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Pretty brass: fail

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Baron, Jan 2, 2012.

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  1. Baron

    Baron Member

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    Hey all - I've had a sudden issue. I haven't used my tumbler for several months. I had put new media in it a while before, but not long enough before to warrant replacement. The last batch of brass was beautiful as usual. Then a few days ago I tumbled some rifle brass to remove Imperial Sizing Wax, then I put in a bunch of .45 brass. To my surprise, it just never got pretty - I put some brass polish in it, ran it a bunch, no different. More polish, more time, no different. Added a used dryer sheet, it got filthy, no different.

    I guess it's clean enough - it's just ugly looking. It's not really reflective at all - just dull and matte-looking. Here's an example on the left with a regular pretty case on the right.

    [​IMG]

    I know that as long as it's fairly clean it doesn't matter, but I do take pride in my reloads and am puzzled why all of a sudden they're coming out nasty. Perhaps the sizing wax has messed everything up? I could change media but I kinda hate to since it doesn't seem like it's been that long, but that will probably be my next course of action.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    How long have you run them and with what media? I usually run my brass for several hours if I want it pretty. I'm using 50/50 Lyman "green" corncob and plain corncob. My brass comes out pretty dull if I only tumble for a little while.
     
  3. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    What's the big deal with changing the media? If you're bent on hanging onto what's currently in the tumbler, dump it into a bucket and refill the tumbler with unused media, and try your cases again.
     
  4. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Looks to me like dry walnut media on the left, and corncob media w/polish added on the right. Walnut is abrasive and scrubs them clean, where corncob is softer and will polish better.
     
  5. 918v

    918v Member

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    I like the dull look, it is more tactical looking and may just save your life in the jungle.
     
  6. Baron

    Baron Member

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    Yeah, I think I'll just dump and do again. It's walnut - it's always given me showroom-pretty brass. It's just really unusual for it to be giving me this instead. I'm just being cheap - I've got plenty of media. Tomorrow - new media, fresh tumble. I've probably tumbled this stuff 18 hours already, no change - time for new walnut :)

    Thanks for all the replies.
     
  7. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Which is cheaper? Electricity for 18 hours of tumbling (to no desirable effect) or some new tumbling media? :p
     
  8. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Have you added a little fresh polish lately? I've found that a capful of NuFinish each time really helps with the shine factor - or at least, a capful if it's been a while since I last tumbled anything.

    Q
     
  9. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    Different brand of brass?

    I use a capful of mineral spirits in each load. Cleans the brass, tumbler, and media pretty well. Also holds down the dust which is some nasty stuff.
     
  10. joed

    joed Member

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    Get yourself some paint thinner and mix a few tablespoons in with the walnut media before running the tumbler. If you put to much in you just have to wait for it to evaporate. Run the tumbler for 2 hours and I guarantee you will never use polish again.
     
  11. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    With my brass I see the same thing as rondog stated. The walnut cleans aggressively and the corn cob will make it shine like a mirror but is not as fast. I now use the wet method with SS media and like it SO much better. Even dealing with the rinsing and drying I think it is faster as a whole. IMHO you were getting a good polish job with the old walnut before, probably due to the media getting the sharp edges worn off and thus polishing better. I use NU Finish polish and corn cob media to put a tarnish resistant coating on the brass after assembling the rounds now.
     
  12. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    The mineral spirits/paint thinner trick works for me, and removes sizing lube much better/faster. Haven't changed media in years. Shines pretty good too, but all my brass is more "used" than your example. Just put in no more than a couple tablespoons, it will distribute itself while tumbling.
     
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