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Benefits of SS Media Wet Tumbling


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Hi all,

This reloading forum is at a trickle lately. I thought I'd throw in a new topic to share with you all how the Stainless Steel Media Wet Tumbling process has been benefiting me.

Before I discovered SS media tumbling for brass I first used walnut in the vibrator. I thought, when I first started loading for pistol cartridges a few years ago, oh how cool is that, an easy way to clean them all at once. I was a rookie and I didn't know anything else.

So I'd first thow my dirty used brass into the vibratory and let I go for a few hours. It was noisy but the brass came out clean on the outside and I was like well okay then.

But I still had to clean primer pockets and the insides of cases weren't exactly clean, to say the least. And within days the brass had started to loose its polished sheen look. I figured that this is as good as it gets?

Then I learned some people are cleaning their brass in ultra sonic tanks. They would typically used Dawn detergent and lemon juice. They claimed it would clean the insides of cases & primer pockets pretty good. I thought that tha sounds pretty awesome if it does primer pockets and cleans insides better. So I went & bought a ultra sonic at harbor freight. I got the cheaper one they had. I could do about 25 cases at a time. Not so many but I don't go and shoot shitloads of rounds at a time.

And so I did this for a little while, over last summer, and it was okay, primer pockets were getting cleaner just by this method but not all the way at all. Cases insides were getting much cleaner but not all of it. The sonic tank only ran in 3 minute increments. I had to start it 4 or 5 times to get it clean to my liking. Still, the sheen would fade within days & it was ugly again, but the ammo was good so so what? Th method was a pain in the ass and it was wet so I had had to come up with an efficie t way to dry. It was summer and the sun is free, so........

So one day I stumbled on the SS Media method on another forum, snipershide.com's reloading forum.

I saw results they were achieving from the pics they would post. I read all about their methods and recipes. I saw how amazing the brass would turn out as good as new or better. I got a hard on for it!!

So I told my brother in law what I was learning and he said, "I've got an old rock tumbler that was my dads". I asked him to bring it by to look at.

I had learned that the tumbler of choice was the Thumler's Model B rock tumbler. One day soon after my bro in law showed up with his dads old tumbler. Low and behold it was the Thumler's Model B!! I got all excited, I pluget her in and the motor worked. The whole thing looked I. Grea shape except for paint. The only thing it needed was a new drive belt so I ordered one from Thumler's. I also needed the SS media pins that are used. They need to be a certain size, 5mm long I think they are. They look like needle bearing pins too me. So required are 5 lbs of the pins. I bought the from a guy for $45. I went and got this stuff called Lemishine that is part of the recipe theses guys are using, at Walmart is the Lemishine. All else that is needed is Dawn & water.

So finally I had everything I needed to do my 1st batch of SS media tumbled metallic cartridge cases. The thing to do is fix your recipe, which is 5 lbs SS. pins, 1 9mm luger case full of Lemishine, and water filled to 1" below rim of thumler drum. This, with 100 .308 cases, weighs out to 15 lbs which is the max weight capacity of a Thumler's model B.

So nothing else to do but tighten the drum top on and let her rip. 3 hours later I figured it was done. Upon removing lid a taking a few brass pieces to inspect I was thrilled to discover how crazy clean it all was. Primer pockets clean, insides fkn absolutely CLEAN!!! As clean as outsides which were highly polished. Those were the expected results I had.

Unexpected benifits:

I had not realized that not only was this going to give me phenomenally clean and polished brass, it was also going to deburr everything, like my fkd up rims from extractor. Any burrs like that were knocked down and smoothed out, just like that!! So if rims aren't bent, which I have experienced before, it was all very good now. Wow how could this get any better?

I'll tell you how. When I started loading with these now SS Media tumbled .308 cases it became very apparent how consistent and smooth it was when seating bullets. I could feel thru the lever of the Dillon 550B how every single bullet felt just the same going down the necks. It is all one consistent pressure to put them down. No rough spots, no deviations in the feel, the insides of necks were all smoothed or honed. Note that I do size/decap the brass before I tumble, so the last thing I wantto do is tumble after all other prep work is done, it works for me.

I believe my neck tension is pretty much all equivelent from case to case now. It was a problem that it was not before, I'm sure if that. I didn't know how to fix it before. I think I just did..... Dudes, I am so stoked over this, I don't know what else I can say about that. This method works like no other.

If you want to try this let me know, I can hook you up to know about everything. Try at your own risk, you'll get hooked no doubt about it...






Edited by NoFail
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I look forward to that, my brother unforgiven. To me reloading is the only answer. It is cheaper, but you have to spend for the equipment first. I can't afford factory ammo, but I can make some pretty damn good ammo that rivals most of what you can buy factory. The only thing that seems to do as good is Federal Gold Medal Match, that is great match ammo you can just buy. I have matched it using 168 SMK's, IMR 4064 powder, Winchester .308 brass & Winchester large rifle primers. Pretty much all I have to do is good brass prep and, using those components, make the bullet go 2450 fps from out of my 16" JP barrel.

The best dies is a good thing to have too, though. I went Forster!!!

Edit: I want to add that consistency is very key to all of this. All the prep work of brass is where it is mostly at, I think. Make it all the same as best as you can with the equipment you have. I put a lot of time in the brass, most of it is there by far. The one thing I couldn't solve was consistent neck tension. When I switched to SS media tumbling I solved that problem without realizing it until all of a sudden I took those first tumbled cases and loaded them.

I cannot stress enough how shitty my neck tension felt before when seating any bullet in any brass, and the total turn from that now. My brass is so good to go now!!! It is hard to say that that is not the most impressive thing I discovered using this new method.

By the way it was probably about 3 years ago when only about 3 guys on the planet were doing this SS media thing. Make that at least 4 now ;)

Edited by NoFail
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Oh, it's all old stuff I picked up from my bro in law, his equipment is at my house, I have bought some of my own stuff but I am lucky to have his stuff here. And I have done tons of reading on the subject. Experience is where you get better and better, and keep reading and asking questions is key. Safety is key!!! It is fun for me, relaxing and it is my hobby. This thread is about SS media tumbling. When I went that direction everything, EVERYTHING, got so much better I can't tell you enough. I believe it has become so important in my processes that it would be a crime to not tell any and all reloaders about it, that's all.

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