Just figured I would try them out, I bought a 25lbs bag of walnut shells.
Threw in about a quarter of a bag in my big Dillon tumbler and then added around 900 40SW cases and about a capfull of nu-finish.
After about 3 hours, the cases are clean but are not as shiny clean as I would have thought.
Did I miss something? Or should I just toss the walnuts in the yard and stick with the Lyman corncob media?
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March 16, 2013, 09:16 PM
I use both walnut and corncob, with nu finish AND some red jeweler's rouge - cases are in a Thumbler's vibratory cleaner for about 2 hours and come out sparkling
March 16, 2013, 09:50 PM
For tumbling/cleaning brass I use;
-Kaytee Walnut bird litter ($22.00/25lb bag at Petsmart)
-Meguiars "Cleaner Wax" ($7.00/16oz squirt bottle at Walmart or Advance Auto)
-One -used- dryer sheet cut into four strips (we use Bounce sheets)
Preparing new media
Fresh walnut media can be pretty dusty all by itself so I "prepare" new media by putting it into my tumbler, adding a healthy squirt of the Meguiars (probably 1/6 of the bottle or 4 hotdogs worth if it was ketchup) and then tumble it for about 10 minutes. During this process I usually have to scrape clumps of Meguiars off the bottom of the tumbler and break it up/mix it up with the walnut. I usually wear nitrile gloves and do this with my fingers until everything is all mixed together. The end result is that you now have Meguiars impregnated media.
Using the media
When it comes time to tumble I take a used dryer sheet and slice it into 4 ribbons which are then stuffed down into the media. Next I dump the brass to be cleaned in and put the lid on. In general I tend to tumble my media for 3-4 hours (I actually built a timed power socket for just this purpose). The brass generally comes out far more shiny than when you just tumble with walnut (a lot closer to corncob tumbled stuff).
When to change
In my case I use the media until my tumbler starts to develop a slight "ring around the bathtub". How long this takes varies widely as I clean a healthy share of "range pickup" brass and some of it is truly filthy stuff. When the "bathtub ring" shows up I trash the media, clean out the inside of my tumbler bowl, and start over prepping a new batch of media.
I have found that if I use cheap cotton gloves (I use Cara Disposable from Walmart that run 24 pair for $30) to handle the cleaned brass, it will stay shiny for a LONG time due to the effects of the cleaner wax. I probably go through one pack of gloves a year.
I never handle cleaned brass with my bare fingers because my body chemistry seems to be very corrosive and within a day brass will discolor and sometimes even have my fingerprints showing up on it which annoys me a lot.
March 16, 2013, 10:06 PM
Kaytee walnut shells is all I use. The trick is leave the brass tumbling for 6hours or more. I throw casings in before bed, wake up and turn off tumbler and they are almost mirror like!!!!!!! I don't use nu finish or anything else just the walnut shells, but leave them tumble for a looking while.
March 16, 2013, 11:05 PM
Hey thanks guys, I have been using stainless pins, corncob, sonic cleaners, and citric acid for a few years.
I have read about walnut shells from pet stores, a figured I would try something new.
I will try everybody's method and see what I like, thanks.
March 17, 2013, 12:15 AM
I have found walnut shells clean heavily soiled cases well. I have also found corn cob makes the cases very shinny. Since i want both things I use a 50/50 mix of both but either will work well alone.
March 17, 2013, 12:21 AM
I also use a 50/50 mix of walnut shells and corn cob media along with a dryer sheet.
March 17, 2013, 02:22 AM
Walnut is more aggressive than cob. Cleans faster but not as shiny.
I toss my "worn" walnut in with my cob. With Nu Finish it comes out bright. Maybe not as bright as straight cob, but it's pretty nice.
I use the "Lizard Litter" from our local pet/feed store. $8-ish for 10#.
March 17, 2013, 10:22 AM
Plain & simple, walnut is rougher than corncob.
While it will clean your brass, walnut will NOT get them as shiny as corn
40 Lbs, Corn Cob, 20/40 Grit, free shipping - $34.90
(small enough that it won't plug the flash hole)
March 17, 2013, 10:17 PM
I recently bought a bunch of range 223 brass which has some cancer on it.
Do you think it will remove it? Corncob does nothing.
I could use my stainless pins, but that is such a hassle.
March 18, 2013, 12:12 AM
I run cases over night. 6-8 hours minimum. Unless they are extremely dirty they come out looking like a mirror.
March 18, 2013, 04:32 AM
That Kaytee stuff (at least what I've used) is as dusty as heck...
I use the Zilla walnut which is cheaper and less dusty. I buy it through Amazon.com (Big Al's) 6 of the 25-qt bags in one order gets free shipping, and it's less than $90 delivered to my door for almost 200# of walnut.
15-gallons of walnut, 1 pint NuFinish, and 5-gallons of brass, clean and shiny in 4 hours.
March 18, 2013, 05:56 PM
I use the zilla walnut as well that sold as reptile bedding. That and few squirts of nu-finish in the hopper for about 5 hours and my brass looks awesome.
March 18, 2013, 09:09 PM
Where do you get zillion walnut?
My local petsmarts don't stock much stuff.
March 18, 2013, 09:36 PM
+1 on Zilla brand Lizard Litter.
I started using it about 5 years ago.
And it is about as perfect as it gets with a dash of Flitz tumbler polish added..