Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-30-2018, 11:35 PM
AJ AJ is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central East Coast of Flo
Posts: 829
Likes: 161
Liked 849 Times in 365 Posts
Default Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings

Just bought a new Lyman Cyclone Tumbler. It came with pins to tumble with. I happen to have got a box of Lyman metal what look like small ball bearings in a bunch of reloading stuff a while back. What are the difference in the two types of media? Are they any better than the walnut shell type media that I have been using?
__________________
USMC 69-93
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-30-2018, 11:55 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Harlem, Ohio
Posts: 5,745
Likes: 4,939
Liked 6,289 Times in 2,605 Posts
Default

Pins are a tumbling media used in industry to remove burrs and grime for several decades. The other sounds like nickel plated shot. (Was popular for hunting birds in the 90's and a little before and after)

Ivan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:13 AM
socal s&w socal s&w is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 667
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 20 Posts
Default

It could simply be steel shot. Check it with a magnet.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:16 AM
AJ AJ is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central East Coast of Flo
Posts: 829
Likes: 161
Liked 849 Times in 365 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
Pins are a tumbling media used in industry to remove burrs and grime for several decades. The other sounds like nickel plated shot. (Was popular for hunting birds in the 90's and a little before and after)

Ivan
Ivan,

Just trying to figure out what is the best media to use.

AJ
__________________
USMC 69-93
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-01-2018, 03:32 AM
Twoboxer's Avatar
Twoboxer Twoboxer is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 911
Likes: 268
Liked 599 Times in 329 Posts
Default

Pins are used to tumble in water mixed with some additives. That method produces very bright, very shiny, very clean brass when used in a water-holding tumbler. Drawbacks: you have to separate out the pins, a bit harder to do than with walnut or corn. You have to dry the brass. And it's a good idea to be there when the tumbling's done to avoid cosmetic or other damage to brass from the chemically active solution. Finally, sometimes the brass gets so clean neck tension is changed and it is more difficult to resize and then seat bullets.

If you got "ball bearings" as part of a reloading cache. odds are extremely good they are not "tumbling media" at all.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 07-01-2018, 10:23 AM
SMSgt SMSgt is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,960
Likes: 799
Liked 1,975 Times in 957 Posts
Default

One is round and the other is cylindrical. That's the difference.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:58 AM
mikld's Avatar
mikld mikld is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S. Orygun
Posts: 1,330
Likes: 832
Liked 672 Times in 414 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
Ivan,

Just trying to figure out what is the best media to use.

AJ
I played with tumbling media for about a year before I settled on corn cob blast media (blast media is much better than pet litter). I tried a dozen different media from beach sand to rice and dried beans/peas, wood chips, glass beads, BBs, and some I can't remember right now. Corn cob blast media 14-20 grit, is harder than pet litter and better quality controlled. In my estimation, cob blast media is best for all around case cleaning...
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 07-01-2018, 01:29 PM
TooManyChoices TooManyChoices is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: E Texas
Posts: 13
Likes: 10
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I have used Thumler Tumblers for a while and absolutely love them. The stainless steel media (pins) with water, lemi-shine and Dawn make brass gleam! Walnut and corn cob media are easier to use, but they don't compare to the outcome.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-01-2018, 01:49 PM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,512
Likes: 2,086
Liked 3,852 Times in 1,718 Posts
Default

"Are they any better than the walnut shell type media that I have been using? "
For preparing brass for loading they are not better than walnuts. Shiny brass is purely cosmetic and does not make it load any better.
If super shiny brass is your thing, follow "Too many choices" formula, above.
__________________
Science plus Art

Last edited by OKFC05; 07-01-2018 at 01:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #10  
Old 07-01-2018, 10:23 PM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Texas
Posts: 767
Likes: 77
Liked 454 Times in 280 Posts
Default

Quote:
AJ asked:
Just trying to figure out what is the best media to use.
First, you need to know for sure what the "ball bearings" are made out of. They could be totally unsuited.

Second, what is your criteria for "best"? Lowest cost? Greatest light reflectivity? Fastest? Produces least waste? Waste is easiest to dispose of? Steel pins (or steel ball bearings) will produce a high gloss finish, but can also so strip the case of residue that it takes more force to size cases and they can be more liable to stick. Dry media will not produce as glossy a finish, but it can be done quickly, sorting the media out can be quicker, and there less danger that you are producing a by-product (used media/used solution) that requires special handling or disposal procedures.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-02-2018, 11:46 AM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Deer Park Texas
Posts: 219
Likes: 173
Liked 174 Times in 83 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
Just bought a new Lyman Cyclone Tumbler. It came with pins to tumble with. I happen to have got a box of Lyman metal what look like small ball bearings in a bunch of reloading stuff a while back. What are the difference in the two types of media? Are they any better than the walnut shell type media that I have been using?
Your on the right track if you want your brass to look new. I bought the RCBS rotary tumbler. I also bought the Lyman seperator pans . They work great along with a magnet to retrieve the SS pins. Living in S/E Texas drying brass is not a problem. About an hour outside in the the sun and itís a done deal.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #12  
Old 07-02-2018, 12:31 PM
gwpercle's Avatar
gwpercle gwpercle is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 3,465
Likes: 1,947
Liked 2,719 Times in 1,442 Posts
Default

I have a Thumblers Tumbler that I used in rock polishing for decades. Even though I have everything to wet tumble and have tried it several times , I prefer dry tumbling with treated walnut shell media.
I just don't care for the water mess and the added step of drying the cases.
If the cases are not 100% dry you can have problems .
Both methods work so it's a just personal choice of how you want to skin that proverbial cat.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; 07-02-2018 at 12:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 07-02-2018, 02:01 PM
mikld's Avatar
mikld mikld is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S. Orygun
Posts: 1,330
Likes: 832
Liked 672 Times in 414 Posts
Default

FWIW; I have only one need for glossy brass and that's my Garand and 45 ACP ammo. Glossy brass is much easier to find in the dirt of my "range". To get glossy brass from corn cob media (yep really shiny, mirror finish, polished brass) is to leave it in the tumbler longer.I have tried wet tumbling, but for a few reasons, it ain't for me. My "brown" brass and my "glossy" brass shoot the same, and I have no one at the range to impress...

Brass tumbling/case cleaning is probably the most talked about, but least important pat of reloading...
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 07-02-2018, 02:26 PM
AJ AJ is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central East Coast of Flo
Posts: 829
Likes: 161
Liked 849 Times in 365 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by socal s&w View Post
It could simply be steel shot. Check it with a magnet.
It is in a box from Lyman and marked "STEEL POLISHING TUMBLER MEDIA" and I did check it with a magnet.

Are the pins supposed to be more effective?
__________________
USMC 69-93
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-02-2018, 06:51 PM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Deer Park Texas
Posts: 219
Likes: 173
Liked 174 Times in 83 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
It is in a box from Lyman and marked "STEEL POLISHING TUMBLER MEDIA" and I did check it with a magnet.

Are the pins supposed to be more effective?
Give it a try. Canít see you have anything to loose.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-02-2018, 06:56 PM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Deer Park Texas
Posts: 219
Likes: 173
Liked 174 Times in 83 Posts
Default

The Lyman , RCBS, and Frank ford arsenal all seem to be about the same. My RCBS says total weight 30 lbs.
2 gallons of water 16
SS pins. 5
Container. 5
Brass about. 4
That’s a lot at one time.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-02-2018, 07:51 PM
socal s&w socal s&w is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 667
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 20 Posts
Default

I would imagine that the pins would be better as they have sharper ends that can get into smaller cracks and crevices. BB's not so much.
And as stated, the pins works exceptionally well.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-03-2018, 12:06 PM
mikld's Avatar
mikld mikld is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S. Orygun
Posts: 1,330
Likes: 832
Liked 672 Times in 414 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
It is in a box from Lyman and marked "STEEL POLISHING TUMBLER MEDIA" and I did check it with a magnet.

Are the pins supposed to be more effective?
It's the shape and weight that will make the difference. What's the diameter of the balls? Might not work in a wobbler/vibrating tumbler and I'd guess it won't polish the brass but leave a matte finish. Smaller pins will get into small areas and the ID of the case (some folks like that?) and the small diameter and blunt ends will also have an effect on the finish (less "impact" on the brass).

Won't hurt anything to give it a try, what kind of tumbler do you use?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-03-2018, 05:41 PM
bigedp51 bigedp51 is offline
Member
Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings Tumbling Pins Vs Ball Bearings  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 255
Likes: 5
Liked 189 Times in 107 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
It is in a box from Lyman and marked "STEEL POLISHING TUMBLER MEDIA" and I did check it with a magnet.

Are the pins supposed to be more effective?
The pins are more effective for cleaning cartridge cases.

And ball bearing will not clean the nooks and crannies.

Plus the ball bearing weight more and will peen your case mouths.

There are many types of polishing media for different type jobs.

My wife make jewelry from round silver links and they are polished with a Jewelry Mix in a vibratory tumbler.



Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
9mm ball ammo vs 5.56 ball for SHTF Help! marathonrunner Reloading 40 04-10-2016 10:04 PM
FS: Stainless pins for wet tumbling Hansli Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 0 08-25-2013 06:59 PM
bearings ronaldharold S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 5 12-28-2012 12:37 PM
FS Model 547 Firing pins, Limit pins, Retainer mayuhm Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 1 12-23-2012 11:16 AM
liquid bearings oil drtibikr The Lounge 5 01-12-2010 08:08 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:32 AM.


© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2018
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)