Tumbling media stuck in casings

megastink

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
605
Location
Southeast PA
I made a newbie mistake. I found corncob bedding on clearance at my local pet store, so I bought it. Its was a larger granular than normal, but polished my brass really well. However, the pieces are now stuck inside my cases. I should mention that the cases still have the spent primers in them. Am I the only one who's ever done this? What should I do about digging out the media? Can I knock the primers out by hand and then go through the primer pocket? I feel like an idiot.
 

badthirtyone

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
757
Location
Denver Colorado
You are hardly the only member here who has ever done this. In fact, most of us here (that do not use stainless media/pins) have had to incorporate some method of dealing with corn or walnut media being stuck in flash holes or simply excess media that did not exit the case when pulled from the tumbler. It is a mandatory part of your reloading prep that once the brass comes out of the tumbler, you have to verify all media is out of the cleaned brass before proceeding.

I personally de-cap all of my fired brass before tumbling, then remove the cases from the tumbler and place them head-stamp up in some type of holder - a plastic ammo box works very well for this, then poke a small steel punch through each and every flash hole by hand to verify that I have no media left in the most likely sticking point of the case. Then, with all brass still in the ammo box with the necks facing down, I gently rap the box on my reloading bench several times to get any additional media to fall free out of the cases. Once I believe all media is knocked loose and out of the cases, I carefully lift the brass out of the box and place them neck up in my reloading block and shine a flashlight down into each case to further verify that they are absolutely free of debris.

I know of others that do roughly the same set of operations but then go the extra step of blowing through each case with compressed air.

Simply put, this is an exceptionally common problem, no matter what size media that you use, so don't worry about where you bought it. If it cleans your brass well, you have what works for you. I'd just modify your process to clean/tumble your brass after removing the spent primer and then verify that all corn is out of each piece of brass before moving to your next step.
 

megastink

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
605
Location
Southeast PA
You are hardly the only member here who has ever done this. In fact, most of us here (that do not use stainless media/pins) have had to incorporate some method of dealing with corn or walnut media being stuck in flash holes or simply excess media that did not exit the case when pulled from the tumbler. It is a mandatory part of your reloading prep that once the brass comes out of the tumbler, you have to verify all media is out of the cleaned brass before proceeding.

I personally de-cap all of my fired brass before tumbling, then remove the cases from the tumbler and place them head-stamp up in some type of holder - a plastic ammo box works very well for this, then poke a small steel punch through each and every flash hole by hand to verify that I have no media left in the most likely sticking point of the case. Then, with all brass still in the ammo box with the necks facing down, I gently rap the box on my reloading bench several times to get any additional media to fall free out of the cases. Once I believe all media is knocked loose and out of the cases, I carefully lift the brass out of the box and place them neck up in my reloading block and shine a flashlight down into each case to further verify that they are absolutely free of debris.

I know of others that do roughly the same set of operations but then go the extra step of blowing through each case with compressed air.

Simply put, this is an exceptionally common problem, no matter what size media that you use, so don't worry about where you bought it. If it cleans your brass well, you have what works for you. I'd just modify your process to clean/tumble your brass after removing the spent primer and then verify that all corn is out of each piece of brass before moving to your next step.
I was worried about sending dirty, once fired brass through my FL sizing die.
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,957
I had this issue some time ago and fashioned a ‘poker’ from a damaged 17 Remington die I had using the decapping stem from it to poke out the media stuck in the case.
It is a slow and tedious task….I feel for you.
As to leaving the fired primers in, that’s exactly what I do too, I hate poking out bits of media from flash holes.
You will get to a point just below the shoulder where the media will flow out all by itself…..good luck and happy shooting.

Cheers.
 

The Oregonian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,724
Location
Missoula, Montana
I have had a couple of decamping dies and they have been more fragile than I’d like…I got a mighty armory die and the pin is MUCH stronger. Not a single pin has snapped since I started using it.

I also use ultrasonic and have no regrets…much easier and simpler than SS or con media.
 

Labwhisper

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Rockford, MI
I made a newbie mistake. I found corncob bedding on clearance at my local pet store, so I bought it. Its was a larger granular than normal, but polished my brass really well. However, the pieces are now stuck inside my cases. I should mention that the cases still have the spent primers in them. Am I the only one who's ever done this? What should I do about digging out the media? Can I knock the primers out by hand and then go through the primer pocket? I feel like an idiot.
You are not alone. My experience: bought big bag of corn cob bedding formed in little disc's. Thought it would work great. Poured in about 50 22-250 cases and turneon the vibratory. After a couple hours the brass was shiny clean. Problem: little disc's were about .210 diameter and the tumbler packed the brass full. While I was carefully picking the corn cob out of my cases my brother showed up. He sat drinking beer and laughing at me for the next 1.5 hours. I know use real corn cob media to remove sizing lube. Experience is a good teacher.
 

Labwhisper

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Rockford, MI
As clarification, I just formed a small hook on the end of a straightened paper clip. I use the other end of this "tool" to pike walnut media out of flash holes.
 

Dosh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Arizona
As clarification, I just formed a small hook on the end of a straightened paper clip. I use the other end of this "tool" to pike walnut media out of flash holes.
Compressed air will clear media out of cases and it’s great to blow water out of wet tumbled cases. A oil/water separator is a must for the air line.
 
Last edited:
Top