Cleaning Shell cases.....Tumblers or ultrasonic cleaners ???

DoubleUP

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Dec 18, 2010
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9
I've used all the methods and ss tumbling is light years ahead of the other two (vibratory and US) methods. The start up cost is higher, but evens out pretty quickly. The pins will last forever, and the only consumables are a little dish soap and lemishine. All the possible problems, answers can be found with a simple Google search for some long threads on how the method came about.
 

Trickymissfit

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Jun 11, 2010
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4,148
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greenwood, IN
I really like the stainless steel media and tumblers. Cleans great and even gets the primer pockets

In industrial uses they will use all sorts of things to cleans parts. They still use tumblers and vibratory units a lot (as well as blasters). Blasters are not used a lot anymore unless they are cleaning cast iron or cast aluminum parts, and then they use either steel or walnut shells. The latest thing for cleaning finished aluminum is plastic granuals that looks like long 4350 powder granuals. (maybe a half inch long). You see this stuff in vibratory units as well as tumblers. The stuff seems to last for five or six weeks of 24/7 usage, and the parts come out extremly clean inside and out. Somewhere I got a coffee can full of the stuff to try one of these days. As for stainless steel media; I kinda wonder if the stuff will work harden the thin brass necks a little bit? Concob media always did the trick for me, but on the otherhand never was in love with the idea of running a needle thru every flash hole.
gary
 

DoubleUP

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Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
9
There is the very slightest peening on the case mouths but you really have to look hard to find it. Some of the guys have done testing on the cases and can find no evidence of work hardening. I've reloaded some cases over 10 times without any problem. I do anneal every 4th firing so that might make a difference as opposed to those who aren't stress relieving the brass.

I've also used ss media for 204 ruger and those necks are notorious for splitting with lots of the guys. Never had one to split yet out of about 1,500 rds using the ss media.

I'm not familiar with the plastic pins you mention. It might be a viable alternative.
 

rsm_38

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Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
11
Where is the best place to buy the stainless stuff. I use the large thumblers tumbler with ceramic media to clean my BPCR stuff but dosen't work good with bottle neck cartridges.


Not sure where's the best place to buy, but I have a source and it's only $8.00 per pound, 5 pound minimum + shipping (should be $5.00). Please PM if you or anyone else is interested. Thanks
 

TracySes23

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Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
244
Location
Champaign, IL
I use an ultrasonic cleaner and use Citric acid as the cleaning chemical. It works very well for lower volume quantities of cases.

I've never owned a vibratory or tumbler type of case cleaner, so I can't compare the two.

I did my research and purchased once. Happy with the results to date. Been using the Ultrasonic for about 8 months now. It does clean the cases inside and out, completely satisfactorily, in my opinion.

In a pinch, you can use concentrate lemon juice such as Real Lemon. I decided to try it first before I invested in citric acid powder. It worked great!
I ended up buying 5 lbs of citric acid powder from Amazon, which will likely last me until I die.
 
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