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Old November 17, 2017, 12:48 AM   #1
ninosdemente
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Tumbler Media

So I finally obtain the Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Case Tumbler, not ideal but have to start somewhere. Looking into getting the media. How many times can the same media be used before one has to replace it with new media?

I am planning on cleaning 30-06 (my own brass), .380 (my own and picked up from range), 9mm (range) and have some .223 (range). Brass picked up from range range from same day use to several days/weeks exposed to the elements. Now I know depending on how "dirty" the brass is will determine how many times one can use the same media for cleaning brass. But from your experience how many times have you used same media before replacing with clean media? Of course this is something I will be able to have an idea once I start using the tumbler/media.

Treated media just means is has solution for making the brass look shiny compared to the media where the solution has to be purchased separately? I found these:

https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Ars...70_&dpSrc=srch

https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Ars...70_&dpSrc=srch

https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Ars...=tumbler+media

Any suggestions? I am planning on purchase within the next few days. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old November 17, 2017, 01:46 AM   #2
condor bravo
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A definite time rotation cannot be applied to changing the media, might be four months, eight months, etc depending on how heavily it is used. Likewise, cannot really be said which is the best, corn cob or ground walnut. Most seem to favor ground walnut. Note that you can acquire media from pet stores in the form of Zilla brand finely ground English walnut shells lizard litter. This works very well and a polish can be added but not really necessary. I recently let mine go for maybe a year and wasn't hardly cleaning at all. Replaced with the Zilla walnut lizard litter then made a world of difference. Tumbling time was reduced from my former two hours to just one hour. Many tumble quite longer.
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Old November 17, 2017, 05:51 AM   #3
DukeConnor
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I also use the pet store walnut. As far as time, as it gets dirtier it also takes longer. When I get to the point I have to run it overnight to get clean; It's time to change it. Some people usr cut up drier sheets. They claim it picks up the dirt and dust. Personelly I have never seen a difference when using it.
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Old November 17, 2017, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
...you can acquire media from pet stores in the form of Zilla brand finely ground English walnut shells lizard litter. This works very well and a polish can be added...
+1. The only way to go. The polish to add is called NuFinish, which is available at Walmart or any automotive supply store. Pick up a bottle of Mineral Spirits while you're at it. Add a cap full of NuFinish and a cap full of Mineral Spirits to the ground walnut shells.

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Old November 17, 2017, 08:50 AM   #5
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I have tried lots of different media and either use stainless or corncob 90% of the time, would be 100% but I also have a dry tumbler with walnut media and use if from time to time for no real reason.

Many many thousands of cases are cleaned with a bag of corncob, my stainless media has never been replaced. I get my corncob and polish from Dillon, at the same time.
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Old November 17, 2017, 10:56 AM   #6
condor bravo
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If acquiring Zilla media from pet store, be aware that Zilla produces at least one other variety of lizzard litter so be sure to obtain the ground walnut type. Cost is $10 per 5 quart bag. The Nu-Finish mentioned above is an auto polish.
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Old November 17, 2017, 01:02 PM   #7
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Tumbling is a much talked about subject...

Before you buy a specific "reloading media", look at corn cob blast media (blast media is more "controlled" on it's size and hardness) 14-20 grit. After fiddling with every kind of media I could think of from beach sand to ceramic media I've settled on corn cob blast media.

If you don't want to search, get some walnut pet litter (it will vary in grit size and hardness as it's only used for lizards to poop on). I found the dark brown "Lizard Litter" from PetSmart to be pretty good.

If you need an additive just get a liquid auto cleaner/wax, and lots of recommendations for Nufinish are seen. I've used (very little) Turtle Wax car cleaner/polish and some Mother's Liquid car polish and get good results (but you should also try nekkid media too, just to see how well it works without additives). I have found no reason for an rouge or other abrasive additives to media.

So, if you wanna buy dedicated reloading materials OK, but it isn't necessary...

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Old November 17, 2017, 01:22 PM   #8
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I went to the cheap crushed walnut shell stuff and cheap auto polish. Works fine.

A suggestion, fill your media separating bucket with water up to the point there is an inch or more of water in the actual tumber cage when you set it in. Chuck a couple hands full of brass in the tumbler, spin for a minute or two slowly. This will rinse all the mud, dirt, pine needles etc off the brass and keep you media from going ti pot in a heart beat.

When you get sick of all that get a SS media setup.
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Old November 17, 2017, 01:47 PM   #9
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Walnut cleans better, corn cob shines better. Corn cob tends to block flash holes more. Walnut isn't good at cleaning case sizing lube from the case. Walnut tends to stick to the lube and leave a gunky mess especially inside the neck. I prefer corn cob for all around case cleaning but I have used a mixture of 75% corn cob with 25% walnut and that works well. If you tumble cases to remove case lube it shortens the life of media. Can't put a time on media but when it takes longer to clean and shine it's about time to replace it. Low volume loaders and it will last a long time. I like Dillion Rapid Polish 290 and add a capful to my corn cob media every few uses and it cleans and shines.
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Old November 17, 2017, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
...fill your media separating bucket with water up to the point there is an inch or more of water in the actual tumber cage when you set it in.
This is what I do to remove any lingering pins when I wet tumble.

Don
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Old November 17, 2017, 04:02 PM   #11
ninosdemente
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Thank you for all your suggestions and recommendations. Really appreciate it. Guess will have to get something and try it out for myself and see what works best for me.

I actually was going to ask about mixing different media as rg1 mentioned on his reply. Also did not know what walnut and corn cob works best at. There are definitely more options that I realized. Thanks again guys.
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Old November 17, 2017, 04:07 PM   #12
ninosdemente
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Well I can save on the turtle wax as I do have a large bottle of liquid turtle wax if that will work.
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Old November 17, 2017, 05:57 PM   #13
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I use crushed walnut media that I bought at the local farm supply store. It is less than $1 a pound and one 25 pound bag will last a very long time.When I put new media in my tumbler I add one teaspoon of Wright's silver cream. It is a fine polish and corrosion inhibitor. I don't want any wax on my cases. Modern guns are made to use dry ammunition with no lube on the cases and wax is a lubricant. I use the tumbler media until it takes twice as long to clean cases. I am using the Frankford Arms rotary tumbler that includes the steel pins and detergent when you buy it. I don't wet tumble at all. When the time it takes to clean brass doubles I remove the media and replace it with new and another teaspoon of silver paste. I clean the used media in warm (hot) water and liquid dish detergent. I then dry it in my parts oven until it is completely dry. I place it in a paper bag - so it can breathe - and the next time I change media I use the cleaned media and a teaspoon of silver polish. It cleans as well as new media and actually lasts longer. You can use any brass polishing paste like Brasso but I like the silver polish because of the corrosion inhibitor. The cases don't turn color in storage.
I have a vibratory tumble that I no longer use because it takes forever to clean brass and it is noisier than my power tools. My Frankford Ams tumbler is three times the size of my old Thumbler's tumbler so it cleans that much more brass at a time. I fill it 1/3 full with brass and then fill it to the bottom of the neck with media. It operates a lot quieter when it is full but it does take twice as long to clean three times the number of cases. That makes it more efficient than the old tumbler.
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Old November 18, 2017, 12:40 PM   #14
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Before buying a bunch of stuff, try a simple "recipe", whichever you choose. Don't get involved with formula for mixing media, using additives or methods as 99% is personal choice and everyone can defend their choice. Nearly everybody that tumbles brass has their favorite method/recipe and it's all what makes you feel good. Tumbling and case finish is prolly the most talked about, but least important part of reloading...
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Old November 18, 2017, 01:03 PM   #15
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"...depending on how heavily it is used..." Mostly about how cruddy the brass gets.
There is absolutely no reason to put car waxes or polishes in the media. That alone will lessen the longevity of the media. Waxes attract the crud and hold it just like grease and oil. Brass needs to be clean, not shiney.
The corrosion inhibitor works by keeping air(O2) away from the brass. Means there's some kind of coating left behind. A corrosion inhibitor isn't necessary either. Brass doesn't oxidize as fast as ferrous metals.
"...a bottle of Mineral Spirits..." Has more uses than any other fluid. Primarily a degreasant for wood and metal without bothering finishes.
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Old November 18, 2017, 05:23 PM   #16
ninosdemente
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Thank you guys again for the help. The only bad thing is that when you are tying to get something at the store, its never on the shelf.
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Old November 19, 2017, 06:23 AM   #17
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I see you like Amazon so try this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001OVGPH6...=16EXFVGSMYQLE
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Old November 19, 2017, 07:25 AM   #18
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I use crushed walnut hulls for everything. For initial cleaning, I use basically dry media with just enough additive to hold down the dust. For removing sizing lube I use the dirty media that's lost it's "edge" in the cleaning tub. After the lube is removed, I may run the cases for a while in media pretty well infused with polishing agent to put a bit of shine on them.
I've tried "washing" the oily media and it sort of works but is a PITA and not really a solution.
FWIW the dirty/oily media mixed with melted parrafin makes some dandy fire starter.
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Old November 19, 2017, 07:36 PM   #19
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Just use the treated walnut media....it's made for brass polishing, it's the right size and it works. Lizard bedding is not ground to the proper size .
By the time you buy the polishing additives to treat lizard bedding and such , it's not worth it.
Rice doesn't work and never try Kitty Litter....that stuff is horrible.
Been there , tried it all....Treated walnut media wins the race.
Just order the stuff from Midway if local dealer doesn't stock it.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; November 19, 2017 at 07:42 PM.
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Old November 19, 2017, 08:49 PM   #20
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I use the ground walnut lizard litter with a squirt of non ammonia car polish when I dry tumble. I have been using the same squirt bottle of Nu Finish that I bought at Wally world for 5 bucks several years ago. I can get the lizard bedding at the pet store a half mile away with no need to pay shipping costs. A 15 dollar bag will last me a year or so

I have no idea what is the right size for cleaning cases but it works so I guess that it is
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Old November 19, 2017, 10:37 PM   #21
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I use corn cob media. I have 2 batches. One is for cleaning and the other is for polishing. To clean a load of dirty brass I run my tumbler about 1 hour. Polishing is a 3 hour run.

When the cleaning batch gets almost black I will wash it with a Tbsp of Dawn dish washing liquid. I will agitate it a couple of times over a 24 hr period to get the dirt to break loose. Then I will rinse it until the rinse water goes clear. Then I dry it in the sun on an old tee shirt.

Once the cleaned corn cob media has dried I add a tablespoon of car polish and that becomes my polish batch. The previous polish batch becomes the cleaning batch until it goes dark and I start the cleaning process.

My media is about 2 years old and I see it lasting a couple more years. I wash a batch of media about every 3 to 4 months. I am cleaning and loading about 10K of brass per year. Everybody has their routine. I got turned onto washing the corn cob media by one of the older guys at the range.
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Old November 20, 2017, 12:28 AM   #22
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I prefer walnut over corn cob. Walnut does a better job of cleaning. I am using Zilla brand, but I have noticed the stuff is dusty.
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Old November 20, 2017, 07:00 AM   #23
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I use treated corn cob. In the last year I've been washing the fired cases before polishing. The media lasts far longer and the polishing goes quicker.

I de-prime first. Then they go into a bucket of water with Dawn where they get agitated by hand occasionally while they soak for a few hours. Then a hot water rinse, drain, and onto a towel to dry (typically overnight).

The process isn't good if you are in a hurry, but I find it works well and costs less (media lasts longer, less tumbler wear, and less electricity).
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Old November 20, 2017, 07:18 AM   #24
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Harbor freight has a good deal on walnut media too. Works well and is inexpensive. I clean 4-5 batches a month. I use straight walnut with no additives. I run for about 60-90 minutes. Just to clean. I don’t care if they look brand new or not. I change the media when it starts getting very fine grained and very dusty. About every 6 months. The dust annoys me. This might be too early but I don’t care. Walnut is cheap. When I load 556, which is only a few times a year, I use the walnut to remove my diy case lube. I add a cap of mineral spirits per batch.
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Old November 20, 2017, 07:29 AM   #25
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I de-prime first. Then they go into a bucket of water with Dawn where they get agitated by hand occasionally while they soak for a few hours. Then a hot water rinse, drain, and onto a towel to dry (typically overnight).
someone mentioned this a few months back and it is a good tip. Sometimes I deprime at range with a Lee hand unit while I am waiting on other shooters to finish, sometimes at home but a good soak does help.
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