Tumbling Brass

Calif. Hunter

Active member
Joined
Dec 13, 2000
Messages
5,193
Location
Apple Valley, CA, USA
I've used a homemade tumbler that I got from my Dad for years, and I finally got a new one from Midway for Christmas. I am mainly concerned with cleaning the brass, not so much in making it look shiny and new. I've always been leery of adding chemicals to the media, as I don't want any residue in or on my cases. I know it must be safe, or reputable manafacturers and retailers wouldn't offer it. How many of you add polish to yur media, and if so, do you worry about removing it before loading the cases? Thanks!
 
I use Lyman TufNut and then crushed corn cob (untreated). The TufNut has Jeweler's rouge in it and will definitely polish the brass. After I use the TufNut, I tumble in corn cob for about 15 mins. to remove the rouge from the cases. I don't know if this is necessary but I hate to have red fingers after reloading.
 
CalifHunter, Dillon makes a brass polish the works quite well. I've used it since it came out. I never have any residue on my cases and they always come out clean and shiney. I use only corncob media in my tumbler and I tumble several cases at the same time. Sometimes, if I am in a hurry to get some brass clean, I will throw in about 200 38 special cases with my rifle cases or 223 cases with pistol cases. That provides more surfaces to bounce against each other and makes the brass really shine.

------------------
Dan AZ :cool:
www.huntandlodge.com
 
I use the Dillon stuff also, it works great.
Clean, shiny brass with no residue As for media, check at feed stores or pet stores, you can find corn cob media for about 1/4 the pric yu pay from re-loading sorces.
 
CA. Hunter, I use treated walnut, and put a piece of paper towel in tumbler that gathers all the grime on it while tumbling. This has increased the life of the media, and has left the brass much brighter. Maybe it would be worth a try.

When at the bench I use a rag with dab of Hoppes to clean the case necks after shooting, and this has saved a lot of tumbling time-----------Chainsaw
 
I also have the midway tumbler and use the midway polish on the corncob media. I tumble after each firing and then again after resizing and a trim if needed. I'm not obsessive compulsive, I just like really shiny brass. I like the paper towel in the tumbler idea chainsaw. I always have a layer of soot sticking to the sides of the tumbler when I'm done.

red

[This message has been edited by red (edited 01-11-2001).]
 
As an update, I've been using the Midway polish that came with the tumbler and I have to admit that I like it. Leaves the brass much cleaner and shineir, plus it smells nice and citrus-y too. I'll try that paper towel in the tumbler suggestion tonight...I have a bunch of 45 acp brass to clean. Thanks, guys!
 
I don't know what kind of tumbler mine is, I have had it 16 years. I use the walnut hulls with jewlers rouge in it. I wipe the out side clean and pick the little pieces out of the primer pockets as I clean them. I never clean the inside or anything like that. I have never had a misfire in the field nor can I see its make any differents. I like my brass clean and shinning.
Be safe, have fun!
deadeye2
 
Those are all good brass cleaners, but I have switched to plain old paint thinner (mineral spirits) for my brass. Just a teaspoon or so everytime I run a new batch through works.

------------------
Brian
The 416 Taylor WebPage!

helico4.gif
 
The paper towel idea is great! I have 7 dillion tumbler's I use them mostly for deburring parts at my shop. Ive used mineral spirits also and that works good.

Delw
 
I also have the midway tumbler and use the midway polish on the corncob media. I tumble after each firing and then again after resizing and a trim if needed. I'm not obsessive compulsive, I just like really shiny brass. I like the paper towel in the tumbler idea chainsaw. I always have a layer of soot sticking to the sides of the tumbler when I'm done.

red

[This message has been edited by red (edited 01-11-2001).]

That is what I have been doing for decades. Feed store corncob, midway polish and a piece of paper towel.
 
Do you all tumble before or after removing the primer? I did it after and had media stuck in nearly every flash hole.
I do post primer removal. I found that fine ground walnut hull media from Frankford Arsenal does not get stuck like corn cob. But it is "dustier", hence the use of dryer sheets.
 
As an update, I've been using the Midway polish that came with the tumbler and I have to admit that I like it. Leaves the brass much cleaner and shineir, plus it smells nice and citrus-y too. I'll try that paper towel in the tumbler suggestion tonight...I have a bunch of 45 acp brass to clean. Thanks, guys!
I use Lizard Litter/Crushed Walnut shells from Pet Smart for way less than stuff sold specifically for tumbling brass. I add a capful of Nu Finnish car polish and "Used" dryer sheets to collect all the dust. I cut the used sheets into strips and add a bunch to the media. I've been using this system for decades. Works great. Paper towels won't trap near as much dust and grime as the used dryer sheets. Don't use New dryer sheets.
 
I have tried several different additives, and always come back to Flitz Tumbler Media Additive. It seems to last longer, cleans and polishes faster, and doesn't stink up the place. If you use it as directed, there is no dust, but if you let the media dry out, that is when things get dusty. I just put about a tablespoon of it into the media, let the tumbler run for about 20 minutes, then put the brass in. 2 hours later I have brass that looks like new.
One word of caution NEVER use anything that contains ammonia. Brasso contains ammonia, and if you use it, it could lead to weakening the brass, so in case you missed it NEVER use anything that contains ammonia.
I tumble before resizing to prevent any dirt/grit/carbon from scratching my sizing die. After resizing the case, I use a RCBS tool with a small stainless steel brush that cleans the primer pocket.
 
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I used to use a dryer sheet and lemon shine in my media now I switched to stainless steel wet tumbler I love it only regret is I didn’t get it sooner
 
Do you all tumble before or after removing the primer? I did it after and had media stuck in nearly every flash hole.
I do both. Before I re-size to keep from scratching my dies and again after I finish my case prep. Then I wear the cotton "gripper" gloves with the little rubber dots on them from there until the finished round goes in the box. This keeps my skin oils off the cases. It's OCD, I know, but I have 20 year old handloads that look like they just came out of the tumbler.
 
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