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tumbeling

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by jvbutter, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

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    Im getting ready to head down to dads to reload a few calibers... how long does it take on avg to tumble clean your brass??? Im wondering if I should get me a tumbler up here to take clean brass down. If it takes long I will. Dont want to waste time cleaning, when I should be reloading. Ive also heard him talk about him having 2 tumblers for 2 diff media grades. Good or bad in your opinion.
     
  2. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

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    I bought the medium sized one from Harbor Freight. The media is walnut shells and is pre-lubricated. About an hour seems to work for me.
     
  3. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    +1 on Harbor freight. Their tumblers are way cheaper than a tumbler that is specifically for reloading, though they will do the same thing. Walnut media there is about $25 for 25 pounds, much cheaper than Lyman or RCBS walnut, or corncob for that matter.

    As for time tumbling, I usually run mine for a few hours. I say a few, and not a specific number, because it varies. Also, I tumble mine before sizing and depriming, so I don't have to go back and punch out any media out of my flash holes.
     
  4. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

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    good idea... He says he has plenty of brass, I think I might just take mine down, and use his clean and put mine in his tumbler... then leave mine for hime.
     
  5. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    It depends on how dirty the brass is and how aggressive your media is. I usually run for a "few hours" with Tufnut. I like it better than treated corncob and I get a nice shine.

    I've started using ultrasonic cleaning for rifle cases. It does a nice job on the inside of the case. I got a cleaner at Harbor Freight that is made by the same company that makes Hornady's and has double the capacity. Including the rinsing it takes me less than 30 minutes.
     
  6. nick425

    nick425 Eastside of Lake Washington Member

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    And that Chicago Electric ultrasonic costs less than the Hornady. :)
     
  7. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    With multiple tumblers and no time restraint, you can clean lots of brass, and be ready to reload.. Clean, shinning and ready to load are very subjective..
     
  8. nrc

    nrc Oregon Member

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    When the media is new / cleaner - it goes faster. As the media picks up gunk from the cases, it takes longer.

    Free tip - Throw a dryer sheet (doesn't matter what brand, doesn't even matter if its already been used - although my wife prefers I only take them after she's used them) into the media along with the brass, and the dryer sheet will come out black, and the media will be slightly cleaner (as if it were 'recharged').

    Remember brass needs to be clean enough to chamber and fire consistently - it does not need to be 'shiny' unless that is your cosmetic preference.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I usually wash my brass first in a mix of vinegar and either dish or laundry soap. Does a good job of cleaning it up and making the media last longer.

    If you want shinyer brass, use corncob, if you have heavily tarneshed or blemed brass, use walnut (walnut is much more aggressive). Think of corncob as the steel wool to walnut's sandpaper (if you've ever finished wood).

    I also highly recommend dillon's case polish, it has a little bit of wax in it which makes the brass stay bright longer. The frankford arsenal and other "citrus" based polishes do a very good job, but don't leave any wax or oil behind to protect the brass, so even a few days of air exposure and it looks like crap. I've heard some people get good results with certain brands of automotive car polish but I have never had the time to explore those options.

    As for tumbling... I use a cement mixer, use about 10gal of corncob to 5gal of .223 brass. usually done in about 4 hours :)
     
  10. Edmon

    Edmon Battle Ground Member

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    Which media is better the coarse or fine?
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I like fine or extra fine, as it doesn't get caught in the flash holes. usually 20-40 mesh.

    You can also go with the coarser stuff, but make sure you only use large cases with it (or have media bigger than the case mouths) as it will get stuck in side. This is the problem I had with the bird/lizard bedding a lot of people tout... jammed up a whole bunch of .223 brass, but it worked great on .45 ACP brass.
     
  12. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

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    Dad uses both, he uses a 2 step method... I'm sure is a rough clean, picking up the biggest, then fine for polishing.
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Nix on the vinegar. It will weaken and damage your brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and vinegar (acid) will leech out the zinc.

    Also nix on any lubricants in the tumbling media. I don't want them mixed with my primer or powder. It's one thing to lube just the outside of a rifle case for the die, and another to contaminate the inside.

    The object here is to clean the brass with friction, without changing its chemical properties or greasing it up.

    $.02
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If he's anal like I am you won't. I buy only matched head stamp, once fired indoor range brass or once fired military brass. If you use mixed head stamps, you'll have a wide variation in internal volumes and therefore a wide variation in pressure when fired, and a resulting variation in accuracy.

    I know how many times each of my groups of brass has been loaded and fired and when it's time to toss them.

    I won't load or fire unknown matched or mixed brass - especially not mixed.

    $.02
     
  15. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

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    nope, not so annal... he pics brass up of the range floor... or actually mom did....

    oh and I think he said or maybe someone mentioned about putting some car wax in the mix... turtle wax maybe... has anyone heard this??? I didnt hear about any vinegar...
     
  16. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    Nu Finish is what many people use, I don't know about Turtle Wax.

    I've used a couple of the "restorers" and they definitely help. They seem to work better in corncob than walnut.

    I second the dryer sheet - no dust and your brass smells clean and is static free ...