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Old February 12, 2013, 08:45 PM   #1
FloridaGuy
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Tumbler Media Replacement

I am using crushed walnut shells as my media in my tumbler with no additives. Local reloading store said additives are not needed unless you are look to have your brass look band new. My question is how do I know when I should change the media? So far I have ran over 3000 rounds through the tumbler.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:10 PM   #2
j357
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If you buy it in bulk 25 lb boxes you are ready to switch out in my opinion. First, try 2 tbl spoons of mineral spirits and 2 tbl spoons of Nu Finish in it. Run it empty for 15 minutes to distribute the liquid (with two used fabric softener sheets cut in quarters- optional. Pull them and replace with new used sheets every other batch.) This will shock you as to how the polish helps shorten tumble time and the mineral spirits/sheets cut down on dust.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:18 PM   #3
jag2
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Its all personal choice on how clean and shiny you want it to be but 3000 is just a start, its got a long way to go. I clean about 300 a week and change media maybe in 6 to 8 months. You probably will notice it takes longer but it is still usable. If it just doesn't seem to be doing a good job then go ahead and change it.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:19 PM   #4
fishbones182
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Quote:
If you buy it in bulk 25 lb boxes you are ready to switch out in my opinion. First, try 2 tbl spoons of mineral spirits and 2 tbl spoons of Nu Finish in it. Run it empty for 15 minutes to distribute the liquid (with two used fabric softener sheets cut in quarters- optional. Pull them and replace with new used sheets every other batch.) This will shock you as to how the polish helps shorten tumble time and the mineral spirits/sheets cut down on dust.
+1 on this. I buy my crushed walnut from Harbor Freight its their blasting media it does a great job. You can also use lizard bedding as well from pet shops. You can save a bunch of cash that way.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:39 PM   #5
j357
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+1 on HF bulk walnut media. The only way to go. I think my whole tumbling set up with: HF tumbler; a 25lb box of walnut media; and mineral spirits cost me $75 at HF a few years ago. I then went to the dollar general store next door and bought a bottle of Nu Finish and two 4 qt colanders for less than $5.
Pull a 20% coupon from the paper and get the media real cheap.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:30 PM   #6
jcwit
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One more time

http://www.drillspot.com/products/52...bs_blast_media

Corn Cob shipped right to your door, 40 lbs for approx $35 bucks, plus 40 lbs of corn cob is a heck of lot more material that 40 lbs of walnut, that you spend gas to get.

As far as the tumbler, I tired the Harbor Freight one, burned the motor out in the first week, got a replacement and did the same thing, tried one more time and burned the third motor up, got my money back.

Suggest one goes to Cabela's and buy their #400 tumbler, same price range and made right here in America not supporting the RED chinese "friends". Granted the berry tumbler sold by Cabela's motor is made in china but it only because no company here makes one to their specs. Mines been running now for over 10 years now with no problems. Oh, one more thing, Cabela's gives you a lifetime satisification warranty.

Course if you're one who wishes to support labor other than our own when the product is in the same price range, by all means shop for the chinese junk.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:45 PM   #7
david_r
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I don't know which makes me feel guiltier. Buying a HF tumbler or that it works. Berry's tumbler is made out of unobtanium. Most of the ****e at Cabelas is made in China. hmmmm. Now where did I leave that rope?
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Old February 13, 2013, 02:27 AM   #8
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
Suggest one goes to Cabela's and buy their #400 tumbler, same price range and made right here in America not supporting the RED chinese "friends". Granted the berry tumbler sold by Cabela's motor is made in china but it only because no company here makes one to their specs. Mines been running now for over 10 years now with no problems. Oh, one more thing, Cabela's gives you a lifetime satisification warranty.
I have this same tumbler and i love it. Runs great, not to mention Cabelas has a wonderful warranty.

Quote:
I don't know which makes me feel guiltier. Buying a HF tumbler or that it works.
If it works, that is all that matters.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:06 AM   #9
WaywardSon
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I bought a used RCBS tumbler years ago and ran it with the walnut hull media that came in it until about a month ago when I changed it out with corn cob media that I got a deal on. The old media still worked OK, just was taking a long time and had a lot of dust in it. I can't tell much difference with the corn cob media...both seem to work fine.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:23 AM   #10
BoogieMan
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What are you doing with the cartridges after they come out of the tumbler?
Wash them, air hose or just shake them in colander till the dust falls off then load/
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:30 PM   #11
jcwit
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Quote:
What are you doing with the cartridges after they come out of the tumbler?
Wash them, air hose or just shake them in colander till the dust falls off then load
I just shake them in a colander till all the media is out/off the cases then store them or load them, whichever I wish to do.
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Old February 14, 2013, 12:03 AM   #12
sc928porsche
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I havnt had a problem with Frankfort Arsenal's tumbler. Hornady and RCBS make good ones also. As for media, I prefer corn cob. When the media starts to change color I replace it with fresh.
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:09 PM   #13
mjes92
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Purchased the cheapest Frankfort Arsenal's tumbler kit 3+ years ago. Still working great and would recommend it. Corn cob meadia that came with kit broke down relatively quick. Replaced with Walnut and still using it. My only complaint was the dust so I tried the used softener sheet trick. Works great..... I try to use a full sheet every other load, dependent on available supply. I do run brass for a short while in corn cob after walnut to removed any left over dust that usally show up on the inside of the case.
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Old February 16, 2013, 02:46 PM   #14
LarryFlew
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I use walnut for cleaning and corn for polishing. I change it when it either gets really dusty or quits doing it's job. Pretty black b4 it quits for walnut but not too dark when CC gets too dusty.
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:05 PM   #15
Misssissippi Dave
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A dryer sheet in the bottom really helps keep down the dust and lets you use the media longer. When it takes a long time to clean the brass it is time to replace it. You can add stuff like Dillon brass polish to speed the cleaning process up. NuFinish will help as well, Nufinish also will apply a very thin polymer type polish to keep the brass from tarnishing for quite a while. It doesn't hurt the ammo or gun either.

It may not be in the interest of someone selling media to tell a customer how to make it last longer or quicker.

When you add things like polish to the media you need to do it when it doesn't have any brass in it. Run the tumbler at least 15 minutes (30 is better) before you add brass.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; February 16, 2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:14 PM   #16
TXGunNut
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No idea how long walnut media will last, current batch is several years old. I just clean it and add new polish now and then. I have a new bag of media around so someday I might just change it out before I forget where I put it.
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Last edited by TXGunNut; February 16, 2013 at 08:27 PM.
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