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If you reload your own ammunition you know that step one is cleaning your brass. For years I’ve used dry media and for years I’ve been disappointed in the lack of shine it produces. I’ve tried both corn cob and walnut media with several different types of polish additives but I have never been able to reproduce the luster that professionally polished brass has.
Enter the new Stainless Tumbling media. It’s simply tiny stainless steel pins that roll around with your dirty brass along in water and dish soap to clean them brand new again.
Stainless Steel Tumbling Media
.300 BLK brass fresh out of the tumbler.
Dirty, fired brass (Left), traditional dry tumbled brass (center) and stainless tumbled brass (right)
Dirty, fired brass on left, stainless tumbling media cleaned on the right.
The Extreme Rebel 17 Tumbler will clean up to 4 pounds of brass in 3-4 hours.
So in an effort to keep this review as short as my attention span. IT WORKS. The process is as follows:
- Dump approximately 4 pounds of brass into the tumbler along with 5 pounds of stainless media.
- Fill with 1 gallon of water, some dish soap, and a small amount (.45 ACP casing capacity) of Lemi-Shine, tighten the lid and let it roll for 3-4 hours.
- Dump out the contents, separate, then rinse the brass well. If you skip rinsing the leftover Lemi-Shine might tarnish the brass.
- Finally, dry the brass. I use my food dehydrator and it works quite well.
Although it seems there might be more hassle vs dry media, I’ve enjoyed working with it and the results have been better than anything I’ve had with any dry media. I believe it has the following advantages over traditional dry media:
- No dust. Dry media produces a lot of dust, so your reloading room will stay much cleaner.
- Primer pockets are cleaned just as perfectly as the outside of the casing.
- Media doesn’t get trapped in the casings like I’ve experience with walnut media.
- Professionals (like TacticalBrass.com) use this method.
- It last forever. As long as you don’t lose the media (which is magnetic by the way) it will never wear out. Your initial investment is all you ever need besides a little dish soap.
A common question is if you can use your traditional vibrating tumbler with the stainless media. The answer is no. It’s a different process. I have the Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17 and I’ve been very happy with the results. If you are on a budget and can’t afford the $200 tumbler, you could try a $55 one from Harbor Freight, or follow the lead of one of my reloading friends and build one yourself like this: