Picture reveiw of Stainless Tumbling Media's (STM) Deluxe kit *** PIC HEAVY ***


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1858
August 29, 2011, 07:28 AM
I recently bought the Deluxe kit from Stainless Tumbling Media and used it for the first time this weekend. You can build your own kit for less money that may be superior to this one.

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

I've used a Thumler vibratory tumbler and walnut shells for years but I wanted something that would give me better results with no dust. The kit comes with the following:

5lbs Stainless Steel Media
Thumler's Rotary High Speed Tumbler
Rotary Media Separator
LemiShine Detergent

I hadn't accounted for the fact that the tumbler is rated for 15lb, so if you use the recommend 1 gallon of water and 5lb of stainless steel media, that only leaves room for 2lb of cases which is about 200 .45 ACP cases. For the first run I followed the directions and tumbled 200 .45 ACP cases for three hours. When the dust had settled :p this is how the cases looked.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_12.jpg


I couldn't be happier with the finished product but wondered if I could clean 400 .45 ACP cases a little faster and get similar results. This is how it turned out.

Step 1: Deprime cases using Hornady's universal decapping die.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_01.jpg

Step 2: Add stainless steel media to drum.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_02.jpg

Step 3: Add 400 .45 ACP cases to drum.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_03.jpg

Step 4: Add 3/4 gallon, 2 tbs of Dawn and 1/4 tsp of Lemi-Shine to drum. (3/4 gallon of water weighs about 6lb).
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_04.jpg

Step 5: Attach lid.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_05.jpg

Step 6: Tumble for 2 hours.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_06.jpg

Step 7: Remove lid.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_07.jpg

Step 8: Pour off water. Filthy isn't it.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_08.jpg

Step 9: Rinse cases with fresh water.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_09.jpg

Step 10: Separate cases from tumbling media.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_10.jpg

Step 11: Place cases on suitable surface to dry.
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/reloading/photos/stm/stm_11.jpg


You might notice that these cases aren't quite as shiny as the lot of 200 cases since they were only tumbled for two hours. However, they're more than clean enough for my purposes.

Final verdict: A excellent product that increases the amount of work for pistol cases (reduces for rifle cases), produces no dust, and results in cases that are as clean as new factory cases. My L-N-L will appreciate nice clean, media free cases dropping down the case feeder tube onto the shellplate. I wish I'd bought one of these kits years ago. Anyone want to buy a Thumler vibratory tumbler?

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Canuck-IL
August 29, 2011, 07:49 AM
I think your weight estimation is off ... 3/4 gal of H2O is 6.26 #s and 45 cases average about 91 grains each. With 5#s of pins you need 3.75 #s of cases to make 15 total ...
that would be 288 cases in 45 (and 276 in 223, 146 in 308 and 135 in 30-06).

If you went to a 1/2 gal of water you could get 448 cases in but the results are definitely disappointing ... likely not enough media and/or agitation for that many cases, even with a 5 hour cycle.
/Bryan

RandyP
August 29, 2011, 08:45 AM
THANKS for the review - I had no idea the stainless media was a 'wet' process.

I reckon it is at least an option for those who have allergies or adverse reactions to any dust? Seems a bit 'messy' for my liking.

I have had good results just using some cut up used dryer sheets and liquid polish in my media. The clean/shiny cases go right from the tumbler into the reloading process.

jerkface11
August 29, 2011, 11:46 AM
How do you dispose of the lead contaminated water?

OldmanFCSA
August 29, 2011, 12:15 PM
I'm not a chemist, but where's the lead?

Fired cases do not contain lead.

Burnt primer
Burnt powder
Lead from cast bullets is in your barrel
No lead from jacketed bullets most shooters use

How do you dispose of the cleaning patches when cleaning lead from your barrel?

Canuck-IL
August 29, 2011, 02:09 PM
I reckon it is at least an option for those who have allergies or adverse reactions to any dust?

Actually, I have an allergic reaction to grimy primer pockets and the other remedies are too time consuming.

/B

m33p0n3
August 29, 2011, 02:10 PM
I'm not a chemist, but where's the lead?

Fired cases do not contain lead.

Burnt primer

Fired primers leave behind a residue of lead as a byproduct of their ignition.

1858
August 29, 2011, 03:34 PM
I think your weight estimation is off ... 3/4 gal of H2O is 6.26 #s and 45 cases average about 91 grains each. With 5#s of pins you need 3.75 #s of cases to make 15 total ...
that would be 288 cases in 45 (and 276 in 223, 146 in 308 and 135 in 30-06).

I weighed 200 cases the first time around but wasn't too concerned with the second batch. I don't shoot 2lb or 4lb or brass, I shoot 200, 300 or 400 rounds so I wanted to test the process with "typical" case counts and simple water capacaties with approximate weights. If the brass, media and water weigh 17lb I'm not going to worry about it. However, I'll most likely tumble 300 cases of .45 ACP with 0.75 gallons of water for three hours. The Thumbler is designed to run for weeks on end when polishing rocks so motor life should be very good. As you're probably aware, the load on the motor is highest when it initially tries to get the barrel rotating due to the inertia of the barrel and contents. I rotate the barrel as I turn on the motor to reduce the stress on the motor. Once the barrel is rotating, the load on the motor is significantly less. One could make a good argument for the case that it's easier for the motor to rotate 17lb of brass, media and water than 15lb of rocks (3/4 full) and water.


If you went to a 1/2 gal of water you could get 448 cases in but the results are definitely disappointing ... likely not enough media and/or agitation for that many cases, even with a 5 hour cycle.
/Bryan

So you've tried this?

1858
August 29, 2011, 03:38 PM
How do you dispose of the lead contaminated water?

I flush it down the toilet, and from there it heads to a sewage treatment plant.

357Shooter
August 29, 2011, 03:40 PM
Keep your vibrating tumbler to put a shine on that brass with Nu-Finsh, you'll find that raw brass begins to tarnish very quickly. Sorry you missed the postings from last week on this, coulda save some $$, I got same exact set-up shipped for $241, yours end up to what looks like $308/7-9 days or $$350/3day, which is how mine came. Anyway enjoy, I'm on my 4th batch, 300 seems to work for me on 45ACP. Nice pictures btw!

1858
August 29, 2011, 03:44 PM
THANKS for the review - I had no idea the stainless media was a 'wet' process.

This was the point of my review. I wasn't familiar with the details until I bought the kit. Hopefully, others can look at the photos and decide if wet tumbling with stainless steel media is for them. I will admit that it feels like a step backwards with pistol brass having to decap every case, but the results really do make it worthwhile. The trick is having a sufficient quantity of brass so that you're not waiting on cases to tumble or dry. I have thousands of .45 ACP so it's not an issue for me.

1858
August 29, 2011, 03:54 PM
Sorry you missed the postings from last week on this, coulda save some $$, I got same exact set-up shipped for $241, yours end up to what looks like $308/7-9 days or $$350/3day, which is how mine came. Anyway enjoy, I'm on my 4th batch, 300 seems to work for me on 45ACP. Nice pictures btw!

I placed an order with Midway last week and got $50 off. I'll be getting another $50 off on my next order (Labor Day coupon) so it's all good! :D

I'll think about the idea of buying some new walnut media, thoroughly cleaning my Thumler vibratory tumbler and using it to "buff" tarnished but clean cases if needed. Good suggestion ... thanks!

357Shooter
August 29, 2011, 04:04 PM
I found if I do my last rinse in the hottest water I can, by filling the bottom of my media separator, then dumping the water, a quick spin then onto a big thick towel, shake in towel and 2 min with hairdryer, let cool, totally dry. I'm going for bulk too, just got another 1000 45 and 38, it's nice to buy used! I also let a batch, 300, 3QTS, 1/2 Teaspoon Lemi & Dawn go all night (8 hours) no problems with anything, just real shiny brass. I've also taken to now doing my resize, prime and expand in one step on my LNL, then store all my cleaned, resized, primed and expanded stuff ready to load. It opens up the press for a bullet drop (see the $28 post from last week) and makes for a very fast and easy 2nd process when your ready to charge and seat bullets. I know, I know for everyone that will post it's a lot of steps, I like working on reloading, so if ya like the suggestion, go for it, but save the space telling me what fool I am, that's my wife and reloading buddies job!!
Shoot Safe and Often.

Canuck-IL
August 29, 2011, 05:00 PM
Yes re testing water:brass:media ratios --- 1/2 gal at 5 hours was not satisfactory, somewhat poorer than your 2 hour load above (which actually surprises me that it's as good as it looks). I settled on 3/4 gal for 3-4 hours as a standard.

It seems to me (unscientifically as I didn't bother w systematic tests) that too much Lemishine leads to a later tarnish on some cases. If I rinse thoroughly then sun dry, tarnish seems somewhat more likely than if they are more rapidly air dried (strainer or collander sitting on the AC exhaust). With or without the odd bit of discoloration, the pockets are clean, my dies are safer, there's no dust in the basement in the winter - I'm satisfied with the method.

I did keep the vibratory for tumbling lube off of pistol rounds loaded with lead bullets.
/B

357Shooter
August 29, 2011, 05:18 PM
Yes re testing water:brass:media ratios --- 1/2 gal at 5 hours was not satisfactory, somewhat poorer than your 2 hour load above (which actually surprises me that it's as good as it looks). I settled on 3/4 gal for 3-4 hours as a standard.

It seems to me (unscientifically as I didn't bother w systematic tests) that too much Lemishine leads to a later tarnish on some cases. If I rinse thoroughly then sun dry, tarnish seems somewhat more likely than if they are more rapidly air dried (strainer or collander sitting on the AC exhaust). With or without the odd bit of discoloration, the pockets are clean, my dies are safer, there's no dust in the basement in the winter - I'm satisfied with the method.

I did keep the vibratory for tumbling lube off of pistol rounds loaded with lead bullets.
/B

I gotta say, read this and other related posts and save yourself the time and worry, 3QTS Hot Water, 1/2 Tsp LemiShine, Long Squirt of Dawn, 4+ Hours in the Thumbler, etc, etc, the ground is laid for ya...

Canuck-IL
August 29, 2011, 07:12 PM
etc, etc, the ground is laid for ya...

maybe you should read some more posts ... I laid several of the posts of that ground.
/B

357Shooter
August 30, 2011, 08:41 AM
Canuck,
No offense meant, you helped me a great deal on another post, I skimmed your post and thought it looked like you were frustrated with experimenting, my apologies.

Canuck-IL
August 30, 2011, 10:27 AM
No blood, no foul.
/B

OldmanFCSA
August 31, 2011, 02:05 PM
THIS POSTING IS INTENDED FOR US ALL, NOT AIMED AT ANY ONE INDIVIUAL.
.
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Thanks for the Thanks!
I don't claim credit, but please pass it along to those who did the work.
There are other postings here that describe the same process you did, only earlier.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.See postings by "Exposure" from February 22,2011.
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The links below lead to some of my postings, but are really intended to lead to the whole discussions already in-process.
Again, I don't claim credit - neither should you.
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http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6888567#post6888567
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http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7115557#post7115557
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http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7499177#post7499177
.

1858
August 31, 2011, 03:15 PM
OldmanFCSA, the only information from Exposure in the links you provided regarding volume of water, amount of soap/Lemi-Shine, weight of cases and tumbling time are these two vague observations.

After this pic was taken I added water, dish soap, and some Lemi Shine.


For ULTRA shiny brass you can tumble four hours. I have found 2.5 hours gets the brass more than clean enough for my standards.

No mention of how much water, soap, Lemi-Shine or weight of brass. So what work has Exposure done that we should be thanking him for? I've found the information posted by Canuck-IL and 357Shooter to be far more useful.

OldmanFCSA
September 1, 2011, 04:30 AM
Interesting how someone with too much time on their hands can become very anal about weight of water, casings, etc. and then claim to have invented the world.

I load anywhere from 20 to 45 BMG cases which weigh 866 grains each, add 5 pounds of pins, fill to within 1/2'' of top, give it a healthy squirt of Dawn, and a heavy dash of LemiShine, tumble 3 to 12 hours each loading, and have it turn out great! Don't have any idea how much it weighs, but like the results!

Let's NOT overkill a great idea and product.

Your postings seem to convey that using SS pins IS AN EXACT SCIENCE, which it is not.


(Mods - please contact me if I have stepped over the line here - but enough breast-beating - this process has been around for years, just new to this Forum.).

1858
September 1, 2011, 04:40 AM
Interesting how someone with too much time on their hands can become very anal about weight of water, casings, etc. and then claim to have invented the world.

Who's claiming to have invented or discovered anything? I've simply posted some images of the process for others to see if they're interested in using this method. Canuck-IL and 357Shooter have posted some useful information.


Your postings seem to convey that using SS pins IS AN EXACT SCIENCE, which it is not.

:rolleyes:

Walkalong
September 1, 2011, 02:34 PM
I appreciate this thread. Thanks 1858.

I found it very useful since I know next to nothing about cleaning brass this way. While cleaning brass with SS media is not new, it is new to many of us.

I have done similar picture threads on the LNL, case shoulder bumping, etc. Nothing new mostly, but good information that many found helpful.

Everything out there is new to somebody. :)

AlliedArmory
September 1, 2011, 06:40 PM
I think the weight capacity of the tumbler is more for the motor than how clean the brass gets. Over straining the motor will wear it out faster and get hot in the process.

I agree that this way of tumbling is awesome. Been using it for maybe 6 months and haven't looked back.

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