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Thread: Cleaning Brass with Stainless Steel Media

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning Brass with Stainless Steel Media

    I just have not been happy with the way my vibrating tumbler cleans my brass with corncob media. I do get a nice polish, but the inside and primer pockets still come out dirty. I don't think this really hurts anything, I just like it clean.

    Have a friend on another shooting forum that was talking about how great SS media was at cleaning brass. After seeing some before and after photos, I decided to give it a try.

    Here are a few before and after photos. All I used was water as hot as it would run from the tap and a shot of dish soap. Let them run a few hours and rinsed them off. The media will not wear out, and was very easy to do. Drained and rinsed them off, threw them in a pan and let them sit on the warm stove until dry.

    Very happy with the results.

    Photo of the media.


    This brass is still dirty inside and had been cleaned in the corncob media already. It was still dirty to me.


    Primer pockets with corncob still stuck in them.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    do you have any pictures with the SS media results?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Here is a photo of the tumbler.


    The brass in the media.


    All clean inside, should have seen how black the water was when I poured it off.


    Clean primer pockets.


    So I think from now on after the range, I will punch out the primers with a universal decapping die and then into the SS media, after they are dry, lube and resize, then tumble in the corncob to polish and remove resizing lube.

    Happy Reloading

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    Wow, looks great Steve. How's things going with the 325 wizbang? I'm about ready to start working up a load for 200gr AB's for mine.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Hay you swiped my tumbler and gave it a paint job, looks way better now good job! Now when can I have it back?

    That looks like needle bearings from u-joints. Looks like it does a great job though so where did you get the SS from.
    Andy
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I ordered it from a Gentleman on another forum. Had to go in on a larger order, then we broke it down into 5lb bags. 5lbs seems to work well and the size is important so it cleans inside the case without getting stuck in the neck. If we have enough interest I may be able to get some more. I bought 5lbs extra just in case.

  7. #7

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    Cool Stid, very interesting. I wonder how steel or copper BBs would work???? They might not get the primer pockets very well? I wonder how 7 1/2 lead or steel shot would work?

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    Default alternate media

    I've thought about adding some of the larger sandblasting media to the corncob and see how that works. Then the ultrasonic cleaners came out so I am looking for the right one of those to get.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by green sourdough View Post
    I've thought about adding some of the larger sandblasting media to the corncob and see how that works. Then the ultrasonic cleaners came out so I am looking for the right one of those to get.
    Me too, all of the above.

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    Default SS media

    I did some research online. Seems like the size guys have found that works well is 0.041 diameter by 0.250 long with clipped at angle ends. You can purchase this media from a variety of outlets but the minimum purchase amount is substantial. So if you have some 0.41 SS wire and don't mind carpal tunnel you can make your own.

    Regards

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    stid2677
    Could you offer me the gentlemans/email address or web site, name that sold you the SS media.........
    Regards
    Alan (Doc)

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    This brass cleaning activity - what is its real purpose?

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    Default Purpose of brass cleaning

    The purpose depends on the person doing the cleaning.

    Some just like their reloads to look pretty although I will admit that the shiney brass is easier to find if you are shooting autoloaders outdoors.

    I pick up and shoot a lot of range brass so I want to get the dirt and crud out of it - sand and grit aren't good for guns esp. gas operated autoloaders. I also want the primer pockets clean for reliability etc.

    I usually clean my cases after decapping rifle brass or sizing and decapping pistol case. I'll toss 'em in the ultrasonic cleaner and all the dirt and crud disappears into the water.

    For my revolver cases shooting cast bullets the cases are plain just nasty with lube and soot and are a mess to deal with after a few firings. The cleaning removes all of that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    This brass cleaning activity - what is its real purpose?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  14. #14

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    1/2 cap of lemon juice added to the mix really shines up the brass!

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    It seems to me that using an abrasive so much harder than the brass will remove material. SS is much harder than brass and will erode the case faster. Removing the relatively soft crud with a mild abrasive without removing brass is the balance we should be looking for. It would be interesting to track the weight loss in cases consistently cleaned with SS with those cleaned with the softer more common tumbler media. If SS does remove more material, then you will see reduced case life.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I've found that tumbling my brass in walnut hull media (Lyman Tuffnut) with a capfull of Turbo Brite before tumbling in corncob media gets the brass much cleaner including the insides of bottle-neck cases than if I were to use just the corncob.
    Now what ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    It seems to me that using an abrasive so much harder than the brass will remove material. SS is much harder than brass and will erode the case faster. Removing the relatively soft crud with a mild abrasive without removing brass is the balance we should be looking for. It would be interesting to track the weight loss in cases consistently cleaned with SS with those cleaned with the softer more common tumbler media. If SS does remove more material, then you will see reduced case life.
    I saw this same sort of thread on a different forum, and they had sourced brass media in the same shape and sizes. been digging around for a bit and cant seem to locate the tread now, but if I find it i will post up a link...
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/ there is a link for the stainless media

    and http://hhshootingsports.com/ these guy supposedly have the brass media
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Interesting that the SS media guys also sell Lemi Shine although their price about 50% more that WMart and others!

    Do they reommend using LemiShine with the media? Using them together should cure speed things up as the Lemi Shine does an excellent job by itself or in an ultrasonic cleaner.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/ there is a link for the stainless media

    and http://hhshootingsports.com/ these guy supposedly have the brass media
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The purpose depends on the person doing the cleaning.

    Some just like their reloads to look pretty although I will admit that the shiney brass is easier to find if you are shooting autoloaders outdoors.

    I pick up and shoot a lot of range brass so I want to get the dirt and crud out of it - sand and grit aren't good for guns esp. gas operated autoloaders. I also want the primer pockets clean for reliability etc.

    I usually clean my cases after decapping rifle brass or sizing and decapping pistol wealth. I'll toss 'em in the ultrasonic cleaner and all the dirt and crud disappears into the water.

    For my revolver cases shooting cast bullets the cases are plain just nasty with lube and soot and are a mess to deal with after a few firings. The cleaning removes all of that.
    Great to know what was that thing for especially when it comes to achieving a "clean" job!

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