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Tumbling media corn cob kitty litter NEVER AGAIN!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Adam_MA, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Adam_MA

    Adam_MA Member

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    In my quest to save money by reloading, I have tried a few alternatives to real brass cleaning media sold at gun stores, and online. I have been using Lizard Litter in place of standard walnut media with great results, however it doesn't seem to last as long as some of the brass specific medias. That's OK though, because I can get a 10lb bag of it for $3. I have added some aluminum oxide blasting media to "renew" my walnut media. That seems to work OK, but it is VERY heavy, and too much of it will just sit on the bottom of the tumbler bowl. I have even tried some other materials in my tumbler that I don't even care to admit to having tried as they were utter failures.

    My most recent cost saving trial involved in using corn cob kitty litter. I have heard on a couple of threads of folks using it, so I figured I would give it a shot... First of all, this stuff has a MUCH smaller grain size than corn cob tumbling media, and I noticed a bunch of VERY small sized particles as well. I figured it can't be too bad, it will just go through the flash hole, and not get stuck. BOY was I WRONG! The stuff packed itself together, inside the cases, and inside the primer pocket. And it packed in there tight! I was lucky that I had only done 200 cases as a test, because I had to use a wood screw to dig the material out of the primer pocket, and the inside of the case, before I was even able to poke the screw through the flash hole. I wasted over 45 minutes getting these cases to the point that they could be then wiped off with a rag, so that the fine particle dust that covered and stuck to the cases as well as the inside of my tumbler, and the tumbler lid could be cleaned off. Then, on top of that there is now a strange pink hue that was left on the cases.

    Not sure if I did something wrong, or if I got the wrong stuff, but it was the only corn cob kitty litter that Petco had on their shelves. I may check to see about the bird bedding that is made out of corn cob, but I will tear the bag open in the store before I spend the money. If it doesn't look exactly like the corn cob tumbling media, I'll walk away!

    Sometimes suitable substitutes can be found, sometimes NOTHING beats a product that is specifically designed to serve a purpose!
     
  2. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    I buy my crushed walnut at the local Wal-Mart. Works great.
     
  3. Lugnut

    Lugnut Member

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    +1. I can't see the cost of this to justify considering anything else. Once I tried using Corn Cob but the pieces were too big (opposite of your situation).

    Lizard litter seems to last a LONG time for me. If you do add any polishing compound to the media I find you have to add VERY little and make sure to tubmle for a while (at leasts an hour) before adding brass... othewise you get balls of the crap in the tumbler and it leaves a dull coating on your brass.
     
  4. bpm990d

    bpm990d Member

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    Check out this thread on CSP. You might want to try some car polish.

    B
     
  5. GTOShootr

    GTOShootr Member

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    I buy corn cob bedding from a feed store and it looks exactly like what is sold as polishing media, works great.

    The worst was when I first started reloading and read about corn-something media. I'm not very agricultural and ended up buying cracked corn not knowing the difference. That was a mess. My brass ended up packed with corn meal.
     
  6. Patriot

    Patriot NES Member

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    I bought a couple of bags of the corn cob litter at Wally World and other than
    it seems to take a long time to get them clean and shiny, it works OK. I think
    that I like the more aggressive media though. I have cleaned lots of brass with
    this stuff and I haven't had much of a problem with media sticking in the
    brass. Possibly because I am using the fabulous (soon to be patented [smile]) TBP
    brass/media separator and it works great.

    http://northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=203950&postcount=20

    TBP
     
  7. tele_mark

    tele_mark Member

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    What section of Walmart do you find that at?
     
  8. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator

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    The crushed walnut shell aisle.







    (Pets)

    I got mine at the Petco (Petsmart?) in the Water Tower Plaza on Rte 12.
     
  9. TonyD

    TonyD One Shot One Maggie's Drawers

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    Why walnut instead of corn cob?
     
  10. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator

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    Double tap. My bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  11. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

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    The same thing happened to me the 1st time I used corn cob litter.

    The problem wasn't so bad with straight walled pistol cases, but when I tumbled
    necked rifle cases every single piece of brass got plugged up pretty good.

    Since then, I've always used the the crushed walnut shells found in pet supply stores.

    It's been awhile since I've cleaned-up some heavily tarnished brass. The times I have, I added a few tablespoons of Dillion Rapid Polish...

    http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=17&min=0&dyn=1&
     
  12. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator

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    Walnut is a bit more agressive and cleans faster than corn cob media.

    Some people prefer walnut because of the grain size, but I've seen both walnut and corn cob in small and large grain varieties - it all depends on its intended use.

    I've stopped using all walnut because I find it to be too agressive. I use a mix of about 75% corn cob to 25% walnut with a squirt of NuFinish car polish.

    I load all straight-wall cases, I tumble before I resize, and I have a good media separator so I don't have a problem with anything clogging up.
     
  13. Adam_MA

    Adam_MA Member

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    I actually use both. I use walnut to do a first aggressive cleaning for real dirty cases, then I tumble in corn cob with some NuFinish added in to give them a nice shine. I know it's not necessary, but I do prefer to have nice clean cases to run through my press, and guns.

    I have never tried adding the polish to walnut, and I like the idea of the mix. Maybe I'll have to give that a try.
     
  14. tele_mark

    tele_mark Member

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    Damn -- I was just at both places this week.
     
  15. Adam_MA

    Adam_MA Member

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    I had a bottle of the Dillon polish. I used it, and it worked well. Then I read about using the NuFinish. It works every bit as good as the Dillon, and you can pick it up at K-mart, for $4 for a bottle twice the size of the Dillon.
     
  16. Lugnut

    Lugnut Member

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    I don't find walnut to agressive at all in my experience. Not sure why but I think I'm using the same stuff from Walmart. I've actually left a batch of brass in the tumbler overnight with no problems. Most of the time I run a batch for 2-3 hours too. It get the cases nice and shiny too!
     
  17. Jose

    Jose Guest

    +1

    I keep adding a bit of liquid polish to keep the dust down.
     
  18. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator

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    I'll show you some of mine with rounded case mouths and unreadable headstamps.
     
  19. Jose

    Jose Guest

    We must be using different walnut shells. I have left batches of 223 Remington and 38 Special brass in a tumbler full of crushed walnut shells for over four hours and have not seen a single evidence of metal removal.
     
  20. Ray P

    Ray P Member

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    Same here. Typically leave my brass in the tumbler overnight, using WalMart walnut & NuFinish. I have also tossed in a tblspn of red rouge. Overall, the WalMart walnut media isn't all that agressive; and does only a moderately acceptable job of cleaning the cases.

    Beginning to think if I really want to clean the cases inside & out, I need to use the chemical bath. Then I can always follow that with a short trip to the tumbler for a final polish.
     

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