Tumbler, Vibratory Cleaner or Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Which is your preferred method and why?

  • Tumbler with what media

  • Vibratory cleaner with what media

  • Ultrasonic cleaner

  • No cleaning


Results are only viewable after voting.

JMHNL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
172
I've been using a cheap US cleaner from Amazon that's perfect for 100 brass batches. Distilled water, a shotglass full of Hornady 1 shot, and two 8 min cycles with warmer on. I then rinse twice with more distilled water and then they go in the food dehydrator at 140* for an hour. It's easy, cheap, repeatable, and the brass, especially primer pockets come out looking nice and clean.


Side bonus, you can de-carbon your muzzle brakes with the same method.
 

Montana'eer

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Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
473
Location
Montana
For years I used a MidwayUSA vibratory tumbler with walnut media. But I still had to do some cleaning of the primer pocket AND check inside for stuck media. During those operations, I became more aware that the inside of my cases wasn't getting as clean as I liked (spotless), and started wondering how much capacity I was losing by the insides not getting clean and how that affected groups, etc.
So, when I smartened up, at the first opportunity, I purchased a Lyman Ultrasonic cleaner. It's quicker than the vibratory tumbler, cleans the insides and primer pockets better, (spotless), and there is no concern of media stuck inside.
My procedure is to:
deprime using a universal depriming die
clean in the ultrasonic cleaner using the solution from the manufacture.
dry the cases using a Frankford case dryer (looks just like a food dehydrator I use for jerky).
I then burnish the inside case neck (one pass in-out with 0000 steel wool wrapped on a nylon bore brush in a drill), resize, trim (if necessary),
If they are fired factory rounds, I will deburr and bevel the inner flash hole like I do with new empty cases.
Then before loading, IF I want to impress someone, (HA HA), I will put the cases in the vibratory tumbler with corn cob for a higher polish. (But I don't do that very often as then my inner Adrian Monk kicks in and I wonder if any media is left inside the cases prompting me to go over them with light compressed air).
Have you determined that your above average regimen leads to better performance?
 

KSAv8r

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Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
106
Location
Colorado
Long grain typically will plug flash holes. Medium grain, and specifically the rice I specify in the article... was the best I tested regarding it's ability to absorb lube, clean the cases, and not build static charge or cling to cases.


I also use the brand pictured but I should have qualified that I use long grain rice for larger cases (.300 WinMag and .338 Lapua Mag). It seems like the long grain rice does not produce as much dust and lasts a little longer. Long grain rice doesn't seem to work as well in smaller cases like .223 Rem/5.56 NATO, etc. so I move to the medium grain as you suggested.

You must be removing the primers before tumbling if you are getting grains stuck in the primer pocket. I leave the primers in while tumbling and if anything gets stuck inside the case in the spent primer it is automatically punched out during the depriming process.
 

J-B welder

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Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
221
Location
Selkirk
Rifle brass gets wet tumbled in a homemade job, no pins just the Lemi-shine/Dawn solution.

Handgun brass goes in the Lyman Turbo 600 with Lyman media.
 

SSgt G Cody

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Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
258
Location
Asheville, NC
After first firing, and on range brass, I first wash in a tilting rotating wash with hot water, dish liquid, and SS pins for 1 hr. After draining, rinsing, then draining & drying, I fully recondition, size, etc... then re-wash with dish liquid and lemon juice for 15 minutes. After drying, brass is then ready to load! In the past I have used walnut hull and corncob, but now prefer liquid wash.
 

RUFFIAN R - NY

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Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
423
Location
Rockland County New York
over the years used it all as it came - went and now newer ways. Now tumble- ss pins- dawn - lemi-shine- Frankford brass cleaner solution. Need a good drier method - summer time put outside in the sun works great- winter time use a towel - case dryer - boiler room. Still use the viber / shell corn cob too. from time to time
 
Last edited:

dennisinaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
343
Location
Alaska
The only methods that get them clean are ultra sonic and tumbling with SS pins. The walnut and corncob are for polishing. 45 minutes to an hour with the tumbler is enough. I like my cases clean before I anneal them.
 

jbs2014

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
1,294
Location
Arizona
Going to try the rice method soon.

Currently sonic cleaning, sizing& brass prep, finish with vibratory and that new media Frankford sells.
 
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