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Old December 20, 2012, 09:13 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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ready to make the switch to stainless tumbling media

I have an older RCBS rotary tumbler, that has worked great for me for years ( yep... I'm getting good at scraping out the packed media out of the primer pockets, them working on oversizing them on my case prep station with primer pocket brushes, to clean out the remaining crud, after the media packed into the priming pockets... & putting up with the dust...

yep... got one of those new fangled Hornady ultra sonic cleaners... spend about an hour cleaning 20 cases

everything I've been reading points to using the pin type stainless tumbler media...

so any suggestions for how much I actually need for my old RCBS tumbler ???

... I'm guessing about 2.5 lbs of media & 1/2 gallon of water per batch ( yep, know ya gotta use the dawn, & a surfactorant to get a nice shine ) per 50 - 100 cases, depending on the size of the case being tumbled...

that seem about right ???

anyone want to tell how the stainless media is working for you, & what you're using for additives ???
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:26 AM   #2
darkroommike
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Primer pocket crud

Don't deprime until after you tumble. No matter what media you use.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:28 AM   #3
solocam72
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There's another thread with all this info on the 2nd page, pictures and all! The pins sure do a nice job as the pics in the other thread show.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:58 AM   #4
zplinker
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I always deprime before running brass in the ss media, and the primer pockets come out squeaky clean. Just ran 175 pieces of 25-06 brass in the Thumblers tumbler, and they look better than new. Used RCBS Sidewinders for years: what an overpriced piece of junk.
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:12 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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Sorry... scrolled through the top page, & breifly through the 2nd, & did,n't catch it, before I posted...

anyone know how much media I'd need to buy for my tumbler size ???
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Old December 20, 2012, 05:16 PM   #6
serf 'rett
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Are you using a RCBS Sidewinder?

I use a small Thumler Tumber Model A-R1 rated for three pounds (of rocks), so my capacity may be a little less. I can't quite remember the weight of the pins, but I think its in the range of 12 to 14 ounces. I'll try to remember to weigh my pins when I get home tonight.

My standard mix is roughly a pound of brass, the stainless pins, enough water to cover the brass 1/4" to 1/2", a small amount of Great Value dish soap and 3 to 4 pinches of Lemishine. Seal and tumble for one hour for simple cleaning or 1-1/2 to 2 hours for super clean and shine.

Over the past 4 years, I've seen many formulas for the large capacity 15# Thumlers; however, many of them are using 5 pounds of pins and 8 pounds of water, leaving room for only 2 pounds of brass. Seemed like overkill on the pins, so I started out trying a much smaller amount of pins and it’s worked for my setup. I also noted that many of those folks are tumbling for 4 to 6 hours; whereas, I normally set my timer for 90 minutes.

You definitely should deprime the cases before you tumble. This allows the pins to clean the primer pockets. I don’t like running dirty, sandy, soot laden case into my sizing dies, so I deprime using either a Lee Universal Depriming die or my drill press (my choice for decapping pistol brass).

My current small capacity setup is good for around 150 9mm, 100 40S&W or 80 .45ACP.
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:01 PM   #7
serf 'rett
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The pins weighed about 24 oz. If you want to do some math, my internal barrel measured 4.25" diameter x 3.8" tall. Scale quanities up to fit your barrel.
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Last edited by serf 'rett; December 21, 2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:02 PM   #8
reynolds357
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The main purpose of me tumbling is getting rid of sizing lube. I could care less how the case looks. Having said that, de-priming after I tumble would be pointless.
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:23 AM   #9
hounddawg
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any detergent will act as a surfactant, a surfactant acts to lower the surface tension of a liquid or that between the liquid and the brass. To remove the patina you will need a mild acid of some type. Powdered or natural citric acid, vinegar etc. I did some research on the lemishine, most analysis shows the active ingredient be just citric aid

here is a long read on lemishine for those interested

http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2012/0...in-lemi-shine/

pure powdered citric acid is available pretty cheap if you want to save a dollar or two. Like a previous poster said a pinch goes a long way so one package of whatever should last you for years and years
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:25 AM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for the comments on thew Lemishine... I have lots of citric acid where I work... will likely use that...

anyone know if there is an acid level where the brass starts getting brittle ???

I think I had heard that ammonia will make the brass brittle ( specifically if polishing compond was used with corn cob media, there were several cases where they thought the brass became brittle ??? )
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:15 PM   #11
hounddawg
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the only acid that would harm your brass would be nitric which is also a oxidizer. It would eat the patina the oxidize the brass underneath then eat that patina etc etc. Citric acid will just eat the oxidation off. Same for acetic acid (vinegar). I heard, but have not verified, that citric acid will leave a coating on your brass which will prevent oxidation reoccurring

I think on another pin tumbler thread the guy gives his recipe for how much lemishine/detergent. I have never tried this but I bet you could take a case then let it sit in pure lemon juice a week and it would be fine.

By the way ammonia is a base not an acid and it reacts with the copper in the brass. A bit of trivia here but if you ever want to remove a copper plating from something for some odd reason soak it in ammonia. Want to make your plated bullets turn blue?
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:34 PM   #12
hounddawg
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found this also - stainless steel media by the pound

http://www.buffaloarms.com/stainless....aspx?CAT=3889

almost thinking of building one of these myself. I have a $3 yard sale 1/2 corded drill that is not busy. I like the tilted 5 gal drum idea which would solve any water leakage issues...hmmm might make a trip to the hardware store later
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