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My results are like @OldVet's, rarely more than a granule or two. For me, the granules all seem to fall out when I touch the inverted case to the stem on the running tumbler. I decap after tumbling which takes care of media in the flash hole.

I think that @OldVet has hit the nail on the head, there's something funky about the media you're using. I've never had the issue you're having. I also never add anything to the media.
 

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All cleaning needed, unless picking cases out of mud, is to wipe off exterior with rag. Everything beyond that is for the pleasure of the reloaders.
My US cleaner, with hot water and Dawn, completely cleans cases used for 40 years in 12 minutes. No rinsing, just air dry. Even use of citric acid doesn't require rinsing.
SS pins take 7-8 hrs to clean the same old cases. Only rinse is getting most of the dirty cleaning solution down the drain and running cases in RCBS media separator with tub full of water to separate pins.
Put cases in towel, bundle it up and shake to get most water out of cases.
Cases are shinier with pins, but US is a lot faster.
 

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My results are like @OldVet's, rarely more than a granule or two. For me, the granules all seem to fall out when I touch the inverted case to the stem on the running tumbler. I decap after tumbling which takes care of media in the flash hole.

I think that @OldVet has hit the nail on the head, there's something funky about the media you're using. I've never had the issue you're having. I also never add anything to the media.
I have two tumbling tubs. One is for dry media alone, used for a quick 30-minute or so tumble to clean the soot and grit off for resizing, and a second for media/NuFinish mix for final tumble/sizing lube removal. Two-three drops of NuFinish is all I use. I do decap first now but haven't in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
...SS pins take 7-8 hrs to clean the same old cases.
My wet pin only takes 2 hours if I want really shiny cases, otherwise an hour will do it.

...Only rinse is getting most of the dirty cleaning solution down the drain and running cases in RCBS media separator with tub full of water to separate pins.
You wouldn't believe how many times I've done that followed by tapping each case on a magnet. It is amazing how many pins can be in a case even after running through the separator. I've seen long strings of pins come out with the magnet after separation.

...Put cases in towel, bundle it up and shake to get most water out of cases.
I rarely have time for cases to air dry, so I use a drier. From start to finish takes about 2.5 hours.

...Cases are shinier with pins, but US is a lot faster.
Yep! And a lot less trouble.
 

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My wet pin only takes 2 hours if I want really shiny cases, otherwise an hour will do it.


You wouldn't believe how many times I've done that followed by tapping each case on a magnet. It is amazing how many pins can be in a case even after running through the separator. I've seen long strings of pins come out with the magnet after separation.


I rarely have time for cases to air dry, so I use a drier. From start to finish takes about 2.5 hours.


Yep! And a lot less trouble.
My cases have been in use since the '70s, when I picked them up from the range. Read what I wrote.
I won't argue about your cleaning time.
I've never found a pin in a case and I always check.
If I can't wait for over night drying, I put things off too long. Just saying, run through water in separator and air dry, and I get no waters spots.
Why make things so complicated where there is no effect on function or accuracy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 · (Edited)
My cases have been in use since the '70s, when I picked them up from the range. Read what I wrote.
I won't argue about your cleaning time.
I"ve watched many videos about comparing dry to wet and I have yet to see one that says wet pin tumbling takes more than three hours and many time theirs less than three hours. I have a buddy that competes in PRS and has 3 first places in regional events. He cleans with the wet pin method and he runs his cases for about 2 hours.

There could be a difference in the number of cases cleaned at once, the number of pins used, the type of tumbler that could account for why there's such a difference in cleaning times.

...I've never found a pin in a case and I always check.
I understand, but I and others I know do find pins left in cases even after being run through a separator.

If I can't wait for over night drying, I put things off too long. Just saying, run through water in separator and air dry, and I get no waters spots.
I not only put things off too long, I sometimes decide to use a different brand of cases and realize I need to clean some.

Water spots are not a concern at all for me.
...Why make things so complicated where there is no effect on function or accuracy?
I'm not making things complicated; wet pin cleaning is complicated compared to US or dry media. Well, unless you're getting dry media strangely stuck in cases like I am.

I check for pins in cases same as you, I may do it differently than you but in the end we're both doing the same check..
 

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Walnut was for very dirty cases. It also creates a lot of dust that can, and has, packed inside cases.
Use 20/40 mesh.
Tangle: has your buddy put 40+ years of shooting into his cases before ever using pins?
US does rhese cases in 12 minutes usually. With pins, primer pockets still have some black after 6 hrs, but 7-8 hrs gives completely clean cases.
So, let's agree that 30 minutes in dry media is good enough 98% of the time, US is the fastest, and pins are the shiniest, but simply wiping the case exterior is all you have to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Walnut was for very dirty cases. It also creates a lot of dust that can, and has, packed inside cases.
Use 20/40 mesh.
Tangle: has your buddy put 40+ years of shooting into his cases before ever using pins?
US does rhese cases in 12 minutes usually. With pins, primer pockets still have some black after 6 hrs, but 7-8 hrs gives completely clean cases.
So, let's agree that 30 minutes in dry media is good enough 98% of the time, US is the fastest, and pins are the shiniest, but simply wiping the case exterior is all you have to do.
It doesn't take 40+ years of shooting to determine how and what works to clean cases.

Dry media typically takes 4+ hours and this is commonly found all over gunboards. I have not seen one instance where 30 minutes in dry media will adequately clean brass.

I do agree that US is the fastest cleaning UNTIL you count air drying time which makes US take far longer than dry media. That's why I don't air dry; I use a case drier that takes about an hour.

Just yesterday I did two sets of wet pin tumbling for 2 hours and two sets of US cleaning for 1-1/2 hours. There was very little difference at all, except the US cleaned the primer pockets better than the pins did in the times I used.

And no, I do not agree that all one needs to do is wipe the case exterior after pin tumbling. I have personally found one or more pins in cases after they have been tumble separated. I have seen masses of pins stuck in cases after they have been tumble separated.

I think the only thing we can agree on is that we have had very different experiences and results from brass cleaning methods.
 

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Tangle: has your buddy put 40+ years of shooting into his cases before ever using pins?
I have, and I've never done US or SS pin case cleaning, just tumbling in corn cob previously or walnut media now. Guess I'm too old school to change what works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
I got no problem with dry or wet cleaning except the unique issue I've been having with dry media.

As for 30 minutes will do 98% of the time, the pics strongly disagree

Cases before and after they have been dry tumbled 30 minutes.

Before


after


I don't know that I can see any difference at all after 30 minutes.
 

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Not once have I ever had cases cleaned sufficiently after only 30 minutes.
 
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"Clean" is a relative word. I tumble initially for about 30 minutes to get soot and grit off for handling, annealing, and resizing. Afterwards, For final cleaning and lube removal, I let it run an hour or two (or all night on occasion o_O ), but high polish is not my end game. A lone 30-minute tumble really is not enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Yeah, clean is a relative thing, that's true, and different reloaders have different goals for how they want their clean brass to look. One pro PRS shooter likes his cases as shiny as possible, not because of function, but because the shiny cases are easier to find after shooting a stage.

Another thing that may explain the differences in time, i.e. 30 minutes vs more, is how dirty the cases are to begin with. When I shoot bolt guns, the cases come out looking like they don't need cleaning, or at least not much cleaning. When I shoot ARs the cases are filthy as in the pics above. Although the pics above are dirtier than I typically see out of an AR. But that's where those cases came from, but they have been in an airtight case for about a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
BTW, FWIW, here are some pics of ultrasonic cleaning. I cleaned these in 30 minute cycles for 1 hour - or it might have been 1-1/2 hours. I've done several loads and I think I know which one this is. 🤒 These were dried at 160° for an hour.

I deprimed 5 cases before cleaning and 5 after cleaning for comparison.



The middle rows show five deprimed first and cleaned, vs five deprimed after cleaning.



 

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Case cleaning has, for over 100+ years, meant removing grit and dirt from case exterior so sizing die isn't scratched. It really is only in the last 20 years that reloaders define "clean" as the case looking like virgin cases. Believe me, after those 30 minutes, the case exterior is more than clean enough and will produce loads as accurate as those totally shiny cases.
PS: 40+ years of shooting leaves a lot more soot than one year of shooting. Ask your wife if washing clothes takes as long for severely dirty muddy clothes as for worn-once "clean" clothes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 · (Edited)
Case cleaning has, for over 100+ years, meant removing grit and dirt from case exterior so sizing die isn't scratched. It really is only in the last 20 years that reloaders define "clean" as the case looking like virgin cases. Believe me, after those 30 minutes, the case exterior is more than clean enough and will produce loads as accurate as those totally shiny cases.
PS: 40+ years of shooting leaves a lot more soot than one year of shooting. Ask your wife if washing clothes takes as long for severely dirty muddy clothes as for worn-once "clean" clothes.
If you choose to do things the way it's been done for 100+ years, then that's fine for you, but it's not for everyone. I'm thankful I'm not limited to what's been done for the past 100+ years. We have new gear, new equipment, and new methods. There's nothing wrong with wanting new looking cases. This thread is not about that though. It is about ease of cleaning methods, the effort required by each method, and the "look" of the finished product that can be expected.

If you're satisfied with wiping cases and reloading them or dry tumbling for 30 minutes, that's fine, but others are looking for more than that - and that's fine too.

For example, I posted two pics in a previous post showing cases that came out of an AR shown here for convenience.

355120


They were not range pickups, they were new rounds, fired one time, and landed on a concrete slab - no mud, no sand, etc. They're dirty! Probably a little more dirty because they've sat in an airtight box for about a year. But now, given the component situation we're in, it's time to reload these. I am not going to wipe these off and call them clean. At minimum I'll US clean them. US won't by any means produce a new, shiny look, but they will do for me.

If I'm in the mood for the new, shiny look, I get the best results from wet pin tumbling. Here's those same cases in the pic above after wet pin tumbling.



It all depends on what I'm after rather than some hard, fast rule about what cleaning has to be.

If we didn't have different preferences and perceptions, we'd all drive the same cars in the same color. What we drive and even what we wear, illustrates how diverse we are as individuals. I really don't care how people used to shoot and clean cases 100+ years ago. I'm doing what pleases me.
 

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Case cleaning has, for over 100+ years, meant removing grit and dirt from case exterior so sizing die isn't scratched. It really is only in the last 20 years that reloaders define "clean" as the case looking like virgin cases. Believe me, after those 30 minutes, the case exterior is more than clean enough and will produce loads as accurate as those totally shiny cases.
PS: 40+ years of shooting leaves a lot more soot than one year of shooting. Ask your wife if washing clothes takes as long for severely dirty muddy clothes as for worn-once "clean" clothes.
I don’t clean mine until I can see my reflection in them. I clean them until they won’t get my dues dirty. That still takes more than 30 minutes.
 
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Here's a set of mine from the well-worn walnut media running for 4 hours in my Thumler's Tumbler.

355128



After 4 hours:

355129



Yeah, there's still a bit of carbon on the necks but even that can be wiped off, but I usually don't bother.
 

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I typically don't run a batch of cases more than a couple hours, but sometimes I forget they're running and they go all night. :oops: They get really bright and shiny then!
 
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