Life of Tumbler media


January 8, 2003, 07:37 PM
How many batches of brass can I clean with corn cob media before needing to replace it? Finally got a tumbler, it should really shorten my reloading time:D

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January 8, 2003, 08:57 PM
Until it stops working quickly.

I use walnut media for cleaning/polishing. Pet stores sell it as bedding - very cheap, very effective, faster than corn. I can do about 8-10 tumbles before throwing away.

If you're really cheap or desperate, you can rinse and dry the walnut for reuse.

I used to clean with walnut, then polish with corn. Now, I add a dollop of turtle wax liquid car polish to the walnut shells. Makes the brass nice and shiny!

Mal H
January 8, 2003, 10:08 PM
"Until it stops working quickly." Yup.

Some folks will change the media fairly often. I'm still working with media (corn cob) that is over 4 years old and has cleaned many many thousands of cases. It looks terrible, but it still works in just about the same amount of time as when it was new. No, I'm not cheap, I have a bag of new media ready to go when I need it. I'm just trying to see if it ever wears out.

January 8, 2003, 10:20 PM
I buy the cheapest rice in 50 lbs bags at costco.
Its like .0000000000001/2 cent for pound! :)

Add a tiny bit of brass polish and you can tumble for a long long time. Works great.

I used up 2 and a half 8 lbs kegs of 231 last year, that is over 27,000 rounds of 45. I changed my media twice. I have maybe 50 cents spent on rice last year.

January 11, 2003, 01:53 PM
I use primarily walnut media that I buy at the pet store. I have found that the life of the media can be extended considerably by adding a generous amount of of paper towels cut into 1" squares with every batch of cases to be cleaned.

The paper towel squares absorbs quite a bit of the residue. They come out in varying shades of black to dark grey. I then discard the towel squares.

Depending on the condition of the brass and what degree of polish I wish to put on the brass, I sometimes dip each paper towel square in automotive polishing compound as I add it to the media. Does a nice job.


happy old sailor
January 11, 2003, 02:23 PM
bigjim i like your attitude. everything is just too high tech these days. the more money you save, the more you have to spend on necessary things. like another Blackhawk. now, thats necessary.

January 12, 2003, 11:32 AM
I use corn (media; I can afford it) and Dillon Rapid Polish (and I've tried lots of other stuff).

It lasts almost forever.

January 12, 2003, 12:05 PM
When my media got really dirty, after years of use, I put it in a 5 gallon bucket with some soap and then stirred with a big stick. I rinsed with clean water several times. I then put the media on newspaper and left it out in the sun until dry. Still is working fine.

Freedom in theSkies
January 12, 2003, 04:01 PM
I have used the same corncob media for 2 years, and I will be replacing it this week. I have cleaned it several times and put the rejuvinator treatment in it each time. It is now simply worn out, so off to the dump it goes.

January 12, 2003, 07:01 PM
I'll try the paper towel square idea.

Just purchased 12lbs of Lyman Tufnut (correct name?) yesterday; it will be interesting to see how long it lasts?

Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 13, 2003, 01:48 AM
I personally had a batch of apricot pit hull media made and it is the greatest, next is walmut hulls and the effectiveness if it comes from the shattering process that leaves sharp edges. When the edges are worn off then toss it but not on the ground where someone will garden someday. As a commercial reloader of millions of rounds I only used cheap paint thinner with the walnut and when it got dirty I would pour it on an old aluminum mesh window screen and agitate it so the dirt would fall through into my trash can while my wearing a dust mask and gloves. Protect yourself from tumbling dust. Then keep using it as long as it was effective in a certain time limit. I used a 3 barrel tumbler and a cement mixer covered with a trash bag so no dust in the air. On corn cobs they are only suitable for cleaning off reloading bullet lube residue and a little kerosene in the cobs will do a good job of dissolving it, will not hurt primers, will leave a protective coating on the brass and lead bullets so they will not corrode in storage. You can send for a complete informative post on the subject at Commercial reloaders do not buy all the stuff for cleaning brass made for newbies to the sport.. Clean brass tio not have dirt wear in your reloaders is sufficient . A mirror polish is a waste of time and effort and does not make the ammo shoot any better.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 17, 2003, 01:50 PM
The previous poster has a very good idea about making his own rifle rest with tumbling media. The pants are usually available, are tough material, can be a lot lighter weight than sand and I would use new media so no lead or primer pocket residue could work its way out of the pants leg. Elbow pads could be made and the whole pair of pants could be made into pads of various sizes.

Designer cushions could be made out of the pants butt part to decorate a "Guys" game room. (SMILE)

Paul Jones

H&K Fan
January 17, 2003, 09:24 PM
Actually the plastic bag inside the pants leg is not an ordinary plastic bag. I have access to some extremely sturdy plastic bags so I don't worry about the media's contents leaking onto the denim. Though that is a good point to bring up any way.

It's been fun folks but I am gone.

Smokey Joe
January 19, 2003, 10:16 PM
Boy, this thread sure illustrates why these fora are so great!!

Just got a tumbler myself, ran a batch of pistol cases through corn cob medium, and was pleased at the result. But had been wondering if I was doing it right. The above discussion put to rest all my ??'s, and now I know what & where to get my next batch of medium, and how to treat it. So, thanks to one and all!

(Rant mode ON) BTW, "media" is the plural. "Medium," the singular, is a Latin word. It means "the middle, or, in the middle" and has also come to mean "that by which or through which a thing is accomplished." (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary) You use one case polishing/cleaning medium at a time. The confusion comes, I think, from the term "communications media", a legitimate use, referring collectively to TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and, for that matter, shouting out an open window. Each of these separately, however, is one MEDIUM for communication. Unfortunately, the radio and TV commentators call themselves "media persons" or some such. They were taught better in college, but choose to ignore what they know. Likewise, ground corn cobs constitute one medium for polishing/cleaning reloadable ammunition cases. The ultimate misuse would be to buy some ground corn cob, and some crushed walnut hull, and say that you had purchased two medias. (Rant mode OFF)

January 19, 2003, 11:40 PM
Saw this on another forum, and tried it. Grab the used fabric softener dryer sheets from your wife, and throw one of them into the tumbler next time you run a load of brass. The sheet will come out dirty, but the media will look a lot cleaner!

Alan Smithiee
January 25, 2003, 04:20 PM
second the used dyer sheets. tear them in quarters and toss them in with every load you clean, then toss.. see.. your reusing and recycling. it sucks up a lot of the bad stuff

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