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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A member here gifted me a tumbler. I have been using it going on 4 months now. Here are my thoughts. This is from one who has been cleaning brass with steel wool for more years than I want to admit, so if you see I am doing wrong or can do better please tell me.

My first attempt was lizard bedding with nu finish car wax added. Did OK, nothing great. Flash holes clogged up. Nu finish and bedding caused clumping.

Next was stainless pins, dawn dish detergent and lemishine. Cleaned well, only a few flash holes clogged. Used a wire sieve to separate the pins from the brass and dried in the oven. Real pain to separate and dry.

Lyman crushed walnut shells with jewlers rouge, premixed. Excellent, bright brass. Looks better than new. Flash holes clogged.

I have settled on the Lyman media. I deprime after tumbling and use a primer pocket cleaner. Was hoping to avoid that step, but my reloads now look better than new factory loads.
 
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Question on the stainless pins. Where did you get the stainless pins from?

I really read up on the process before I started it and am glad I did and worked out a easy process to separate pins from brass. I have never had any pins get stuck in the flash holes an have cleaned over 20,000 cases using this method. From my research pins getting stuck in the flash holes only came from the pins purchased at a discount rate from random sellers online. They often have inconsistent diameters that can cause this issue. The pins from STM why a little more expensive seem to work perfect for me.
 

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I prefer the stainless steel pins/wet in a rock tumbler method. I would much rather separate the brass and pins, which I don't find to be difficult, to cleaning the primer pockets after using the walnut shell method. Just my preference.

I will point out a couple of tools I used when manually cleaning primer pockets that was pretty quick!

I put this in my DeWalt cordless drill.
Redding Primer Pocket Uniformer Tool Power Adapter

They make this in 2 sizes, small primer and large primer.
RCBS Primer Pocket Brush

With this setup I could clean some primer pockets much quicker than by turning by hand.

PS: I agree with FKL about never having pins stuck in the flash hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Question on the stainless pins. Where did you get the stainless pins from?

I really read up on the process before I started it and am glad I did and worked out a easy process to separate pins from brass. I have never had any pins get stuck in the flash holes an have cleaned over 20,000 cases using this method. From my research pins getting stuck in the flash holes only came from the pins purchased at a discount rate from random sellers online. They often have inconsistent diameters that can cause this issue. The pins from STM why a little more expensive seem to work perfect for me.
Amazon. The pins in the flash holes were not the biggest problem, as they were only a few. I need a better way to separate them from the brass. Maybe need to get one of the Rockford Arsenal media separators.
I really like the shine the Lyman media leaves though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I prefer the staswagger. steel pins/wet in a rock tumbler method. I would much rather separate the brass and pins, which I don't find to be difficult, to cleaning the primer pockets after using the walnut shell method. Just my preference.

I will point out a couple of tools I used when manually cleaning primer pockets that was pretty quick!

I put this in my DeWalt cordless drill.
Redding Primer Pocket Uniformer Tool Power Adapter

They make this in 2 sizes, small primer and large primer.
RCBS Primer Pocket Brush

With this setup I could clean some primer pockets much quicker than by turning by hand.

PS: I agree with FKL about never having pins stuck in the flash hole.
Use the brush, never a reamer, but a swager. Wonder if one is better than the other?
 

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Flash holes collecting cleaner of just about any type is going to happen. I have been loading for over 50 years and will confess to shooting and reloading without cleaning often. Loads for revolvers that are warm enough to burn clean are seldom cleaned. Small mouth cases, 22 caliber and smaller are just wiped and loaded. Being old and lazy has helped extend the cleaner life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
F.W.I.W. I dump the dry media in a colander, shake it and the media falls through leaving the brass. The pins don't do as well.
 
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Use the brush, never a reamer, but a swager. Wonder if one is better than the other?
I may be misreading what you typed.

But the first tool I linked to is just a little adapter that fits in the chuck of a drill so you can thread various tools, such as the brush, into for cleaning the primer pockets. My apologies if I misread what you typed.
 

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After fooling a lot with dry I'm stuck on wet + pins as well. I size, deprime (clean primer pockets saves time) and I separate by hand turning 2 at a grab primer pockets up in running water. Anything straight walled takes just a quick pass. 100%.

Necked down rifle brass are the only ones that sometimes require a little extra effort (shake) but that may be 1 in 10 at most.

My .02. :cool:

I am up to 3 HF tumblers which can get a lot done and allows separate calibers to run at once as well.
 

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A member here gifted me a tumbler. I have been using it going on 4 months now. Here are my thoughts. This is from one who has been cleaning brass with steel wool for more years than I want to admit, so if you see I am doing wrong or can do better please tell me.

My first attempt was lizard bedding with nu finish car wax added. Did OK, nothing great. Flash holes clogged up. Nu finish and bedding caused clumping.

Next was stainless pins, dawn dish detergent and lemishine. Cleaned well, only a few flash holes clogged. Used a wire sieve to separate the pins from the brass and dried in the oven. Real pain to separate and dry.

Lyman crushed walnut shells with jewlers rouge, premixed. Excellent, bright brass. Looks better than new. Flash holes clogged.

I have settled on the Lyman media. I deprime after tumbling and use a primer pocket cleaner. Was hoping to avoid that step, but my reloads now look better than new factory loads.
Greg_R Just for my own edification...what are you using for a tumbler? Is it a rock tumbler (wet) or a vibrator (dry)?
 

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I use a modified colander I purchased from the dollar store. Place it in a large plastic bowl filled with water and shake it back and forth. The pins fall out much better while submerged in water. This also helps rinse the soap from the brass.

IMG_0143.jpg
 

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I began and still use a dry media (corn cob or walnut) and have a rotating separator (look at the picture/ bottom right) to seperate the brass from the media.
honestly I just do not have that many flash holes plugged myself.
to me it seems easier than rinsing and drying the cases using a liquid cleaner?
maybe not but it just isn't real big a deal for me to check the flash holes for media as I place them in storage container for later use?
This I the time that I really inspect the brass anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I may be misreading what you typed.

But the first tool I linked to is just a little adapter that fits in the chuck of a drill so you can thread various tools, such as the brush, into for cleaning the primer pockets. My apologies if I misread what you typed.
No, I think I misunderstood. A tool to take some hand work out is good. I will look into this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Greg_R Just for my own edification...what are you using for a tumbler? Is it a rock tumbler (wet) or a vibrator (dry)?
Rock tumbler
 

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I still use a Viking vibratory rock tumbler my father and I bought in the late 60's with walnut shells, I hate dirty brass.
 

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When I reloaded I would do tumbling in my Dillon turbo tumbler for about an hour just to get dirt off. Then I would resize the casings, tumble them again, and then clean out the primer pockets. Everything was done one at a time, but that way I could inspect everything a few times.
 

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I have so much to learn about Cleaning my brass. My kids got me the Cabela's brand cleaner for Christmas. (Remember, I buy what I want for myself and give to the kids to give to me.)
 

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I get a little crazy with my brass polishing. In my mind, tumbling with polish is like waxing you car, and not wiping the wax off.

I have two vibratory tumblers. I do a load in the first one, which has walnut shell media and Nu-finish or brass polish for 2 hours. Then I take that brass and put it into the second tumbler, which has dry corn cob media for 2 hours.

Probably too extreme for most folks ;)
 

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Boy, talk about a bunch of anal retentive reloaders. I reload .45acp, .357, 9mm and .30carb, and have never cleaned a primer pocket. They all still go bang.
 

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OK, are all you brass cleaners ready for a :shocked:? What I am about to tell you, I picked up from an old reloader back several years ago; when I first read about it, I almost fell out of my chair. This cannot be the way to clean my brass and be safe at the same time.

Well, I have been doing this for over 5 years, and nothing has happened yet! OK, here we go. I use a vibratory cleaner with corn cob bedding material from Wal*Mart with 3 tsp of Frankford Arsenal Brass Polish for Vibratory case Tumblers and I let them run for about 1.5 hours. .......Now, for the big shock! I do not put my brass in the tumbler until it has been reloaded! ....That's right, the finished round. I do this with everything I reload, form .380's to 44 Magnums! They come out looking just like they came from the factory. I do make sure the brass is free of dirt etc. before I start the reloading process. I have cut my reloading time in half, from start to putting finished rounds in their boxes.

I know, you are thinking that one day, one is going to go off. I say, the chances are ZERO.

Have fun with all those extra steps.:D
 
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