Preferred Media for shell tumbler

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by midlifevette, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. midlifevette

    midlifevette New Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Shelbyville, KY
    Is there any advantage using one media vs another in your shell tumbler. I've read about "corn cob media" and "walnut shell media". I'll be reloading .45 colt and .32 S-W longs. Thanks, Ken
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Walnut shell media is more aggressive and leaves the brass with a semi-matt finish. It cleans powder burns and crude off better than corn cob media. Corn cob media give a shine to the brass but doesn't remove staining as well as walnut shell media.

    After using both over the years I now use walnut shell media because it cleans better. Shiny brass makes no difference to me. The brass just has to be clean so that it does not screw up the sizing die. Now, its the gun that has to be shinny, not the brass :) :)

    I also find that the walnut shell media last a lot longer than the corn cob media. And it is easier to find from other sources than reloading supply sellers for less money.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV

    Walnut media does it for me, if you're really out to impress someone with mirror like brass then use corn, otherwise get the job done with walnut and a touch of polish compound, harbor freight has the best deal on walnut I have found so far.......

    The fine grade has one great adavantage over most media, it will not jam up your primer pockets and flash holes if you decide to deprime before tumbling.
  4. midlifevette

    midlifevette New Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Shelbyville, KY
    Thanks, I never would have thought about looking at Harbor Freight for the media. We have a Harbor Freight in Louisville and I'll go by there tomorrow. Thanks again, Ken
  5. Midlifevette, look for an industrial supply that sells sandblast media for construction projects. I can't remember exactly what I paid for it, I want to say around $12. That got me a 50# bag of walnut shell media. They also had corn cob for about the same price.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    fine corncob (from harbor freight) treated with cabelas brass polish (pretty much the same thing as brasso)
  7. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I use Lizard bedding from the pet store; it's med-fine walnut and half the price of anything else. Either Roosters or Lyman Polish works just fine. Dillons Rapid Polish has been good too.

    Most any reloading branded polish will do just fine. Don't try to use anything that isn't designed for cartridge brass, as anything that has ammonia in it will comprimise your brass. ( Brasso, Wrights, Liberty, etc etc )
  8. bayhawk2

    bayhawk2 New Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    WW-A thought crossed my mind on that.I saw that stuff at Petco here while back.
    I was going to ask about that here,but you answered my question. Right now I'm using corn cob,pre-mixed with cleaner.It works good.
    I think I'll give that Petco stuff a try when I use this up.
  9. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Many of us use a mix of corncob/walnut for the best of both worlds...along with a little liquid car polish now and then. Corncob polishes best, walnut cleans best. IMHO

    As I always suggest, while you're at Harbor Freight pick yourself up one of their el-cheapo lamp timers. Plug your tumbler into it.... "set it and forget it". Works great especially if you put your tumbler in the basement or spare room to cut down on the noise. Also lets you safely tumble while you go out or overnight while you sleep.
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