Marlin Firearms Forum banner
41 - 51 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Even though I am a wet tumbler guy, I used a vibratory dry media tumbler for years mainly because I has never heard of wet tumbling. See, the internet really does have some redeeming characteristics. There is certainly nothing wrong with dry tumbling and when I started reloading a $250 tumbler and $30 of steel pins might as well have been $50K. At the end of the day, it boils down to personal preference, Variety is the spice of life, different strokes for different folks and all that.
I am, however, surprised at all of the complaints about drying time. I live in a relatively humid climate (GA) and have never had brass take longer than overnight to dry just spreading brass on a towel on a cookie sheet and patting dry and then leaving to sit overnight. In the summer, setting a cookie sheet in the sun for two hours and the brass is too hot to handle after an hour or two. Since I rotate my brass, the drying time has never been a problem for me. Do those of you who don't like the drying time reload all of your expended brass immediately after shooting? Just curious about other's reloading habits. For pistols, I usually load 750 or 1000 at a sitting when I start to get low on a caliber. For rifle, I usually do 50-100 at a time depending on the caliber. For any given rifle caliber, my minimum brass count is north of 250. If i need to reload right after tumbling, I just grab some brass from the bin and go to town. Love to hear from others. I might pick up a better way to go.

Regards,

Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
Well I just started reloading...Having said that I need a way to clean brass. So far I have first decapped and then brushed each piece inside with an old bore brush. I don't need shiney brass just clean. I live on a tight SS budget so I'm about to buy a HF tumbler $70.00 and 25 lbs of fine walnut media. Is there any reason not to decap before tumbeling.? I use a Lee single stage press so I'm in no hurry.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,091 Posts
Well I just started reloading...Having said that I need a way to clean brass. So far I have first decapped and then brushed each piece inside with an old bore brush. I don't need shiney brass just clean. I live on a tight SS budget so I'm about to buy a HF tumbler $70.00 and 25 lbs of fine walnut media. Is there any reason not to decap before tumbeling.? I use a Lee single stage press so I'm in no hurry.
I understand the "budget" issue pretty well myself, considering the last 5-6 years. Even before, in my previous life, I was always looking for the bargain way to do things the acceptable way. My late mentor taught me a simple, inexpensive way to clean my brass, although not "showroom polished", using what may already be around the house. I've since revised it a bit, as well as used one rather small tool from my business that I could re-purpose. The simple procedure is using an appropriate sized plastic coffee can with lid to soak the brass in, using a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap and a small dash of Lemi-Shine dishwasher additive (or use just plain old powdered "citric acid" from the canning section of the grocery store). With the "detergents" in the bottom of the can you can add just enough water to swirl around to get the stuff dissolved, then add enough water to half fill the can. Dump in your brass (keep it all under the liquid), put on the lid, and give it a few shakes and swirls. Let it soak for a while, then give it the same shake and swirl again. After it's soaked about an hour, I normally (when it needs it) take the brass out of the can and give it a few twists with a primer pocket cleaner tool - once they all been touched by the "tool" they can go back into the can to sit in the liquid a bit longer.

My "additional tool" that I had on hand, just about the same time I noticed they were becoming available on the commercial market was a small ultrasonic cleaner I bought in 1983 to clean drafting table ink pens and parts. It don't hold a lot of brass, but it does cut down the soaking time, and I use the same small mix of Dawn and Lemi-Shine when using it.

You can get your brass clean enough for reloading with just the can soaking method, but be sure you let it thoroughly dry before any other steps.

As for de-priming .... If you plan to buy the tumbler and use dry media, most will tell you of the hazards of media getting stuck in the flash holes. In addition to that, I'll add that without de-priming first you will sooner or later be trying to clean the primer pockets dry. At least with the liquid method, de-priming first, the primer pocket is getting a bath.

Yeah, I'm cheap .... but I don't think I'm the only one around here ;)


jd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I use an Extreme unit. Similar to the Thumler’s. In fact my first wet tumbler was a Thumler’s. This unit took a bit of massaging to get it right though. The drums are not the best for being true. I need to double gasket the lid to prevent seepage. And what nut thought of using metric threads on the lid screws?



I have a second drum and hardware for quick changes when there’s a lot of brass to clean. Once the short comings were fixed, it works just as well as the Thumler’s unit. I use the dry unit rarely, but it does get some use to remove excess lube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
I understand the "budget" issue pretty well myself, considering the last 5-6 years. Even before, in my previous life, I was always looking for the bargain way to do things the acceptable way. My late mentor taught me a simple, inexpensive way to clean my brass, although not "showroom polished", using what may already be around the house. I've since revised it a bit, as well as used one rather small tool from my business that I could re-purpose. The simple procedure is using an appropriate sized plastic coffee can with lid to soak the brass in, using a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap and a small dash of Lemi-Shine dishwasher additive (or use just plain old powdered "citric acid" from the canning section of the grocery store). With the "detergents" in the bottom of the can you can add just enough water to swirl around to get the stuff dissolved, then add enough water to half fill the can. Dump in your brass (keep it all under the liquid), put on the lid, and give it a few shakes and swirls. Let it soak for a while, then give it the same shake and swirl again. After it's soaked about an hour, I normally (when it needs it) take the brass out of the can and give it a few twists with a primer pocket cleaner tool - once they all been touched by the "tool" they can go back into the can to sit in the liquid a bit longer.

My "additional tool" that I had on hand, just about the same time I noticed they were becoming available on the commercial market was a small ultrasonic cleaner I bought in 1983 to clean drafting table ink pens and parts. It don't hold a lot of brass, but it does cut down the soaking time, and I use the same small mix of Dawn and Lemi-Shine when using it.

You can get your brass clean enough for reloading with just the can soaking method, but be sure you let it thoroughly dry before any other steps.

As for de-priming .... If you plan to buy the tumbler and use dry media, most will tell you of the hazards of media getting stuck in the flash holes. In addition to that, I'll add that without de-priming first you will sooner or later be trying to clean the primer pockets dry. At least with the liquid method, de-priming first, the primer pocket is getting a bath.

Yeah, I'm cheap .... but I don't think I'm the only one around here ;)


jd
Why the "Lemi-Shine"? And how much "Citric Acid" do you use?.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
I understand the "budget" issue pretty well myself, considering the last 5-6 years. Even before, in my previous life, I was always looking for the bargain way to do things the acceptable way. My late mentor taught me a simple, inexpensive way to clean my brass, although not "showroom polished", using what may already be around the house. I've since revised it a bit, as well as used one rather small tool from my business that I could re-purpose. The simple procedure is using an appropriate sized plastic coffee can with lid to soak the brass in, using a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap and a small dash of Lemi-Shine dishwasher additive (or use just plain old powdered "citric acid" from the canning section of the grocery store). With the "detergents" in the bottom of the can you can add just enough water to swirl around to get the stuff dissolved, then add enough water to half fill the can. Dump in your brass (keep it all under the liquid), put on the lid, and give it a few shakes and swirls. Let it soak for a while, then give it the same shake and swirl again. After it's soaked about an hour, I normally (when it needs it) take the brass out of the can and give it a few twists with a primer pocket cleaner tool - once they all been touched by the "tool" they can go back into the can to sit in the liquid a bit longer.

My "additional tool" that I had on hand, just about the same time I noticed they were becoming available on the commercial market was a small ultrasonic cleaner I bought in 1983 to clean drafting table ink pens and parts. It don't hold a lot of brass, but it does cut down the soaking time, and I use the same small mix of Dawn and Lemi-Shine when using it.

You can get your brass clean enough for reloading with just the can soaking method, but be sure you let it thoroughly dry before any other steps.

As for de-priming .... If you plan to buy the tumbler and use dry media, most will tell you of the hazards of media getting stuck in the flash holes. In addition to that, I'll add that without de-priming first you will sooner or later be trying to clean the primer pockets dry. At least with the liquid method, de-priming first, the primer pocket is getting a bath.

Yeah, I'm cheap .... but I don't think I'm the only one around here ;)


jd
Well this is the deal... I put 1/8 cup of Dawn Dish soap and 2 tea spoons heaped up of Citric Acid. Covered with hot water to dissolve the soap and mix. put 200 357 cases in and covered with hot water. Gave everything a good shake/swirl and let it set for 1 hr. remixed every hr for the next 3 hrs. Rinsed well and tossed in a towel followed by a good blow dry with my wifes blow dryer set on high. Brass is now clean and dry. Not factory shiney but squeaky clean , even the primer pockets! I may try Lemi-Shine next time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mr surveyor

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
I have a Roller like a rock tumbler and I only use it for hardware and tools with stainless pins. I have a vibratory tumbler only for polishing and a RCBS ultrasonic cleaner. All have a purpose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old 45-70

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,091 Posts
Well this is the deal... I put 1/8 cup of Dawn Dish soap and 2 tea spoons heaped up of Citric Acid. Covered with hot water to dissolve the soap and mix. put 200 357 cases in and covered with hot water. Gave everything a good shake/swirl and let it set for 1 hr. remixed every hr for the next 3 hrs. Rinsed well and tossed in a towel followed by a good blow dry with my wifes blow dryer set on high. Brass is now clean and dry. Not factory shiney but squeaky clean , even the primer pockets! I may try Lemi-Shine next time.
if you found a mix that works, as in clean brass, you got it down, Bro. Now, just for the record, if you're using just plain old citric acid, you're doing just fine. Lemi-Shine is 95% (if I remember correctly) nothing but citric acid. When I was first looking for the thing, my grocery store was out of just plain old citric acid, so I bought Lemi-Shine instead. It's been working flawlessly for me for 7-8 years, but in the meantime I bought a bottle of citric acid and my wife noticed my bottle of Lemi-Shine was getting low so she bought me another bottle of that. I reckon I now have a lifetime supply of citric acid cleaners ... as long as Dawn Dishwashing soap is available I'm good to go.

Good stuff isn't it?


jd
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old 45-70

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
Processing 9mm brass today. soak about 1/2 full Folgers can in my special solution. Agitate every 1/2 hr or so. dump into a collandar and rinse in hot water. Shake to drain water and dump clean empties in a bath towel ( old towel, not a good one ). Fluff in the towel and then use a blow dryer set on high to dry any moisture left behind. This process works well for me ( I have time and no money ). Folgers can was full to the top and It's now refilled with squeakey clean brass. Doesn't quite have a factory shine but thats ok by me. Now to trim OAL and get to loading ( tomorrow ).
 
  • Like
Reactions: mr surveyor

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
80 Posts
I want my brass factory clean and shiny.
I first remove all primers with a decap die. Then into a Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner. I use 3 oz Citranox to one gallon of distilled water. Brass goes into ~12 oz glass jars standing up with bases on the bottom. Fill with the Citranox solution to about 1/2" above case mouth. Stand the jars (I use 2 jars w/19 cases in each) in the ultrasonic cleaner. Fill the cleaner with tap water to the MAX mark. Start the US cleaner with the heat on. Set timer for 480 seconds. Run as many cycles as needed to get the primer pockets clean. It may take 6 cycles.
I then rinse the brass in hot water in a strainer. Shake out excess water. Roll brass on paper towels to dry outside. Blow out inside with compressed air.
Resize brass, then clean off sizing lube by running them in a Frankford Arsenal vibratory tumbler for an hour. I use corn cob media with a tablespoon or so of Nu Finish car polish added to it.
Brass ends up looking factory fresh,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,415 Posts
I had an old Lyman tumbler - the small one that had a handle on one side and a glass hatch/cover on the other side.
It was fine for small batches of handgun cases, but after sitting for years (as my kids were growing up) all the rubber parts were dryrotting.

So I replaced it with a Lyman Turbo 1200 Pro Tumbler.
This one is a better size now that I have rifle cases to clean.

I still had some old (color-faded) corncob media that was unused, so I bought more of that and it works!
Sometimes cases take several hours (3 or 4) to get really clean but it works.
 
41 - 51 of 51 Posts
Top