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Old 03-04-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default How long do you tumble brass?

Yea I know till it gets clean. I was watching a video on the tube and they ran their tumbler for twenty minutes. They put some Blue Magic polish in there to help it along. I polish mine for two or three hours to get it clean. I am using Lyman corn cob media with a little Nu Finish car wax. I still have a little stain on some of the brass but that is OK just so it's clean. The Lyman seems to last for ever. I have cleaned over 2000 rounds of 45 brass this week and it's still going strong. The last media I threw out was so old I was ashamed to use it. So how long do you let your tumbler run? Don
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:45 PM
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When I do things right(which I didn't this last time), it takes 4-5 hours to get them the way I like them.

Andy
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:46 PM
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Average about 2 hours I usualy check it after about a hour to see if it's clean.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:48 PM
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1 to 1 1/2 hrs. Just turn it on and go do something else, so depending on what that something else is, the time varies. Corn cob media, with a splash of Dillon polish. Mostly .45acp and .44 brass. Can't see how the brass could be any cleaner.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:53 PM
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Depends on the brass and media. If it's cleaning, walnut is quite a bit faster than corncob. I use walnut with a bit of polish added and run until dry.

If I just shot and picked up nickel cartridges from the range, 10 minutes is fine.
If I just shot and picked up brass cases, maybe half hour or however long it takes me to eat lunch.
If it is range trash brass that is stained and discolored, maybe a couple of hours.

As far as finish polishing brass until it shines like a mirror (4 hours in corncob) I just don't bother anymore.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:11 PM
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At least a hour but mostly just when I remember to turn it off.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:25 PM
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Two to three hours. I don't mind letting it run longer if I'm busy doing something else but I set two to three hours as a minimum.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:06 PM
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For me it seems the more times brass gets shot the longer it takes to clean. Can get clean brass in as little as 2 hours but sometimes it takes 6 hours. BTW, adding wax to the media will make it shine but it does not aid in cleaning the brass.

So, even though it's not exactly what you want to hear, as long as it takes...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:23 PM
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Two hours in a stainless steel pin Thumbler's tumbler and all my brass is not only clean, but shiny too! It's a wet method and not for everyone, but I like it a lot versus the dry dusty method. Just have to think ahead a little bit if you don't have a means of drying it quickly.

Stainless Steel Reloading Supplies | Tumblers, Seperators, Media & More!
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:33 PM
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2 hours. Lyman Turbo 1200. Set on a timer. 50:50 corn and walnut with a squirt of any kind of cleaner.
I do change my media often. 40 lb bags of corn and walnut.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:39 PM
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3 hours here
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:19 PM
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Mine 45 mins in coarse corn cob.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:24 PM
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Use a Lyman 1200 that is about 35 years old and has run long enough that it had polished the inside of the bowl like a mirror years ago.

Use Walnut shell, rarely any additives. Dampen with a little Isopropyl Alcohol to keep dust and static down. Start it at night and turn off in the morning if I remember, otherwise when I get home from work. So, 6-18 hours. If I didn't want it bright I wouldn't polish brass at all, just like we used to do.

Often, just to remove case lube when needed, is Corn cob for a couple of hours. Still use a little alcohol or Trichloroethane to help de-grease.

One question I had from what was posted is what possible reason would anyone have for mixing Walnut and Corn? They have different purposes.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:24 PM
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I have my tumbler set on a digital timer for two hours. Just push the button and forget it. Corn cob media and a bit of polish and they come out clean and shiny.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:08 PM
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One question I had from what was posted is what possible reason would anyone have for mixing Walnut and Corn? They have different purposes.
What are they??

They are both listed as cleaning media. Perhaps Corn shines better and Walnut cleans better. Best of both worlds? But I use polish also.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:16 PM
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I run mine for 4 hours with a shot of Nu Finish car polish. I have an outdoor light timer I bought at WalMart that I use, that way I can start the tumbler and forget it.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:07 PM
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I have often said that the tumbler is like a crock pot not a microwave. I often run mine for 10-12 hours.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:42 AM
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I was getting tired of how long the corn cob was taking so I added
some walnut. Shazam! the combo works. When it's worn out
I will go back to straight walnut but the combo cleans mirror
bright in about an hour or 2. I never keep close track.

...Nemo...
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:47 AM
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I use a 50/50 combo of corn cob and walnut with a splash of Dillon case shine.

Takes me @ 45 minutes to an hour, or just about the time my guns are clean and it's good to go.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:18 AM
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I run mine for about 15 min, before I size them in 50/50, then after sizing I run about 30 min. but mine don't haft to be pretty just functional
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:17 AM
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I used to get quite a bit of range brass. Some of it was really dirty. Soaked in mineral spirits then acetone to get rid of the mineral spirits. Then tumble. I always tumble my brass cause its easier to check for split necks, that sort of thing. I find that once the brass has a good shine then the next trip through the tumbler is usually less time. Basically just cleaning off the powder fouling. I clean my primer pockets with a cordless drill in batches. This way don't get the crud from the primer pockets in the tumbling media. I also prime all my cases before using the dillon. Just insert case, charge, insert bullet,and seat. then it plops into one of the bins. I think anything you do to the case prior to actual reloading leaves you able to load more rounds at a faster rate. I weigh every tenth charge as a check. Frank
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:52 AM
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Most the time I turn it on in the morning and turn it off at bed time, nice and shiny.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:10 PM
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What about the corcob bedding you get at wally world?? I got some tonight,5lbs for $3.95. I haven't run it yet,but was going to put some cleaner in there also. Suggestions??
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:29 PM
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I let mine run over-night with some NuFinish
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:44 AM
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I started out running it for 3-4 hours, then 2 and noticed no difference. I'm now down to 1. I add a dash of mineral spirits, let it run for a few minutes, throw in the brass and run for an hour. Gets it clean enough.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:04 AM
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Two hours unless I fall asleep on the couch.

Then it's longer ...
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:17 AM
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I used to let it run all day using corn cob and frank-ford polish. My casings were clean but looked to be a tad tarnished. Not shiny new looking brass but sort of dull.. Now I use walnut and do it for about 90 minutes.. SHINY! I found my self exclaiming SHINY BRASS! every time I pulled a handful out of the tumbler. my wife thought it was funny, I heard her upstairs through the vent saying "SHINY BRASS!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnyav8r View Post
What about the corcob bedding you get at wally world?? I got some tonight,5lbs for $3.95. I haven't run it yet,but was going to put some cleaner in there also. Suggestions??
I haven't tried that. Be sure and let us know how it does. I have read on the net that a lot of folks are using lizard litter that you get at the big pet stores. It's finely ground up walnut shells and is cheaper than what you buy for guns. Don
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:29 AM
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The corn cob bedding used for pets is usually the big coarse stuff. It does not work.

The Lizard Walnut fine stuff is OK but expensive, Got to Harbor Freight or order it online.

This place is great. Buy it once, set for life

Pneumatic Blasting Media - Finishing Supplies - Machining
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
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What about the corcob bedding you get at wally world?? I got some tonight,5lbs for $3.95. I haven't run it yet,but was going to put some cleaner in there also. Suggestions??
I use that on all my pistol brass, works great, with a dab of Flitz polish they are shiny as new. I've used on it everthing from .357 to .460 mag and many in between (.40 S&W, .45 Colt, .44 Mag, etc), and it works great.

I would not use it on rifle cartidges though, I used it once on .223 and the necked cases would get all the media inside of them as the tumbler ran, but it would not just dump out because it was too large, it took me well over an hour just to pick the media out of 200 cases.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
The corn cob bedding used for pets is usually the big coarse stuff. It does not work.

The Lizard Walnut fine stuff is OK but expensive, Got to Harbor Freight or order it online.

This place is great. Buy it once, set for life

Pneumatic Blasting Media - Finishing Supplies - Machining
Which grit do you recommend for tumbling ?
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
The corn cob bedding used for pets is usually the big coarse stuff. It does not work.

The Lizard Walnut fine stuff is OK but expensive, Got to Harbor Freight or order it online.

This place is great. Buy it once, set for life

Pneumatic Blasting Media - Finishing Supplies - Machining

I agree, all the corn cob bedding I've seen in the pet stores is too coarse. I just bought some Econoline Corn Cob Blast Media from Grainger and the size is perfect. It's the best deal I found, $34 for 40 pounds. You will want the 14/20 grit. Grainger Item # 2MVR4.
Here's a link:
Blast Media, 40 Lbs, Corn Cob, 14/20 Grit - Pneumatic Blasting Media - Finishing Supplies - 2MVR4 : Grainger Industrial Supply

Last edited by Eagl1; 03-06-2012 at 11:39 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:46 AM
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I use Lyman Tufnut. Rouge impregnated walnut. I have not noticed any red colored residue in the cases but they seem to be slightly lubed, which I look at as a good thing.
It cost $10 for a 3 lb box and after 18 months and somewhere close to 10K rounds, I still have half a box left.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
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2 hours. Lyman Turbo 1200. Set on a timer. 50:50 corn and walnut with a squirt of any kind of cleaner.
I do change my media often. 40 lb bags of corn and walnut.

This is my set up and method exactly.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
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Which grit do you recommend for tumbling ?
I bought the 20/40 grit. I do not think it makes a lot of difference. Look at the size and microns, there is not that much difference. The product is the same brand as Grainger. When I ordered it, I had it at my door in a few days. I think is drop ships from Grainger.

It's so cheap, a 40lb bag is a LOT
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:38 PM
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One thing no one but one guy mentioned was primer pockets.

Are your pockets getting cleaned enough with tumbling to not need the pockets manually cleaned? From what I have read, this is where the Stainless steel media really "shines."
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:42 PM
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60-90 minutes. Just enough to get the dirt off.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
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What are they??

They are both listed as cleaning media. Perhaps Corn shines better and Walnut cleans better. Best of both worlds? But I use polish also.
Yes. Walnut cleans better/faster & cob for a bright polish.

The walnut will kind of defeat the purpose of the corn. I actually tried it when I accidently dumped the walnut out of the tumbler into the corn bucket.

I tried it and it came out no different than straight walnut.

Now I only use walnut & Nu Finish to clean (faster) and cob with Nu Finish for an hour or so on the finished ammo for that blazing shine.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
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One thing no one but one guy mentioned was primer pockets.

Are your pockets getting cleaned enough with tumbling to not need the pockets manually cleaned? From what I have read, this is where the Stainless steel media really "shines."
I clean before I de-prime, but then again I'm only loading handguns
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:34 AM
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One thing no one but one guy mentioned was primer pockets.

Are your pockets getting cleaned enough with tumbling to not need the pockets manually cleaned? From what I have read, this is where the Stainless steel media really "shines."
Primer pockets? People actually clean those??

I sat in front of the TV once and cleaned 100, .223 Rem primer pockets over a clear plastic bowl. The amount of "stuff" was insignificant, miniscule to me. Did not seem worth the effort. I suppose benchrest shooters might do it. I have never cleaned a handgun pocket.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:49 AM
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I use Midway's Frankford Arsenal brank vibratory tumbler for ca 15 to 30 minutes with ground corn cob media. It removes the powder residue and grime but does not make the cases bright and shinny.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
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One thing no one but one guy mentioned was primer pockets.

Are your pockets getting cleaned enough with tumbling to not need the pockets manually cleaned? From what I have read, this is where the Stainless steel media really "shines."
I decap my cases and degrease in an ultrasonic cleaner before tossing then in the tumbler. I use a citrus degreaser and rinse thoroughly. This does not completely clean the primer pockets or inside of the cases but it does remove a lot of the crud.

I lay the the cases out on a cookie sheet to dry then tumble for one to two hours in corncob with some Dillon polish. As long as I don't try to overload either device, the cases are mostly clean on the inside and look good on the outside.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:53 PM
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Try using Nufinish with a little mineral spirits added. It will surprise you how good the cases will become. This works way better than just plain Nufinish alone.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:05 PM
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I tumble my brass for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours usually till they look like I want them to. I use a 33 year old Thumlers Tumbler and a little Nu Finish with the crushed walnut media and it does a good job. It does a better job than my friends vibrating case cleaner with the same Nu Finish added.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:27 PM
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I use a Lyman ultrasonic cleaner. 15 mins. and they are good to go.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:32 PM
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Until it gets shiny.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:33 AM
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Wow - I let mine tumble overnight in my 30+ year old Thumler's Tumbler. They're plenty clean at that point! Guess I need to look at one of those vibratory cleaners......
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:47 AM
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Until it's shiney. That's usually about 2 hours. I don't know why anyone would go much longer. I can't imagine it getting much cleaner after another 10 hours.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM
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Until it's clean or until I remember I left the tumbler running yesterday!
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM
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carl3989 carl3989 is offline
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For about 3 hours in Thumbler Tumbler with hot water and ceramic media and media detergent. The brass comes out as new and very shiny.
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223, 45acp, colt, fouling, primer, smith & wesson, smith and wesson, walnut

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