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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a Thumblers Tumbler and SS pins now. Using a pan sieve over a bucket for now. With the vibratory, I never bothered with a separator. Just upended it into a big plastic bowl and shook it out. Worked just dandy.
These pins are a pain. Because they are wet, surface tension makes them cling to the insides of some cases. .223 cases are a genuine bastidge to get empty. The pins pack in and don't want to leave.

After sieving, I dump the cases into a big towel and use the same motion as with a bowling ball towel type polisher. That gets most of the rest out, but there are stragglers.

Do the separators out there get ALL of them out or should I say to heck with it and stay my course? My little system is no faster or slower. I want more efficiency.

Thanks guys. :)
 

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I've heard a media separator half filled with water does the trick, but have not tried it myself. Let me know what you find, I was thinking of going the steel pin route, but not if it slows things down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not related to this post, but thought I would share;

I just found a case with an an unfired primer in the pile drying in the sun from the last batch through the tumbler. Five hours tumbling around in a water filled drum with steel pins, about a thousand other cases and Dawn dish detergent. Ran out of Lemishine so I tried ascorbic acid. Eww. NOT the same.Very ugly.Looked almost chemically damaged. Dumped the water, rinsed and refilled. Just Dawn this time for another two hours. Phew! The cases came out just fine. No visible difference without LS.
Anyhow, about that unspent primer? I stuffed that case in the Taurus PT99AF. Pulled the trigger.
BANG!!!!!
After all that!?!?!!! I was impressed.:eek:
 

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Try the small Dillon media separator... It actually got ALL the corn cob media out of the 223 cases even with slightly moist media. Should work with SS media no sweat.
 

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Lyman also makes an excellent separator.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/715559/lyman-rotary-case-and-media-separator

Fill the bottom with water, tumble, and the pins easily fall to the bottom. The immersion in water takes away the surface tension and allows the pins to slide out of the brass in just a few turns of the handle. I was hesitant about big time use of SS pins until I tried this method. I was spending as much time separating the pins and brass as I was tumbling the brass. Now the separation takes just a minute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To date, I've been shaking them in a sieve made for a five gallon bucket, then drying them on a big towel in the sun for a day.

I put a big rare earth magnet in, then use the same motion as the bowling ball polisher. Clean the pins from the magnet, then repeat 3 X's. It's working so far.
Seeing so many .223 cases with one pin bridged in the bottom of the case is a bit disturbing. :eek:

Still thinking about the case separator. :confused:

Thanks for the replies! :)
 

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...not a good idea...

Suggest that folks not use the SS pins for cleaning. Because it peens the brass case and the liquid has a tendency to weaken the brass. Also...the dry time and hassle in separation are time consuming. A local range tried this...used a plastic-drum cement mixer and liquid cleaner. They only got 2-reloads out of bras treated this way...and lost over $10K worth of Star-line,Winchester,Federal and Remington brass. Take it from someone who has been reloading for over 40+ years...don't do it. Use a vibratory tumbler and untreated corn cob. The addition of a polish or 'rough' decreases the life expectancy of the media by 50%. Rant over....
 

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I've also been pondering trying this cleaning method out, limited tumbler capacity kept me from trying it, and now I see there may be other drawbacks. I haven't heard about the reduced case life, that would certainly be a large negative for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Suggest that folks not use the SS pins for cleaning. Because it peens the brass case and the liquid has a tendency to weaken the brass. Also...the dry time and hassle in separation are time consuming. A local range tried this...used a plastic-drum cement mixer and liquid cleaner. They only got 2-reloads out of bras treated this way...and lost over $10K worth of Star-line,Winchester,Federal and Remington brass. Take it from someone who has been reloading for over 40+ years...don't do it. Use a vibratory tumbler and untreated corn cob. The addition of a polish or 'rough' decreases the life expectancy of the media by 50%. Rant over....
If perchance an enterprising gun nut were to have a Giraud case annealer or looking forward to one,that would no longer be an issue, would it? I've heard about this possible problem. Any idea whether the work hardening would be bad for the case's base where it's supposed to be harder??

Not trying to reinvent the wheel. Just curious.
 

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Again...the SS pins peen and beat the brass which work-hardens it and causes splits and case separations after only a couple reloadings. Ever try annealing a case head...? Not a real good idea. No sense beating a dead horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Again...the SS pins peen and beat the brass which work-hardens it and causes splits and case separations after only a couple reloadings. Ever try annealing a case head...? Not a real good idea. No sense beating a dead horse.
I had no intention of annealing the case head end.
Never mind. Thanks guys.

I'll come at this a different way.
 

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...use of corn cob...properly....

Walnut media is a polisher...not a cleaner. Walnut absorbs dirt,moisture and crap and takes longer and longer to work each time. Corn cob...20/40 grind from WW Grainger or McMaster-Carr in 40 or 50# bags is what I have used for over 35 yrs. It cleans the brass and used w/o any polish or liquid,will last a long time...if used and cleaned properly. When cleaned,sift brass from media. Clean out bowl with damp rag...remove all dust/dirt from bowl and the wing-nut and washers. Every 3rd-4th use,go outside...upwind...and 'winnow' corn cob from one container to another, allowing breeze to blow dirt/dust/loose particles DOWN WIND (shouting for clarity). Do not use any liquid or polish with corn cob....reduces life of cob 50%. Lesson over.....
 

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The walnut shells leave the brass clean BUT with a flat, matt finish. I would only use it for stained brass. The corn cob is much better for a bright finish. If you want to rejuvenate some close to useless cob, THEN add a polish to it such as Flitz and it'll work awhile longer, but it usefulness dies off even faster and tends to deposit a mud-hard crust inside the tumbler with the removed dust and dirt. AND... That crust ain't no picnic to remove, either.

I buy my cob from an IPSC shooter who buys his cob in 40 lb bags by the pallet.
 
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