March 30th, 2018

New Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer — Fast and Affordable

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

Here’s a new product that should please shooters who wet-tumble their brass with stainless media, or use ultrasonic cleaning machines to clean cartridge brass (and gun parts). Employing forced hot air circulation, the new Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer will dry a large quantity of brass in under two hours. Internal racks provide five drying levels. With “street price” under $60.00, the Cyclone Case Dryer is a very affordable and effective addition to an ultrasonic or rotary-tumbler cleaning system.

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

The Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer works fast. No need to wait overnight (or longer) to air-dry your brass. Lyman states that “The forced heated air circulation of the Cyclone will dry your brass inside and out within an hour or two, with no unsightly water spots.” The handy individual trays keep different types of brass separate. The dryer can also be used for gun parts that have been ultrasonically cleaned.

Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer Features:
• Holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases or 2000 9x19mm Luger cases
• Works with cartridge brass cases or gun parts
• Fast drying time — Typically 1 to 2 hours
• Timer control can be set up to 3 hours
• Durable ABS trays with recessed handles

Watch How Cyclone Case Dryer Functions with both Cartridge Brass and Gun Parts

Cyclone Case Dryer 115V (Part #7631560) MSRP: $69.95
Cyclone Case Dryer 230V (Part #7631561) MSRP: $69.95

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
October 27th, 2017

New Hornady Reloading Products for 2018

hornady reloading tools 2018

With its 2018 product roll-out, Hornady has introduced two new reloading products that look promising. There is a new modular, vibratory powder trickler, plus a new rotary tumbler for wet-tumbling brass.

New Cordless Vibratory Powder Trickler:

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new modular Vibratory Trickler, powered by two AAA batteries, features variable settings to trickle all kinds of powders. The clever modular design allow you to separate the actual trickler dispensing unit from the base (a cord connects base to trickler). That lets you position the trickler next to your scale with the separate control unit convenient to your hand. This also makes cleanup more easy.

    Product Features:

  • Trickles all powders
  • Light-up LED screen
  • High, low, and variable trickle settings
  • Use in base or outside of base
  • No-slip base, weighted for stability

New Hornady Rotary Case Tumbler

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new, large-capacity rotary tumbler can be used to wet-tumble cartridge brass. This will clean and polish brass inside and out quickly when used with the included steel pin tumbling media. The large, six-liter drum holds five pounds of brass cases. Set tumbler to run for up to eight hours in half-hour increments using the digital timer. This new rotary tumbler is designed to be used with Hornady One Shot Sonic Clean Solution.

Note: we do recommend you test with your brass to ensure the steel pin media does not jam in flash holes. And always inspect each case after the tumbling cycle.

See other new Hornady reloading products at https://www.hornady.com/new-products/reloading.

Permalink New Product, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 26th, 2017

Wet Tumbling Brass with Stainless Media — Eye-Opening Results

Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review »

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. Check it out:

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Works Great on Both Rifle Brass and Pistol Brass
The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass (see below). Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise in his reloading room. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
July 3rd, 2017

New Creedmoor Sports InfoZone Offers Helpful Tech Tips

Bill Gravatt Creedmoor Sports Sinclair cleaning polishing brass reloading dies

In recent months, Creedmoor Sports has expanded its selection of reloading tools and gear, under the guidance of Bill Gravatt, former President of Sinclair International. And Creedmoor recently launched the Creedmoor InfoZone, an online source for Shooting News, Reloading Tips, Gear Reviews and basic gunsmithing information. Visit CreedmoorInfoZone.com.

Bill Gravatt is an expert on reloading processes and gear. He developed many of the popular tools marketed by Sinclair Int’l, and now he’s lending that expertise to Creedmoor Sports. Bill is hosting a series of “how-to” videos produced for the Creedmoor InfoZone.

Cleaning Cartridge Brass — Multiple Options Explained

Here Creedmoor’s Bill Gravatt demonstrates several methods to clean your cases. Bill tells us: “Powder residue should be removed before you insert your cases into your reloading dies. There are several ways to clean your cases. Many shooters use a combination of various methods…”

1. Manual Cleaning — You can use 0000 Steel wool for the outside of the case and a Case Neck brush for the inside. A paper towel can remove any remaining residue. This is a handy way to clean if you load at the range.

2. Vibratory Tumbling — This traditional method works well, particularly for pistol brass. Experiment with both Corn Cob and Walnut media. You can get a brighter shine by putting a small amount of liquid brass polish in the media.

3. Wet Tumbling with Stainless Media — This process can get your brass clean inside and out. Do check to ensure no pins are stuck in the flash-holes. Watch for peening of case mouths that can occur over time.

4. Ultrasonic Cleaning — Ultrasonic cleaning works great for small parts as well as brass. The ultrasonic process removes all carbon and traces of lube, which can leave the inside of case necks too dry. To smooth bullet seating, try putting a tablespoon of Ballistol in the cleaning solution.

Cleaning Reloading Dies

Cleaning your reloading dies is something that many hand-loaders neglect. In this 60-second Tech Tip, Bill Gravatt provides some smart advice on cleaning your dies. Bill notes: “After heavy use, case lube and carbon can build up in your reloading dies. It’s important to keep them clean. Also, with new dies, give them a good cleaning before first use, because they ship with a corrosion inhibitor.”

1. Step 1 — Prior to cleaning, disassemble the die and spray it with a good degreaser. Do this with brand new dies too.

2. Step 2 – Take a patch and run it in the die to remove old lube and gunk. Don’t forget the decapping assembly and other internal parts.

3. Step 3 — After cleaning the die, but before reassembly, spray the die with a good corrosion inhibitor, such as Corrosion-X or Starrett M1.

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June 22nd, 2017

Shiney Savings: Wet-Tumbling Cartridge Brass on a Tight Budget

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Super Clean Brass Without Breaking The Bank

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Sierra Bullets
Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

I recently purchased 1,000 rounds of once-fired 5.56 LC brass that was fully processed and ready to load. The brass had been wet tumbled, using stainless steel pins and looked great inside and out, including the primer pockets.

I had always used a vibrating tumbler with either corn cob or walnut media and I always thought my brass looked pretty good until I saw what the wet tumbling and pin combination did.

Being the budget minded reloader that I am, I started looking for a cheap way to wet tumble my brass using stainless steel pins. Harbor Freight had recently opened a store nearby and I had received coupons in the mail, one of the coupons was 20% off any one item.

So I headed for the Harbor Freight store and after roaming around for 20 minutes or so I found a dual drum rotary rock tumbler for $55.00 and thought it would do just fine for what I was planning. The drums are rather small and only have a 3 pound maximum load limit each, but I figured that was big enough for around 150 .223 cases or maybe 300 9MM cases at a time.

I pulled the wrinkled up coupon out of my pocket, paid, and walked out with my new $47.00 brass cleaning machine. I didn’t have any stainless steel pins and couldn’t find any locally. At our local hardware store I picked up some brass plated ½” finishing brads that I thought might work until I could get some pins ordered.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads(1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads (1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

When I got home, I started depriming .223 brass for my new toy, I mean brass tumbler. I deprimed 100 cases, put 50 in each drum, dropped a package of brads in each one, filled them ¾ of the way with water, gave each drum a small squirt of Dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of Lemi Shine. I sealed up the drums and fired up the tumbler.

After an hour and a half, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and had to see the results. The water was filthy but the cases were super clean, I couldn’t be happier. For a total investment of around $55.00, I can now get my cases looking almost new.

Here are the before and after pictures of my first run of brass:

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

I have since ordered two pounds of stainless steel pins, I put one pound in each drum. To be honest the brass really doesn’t look any better, but the pins don’t seem to get stuck inside of the cases near as bad as the brass-plated brads did.

Tip: Make sure to inspect your cases and look inside each case to ensure all of the brads/pins are removed.

Just lay the brass and brads/pins out on a towel and let them dry. Mine were dry after about 12 hours.

If you want your cases to look like new without breaking the bank, give it a try. You can’t clean 1000 at a time like the $200.00 tumbling machines that are made for specifically for brass, but this is a much cheaper alternative and the results speak for themselves. — Gary Prisendorf, Sierra Bullets

EDITOR: Actually you can get a machine for a whole lot less than $200.00! See the next paragraph.

Lyman Cylone Rotary Tumbler with Factory Rebate
Sierra’s Technician got his rotary tumbler and brass media for $55.00. For about twice that you can get a much better, higher-capacity system from Lyman. The Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler features a large, polymer drum that holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases. The kit includes media separation trays, plus five pounds of correct STAINLESS media. The Lyman Cyclone system costs $156.54 delivered from Amazon but this product qualifies for a $25 REBATE from Lyman. That puts your net cost at $131.54 for a complete Cyclone system. To be honest we think that’s money well spent, compared to the “El Cheapo” Harbor Freight unit. The Lyman will run six times as many .223 Rem cases, and get the job done faster. We suspect long-term durability will be better with the Lyman tumbler as well.

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 5 Comments »
June 22nd, 2016

New Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler with Dual Media Separators

Lyman Cyclone stainless media tumbler rotary brass cleaning cleaner

If you’re the kind of guy who likes to get his brass shiny inside and out, then wet-tumbling with stainless media gets the job done. For heavy-duty wet-tumbling jobs, it used to be that you had to buy a Thumler’s Tumbler and then figure out your own solution for media separation. Now there are other options on the market which may be more convenient for many users.

Lyman has just introduced its Cyclone Rotary Tumbler. For under $190.00 on Amazon.com, this ships as a complete system with everything you need — even the stainless media and media separators. The Tumbler unit itself holds up to 1000 pieces of .223 Rem brass and features a rubber lining to protect your cases and reduce noise during operation.

Conveniently, a built-in timer can be set from 0 to 3 hours, shutting off automatically. The drum features a large, screw-on end-cap to allow easy loading and unloading. In addition, the tumbler comes with two special sifter pans that make it easy to separate pins from brass. Simply empty the tumbler into the stacked pans. The first pan catches the brass, while the second, finer screen pan catches the pins. Very clever. The Cyclone Tumbler system ships with five pounds of stainless media pins and a sample packet of Brass Cleaning Solution.

Video shows Lyman Cyclone wet tumbling system in action:

Lyman Cyclone stainless media tumbler rotary brass cleaning cleaner

TECH TIP: Wet-tumbling brass with stainless media really works. With enough “run-time” the process will definitely remove stubborn carbon on the inside of cases. However, some folks observe that case-mouths can occasionally get peened during the process. This is not a big deal but it is worth noting. In addition, with large flash-hole cases, it is possible (though rare) for a pin to stick in a flash hole. Therefore you should inspect every case before loading in a progressive press or bulk-priming cases with a bench tool.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
May 14th, 2016

Brass Cleaning Options — Tumbling, Ultrasonic, Chemical & More

cartridge brass cleaning tumbler tumbling vibratory Wipe Out

Shiny brass — it may not shoot more accurately, but it does make you feel better about your hand-loaded ammo. While it’s not necessary to get brass “bright and shiny” after every firing, it is a good idea to clean powder residue, grime, and grit off your brass before you run cases into sizing dies. There are many ways to clean cartridge cases. A quick wipe with solvent on a patch may suffice for recently-shot cases. Older brass with baked-on carbon may require lengthy tumbling. Ultrasonic cleaning is another popular option that gets your brass clean inside and out.

Sinclair International has a series of helpful videos on brass cleaning. These short “how-to” videos, hosted by Bill Gravatt, Sinclair’s past President, cover the various processes you can use — tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, chemical cleaning, and cleaning by hand.

Video ONE — Cleaning Brass in Vibratory or Rotary Tumbler

TIP: Brass that has recently been shot will clean more easily than brass that has been sitting many days or weeks. If your tumbling media is fresh the job should be done in an hour or less. It’s your choice whether to tumble with primers removed or with primers still in the cases. If you choose to tumble with primers out, we suggest you deprime with a depriming die, rather that put dirty brass into your sizing die. Some people like to add a teaspoon of liquid polish to the media. This does work, cutting tumble time, and making your brass more shiny. However, if you add liquid polish, do that BEFORE you add the brass and let the tumbler run for a 15 minutes to get the polish completely mixed into the media. Otherwise you can else up with gooey gunk inside your cases — a very bad thing.

Video TWO — Ulstrasonic Case Cleaning

TIP: There are many different types of solutions you can use. Soapy water suffices for some folks, particularly if you add a little Lemi-Shine. The Hornady and Lyman solutions work well, and can be used multiple times, provided you strain the solution to remove dirt and grit after cleaning sessions. Many ultrasonic cleaning machines have timers. Experiment with dwell time to see how long you need to immerse your brass. A very small amount of Ballistol in the solution will help lubricate your necks on the inside. This can make bullet seating go more smoothly, with more consistent neck tension.

Video THREE — Chemical Cleaners (Soaking without Ultrasound)

TIP: After using chemical cleaners, such as the Iosso solution, you need to water-rinse your brass thoroughly. A kitchen strainer helps with this (see video at 0:20). Also, don’t forget your brass in the chemical solution — follow the manufacturers recommendations and don’t exceed the recommended dwell time. Chemical cleaners work surprisingly well to remove grease and grime, and the solution can be re-used multiple times. However, if you want your cases to look bright and shiny (like new brass), you will probably have to tumble. [Editor: A very effective new chemical cleaner is the Brass Monkey product from the makers of Wipe-Out and Carb-Out. Add a teaspoon to a gallon of water then soak your brass for 20-30 minutes. It really works — the cases clean up dramatically].

Video FOUR — Manual Cleaning (By Hand)

TIP: Keep some oversize patches in your range kit. At the end of your shooting sessions, wipe off your fired brass with a patch dampened with a mild, non-corrosive solvent (once again Ballistol works well). Before the carbon sets up on your brass it is very easy to remove. For tougher jobs, you can use 0000 Steel Wool (as Bill recommends in the video). You may find that timely hand-cleaning lets you avoid tumbling altogether — or you may choose to tumble (or ultra-sound) your brass only after a half-dozen or so firings.

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October 16th, 2012

Cleaning Cartridge Brass with Stainless Media — Practical Guide

This article originally appeared in Sinclair International’s Blog, The Reloading Press.
In the August 2012 Reloading Press, Bill Gravatt, President of Sinclair International, shared his experience using the Thumler’s Tumbler and stainless steel pin media to clean some .308 brass just before the National Matches. He discovered that combo is really great for cleaning brass.

This month, I want to share the results of a test I performed with stainless steel pin media, and give you some tips on how to best use this media to get cases as clean as you can. I’ve been using tumblers of some sort for more than 30 years. I got started with a sealed rotary tumber that my father and I made out of an old rock polisher we hooked up to a washing machine motor. While not as nice as a new Thumler’s Tumbler, the one-gallon capacity on that old tumbler means it’s still good for cleaning brass.

The Brass: Good, Bad and Downright Ugly
To really test the stainless steel media’s cleaning power, I mixed three kinds of pistol brass that offered different challenges. First was some very old Amron headstamped .357 Magnum brass. The late Ken Lomont of Lomont Precision Bullets gave me the Amron brass as partial payment back when I was still in high school and working for him. I’ve been shooting it for years, so it’s obviously very durable. But it’s also very hard to clean, which made it great for the test.

I threw in some once-fired nickel-plated .357 SIG brass from Federal that had a lot of soot inside. I wanted to see just how well the stainless steel media could handle really grimy jobs. Finally, I added in the worst brass — some very corroded 9mm range pick-up brass with spots of verdigris all over them and dirt down inside them. They were terrible, which made them perfect for the test.

Case Prep For Cleaning
Before I ran the cases through the tumbler, I knocked out all of the fired primers so that the stainless steel media would be able to get into the primer pockets and run through the flash holes. The media that we have at Sinclair is only .040″ in diameter, so it will easily go through the .080″ diameter flash hole on most domestic-produced brass, as well as the smaller .060″ flash holes found on some other cases. Once I knocked out the primers, I poured the brass and the media into the tumbler drum together.

Mixing The Solution
Then I mixed up the cleaning solution. I poured ¾ of a gallon of water into the unit, and then put in four tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing detergent. I also added one teaspoon of lemon juice to keep the brass from spotting when it dried.

With everything ready, I sealed up the drum and started the unit and let it run for three or four hours. When I opened the drum, I could tell the media had done a very good job of removing all of the crud from the brass. The water was black, as you would expect from all the carbon inside the cases. After pouring off the solution, I separated the brass from the stainless media and rinsed it off. It took three rinses in clear water to make sure the brass was free of all the carbon the media scrubbed off.

SS4Then I rinsed the media, too. Rinsing the media is important: if you don’t do it, the media will be dirty when you use it next time. The media is easier to rinse while it’s still damp, and it cleans easily with clear water. As you can see, the brass cleaned up very well and showed no evidence of water spotting because of the lemon juice. The range pick-up brass came out fully usable, showing no signs of corrosion. The nickel brass looked as if it were brand new and unfired. The Amron cases looked the best that I can ever remember seeing them. Some of them still had a light amount of carbon just behind the case mouth, but a quick twist with 0000 steel wool took care of this easily during inspection of these cases before loading. All of the primer pockets were clean and clear of carbon. Impressive!

SS6Based on what I have seen, I will definitely use stainless steel media a whole lot in the future, even though I will still keep some of the treated organic media around for when I want a very bright shine on the brass. Several of the other Sinclair International Reloading Techs plan on trying the stainless media as well, so they might come up with some other tips for you in the future.

As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to call on any of us on the Sinclair Tech staff to assist you.

Bob Blaine, Sinclair International Tech
NRA Certified Reloading Instructor and RSO

TECH TIPS — Avoiding Problems with Stainless Media

Do Not Use Stainless Media Dry — I have had customers call and ask if stainless steel media can be used dry. The answer is that you will not like the results. Everything will go to the media, but it will still leave the brass dirty. If you use stainless steel media dry, you have to run it through a cleaning solution to clean the media. Then, it’s good to go again.

Do NOT Use Stainless Media in a Vibratory Tumbler — When using stainless media, you need a rotary-style, liquid-containing tumbler. You want to use stainless steel media ONLY in a rotary tumbler. Do not use stainless steel media in a vibratory type cleaner.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »