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How Long Will Brass Media Last?

Corn cob media
This is new unused corn cob media


How Long Does Corn Cob Media Last?

The useful life span of corn cob polishing media varies depending on how often it is used and how dirty the brass is. New fresh media cleans brass rapidly. As it is used it becomes rounded, dirty and clogged with dirt particles, increasing the amount of time required to clean the brass. When the time to clean and polish a batch of shell casings increases to about twice as long as the first run with that media, it is a good time to replace your media. We have found that most corn cob media will last about 10-15 runs before needing replaced.

One tip to make it last a little longer is to cut up dryer sheets into small pieces and put them in the tumbler while it is running. The dryer sheet pieces will collect some of the fine dirt that is cleaned off the casings. Allowing the media to stay cleaner longer and clean brass more efficiently.

If the cases are still being cleaned in an acceptable amount of time but your not getting that nice polish it's time to recharge your media. To recharge the media replace one-quarter to one-third of your used media with new media and add fresh polish. Add the polish to the media and let the tumbler run for five or ten minutes, before adding casings, to allow the polish to spread through out all of the media.

Walnut shell media
This is untreated walnut shell media for brass cartridge cleaning.


How Long Does Walnut Shell Media Last?

Crushed walnut shell media will last a long time. We are usually able to get 15 to 20 runs with walnut media before it needs recharged with polish. The first recharge is usually only adding more polish as the walnut is still cleaning the cartridges just fine but the polish isn't as bright as we would like it to be.

However, it will lose its effectiveness over time. At that point we recharge the media by replacing one-third of the old media with new and then adding new polish. There isn't a set number of times you can recharge media before it is time to replace it. We completely change out our media when it takes more than 3 hours in a vibratory tumbler or 4 hours in a rotary tumbler to get the desired cleanliness and polish even after recharging it.

Stainless Steel Pin Media Will Last Forever

Stainless steel pin media is one of the only medias for cleaning brass that will last indefinitely. However, this media can only be used in a rotary tumbler so if you have a vibratory tumbler to clean your brass then you cannot use stainless steel pin media.