Wet tumbler media? Stainless steel pins?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Smokepole14, Jun 18, 2022.

  1. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    I’ve always used aquarium gravel in my tumbler to clean brass with good results. I never tried to use the stainless pins that everybody else is raving about. Watching videos it seems to work extremely well. Is there a special type of pins to use? Or will any ole pin work? Looks to me like the small pins that comes out of bearings.
     
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  2. Grumpy_old_Fart

    Grumpy_old_Fart Member

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    The pins are stainless, not bearing steel.. the bearing steel may corrode due to the material. Use the stainless. It's worth it.
     
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  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The ones I bought are cut ferritic (attracted to a magnet for pick up) stainless wire. The least expensive I could find when I started. They came from Pellets LLC.
     
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  4. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    I didn’t think about them rusting. So basically a stainless steel grade that’s magnetic! My gravel is working great I was just curious if the pins would do better. Thanks guys!
     
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  5. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    I have both pins and chips. IMHO, there are slight advantages and disadvantages to each.

    Currently using pins as their size makes 'em easier to see/corral.
    Wet chips seem to 'pour' from the separator back into the drum easier.

    I never have had a pin stick in a flash hole, but I used to occasionally have one lodge itself sideways in my 223 cases. (I've since refined my tumbling/separating technique and that issue has disappeared)

    Chips don't get stuck, but some of mine are so small they resemble tiny slivers. :(

    Never have used any other type of media,
     
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Done correctly the cases come out looking like new, unfired brass. Inside and out. This generally takes 30-90 minutes in my tumbler.

    These are the pins I use.

    BAB169DB-89D6-4496-82EF-46886C944EF9.jpeg

    When I first built my tumbler I was curious about what happened if they were left going for an extended period of time. So I tumbled one batch for more than a day and they turned OD green, everywhere the pins could touch.

    2940DDC8-AC9D-4BF3-9680-371B61CF9478.jpeg

    They still ran fine but are permanently altered by way too much time.

    I must say it’s nice during the summer to be able to clean 3000/cases in an hour.

    32308B2A-9260-4C46-A897-2ACD78E3D56E.jpeg

    of course drying them is another chore if you don’t have hot sunny days.
     
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  7. Bosn Ski

    Bosn Ski Member

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    I bought guntap pins on Amazon when I used the Harbor Freight tumbler. I used them for several thousand cases and didn’t have a single issue. The pins that were included with the FA Rotary Tumbler were thinner and shorter. I didn’t like that. I felt there was potential for a pin to get stuck inside 9mm case and flash hole. The Guntap pins are thicker and slightly longer.

    I use 5 pounds of pins and about 800 9mm cases no problem in the FA Rotary Tumbler. 800 cases? Because that’s about how many fit in Costco cashew containers.
     
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  8. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    My SS tumbling pins have a diameter of 0.047”. Two of these pins won’t get stuck side by side in flash holes. Pins of 0.041” or smaller can stick side by side in flash holes.

    Just, FYI…

    Bayou52
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2022
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  9. Pottimus

    Pottimus Member

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    I used the ones provided with my tumbler (Frankford Arsonal), I was concerned that since they seemed to be everywhere I must be losing them by the pound. I picked up 5 more pounds and stopped being concerned. I have noticed the odd broke or shorter pin now and then. I just have not had any issues with the originals.
    thumbnail 2.jpg
     
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  10. ParallelCode

    ParallelCode Member

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    I use National Metallic (MidwayUSA house brand) stainless steel pins. They work great and seem to be a good size to avoid issues.
     
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  11. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    Does the pins ever wear out or need replaced?
     
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  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Southern Shine media stainless chips are the way to go, if you insist on using media at all.

    I wet tumble with no media, 30min and my cases look shiny as if new on the outside, and the bulk of my pocket and internal scums are clean. I’ve played a bit with wet tumbling with primers in place even, and by and large, they come out as clean as I’d ever functionally need them to be, even for PRS competition.

    Buy a brass dryer. They’re expensive for what they are, but they are cheap, and they make life SO much easier. Hour and a half to two hours, I can tumble and dry, half hour wet, hour dry, and be ready to load again.
     
  13. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    The SS pins never wear out. They do not need to be replaced owing to wearing out.

    However, they can be lost if not careful with your handling techniques. I’ve been SS wet tumbling since 2012. My techniques in handling pins are refined and well honed.

    As a result, I have very few escapee pins on most batches.

    Bayou52
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I use the same pins as jmorris. For fun I tried running some batches with primers removed and no pins. They took longer to shine up and the primer pockets and inside the brass were still somewhat dirty.
    This coming from a guy that would just take fired brass, wipe it with a rag, and then reload it as is for many years.
     
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  15. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I buy & sell a lot of range brass. After separating the brass I'll run it through the Frankford for 45 minutes to get all the curde off the cases.
    My personal brass gets deprimed then tumbled. The cases are 100% clean inside & out. The primer pockets are always 100% clean.
    Does the brass need to be that clean?
    No, but if you are going to tumble your brass why not make it cllok the best it can. Like new or better then new.
    Every one adventually has their way of doing it. What works for some people doesn't work for others.
    I have two of the larger Frankford wet tumblers and use the pins that came with them. I did buy an extra five pound box of pins which just sit on a shelf.
    No matter how careful you are you are going to find pins in places that you never would of imagined they could of got there.
    I made & use case drying racks to dry my brass.
    20220220_162219.jpg

    Never tried useing a electric dehydrator, the way I look at it Ship runs down hill, payday is on Friday and never chew your finger nails.
    Gravity is your best friend. Damp cases will always misfire. Hanging upside down everything drains out.
     
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  16. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    :rofl:
    So true......
     
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  17. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    Generations from now may see the pins wearing out........

    Hey!
    Use care out there!

    B.L.
     
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  18. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    My experience as well.

    I have the small Frankford and use two batches (ten pounds) of pins. So I’m running more pins than brass most of the time. 200 45ACP is a max load.

    (The full length/size pins seem to simply wear down to shorter lengths and smaller diameters over time which is normal I suppose.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022
  19. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I think I do see them wearing smaller (wouldn’t call it “out” cause they’re still banging around doing their job.)

    Edit: I’m not sure I even agree with my own comment above. “Strike that” as they say in the court room.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022
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  20. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Not sure I agree that they never wear smaller. Each use I’ll find some smaller, some stainless “glitter” and other evidence they’re taking a beating.

    Now I’ll grant you there is a possibility I’m finding the same ones each time but seems hard to believe these pins banging against other pins don’t get worn down.
     
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  21. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    ^^^ Interesting. My pins now have ten years of use on them with no appreciable change in size or shape. They still look brand new, in fact.

    Thanks,

    Bayou52
     
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  22. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Mine look brand new too but then I tumble then clean often:)

    The more I think about this the more I doubt I see much if any obvious wearing out. It would just take too long and changes wouldn’t be obvious.

    At the same time I can’t believe wear isn’t occurring.

    Oh well, I’m just going to enjoy the hobby and not over think it.

    Cheers
     
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  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    The pins would eat up your brass and the tumbler container long before either eat up the pins…
     
  24. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    So that’s where my brass went!
     
  25. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Check out your case mouths after about two hours of tumbling with pins. It ain’t all sunshine and roses.
     
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