vibrating tumbler media???

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 444 marlin, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. 444 marlin

    444 marlin New Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    I just bought a lyman tumbler and wondered if there is a media that you can use with water that will clean the inside of the cases as well as not plug the primer flash hole.
    Thanks Wayne
  2. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I do not know of any, so if you don't get an answer then I would say there isn't.

  3. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    I don't know of one either. I normally tumble my cases before I deprime therefor the pluggng of the flash hole is not a problem and is cleared by depriming stem. I have not ever had a problem with cleanliness of the inside. It is not shinny but it is clean. Oh there is the occasional case that some bug has set up home in while still on the range but I usually catch that when inspecting the brass before it goes into the tumbler.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Use fine corn cob and brass polish. No water necessary. just make sure the cob is ground fine enough it doesnt plug the flash hole.

    Harbor freight used to carry fine corncob media. but for some reason theyve stopped.

    I just picked up 16 pounds of it today from the gunshow. Old timer was selling it for a buck 25 a pound. Which is about half what lyman gets for theirs. and the Lyman media is too big and clogs the flashholes.
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Yes, A Thumblers model B tumbler with stainless media will do all of this with a teaspoon of dishsoap and water. The startup price isn't for everyone, on the other hand, there's nothing to buy after initial cost.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    444 marlin:

    There is a disadvantage to totally removing the carbon buildup in the throat of the case. It is that the carbon acts a lubricant for the insertion of the bullet. New completely clean cases can be hard to seat bullet in, due to the friction of the bullet against the bare case. The first reloading bullet seating is alway easier once there is a coating of carbon in the case throat.

    Using any water in the case cleaning process runs the risk of not getting the water fully out of the case. It is better to use dry media. Walnut shell media is the most aggressive cleaner. Corn cob media give the best shine but stains may not be totally removed. Either works sufficiently to assure the sizing die is not harmed during case sizing.

  7. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    NW Louisiana
    I use a mixture of 1 part Ballistol and 10 parts Hot Water for cleaning my black powder cases...It works extremely well with the BP, but never tried it with smokeless cases...
  8. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    LD, I was looking in the Sinclair catalog and there was this super duper sonic cleaner, was spendy, but I thought I bet that would really get the brass clean. Then I saw the liquid and figured they're getting ya right there. Anyway, I once used this walnut media from that Larry fellow and it had some red additive in it; really gummed everything up and I ended up cleaning all the dies due to the build up inside the barrel of die. I've been using the walnut media with brass polish additive and thats it of late; gives me that brushed look and looks clean but I still clean brass with Q-tips & alcohol to get that dust out.

    What do you use or better yet what works best for you? Do you even bother getting the dust out? I've been using that one shot lubricant real light inside & out before sizing to avoid problems.
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Over the years I have tried both corn cob media and walnut shell media. The walnut shell media is aggressive and leaves the brass with a dull shine. The sizing die usually burnishes the cases to a brighter smoother shine. The corn cob media, which I no longer use, is a better polishing agent but can leave stains on the brass because it is not aggressive enough. You can get walnut shell media from gun stores, or even from Harbor Freight (sometimes?). It seems to last forever if you refrain from putting polish in it. Shinny brass shoots no better than the brass that comes directly out of walnut shell media without polish. I am into shooting, not making ammo look like pieces of art.

    The carbon coating left inside is no detriment to the accuracy of the ammo. It aids in seating the bullet by acting as a dry lubricate as the bullet is seated into the case. I make no attempt to remove it. I do shake out any cleaning media as I remove the cases from the tumbler (actually I use a Dillon Vibratory Case Cleaner often misnamed a "tumbler" and their Case Media Separator unit).

    I tried the spray lubes and they are too messy and often get too much or too little lube on the cases. I roll my cases (rifle only as all my pistol dies for straight walled cases are carbide and do not need any lube at all) on an RCBS pad using their case lube from a squeeze bottle:

    If a particular lot of brass seems reluctant to allow bullets to enter the throat of the case then I use the NECO CARTRIDGE CASE NECK DRY LUBRICATION KIT which is a small tin of Moly dry lube with small ball bearings in it that act to pass the Moly onto the inside of the case throat when the throat is plunged into the tin:

    When the cartridges are reloaded I first wipe them off with a damp rag then roll them on a towel to dry them. (The RCBS lube is water soluble.) During this process I look for reloading defects like upside down primers and any splits I may have missed earlier.

    This all works for me and you, of course, can choose to do your ammo any way you like. I like my way!

  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    The Duke:

    Black powder case cleaning is a different matter altogether as the salts created by the black powder ignition are corrosive and must or at least should be removed from the cases. They are water soluble and water is the best solvent to assure their removal. That is not the problem with smokeless powder unless you are using Mil Surplus ammo that was originally loaded with corrosive primers which also creates a salt that is corrosive and could be spread to the gun if reloaded (???). Anyway for normal ammo a dry cleaning process makes more sense to me. A wet process is fine (probably) but you must get all the water out before reloading (use the oven on low to evaporate it?).

  11. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    Thanks LD, I'm going to order that Neco neck lube kit and try to get some walnut without anything pre-mixed in it.
  12. skyfire1

    skyfire1 Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    South Florida
    Cheap franklen from midway works well.
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