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ajroyer
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Posted: 5/29/2011 6:27:24 AM EST
I am just starting out with reloading, and step one is prepping all the brass that I have been saving. I got a tumbler with a big bag of walnut and a big bag of corn cob. I ordered the brass polish to add to the corn cob, but it hasn't come in yet. The catalogue that I ordered from gave a description of the media and said corn cob first for heavy cleaning and walnut second for high polish. I have a lot of brass with varying degrees of tarnish. I ran almost all of it through the corn cob (without brass polish) and after four to six hours it looked "ok." I then ran the last couple batches through walnut first to see what the difference would be and it is MUCH cleaner and brighter. I am now re-running the corn cob cleaned stuff through the walnut to get the better finish.

The question is: Based on this early testing is it best to clean with walnut first, deprime/size, then clean again to polish and remove lube with the corn cob and brass polish? I am sure that I have seen this kind of thing discussed before, but I can't find it now. Any of your best practices with cleaning brass in the tumbler and media that you prefer would be appreciated.
borderpatrol
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Posted: 5/29/2011 6:40:12 AM EST
I use walnut first, lube resize and then tumble again in plain corn cob. Run both batches longer if you want a better finish. I routinely run range brass at least four hours in walnut before resizing. Another four hours in untreated corn cob will impart a nice polish.

I don't use any additives because I don't feel I need any. They will allow you to use less tumbler time.
ChrisGarrett
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Posted: 5/29/2011 7:12:02 AM EST
Personally, whatever is cheaper to buy for you, is what I'd use to remove the lube. Your media will load up with lube, sooner, rather than later and you'll be tossing in the garbage before long.

I'm on a walnut kick and I'm a guy who tumbles for 90 minutes and calls it a day. I'm not eating off of it, just reloading the stuff and hitting the range.

I'll add a few squirts of metal polish every three cycles and go to town. With the smaller batches I usually load, I'll either wipe off my Imperial Sizing Wax with a clean cotton rag, or I'll use a damp shop towel to remove the RCBS CaseLube II, so I'm not generally loading the media up.

Just keep this in mind.

Chris

Nozzelnut
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Posted: 5/29/2011 7:31:07 AM EST
I don't want to add another step to your brass cleaning, but I've found a short dip in Lemishine does the trick.

I bought a dish pan and colander(sp?; the pasta draining thing) from chinamart, and give brass a bath when I get home from the range. Even a short soak of 5 or so minutes will brighten brass significantly. I dry in front of a dehumidifier and tumble in media for about an hour. Longer for more polishing if you need.

That gets brass bright enough for me.
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GTO688
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Posted: 5/29/2011 8:12:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By borderpatrol:
I use walnut first, lube resize and then tumble again in plain corn cob. Run both batches longer if you want a better finish. I routinely run range brass at least four hours in walnut before resizing. Another four hours in untreated corn cob will impart a nice polish.

I don't use any additives because I don't feel I need any. They will allow you to use less tumbler time.


+1

Walnut 1st then corncob. The walnut is much more abrasive than the corncob and does a better job cleaning the brass. It will leave the brass slightly dull however.
rn22723
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Posted: 5/29/2011 10:13:50 AM EST
Basic premise....walnut cleans better and corncob polishes better.

Either media with reach a saturation point with crude and additives. A couple of hints. Media is cheap change it often. My rule of thumb, 20 hrs and pitch it. Next, off take used dryer sheets and tear them into 4 strips. Throw a sheet into each batch of brass to help with dust, crap, and helps keep polisher bowl cleaner.

I think and experience easier sizing with very polished handgun brass. This helps smooth out the operation of a progressive press.

Now, rifle brass needs to be clean, not necessarily Mr T Bling Bling Sparkly.

The cleaner the brass the easier to spot defects on cases.

I get great results with 2hrs of polishing with corn con laced with a couple cap fulls of Iosso. Flitz, is a nice alternative.
Wingman26
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Posted: 5/29/2011 11:26:14 AM EST
Definitely walnut for cleaning, corn cob for polishing, for best polish add some cleaning additive to the corn cob. You don't have to do this, either one will work fine by itself, but walnut by itself doesn't tend to give the best finish, corn cob by itself can get a pretty good shine if left in there long enough, the additive speeds up the job.

It seems to me that walnut will soak up a lot more powder residue and case lube before it gets overloaded than corn cob, and even with the corn cob use the additive lightly, you can overdo the additive and mess up your corn cob with that. If you ever put some brass in your tumbler and come back a couple of hours later and you have actually added dirt to the brass, its past the time to change your media!
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zw123
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Posted: 5/29/2011 1:31:44 PM EST
Brass cleaning
I like my brass clean and shiny. Here’s what I do. I have a one hour timer with two vibrating tumblers.

1.Put dirty brass in media separator, spin to remove dirt, grass un-burnt powder etc…
2.Place brass in walnut, polish, fabric sheet and mineral spirits for one hour.
3.Remove from walnut and place in Corn cob, fabric sheet and polish for one hour.

It’s that simple. My brass is clean and shiny.

pcsutton
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Posted: 5/29/2011 3:39:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By zw123:
Brass cleaning
I like my brass clean and shiny. Here’s what I do. I have a one hour timer with two vibrating tumblers.

1.Put dirty brass in media separator, spin to remove dirt, grass un-burnt powder etc…
2.Place brass in walnut, polish, fabric sheet and mineral spirits for one hour.
3.Remove from walnut and place in Corn cob, fabric sheet and polish for one hour.

It’s that simple. My brass is clean and shiny.


When do you de-prime, resize, and trim?
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dryflash3
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Posted: 5/29/2011 5:48:01 PM EST
Use walnut with a little polish first.

Lube and resize.

Clean off lube with plain corn cob.

Never add anything to corn cob.
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MastaMarksman
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Posted: 5/29/2011 6:23:58 PM EST
Walnut is suppose to be better for scrubbing of heavy dirt/carbon/etc because the walnut shell's are harder.

That said, walnut plain sucks! It's super dusty and I've found that it doesn't do any better of a job then corn cob, as a matter of fact the testing I've done, corn cob preforms better EVERY time.

So as far as I'm concerned, there is no use what so ever for walnut.

Many people in the past have argued that they use walnut because it lasts longer, however you can buy a 40lb Bag of Corn Cob Media from Grainger Industrial for $26 that will last you MANY years and is many many times cheaper then any walnut media you can find, as I mentioned earlier I've found that the corn cob works better in every way then walnut and if you buy it this way, it's way cheaper, so why anyone uses walnut is beyond me.

Anyway, the best polish I've found is the Flitz Tumbler/Media Additive. Dillon's Rapid Polish also works good, but the Flitz works better.

YMMV

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