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Case tumbler media .. Walnut shells or Corncob?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Flt Simulation, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    I bought a Lyman tumbler that came with 3 bags of this green colored Corncob tumbling media shown in the photo below. Obviously it's treated with something, but I don't think it does that great of a job at shining up .45ACP brass.
    [​IMG]

    For you folks that have tried various different types of cleaning / polishing media in your vibrating type tumblers ... do you think crushed Walnut shells like you find at the pet shops does a better job than Corncob?

    If you use crushed Walnut shells, do you find that the coarser shells do a better job that the real fine ground shells?

    Maybe a 50% / 50% mix of both Corncob and Walnut shells?

    BTW ... I don't worry about the media getting into the primer pockets, since I de-prime after it gets out of the tumbler.

    Thank's,
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  2. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I use a 50/50 mix of 1420 cc and crushed walnut shells. I use NuFinish as a polishing agent.
     
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Corn cob and Nufinish give me shiny brass.
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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  5. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Try it the other way around. Tumbling will clean the worse from your primer pockets and you'll get less lead compounds in the media and tumbler bowl. Important if tumbling inside with a lid with slots in it or tumbling with the lid off.
     
  6. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I've used both and have both...

    I find myself using Walnut more often...

    cleans faster and seems to me to clean better.

    I put a dash of NuFinish and cut up pieces of used dryer sheets in either one. That seems to give a nice shine and keeps the dust down some.

    If you're cleaning .223, you might have issues trying to get the corn media out of the cases.
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Not if using the correct size which I linked to above.
     
  8. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I load tens of thousands of .223s, tumbling them with the media referenced in my previous post. I don't have any problems getting the media out of the case, just using a rotary separator. I wouldn't think of decapping prior to tumbling.
     
  9. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Remember, all you are really trying to do is to clean off any dirt and soot off the cases. For decades, all reloaders did was wipe the cases off with either a dry rag or one dampened with something like mineral spirits.

    Crushed walnut costs about $15-$17 for a 50 pound bag at feed stores and is just as effective as the stuff at Petsmart, but if that's all you can find, it's still a lot cheaper than the stuff they sell to reloaders.

    The trick is to trap the soot which includes primer soot (Lead Styphnate which will cause lead poisoning). You can do this 2 ways:
    1. Add mineral spirits (use Oderless mineral spirits or hold your nose while using it)
    2. Add a couple of cut up used dryer sheets to the unadulterated walnut. This will pick up the walnut dust and the bullet leftovers and sends it into the trash rather than coating the walnut shells over time.

    If you really want to polish the shells, keep a second batch in another bucket and tumble your cases in that after cleaning. Very sparingly add a small "string" of NuFinish once in a while and run the media for a few minutes before dropping the cleaned cases into it. Both media sets will then stay clean and last a lot longer.
     
  10. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    ^^^ good advice.
     
  11. littleguns223

    littleguns223 Member

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    I use crushed walnut for cleaning lizard bedding at your pet store. For polishing I use 20/40 corn cob media from drillspot. Add a little of NU Finish car polish and there you go.
     
  12. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    Thank's everyone for the replies.

    I have noticed that .45ACP brass with small primers is not as nasty as the large primer brass.

    In fact, I think I am going to reload only small primer .45ACP from now on. In fact, since I had so little small primer brass around, I bought 2,000 once-fired cases for $100 from a guy on the 1911 Forum about a month ago.

    I have no complaints with small primer, and it reloads and fires fine.
     
  13. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    I use a mix of walnut and corn cob.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Walnut cleans brass.

    Corn-Cob polishes it after it is clean.

    rc
     
  15. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    That's what I'm thinkin' ...
     
  16. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Walnut is better (faster) at removing obnoxiously stubborn case taint.

    Corncob is far superior in final polishing and luster. Walnut just wont do it.


    You will come to regret that green stuff......... Not only does it get EVERYWHERE ( along with all of the stuff you CANT see from tumbler dust) but it can be difficult to remove at times without a wash cycle.

    Its fine grit- so you will want to get it off your cases before it finds its way into all the metal on metal areas of your firearms.
     
  17. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

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    I use walnut media blast that I purchased at Harbor Freight and Nu-Finish. I'm pleased with the results.
     
  18. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    another vote for a mix of both and a little liquid car polish. As others have ably posted, walnut cleans better, corn cob polishes better. Walnut will leave cases with more of a matte finish, corn cob will leave them more factory shiny - EITHER leaves cases perfectly good to go for reloading - but some folks prefer the super shiny finish.
     
  19. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Precisely....therefore....if you add Walnut to your corncob you will never polish to corncob's bling. The walnut will keep on scratching.

    So if it's really dirty, use walnut. Take it out and use corncob afterward....don't mix...or you'll never find out what the corncob polish looks like.

    I use corncob with polish 95% of the time.......fixing to try wet and stainless steel......why? Curiosity made me buy a Thumler's:.....my first batch is 2 hours away, not counting the stupid drying.:) Yeah, I know, drying the cases is not where it shines.:rolleyes: Ought to have my head examined. It better hurt my eyes!
     
  20. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Maybe a 50% / 50% mix of both Corncob and Walnut shells?"

    Well, that'll make sure you use the "right stuff"!
     
  21. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    After the holidays, I plan on switching to stainless steel pins in a rotary tumbler.
    http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/stm-complete-package.html
    no more manual cleaning of primer pockets, and the interior of the cases (and even the flash holes) get perfectly clean. of course, if you really want to show off at the range, you could always run a few cases on a buffing wheel with rouge.....
     
  22. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Zila Lizard litter (walnut) and a cap of Nu-Finish car polish.
     
  23. bob4

    bob4 Member

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    If I missed it I'm sorry. But this is twice I have heard of Lizard Litter. I went to pet smart today and after looking around at 27 different liter products asked about lizard litter and was looked at like I had three heads. There was a product there that claimed to be 100% Walnut Based. Based through me off. So in order to save a few bucks , not to mention the red dust I don't like on the inside of my casing necks, what exactly am I looking for in a litter product to clean my brass? Im just looking to clean it. Don't care what the girls think. Also when speaking of NU Finish are we speaking of the car polish?
    EDIT: Not trying to steal this thread.
     
  24. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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  25. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I don't know that I've ever actually seen lizard litter before, I always buy Bird Litter at the pet store. Used dry, it's abrasive enough to scrub cases pretty clean, but it won't make 'em shine. For that I use 20/40 grit corncob with a little NuFinish Car Polish mixed in. Good combination for cleaning and then shining.

    KayteeWalnutBirdLitter.jpg
     
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