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Brass cleaning question

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Old 09-18-2013, 11:21 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 7,764
Re: Brass cleaning question

Originally Posted by Snowfighter View Post
Stainless media sounds cool. I'll have to give it a go.
Read the reviews by searching it in the upper right corner search box. 99.9% of the guys that buy the STM systems are in love.

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Old 09-18-2013, 11:47 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 47
Re: Brass cleaning question

Thanks Jeff. Did some quick research as suggested. Very few nay sayers. Placed my order for the stainless media.
To me it seems less time consuming than corn cob or walnut tumbling. And more efficient than the sonic cleaner.
I guess I'll know for sure in a few days.

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Old 09-19-2013, 12:34 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,460
Re: Brass cleaning question

I didn't say that. What I said was if you have dry tumbling equipment in the first place, wet tumbling with STM is an entirely different matter and you know that as well as I do. Dry equipment don't work with wet media unless it was a drum tumbler in the first place.

So you get an ocassional piece of cob in a flash hole. No biggie. If STM was the Holy Grail of tumbling, thats all there would be. It isn't.

A piece of cob in a flash hole is better than watching your STM go down the drain because you got a bit overzealous washing the brass...

Wet or dry, I start the machine and let it go all night. It's in the shop, I'm in the house.

You can still send me your vibrating tumblers, I use them to polish parts.....

Nothing more and nothing less.

The OP asked for some advice. I gave mine and you gave yours. Just pointing out the positives and negatives of both methods.

Depending on what he reloads, he might be better off investing in an annealer and get the STM later on, but thats another subject.
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:05 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 47
Re: Brass cleaning question

I'm reloading a few LR calibers. .280AI and a couple .338's.
I've got an annealing setup. Just trying to fine tune aspects of my loading setup. Trying to be consistent.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,078
Re: Brass cleaning question

I won't wade into the STM vs vibratory scrum - that seems to be a sensitive and highly emotional topic...

As far as drying brass, I towel it off and put it in the oven on "keep warm" which on my (wife's) oven is about 165F. 15 minutes and its bone dry.

I worry that even if I let it sit overnight to dry at room temp, a case or two may have one drop inside that migrated to a corner and didn't evaporate. I have NO empirical evidence of this, just pure paranoia.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:45 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 733
Re: Brass cleaning question

Originally Posted by SidecarFlip View Post
All well and good but you have to make a radical change in equipment because a conventional vibratory tumbler and stainless media wont work, especially with detergent added to the water (imagine a hot tub with dish soap added....foamy all over).

To run stainless media you have to use a rotary tumbler....and they ain't cheap.

I do it both ways depending on how dirty the brass is and what mood I'm in. Running stainless media is time consuming and involved because you have to load the tumbler, add water, add Lemishine and detergent, seal it up, tumble, dump the drum in a bucket so as not to loose the pins (in my case minature stainless steel balls) down the drain, scruffle the brass around to dislodge the stainless, get the brass out of the bucket, then rinse it and dry it whereas if you dry tumble, it's tumble, seperate the media (optionally rinse and dry) or jujst clean the flash holes of stray cob and reload. Like I said, depends on my mood.

I have taken normally tumbled (in cob) brass in the past and rinsed them in tap water to remove any dust inside and then dry them courtesy of my wife's dehydrator. I can get several hundred 308 cartridges in the dehydrator and it takes about a half hour to dry.

STM is nice but time consuming and patently messy. Good to have options.

Personally, I don't think that STM is the answer all to brass cleaning.
It sounded to me like he already had a rotary tumbler . They are not that expensive if you build your own . Just buy the RCBS tumbler barrels and build the rest .
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:52 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,549
Re: Brass cleaning question

After using stainless media I bring my wet brass over to my air compressor and blow them dry inside and out, then lay them in front of the fan that runs 24/7 in my garage. No problems at all, and the next day they are both sparkling clean and dry.
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