I have been happily cleaning my brass with stainless steel pins the last few years but happened to find a used Thumler's Tumbler on Craigslist yesterday for $60. It was in pretty rough shape and coated in oil/grime. Not sure what the previous owner was cleaning, but it cleaned up fine. Only downside is that it is the low speed model B.
Anyway, the barrel drum was full of what appears to be ceramic tumbling media. To me they look like little tic tacs and apollo space capsules (about the size of a big candy corn).
It would seem that stainless steel pins have superseded this technology, but I was curious if folks are still using them and if so what caliber this media might be appropriate for? The tic tacs seemingly would work for handgun brass but I'm not sure what to make of the apollo capsules - they'd likely lodge in a 45ACP and wouldn't enter a 38spl or 9mm. But maybe that's what they are supposed to do?