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A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There #7884385 06/29/20 03:01 AM
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Fastscooby01 Online Content OP
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So I've encountered this issue that I want to see if anyone can offer any insight to. I've processed thousands of pieces of brass and they have pretty much all finished tumbling looking like they came straight off the assembly line. I'm using the large Franklin Arsenal rotary tumbler with SS pins. I put in the pins, then the brass, two squirts of dawn dish soap, and 1-2 light squirts of lemishine.

So tonight I run some 9mm that was pretty dirty and some of my fireformed 300 win mag which was still shiny but just needed to be cleaned. I ran it for about 1.5 to 2 hours and after the first rinse it was nearly like I had poured oil in the tumbler first. All of the cases looked very dull and had a coating of gunk on them. So I figured I put too many cases in the tumbler so I split it in half, added a little more dawn and lemishine, and let it run for another hour. After that they came out clean but still dull and with a slight rose gold hue. I ran the other half with just water only and it came out only dull.

I've seen some people making similar posts with using way too much lemishine and the cases have nearly a precipitated dezincification on them that looks pink. I'm not certain that is the case with these, but the hue is still unusual. I also find it very odd that the cases still look dull after several hours of tumbling.


The cases on the right are from the previous batch which look new.
[Linked Image]

Some of these cases you can see the slight hue on, and all of them look dull.
[Linked Image]



Last edited by Fastscooby01; 06/29/20 03:04 AM.
Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884388 06/29/20 03:08 AM
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I have seen similar due to too much Lemishine. I use the Powder Lemishine and now just add a pinch.


"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."

Jack O'Connor 1963
Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884417 06/29/20 03:31 AM
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Any recommended solution for this brass to shine it up? I'm a little gun shy about throwing it back in with lemishine lol...

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884419 06/29/20 03:35 AM
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No ...only suggestion would be try standard tumbling with media and polish


"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."

Jack O'Connor 1963
Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884497 06/29/20 10:29 AM
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Lemishine has acid in it. I am guessing that is what did it. Don't know of any chemical ingredient you can re-do them with.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884516 06/29/20 10:55 AM
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When I had this occur, it was large due to resizing lube left on the cases. I've also learned that it's important to occasionally clean your pins and tumbler too.

My solution was to tumble the pins with a splash of engine degreaser, rinse well, then re-tumble the brass with a splash of the same degreaser. Finally, I would tumbel the normal way with a big squirt of Dawn and a pinch of Lemishine. That took my brass from an OD Green color to fresh-of-the-assembly-line-gold again.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884570 06/29/20 12:11 PM
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Yep, clean your tumbler and SS media. I would use hot water and Dawn. Maybe add a shot of Jet Dry.


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Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884602 06/29/20 12:45 PM
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After a lot of use you need to clean your pins. I use DEP degreaser available at tractor supply. Solved the problem for me!
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This may help:



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Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7884674 06/29/20 01:47 PM
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Those are some good points. I thought about that last night so I cleaned the tumbler with hot water and dawn. Then I went back and reran the 300 brass with some different 5.56 brass with just a small amount of lemishine and dawn. They did brighten up a little but still have a dull finish. But now that you mention using a serious degreaser that may very well explain the dull finish. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of dezincification oxidizing the 300 brass only after 1.5 to 2 hours with perhaps slightly using a little too much lemishine compared to previous batches. So that brought me to the idea of the other brass and/or dirty tumbler staining the 300 brass.

I'll go grab some Zep today and see what happens. Thanks again for the advice from everyone.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7885068 06/29/20 07:00 PM
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I've just run mine with Dawn & Water. After the brass dry, I put it in a media tumbler (Dry), and use that to polish it.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7885570 06/30/20 03:14 AM
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Usually when the brass comes out nasty looking it is because of sizing lube.
I had a batch of .308 do that to me recently. Just had to clean inside the tumbler and run the pins with a cleaner degreaser without any brass.
Then tried it again and brass came out fresh.


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Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7886746 07/01/20 05:37 AM
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Alright, so all theories have been tested. I went and bought some Zep industrial degreaser and cleaned the hell out of the tumbler and the pins. Below are the results.

Re-ran half of the 9mm: Cold water, pins, -no- lemishine, just a touch of dawn. Results: No change
Re-Ran other half of 9mm: Cold water, pins, just a little lemishine, just a touch of dawn. Results: No change
Re-Ran 300win with some unprocessed 5.56 cases: Cold water, pins, -no- lemishine, usual amount of dawn. Results: No change still dull with 300, 5.56 clean and about half as shiny as they normally would be.
Ran new batch of dirty 5.56 cases: Cold water, pins, little lemishine, usual dawn. Results: Looks brand new

Purchased vibratory tumbler with corn cob media and nufinish. Used about 3 cap fulls of nufinish to load the media.
Ran all 300 & 6.5 for around 3 hours. Results: Looks brand new
Ran the 9mm for a few hours. Results: Looks nearly new

I think in the future I am just going to stick with wet tumbling for plinker ammo and vibratory tumbler for match rounds. I still find it weird that this issue just popped up when I have done this the same way many times. The only different variable was some Hornady one shot case lube on the 300 cases. Sure, it could have been the lemishine but I used about the same, and I find it very odd that they did not change or polish up after cleaning the tumbler and rerunning them.

Again, I appreciate all of the opinions and advise from everyone.

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Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7887485 07/01/20 09:59 PM
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You need to clean the brass with the degreaser too, not just the pins and barrel. Glad you got it sorted out though. P.S. I always use hot water.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7887591 07/01/20 11:34 PM
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I previously did use hot water. I read alot of conflicting reports good and bad for hot vs cold water. I figured cold would make a good base line to test everything. I also didnt want to risk exposing the 300 brass to any other harsh chemicals just to test to see if anything would change which is why I didnt use the degreaser on them. It was only the 300 that had any case lube which is why I tested the 300 and 9mm separately.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7887619 07/02/20 12:03 AM
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Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Jgraider] #7887679 07/02/20 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.

Maybe so, but it's well worth it if you shoot anything suppressed. But clean primer pockets are the bomb...

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7887681 07/02/20 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastscooby01
I previously did use hot water. I read alot of conflicting reports good and bad for hot vs cold water. I figured cold would make a good base line to test everything. I also didnt want to risk exposing the 300 brass to any other harsh chemicals just to test to see if anything would change which is why I didnt use the degreaser on them. It was only the 300 that had any case lube which is why I tested the 300 and 9mm separately.



Roger that, but anything to do with lube contamination on brass spells hot water to me. To each his own, I'm just glad you got your brass clean again. This simply goes to show that there is more than one way to arrive at the correct answer: clean brass.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Jgraider] #7887751 07/02/20 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.


The kicker is how much brass you want done and how quickly you want it thoroughly cleaned. I can clean far more brass with my wet setup than I can with this vibratory setup. Ive run several more batches and none had the same problem. I believe as some have said the case lube caused the grayish dull color cases. The discoloration I am not sure but I am leaning toward some type of contaminant in that batch. I have the franklin 7 liter tumbler and just dont see how two small squirts of lemishine could cause a problem when I have done the same thing many times before with thousands of pieces of brass. I am just going to move forward with a little less lemishine and call it a day.

After using both setups they are each useful in their own way honestly. I plan to use the vibratory setup if I just need to clean a handfull of brass or to run cases that have fresh lube on them. Then I have pretty much no risk of my match rounds mysteriously having a problem. Then I will use the wet tumbler for larger batches and plinker rounds. So lessons learned in this experience.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Jgraider] #7887774 07/02/20 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.

AMEN !!!


"some people say I got a drinkin problem........I got no problem drinkin at all......."


Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: kry226] #7888030 07/02/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.

Maybe so, but it's well worth it if you shoot anything suppressed. But clean primer pockets are the bomb...



How so? I do shoot suppressed BTW. I've done it both ways several times and I've never seen clean primer pockets to make any difference in accuracy.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Fastscooby01] #7888032 07/02/20 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Fastscooby01
Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.


The kicker is how much brass you want done and how quickly you want it thoroughly cleaned. I can clean far more brass with my wet setup than I can with this vibratory setup. Ive run several more batches and none had the same problem. I believe as some have said the case lube caused the grayish dull color cases. The discoloration I am not sure but I am leaning toward some type of contaminant in that batch. I have the franklin 7 liter tumbler and just dont see how two small squirts of lemishine could cause a problem when I have done the same thing many times before with thousands of pieces of brass. I am just going to move forward with a little less lemishine and call it a day.

After using both setups they are each useful in their own way honestly. I plan to use the vibratory setup if I just need to clean a handfull of brass or to run cases that have fresh lube on them. Then I have pretty much no risk of my match rounds mysteriously having a problem. Then I will use the wet tumbler for larger batches and plinker rounds. So lessons learned in this experience.


Maybe you should start neck sizing only.....no lube necessary.

Re: A Question for the Wet Tumblers Out There [Re: Jgraider] #7888768 07/02/20 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by Jgraider
Think I'll stick to tumbling with media/polish. That wet tumbling seems like a major PITA.

Maybe so, but it's well worth it if you shoot anything suppressed. But clean primer pockets are the bomb...



How so? I do shoot suppressed BTW. I've done it both ways several times and I've never seen clean primer pockets to make any difference in accuracy.

Shooting suppressed is a dirtier business. This is widely known. I tried the corn cob media to get all the carbon and blowback off... it didn't work. Wet tumbling did. Maybe you didn't realize any benefits from clean primer pockets, but reloading is about consistency. And starting with clean everything is a good way to do business.

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