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Old October 12, 2011, 05:13 AM   #1
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cleaning brass

I am sorry if this was already posted but i did not see anything in my search.This might be a dumb question but thought i would ask....I been looking for corn cob and the pet stores use it for small animal litter..So i thought i have 3 big boxes of cat litter i do not need has anyone ever used this for cleaning brass in a tumbler( I have also seen where some people use uncooked rice)? Thanks for any help!!!!! I have been out of the hobby for about 15 years and am very happy to get back into it!!!!!!

Last edited by aat10768; October 12, 2011 at 05:48 AM.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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Would probably make your brass smell like cat pee, and you'd have to sift out turds.


My experience has been that all kinds of people use all kinds of different things and some of them buy it at pet stores... but for me, using purpose-built corn cob media that I picked up at a gun show has lasted y-e-a-r-s, and if I put in three squares of cut-up paper towel and a I squirt some Nu Finish car polish in there with it, the media lasts until I scatter it in to the carpet and lose it.

Years! Still cleans as well as it did when I bought it.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:53 AM   #3
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It seem to me I read a post somewhere about using cat litter. Those that tried said cat litter is clay based and brakes down leaving residue on the cases. You can activate pet bedding, corn or walnut with several commercial or a couple home brew formulas guys claim work well. I have used Lyman or Flitz either with a little Nu-finish car wax has worked great for me.
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Old October 12, 2011, 07:06 AM   #4
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Cat litter is too dirty, it is basicly clay and will be way too dusty, great on picking up oil or tranmission fluid spills. Pet shop corn cobb is used for pet bedding and is too large and will not work that well. However, Zilla Lizard Litter is crushed walnut and works very well and can be found in your local pet shop. If you have a Granger near you, you can buy a 25 lb bucket of fine corn cobb for about $25.00 it is sold as blasting media. Cabela's and Midway USA also carry FINE corn cobb but runs around $18.00 for a 3 lb box.

I use 50% fine corn cobb and 50% Zilla with three cap fulls of Cabela's brass polish and that combo works extreemly well in getting my brass clean and shiny.

Good luck and stay safe.
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Old October 12, 2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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Get a cat for the cat litter or use the litter for oil spills and old stains. That clay would last about 2 minutes in a tumbler of brass and turn to talcum powder. Spend a couple bucks and buy some corncob media.
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Old October 12, 2011, 07:29 AM   #6
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After I de-cap and size my brass I always wash it in hot water and dish soap to get rid of the lubricant I use for sizing. That way the brass goes into the corn cob media relatively clean and does not contaminate the media with excess lubricant and the media lasts a lot longer.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:09 AM   #7
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If you don't live near a Grainger's, or want even a better deal go with this fine corn cob media. Can't beat the price and it will not get stuck in the flash holes.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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jepp2 is correct. That 20/40 grit cob does very good work and doesn't get jammed into flash holes. To get 40# of it for some $27, delivered, is a REAL DEAL! 40# is, or should be, a life time supply for anyone but a reloader working on a commericial scale.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:19 AM   #9
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Most cat litter is clay based as previously stated, but high priced, fancy "crystal" stuff may be different. The clay would be a fine abrasive material, but I wonder if the litter would break down into dust or if the material "edges" would quickly become rounded, thereby, losing it's "cutting" ability.

If you feel like experimenting with the litter, then DO NOT add any liquid. Of course we expect a report on the results.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:32 AM   #10
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Spend a couple bucks and buy some corncob media.
Then when it gets dirty, toss a used dryer sheet into the case cleaner. Run and remove. Crud sticks to the sheets..... cleaning the media.

Yep, I'm cheap.
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Old October 12, 2011, 11:22 AM   #11
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Ok was not sure but i had it... I am really glad i asked first lol...
Thanks lots guy!!!!!!!!!!! This is great did not have any forums when i was shooting before..... Thanks again !!!!!
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Old October 12, 2011, 11:55 AM   #12
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I've found that the corn cob from pet stores is "flakey" while corn cob blasting media is "grity" (about the same as grits). I used the crushed walnut shells from PetSmart (lizzard litter) which worked much better than the "flakey" corn cob. I've tries a lot of different stuff for tumbling brass from dried coffee grounds, rice, beach sand, dried beans, wood chunks, and cat litter (diotomacious earth, aka oil dry) but the tried and true corn cob blasting media and crushed walnut work best. Best deal I've found yet is Twenty five and change with free shipping for 40 lbs. is pretty darned good...
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Old October 12, 2011, 04:40 PM   #13
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" "grity" (about the same as grits). "

Dude, Southern Oregon isn't the deep south ya know

Anyway, donating the cat litter to a local shelter would be a better use.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:48 AM   #14
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Will do thanks again guys!!!!!
I went this morning to local gun shop (Benton Shooters Supply) and got some there... Would have been been a little cheaper in the mail (about two bucks)but i am ready to start again lol...Also support local business...
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Old October 13, 2011, 11:39 AM   #15
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I use walnut to clean dirty brass, as the walnut is harder and does a much better job of removing carbon. Add a cut-up dryer sheet to help keep the media clean, and discard after every load.

Use corncob to polish and do a finer clean. It's much more absorbant than walnut since it's more porus and softer. Adding a capful or so of Nufinish car polish will do a fantastic job of polishing brass or loaded ammo. Again add a cut-up dryer sheet to remove excess polish and lube. Discard after every load. Add a capful of mineral spirits when the polish seems to quit working. That will soften it and rejuvenate the polish.

And use the finer 20/40 grade of cob and you'll never have to worry about punching media out of flash holes. I've been using this combination for about 20 years and haven't found anything cheaper or better.
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Old October 13, 2011, 02:43 PM   #16
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A 25 pound bag of fine walnut blasing media cost less than $30 at Harbor Freight. I have well over half a bag left over a year later, and I have cleaned literaly hundreds of thousands of cases in that time.
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