never tried the ultrasonic cleaners, but the marketing people say they will get the primer pockets clean. You have to deprime first then clean. Any reason why you are wanting the primer pockets **** and span? I usually don't worry about them except for an occasional brushing, and certainly not every time. Never clean pistol primer pockets, and they seem to work.
     
  3. Benihaus

    Benihaus Portland American

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    111
  4. rainyday

    rainyday western washington Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have done both ultra sonic and rotory. rotory is the way to go. its a little work but doing so will turn inside and outside like new. plus if you ever get black brass, it will come out like new as well
     
  5. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    46
    I use a ultra sonic only when the primer pockets are really bad. It works well. You might try before you buy any thing, some lemi-shine and hot water with the primers pulled. This will get them pretty clean without buying any machinery. You can pick up lemi-shine at the grocery store or bimart etc. works well and you don't have to get any stainless steal pins out of the brass.
     
  6. rainyday

    rainyday western washington Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    2
    if you use #4 steel shot in a rotory, you wont have any thing stuck in flash hole
     
  7. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Vertical, borrow my ultrasonic. See how you like it. I posted about how easy it was in March. Don't expect I'll be doing any cleaning for a month or so.
    I'd like to try the stainless tumblers but balk at spending ~$10/lb for the media.

    PM me and we can meet somewhere.
     
  8. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    46
    Or he can come over and use mine if he wants.
     
  9. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    94
    I always believe that there are awesome members on this site!!!

    P7 and rid, thank you both for the offer, I might take you both on your offer.

    I have in mind purchasing the Hornady Lock-N-Load Magnum Sonic Cleaner Ultrasonic Case Cleaner Stainless Steel (Midway has this on-sale for $215 till the end of the month) or the Thumler's Tumbler Model B High Speed Rotary Case Tumbler
     
  10. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    80
    I have the Hornady Magum US and it has worked out well for me. I don't worry about primer pockets but for my rifle brass they get cleaned as well as I like to clean the lube off of rifle brass after depriming & resizing as it makes handling the brass (trimming) easier for me. This second cleaning gets the primer pockets.

    For pistol they are only cleaned once, before being placed on the press and that's it...never had a primer pocket primer on pistol (9's, 45's & 44's).
     
  11. Modly

    Modly Beaverton Active Member

    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    54
    I plan to use both eventually. Currently, I run them through an ultrasonic, then a walnut tumbler.

    The way I roll my brass out now, is when I have dirty stuff, I decap it and throw it into the ultrasonic cleaner, where it can get all of it's dirt and grit off (and a large portion of burnt residue in the primer pockets). I dry it out, lube up rifle brass (pistol brass goes in dry), and do my sizing/trimming/pocket swagging operations, then throw it into the walnut.

    My stuff comes out pretty clean, and it's a fairly manageable process to deal with when you do it in operation batches. I pre-process 8-10 calibers at a time with decapping and the ultrasonic fairly quickly, processing all of my range brass pickup to be clean enough for dies.
     
  12. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    1,254
  13. Shooter98

    Shooter98 McMinnville, Or. Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    18
    I tried the US method, and didn't like the results. I then tried the ss media, and really liked it. Only problem is I ended up having to put my tumbler outside while I was in my reloading room because the sound was deafening! The media I got was a little big to get into the primer pockets real well, but I use a pocket cleaner anyways, so no biggie. To be totally honest I'm back to using the fine walnut media with a cap full of CLR that I've done for many years. It gives me the best results and is almost silent while in the reloading room.
     
  14. noylj

    noylj high desert Active Member

    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    44
    Neither--a clean rag is all you need.
    I use an US cleaner when I want to and dry tumble when I want to, but I am not that concerned as long as the exterior is clean.
    I think there should be an ESPN competition for shiniest cases in shortest time. Maybe an Olympic event?
     
  15. Modly

    Modly Beaverton Active Member

    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    54
    You win for the most affordable option, but the time spent hand wiping every case could be time spent cranking a reloading lever. When I'm not cranking out other processes, I can do errands while my tumbler is going, or the ultra sonic is running.
     
  16. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    15
    My brother in law and I both have come to the cross roads. He went Ultra Sonic, and I went for the tumbler with SS. Both methods are wet, which create the need to dry the brass before reloading can begin. If you're looking for 'clean' brass, Ultrasonic does that. Most primer pockets come out decent. You can't do a lot of brass, but it does wash them faster.
    If, on the other hand, you want the inside of necked cases clean, and primer pockets beautiful, and the brass that looks new (yes, like new), then the tumbler is a better way to go. You only buy the SS media once unless you slop it out when washing. I can turn a couple hundred cases at a time for 3 to 4 hours. There are a few primer pockets that are a little less than perfect, but I can hit those pretty quick with my case prep tools. I like to use the SS method because I want to get accuracy as consistent as possible. So, if I am the only variable, that's one less thing that can throw my rounds... so I try and get the cases as clean as consistently possible. Even with an ultrasonic cleaner, my brother in law is sold on the SS method, and after borrowing mine for a couple weeks, is in the hunt for his own.

    Cases we have cleaned with the SS include .40, .45, .308, .223 and I believe he has washed 9mm, and perhaps 300 WSM (not positive). Both have their advantages, both are great methods. I prefer SS even though the initial investment is a little expensive. You only buy it once and they should last a long, long time.

    Cheers
     
  17. springfield0612

    springfield0612 Poulsbo Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    7
    I use an Ultra Sonic Cleaner(USC). Bought it on sale then used a 20% off coupon at Harbor Freight and paid $40. It is the same one that Lyman put their name on and sells for $100-$150. I presoak for 10 min with Birchwood Casey Brass Cleaner, then I run it in the USC and use Lemishine, a squirt of dish soap, and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Turn the heater on USC and run for (4) 8 min cycles, remove, rinse with warm water, and then I put it on my home made drying rack. (See Below)

    DRY RACK 1.jpg
    DRY RACK.jpg

    Some scrap wood, a fan, a space heater, a wire mesh rack and I have dry brass in under 30 min.

    DRY RACK 1.jpg

    DRY RACK.jpg
     
  18. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    94
    American ingenuity at work.


    Since I hardly cook, I use my oven to dry brass. I set it on Warm and leave the brass in there for about 15 minutes, I then turn the heat off and leave it in there for about 30 more minutes or so.
     
  19. Lurkus Maximus

    Lurkus Maximus Stanwood, WA New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    I roll the wet brass in a towell to get most of the water, then transfer it to the vibratory tumbler (which I no longer use for cleaning since the ss works so well). Hit it with a hair dryer for about three minutes. Dry as a bone and no water spots.
     
  20. Shooter98

    Shooter98 McMinnville, Or. Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    18
    Haha, you have to love ingenuity! I use an old jerky maker to dry my brass, works awesome!