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Is there any way to fix this?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mugsie, May 3, 2014.

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  1. mugsie

    mugsie Member

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    Being a cheap SOB, rather than purchasing tumbling media from cabelas or midway or some other place, a corncob media specifically designed for tumbling brass, I bought some bird / lizard litter from a pet store.

    I placed a bunch of 308 in there and let 'era rip for a few hours. When I came back to remove my nice shiny brass, what I found was dust, lots and lots of dust coated brass!

    First of all, was I being too cheap in trying to use the lizard litter? Was it the same stuff as what midway sells as corncob media? Is there any easy way of removing all the dust other than dumping everything out and hosing it off, then letting it dry for a few days?

    Should I just dump it all, buy the "right stuff" and do it all over again? It seems to me, every time I try to take a short cut or save some money, it either takes longer or costs more!

    Ideas? Comments?

    Thanks....
     
  2. nevadabob

    nevadabob Member

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    Cut up some anti-static/cling dryer sheets, 1" x 3-4" strips, about 6 or so cut up strips, put them in the mix, and re do your load. Run it for a half hour & check.
    I use walnut media from Harbor Freight & use the dryer sheets as well. I use the "x1 used" sheets as they're more pliable.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    Cut up used dryer sheet works well and I also use fine grit walnut blasting media from Harbor Freight which comes clean without the dust.

    Make sure the bird/lizzard litter you bought is ground walnut (should say on the bag) to use as tumbling media. "Zilla" brand reptile litter says "Ground English Walnut Shells" on the bag - http://www.petsmart.com/reptile/sub...eptile-litter-zid36-14994/cat-36-catid-500013

    To clear dust from the media, I would run the tumbler without the lid in the back yard until there was no dust.

    If you got the wrong litter, if you have dry rice on hand (long grain or medium grain), you can use it as a tumbling media to clean up the dust covered brass as a short-term fix.
     
  4. ksimons

    ksimons Member

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    Just wanted to add the corn cob media made for tumbling lasts for many cycles. Not saying it's better than walnut it's just all I have used so far as I bought a tumbler last year with four gallons of media. Have tumbled about 2500 rounds and still have 2 gallons left. Yes I do use darter sheets.
     
  5. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

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    Lizzard Media

    I have been using the lizzard bedding for years with no problems.
     
  6. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    "Right stuff" is crushed walnut shells as inexpensive as you can get it. Anything more is simply money out of your pocket and into someone else's. I got a 50# bag for $17 at the local feed store and was outdone by someone who found it locally at $10.

    Cut up dryer sheets are the ticket for eliminating dust. For the first few loads, the sheets will come out tan. After that, the walnut dust will go away and all they pick up is soot so they'll come out gray. No need for mineral spirits to catch the dust because all that does is cause the soot/primer dust (which contains lead) to stick to the walnut media rather than get thrown away with the dryer sheets.

    Some people even wash the media in the washing machine after lots of use by putting it in a pillow case. I just dump it and scoop up a fresh batch.
     
  7. sauer1911

    sauer1911 Member

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    Walnut shells it is! You can wash and dry and reuse the shells over and over.

    I put an old pillow case in a 5g bucket, add dirty shells, a tiny bit of low sudsing soap, water. stir around, and lift the pillow case out of the bucket, dump the water, and rinse again.

    be safe.
     
  8. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    Yea, I think he got ahold of clay instead of crushed walnut. Walnut doesn't turn to "lots and lots of dust".
     
  9. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    leave it outside with the lid off in a breeze. you can lose a lot of dust that way. I'm using some corncob pet product, but I don't like it. It tends to get stuck in any cases smaller than 40 cal.

    Walnut does leave a lot of dust, especially old walnut. I run my walnut, then drop it in the corn to clean off the dust and give it a shine.
     
  10. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    I use walnut shell, buy the bulk stuff and don't look back. It's cheap enough to change out and you don't have to mess around with trying to clean it.
     
  11. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    I've used the same batch of corn cob media for between 3000 and 5000 pieces of pistol brass and it cleans as good today as it did on day one. One used dryer sheet cut into fourths and a few drops of brass Polish is all that it takes.
     
  12. mugsie

    mugsie Member

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    Well, looked up the walnut media on harbor freight, do I use fine or medium grade?
    They offer both types.
     
  13. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    I had the same experience with Zilla brand walnut litter. Huge amount of dust! I ended up dumping the whole bag in the trash.

    What about adding a few ounces of water to the tumbler and letting it run about an hour? It worked for my current batch of very dusty corn media.
     
  14. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    I use medium grade. Since I tumble before depriming, the fine would get stuck in the primer pockets.
     
  15. bds

    bds Member

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    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  17. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    ^ that's the stuff that produced an appalling amount of dust!
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, that's interesting?

    I've used it for years and never a trace of excess dust.

    You wouldn't want your Lizard inhaling excess dust in bed, now would you?

    Did you add any liquid polish to it before using it?
    (New Finish car polish, commercial case polish, etc, to hold down the dust formation)

    I have never tried any kind of media completely dry!

    Rc
     
  19. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    I've had much more success with the Lizard stuff than I have with the actual "reloading" media from Gander or Cabelas.
     
  20. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    Yup I read all the glowing reports of that stuff on the internet also....
    Dump it , count it as an inexpensive lesson in cutting corners, and get ahold of some Lyman, RCBS, Midway, Cabela's, etc corncob media and clean your cases.
     
  21. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I've always used Lyman corncob media with excellent results. No need to add anything to it and a 6 lb container will clean 10,000 to 12,000 rounds. The cost is minimal for the volume that it does along with the results that I get.
     
  22. bds

    bds Member

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    I think pet store litter varies in quality/amount of dust from lot to lot, hence difference in experience by different members.

    Most commercial ground walnut shells I have used in past years meant for tumbling created very little dust. Harbor Freight blasting media is clean and generates almost no dust.
     
  23. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    don't cheap out and use just any old dryer sheet.
    Get the Birchwood-Casey branded ones. ;)
     
  24. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I changed my RCBS walnut media out about 20 years ago, it was 20yrs old then and the 20 yrear old media I'm using now is still working fine. I quit using corncob completely. I tumble all my loaded pistol ammo in it also, you would think extra weight of the bullet would grind the stuff right up but it never has. I use a rotary though which is much more efficient than a vibrator.
     
  25. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    Zilla walnut media here along with cut-up, 1X used dryer sheets. The dust will go away after a few uses.
     
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