Stainless Steel Polishing Media ?
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default Stainless Steel Polishing Media ?

Anyone ever use this stuff? For years I've used nothing but ground corn cob with brass polish added. It works well, but requires a long tumble for best results. I stumbled on to this stuff, and it looks really good!


I really like the way it cleans the primer pockets as well as the flash holes, and it doesn't get stuck in the flash holes like corn cob does. I'm not sure if you have to use it wet or not. It appears so. I have a Thumlers Model B Tumbler, but I haven't used it in years since I got a Dillon FL-2000. I don't think you can use the Dillon model with wet media. The Stainless Steel media also will never wear out. It's avaliable here:

Stainless Tumbling Media, reloading supplies, reload brass

I'm going to look into it further, and try to get some more information. If I had more room I would like to get one of those small, motorized cement mixers from Harbor Freight. They have models with plastic barrels that are small enough to be just about perfect for polishing brass with this stuff, and it's obviously no problem to use them wet. Bill T.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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An interesting idea but I don't think I would want to use it personally. My biggest concern would be work hardening the brass and making it brittle much in the same way repeated re-sizing of brass cases does. (And the need for annealing the case necks.) I believe the dish soap and cleanser they say to add is doing 90% of the cleaning anyway. Being impacted by the steel media in a rotary tumbler is going to "work" the brass (IMO). I have no evidence of this, but I don't think it would be much different from how I moly coat my bullets.

The moly is "impact plated" onto bullets by the constant hammering of these steel balls (very small ball bearings). The moly powder coats the exterior of the bullet and the steel balls beat it into the surface of the jacket. It is so well impacted that you can't rub off the moly afterward by hand.



You can purchase different grinds of corncob by the way, if it really bothers you to have to clean out the primer pockets. Most all commercial media (corn cob) you buy from sporting goods companies is a 10/14 sieve size grind. Sierra uses a very fine grind of cob to put the final finish on their Matchking bullets in the factory. They do it so that they don't get cob stuck in the little teeny, tiny hollow points. Much smaller than a primer pocket.



For what I pay for media, I don't feel cost is an issue really. Just check your local Yellow Pages for "Metal (re)finishing suppliers". They will have a multitude of media types in various grinds (walnut, corncob, plastic, etc...) since they supply sandblasting companies and the like.



And yes - that is for 150 pounds of corn cob. I do like clean brass.
But... different strokes, you know?

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Old 09-20-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highpower View Post
My biggest concern would be work hardening the brass and making it brittle much in the same way repeated re-sizing of brass cases does.
"This stainless steel media is designed to work best for polishing brass, but will work with many other applications. Pins will pass through the primer holes. Cleans the primer pocket. Won't work-harden brass. Pins don't wear out so they will never need to be replaced."
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, well... you'll just have to forgive me for not believing everything I read, especially on the interwebz. Give us a product review after you try it. I'm sure others may be interested in how well it works.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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The biggest issue is weight. It will burn out most vibrating tumblers in short order.

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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That is a good point. It is also the reason I use the 220 volt version of the RCBS Sidewinder tumbler for doing my moly coating. But it looks like they (STM) covered that in their FAQ.

Quote:
Q. Will your media work in a vibratory type tumbler?
A. No, the media and the water just weigh to much for the average type vibratory tumblers to get any results.
But if my vibratory tumber handles 5 lbs of walnut shells OK, it would handle 5 lbs of steel as well - no? Although I think that the steel media is too smooth to provide any "scrubbing" action in a vibratory tumbler anyway. As I see it, the system relies on impacting the cases to provide the cleaning force.

Not saying that makes it bad idea. Not saying it makes it a good idea either.
To each their own.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:16 PM   #7
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Here is a report on it. Bill T.

The FINAL word on brass cleaning? - Topic Powered by Social Strata

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:32 AM   #8
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Default Stanless Tumbling Media really does work

Quote:
Originally Posted by billt View Post
Anyone ever use this stuff? For years I've used nothing but ground corn cob with brass polish added. It works well, but requires a long tumble for best results. I stumbled on to this stuff, and it looks really good!

YouTube - Stainless Tumbling Media short clip

I really like the way it cleans the primer pockets as well as the flash holes, and it doesn't get stuck in the flash holes like corn cob does. I'm not sure if you have to use it wet or not. It appears so. I have a Thumlers Model B Tumbler, but I haven't used it in years since I got a Dillon FL-2000. I don't think you can use the Dillon model with wet media. The Stainless Steel media also will never wear out. It's avaliable here:

Stainless Tumbling Media, reloading supplies, reload brass

I'm going to look into it further, and try to get some more information. If I had more room I would like to get one of those small, motorized cement mixers from Harbor Freight. They have models with plastic barrels that are small enough to be just about perfect for polishing brass with this stuff, and it's obviously no problem to use them wet. Bill T.

I purchased the tumbler with the Stanless Steel tumbling media and it is absolutley the best I have ever used. I have played with corn cob, walnut shells, Ultrasonic Cleaners, and the STM concept is remarkable. It far exceeded my expectations. My brass looks remarkable. John Jones Stone Mountain, Georgia.
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