Alternate Tumbling Media Review (w/Pictures)


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TheHighRoadDude
September 11, 2011, 04:06 PM
Hi folks,

I have been looking into alternate ways to clean some brass until I get a "real" tumbler and all my supplies. I happen to be a college student, so I'm always looking for some clever way to get around having to buy something :rolleyes: . I have been wanting to get into reloading for some time and have been studying up, now I just need to get everything I need.

But it is Sunday and I was bored so I decided to do a test with a small batch of .223 remington once fired brass. The test was using white rice, the real hard stuff that is super cheap and comes in 5lb bags. A small water bottle with a screw top, and 1 dryer set to "Air Fluff" which does not use any heat.

The water bottle was filled about 3/4 the way with white rice, I then added 20 Remington .223 once fired brass. I then wrapped the water bottle in a folded towel and tied it with an old belt. I put a couple other loose towels in the dryer and then added the tied one. I let it run for about an hour took it out and found they actually looked cleaner then when I first put them in. Not fully satisfied though I added about 8 drops of 3m rubbing compound. (I hear people use Nupolish, but this is what I had on hand) shook the bottle and put it back in for another hour. I then took it out, poured it into a plastic grocerie bag and it looked like this...
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2049.jpg

Once fired on the left, Rice tumbled on the right...
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2047.jpg
Another picture, different angle...
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2048.jpg
I noticed the cases felt like they had grim on them so I wiped them with a paper towel and they must have had some loose carbon on them because it looked like this after wiping 20 down...
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2051.jpg
Here is an overview of the 20 rice cleaned cases, with the Control Case to compare...
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2052.jpg

Anyways this is what happens when I get bored, and thought I'd share. My conclusion would be that this would work for a small batch of brass. Doing this for 500+ would not be fun, especially with this .223 cases as I had to shake out the rice from the inside on every single one. Please share your opinions I always welcome them!

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TheHighRoadDude
September 11, 2011, 04:11 PM
I almost forgot to ask a question I had. Hopefully a seasoned Vet can help me out with this one. I noticed that on just about every case, on the neck they have a scratch on them. I'm pretty sure its just from the case being loaded into the chamber on my AR-15, but I'll let you guys take a look also. I don't think it would be a problem for reloading, but i'm no expert. The scratch is hard to see on the cleaned cases, so i took a picture of the dirty one.
http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j347/TheHighRoadDude/DSCN2050.jpg

m33p0n3
September 11, 2011, 05:02 PM
No worries on the scratches, it's just a fact of life with an autoloader. Looks kinda like what my rifle does from the feed ramps.

popper
September 11, 2011, 05:15 PM
My LR-308 does the same thing, it is from the ejector banging the case against the barrel lugs. Doesn't cause a problem with the case. I've wondered about reducing the ejector spring strength a bit to reduce the problem, but haven't tried it yet. Any opinions would be appreciated. The cleaning job you did looks real good, I tried drying cases in the drier, but saw some dings in the drier so I don't do that anymore.

TheHighRoadDude
September 11, 2011, 07:31 PM
No worries on the scratches, it's just a fact of life with an autoloader. Looks kinda like what my rifle does from the feed ramps.
Thats what I figured it was, the feed ramps. good to know.

orionengnr
September 11, 2011, 10:32 PM
A man who doesn't own a tumbler creates one out of what he has available.

I love it. Another example of Yankee Ingenuity, and what makes America great.

Great job. If you keep your mind working like that, you will come up with something that nobody ever thought of, but will quickly find indispensible. Just think of the guy who invented the Post-It note...or a million other things that we use every day.

Next time, tear up a paper towel or drier sheet into 1" x 6" strips and throw them into the tumbler.

GP100man
September 12, 2011, 12:10 AM
Be very careful adding stuff to rice or using it to dry off lube , it gets to a point where it`ll turn to a big pile of goooo.

Don`t ask how I know !!!!

TheHighRoadDude
September 12, 2011, 01:21 AM
Be very careful adding stuff to rice or using it to dry off lube , it gets to a point where it`ll turn to a big pile of goooo.

Don`t ask how I know !!!!
Thats what I figured! I checked it after a few minutes to make sure it was not getting "soft" on me. And it never did, I didnt add enough to let it get soft. And I can only imagine having brass goulash haha

Hoppe
September 12, 2011, 01:30 AM
Love your idea but rice would not be my first choice. You might want to step up to a half or full gal milk jug with a scew on top, if your budget allows. I know I don't drink milk like I use to. Try a pet store ask for lizard litter it walnut hull, used the same way a small amount will last you a long time. Check out the flea markets and yard sales you should be able to find all kinds of reloading stuff, know I have when I lived out that way.

TheHighRoadDude
September 12, 2011, 02:31 AM
Love your idea but rice would not be my first choice. You might want to step up to a half or full gal milk jug with a scew on top, if your budget allows. I know I don't drink milk like I use to. Try a pet store ask for lizard litter it walnut hull, used the same way a small amount will last you a long time. Check out the flea markets and yard sales you should be able to find all kinds of reloading stuff, know I have when I lived out that way.
I'll have to stop at the local Petco the next time I go to the store. Thanks for the tip! Maybe there will be another "Alternate Tumbling Media Review #2" haha

johnjohn
September 12, 2011, 06:01 PM
Just don't cook and eat it.

unknwn
September 13, 2011, 10:03 AM
Ask around to borrow one of those watt-meter devices and use it to figure the cost of electricity expenditure for running that dryer (even without the heat ! ) and also give a little thought to the wear and tear on an appliance that you depend on to keep you out of over-priced laundromat clothes cleaning.
There is all sorts of avenues to "false-economy" out there, the attempt at employing clothes washing/drying machines and cement mixers, along with rock polishing tumblers that are just too small for an adequate amount of brass to make any sense rate right at the top.
Ingenuity is something to crow about, but the not-so-hidden costs keep me from joining the Too Cheap to Bother Wth Appropriate Equipment Club.
I used a 2nd hand Lyman vibratory tumbler for a while and decided that the down-fall s of that method of brass cleaning was enough education for me to just go ahead and spend the money on Stainless Steel Media and a Thumler's B hi-speed tumbler.
Anything else is a waste of my time and money. Period.

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