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Wet tumbling VS vibratory brass cleaning?


bzt

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I use a FART, don't even use the pins they are still in the bag. I just dump in brass, Dawn and Lemishine and tumble 2-3 hours then rinse. They are way cleaner than using corn cob or walnut. I do this before doing anything to the brass.

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Interested in this as well, and have been reading some of the other posts about wet tumbling. For those doing wet:

1. How long or where do you rinse the brass?

2. Any issue dumping the dirty water down the sink?

3. Planning on not decapping first, not a bullseye shooter so not concerned about primer pockets.

4. Do you need pins if not decapping? Make that big of difference?

Thanks, no intention of hijacking, just trying to help OP (and me) see the differences.

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1) I tumble for 1 1/2-2 hours. I rinse in a bucket for about 2 from each end

2) I dump it outside

3) Decapping is over-kill

4) I use the pins as I want the cleanest possible brass, I can handle the extra 5 minutes of sorting when finished.

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Most of us ss pin tumble because we love sexy brass. No other justification needed, hehehe.

But there are pros and cons between wet and dry. Dry tumble costs 20% of wet to get started, is faster and less than half the effort. Wet tumble uses cheap dawn/lemishine inputs and keeps dangerous dust down. Because wet keeps dust down you can also do it in the house safely.

If you don't decap you have a small worry about water being held in that area. But if you're doing this for sexy brass why would you leave the primer pocket all grungy?

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I started wet tumbling (with pins) a couple of years ago. Before that I went through the dry vibrator and ultrasonic cleaning methods. I changed because I shoot 40K to 50K a year and the other methods took too long. Now I clean 2.5K rounds per load. I tumble them for 1 hour, rinse them off after separating the pins from the brass in a media separator, then lay them on towels until dry. I don't deprime because to me that's an extra trip though the press. I have a lot of brass "in the system" so normally they lie on the towels for over a week or more before I use them so I've never had problems with moisture in the primer pockets. I have a heated shop so outside weather is not a consideration. I really don't understand the statement that wet tumbling takes more time, if I don't count the hour that the brass is in the tumbler(because I turn it on and go into the house and do something else), I spend about an hour total in brass prep for around 2500 cases. I used to spend an afternoon each week cleaning brass the old way and now I spend an hour every 3 weeks.

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I've wet tumbled and not deprimed, but I've had issues with wet primer pockets as long as a month afterwards.

I went back to dry for my most recent batch because I didn't want to wait on dry brass or go through the extra step of depriming first.

Wet SS media gives a much superior clean to the brass, of that there is no question.

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So the only benefit is that wet tumbling makes is shinier?

NO lead dust. Quicker, Brass is cleaner. I can do 3x times the brass wet versus dry. Using the FART is the TITS. :devil:

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So the only benefit is that wet tumbling makes is shinier?

NO lead dust. Quicker, Brass is cleaner. I can do 3x times the brass wet versus dry. Using the FART is the TITS. :devil:

This, and no media on the floor/bench area, or media residue left in the brass which winds up in the case loader, brass storage containers, etc.

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I have BOTH the big Dillon Vibe cleaner and the FART. The FART is just plain BETTER. I don't deprime, just tumble, dry, load. It's not just cleaner, which is great, it's BETTER - no dust, better result and goes into the sizing die without lube just fine.

Tumbling with pins will clean stuff that the walnut hulls just won't touch.

Here's an example

Before

E17A32C4-B9D4-4E7A-8C8F-8E9B5B2D1450_zps

AFTER

FDA84434-115F-4724-B97C-C767FF90617C_zps

Those are clean enough that I just load from there...no additional prep or lube required in carbide dies on my Dillon. :D

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So the only benefit is that wet tumbling makes is shinier?

NO lead dust. Quicker, Brass is cleaner. I can do 3x times the brass wet versus dry. Using the FART is the TITS. :devil:

Please explain this FART... I have farted a lot and it doesnt help my brass..

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So the only benefit is that wet tumbling makes is shinier?

NO lead dust. Quicker, Brass is cleaner. I can do 3x times the brass wet versus dry. Using the FART is the TITS. :devil:

Please explain this FART... I have farted a lot and it doesnt help my brass..

Frankfort Armory Rotary Tumbler.

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Wet makes the bling and eliminates the dust. Those two facts are all it took for me to go wet. You would still need the vibratory for removing lube for lots of rifle brass quickly.

I also deprime before cleaning so I get perfectly clean primer pockets as well.

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Thanks for all the replies. It seems like wet tumbling would be the way to go. Too bad I already have the vibratory set up. And having just spent a ton on a new gun and accessories, I cant justify the expense at this time. Maybe in a few months.

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Vibratory doesn't require you to dry the brass. You dump it in the tumbler, let it sit for a bit, then come back and run it through your media separator. Even if it takes two or three hours to get it where you want it, the amount of effort you have to put into loading and unloading the tumbler is the same. Keep that in mind when you look at how short a wet tumbling cycle is: Even if the cycle is shorter through the wet tumbler, you take more time loading it, unloading it, rinsing it, and laying it out to dry.

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I usually turn the tumbler on before bed, and then turn it off in the morning. Or turn it on before work and off when I get home. So it doesnt really take any more of my time. hmm.. So ya.. think I will stick with my vibratory tumbler for now.

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Wet tumbling involves handling the brass more, especially if you size/decap before wet tumbling. For me, this means an hour or so in the dry tumbler to remove dirt and grit from the outside of the case that will eventually scratch my sizing die. Then I wet tumble, then separate with a media separator filled with water to separate the pins from the cases. Then dry the cases. It's getting old.

I have discovered that I can throw wet brass from the tumbler into the vibratory tumbler, filled with fine crushed walnut shells, and the walnut media will dry the brass for me in about a half hour. The media absorbs the water, and for some reason the media doesn't clump like I expected it to. The cases are actually clean and ready for use.

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I use both wet and dry. I use SS pins for all of my wet tumbling. I also decap rifle because I have to resize the brass anyway. I really only use the walnut media to remove the lube off the brass after resizing.

If you plan on using both, use different separators for the pins and dry media. SS pins and the dirty water mixture don't mix well and its a nightmare to separate if you accidentally pour both into the same separator. Dont ask me why.

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Thanks for all the replies. It seems like wet tumbling would be the way to go. Too bad I already have the vibratory set up. And having just spent a ton on a new gun and accessories, I cant justify the expense at this time. Maybe in a few months.

I use both. I wet tumble to clean before reloading and the vibrator to clean the lube off after reloading.

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