Tumbling Media for Cleaning Brass

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  • Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    3,132
    SOMD
    I have been experimenting using many types of media for brass tumbling/vibrating equipment. All work pretty well average cost for about 2 pounds is $19.00.

    One day I was in a pet store shopping for my son's dog and noticed walnut shell cat litter. I use to use walnut shell as a blasting media for cleaning aluminum engine parts. I bought a 26 pound bag for $19.56 put it in my tumbler with some shitty brass. A couple of hours later wow clean as a whistle.

    I added some Tarnex to the walnut shells and ran some more brass. They came out shiner and looked polished. I rinsed them in baking soda water to kill any acid.

    So for about the same cost tumbling media from the sporting goods store you can get 26 pounds verse 2 pounds.
     

    ohen cepel

    Active Member
    Feb 2, 2011
    4,449
    Where they send me.
    I like the Lizard Litter walnut stuff also, seems less dusty. Add a little Nu-Shine car wax to mine from time to time.

    Priced well and I can pick it up locally which is nice.
     

    byf43

    SCSC Life/NRA Patron Life
    I've been using crushed walnut hulls for years.

    I remember "Top Hat" at the gunshows, selling 'Wallnot shells' (actual spelling on one of the containers).
    He was making more than a few dollars for every gallon jug of the stuff. (I have no problem with this. Just commenting on the spelling and a light jab at price.)

    I was in Petco this past Sunday, and picked up another bag of "Lizard Bedding" (crushed walnut hulls) and paid $14.50 for the 10 pound bag.

    I don't add anything to the media, when doing my 'first run' on the brass.
    I do add a dryer 'fabric softener sheet' to the tumbler, and it catches/attracts most of any dust that does get generated.
    I have a second tumbler that has Lyman "Tuff Nut" that I use to remove lube after sizing, and it gives a GREAT polish before loading.

    This "Tuff Nut" media is corncob that's coated with red jeweler's rouge.
    I've used this same batch of media for over 10 YEARS. (That is NO joke!)
     

    Mike3888

    Mike3888
    Feb 21, 2013
    1,118
    Dundalk, Md-Mifflin,Pa
    I have been experimenting using many types of media for brass tumbling/vibrating equipment. All work pretty well average cost for about 2 pounds is $19.00.

    One day I was in a pet store shopping for my son's dog and noticed walnut shell cat litter. I use to use walnut shell as a blasting media for cleaning aluminum engine parts. I bought a 26 pound bag for $19.56 put it in my tumbler with some shitty brass. A couple of hours later wow clean as a whistle.

    I added some Tarnex to the walnut shells and ran some more brass. They came out shiner and looked polished. I rinsed them in baking soda water to kill any acid.

    So for about the same cost tumbling media from the sporting goods store you can get 26 pounds verse 2 pounds.

    Buddy of mine has an industrial painting company I’m always snatching walnut blast media from him. Been using it since mid 80s.
     

    Pinecone

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 4, 2013
    28,175
    I use the corn corn pet litter for tumbling.

    The bits are somewhat large, so if I use it on empty .223/5.56 cases, about 1 in 10 ends up packed with media.
     

    Tomcat

    Formerly Known As HITWTOM
    May 7, 2012
    5,523
    St.Mary's County
    I'm brand new to this but that looks like the bag I bought after doing a lot of reading. Only advice I'd say is make sure it says on the bag "100% walnut shells"
    I just tried it out over the weekend and did 20 44mag for 1 hour and it was cleaner than when it went in. Next I added 3 cap fulls of Nu-Shine car wax as mentioned above and other places I researched. Different 20 for an hour and they seemed a little better. Last I ran another 20 and checked after 1 hour, 2 hours and 3. 3 seemed to be good for me. Now If I only can find some pistol primers I'll see if I can start to learn how to do everything else.
     

    ironpony

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 8, 2013
    6,858
    Davidsonville
    I've been using the Lyman red stuff, I can deal with the dust. I would like to find something more agressive! I have a lot of Black brass.
     

    danimalw

    Active Member
    I use lizard liner to clean brass, then use Hornady One shot to lube for resizing. After that, toss back in tumbler to remove lube and the One shot acts as a polisher as it's removed. And definitely use cut up used dryer sheets in the tumbler.
     

    Melnic

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    14,888
    HoCo
    How long do you use your walnut media?

    Me too.

    But I have been adding dryer sheets to cut down on the dust and that stuff seems to pick out the dirt to make it last longer.

    With work at home, I have more time to be near the reloading stuff so I can move stuff from the vibratory cleaner to decap then water tumble and make PURDY. I know its not necessary to look good but I just like to do that.

    When I feel the media is not cleaning as quick I dump it and pour more in. Reminds me, I'm almost out to the point I need to stop by pet store.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    11,215
    Not Far Enough from the City
    Me too.

    But I have been adding dryer sheets to cut down on the dust and that stuff seems to pick out the dirt to make it last longer.

    With work at home, I have more time to be near the reloading stuff so I can move stuff from the vibratory cleaner to decap then water tumble and make PURDY. I know its not necessary to look good but I just like to do that.

    When I feel the media is not cleaning as quick I dump it and pour more in. Reminds me, I'm almost out to the point I need to stop by pet store.

    I too suspect that dryer sheets not only help to mitigate dust, but may help to actually remove dirt also. What I came to know for certain is that their use significantly extends the useful life of the Lyman treated corncob media that I've always favored.
     

    Scrounger

    Member
    Jul 16, 2018
    357
    Southern Maryland
    I have used both fine corn cob media and fine walnut media. For cleaning walnut does a better job. Corn cob does better for polishing.

    I picked up 1800lbs of 12-20 walnut media a little while ago. When using it in a large Dillon vibratory cleaner, the media get dirty and stays that way, even with dryer sheets. I switched over to using concrete mixers and found that the media lasts longer. What happens is the dust blows out of the drum opening when the mixer is running, hence the media stay cleaner. The trade off is the mixers have to be operated outside for dust mitigation. However, given their size and noise mixers aren’t something most people would have operating in the house. I do add Dillon polish to the media.

    Each mixer that I have holds around 4000 5.56 cases, or roughly 4 50 cal cans. The mixers take about four to five 50 cal cans of media. Even after tens of thousands of brass cases cleaned the media still works well.
     

    Melnic

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    14,888
    HoCo
    I have used both fine corn cob media and fine walnut media. For cleaning walnut does a better job. Corn cob does better for polishing.

    I picked up 1800lbs of 12-20 walnut media a little while ago. When using it in a large Dillon vibratory cleaner, the media get dirty and stays that way, even with dryer sheets. I switched over to using concrete mixers and found that the media lasts longer. What happens is the dust blows out of the drum opening when the mixer is running, hence the media stay cleaner. The trade off is the mixers have to be operated outside for dust mitigation. However, given their size and noise mixers aren’t something most people would have operating in the house. I do add Dillon polish to the media.

    Each mixer that I have holds around 4000 5.56 cases, or roughly 4 50 cal cans. The mixers take about four to five 50 cal cans of media. Even after tens of thousands of brass cases cleaned the media still works well.


    Now THAT is serious about reloading!
     

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