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Old 07-15-2011, 09:57 AM
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Default Stainless steel media for case cleaning

Does anyone here use the stainless steel media in a tumbler?

This is a link I keep visiting thinking about it. I like that it's supposed to last darn near forever.

Stainless Steel Reloading Supplies | Tumblers, Seperators, Media & More!

This has got to be either the greatest thing that none of us know is as good as it is, or it's just expensive fluff...

So which is it???
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:11 AM
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I got curious when I saw your post and reviewed the manufactures link. The biggest concern I have is that it must be tumbled wet. Which requires a water "tumbler". The media does not work in a vibratory machine due to the weight so most everything us reloaders have would not work, even the new wet vibrators. I like clean brass but dont think I will be going in that direction.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:35 AM
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playing around with shaved metal isn't something I would really consider. My brother in law (when he was younger) stepped on a piece of a metal shard. Went in his foot and worked its way up his thigh." Now granted these stainless steel media are blunted and large But I'm just turned off from the whole steel shard thing. Looks cool tho and I bet it works crazy good. (after you buy their special tumbler for 200.) =)
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:39 AM
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playing around with shaved metal isn't something I would really consider. My brother in law (when he was younger) stepped on a piece of a metal shard. Went in his foot and worked its way up his thigh." Now granted these stainless steel media are blunted and large But I'm just turned off from the whole steel shard thing. Looks cool tho and I bet it works crazy good. (after you buy their special tumbler for 200.) =)
Stainless Tumbling Media 5lbs

They aren't sharp and won't cut you.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:40 AM
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I use it in a 15lb Thumler's model B.

Pros: It works extremely well and is very quick compared to dry vibratory cleaners- the stainless media even cleans the primer pockets. If you have slightly corroded cases, it will make them look new again and take off stains that can't be removed any other way. Three to four hours is all it takes to clean the worst looking and corroded brass that can be found. Add lemi-shine to clean it, and a teaspoon of Dawn to cut the surface tension so the crud won't stick to the cases.

Cons: It is a lot of trouble to separate it from the brass- if you are say cleaning .38's or the like. It must be dried when not in use, or it will rust. Also it tends to "stick" to your hands and inside the cases when they are just damp- not a problem when dry. Each case has to be inspected to make 100% certain that there is not one piece of it in the case. A piece of this in the case that made it's way into the gun could be disastrous! Also, never never tumble two calibers at the same time- the smaller cases will end up in the larger ones and the weight of stainless media will bend the cases- don't ask me how I know....

I have only regulated it to cleaning blackpowder brass and brass shotshells. It cleans blackpowder brass up so it looks brand new.

Bottom line- it won't replace the regular vibratory cleaner, but is a great asset to the reloader.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:42 AM
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I got curious when I saw your post and reviewed the manufactures link. The biggest concern I have is that it must be tumbled wet. Which requires a water "tumbler". The media does not work in a vibratory machine due to the weight so most everything us reloaders have would not work, even the new wet vibrators. I like clean brass but dont think I will be going in that direction.

You do have to buy the pricey rock tumbler but then it all lasts just about forever. Just add the soap. In the long run I can see saving money if you really polish that much brass. So for the small time loader this may be poinless... But I have boxes of brass that still need to be polished and I'm looking to start shooting often enough for pracitice to join a club like IDPA or something. I think I will be reloading quite often...
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:52 AM
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Stainless Tumbling Media 5lbs

They aren't sharp and won't cut you.
I know it won't cut you. Just gives me the heebie jeebies. You make a good point tho about having a large collection of brass or cleaning brass in large amounts on a regular basis. I could see that paying for it's self in time.. (years from now) granted the tumbler doesn't break. Do they have a good warranty?
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:55 AM
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I use it in a 15lb Thumler's model B.

Pros: It works extremely well and is very quick compared to dry vibratory cleaners- the stainless media even cleans the primer pockets. If you have slightly corroded cases, it will make them look new again and take off stains that can't be removed any other way. Three to four hours is all it takes to clean the worst looking and corroded brass that can be found. Add lemi-shine to clean it, and a teaspoon of Dawn to cut the surface tension so the crud won't stick to the cases.

Cons: It is a lot of trouble to separate it from the brass- if you are say cleaning .38's or the like. It must be dried when not in use, or it will rust. Also it tends to "stick" to your hands and inside the cases when they are just damp- not a problem when dry. Each case has to be inspected to make 100% certain that there is not one piece of it in the case. A piece of this in the case that made it's way into the gun could be disastrous! Also, never never tumble two calibers at the same time- the smaller cases will end up in the larger ones and the weight of stainless media will bend the cases- don't ask me how I know....

I have only regulated it to cleaning blackpowder brass and brass shotshells. It cleans blackpowder brass up so it looks brand new.

Bottom line- it won't replace the regular vibratory cleaner, but is a great asset to the reloader.
Your post just put a thorn in this idea. I have no idea how you rinse the stuff out... I guess over a fine mesh screen would be best. That could/would be a problem with them sticking though. Not sure how you would know short of inspecting the inside of each and every one... Crud...
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:28 AM
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Your post just put a thorn in this idea. I have no idea how you rinse the stuff out... I guess over a fine mesh screen would be best. That could/would be a problem with them sticking though. Not sure how you would know short of inspecting the inside of each and every one... Crud...
Inspecting each case is the only answer.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:50 AM
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I use wet ceramic media in a rotary tumbler but only for black powder brass. It is more work to load the tumbler with brass, media, water, and additive, then let run, then unload, drain in a collander, rinse well, pick the brass out of the media, shake out the retained bits, rinse again, and dry.

Processing with stainless rod media is about the same.

The cleaned brass looks great but it is too much for me to bother with on smokeless cases.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:34 PM
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Just my opinion but for the price of bulk walnut and corn media and a bottle of Nu Finish You can clean tons of brash for next to no expense,

That's why it always amazes me that some folks say they never change their media. It's so cheap, it works better when new and not clogged with toxins and the sharp edges are gone. Pretty much like extra fine sandpaper. You don't keep using the same worn out piece forever. It just doesn't work well.

Heck if you wash your brass (soak it in a 5 gal bucket with some vinegar and salt for 15 minutes) then rinse you do not even need to tumble. If you do, it takes maybe 1-2 hours and it's done.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:54 PM
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Tumbling in ceramic media or stainless steel media is what commercial metal finishers do. It's used for deburring or even final polishing before black oxide or other metal finishes.

Yes, it is faster and more thoroughly cleans and polishes brass than walnut or corncob media but as pointed out, requires 100% inspection to make sure ALL polishing media is removed from the brass.

The upside is that stainless or ceramic tumbling only needs to be once in a while. My brass routinely gets the walnut treatment, and the stainless media is used for extremely tarnished or black powder cases.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:26 PM
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Hey guys thanks for the info and the link to drillspot. I've been using the same corncob media for... a few years and it's probably time to get some more! I used to put the dirty corncob media into a (wait for it) section cut from my wife's old pantyhose (I hear you guys laughing already) and would hose it down really good outside while it hung from a step ladder. That would get it reasonably clean just from rinsing and a little dish detergent. After the media is good and dry I "recharge" it by either putting brass cleaner or car polish into the running tumbler and let it go for about 30 minutes.

After getting bored with the above routine every 4 months or so I ended up cutting up strips of used dryer sheets. I found that one on the forum as well and that does a pretty darn good job of cleaning out the dirt and fine particles. Now I probably use the dryer sheet strips about every 3-4 times I use the tumbler. Just to help keep the media cleaner.

It's kind of fun to tinker with this stuff and to think of ways to save money. And when the reloads come out looking factory new for a fraction of what ammo costs today it is definitely worth the effort!
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:44 PM
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For anyone interested in SS media, there is a huge thread on Sniper's Hide:

Stainless Steel Media Testimonials - Sniper's Hide Forums
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:56 PM
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I haven't been doing much shooting in the last few years, but, if I ever get out of the slump, I plan on setting up to use the SS media.

I am somewhat amazed at the comments about inspecting each case though.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
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For anyone interested in SS media, there is a huge thread on Sniper's Hide:

Stainless Steel Media Testimonials - Sniper's Hide Forums

Well after watching the guys videos, sure seems like a lot of work and effort for what?? Plus he is not the sharpest bulb sticking his hands in the filthy wash water. So you wash, tumble, rinse, rinse, dry with a towel, build a easy bake oven and have some clean brass that's no better than dropping it in a tumbler with regular corn or walnut.

I can get the same results with a lot less work.

Oh well, to each their own.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:35 PM
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I have been using the ceramic media for years on straight wall cases but still needed to clean primer pockets.
Bought some stainless steel media and never looked back.Gave my 2 Lyman Turbo dry media vibratory cleaners away, I won't be using them anymore.I still had to pick media out of dirty primer pockets with the dry stuff and ceramic media.The stainless steel media is by far the best media I have used, the extra step is not an extra step if I don't have to clean primer pockets !Better flame propagation in clean smooth surface than a dirty crusted surface.As for separating media just do it in water,thousand of rounds and could not be happier with my results.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:35 PM
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I just don't see the need. I use corncobs and change them when needed. I tumble my brass asap after shooting and it always looks very bright to me.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:13 AM
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I'll stick with the walnut media in my Thumler........it's done the job for 30 years, and shows no signs of getting tired. I bought 50 pounds of media as "Lizard Bedding Mix" for $25 shipped. I tumble a LOT of brass, but that bag ought to last me another couple of years.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:37 PM
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I have some and use it for rifle cases it cleans inside the cases and the primer pockets. IMO it is overkill for straight wall cases because of the extra work.
It does do a very superior job in hard to reach places.
Separation is the problem as noted. It passes through an ordinary sieve. I have no problem separating it from the cases by tumbling them wet in my RCBS separator. I dry the cases in the Sun then put them in the separator a second time.
Getting the dirty water out of the media, rinsing the media and then getting the media reasonably dry for storage is a problem.
I have a 24Ē square piece of SS wire cloth in a frame which I use for cleaning small parts, I donít know what mesh it is about 400, I can strain the media on it. Handling it is a PITA it does stick to everything when itís wet, even a plastic bucket.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:48 PM
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XLNT! Best info I've seen. I was just about to buy some stainless media but after reading your post have decided that it would be too expensive and a lot more trouble for my 38/357/45ACP reloading than it is worth. I get good results (evenone thinks my reloads look new) from using the ultrasonic and then the vibrator and it only takes a couple of hours total so I better stick with what I have. Thanks for the great, clear explanation.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:56 PM
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I received my stainless tumbler last Thursday and it has been used almost every day since. I love it.
Oh, and to all you naysayers that it takes a lot more time and equipment----BS
I used the same Midway separator and 5 gallon bucket that I used with corncob media.
I drain of the water in the sink, pour the brass and media in the separator just like I did with corncob.
I found a old mesh colander, which I pour the brass into, swish it around in a sink full of water. Shake off the excess water, pour it on a towel and let it dry, which takes a hour or two. When it warms up, I will put it out in the sun on the deck, 30 minutes if that come summer. Oh the horror
Yes, a find stuck pins in the flash holes, but guess what, they will pop out when sizing or you have resistance if not. But then again, I inspect my case before they get loaded.
Honestly, I have never gotten more than 30 tumblings out of corncob before it was shot.
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