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Tumbler media question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KY DAN, Nov 24, 2022.

  1. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    Jan 10, 2019
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    I use harbor freight walnut media because it's cheap.

    The size I have gets stuck in primer pockets, I no longer have a way of identifying the media.

    Could someone please tell me what size walnut media harbor freight sells that does not stick in primer pockets please?
     
  2. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    It happens
    Some time back ( maybe a year?)
    there was some question posted
    about some similar something, and
    I posted a picture of the little doo dad
    I made years ago that I poke through
    the flash hole of cases I take out of
    my vibratory tumbler.
    It's a piece of broom (mop ?) handle
    about an inch and a half long with
    about two inches of brazing rod poked
    in, and ground down to shape kinda
    like a miniature brass ice pick.
    As I'm inspecting each case before
    proceeding with sorting, I poke the
    doo dad in the flash hole to make sure
    there's no media jammed in place.
    Takes all of about a 16th of a second
    per case not counting my visual inspection.

    It's not that big of a deal. Poke it out
    Move along with the process
     
  3. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have used all different specs of walnut and corncob media on deprimed brass. They all have pieces in them the right size to get stuck in the primer pockets. I believe this is why wet tumbling with steel pins became popular. The steel pins will clean the primer pockets MUCH better than walnut or corncob and not get stuck in the primer pockets. I gave up worrying about dirty primer pockets MANY years ago.
     
    Random 8 likes this.
  4. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Sounds like you got coarse grit (12) media - https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lbs-coarse-grade-walnut-shell-blast-media-92150.html

    I use fine grit (24) media which won't get stuck in flash holes - https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lbs-fine-grade-walnut-shell-blast-media-92155.html
     
  5. Fooey

    Fooey Member

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    clean it before you deprime it and the issue goes away.
     
    Big Wes, Laphroaig, frogfurr and 5 others like this.
  6. Targa

    Targa Member

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    Like Fooey said, deprime after tumbling and your good to go.
     
  7. Lafitte

    Lafitte Member

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    That works for me. If I have any issue with dirty primer pockets I clea them with a primer pocket brush.
    Lafitte
     
  8. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I tried the 24 grit. It worked but seamed to brake down faster. I went back to the 12. I use a paper clip to remove any media that sticks in the flash hole.
     
    rocirish and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  9. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  10. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I use the walnut as pre clean. After i decap and inspect casings. The good ones go in the corncob.
     
  11. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I think this is what I ordered the last time I ordered dry media. I "think" because I emptied the sack into 5 gallon buckets with lids and no longer have the original sack.
     
  12. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I generally de-prime after tumbling, but sometimes due to the course of events I do tumble de-primed, re-sized cases. In those instances, I place a universal decapper die in my turret press and give them a pass through before advancing with the procedure of case prep/loading. If running a very small batch, I have an old partially broken M1 Garand firing pin wrapped in tape to make a sort of handle. This is a good field expedient device to clear flash holes from back to front or vice/versa. Sometimes the media sticks inside a flash hole on brass still containing a spent primer. You can feel some of it clinging to the decapping pin upon withdrawel from the pocket. These cases also get a back to front pass with the broken M1 pin to clear any traces of the offending media piece.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  13. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Otherwise known as, “reset tool,” “floppy/CD/DVD emergency eject tool,” and “CMOS battery removal tool.” An unfolded paperclip has adorned my ID badge and/or desktop pen holder since the early ‘90’s.
    I typically use the 24grit crushed walnut for my second tumble - post decap/resize - so not much gets stuck to begin with. Then every case gets inspected for cracks and obvious flaws and sorted into ready for reloading or needing more work. I keep a pocket cleaner handy for grungy primer pockets and to sort LP/SP if that’s a possibility. It’s a slow process but I’m not in a hurry and I’d rather have my brass right than fast. The paperclip idea is a good one and will save time over my routine of running a fingernail over every rim and case mouth, peeking inside and out looking for flaws and turning a pocket cleaner in every case.
     
  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I use Zilla. If any slips down into the primer the depending rod pops it right out. I tumble before depriming. Get it at pet stores, about $10 a bag. A bag lasts me about a year.
     
    frogfurr likes this.
  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Funny thing, I do the opposite: corn first to get the grunge and then decap/resize with a final tumble in treated walnut to prevent corrosion and stains before going to storage. It doesn’t look like new brass, but it does look like brass.
     
    CoalCrackerAl likes this.
  16. PWC

    PWC Member

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    I have a little do-dad too.... clean with the primer in and the "do-dad" on the end of the stem punches out the primer and any obstruction that may be there.
     
  17. mdi

    mdi Member

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    IIRC the media I use, corn cob blast media, is 14-20, and if a chunk fets stuck somewhere I can normally tap the case on the bench top and dislodge it. On rare occasions I can blow in the case mouth and remove anything stuck in the flash hole. In worse case scenarios, I have a Lee Loader depriming tool that will clean the flash hole.
     
  18. marchboom

    marchboom Member

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    I have used this for years and it works great. Doesn't stick in flash holes. And if cared for properly it lasts a long time. Cleaning your brass with Lemishine first will make your media last a long time. Metal pins are just a hassle, can be damaging to the brass and you better make sure none get stuck in the cases.

    amazon.com/Zilla-11763-Ground-English-25-Quart/dp/B000OQRGF2/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ISL42FH2X0GU&keywords=Zilla%2Bwalnut%2Bmedia&qid=1669401439&sprefix=zilla%2Bwalnut%2Bmedia%2Caps%2C351&sr=8-1&th=1
     
  19. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    A dental pick (Harbor Freight) is perfect for any stuck media.

    I actually mix walnut and corn cob, plus a squirter of Nu-Finish.

    I deprime everything, when I get in from range (Lee universal decap die). Toss in tumbler.

    When resizing, the decapping pin cleans any stuck media.
     
    mdi likes this.
  20. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I de-prime after tumble with walnut media. From what I have seen the tumbling doesn't clean the primer pockets so there is no advantage to de-priming first. Plus I don't want the filthy cases in my press in order to de-prime before the tumbling.
     
    Ironicaintit likes this.
  21. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    When I used to use walnut, I used air to clean the holes. Worked for me. Now that I used water, sometimes the pins get stock. Air doesn’t work for these.
     
  22. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    When I used walnut or corn cob to clean my brass I always final inspected it with something to push out the media if it were to get stuck. I used a decapping pin from a Lee military primer removal kit. Then as my hands got bad I swapped to my Lee universal depriming die held in my hand. Just pushed the priming pin in the end into the brass headstamp end first to dislodge stubborn media. Now with SS pins I seldom have stuck media.
     
    Seedy Character likes this.
  24. Misplacedtexan

    Misplacedtexan Member

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    What I do also.
     
    CoalCrackerAl likes this.
  25. Fooey

    Fooey Member

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    I've never cleaned a primer pocket in my life. Never once had a gun complain to me.
     
    MikeInOr likes this.
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