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Old 07-07-2017, 05:55 PM
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Been reloading since 1969 and used Lyman vibrator type brass cleaners for years. Finally tried a Frankford (Frankfort?) Arsenal tumbler, don't have model # in front of me but it is a big one.

Used the stainless steel pins, brass polish liquid, water, etc. as directed.

OK..............so it did well, but separating those pins from the brass is a pain in the axx. Yes, I shook, washed repeatedly, used the magnet............etc. Still too much trouble.
Plus, some of the pins were stuck IN .45 acp inside of the primers so tight I had to pull them out with a set of needle-nose pliers. (I tumbled without removing primers first).

Never again!!

How many of you use a similar machine and just use the brass polish and water.................or something else easier to pour out??

Thanks and y'all have a great weekend, Bo in NC

Last edited by BoCash; 07-07-2017 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:31 PM
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I stick with corncobs and Turtle Wax.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:40 PM
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Walnut hulls or corn cobs. With a paper towel or used dryer sheet, the pap turns grey from the dirt it collects.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:44 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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This is another wet media thread, about the 8th in 2 years.

I use a Thumbler's Tumbler #2, a red monster that could hold about 5 qts. of water, along with stainless steel media (pins). Directions call for 2 pounds of brass, 4 qts very hot water, 5 pounds of pins, 1/4 teaspoon Limacine (citric acid), and 1 tablespoon of Lemon dish soap (I use Ajax). I deprime and size first, and let run 1 to 3 hours. Cleans brass to like new condition. I had Black Powder stained 45-70 & 12 gauge brass that was had been black for 20 years. Was like new in 3 hours.

The only pins that got stuck anytime were bent ones when brand new. I have cleaned from 22 Hornet to 450 3 1/4" Nitro Express and never had pins stay inside. But, I use a spinning media separator.

The few drawbacks include;

1) smallish size of batches and the brass is wet when done. To counter this I start cleaning brass of very large batches days before I need to load it.

2) brass is so clean, the power through/case mouth flaring die, sticks on straight wall cases. I just live with it!

A friend of mine stared using a 2 Qt. rock polisher, and got me interested. I would highly recommend this method to anybody wanting shiny clean brass. If you was less shine or slightly less sticking use a vibrating cleaner with walnut media. I used them for almost 30 years.

Ivan
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoCash View Post
Been reloading since 1969 and used Lyman vibrator type brass cleaners for years. Finally tried a Frankford (Frankfort?) Arsenal tumbler, don't have model # in front of me but it is a big one.

Used the stainless steel pins, brass polish liquid, water, etc. as directed.

OK..............so it did well, but separating those pins from the brass is a pain in the axx. Yes, I shook, washed repeatedly, used the magnet............etc. Still too much trouble.
Plus, some of the pins were stuck IN .45 acp inside of the primers so tight I had to pull them out with a set of needle-nose pliers. (I tumbled without removing primers first).

Never again!!

How many of you use a similar machine and just use the brass polish and water.................or something else easier to pour out??

Thanks and y'all have a great weekend, Bo in NC
One of the selling points of wet/ss pin cleaning is getting the primer pockets clean. Plus they take forever to dry if you do not decap first. The extra step alone keeps me from wet cleaning in general. Then getting all the pins out, time to dry, just not worth it for my weekly handgun or even 223 ammo. As noted, the brass is almost too clean, sticks in the powder thru & you can feel the add'l force needed for sizing. So I end spraying with Oneshot, another cost item.
I have used wet/ss for really tarnished rifle stuff, but it is rare. I dry tumble in cobb/walnut mix for general handgun & 223 needs. It's fast & does what I want, clean my brass.
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Last edited by fredj338; 07-07-2017 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:05 PM
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I use that exact machine but with an ounce of car wash and wax and 1/4 tsp of lemishine. Put the strainer under the cap when done and dump into an old pillow case and shake a few times to catch the pins. Works for me.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:11 PM
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I used a dry tumbler for years, I have migrated to hot water, dab of dawn and a dab of lemishine. Swirl, let stand, swirl, let stand, for like 30-45 mins while I clean a gun. Rinse, let stand, rinse, let stand for another 30-45 mins, drain, let dry in the sun. Call it good.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:35 PM
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I use the Rebel 17 stainless pin wet tumbler. De-prime brass, dump it into tumbler, add hot water, a little Dawn detergent and a tiny bit of Lemi Shine. Run for two hours, dump into media separator to separate pins from brass, rinse with water, dump onto towel, roll around to dry outside of brass, spread brass on old metal cooking sheet, then let set overnight before reloading.

I use no polish or case lube due to being more concerned with bullet set back than I am with a little extra shine or a little extra effort on the press.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoCash View Post
Been reloading since 1969 and used Lyman vibrator type brass cleaners for years. Finally tried a Frankford (Frankfort?) Arsenal tumbler, don't have model # in front of me but it is a big one.

Used the stainless steel pins, brass polish liquid, water, etc. as directed.

OK..............so it did well, but separating those pins from the brass is a pain in the axx. Yes, I shook, washed repeatedly, used the magnet............etc. Still too much trouble.
Plus, some of the pins were stuck IN .45 acp inside of the primers so tight I had to pull them out with a set of needle-nose pliers. (I tumbled without removing primers first).

Never again!!

How many of you use a similar machine and just use the brass polish and water.................or something else easier to pour out??

Thanks and y'all have a great weekend, Bo in NC
I use the same set up except I added a media separator and a 5 gallon bucket. This:
Frankford Arsenal Standard Media Separator - MPN: 121925
Pour the contents of the tumbler into this and shake well over a 5 gallon bucket. It will get 95-99% of the media separated from the brass. I always clean my brass well before i need to load it, so wet brass is not a problem for me; I lay it out an a couple of old towels and let it dry. I size and deprime my brass before tumbling.

Last edited by Just another 22 shooter; 07-08-2017 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:41 AM
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I use the Frankford Arsenal tumbler and also my old Lyman Turbo 1200 vibratory for cleaning cases. I mostly still use the Lyman unless I want to really clean some seriously dirty cases with the SS pins and soap/water/lemishine. I usually resize/deprime before running the Frankford for 2 reasons.

1. Get the primer pockets clean along with the rest of the inside and outside of the cases.
2. I find that if you try to resize after cleaning them in the Frankford, it cleans all the oils off of the case which makes for really tough resizing even with carbide dies. So you need to add a little lubricant of some kind back to the cases. And to me that defeats the purpose of wet tumbling.

Another thing I usually do after wet tumbling and separating pins from the cases is to put my cases on a tray and dry them in my oven at 205 degrees instead of letting them air dry. That speeds the drying process and isn't dependent on having a hot, sunny day to dry them.

For removing the pins from the cases, I pour them into my Dillon CM-500 media separator and wash and rinse them with clear water while rotating to separate the pins. I've found that you do get an occasional short pin that gets stuck in the primer pocket, which I pry out with a small jeweler's screwdriver and throw away.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:51 AM
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I've used the same Thumler's Tumbler Model B since 1978 with jeweler's rouge treated walnut shells. I have no intention of switching to the wet method because of the extra steps needed. I'd rather spend that time reloading so I could shoot more.

Sometimes we lose sight that the reason we tumble brass is to remove grit to protect our dies and firearms. The fact that the brass comes out shiny is secondary.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:52 AM
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I do it without the pins (cus Im not patient enough to deal with sorting out the pins) and Im happy with the results I get. I use hot water, lime shine and car wax and it works for me. They also sell larger/thicker pins to prevent the problem youre having.

Last edited by triemferent; 07-08-2017 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:20 PM
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If I were to start reloading today I would probably go with steel pins and a wet tumbler system. Ive seen unbelievably great results from such set ups. Because I have all equipment that I'll ever need already, I am sticking with the Dillon Vibratory tumbler and the Lyman green media. It works more than well enough for my target shooting needs.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:12 PM
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Been using the FA wet tumbler/ss pins for about 3 years now. Yes it's a little more effort, but the results are more than worth it to me. Warm water, squirter of dawn and dash of lemishine is all it takes. Tumble 3 hours and ohh la la, pretty brass! All my brass is tumbled long before I load it and usually 24 hours and all is dry and ready for storage container till needed. Still use my Lyman 3200 for what little rifle brass I load, not as clean, but not sure I want to try getting ss pins out of 223/308 brass. Oh, and I no longer have to clean primer pockets!! :-)
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:42 PM
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I bought a Frankford wet tumbler about a year ago I'm happy with the way it works. Little bit of dawn and lemishine hot or cold water seems to work equally as well, 5 gal bucket separator and the Frankford magnet for the pins that get away. I still use my Lyman 2400 turbo for smaller batches but when processing large quantities of dirty range brass wet tumbling is the way to go. I deprime with a universal deprimer and tumble before I do anything else, really dirty brass is hard on a set of dies.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:47 PM
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Lizard litter & a cap full of NU-shine car wax.......Shiny in no time and no wet mess to deal with... straight to the loader.....old school......
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:48 PM
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I also use corncobs and put maybe a teaspoon of mothers mag polish added every couple of months. They come shiny like new and I only deprime after I tumble every single time, no problems.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:49 PM
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My simple method for shiny brass is soak an old terry towel in lemishine, drop of dish soap. Ring it out so it is damp. Roll your cases in the towel for 4-5min. Then repeat in the same towel that has been rinsed in just water, 1min is enough. They will be shiny on the outside, almost like tumbling with pins with virtually no dry time.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:18 PM
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I use a Thumler's Ultra-Vibe 18. Holds about 5lbs fine, crushed walnut shell (won't stick in flashholes) and ~300 .44 Special or ~500 .38 Special. Run dry w/dryer sheet 4-6 hrs. Made a media separator from 2 plywood discs on a broomstick axle, encircled with 1/4" hardware cloth, across the opening of a wooden box. Brass comes out shiny and clean - a little residue left in primer pockets, but no probs w/reprime or extra friction in carbide sizer.

Larry
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
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Lizard litter & a cap full of NU-shine car wax.......Shiny in no time and no wet mess to deal with... straight to the loader.....old school......
Same here. More than shiny enough for me, and the effort/time spent on it is minimal.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:38 AM
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Anyone think it might work with steel bb's?
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:15 AM
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I use a thumblers tumbler. Started with the pins and was too much a pain in the rear to separate. Bought an rcbs media separator, filled the bottom with water and after a few spins the pins were all sitting in the bottom! Used it like that for a little while but I still got tired of the extra step and now just use hot water, dawn soap, and Lemishine. No more pins. The inside and primer pockets aren't cleaned like with the pins but I'm good with that.
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