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Riqrob
09-17-2011, 04:09 PM
I use a large lapidary tumbler with walnut media to clean my brass, and it does a great job. Trouble is, the brass turns brownish after a relatively short time, losing that new tumbled "shiney" look.
I realize that I should be shooting the new rounds up faster, but is there anything I can add to the media to protect the "brass shine" while in storage?
Thanks,
Rick

Unclenick
09-17-2011, 04:59 PM
Any wax will do that. Quite a number of folks use a polymer car product call Nu-Finish Polish instead of a brass polish with their media, and apparently that leaves a thin protective layer. A capful in the media by itself and tumbled for a half an hour to mix it and dry it a bit, then the brass goes in.

The question is why is your brass turning brown? That's a form of oxidation you see on cases left on the ground a long time at the range. I've had tumbled cases sit around for years doing nothing more than getting very slightly dull, but they still are a bright brass color. If you use a 5% white vinegar solution before tumbling in walnut, that will activate the surface for more rapid oxidation and let brown or other tarnish form if the tumbler doesn't completely polish it (use 5% citric acid instead of vinegar; the brass isn't activated by it). Contamination in the tumbler could be an issue, I suppose. If you use a regular tumbler polish (non-ammoniated brass polish) with your media, you should polish down any activated surface so it is no longer activated. If you've done that, the browning is mysterious and you should check for fumes of some kind where you store it.

Another technique gaining a lot of favor for those with rotary tumblers is the use of stainless steel pin media (http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/reloading/brass-cleaning-with-stainless-media/) with a dishwashing liquid and water solution. This gets even the primer pockets clean, assuming you decap before cleaning (I use a Lee Universal Depriming/Decapping die for this). You can get the stainless pins for half the price of the place reviewed in that article, here (http://www.pelletsllc.com/CutWireShot/CutWireShotSizes). I believe it's their 1.2 mm (0.047") size. But you have to buy 10 times more to hit their minimum order.

JimF
09-17-2011, 06:49 PM
Rick . . . .

I'll let you in on the best kept secret of brass tumbling---

Toss OUT the walnut media . . .

Toss OUT the corn cob media . . .

Toss IN the CHEAPEST rice you can find at your local grocery store!!

I'm talking about the 5 lb. bag that resides on the bottom shelf in that store.

By using this "media", you will leave a coating of "rice oil" on the brass cases that will allow you to store your tumbled brass for MONTHS without any degredation of the shine you first saw when you took the brass from the tumbler.

You're welcome!! --Jim

Unclenick
09-18-2011, 09:05 AM
Rice bran has oil, and so does walnut. But it never occurred to me it was in the rice kernels. I just did a nutrition check and they say 4% of rice calories are from fat, so that must be what it is. I note brown rice has 7%, so it may work even better.

I did hear one warning about rice in a humid environment swelling inside cases and being darn near impossible to get out. But I'm going to guess that person added a water-based polish and didn't let it soak in and dry before he added the brass. Anyway, don't do that and take the brass out of the rice out as soon as the vibrating is done, and it should be OK.

Bear57
09-18-2011, 09:14 AM
I use a large lapidary tumbler with walnut media to clean my brass, and it does a great job. Trouble is, the brass turns brownish after a relatively short time, losing that new tumbled "shiney" look.
I realize that I should be shooting the new rounds up faster, but is there anything I can add to the media to protect the "brass shine" while in storage?
Thanks,
Rick

Another suggestion to keep the brass shiny....store them in air tight, zip lock bags....works for me!

GarandGrabber
09-20-2011, 01:52 PM
Store my brass in air tight "tupperware like" containers that sliced turkey or ham comes in. My High Volume Brass like .30-06 or .223, that I shoot ALOT of, I store in the bigger screw top containers that 2lb protein powder comes in, all separated by number of firings. Always comes out sparkly. Rice..Now that is a new one on me. I have a rotary tumbler with the lizard bedding walnut in for the first go round then toss it in a vibrating tumbler with treated corn cob for the finishing job after sizing. I will have to give the rice a try. For a couple bucks, what the heck can it hurt?

dnmccoy
09-20-2011, 02:40 PM
+1 one on adding "Nu Shine" to my walnut. Its in a big orange bottle and works great! Never heard anything about rice, how long does it hold up compared to walnut?

GarandGrabber
09-20-2011, 03:37 PM
Hey..If it doesn't work u can eat whats left..:p I use the Meguiars cleaner wax cuz it has a little bit of abrasive cleaner in it that seems to give a little extra sheen. just a cap full every couple of weeks. A bottle used just for tumbling would last until it drys up.

Sentinel50
09-20-2011, 04:31 PM
If I may approach this from a different angle, it seems to me that your issue is with the way you are storing the brass/ammo.

I noticed the same issue with my brass a long time ago, and after trying a lot of other ways, I decided to start storing the brass and ammo in airtight surplus ammo boxes with at least one 3x6 DESI PAK inside.

I am embarrassed to say that I still have ammo that I reloaded 10 years ago, BUT ITS STILL SHINEY!!:eek:

I think most of the oxidation on the brass comes from the oils & salts off of our hands and/or the ambient moisture or humidity.

I believe that those of us living in Washington State that contend with humidity almost all year long, albeit cold humidity, are at a disadvantage when storing anything for long term.

You can buy a five gallon bucket of 150 DESI PAKS from The Rust Store for around $55.00. They are great to use when you want to store just about anything. http://www.theruststore.com/Desi-Pak-2-Unit-Tyvek-Pouches-150pail-P97C31.aspx?UserID=12774211&SessionID=7CzxhTLgQmFhP4vCYtpe

Hope this helps, Richard. Stay dry!!!:)

raymeketa
09-20-2011, 05:07 PM
I've been using rice as a tumbling media for years.

Hint - Buy more than one grain size. The small-grained stuff will plug up flash holes. A medium grain Pearl Rice will not plug up the holes but may be too big if you are tumbling 22 caliber cases.

The rice will turn gray and then black as it absorbs the dirt but it seems to work for a long time, even when black.

JMHO

Hawky
09-21-2011, 01:22 AM
Shiney? I keep seeing 'shinny' in all them posts. Damn! I must not know nuthin' nohow.

Unclenick
09-21-2011, 08:38 AM
The storage is a factor. I've always used the ordinary plastic storage bins, but had the brass in big Ziplock bags inside.

Another source for desiccant is this place (http://texastechnologies.com/store/tables/desi-pak-unit.php). They have that same 150 pail for $34.10, but I don't know how shipping and handling compares. They do offer more sizes and have a chart for finding how much you need. Their only shortfall is in terminology, where they confuse adsorption (molecular level surface capture) with absorption (capillary action and other means of penetration). But that's a minor concern.

sparx
09-21-2011, 09:29 AM
+1 one on adding "Nu Shine" to my walnut. Its in a big orange bottle and works great! Never heard anything about rice, how long does it hold up compared to walnut?

Do you mean Nu Finish?

hershmeister
09-21-2011, 09:50 AM
Wear disposable surgical gloves while you are handling the brass
the oils from your fingers are the biggest culprit to tarnishing the brass