Tumbler media opinions?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 312shooter, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    What is your prefered tumbler media, which lasts longer, what works quicker and who has the best deals???
  2. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    There are two types of media readily available: walnut shells and corn cob.

    The walnut shells are fast but don't polish the brass.In fact they kind of burnish it.

    Corn cob is slow but leaves the brass in a polished state.

    All I want is clean brass so I use walnut shells. I never use the liquid polish anymore after some got into the inside of a case and caused a squib load (primer went off but powder didn't...pushed the bullet half way up the barrel and stopped...caught it before the next shot and saved the gun).

  4. frank1947

    frank1947 New Member

    Aug 26, 2008
  5. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    When I bought my tumbler I also got 15 pounds of walnut. I used 1/2 the first year and the second half the second. I then went down and bought a 25# bad of corn cob pet bedding and I also got some dry powder polish from cabelas and added it to the mix and it works fine. I have several years worth of material and it is low cost.

    Walnut works quicker but corn cob will do the job.
  6. Hers is a picture of the Harbor Frieght tumbler. My daughter got it for me for Christmas and I love it!

    As for media, I use rice. It cleans well and gives the brass a satin luster. Also ground corn cob bedding from a pet store will clean pretty well.

    Attached Files:

  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    ceramic media is by far the best, lasts virtually forever, you can wash it out, and its about 10 times faster. however it does wear out brass much faster, and its real expensive... i use corn-cob with cabelas liquid polish, i have not had problems with it and the brass always comes out shiny new. BEWARE tumbling primed cases, you could clog your flash hole and cause a squib like LD mentioned, i always tumble fired cases and thoroughly inspect them before processing them, tumbling will help you find cracked, dented, stretched, or otherwise unsuitable cases by making the cases clean and the defects easier to see. you can also safely tumble loaded ammo, but i dont see the point, im just gonna be reloading it again in about 5 minutes anyways;)
  8. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest

    I thought I read somewhere tumbling loaded ammo was dangerous?

    Not so much for pistol cases, but larger rifle cases especially where
    the powder might break down and become more explosive?

    I only tumble fired cases.

    I stick with the walnut only because I bought like 25lbs of it and
    not too concerned about shiny cases, just want em to be clean!
  9. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Check out any place that sells sandblasting supplys. You can get a 50 pound bag of walnut media for pretty cheap. 2 years ago I paid $14 for a 50 lb. bag.

  10. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
  11. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Thanks. I hadn't thought of that and actually like the walnut better as it seems to be less dusty and uses less electricity.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    on the contrary my friend. most major manufacturers actually give thier ammo a final tumble to ensure a perfectly clean and professional looking product.
  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Thanks all, I use the lyman autoflo, and corncob media. The pan supplied with the autoflow is terrible with corncob media due to the fact that it creates enough static to send media flying around like a minature tornado. I think I'll go with walnut and forget about having the ultra shine finish, after all I'm not going to impress my target with a shiny case.
  14. The_Vigilante

    The_Vigilante New Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    El Paso, Texas
    Good luck on finding the Vibratory tumbler at Harbor Freight. My local store hasn't had them forever and doesn't know when they will be getting more.
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