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Old December 13, 2018, 10:20 AM   #1
rebs
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case cleaning ?

I am currently using a vibratory cleaner with crushed walnut media. It doesn't clean the primer pockets or the inside of the case. Is it worth the expense of going to a wet tumbler with SS pins ? Does anyone use a rock polisher tumbler with SS pins ?
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Old December 13, 2018, 10:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Is it worth the expense of going to a wet tumbler with SS pins ?
Oh yeah! If you want brass that shines like new, it's the only way to go.

Quote:
Does anyone use a rock polisher tumbler with SS pins ?
No. What you want is the Frankfort Arsenal Rotary Tumbler. It can be had for about $160. Great piece of kit, and has a much larger capacity than the rock polishing tumblers being sold.

Don
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Old December 13, 2018, 10:49 AM   #3
mkl
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Quote:
Does anyone use a rock polisher tumbler with SS pins ?
I had a small rock polisher tumbler that I tried with SS pins and it worked just fine. No problem with cleaning primer pockets or inside the case. Only issue was that the quantity of cases was rather limited due to the small size of the tumbler.

If you buy the .047-inch diameter pins, they will not get stuck in the flash hole.
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Old December 13, 2018, 07:45 PM   #4
RC20
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rebs: Its really a matter of is it worth it to you. There is no one or even right answer.

You really don't HAVE to clean any case. You can primer pockets with carbon in them, wipes the lube off the case and shoot it.

I don't like it, but there is nothing technically wrong (maybe some carbon build up in the chamber)

The wet cleaning has them coming out clean as a whistle and nice and bright (and buy a Walmart veggie dryer to dry the cases not the gun ones, same thing at 1/4 the price)

My brother uses the wet system and loves it. His garage is setup for it with water and drains.

I don't, my shop is not amendable to it so I would have to sue the Kitchen and that got multiple issues (my the house frau aside!)

I am fine with the polishing tumbler, primer pockets clean out with the RCBs prep and it takes the lube good off nicely.

I have a hand tri tool for 223 that has a pin on the end that is perfect to punch out any stuff in the primer holed (easy to do as they are put in the re-load tray upside down and I can see all the pockets (then burned right side up after they are primed)

An advantage with wet is if you anneal with a induction unit, there is no smoke from the carbon inside the case. Its as clean inside as out. It does affect the timing settings a bit.

With my setup its not a tempting option, I just resize, dump em in the tumbler for 8 to 16 hours and good to go.

I do have a Calder (from my wife) that I put over a cut down 5 gallon bucket that I sift out the media from inside, turn them upside down in group0s of 5 or so, tap them, then put them in the Stainless pans.

Good system, I am happy with it but this truly is a preference and what you have in the shop or garage setup wise to allow it to work.
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Old December 13, 2018, 08:19 PM   #5
mehavey
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Quote:
Is it worth the expense..... ?
No.
The Law of Diminishing returns kicks in very quickly after a day in walnut.
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Old December 13, 2018, 09:48 PM   #6
Troy800
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I think the question "Is it worth it" is relative.

Do you need it to re load quality loads? NO!!

If you like shiny brass inside and out and clean primer pockets out of the tube then yes it's worth the money.

If I used the "Is it worth it" to everything in my life then I could get rid of 80% of everything I own.
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Old December 13, 2018, 10:50 PM   #7
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rebs
I started out with the Harbor Freight single drum tumbler , after I saw how well wet tumbling with SS Pins worked I bought the Tumblers B Tumbler .I use the HF for small cleaning 50 308 or 45ACP If you shoot quantity go for the 5 lb pin units you won't be disappointed . I gave my dry tumbler , corn & walnut media to a friend , I'm staying with wet tumbling for now on .
PS
I just finished cleaning 300 45ACP cases , they look brand new inside an out also primer pockets , I size my 45's first with the carbide RCBS sizing die and pop the primers first.
My 308 cases I pop the primers first with a universal decapper , wet tumble then size . Hope I Helped .

Chris

Last edited by cw308; December 13, 2018 at 11:00 PM.
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Old December 14, 2018, 08:59 AM   #8
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I have both, and still use both so here goes some pros, and cons for each.

Vibratory.

Pros:
1. No waiting for brass to dry.
2. With fine media no clogged flash holes.
3. Less messy to separate. It is dry, and does not require a magnet.
4. Media is much cheaper.
5. Primers do not have to be removed first.

Cons
1. Takes longer in most cases.
2. There is the dust factor. (If you have bad dust allergies this can be a deal breaker.)
3. Media does not last as long as the pins do in the long run. It gets dirty, and breaks down.
4. Tumble times tend to run twice what the SS pin tumblers do.
5. It does not scrub out the inside of the cases, nor the flash holes. (Accuracy, and performance wise in my shooting I have seen no change either way.)

Stainless Steel Pins in Rotary Tumbler. (Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler)

Pros:
1 Faster tumble times. 1 to 3 hours is all it takes.
2. It can be run without the pins, and it will clean brass very well with just plain soapy water with a shot of some acidifier like vinegar, or lemon juice. Or LemiShine.
3. Pins seem to last forever.
4. Brass will SHINE like no other. Super clean with no dust.
5. No dust to deal with.

Cons:
1. Drying time. The wet cases have to dry.
2. stainless pins go everywhere if you do not have a separator. Get the magnet too.
3. They can get stuck in some cases.
4. Everything is wet.
6. Pins are expensive to replace. (Though they do not wear out, or break down.)

All in all I use the FART more than the dry tumbler these days. Pins come out better if you use more water while separating. I also double rinse. Those last few pins seem to come out easier when I do.

I use the dry tumbler for removing case lube from loaded straight wall rounds like .45-70. and .30 Carbine.

My next upgrade is going to be a dryer for the brass. When I lived in Texas I could just put it outside in the sun. Now that I am in Nebraska in the panhandle that is not practical as it is so darn cold outside here.
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Old December 14, 2018, 10:10 AM   #9
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I've been using the Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler since last December when Cabela's had the kit on sale for $120. It works really well and if you want your primer pockets clean you do need the pins. It works well enough without the pins if you aren't too fussy. An hour and a half with the pins will really get things clean.

You can use a rock polisher if you have a couple of hundred rounds. Lots of people I know do small batches in the Harbor Freight version for 54.99.
https://www.harborfreight.com/dual-d...ler-67632.html

Here's a video from TreeTopFlier that has a pvc project that will boost the capacity a bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtTx...ature=youtu.be

Dave
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Old December 14, 2018, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
My next upgrade is going to be a dryer for the brass. When I lived in Texas I could just put it outside in the sun. Now that I am in Nebraska in the panhandle that is not practical as it is so darn cold outside here.
No need to buy a special dryer. All you need is one of those cheap aluminum pans for cooking a turkey in, put the brass in and stick it in the oven set on a setting that produces about 200 degrees. Takes about 25 - 30 minutes is all.

Don
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Old December 14, 2018, 02:06 PM   #11
RC20
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As noted in my post, a food dryer from Wally World does fine.

Quote:
2. There is the dust factor. (If you have bad dust allergies this can be a deal breaker.)
3. Media does not last as long as the pins do in the long run. It gets dirty, and breaks down.
I have never had dust, I resize my cases then throw them in so maybe the lube rub off helps.

I shoot quite a bit (probably 4k rounds a year) and the media last a long time. Maybe helps I don't care on time as I put the cases in and overnight or overnight and when I get home in the afternoon shut it down.
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Old December 14, 2018, 07:14 PM   #12
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I use SS media & wet tumble with primers out to remove all carbon deposits for 2 simple reasons..... - I want to inspect the entire case for cracks and defects so ALL of it has to be clean - I do not want a carbon flake to come off possibly blocking the primer charge and causing a hang-fire or miss-fire ever.......

And that's where this discussion ends with me because I reload EVERY round I make with the expectation I may, for whatever small possibility exists in the universe, have to defend my family with it.....

This is the standard I hold myself to - some others may choose not to......
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Old December 14, 2018, 08:13 PM   #13
mgulino
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I have used the Harbor Freight dual-drum wet tumbler for a couple of years. SS pins, water, blue dishwashing liquid (occasionally LemiShine) and about an hour gets brass as clean and shiny as new.

For straight walled pistol cases, I usually deprime by hand (punch and hammer), then clean. For rifle cases, I wet tumble, resize and decap, then clean again. Both methods result in clean cases including primer pockets.

The online price of the tumbler at HF is $54.99. Wait for the 20% coupon.
I bought the SS pins online. Search for Stainless Tumbling Media. I bought the 2 pound bag. Gave half to my dad for his tumbler and still have lots left over.
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