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Lizard Litter instead of tumbling media - updated 03/03/2011


Buck D. Law, SASS #62183

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I've seen it mentioned a bunch of times here on the Wire, but a recent discussion occurred at a time when I needed to buy tumbling media, so I did some PM'ing with Colorado Coffinmaker to make sure I was purchasing the right "lizard litter." After having done so, I thought I'd share some information and perhaps save others the research.

 

First off, it says right on the bag that it is crushed walnut shells. This is what I have always used, but I've always bought it as tumbling media. As you can see here, Dillon sells 15 pounds for $32.94 shipped. That's $2.20 per pound.

 

Although Petco sells the lizard litter in their stores, I found that online I could buy it much cheaper. I bought 25 quarts for $20.54 shipped to me. Since I had only seen it sold by the pound, I wondered how much did 25 quarts weigh? So, when it came in, I weighed it and as you can see in this photo, it tips the scale a bit over 40 pounds. Using 40 pounds, it comes out to $0.51 per pound or 23% of the cost of buying it as tumbling media. Saving 77% is pretty serious in my opinion.

 

When I saw the photo of it online, I thought that it would be much coarser than what I had been buying, but that is not the case.

 

 

UPDATE 03/03/2011

 

A follow up: As compared to media sold specifically for polishing brass, the size varies and does have some much smaller particles that could cause dust in an open tumbler and I suppose might tend to leave some dust on the cases. A simple solution is to add a healthy portion of Turtle Wax Premium Polishing Compound. I bought 18 oz. at Wally World that went a bit over six bucks after taxes. I added it to the media (Lizard Litter), let it run for about 30 minutes, put in the cases, took them out a few hours later and WOW!

 

Now, my big brother might not be able to beat up your big brother...........but my cases are shinier than yours. :D

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I've seen it mentioned a bunch of times here on the Wire, but a recent discussion occurred at a time when I needed to buy tumbling media, so I did some PM'ing with Colorado Coffinmaker to make sure I was purchasing the right "lizard litter." After having done so, I thought I'd share some information and perhaps save others the research.

 

First off, it says right on the bag that it is crushed walnut shells. This is what I have always used, but I've always bought it as tumbling media. As you can see here, Dillon sells 15 pounds for $32.94 shipped. That's $2.20 per pound.

 

Although Petco sells the lizard litter in their stores, I found that online I could buy it much cheaper. I bought 25 quarts for $20.54 shipped to me. Since I had only seen it sold by the pound, I wondered how much did 25 quarts weigh? So, when it came in, I weighed it and as you can see in this photo, it tips the scale a bit over 40 pounds. Using 40 pounds, it comes out to $0.51 per pound or 23% of the cost of buying it as tumbling media. Saving 77% is pretty serious in my opinion.

 

When I saw the photo of it online, I thought that it would be much coarser than what I had been buying, but that is not the case.

 

That's good work, Buck.

 

I bought some Lizard litter at a Petsmart store and did not get as good a deal as you did online at Amazon.

Seems the word is out to reloaders though. Did you see what was in the related items? All reloading equipment. Not a lizard related item to be found.

 

Thanks for the tip.

 

Waimea

 

:FlagAm:

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Been using Petco's lizard litter for about three or four years. While cheaper than the stuff sold by reloading stores, it wasn't as cheap as that from Amazon. I ordered a bag since I'm getting low on stock.

 

Thanks Buck.

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Sounds like you got a good deal Buck.

 

I know it probably depends on how much you tumble your brass but about how long does it last or when do you need to get a new supply, when your brass isn't coming out nice and shiney? I know this is probably a dumb question.

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Not sure about Buck's purchase, but the lizard litter I bought at Petco seemed to run a bit longer than the other walnut media I bought (which is supposed to be specifically for tumbling). Although not scientific, my guess is that I'm getting 30-40% more use out of the lizard litter....but YMMV.

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The lizard litter does last a good while, and at $9 for the 10 quart (15# ?) bag it's a bargain. Since it's kind of fine, it does get a little dusty. Cured that problem with a squirt of the Flitz Media Re-Activator. It cost more than the litter did. :blink:

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If you buy a large enough quantity maybe they'd throw a lizard in for free. When I was a kid I got a lizard free when I bought a supply of mealworms through a mail order ad in Boys' Life magazine.

 

Maybe I can train the lizard to sort the tumbled brass. They just sit around all day anyway.

 

All kidding aside that is a good tip. I bought a bag at the pet store but will look into ordering online when that runs out.

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Oh great, thanks Buck. Now lizard litter is gonna do the same thing as primers did a few years ago. Prices are gonna go straight through the roof, it'll be hard to get and it will be in the classifieds for well over a $1.00 a pound. Next thing ya know, lizards will have no place to use the facilities........reptile crap everywhere. By then it will be summer and the reptilian dragons will awake from their slumber and there will be MILLIONS of lizards with no place to go. The horror of it all.

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I cant remember what my local pet store calls it when they sell it in smaller bags but when i need some the guy will add a extra bag onto his weekly order and i get it for $26.00 if i remember correctly. the bags are 50 pounders so it works out pretty cheap. the last time I ordered i split one bag with my pard and bagged the other one up into smaller bags for use as door prizes at our monthly shoot. :lol:

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The lizard litter does last a good while, and at $9 for the 10 quart (15# ?) bag it's a bargain. Since it's kind of fine, it does get a little dusty. Cured that problem with a squirt of the Flitz Media Re-Activator. It cost more than the litter did. :blink:

Try a dryer sheet in media cheap way to solve dust problem NK

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I've seen it mentioned a bunch of times here on the Wire, but a recent discussion occurred at a time when I needed to buy tumbling media, so I did some PM'ing with Colorado Coffinmaker to make sure I was purchasing the right "lizard litter." After having done so, I thought I'd share some information and perhaps save others the research.

 

First off, it says right on the bag that it is crushed walnut shells. This is what I have always used, but I've always bought it as tumbling media. As you can see here, Dillon sells 15 pounds for $32.94 shipped. That's $2.20 per pound.

 

Although Petco sells the lizard litter in their stores, I found that online I could buy it much cheaper. I bought 25 quarts for $20.54 shipped to me. Since I had only seen it sold by the pound, I wondered how much did 25 quarts weigh? So, when it came in, I weighed it and as you can see in this photo, it tips the scale a bit over 40 pounds. Using 40 pounds, it comes out to $0.51 per pound or 23% of the cost of buying it as tumbling media. Saving 77% is pretty serious in my opinion.

 

When I saw the photo of it online, I thought that it would be much coarser than what I had been buying, but that is not the case.

 

 

Hey Boy, empty your PM folder. I sent you a "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" but there wasn't no room!

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Buck, what is going on? First your cleaning your guns and now your polishing your brass? I am going to bring my sunglasses to the next shoot, in case of glare. :lol:

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

I got a bag of what the local pet shop called "lizard litter" last year. And it wasn't walnut shells.

It was some sort of ground-up crap that was even softer and dustier than cobs. I was not happy with that stuff. :angry:

 

Mustang Gregg

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Buck,

 

why would you want a lizard crapping in your tumbler? :o

 

Seems counter productive to me. :D

 

But eh, what do I know? :lol:

 

 

..........Widder

Widder That's the secret ingredient,that's what makes them cases so shiny. Adios Sgt. Jake
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I have been using lizard litter for years. It works great. It is cheap. It gives me a reason to go to Petco once or twice a year.

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Think I'll try that myself thanks Buck.

 

 

RRR

 

Try it, and add some of the Rat's additive to it. Makes a WORLD of difference. You'll definitely wanna lube it when loading (hornady one shot). I been using the litter for years, still got a 5 gallon bucket almost full. When it turns black or gets dusty, I pour it in rat holes under the chicken house. Let the lil' bastards dig some of that.

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Been using it for a couple years now, from Petco but will probably order on line now. Was thinking about replacing mine and how to get rid of the old stuff, then I stepped on to the sheet of ice on my walkway and came up with a perfect use for it.

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

I got a bag of what the local pet shop called "lizard litter" last year. And it wasn't walnut shells.

It was some sort of ground-up crap that was even softer and dustier than cobs. I was not happy with that stuff. :angry:

 

Mustang Gregg

 

Gregg, I had the same experience with the stuff I bought. Maybe we got inferior lizard litter! I don't care much cause I shoot BP and don't care if my brass is bright and shiny just as long as I know it's somewhat clean. Rye

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Gregg, I had the same experience with the stuff I bought. Maybe we got inferior lizard litter! I don't care much cause I shoot BP and don't care if my brass is bright and shiny just as long as I know it's somewhat clean. Rye

 

I'm sure Gregg's was quality stuff! After all, he bought it from a rather short fellow in a long coat, with a funny rear end.... Sorta looked like a Gecko!! :D :D

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

Marauder.

 

That WAS the guy!!MG

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

I have found pretty good stuff from Harbor Freight Stores (probably Communist Chinese-made, like their tools).

They get $25.00 for 25# of crushed walnut. They have either fine or coarse grade.

 

Mustang Gregg

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I recently bought a 5 quart bag of Lizard Litter from a local pet store. I think it was around 8 or 9 bucks. It is Zilla brand, Desert Blend, ground English walnut shells. It is EXCEEDINGLY dusty. Just FYI.

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Buck, clicked on the link, looked at it yesterday, today it is gone.

 

Give Sugah a hug for me.

 

Randy

 

Try going to amazon.com and search for Zilla English Walnut Shell Litter.

 

As a followup regarding it being dusty, I suppose that is possible as it appears to have a wider variety of particle sizes, big to very small, as compared to the Dillon media. My tumbler has a lid, so it hasn't bothered me.

 

I haven't done any testing to determine how long it takes to polish the brass. Since I'm not loading what I've just shot, the time required to polish it is not an issue for me. It's not unusual for me to put brass in the tumbler in the evening and take it out he next morning, but I like it shiny. As far as it working, if shiny equated to speed, I'd be hell on wheels. :D

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