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Good price on Zilla crushed walnut tumbling media- delivered!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by evan price, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I use a lot of tumbling media and I have experimented with a lot of products.

    I have tried the Grainger corncob media from Drillspot, shipped to your door for a total price of about 67 cents a pound-


    Corncob is nice, soft, and leaves a nice shine on brass. But for really dirty brass it takes a lot longer to clean, and for that reason I prefer to use ground English walnut shell media. Walnut I have found is the best for dirty cases because it scrubs very well. Corncob leaves a softer, shinier finish but walnut shells cuts the crud off faster and when used with a polish like NuFinish at leaves a very shiny almost new appearance.

    I have used brands that were so dusty they would leave piles of dust on the floor around the tumblers- specifically the Kaytee brand sold as bird cage bedding for $21.99/25# in this link:


    The stuff was dirtier and dustier the further down the bag I got, and the last few pounds were probably half dust. I stopped using it because of the dust and fines. I got similar results from the walnut shell sold at the welding supply house in town. Great for use as sandlblasting but not for tumbling brass.

    My favorite so far has been the Zilla brand ground walnut shells. It is uniformly a fine consistency like sugar sand and so far is very low on dust.

    I had been buying Zilla in the ten quart bag from PetSmart but they want $12.99 plus sales tax for a ten quart bag of it. This weighs typically around 11-12 pounds. This roughly comes out to $1 per pound after figuring in discount and tax.

    Being a tightwad I like to get the best deal possible. Also, PetSmart posted their stores to not allow Concealed Carry License holders to carry guns in their stores. This is a pet peeve of mine. I can't avoid PetSmart due to a family member who works in there but I try to avoid spending money in places that are Criminal Protection Zones.

    Zilla packages their walnut in a giant 50-pound sack but nobody near me carries it in stock and shipping charges add up to over $1 per pound, the same as PetSmart. So I started searching the web and found a seller on Amazon.com (OZBO) who has the 25-quart sacks of Zilla walnut shells-


    With shipping this winds up being $20.39, no sales tax, and delivered to my door (no gas to go get it). The sack weighed at 31.5 pounds of walnut for a final price of under 65 cents per pound, for the best walnut I have found for brass tumbling.

    Which you choose is up to you! I prefer walnut because it cleans faster. Heck, mix the two and have a hybrid.

    To recap:
    Zilla ground walnut shells from OZBO, 65 cents a pound.
    Drillspot crushed corncob, 67 cents a pound.
    Both of them are delivered to your door, no need to burn gas getting them.

    Clean shiny brass = priceless.

    Hope that helps! (No, I don't get commission...)
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Good info, and a great buy. Thanks.
  3. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    evan, thanks for the heads up on the media, I am going to order a bag.:)
  4. hanno

    hanno Well-Known Member

    If you have a Petco near you, every once in a while they have a "buy one get one free" sale on the 10 lb. bags of Zilla "Desert Blend" ground walnut.

    When they do, I stock up.
  5. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Well-Known Member

    What is the particle size of the Zilla walnut media?
  6. Publius1688

    Publius1688 Well-Known Member

    Good question about the particle size-----does it jam up in the primer hole?
  7. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    I've found that the zilla does get stuck in the primer holes. I've since moved on to the fine grit available at Harbor Freight that doesn't get lodged in the primer holes for 45acp or 9mm. It's about $25 for a 25# box, will last for several years.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    At least the last three bags I bought at Petco doesn't.

    In fact, it is fine enough it even does a good job of cleaning the primers pockets.

    A few spins in a media separator and there were no clogged flash holes in over 750 rounds of .38 Spl I loaded lately.

  9. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    The Zilla I get does not get clogged in flash holes. It is a very fine grind, about like what we call sugar sand. Maybe...coarse table salt or sugar...It pours right out of .223 cases and does not bridge the neck.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  10. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    Thanks a bunch, very good info Evan.
  11. subman47

    subman47 Well-Known Member

    thanks evan i just ordered some
  12. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    I don't think it matters if it gets caught in the flash hole or primer pocket. Assuming you clean your brass before decapping, the decapping pin will knock any residual media out of the hole(s). Always has.
  13. codefour

    codefour Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great info on the English walnut. I too, like the Zilla walnut. I have had good luck with it. I always deprime all my cases with a RCBS univ. decapper prior to any cleaning. I like the primer pockets clean. Sometimes if the brass is bad, I will tumble in walnut and then tumble a second time in corn cob with nu-finish car polish. what can I say, I like clean brass. It usually looks as clean as new jewelry. I store my bulk .45 and .40 in a M60 ammo can. I love opening that can and seeing super shiny brass. I get compliments on it all the time. People at the range do not believe those are reloads.

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