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Tumbling with rice as media

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ArtP, Oct 21, 2011.

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  1. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    Long story short - don't do it!

    Rest of the story... I've been handloading for a while, but never bothered to buy a tumbler. The brass I reload is new rifle brass purchased by yours truly and collected right from the rifle, quickly wiped off and put back into my ammo box. It does get dirty, but mostly it's soot and some remnants of case lube - this is not crap that's been sitting in mud and picked up at the range. I use a collet neck sizer, so cases don't get lubed too often.

    I sprung for a Lyman tumbler, but the media and polish were a much better deal elsewhere. The tumbler arrived today, but I won't have media and polish until Monday, and I hate to wait to try out new things. So I've got this mostly full 25 pound bag of rice from Costco and remember hearing that it works as tumbling media, even preferred by some.

    Two hours later 90% of the soot remains, but what little case lube was present has now attracted "rice dust". But the rice is now dirty and inedible (LOL). To add further trouble, a grain of long-grain rice seems to fit very snug in the flash hole of a LR primer pocket. About half the cartridges are now wearing a grain of rice that will require a stout tap or the tool I use to clean up flash holes, not to mention a .277 case mouth is not large enough to "pour" out rice, it's got to be "shooken" out. This is all from tumbling with just rice and no polish or additive.

    By searching "rice" and "tumble" I did not find any recent threads to simply add my experience to. Thus, the dedicated thread to the questionable practice.
     
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I hate to admit it but I am one of those guys that will try anything once. If you think rice is bad give kitty litter a try (don't). If you break down all of the costs in reloading media is by far the least expensive of all. You would save more money using your time picking up pennys in gas station parking lots, than trying to get cheaper media than corncobb.
     
  3. lead-inspector

    lead-inspector Member

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    Ground Walnut Shells

    I use "Lizard Litter" from the pet store. It is ground Walnut shell just like regular media. I haven't tried the pet store corn media because the Lizard litter with Nu-Polish works well and is inexpensive.

    Steve
     
  4. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  5. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    I read the same about Lizard Litter. Without question I would use walnut or corn, it's just not here yet (been ordered). The rice was in hopes of a temporary solution so I could load this weekend.

    I'll say it again - this was only an attempt to get me through until the corn and Flitz polish arrive.
     
  6. rjfunk

    rjfunk Member

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    Thanks, I was going to try rice. Now I won't.

    Kitty litter, that's funny. I have that in my shooting bags instead of sand because it's lighter and doesn't seep out the seams. (just don't let it get wet or apparently it will expand a lot). I'll be using the lizard litter from our local pet shop too.

    Would SS work in a vibrating tumbler too?
     
  7. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Member

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    I've used LL but it's too dusty if you ask me. Purpose designed media has been much cleaner for me and doesn't cost too much more.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Zilla brand lizard litter works better then real tumbler media for me.

    Don't know about other brands, except what Walmart calls lizard litter is not going to work!

    rc
     
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I didn't even know Walmart sold stuff for lizards. I use the Zilla lizard litter also. All the dust seems to stay in the bottom. I just dump it every so often or throw in a damp paper towel.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, our Walmart does anyway.

    I looked at it last summer and it looked more like ground up walnut husks, then walnut shells.

    rc
     
  11. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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  12. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    lead and carbon impregnated friction warmed rice :what:

    Now that's funny. With Drillspot selling cob DELIVERED for $25 a bag, which is even cheaper than I can buy it directly from Grainger with my business account (go figger) I can't understand why so many people insist on trying beach sand, various types of pet litter, or anything else that they might think of. I've never found anything better than cob for polishing and walnut for cleaning, and it's sure cheap enough that I have zero interest in trying the latest new fad. If something works for you, great, but I'll stick with cob and walnut.
     
  13. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Did you put in a couple of cut up used dryer sheets. They would probably have taken up much of the dust. The important thing is that the dirt was knocked off and after you wipe them down, you can proceed to start reloading which begins with decapping/resising after lubing them up.

    What? You lubed and decapped before knocking off the grit and dirt from the ground where the cases landed? Shame on you. Well, then wipe the gluten dust off and use an unbent paper clip to clear the flash hole as you put them into your press for the next stage.

    Like the others posted, sometimes impatience makes you work twice as hard compared to simply waiting. Oh well, live and learn. Good luck in your future tumblings.
     
  14. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    I started reloading in the late 60's, then took a 40 year hiatus. The biggest difference when I started again was the absolute OBSESSION with case cleaning. There are probably more posts about it on the various forums than any other subject.
    At the time I started, the relatively new CARBIDE sizer dies advertised that there was no need to even wipe off your cartridges before running them thru the carbide sizer, and, that they would come out burnished and shiney.
    BTW, I now have TWO vibratory tumblers and buy 40# sacks of corncob and 20# sacks of lizard litter, + Newfinish and dryer strips.;)
     
  15. falic

    falic Member

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    Harbor Freight has media for sale for the same purpose we use it for - cheap.
     
  16. LBEE

    LBEE Member

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    I Tried the Rice one time after reading here how well it worked on this site, Bad mistake
    I had a lot of Cases with Rice Stuck in the primer pocket Flash hole. I have now started with a Thumblers Tumbler & SS but have now moved on to Just a wet Formula That I expermented with That works awesome & makes the Brass look like Gold.
     
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have seen the same thing. Maybe shiny brass shoots better than tarnished brass?


    I would not recommend rice as a media ever. I have heard of crushed rice mixed with water being used as a glue.
     
  18. algaeguy

    algaeguy Member

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    Been there, done that too. Harbor freight walnut media is $23 for 25lbs. How does that compare to the pet stores? Also, I use a few old/used fabric softeners and the dust sticks to them like magic, and not on the cases!
     
  19. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    Yes, and you can also get some jewelers rouge from any jeweler supply outfit. Put about 1/2 tblspoon of rouge in with the rice, tumble until mixed in good, drop cases into tumbler and let'er rip.
     
  20. lono

    lono Member

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    I use crushed walnut bird cage litter. It works very well and is very cheap.
     
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