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Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

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Unread 06-10-2013, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: OR
Posts: 153
Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

I've had good results with the ss media. I usually clean them a day or two ahead of time and just put them in front of a fan for a few hours if it is not sunny outside.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 05:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

Originally Posted by SidecarFlip View Post
Toy, agreed. Practical versus cost (in media and related equipment), not sure.

You can run your vibrating tumbler and bags of cob or shells for what it costs up front.

Not a must have here but I use spehical stainless instead. You can use those in a vibrator as well.

Just happened to have a bunch from a job left over.

I tend to load the tumbler and let it go in the shop for at least 8 hours (with cob/shells). I'm not in a production scenario so time isn't an issue.

IMO, it's a gimmick. Practical, maybe, up front cost, excessive. I can put that money toward something else.
Can you give a little more detail on your brass cleaning method using spherical stainless in a vibrating tumbler? Do you use it wet or dry? Does it do as well as the pins?
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Unread 07-30-2013, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
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Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review


I too love my STM setup. Nothing I’ve seen comes close to getting brass this clean.

In the last step of my process, I throw the wet brass in my vibratory tumbler with Hornady One Shot media. The media never wears out because the brass is clean and in an hour or so of tumbling the brass is bone dry and can be used immediately.

In your list of disadvantages I thought you might mention one that I noticed – rifle brass does get “shot peened” around the mouth of the case by the other brass. This makes it significantly more difficult to seat a bullet if you don’t do a light inside chamber on the case mouth.

A final point - it turns out I live a few miles from Tru-Square that manufactures the Thumblers tumbler that STM sells. Tru-Square sells several different sized drums including a smaller all rubber drum and rollers to snap into the base so the base can be used for either the large or small drums. I bought two of these small drums and now I can switch between large and small drums depending on the amount of brass I’m cleaning. The smaller drums clean up to 30 pieces of rifle brass but in almost half the time compared to the 20 lb drum (2.5 hours versus 4.5 hours) which is why I was interested. I can put two of these smaller drums on my base to clean up to 60 total pieces of rifle brass or if I have more I go with the larger drum.
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Unread 12-20-2013, 11:58 AM
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Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

I read all this material and decided it was worth a look.

I use a Harbor freight double ($55+-) the stainless pin tumbling media, in my mind over priced... and some citric acid - great deal at Essential Oils, Soap Making Supplies & More | Bulk Apothecary
I predict you will be pleasantly surprised at the price. This will last a long time.

Brass has been sized and trimmed - primer pockets swagged if called for.

I use a small kitchen scale so as not to exceed the recommended load, I put in about 45 .223 then add pins to 3#14oz, then a splash of citric acid, maybee a tablespoon - made up by adding a TABLESPOON of the powder to a quart of water -, a drop or two of dish detergent, and top off with water to go to the recommended weight for the cylinder. A couple hours and I dump them into a small bucket and flush till the water is clear.

I have a set of cartridge sorting pans and run the brass in the .223 pan, shaking them to separate out the pins. Don't be naive either you will miss a pin or two. Then they go to my $19.00 food dehydrator from Walmart a few years back. I set it at 135. About 45 minutes and they are dry. At this point all the prep has been done and I give them EACH one last look and bag them to keep the air away.

Nice to be able to look all the way down inside and make sure everything is as desired.

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Unread 10-14-2014, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

I have always just tumbled in vibratory with corn cob and some polish. They come out nice and clean and pretty bright. I tumble before sizing for hour. Then hour after sizing. I sort brass out with media sifter. I wipe cases with towel and ready to load.

My question is how will a long range rifle benefit from going to stainless? I want precision and cases are more than pretty enough. I do also run a sinclair carbide primer pocket uniformer after sizing and tumble. I don't get how stainless will help me load faster or make my ammo more accurate. Seems like time difference loss of cleaning my primer pockets is offset by having to dry cases out after stainless tumble. And time in tumbler may take longer with dry media but can do many other things while tumbling.

I am probably missing something but AM interested. Thanks for any guidance.
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Unread 10-14-2014, 07:50 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

Since my last post I now do all the trim/size - same loading of the tumbler - brass, pins, water, citric acid and detergent - couple drops. Only now when they are done I place the tumbling container under the faucet and wash out the dirty water. From there it is all into the media separator and that does get all the pins. That was kind of my last issue. The brass goes into the same dehydrator and the pins get dumped onto a towel. Fold the towel over on top of the pins and rub them back and forth. I let them sit over night then pour them from the towel folded into a funnel shape, into a plastic measuring cup I have - big thing 4 cups plus - then a funnel takes them into a reclaimed one pound powder container. An hour later the brass is dry and ready to load.

Your question may best be addressed by the fact that you can see inside the case, and the primer pocket is really clean, nothing else required. The part I also like is that there is no residue at all on the brass. It is bonce dry and free from any foreign materail whatsoever. It is actually squeaky. I have gotten some water spots but I can up the citric acid to a full tablespoon of dilute. That was no big deal to me. Hope that helps. From what I am now seeing this is starting to get into the realm of the angles on a pinhead - it's what is the least hassle and most fun for you. I guess the little kid left in me likes to splash around in the water

Hit 'em all!
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Unread 10-15-2014, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5
Re: Brass Cleaning Using Stainless Tumbling Media System-Review

Thanks for the reply! That will give me more to think about.
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