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Old 03-20-2017, 12:52 PM   #1
H-D
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Default Wet tumbling brass

I bit the bullet on Friday and purchased a wet tumbler. I started cleaning brass a few years ago with a vibratory tumbler and either corn or walnut media and was content. I then switched to an ultrasonic cleaner and was happy with that for a few years. NOW....holy moly what a difference in the final product!!
This batch of 9mm was done yesterday using dawn dish soap, lemi-shine and stainless steel pins...crazy!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:01 PM   #2
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How do you go about drying them out ?
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:04 PM   #3
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I rubbed them around a little bit in a towel and then poured them on the baking sheet you see in the pic. Put it outside in the Sun and those suckers are bone dry within a couple of hours!
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:16 PM   #4
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They look great ! how long did you tumble ? I was told by a friend that he tumbled for 45 minutes and they came out really bright.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:21 PM   #5
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This batch ran for 2 hours.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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a cheap food dehydrator works great for drying brass. Been using one for a while now and I wish i had been using it for years.

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Old 03-20-2017, 03:25 PM   #7
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I've been using a cheap food dehydrator as well, from Amazon. Works great. I don't use lemishine anymore either.


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Old 03-20-2017, 04:03 PM   #8
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Yup discovered that a few years ago and can't imagine doing it any other way.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:12 PM   #9
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Welcome to the club. Nothing like brass that looks new, including the interiors and primer pockets!


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Old 03-20-2017, 04:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricman View Post
Welcome to the club. Nothing like brass that looks new, including the interiors and primer pockets!


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I noticed he didn't de-prime first. Missing half the benefit.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:13 PM   #11
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I don't de-prime my pistol brass...only rifle.
I go through way too much pistol ammo to justify the time it would take to decap every one of them one at a time.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-D View Post
I don't de-prime my pistol brass...only rifle.
I go through way too much pistol ammo to justify the time it would take to decap every one of them one at a time.
...you have reusable primers?




Note: joking, I assume you have a progressive or don't want to run it through a die twice.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:22 PM   #13
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Same way i clean mine. People think its brand new brass.

I run it for an hour then dump it and deprime. Then i tumble for another 3 hours or so. Primer pockets are spotless.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:26 PM   #14
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I just started cleaning mine this way as well. So shiny! Dehydrator to dry as well.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir shovelhands View Post
Note: joking, I assume you have a progressive or don't want to run it through a die twice.
Exactly.

I do take the time to do it for all my rifle brass though. Like the pistol...it doesn't need it, but physiologically it helps me when taking long shots
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:12 AM   #16
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Careful with the lemishine. If you tumble it too long or leave it in contact with the brass too long, it will discolor it. Doesn't affect it's function, but it just looks ugly. You can see the difference in this pic. Darker brass is the discolored stuff. After a couple more times of processing, it'll be bright and shiny again. I set it to tumble about 7 pm and forgot about it till 4 the next evening!!!



Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shoot....what a ride!"
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:02 PM   #17
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Yeah, for 10lbs of brass I'm using 1/2 tbls of lemishine while in the tumbler and then rinsing with clean water after.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:54 PM   #18
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What tumbler do you use?


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Old 03-21-2017, 11:40 PM   #19
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I'm now experimenting with some Armor All Wash & Wax in lieu of Dawn dish soap. Cases seem to go through carbide resizer die a little more smoothly. Could be my imagination too, but I like to think it helps a little bit.

1 tbsp soap
tsp Lemishine (a pinch is all that is needed)
1 gallon of water

Dump it all into the F.A.R.T. and twist the timer. Come back 3 hours later, all is shiny.

You only need a tiny amount of Lemishine, now if you live in an area with hard water, you may need a tiny bit more.

If you have really old brass, that is brown, you can resurrect it with using a bunch of Lemishine, but if you leave it too long, the brass will discolor (similar to how it does when you use vinegar). You have to rinse it really thoroughly.


The dehydrator is the way to go. After the separator, it takes less than 30 minutes to be fully dry.

Also - for a media separator, spend the extra on the Dillon unit. All of the cheap $20 units are flimsy and flexible. The Dillon is rigid and awesome. I have the CM-2000, and it is just fantastic.


I've been doing wet tumbling for several years now. I started using my buddy's Thumbler Tumbler. I did probably a hundred or so batches in it. Mrs got the F.A.R.T. for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago, I've done hundreds of batches of brass in it. I have added more pins to it, so there is just shy of 8 lbs of media in it. I don't see me ever going back to a vibratory or ultrasonic for cleaning brass.

Last edited by Gummi Bear; 03-21-2017 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
I'm now experimenting with some Armor All Wash & Wax in lieu of Dawn dish soap. Cases seem to go through carbide resizer die a little more smoothly. Could be my imagination too, but I like to think it helps a little bit.
Yup, I already ran one batch doing the same thing and for me it's the same feeling through the resizer, but the big difference is no "sticking" when coming out of the expander.

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1 tbsp soap
tsp Lemishine (a pinch is all that is needed)
1 gallon of water
Pretty much same recipe I'm using, but I'm using double the water so using double the lemishine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
Also - for a media separator, spend the extra on the Dillon unit. All of the cheap $20 units are flimsy and flexible. The Dillon is rigid and awesome. I have the CM-2000, and it is just fantastic.
Hahaha, great minds think alike...I didn't even mess with any of the others and ordered the Dillon right out of the gate!! Really is built solid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
I've been doing wet tumbling for several years now. I started using my buddy's Thumbler Tumbler. I did probably a hundred or so batches in it. Mrs got the F.A.R.T. for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago, I've done hundreds of batches of brass in it. I have added more pins to it, so there is just shy of 8 lbs of media in it. I don't see me ever going back to a vibratory or ultrasonic for cleaning brass.
My philosophy is buy once..cry once so I went with a "tank" of a tumbler as well. I went with an LT-5 from Lonestar Tumblers....dude is local to me and made right here in S. Texas
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:30 PM   #21
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here's a note for people that have the discolored brass....

mix 2 gallons of water and 1 tbsp. of lemi shine in bucket. dunk your discolored brass into the mixture and you can literally WATCH the brass turn sparkling new again. RIGHT AFTER, THOROUGHLY rinse the brass with cool water, and dry immediately.

read this on another forum and tried it. works great. the key is rinsing the brass well afterwards to ensure the acidic water is rinsed off.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #22
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FYI, If you like to deprime before cleaning but don't want to run dirty brass through your resizing die, use the Redding decapping dies. They work great. They even come with the small decapping rod that will work with the PPC flash hole(like the 6.5x47 has). I can deprime 100 rounds in just a few minutes.

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Old 03-22-2017, 04:40 PM   #23
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I may be a little obsessive but I like to handle and inspect each case anyway so I take the opportunity to inspect them and use the air nozzle and compressor to blow them dry while I do it.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #24
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OP - how much did your wet tumbler run you? Where did you get yours from? I'm always looking for new ideas for presents for my dad, and that might be the one thing he doesn't have....
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:58 PM   #25
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I have the Thumblers Tumbler but just bought different one. It works very well.


https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/71...3CzRoCEqDw_wcB
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKH View Post
OP - how much did your wet tumbler run you? Where did you get yours from? I'm always looking for new ideas for presents for my dad, and that might be the one thing he doesn't have....
$420, but this thing will last a lifetime.
I got it direct from Lone Star tumblers in McAllen.
Dude is an engineer that designed and made this thing in his garage and has since been selling them
throughout the country.
Like I said earlier "built like a tank"....buy once cry once.


https://youtu.be/RRldsukGl9I

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Old 03-23-2017, 06:55 AM   #27
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Here it is.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:23 AM   #28
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That's a nice rig! Mine is an old rock tumbler that was in a garage sale for a few bucks. It only holds about 1/4 of what that one does.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:43 AM   #29
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Those of you new to media tumbling:

If you separate your pins like in the video, you need to clean them from time to time. They will get contaminated and eventually you will get a yucky batch of brass, that you will have to rinse really thoroughly and run a couple of times.

Cleaning the pins is easy:

Just run a cycle of clean water, soap and Lemishine, and rinse the pins afterwards several times to remove any crud that is stuck in there.


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
Those of you new to media tumbling:

If you separate your pins like in the video, you need to clean them from time to time. They will get contaminated and eventually you will get a yucky batch of brass, that you will have to rinse really thoroughly and run a couple of times.

Cleaning the pins is easy:

Just run a cycle of clean water, soap and Lemishine, and rinse the pins afterwards several times to remove any crud that is stuck in there.


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln
I just encountered this for the first time the other day. my brass came out all greyish in color, and touching it would leave a residue on your hands. i will be doing exactly what you said as soon as i get home! i couldn't figure out what happened... but thinking about it my pins weren't all shiny anymore.. i did have some SUPER cruddy range brass in it recently...
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:38 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
Cleaning the pins is easy:
Just run a cycle of clean water, soap and Lemishine, and rinse the pins afterwards several times to remove any crud that is stuck in there.
You lost me here....crud that is stuck in where?
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter_Man View Post
I just encountered this for the first time the other day. my brass came out all greyish in color, and touching it would leave a residue on your hands. i will be doing exactly what you said as soon as i get home! i couldn't figure out what happened... but thinking about it my pins weren't all shiny anymore.. i did have some SUPER cruddy range brass in it recently...

Yessir

Clean your pins, rinse the brass.

Wash the brass with clean pins, then clean pins and brass again.

Those contaminants are a booger to clean out, and you're cleaning the drum as well as the pins.

After a couple cycles, everything will be bright and shiny again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H-D View Post
You lost me here....crud that is stuck in where?

Dirt, oil, old soap, all will get in your pins. There is also sediment that is suspended in them.

I clean my pins now every 4-5 batches.

I rinse them after every batch. I pour off the dirty water after a cycle, and do a preliminary rinse (4-5 drum full) and carefully pour off water so you're dealing with much cleaner stuff. I leave brass and pins in the drum for these rinses, before dumping in the separator.

I'm happy to talk with you if you like. Just shoot me a message.

Enjoy your shiny brass!




"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:46 PM   #33
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Your pins aren't solid?
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:34 PM   #34
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This is one club I need to join...
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:21 PM   #35
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I've been cleaning pistol brass like this for a few years now. One word of caution. Be careful if you switch to rifle brass. I had all kinds of neck tension problems when I cleaned rifle brass with pins. I think the carbon on the inside of the necks is sort of a lubricant. When it is stripped off it will change things. I ended up going back to my old vibrating tumbler for rifle brass.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:12 PM   #36
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Quote:
I had all kinds of neck tension problems when I cleaned rifle brass with pins. I think the carbon on the inside of the necks is sort of a lubricant. When it is stripped off it will change things.
There's no carbon inside the necks of new brass. How is this different?
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:20 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
There's no carbon inside the necks of new brass. How is this different?
I don't know. Maybe a lube is used. Or maybe the fine scratches causes problems. I'm no expert and I'm sure most on here have way more experience than I do. All I know is that my neck tension would not remain consistent when I used pins to clean rifle brass. Every other step wound be the same. When I went back to corn media tumbling, no more problems. Have you ever seen or experienced this?
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
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I don't know. Maybe a lube is used. Or maybe the fine scratches causes problems. I'm no expert and I'm sure most on here have way more experience than I do. All I know is that my neck tension would not remain consistent when I used pins to clean rifle brass. Every other step wound be the same. When I went back to corn media tumbling, no more problems. Have you ever seen or experienced this?
I haven't. But I don't wet tumble unless the brass is really dirty. Then I usually deprime and wet tumble before sizing. I don't like running funky brass into my sizing dies.

I have experienced "bullet weld" on old reloads. Where the necks will crack on almost every cartridge. Supposedly it's a reaction between the bullet and carbon from previously fired rounds "welding together." It helps on old reloads to reseat the bullet just a tad before using them to break this "weld."
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