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Walnut and comet cleanser in tumbler

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Deacon_Man, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

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    Today I tried a mixture of walnut and comet cleanser in my five pound tumbler. I added 20 oz. of comet cleanser to the walnut mix. WOW, my casings came out looking better than new. I let the tumbler run for two hours with the new mixture. I have tried running it with just the walnut but my brass is still stained from being fired. This gave me the idea of adding some abrasive cleanser to the mix. My brass wall thickness is still maintained same as it was when I ran them thru the sizing die. I think I'm on to a good idea. See the pics below.....

    Deacon Man

    Attached Files:

  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    not bad at all. Sure beats running corn cob and brass polish for a full 24 hrs to get mirror bright brass..
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Be careful with using Comet on your brass.
    Comet, like most other scouring powders, has a small amount of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) and sodium hydroxide (lye). Both of these chemicals are corrosive to brass. Might not be a large enough concentration to cause problems with short-term exposure...but is it worth the risk?
  4. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    wow 24 hrs?

    I put them in for an hour with brasso or something else. After an hour i take them out and run dry cc for another hour and presto.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    YEah. i usually start em in the evening, run em all nite, then take em out after work the next day. They always come out better than new looking too.
  6. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Any worries about that fine abrasive powder having negative impact on the inside of the dies?
  7. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

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    Here's mine after 4 hours in a wet tumbler using stainless steel pins. There's no dust or dirt and no noise. The brass looks brand new inside and out including the primer pockets and flash holes.

    Attached Files:

  8. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    stev32k, talk to me about those "stainless steel pins", what are they? where do you obtain them? I have been using walnut hull or corn cob media some times with a little polish added for the last 35 years+ but that is some nice clean looking brass. Help an old man by explaining "wet tumbler". I have been using the same Thumler Tumbler all these years but don't even know if you would dare put liquid in it.

    I don't really have a problem with what I have been doing all these years but my brass doesn't come out that clean especially inside. I tend to be a neat freak even when it isn't necessary.
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Be careful about using anything other than walnut shells and corn cob media for cleaning brass.

    Some chemicals not made for cleaning or polishing brass pistol and rifle cartridge cases may contain a chemical that attacks the strength of the brass case. It is not a good idea to be fooling around with chemical on brass cases that may be required to contain up to 65,000 psi of pressure. Every bit of strength in the cases is necessary!

    Also since the cases are heat treated to make them strong where they need to be strong, using any heat on them is also a no-no, especially in the head of the case.

    These points are safety issues.

    Stains from firing on brass cases in no way effects their function. Brightly polished cases are for bragging rights and do nothing to promote accuracy or shooting skills. Cases only need to be clean enough so that no residue is left on the outside of the case that might scratch the reloading dies.

    LDBennett
  10. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    todd51,
    check this site for the pins http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/. They will work great in your tumbler. Add water and a few drops of dish detergent and let it run.
  11. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

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    The pins are very small - small enough to pass though the flash hole and get inside the case. They don't scratch the brass. The tumbling action is very gentle it's not like they are being blasted. It's more of a rubbing action.

    I use 5 lb of pins, 1 tablespoon of cascade, 1 teaspoon of lemon cleaner, and one gallon of cold water. I load either 250 - 9mm cases or 200 - .40 S&W cases. You need to keep the total weight of pins, water, and brass to around 15 lb. I tumble the .40 S&W for 4 hours and the 9mm for 6 hours. The larger diameter cases of the 40's allow more pins inside and they clean up faster.

    After tumbling I spread them out on a pizza pan with 2 layers of paper towels for drying. I put mine in the oven on the lowest temperature setting and let them dry for about 1.5 - 2 hours. You could also let them air dry it just takes longer.

    I know I'll catch a lot flack for this, but I don't like the idea of cleaning brass with corn cob or walnut shells. Both of those contain a lot of fine dirt and abrasives. I could be wrong but unless the brass is cleaned after cleaning I think it's likely one is trading burnt carbon on the cases for dirt. That kinda defeats the purpose of cleaning.
  12. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i've been using a mix of corn cob, walnut and white rice.

    I expiremented last time with running some nufinish car polish.. just a capfull to the mix.

    did that after running an expirement with a capfull of brasso to another batch i had.. people had a cow about it..

    in any case.. I also run mine thru a ultrasonic cleaner afterwards with a warmer, and then let them try on the shoe rack in the dryer in a flat pan... makes for some good looking brass

    the brasso'd batch i tested were on some last run 30-06 cases anywY.. they were ready for retirement and so i did so after that loading and firing.

    i don't think the nufinish has any amonia or bleach in it to hurt hte cases.. not sure about any abrasives either.. if it did have abrasives, i'm guessing the usc would wash it off..
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    stev32k said:

    "...............but I don't like the idea of cleaning brass with corn cob or walnut shells. Both of those contain a lot of fine dirt and abrasives."


    What happens is the vibration acts as a separator. All the dirt and fine particles end up in the bottom of the vibratory cleaner bowl. If you are careful when transferring the cases out of the cleaner machine, the dust and fine particles stay in the bowl. I then use the Dillion rotary basket which tumble the brass to remove the remaining media out of the cases. In 25+ years of using this system my dies show no sign of scratches. And I really stretch the usage of the walnut shell media running it literally for years without changing it. I can not do that with the corn cob media as it doesn't clean but polishes and looses even that ability rather quickly.

    But hey, we all get to choose. As long as the cleaning method does not harm the brass (as some unknown chemical in cleanser, or soap may) all is OK , I guess.

    LDBennett
  14. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Well those stainless pins look like some neat stuff and that is sure some pretty brass that resulted from their use.

    But I am going to try and restrain myself and take LD's advice and just stay with the old walnut and corn cob I used for so long. I sure don't have to worry about any possible brass damage. I have started tossing some used dryer sheet pieces in the tumbler and that has really helped with the dust situation but that was not a big problem to begin with. Thanks guys, always looking for a better mouse trap.
  15. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    add some white rice in there too.. good extender!
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