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Case tumbling with brasso cleaner media mixed ??

KS Shooter

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some background information.  I have been reloading a variety of ammunition for the past 20+ years, and have done considerable tumbling of cases.  Up until now I have never added any brasso to the media to shine the brass.  what I do as part of the cleaning process is to boil vinegar/water mix (2/3 vinegar to 1/3 water) and then pore that over the brass.  I then add a little dishwashing detergent and then some bakingsoda.  I let this set for about 10 minutes and then wash in warm water, drain water, and then blow dry before tumbling.  I will do this several times through the reloading process. 

I experimented with some 9mm brass that I tumbled in the corn cob media/brasso mix for a few hours.  They came out nice and shiny.  The question is??

Is there a problem doing this?  The internet is alive with people saying do not do this but others state that they have been doing it for years without any problem.

I make match loads for my lr308 and future 308's so I don't want a problem.  However, I have plenty of brass. 

Any comments are welcome.


KS Shooter

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I think Brasso contains ammonia, I wouldn't use it to polish MY brass. I use a commercial product called Bon-Ammi. Yuo should be able to find it in the grocery store with the other cleansers like Comet. Bon-Ami contains nothing but a very mild abrasive. I add some to my corn cob when I want to clean fast. I've been using it for many years with no problems.

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The powder is what I use. Just read the label, there should be nothing but a fine abrasive listed as ingredients. I don't wipe my cases after tumbling, and before sizing. My personnel opinion is that the abrasive is soft enough that it would have no effect on a hardened sizing die except to polish it a little. I do wipe my loaded cartridges before shooting. I like to know they are completely dry and clean, and it serves as a final visual inspection. AN oily or greasy cartridge increases bolt thrust enormously. The habit of running AR's wet is, IN MY OPINION, the reason a lot of people have bolt failures. The British proof houses traditionally use a well oiled standard cartridge for proof firing small arms.

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  • 5 months later...

To bring back an older thread.

I have been fighting case cleaning for a lot of years.  A friend of mine turned me on to this system, and it generates the best, cleanest brass, inside and out, that I have ever been able to produce.

I am in no way affilitated with the gentleman that sells the stainless steel pins, actually purchsed my first batch of media from my friend when this guy was just getting started.

Big pluses are, that there is no hardenend primer residue going down the barrel ever again, primer pockets are immaculate, and the inside of the case is as clean as the outside.

Here is a link to the site where it is all explained, and where you can get the media.  Stuff never wears out.


A small batch of multifired .243's run with this sytem.


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I'm in favor of what ever works for you is a good thing . There are a lot of ways to skin a cat (so to speak ,I like cats ) as there are many ways that work to clean brass.

I would use the Lemi shine on range brass as I have read about it and as you can see by the Video on that SS media sight , they use it also , so whats the advantage of using SS media , when you can get the same results with the Lemi Shine & std tumbling media ?

I did not check price and if it lasts forever that's a good thing economically ,if the price is right .

I do not like to use a water solution on any brass , just the way I was taught . Maybe out dated ,but I use the treated tumbling media & get the same results as the SS,Lemi Shine ,water mixture .No mixing ,rinsing ,drying  etc..

As I said, I wipe the brass off after tumbling & my system has worked for many many years & I'm still using the same dies for over twenty five years .

I still hand clean my primer pockets after the brass have been cleaned & sized/deprimed. I do not like putting dirty brass through my dies.

Hell, I'm still using the same rock polisher for thirty years .

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For one thing, I can not get the same results using the LemiShine and standard tumbling media. It takes an aqueous solution for the LemiShine to work at all.

The SS pins will last forever, and they clean far better than a vibratory cleaner will, or can.

I was not trying to insinuate that this system is the only way to clean brass, but, if you are running a large number of cases, it will give the best results with the least amount of expended labor.  No corncob stuck in the primer holes either, as well as no dust.

Like you, I like my brass clean when it hits my dies, and I like the baked on primer residue really gone.

Simply offering the benefit of experience.

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I have read good things about the SS media , but my point is not how the brass is polished or cleaned ,its all the extra steps involved with that particular system (or others like it )

It takes long enough to produce good reloads ,adding more steps to me just makes it harder & longer than is needed .

How does the SS media work by its self as a cleaning media ?

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Have no clue, as I have never tried it by itself.  The soap is necessary as a medium to "hold' the carbon that is "brushed" off the brass.  The Lemishine aids in "softening" my hard water and aids in holding capacity of the solution.

I personally do not see the difference in the "steps" between a vibratory cleaner and a tumbler.  You put the brass in a media, be it liquid or dry, you have a certain run time, then you separate the brass from the media.  I guess drying IS an extra step, but the difference in quality is worth the extra time, to me any way. 

I uniform the primer pockets, and ream the flash holes of every piece of brass I load.  That is anal. The brass cleaning is just a little eccentric.

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The Lemi shine may treat for hard water ,but it is also chemically cleaning the brass . This why some use it on badly tarnished brass , to chemically clean it with out any tumbling.

I have no doubt that ,that system cleans the brass ,by use of chemicals & peening by the SS media.

As you say the liquid keeps it all in suspension  & after rinsing & drying ,its ready.

I would imagine the peening process would be a little harsher in a std.( non vibrator type) tumbler.

I may try some, mixed at first ,with my treated media .

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  • 2 months later...

never heard of ss media but the lyman walnut stuff with the rouge gets em nice and shiny.  only downside is all the rouge powder build up inside the case.  I have also tried puttin a few drops of mothers in corn media and that works just as good. havent noticed any residual build up with that but the media does not last very long.

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  • 2 years later...

I hope everyone is happy. I am still gathering equipment and fixing a room to reload. about 4 months ago I bought a sonic cleaner, then an elderly fellow I met at the gun show said I need a vibratory tumbler with corn cob and then use walnut if you want shiny. Then another friend gave me a thumbler tumbler and I bought S/S pins. So I should have it covered every which way as they say from Sunday. :banana: thanks all for your input.

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This is an old thread & I read my posts , a lot has changed since then with my opinion on using Stainless steel tumbling media , I still tumble with std walnut media , before I size it , but the final cleaning is done with the wet mixture & S/S media now , before loading & I will not use any thing else.




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I found another source - Jeweller's SS tumbling media. Mix of pins, shot, slash-cut diagonals which should work better for vibratory tumblers (that's the only types I got). Gonna try it and see if it works the same. If it doesn't work, I'll just dump it in my industrial vibratory tumbler and use it for our CNC crap.




Edited by shibiwan
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