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Stainless steel media


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Well I broke down on a whim & ordered some SS media for my tumbler & will use the Lemishine wet formula to tumble some brass .

Its an experiment , the clean brass they show is tantalising .

I have a bunch of 308's sized & deprimed for it & lemishine of course , I use it in my dish washer so it won't be a problem having it on hand .

Will take photo's of course .

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I have been running the stainless for a while now. If it is sunny I throw it on a towel to let it dry, in the winter I put it in front of an air duct. If I feel froggy I will blow the majority of the water out with the air compressor. The best part of all is no more cleaning flash holes and primer pockets.

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Well, kinda mixed feelings on the SS media .

I didn't wash or wipe off the Dillon case lube , not sure if it would have made a difference or not , but the first 3 1/2 hr. tumble ,the water & brass came out black & I mean black.

I think my 25 year old tumbler may have some thing to do with it , but I changed the water ,liquid dish soap & Lemishine three times & the water did start to get less black ,but still black & as said my be from the inside of my tumbler ,which has never seen water in it in twenty five years .

The brass came out shinny & according to the wife & daughter ,it has a smoother look to it like its been shot peened or something to that effect.

The comparison to the brass that was just tumbled in treated corn cob media is not striking ,but the primer pocket & inside of the brass is clean as a whistle.

The brass was tumbled longer & had three changes of mixture and a total eleven hours of tumbling. more than I would of done with just the treated media .

I contribute that to a dirty tumbler & I need to wash off the spray lube before tumbling .

I think I'm going to do some with out tumbling the brass first, because it was cleaned in the normal way before I started. It is quite the hassle ,washing & sorting the SS media.

The testing goes on .






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First my disclaimer. I know nothing about reloading or reloading equipment. I have no idea what a "stainless steel media" is. All I remember as a kid is watching brass casings vibrate/roll in crushed whatever, for hours. Then the old man mysteriously had more ammo for me to waste.

What I do know a little about it metal. Stainless steel still has a tarnish. That tarnish comes off black. Usually the bet cleaner Ive found is WD-40. I clean my stainless topped work bench about once a year (maybe longer). Even though is appears to be clean, the black always comes off on the towel. You can usually usually test the cleanliness of stainless by rubbing it on a white piece of paper. No dishsoap compared to what WD40 could do.

I don't know if this helps with your ss media.

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So after making my last post I spent a LENGTHY amount of time (wife is sick, so I have free time) watching videos on stainless media and reading about people's experience using the same. Most of my reading came from THR and SnipersHide.com

None of the videos I watched showed the "black" cases or water, and they were demonstrating on "old range ammo". The recommended soap measurement was 2 tbs of liquid dish soap and 1 tsp of powder "lemishine" (?SP?). THR and SnipersHide comment that it could be carbon from the shells/tumbler.

I'm sticking to my guns here and saying that it is the new stainless media. Stored and tarnished before shipped out. After a few uses it will probably get cleaner and cleaner. A more aggressive cleaner might work too, but I don't know how well a tumbler would stand up to something like concentrated simple green???

I also read a lot about the "shot peened" look of the brass. Some theorize that brass cleaned with stainless media actually strengthens the brass by making the case metal more dense??? The theory is strong based on how many parts we see hammered now, from barrels to bolt carriers. I'd like to know if that equates to more uses from a casing? Or is it simply a cosmetic bonus?

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Hi robocop, i think what happened to mine and possibly survivalshop was that we both had tumblers that were used with walnut and corncob for years and the thick rubber liner that the tumbler comes with got impregnated with rouge and other crap, ( i had to actually scrap mine wth a scraper after soaking it overnight) plus the fact that as you said about the media being stored and tarnished, contributed to the black water, but all is good now after a few tumblings the water is just dirty from the brass...

I keep saying that its too much work but when you see that brass so clean inside and out and especially those primer pockets , i say what the heck wheres that next batch, lol..Thanks robocop for the research you did to help figure this out, i hope the wife is better...

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After some tips from users of the SS media , I altered my solution .

I use more water ,3/4 of the tumblers drum , one 45acp case full of Lemishine & a two second squirt of liquid dish soap .

They came out much better & nice & clean in only 3 1/2 hrs of tumbling.

Water still black , but may be the fired brass I put in there . I also put some range pick up 5.56 brass,just to see how they would turn out , because all my shooting brass is clean to begin with & they also came out nice .

I also put some 44 mag. brass in there I shot Friday & I do like the way this cleans , even the inside of the case & primer pocket.

Its becoming less of a hassle to sort & rinse , so we will see how its goes.

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I see now. I don't know how, but I conveniently missed the part about 20+ years of DRY tumbling. While reading about the SS media, and due in part to my inexperience, I just assumed all tumbling was wet. It stands to reason that a dry tumbler would accumulate more residue.

Prior to this I had no (ZERO) knowledge about tumblers. I honestly thought you only used those vibrating tubs of crushed walnuts that looks like you brass is trapped in perpetual quick sand. I'd heard of ultrasonic baths, but mostly for large scale work not brass cleaning.

I learn more and more from you guys every day. My short study of reloading has definitely sparked an interest that may need exploring in the near future.

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The above results surprise me. I have put some pretty gnarly brass in there and it all came out looking fresh and brand new. The stuff in your pic looks like it is steel cased ammo. I see no brass in there. I am not saying that is the case, simply stating that for a color comparison.

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I have been running the SS media for several years now.  My suggestion is to fill the tumbler to within an inch of the top when loading with water.  I start with hot water too, seems to work better.  I also have better results with Ivory dishwashing liquid than others.

I built a larger drive unit, but still use the Thumler's drum, as the weight of the larger unit I constructed is considerable, and the smaller Thumler's drum is more user friendly.

I reload a lot, and would not ever go back to vibratory cleaners, this method just cleans too well to not spend the extra time.

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