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Old April 17, 2011, 08:17 PM   #1
ragwd
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ooops How did this happen?

Hello all, and thanks for taking the time to read my thread. I have been reloading pistol for awhile and just lately I have been reloading rifle with the bottle neck cartridges. Awhile back I bought some Hartz corn cobb bedding and litter to use in the tumbler to clean. It works great on pistol and its so much more cost effective than the polishing media I bought at the gun shows. I dropped about 200 223's in the tumbler with some new corn cobb bedding and some car wax and let it go for about 6 hours. Geeze oh man , they came out looking like brand new, very shinny and bright. Only problem is the media is stuck and it takes alot of shaking and prodding with the long end of a 1/16th allen wrench. doh! I worked at it about 20 minutes and cleared about 20 cartridges. Oh man, so I hooked up my drill motor with a dry wall screw chucked up in it and tried that for a while with slightly better results. So I'm quitting for the night and posting here to share my comical dilemma with you in hopes that someone else has "been there done that " and has a better solution, Help!!
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:34 PM   #2
KySilverado
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I haven't run across what you are describing but my uncle gave me a couple thousand once fired LC 52 30-06 brass. Great you say.... well they'd spent about thirty years in an open crate in one of his barns. Seems mud dobbers will use just about any available hole to them to procreate. I spent several hours washing. scrubbing and prodding to clean those buggers up.
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:43 PM   #3
mehavey
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Quote:
with some new corn cobb bedding and some car wax
Assuming you meant liquid car wax, you've got yourself a mixture that will pack itself into small spaces like clay. In a straight-wall case it may be able to move in and out of the case while vibrating. Bottenecks however (as you found out) are called bottlenecks for a reason. Think crab trap: Bad juju for media that doesn't move completely freely like dry sand.

No way out now other than just diging it out.... and using dry media in the future.
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:47 PM   #4
Sport45
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Quote:
I hooked up my drill motor with a dry wall screw chucked up in it and tried that for a while with slightly better results.
That might scratch up the inside of the neck a bit.

Straighten a paper clip and wrap it around the post in the center of the tumbler leaving the end sticking straight up. Hold the plugged brass upside down and lower it onto the vibrating wire. That might help loosen the media and allow it to flow out.

When your done, dump the corn cob bedding and get some ground walnut "Lizzard Litter" from the pet store and use it instead. Wax or polish is optional.
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Same thing will happen if you use too much brass polish. It sucks and .223 is the worst, it's much less of a problem with .308, .303, .38 Spl, etc. The .223 seems to be exactly the perfect size to cause a congealed mess inside the case. If you put the polish in first and let it mix around for 5 minutes, it should be less of an issue- or use less wax/polish....
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:55 PM   #6
ragwd
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Thanks for the replies. I had a good laugh about this and wanted to share the humor. Sport45, interesting idea I will give it a try. Mehavey, yes you are right it was a liquid wax, and it does work great on the straight wall pistol cartridge. SwampYankee, it is exactly the perfect size for this to get stuck , perfect fit. I will use the polishing media next time it is about half the size of the corn cobb. Any way tomorrow is another day and I might sit down and have at them again.
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Old April 17, 2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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+1 swampyankee
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Old April 17, 2011, 10:10 PM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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I bought fine walnut media from Harbor Freight for about $20 someting dollars a year ago. I tumble thousands of rounds a week literaly. I still have over half of the bag left. I tumble lots of .223 Rem never have had any stuck in a single case ever. It may not make them shine quite as much as the corn cob stuff though I will take the trade off. I do not care how shiny it is as long as it is clean. Though it tends to shine up pretty well.
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Old April 17, 2011, 10:57 PM   #9
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Ditto, the Harbor Freight box of walnut media works very well. Just be sure to clean FIRST before you deprime/size, otherwise the stuff fits perfectly in the flash hole.
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Old April 18, 2011, 06:28 AM   #10
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You also have to run the vibrator for a few hours after putting in fresh wax or polish before adding the cases. If you add the cases too soon the wax will stick in the cases.
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Old April 18, 2011, 04:09 PM   #11
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PA-Joe nailed it.you need to run it for at about 30 min. or so before putting the bras in.
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Old April 18, 2011, 04:39 PM   #12
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The pet shop corn cobb is just too darn big! Been there-done that-got the "T" shirt! I saved that batch of corn cobb for the big caliber cases, 40 S&W was the smallest that would empty easily.

Grainger sells corn cobb in finer grits as blasting media. IIRC it's the 40 grit that will work for deprimed cases WITHOUT the media getting stuck in the primer flash holes.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ECO...VR5?Pid=search
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Old April 18, 2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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PA-Joe got to the problem. Corncob swells when it gets wet. If it stuck in the case it was still absorbing water from the polish when you put the cases in. You need the polish mixed in and dry before you put the cases in. Depending on how adhesive the wax is, you might find baking the brass at about 250°F in the oven would drive a lot of the water out without being hot enough to burn it or to anneal the cases, thereby letting the corncob shrink back some and come out more easily.

Not just Grainger, but any blasting supply house will usually have this stuff. They use it to blast paint off wood or other soft substrates that sand would tear up. $20 for 50 lb. bag last time I checked.
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Old April 19, 2011, 01:17 AM   #14
ragwd
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Well, I worked at it for 1 1/2 hours today and finally clear all 200 cases. I turned a 10 minute job into close to 3 hours. A lesson I wont soon forget. Yes the pet shop corn cobb is twice the size of the other cobb that I bought at the gun show. I imagine that it did swell some, but in its regular shape its just perfect to slip in and not want to come out. I stopped using the drill and took to shaking 20 or so cartridges in a plastic container for a minutes and it seemed to loosen alot. I fashioned a hook on a paper clip to work behind some that I could. Some came completely clean with a little shake and some were just stubborn and I used my flash hole deburring tool to loosen. Anyway, after all done I took a strong flashlight to make sure none left on the bottom and tomorrow I will start popping the old primers and full length sizing them. Rifle is very prep heavy compared to pistol. Well thanks to all that took the time to read and a extra thanks to all those who had helpful suggestions.
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Old April 19, 2011, 03:05 AM   #15
Eagle0711
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I had the same problem using Brasso. You can by it at Wal-Mart. It's best to use something made for that purpose. Dillon has good polish that won't cause gunk jammed in the case.
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Old April 19, 2011, 08:39 AM   #16
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"I bought some Hartz corn cobb bedding and litter"

Most such litter is far to coarse for tumbling use. I use the finest grit of cob blasting media I can find, about like beach sand! Does an excellant job, never clogs flash holes. Tumbling media will last a looong time unless we clog it up with excessive polish.

A liquid auto 'wax' would not be ideal for tumbling, use a polish instead, and, for sure, let it get well mixed before adding cases.

Liquid ammonia is hard on brass so avoid using Brasso unless you mix it and allow it to run and fully dry over night, until the cat pee oder is gone, before adding cases.

Media is media, polish is polish, none of it's purpose made for reloading use. The sellers just get commercial stuff and repackage it for us.

Last edited by wncchester; April 19, 2011 at 08:48 AM.
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Old April 19, 2011, 11:00 AM   #17
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Warning!

Corn cob bedding? Yep, tried some of that stuff and found that, while the price was right, it was to coarse – got stuck in every orifice. Just in case someone gets the idea of grinding the stuff down to size, I highly recommend you avoid the temptation to use your wife’s nut chopper/coffee grinder blender gizmo with the clear plastic container, which isn’t very clear now.
Trust me on this one!
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Old April 19, 2011, 12:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Only problem is the media is stuck and it takes alot of shaking and prodding with the long end of a 1/16th allen wrench. doh! I worked at it about 20 minutes and cleared about 20 cartridges. Oh man, so I hooked up my drill motor with a dry wall screw chucked up in it and tried that for a while with slightly better results.
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Old April 19, 2011, 12:56 PM   #19
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yes you are not alone

I too had a brain fart like yours with 223 I didn't run the car wax long enough to get it. Good and mixed in which takes a half hour to a hour with a cap and a half full of the nu finish wax. And then add the cases it took me about 3 hours to get them all cleaned out it sucks but it happens good luck
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Old April 19, 2011, 01:46 PM   #20
Rifleman1776
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I would think the corn cob would be very dusty. But some use it and like it. Car wax? Wats wrong with the polishing liquids made for brass tumbling? It is cheap and works great without the problems you encountered. I put in a cap full every few loads of brass. Works great.
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Old April 19, 2011, 01:51 PM   #21
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First, you are suppost to only use one or two capfulls of the wax/polish, let it run for 15 min without any cases in the media so it coats the media and not cakes up. Third, get a set of dental picks from Harbor Freight, they work great getting media out of 223 cases, or any other case for that matter or cleaning dies or picking food out of your teeth (use dental floss for that). Tooth brushes also work great for cleaning the inside of a die.


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Old April 19, 2011, 04:08 PM   #22
LarryFlew
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anything seemed to work fine for my pistol brass but when I started doing 223 I had the same problem. Switched to the Harts lizzard bedding (find walnut) and it works great and dumps easily. I also use car polish but run the polish alone for a bit before adding the brass.
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Old April 20, 2011, 01:08 AM   #23
ragwd
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Gee, I am sure glad that others admitted that they had this problem also. Thanks, I don't feel quite so bad now. I am sure it was a case of wrong media for a bottle neck cartridge and also I didn't run the tumbler awhile before adding the cartridges. I ran the same media on some 45acp today and it worked fine. All shook out with no problems. Thanks again guys for the help!
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Old April 22, 2011, 12:59 PM   #24
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When this happens I use a small steel deep fryer basket and keep dumping back and forth into a box it shakes it loose. Works good for me.
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Old April 22, 2011, 04:27 PM   #25
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It doesn't matter what media you use when you use liquid polish, you still have to add the polish first and let it run awhile. I learned this with 233 brass, and Dillon's (GFP) polish and walnut media.
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