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Shooting Bull

Wet tumbling brass with no media?

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I like cutting corners to save time and effort. I REALLY like that. Since I absolutely HATE the process of separating media from brass after tumbling I figured I’d try to cut that corner. No media. Since I don’t really care about getting my brass immaculate inside and out I figured it wouldn’t be a problem. Amazingly enough I was right, no problem. Brass is perfectly clean enough. The problem is clean “enough”. Yeah it’s clean. But I also like shiny. It’s not. It has a slightly tarnished appearance. I used the exact same formula of Turtle Wax car wash/wax and Lemishine I always use. Do I need a different formal or resign myself to dull brass unless I go back to using media? 

 

(In case you’re wondering yes, I already know the answer. It’s called polishing media for a reason. I’m just hoping beyond hope someone will share a secret. B))

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Add a teaspoon of Strato Sheen and your brass will be shiny.

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10 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Add a teaspoon of Strato Sheen and your brass will be shiny.

 

Where can I buy that?

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4 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

Where can I buy that?

Riogrande.com they are a jewelry builders supplier. The stuff is about $27.00 a box that will last a long time.

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Perfect timing. My Frankfort Arsenal wet tumble arrived the other day.

Last month for my routine checkup/blood draw I asked them to check lead levels. Been dry tumbling for years.

Lead level should not be above 4.9.

I was 7.3.  Anything reading of 10 or more sets off all kinds of bells and whistles. So now I will wet tumble.

I am addicted to shiny brass. Started years ago with a Sam Browne belt and accessories.

So guide me to the land of shiny brass with my new tumbler.

And a big thank you to my SASS pards for bringing up the lead issue.

I would have never thought to get it checked without reading about it here.

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I use media and a rotary separator, makes it painless and super quick.

 

Even with that I like my loaded rounds to look like white gold shiny so I borrow a trick from the factories and actually toss the completed rounds in walnut impregnated with a healthy dose of turtle wax polishing compound for 20 minutes or so. 

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4 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

Where can I buy that?

You-should add it to your bath water too.........:P

OLG

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6 hours ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

 

So guide me to the land of shiny brass with my new tumbler.

 

 

If you’re going to use the stainless pins you have a couple of options. The most common formula is Dawn dishwashing liquid and Lemishine. Lately folks, myself included, have switched to a combo car wash/wax. We find it leaves a thin film of wax on the brass which causes it to run through the resizing die easier. Whichever formula you choose remember, less is more. A small dribble of soap and maybe half a 38 Special case full of Lemishine will lead you to the promised land. 

 

In case you get confused when shopping for Lemishine just get the original. It softens your water and helps it clean better.

AE9DF049-BF74-45CB-9B8C-BC2DB866E3FE.png

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I have been wet tumbling without media for two years now.

Brass comes out shiny.

Even the primer pockets are clean.

 

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Quote

Since I absolutely HATE the process of separating media from brass after tumbling I figured I’d try to cut that corner. No media.

* Burnishing solution alone - Strat-O-Sheen will do an incomplete clean - media is needed too

* Separating media: I pick the cases out with my fingers and then just decant the burnishing solution.  Media stays in the drum - Untouched!

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3 minutes ago, John Boy said:

* Burnishing solution alone - Strat-O-Sheen will do an incomplete clean - media is needed too

* Separating media: I pick the cases out with my fingers and then just decant the burnishing solution.  Media stays in the drum - Untouched!

True it may do an incomplete job but it sounds like the O.P. is okay with that. About every three brass cleanings I’ll use ceramic media otherwise I’ll just use Dawn, Lemishine and Strat o Sheen and my brass looks really shiny. To each his own. Sometimes I like easy and it’s an easier way to shiny brass.

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Ophelia occasionally shoots the black stuff. I run 1000 or so 38 cases (combination of smokeless & black) thru the Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler (with the pins) for 45-60 mins. Copious amounts of Dawn & some Lemi-Shine. Rinse the nasty water & do it again for 1-2 hours, depending on what else I'm doing. All of it comes out looking new, even the ones with the black stuff. And, it doesn't seem to matter if the black ones have sat for awhile. Sometimes, when I do the first rinse, I notice that the cases are already as bright as they can be, & I can skip the 2nd round. If I'm really shooting & reloading a lot more then usual & not really in the mood, sometimes I'll just settle for whatever happens the first time around. To each his own!

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Thanks for starting this thread, @Shooting Bull. Like you, I can't abide "over handling" when it comes to repetitive tasks. I've been resistant to wet tumbling simply because I didn't want to de-prime my brass first. However, I just learned today that de-priming isn't strictly necessary if I don't mind allowing more time for the brass to dry (I don't).

 

Thanks to this thread, I now have a good wash recipe, I don't have to separate media, I don't have to de-prime, and I'll be reducing my lead exposure. As soon as I use up the last bit of my crushed corn cob media, I'll be going from the vibrator to the rotator.

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Posted (edited)

I'm with you Shooting Bull--the media separation part drives me crazy.  Haven't found a way to do it that I'm not finding pins days later.  Thinking I might have to try the Strato Sheen. 

 

Wow-just reading the brass juice testimonials.  If it will work half that good, I'll be a happy, non pin sorting, reloader!

Edited by Smoky Pistols
More stuff to say!

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How meny times can one reuse the Brass Juice before it is warn out?

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Posted (edited)

If I remember right the testimonials said abt. 3 times per mix. and you get about 64 gallons from 1 Gal. @ $75 container.

Edited by Eyesa Horg
correct math!

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Posted (edited)

I just ordered a liter of Brass Juice, so we will see how it turns out.  If I don't ever have to sort pins again, I'd probably pay more than $20/liter ($29 with shipping)!

Just to be fair, here's the website for Strato Sheen:

https://www.riogrande.com/product/strat-o-sheen-powder-burnishing-compounds/33901725gp

 

Edited by Smoky Pistols

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Quote

 

How many times can one reuse the Brass Juice before it is warn out?

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  • ONCE - unless you want to "try" clean future batches with all the washed out dirty foul from the previous batch. Strat-O-Sheen is a concentrated powder. 3 oz of powder to a gallon of water

 

 

 

 

 

 

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way too complicated..... I will continue to dry tumble, load, shoot and repeat.......

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I have no issues separating ceramic or stainless steel media and brass.  Very easy to do. Don't deprime before tumbling and once spread out on a cookie sheet they dry quickly in the sun.

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2 hours ago, John Boy said:

 

  • ONCE - unless you want to "try" clean future batches with all the washed out dirty foul from the previous batch. Strat-O-Sheen is a concentrated powder. 3 oz of powder to a gallon of water

 

 

 

 

 

 

If yer using 3 ounces yer overdoing it. I use a teaspoon in about a gallon and get good results. Maybe it’s just me.

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For those using Strat O Sheen, what exactly is it?  I know it comes in powdered form but does it dissolve when mixed with water like a powdered soap or does it stay in powdered form and act as an extremely mild abrasive.  If is stays in powdered form, how do you separate it from the brass?  I assume you would use the same process as separating from any other media but would like to know if there are any special considerations that need to be made.

 

Thanks

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I add a teaspoon of Strat O Sheen to the water, Dawn and Lemishine. It dissolves  very quickly and yes, it is a mild abrasive. After the tumbler has run for a couple of hours, it’s on a timer. I’ll empty the brass into a big screen colander and rinse the cleaned brass off under a garden hose or in the sink in my shop. As I’m rinsing I’ll shake the colander so as to stir up the brass and after a couple of rinses the brass goes onto my screen drying frame out in the sun and that’s it. About every three cleanings I’ll use ceramic media for a real thorough cleaning and then I’ll use my Dillon separator to rinse out the media. When I use ceramic media I only tumble for 45 minutes as that’s all it takes.

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Sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.  Thanks so much Yul Lose.

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The reason I do it the media less way is because I am lazy and don’t like to mess with separating the media each time. Some pards I shoot with never polish their brass they just dump it in the hopper and start loading. I want clean brass going through my reloader and the brass coming out of the tumbler with no media is pretty clean and shiny, not as clean and shiny as media polished but it’s good enough for what we do, IMHO, of course. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

If yer using 3 ounces yer overdoing it. I use a teaspoon in about a gallon and get good results. Maybe it’s just me.

Per Strat-O-Sheen website:

For burnishing processes only.
• Mix 3 oz. of powder with one gallon of water.

And yes the powder dissolves quickly in the water - even faster with warm water

Yul - what is/are the abrasive whatever in your mix? Strat-O-Sheen mixed with water solution has a  Ph of 7.63 and there are no inert elements in it to make it abrasive

Edited by John Boy

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I just finished using the “Brass Juice” I ordered and WOW!  I put a bunch of several times fired 45acp brass in my tumbler about an ounce of juice and some water.  Rand it for about 1 ½ hours and they have never been so shinny, inside and out.  No pins to separate and I cannot be happier.  I have some other brass that I ran threw with pins and some Dawn that I am going to run with the “Brass Juice”.  Great stuff, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

 

7r4BQuz.jpg

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1 hour ago, John Boy said:

Per Strat-O-Sheen website:

For burnishing processes only.
• Mix 3 oz. of powder with one gallon of water.

And yes the powder dissolves quickly in the water - even faster with warm water

Yul - what is/are the abrasive whatever in your mix? Strat-O-Sheen mixed with water solution has a  Ph of 7.63 and there are no inert elements in it to make it abrasive

I don’t know the answer to your question, John Boy. All I know is that I got tired of doing the media separation exercise and decided to try it without the ceramic media or steel pins and use only Dawn, Lemishine and Strat O Sheen and my brass is clean has shine and saves me time. When I want it really clean and shiny I use the ceramic media. I know purists like yourself and others feel I’m going straight to hell for not using media of some kind but I don’t care it works for me.

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18 hours ago, Runamuck, SASS #49216L said:

Smoky Pistols, please report back after trying the Brass Juice.

I got a bunch just waiting to be cleaned.  Might even run a couple test batches.  That is if I don't just run the brass juice one first.  If that comes out as clean as the ones above, I'll be storing those pins long-term!

 

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On 6/7/2019 at 6:34 PM, Shooting Bull said:

I like cutting corners to save time and effort. I REALLY like that. Since I absolutely HATE the process of separating media from brass after tumbling I figured I’d try to cut that corner. No media. Since I don’t really care about getting my brass immaculate inside and out I figured it wouldn’t be a problem. Amazingly enough I was right, no problem. Brass is perfectly clean enough. The problem is clean “enough”. Yeah it’s clean. But I also like shiny. It’s not. It has a slightly tarnished appearance. I used the exact same formula of Turtle Wax car wash/wax and Lemishine I always use. Do I need a different formal or resign myself to dull brass unless I go back to using media? 

 

(In case you’re wondering yes, I already know the answer. It’s called polishing media for a reason. I’m just hoping beyond hope someone will share a secret. B))

Here are some shots of some .45 Schofield cases that just came out of the tumbler. Recipe 1Teaspoon Strat O Sheen, 1 tablespoon Dawn dish soap, 1/4 teaspoon Lemishine and fill the tub up to 1” below the rim with cold water. These were only in the tumbler for an hour usually I do 2 hours without ceramic media. If this is what you’re after this may work for you it has worked for me for a long time and I bought my box of Strat O Sheen about 8 years ago and still have over half of it left. You’ll notice that the inside of the cases aren’t shiny but given another hour they’d be pretty clean. 

75AD9799-C009-44CB-89B8-60E7EB61EB07.jpeg

25197B8B-3BC9-4028-B88D-8558C3D8E889.jpeg

CF2106AD-DF0F-45B5-9130-A841A48CC426.jpeg

1D50FD74-6802-439D-8957-C5148760FBA7.jpeg

287126BE-74B2-49F3-868D-3B0C7C6EC0A8.jpeg

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I reloaded commercially for a long time.

Separating brass from media was the first thing I did when arriving at the shop every morning.

I tried several methods and then I built my own separtator.

 

You can read about it in the Brimestone Gazette. (there are photos.

It is fast.

Dump a tumbler full of media and brass in to it and close it up and 3 or 4 turns it is done.

http://www.cliffhangershideout.com/gazette/2011/mar11.html

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1 hour ago, Yul Lose said:

 If this is what you’re after this may work for you  

 

That’s AWESOME! 

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