How long do you tumble your brass?


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Keeperfaith
August 29, 2012, 10:43 PM
I was wondering whats the average amount of time any of you experienced reloaders tumble your brass?

Im using crushed walnut, a cap full of Nu-Finish and a couple of used dryer sheets.

I've left my brass tumbling for 24hrs and it comes out nice and shiney. However I've not checked on my brass every hour on the hour to find out if it only needs 2, 3, 4 or 10 hrs in the tumbler.


Thanks in advance,

Steve

PS: Im new to reloading, I had a bunch of brass I tumbled about a year ago, its been stored in plastic bags and the bags in ammo cans. This brass has a bright almost golden color to it. The brass I tumbled today is nice and shiny but more pale than the older brass I have. Is that somthing that happens over time or do I need to tumble my latest batch of brass longer (than 24 hrs) to get the shiny golden yellow look?

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NWcityguy2
August 29, 2012, 10:51 PM
I tumble mine for an hour or more. But I don't really care if it is shiny, just clean.

newfalguy101
August 29, 2012, 10:53 PM
Till I remember the tumbler is running :neener:


Couple three hours unless its really nasty brass, then bout twice that long

PlusP
August 29, 2012, 10:56 PM
walnut cleans and leaves a dull finish check on it after 3hrs and then corn cob will shine it up in less than an hour .. I also use corn cob to remove the lube on the finished rounds for 15 mins

cfullgraf
August 29, 2012, 11:06 PM
Overnight.

When I am finished for the evening, I turn the tumbler on. I shut it off in the morning after I rise. I at least dump the tumbler to separate the brass from he media. Then process it at another time if I do not have time first thing.

fguffey
August 29, 2012, 11:07 PM
One hour, the brass has been fired but clean, just how dirty does brass get when fired?

Again, when I want to show off I use a case spinner.


F. Guffey

slowr1der
August 29, 2012, 11:07 PM
I normally tumble it in corn cob media for about 24 hours give or take and it comes out clean and shiny.

ArchAngelCD
August 29, 2012, 11:09 PM
I tumble mine until it's clean.

The more it's fired the more time it needs.
The older the media the more time it needs...
Different media types clean faster than others.

Snag
August 29, 2012, 11:15 PM
Usually between one and two hours.

ColtPythonElite
August 29, 2012, 11:18 PM
Yep, with corncob/NuFinish I get shiny brass in 1-2 hours.

Keeperfaith
August 29, 2012, 11:39 PM
I bought my crushed walnut at Harbor Frieght tools.

Where can i get crushed corn cob?

I've heard petstores sell lizard bedding cheap and its crushed walnut if im not mistaken. Do yall know if they sell the corncob as well?

Thanks

mgmorden
August 29, 2012, 11:46 PM
I use a timer to let it run for 5 hours.

Grumulkin
August 30, 2012, 08:12 AM
Using crushed walnut shells with rouge, I can't see any difference in shininess by tumbling any more than an hour or two. Using stainless steel media, I tumble for 2 hours, change the water and tumble again for another 2 hours.

NeuseRvrRat
August 30, 2012, 08:16 AM
til it's clean

littleguns223
August 30, 2012, 08:31 AM
I use a timer set for 6 hrs corn cobb media NU finish car polish comes out clean and shining. If I pick up brass that is real dirty I use walnut media. 3 hrs in walnut and 3 hrs in the corn cobb media. Works for me

kelbro
August 30, 2012, 08:40 AM
An hour or two. My Lyman has lasted over 20yrs now. Reading the times that some guys tumble, I finally understand the posts about replacing tumblers every couple of years.

ambidextrous1
August 30, 2012, 09:28 AM
"Where can i get crushed corn cob?"

Your local Grainger's is a good source.

Ask for Grade 2040 corncob 'blast media'; it's too small to lodge in the case flash hole.

You'll find the Grainger people very nice to deal with. They never know whether a walk-in customer is going to but $10,000 of industrial supplies or a $5 can of solvent, so they treat everyone the same. When I ordered my corn cob, they were out of stock & had to order it; they called me three days later to tell me it had arrived. :)

rdhood
August 30, 2012, 09:42 AM
A couple hours before decapping, and a couple more hours afterwords. I use reptile bedding walnut media.

MtnCreek
August 30, 2012, 09:51 AM
Does tumbling work harden brass? I can take new Lapua or Hornady brass and tumbler it for several hours and the color that was there from annealing is either gone or hardly visible.

Jim Watson
August 30, 2012, 10:14 AM
I tumble smokeless cases 4 hours in walnut blasting media without polish.
Brass is clean but not shiny.

I tumble black powder cases 4 hours in wet ceramic.
Brass is bright as new.

I have some of the steel pin media but have seen peculiar results. The media itself is so nasty from the mill that it is leaving a gray film on cases, even after being run alone the first cycle. It appears to be cleaning up, I ran a couple of rusty magazines through it and they came out bright with only a light film.

Arkansas Paul
August 30, 2012, 10:50 AM
Till I remember the tumbler is running


That's me. A lot of times I'll turn the tumbler on when I go to bed and back off before going to work. I have forgotten before and not turned it off until the next night, almost 24 hours later. It doesn't hurt anything.

jcwit
August 30, 2012, 11:14 AM
"Where can i get crushed corn cob?"

Your local Grainger's is a good source.

Ask for Grade 2040 corncob 'blast media'; it's too small to lodge in the case flash hole.

You'll find the Grainger people very nice to deal with. They never know whether a walk-in customer is going to but $10,000 of industrial supplies or a $5 can of solvent, so they treat everyone the same. When I ordered my corn cob, they were out of stock & had to order it; they called me three days later to tell me it had arrived.


Or call Drill Spot

http://www.drillspot.com/products/521055/econoline_526040g-40_40_lbs_blast_media

I think its a subsidiary of Graingers. Shipping is encluded in the price. No driving to go get it. At close to $4.00 per gal. I'm sure that makes a difference.

Oh Ya, How long do I tumble? Overnight.

dragon813gt
August 30, 2012, 11:19 AM
I tumble mine until it's clean.

The more it's fired the more time it needs.
The older the media the more time it needs...
Different media types clean faster than others.

This. There is no set amount of time. Run it until it meets your requirements.


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Tim the student
August 30, 2012, 11:23 AM
As long as I need to, or until I remember to go shut it off.

Usually 2 hours or so.

CraigC
August 30, 2012, 11:39 AM
Usually overnight, 8-12hrs.

Or...
"Till I remember the tumbler is running"

coalman
August 30, 2012, 11:50 AM
30 minutes or so while I'm cleaning guns or while reloading. I just get the soot off. My guns do not seem to care how the brass looks.

Mal H
August 30, 2012, 11:51 AM
I usually run it for 2 to 3 hours on a timer, more if it needs it after the first run.

Frankly, running a vibratory cleaner for half a day or more is a waste of energy and more importantly puts more age on your motor than need be - they don't last forever. Running it with one load for the amount of time that could be used for 5 or 6 loads doesn't make much sense.

CraigC
August 30, 2012, 11:53 AM
It's not a waste if it makes my brass look how I want it to. ;)

788Ham
August 30, 2012, 12:03 PM
MtnCrk,

No, tumbling doesn't harden the brass, its just tumbling inside the container, rolling around in there, nothing to "work" it.

I usually let mine run 2 - 3 hours, not trying to remove .0001's off of it!

Ehtereon11B
August 30, 2012, 12:09 PM
I use corn cob media with a cap of generic brass finish. I run it for 3-4 hours then check the brass to see if it is clean. Run it more if I find something I don't like. I would like to find stainless steel media but haven't found a place that carries it.

NeuseRvrRat
August 30, 2012, 01:16 PM
I would like to find stainless steel media but haven't found a place that carries it.


http://youtu.be/v2LpJAD5AqQ

www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 30, 2012, 01:23 PM
up to about 6 hours.

Shinbone
August 30, 2012, 01:36 PM
About 4 hours with corn cob and a little bit of Flitz.

JohnM
August 30, 2012, 02:16 PM
Hour or 2, with walnut and a little polish added if I remember.
Don't need a shine, just cleaned up.

hdbiker
August 30, 2012, 02:29 PM
I lube,size and deprime,corncob tumble for couple hours,done .biker

murf
August 30, 2012, 03:01 PM
as long as it takes to get tired of the noise!

murf

M.Weier
August 30, 2012, 03:13 PM
Till I remember the tumbler is running :neener:

+1:D

swiftak
August 30, 2012, 03:33 PM
several hours. I don't care how bright and shiney it is, I only want the grit and dirt off it.

nyc71
August 30, 2012, 07:27 PM
Or call Drill Spot

http://www.drillspot.com/products/521055/econoline_526040g-40_40_lbs_blast_media

I think its a subsidiary of Graingers. Shipping is encluded in the price. No driving to go get it. At close to $4.00 per gal. I'm sure that makes a difference.

Oh Ya, How long do I tumble? Overnight.

I ordered mine trough them, I used half walnut, half lizard (same as walnut) litter, a cup of Nu Finish, & a dried sheet for 2 hours.

splattergun
August 30, 2012, 08:01 PM
I soak my brass in a solution of water, detergent, salt, and vinegar for about 1/2 hour, shaking it occassionaly. Total 'tumble' time... 2 or 3 minutes.
Comes out plenty clean, just not glittering.

If I want jewelry to show off, I can just use my drill to spin it in a rag with polishing compound. 20 seconds per rd tops. 10 seconds to chuck and 10 to spin. I've found the need to polish only about 2 dozen rounds so far this year.

Walkalong
August 30, 2012, 08:26 PM
Anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours, but usually I just run them all night while I sleep, or all day while I work.

Media links:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8036208&postcount=7

Ehtereon11B
August 30, 2012, 09:56 PM
http://youtu.be/v2LpJAD5AqQ

www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com

Danke. And I love that movie. I usually buy my reloading supplies local if I can. Saves on shipping costs for bulk/hazmat.

If I ever switch to a supersonic cleaner I can see myself letting brass bathe for 24+ hours. I don't leave my tumbler on too much at one time, hate living in apartments.

Canuc Shooter
August 31, 2012, 10:25 AM
Set my timer for 2 hours with corncob, and it's showtime.

homatok
August 31, 2012, 11:55 AM
Your question on length of tumbling time has been pretty well covered. As to the "golden hue" that forms on cleaned/polished brass, that is something that in my experience, occurs over a period of time after the brass is polished/cleaned and stored. It is not something you can just duplicate in/by the clean/ploish process.

Nappers
September 1, 2012, 12:49 AM
Till I remember the tumbler is running

What is that noise?

I use that red Lyman media, messy but works good. 4-5 hours.

PocketRocket
September 1, 2012, 01:25 AM
I put my decapped brass into my small size Harbor Freight cement mixer and put in hot water and liquid soap (Ajax, Dawn, etc.) and tumble for 30 minutes to get any dirt out. Then I tip the mixer bowl to get the dirty water out and add fresh water to rinse the brass clean. Re-rinse until the drained water looks clear.

Next, the brass goes into a very large glass (Pyrodex?) baking dish and the brass is covered with a 3% solution of citric acid (I got this idea from the NRA book on Handloading). This gets the crud & carbon out and leaves the brass clean with a dull finish. You can stop here and use the brass for reloading after it fully dries.

However, in the matter of brass cases I am obsessive/compulsive so nothing less than a brilliant shine will do. So, itís back into the cement mixer and this time itís corn cob media treated with Nu-Finish for 3 hours. YMMV.

BTW, I bought my corn cob media from Graingers -- very nice people, very good prices.

1SOW
September 1, 2012, 01:32 AM
I pre-wash then tumble for 3-3.5 hrs

BigN
September 1, 2012, 04:45 AM
3-4 hours seems to get it clean and shiny

joed
September 1, 2012, 08:28 AM
I may run. The cleaner for an hour at most. Any longer than that and you need to add something to the media to help. I add mineral spirits.

j1
September 1, 2012, 08:54 AM
I too just tumble til it looks good.:)

david bachelder
September 1, 2012, 09:07 AM
50% Corn and 50% Walnut.
Capful of Nufinish and a drier sheet.

Two hours produces some great looking brass.

jwrowland77
September 1, 2012, 09:55 AM
I try to let it run for a couple hours in 50/50 corn cob/walnut mix. Most the time I get busy doing something with my kids an 5-6 hours later end up turning it off. They do come out shiny though. :D

9mmepiphany
September 1, 2012, 03:32 PM
I haven't started reloading in quantity yet, but I was out sorting my brass and thought I'd give the vibrating cleaner I just won a try.

Just a few clarifying questions:
1. Do you clean in walnut first and then corncob...or is it an either or proposition?
2. Do you usually decap handgun cases before you clean?...resize?
3. Can someone tell me what the dryer sheet does?

I have an old RCBS Rockchucker and am looking at getting a progressive press as I'm shooting more in competition

Kevin Rohrer
September 1, 2012, 03:39 PM
2-hours unless they are really dirty, then it's 3-hours.

NeuseRvrRat
September 1, 2012, 05:36 PM
1. Do you clean in walnut first and then corncob...or is it an either or proposition?
2. Do you usually decap handgun cases before you clean?...resize?
3. Can someone tell me what the dryer sheet does?

1. most folks just pick one. i've used both. can't tell a difference. some folks mix them together.

2. most folks do not. i do not worry about dirty primer pockets on handgun brass and if you decap before tumbling, some media will get stuck in the flash hole (unless you use a finer grit media that is available).

3. some folks say that is traps dust and reduces dust when you're sifting and such. when i used a vibratory, i would just run it outside with the lid off if dust was getting to be a problem.

LUCKYDAWG13
September 1, 2012, 05:54 PM
i just fill mine up at night turn on turn off when i get up

1SOW
September 1, 2012, 09:25 PM
1. Do you clean in walnut first and then corncob...or is it an either or proposition?

It's no different than using sandpaper on wood or metal. Courser grits first to remove rough/dirty/stained surfaces and finer grits last to smooth/polish the finish. 100grit is not mixed with 300 grit on the same paper for a reason.

If you mix them, the courser walnut works slower and the finer corncob is less effective as a polishing agent. It does clean some and shine some. Reloader's choice for finished product results.

Cases that have been laying on the ground at the range especially after a rain, can be really "dirty/cruddy". Washing them with a hose in a bucket removes dirt, crud and small bits of rock and elimates the need for dryer sheets that catch the crud. The media also doesn't need to changed as often.

If the cases aren't badly tarnished , corncob with some polish added (like Nu-Finish) will provide a very nice shiny and "slippery" finish on pistol cases in about 3hrs or a little more. My experience with comp. pistols is that they PREFER a "slippery" finish on cases for more reliable feed and extraction and everything else. Just my internet personal opinion. :rolleyes:

Many range cases could be used after you shake the dirt out and run them through the press. Again, shooter's choice.

ROGER4314
September 1, 2012, 11:03 PM
I don't hover over or monitor my tumblers. I plug them in on my front porch and let them run until I get around to them. Usually, that's 4-6 hours.

I use treated red crushed walnut hulls. I don't run the media forever, If it gets nasty or works slowly, I dump it and refill the tumbler.

Flash

helotaxi
September 2, 2012, 04:48 PM
The answer yesterday was something like 15 hours. Totally forgot about it yesterday afternoon and "rediscovered" that it was running late this morning.

tightgroup tiger
September 2, 2012, 08:22 PM
I usually let mine run 2 - 3 hours, not trying to remove .0001's off of it!

I use a sonic cleaner after I deprime, I set them out for 24 hr to dry and tumble in corncob for about 30 minutes to get any dis-coloring off.

I always wondered if tumbling in walnut did thin out the brass. I don't know how it couldn't if you leave it in there long enough.

My tumbler is a homemade rotory and is pretty aggressive with wallnut.

With 30 minutes in corncob after sonic cleaning they look better than factoy new, but that doesn't make them shoot any better.

I think it does make it easier to spot defects, like split necks, walls and heads.,

8 minutes in the sonic cleaner, 30 minutes in the tumbler and looking pretty just happens, not doing it on purpose.

Some people throw their brass away after loading them so many times, I don't, I load them till they split.

plodder
September 2, 2012, 09:27 PM
About 2-3 hours in my home made stainless steel pin tumbler. Dump in a little Lemi Shine & Dawn to make even ugly brass look like new. Best thing I've ever built for my shooting problem.

homatok
September 3, 2012, 12:56 PM
Does tumbling remove metal?---Yes it does! To prove it, tumble some nickel plated brass for a long time and you will see the plating dissapear! Does the amount removed matter much?---Probably not! It is very likely the brass will fail due to splits long before it will fail due to lost metal from tumbling!

ohwell
September 3, 2012, 01:25 PM
Depends on how old my media is. If I just changed the media a couple of hours is all it needs. Media that has been used a lot normally requires more tumbling time, least thats how I see it.

dsb1829
September 4, 2012, 07:54 PM
If I am in the garage I turn off the tumbler at 1-2hr. If I am not having to listen to the noise I will let it run for 6-12hr.

dickttx
September 4, 2012, 08:30 PM
Tumble it till you remember to turn it off.
Mine is on a timer for 4 hours, however, I sometimes forget to unplug it, so it does 4 hours ever 24 hours. Sometimes for several days.:D

mls
September 4, 2012, 09:44 PM
No more than 1 hour.

JohnM
September 4, 2012, 10:02 PM
If we'd have plugged in the tumbler when this thread started. it would sure be done by now.

warnerwh
September 5, 2012, 02:26 AM
I just use walnut shell and find 2 hours is fine. The brass comes out with a decent shine but not like new. I have no need for corn cob media because I'm too lazy to worry about the shine on my brass.

bds
September 5, 2012, 03:06 AM
I don't need mirror like polish on my brass, just want them clean with a light polish. I have found that mirror like polish on brass don't shrink my shot group size. :eek: :D

For mixed indoor range brass, it takes 15-20 minutes with fine grit walnut media with NuFinish polish. If I want more polish, I will tumble for 30 minutes. For outdoor range brass or brass that has darkened, I will tumble for about an hour.

If I want mirror polish, I will tumble in corn cob media with brass polish/NuFinish until brass attains mirror polish (1-3+ hours).

Of course, depending on how new your brass may be (once fired vs old and tarnished), YMMV.

TonyT
September 5, 2012, 07:55 AM
I use ground corn cob for most of my brass with the polishing compound sold by Midway. I do use ground walnut for 25-20, & 32 cal brass. I polish for 10 to 20 minutes - enough to get rid of the powder fouling. I do not require bright shiny brass to shoot ca. 10,000 rounds per year.

codefour
September 5, 2012, 02:56 PM
Using a Thumler's Tumbler I tumble 12-36 hours depending on how grungy it is. What can I say, I like clean brass. The Thumler's uses minimal power and is very quiet.

Sometimes I forget it is on and run it for 3 or 4 or 5 days

JohnM
September 5, 2012, 03:13 PM
I don't know how old this Thumler's of mine is, but it's seriously ancient!
And it sounds like a concrete mixer load of gravel when it's running.

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