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Separating ceramic media?

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I like how clean and shiny stainless steel pins get my brass. I hate the process of separating the pins from the brass. I’m thinking of switching to ceramic media. Is it easier to separate? What’s the best way to do it? 

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Be careful......... If you get the wrong size you will end up with several hundred rounds of brass with impossible to remove ceramic inserts.

 

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I've been using the ceramic "rods" for a long time, & I have to physically dump them out of my brass.

To add insult to injury, their length is about the same as the inside diameter of 44-40 brass, so there I sit, dumping the cases and using a pair of forceps to remove the stuck ones.

Time consuming, but it works.

They now make oval ceramic media that should dump right out.

I'm interested in hearing the other replies -- maybe there's a better way.

--Dawg   

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329

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34 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

I have no problems...cuz I use this: Click here!!!

Wish I wuz Rich too :D

 

The SS pins were a PITA for me too.

I use 3mm ceramic balls and a Dillon case separator, No Problemo.......... just watch out for "Flyers"

 

I suspect any Case/Media rotary separator would work as well,

I think some have a cover, which mite eliminate the Flyers

 

 

I tried the ceramic pins too.... For Me, they were just as big a PITA as the SS ones

 

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by Silver Sam, SASS #34718L

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I use a mix of the ceramic balls and the pyramid media and my Dillon separator does an excellent job of separating the media from the brass. I’ve never had any media stay in 44-40 or .45 cases.

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1 hour ago, Ace_of_Hearts said:

Be careful......... If you get the wrong size you will end up with several hundred rounds of brass with impossible to remove ceramic inserts.

 

 

That’s another reason I’m ditching the pins

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1 hour ago, Shooting Bull said:

I like how clean and shiny stainless steel pins get my brass. I hate the process of separating the pins from the brass. I’m thinking of switching to ceramic media. Is it easier to separate? What’s the best way to do it? 

Yes! It's mo-better than 'pins'. 

I use my 25 yo Dillon separator.

You want Dave Maurer ceramic media. 

Rinse the media after each use.

Here's his contact info-

 Dave Maurer,dkittydave@aol.com or 517-669-9801

OLG

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It is really easy. I do it the same way that I do SS pins. I use a mix of round and polygon shaped ceramic media.

 

I have an RCBS media separator and this is how I do it.

 

1.  Put one of the baskets into the lower tub of the media seperator

2.  Pour the brass and media and water into the basket. Be careful with the ceramic media as it will bounce out of the basket as you pour everything into the basket.

3.  Add enough water to cover the brass by an inch or so. The idea is to wash the media out of the cases. If you have too much water it will not spill out of the cases as they are tumbled carrying the media with it. Too little has the same effect.

4.  Attach the other 1/2 of the basket and close.

5.  Rotate the basket just fast enough that the brass rises above the water before falling back.

6.  After 40 or 50 revolutions carefully set the basket aside and dump out the dirty water being careful not to loose any media.

7. Repeat step 3 and 6.

8. Dump the small amount of remaining water and all the media back into the tumbler.

9 Repeat steps 3 and 6. The water should be clean and free of soap and if you did the previous steps correctly you should not see any media in the bottom of the tub.

 

In 5 years of wet tumbling I have only had media stick in a case one time. The above procedure works exceptionally well with all straight walled rifle and pistol brass including 44-40 and 38-40.

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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We got the Frankford Arsenal tumbler late last year and have yet to use the steel pins.  Just a splash of Simple Green and Liam Shine.   Tumble an hour and the brass is polished to a brilliant shine on the outside.   Inside has a little tea stain but plenty good enough. 

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56 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

That’ll be my first purchase after I hit the lottery :lol:

It's worth every penny...I swear!

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i do not see the need for shiny brass as long as it is clean and runs smooth through the loader and the rifle/revolver i am happy , so far my walnut media is working fine , i get where ya-all are coming from but some things in life are too much of a pain and im in pain most of the time - dont need more 

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I use a couple of 2 gal pastry buckets and a media sifter bowl. One on bottom, one on top with sifter in the middle. put brass and pins in the sifter bowl. Cover with top bucket and shake, shake, shake. Take top bucket off and place tray over it. Dump bottom bucket back into tumber. Bottom bucket is now the top one. Shake, shake, shake. Repeat a couple more times as needed to remove all pins. All told, takes me about 30 seconds tops. By the way, I have the large pins.

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3 minutes ago, watab kid said:

i do not see the need for shiny brass as long as it is clean and runs smooth through the loader and the rifle/revolver i am happy , so far my walnut media is working fine , i get where ya-all are coming from but some things in life are too much of a pain and im in pain most of the time - dont need more 

 

I don't do it for shiny brass. I do it for other  reasons

 

First is because there is no lead dust to contend with.

Second is that I shoot BP and the wet tumbling makes for clean brass inside and out.

3rd is because wet tumbling will clean up range brass no matter how dirty it is. Even if the inside of the case has mud or dirt in it. The brass is not always shiny but it is always clean inside and out.    

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2 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

That’ll be my first purchase after I hit the lottery :lol:

Oh, and did you notice that once the machine separates the media, you basically flip a switch and it dries the brass?

 

No mess...no fuss...no "Shake, Shake, Shake"!

 

;)

 

You'll get one...sooner or later :ph34r:

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If you are using pins and not one of the Frankford arsenal spinning media separators (or something equivalent), you are doing it the hard way. Spin for about a minute, spin it the other way for a minute, all the pins are gone.

 

https://www.brownells.com/reloading/case-cleaning/case-tumblers-accessories/platinum-series-wet-dry-media-separator-sku100032328-122120-227776.aspx?cm_mmc=cse-_-Itwine-_-shopzilla-_-100-032-328&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=connexity&utm_campaign=itwine&utm_content=100-032-328

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I've never had any problem separating the SS pins. I just dump into a rotating separator and give a few turns. 

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This works pretty well with SS pins (at least for. 38 and shorter cases.)

 

Take apart an old computer hard drive and recover the incredibly strong neodymium magnet inside it.  Or just buy a large (1.5") neodymium magnet.

 

After THOROUGHLY drying the cleaned cases, spread them out on an aluminum cookie sheet.  Pass the magnet very closely over the cases in some regimented pattern.  Any shell case with a pin inside will move.  Tap its mouth with the magnet and the pin will jump out to the magnet.  Or arrange the cases mouth up, and pass the magnet very closely over them.  The pins will jump out to the magnet.  

 

I usually do this only as final clean-up  after passing the cases through the separator, which gets rid of 90% or more of the pins.  

 

Alternatively, put the magnet into the separator and tumble it with the cases.  Eventually all the pins end up adhering to the magnet.  But this can be quite time consuming.  

 

Any way you do it is going to take time and patience.   

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Dale - interesting that only 2 of us know about neodymium magnets in computers.  I keep 4 of them handy in the reloading room - great for finding iron parts that drop to the floor, like screws :D

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I didn't know about the magnets. I do have a few old platters to use as mirrors though, like when doing auto repairs.

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17 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

We got the Frankford Arsenal tumbler late last year and have yet to use the steel pins.  Just a splash of Simple Green and Liam Shine.   Tumble an hour and the brass is polished to a brilliant shine on the outside.   Inside has a little tea stain but plenty good enough. 

 

This, no pins required.  I use a squirt of Armor All car wash and wax and Lemi-shine.
 

Couple hours in tumbler, rinse and dry.  Much less trouble.

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It's true that some size/shape ceramic media will stick in the case. Some will not.  When encountering that problem after tumbling, I let the cases dry for 24 hours and most of the time the media comes out much easier. For some reason the media sticks in the case more when still wet. For the stubborn ones, I then use an awl and push the media out through the primer pocket, assuming you de-primed the case ahead of time. Using that approach has worked for for over 15 years and I have never had a case that I couldn't get the ceramic media out of.

Edited by Navy Six

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4 hours ago, Navy Six said:

It's true that some size/shape ceramic media will stick in the case. Some will not.  When encountering that problem after tumbling, I let the cases dry for 24 hours and most of the time the media comes out much easier. For some reason the media sticks in the case more when still wet. For the stubborn ones, I then use an awl and push the media out through the primer pocket, assuming you de-primed the case ahead of time. Using that approach has worked for for over 15 years and I have never had a case that I couldn't get the ceramic media out of.

It is the surface tension of the cleaning solution that sticks the pins.

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