Brass polishing adice

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by captnmo, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. captnmo

    captnmo Member

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    I'm new to reloading and need a method to polish my brass. I've heard of several options such as tumblers with corn cobb media, stainless steel media, vibratory tumblers, etc. Can anyone tell me the basics of one of these devices and what I'd need for my purposes and what the differences are between these set-ups?

    I'm reloading .308 and .223 mostly for precision. I'll do pistol ammo in the future but I want a good quality system that's going to last. Thanks!
     
  2. jmd025

    jmd025 Well-Known Member

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    I built a rolling tumbler out of a coffee can and a electric motor. I bolted an offset plate on the can bottom so it rotates in an elliptical pattern. I use corn or walnut media.lightbulb
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    We all have different ideas about how clean we want our brass.

    Regardless of which one you think cleans best, people have been using tumblers for many years with great success.

    Vibratory isn't too far different and equally effective.

    I like the ultrasonic system because it cleans places that the others can't get to. But, it has its pros and cons as well.

    It usually comes down to personal preference.

    The biggest difference often amounts to how many/how fast you want to clean and whether the drying time for ultrasonic bothers you.

    Hope this helps,
    richard
     
  4. captnmo

    captnmo Member

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    Since I'm reloading for precision, I'm not going for mass quantity of brass. So I'd prefer a more thorough polish over speed and/or amount of brass it would clean. What are some of the pros and cons of the ultrasonic cleaners?
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Ultrasonic


    pros:
    • With proper chemicals (e.g. Hornady) they clean well including inside case necks and primer pockets
    • Reasonably quick cleaning
    • Non-abrasive
    • Will make your brass shine like new
    cons:
    • small batches
    • Drying time or hassle
    • Mess/disposal of cleaning solution
    • Wrong chemicals or cleaning too long can deteriorate brass
    • Cases too slick may result in excessive bolt thrust
    • Cost
    I bought mine from Harbor Freight. Looks to be identical to Hornady and saved a few $'s. I still use Hornady's solution.
     
  6. captnmo

    captnmo Member

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    Thanks for the info on ultrasonic.

    Anyone have comments on stainless steel media?
     
  7. mkf350

    mkf350 Well-Known Member

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    I have vibratory tumbler, ultrasonic, and just received and tried my first SS media in a tumbler, and by far the cleanest is the SS media.
     
  8. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, but I think sometimes folks go overboard on the whole brass cleanliness thing. I tumble my brass in corn cob media. Gets them clean enough for me. I use a brush to hit the inside of the necks, clean my primer pockets, and I'm good to go. Not much in the way of cost. Just my .02.
     
  9. captnmo

    captnmo Member

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    mkf,
    What are you using for a tumbler? I was looking at Thumlers but they're not cheap.
     
  10. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

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    Stainless is the way to go u can reuse it forever it does primer pockets brass comes out perfect and you don't have to pick the media out of flash holes no brainer to me
     
  11. mkf350

    mkf350 Well-Known Member

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    Thumler high speed.