For those on the fence on media separators

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Clovishound

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I would have to say, get one.

I'm a natural born cheapskate. I thought a $2 Wally World colander would work just as well. I've had lots of problems with media still in the cases. Not to mention the fact that it's messy turning the cases over and over by hand trying to get the media out, especially with deep cases like .38 and .357.

SWMBO wanted to know if I wanted something reloading related for Father's Day. I thought about another powder measure, but I would actually need 2 more in order to cover all three pistol calibers I routinely reload. I got to thinking about a media separator. LGS had one cheaper than I could get off of Amazon, without the wait.

I sneaked it out to the shop tonight to test it. WOW, just a little slow cranking of the handle and the cases came out completely empty. No dirty hands, no extended hand turning of cases, and no more cases with media still in them. If it holds up long term, I'll be completely sold.

I got the Lyman one. Basket is a little flimsy, but should hold up with a little care. The outside case is fairly sturdy. The biggest down side is that it is a bit bulky for storage. Still, seems well worth it to me.
 

Sakoluvr

Single-Sixer
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Oct 25, 2002
Messages
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I have had a RCBS media separator for years. Used to use a Dollar Store colander too. I thought the separator was a gimmick but I quickly realized it plain works!
 
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Hey! My Wal Mart colander was only one dollar!

But I went the other way and got one of those wet tumblers with the stainless pins. It's easy to dump the whole mess into a large plastic tray and sort the clean cases by hand.

Glad your separator works for you.
 

Clovishound

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Most of the separators claim to work well for SS media as well. Not sure how well they would hold up to the extra weight, but I would think it would beat sorting by hand.
 

mikld

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Hmmm. I've never had the trouble the OP had with his colander separating media from brass. I have used many different home made items for separating; I took a 3 lb coffee can and punched a bunch of 1/4" holes in the plastic top, works quite well. I now use a wire mesh waste basket (12" dia at the opening, 14" high and 1/4" wire mesh. Cost me a whole dolar). All I have to do is dump the brass/media in the basket shake the mix around for 30 seconds and the media is out of the cases...

But if you want a "dedicated" media separator, that's good, do it...
 

Chuck 100 yd

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A media seperator came with the first tumbler I bought from Midway U S A many years ago on sale for IIRC $39.95 for the kit ( tunbler,media,seperator and a bucket ) Works great although that tumblers motor burned out after only about 15 years of use. I bought another just like it , still going strong.
 

Clovishound

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mikld said:
Hmmm. I've never had the trouble the OP had with his colander separating media from brass. I have used many different home made items for separating; I took a 3 lb coffee can and punched a bunch of 1/4" holes in the plastic top, works quite well. I now use a wire mesh waste basket (12" dia at the opening, 14" high and 1/4" wire mesh. Cost me a whole dolar). All I have to do is dump the brass/media in the basket shake the mix around for 30 seconds and the media is out of the cases...

But if you want a "dedicated" media separator, that's good, do it...

The issue I have using a colander is that lots of cases stay upright and remain full of media. I have to reach in and turn handfuls to get them all to empty. It's a slow, dirty process.
 

contender

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Ok,,, I don't mind spending a little to get good equipment. Especially when I can find it used & serviceable. I actually have a pair of the Dillon media separators, and I use one for dry media & one for wet media. My wet media,,, along with my stainless pins,,, is where I fill the catch basin with water enough to where as I tumble the brass in the separator the pins get "washed" into the catch basin. Quick & easy. After a few runs of wet brass,,, that now has dirty water & all, as well as my used pins,,, I pour off the water, retrieve the pins, and start over. I then place my brass in a dehydrator to dry. All the handling allows the pins to fall out easily. I haven't had a single piece of brass with stuck SS pins yet.
Separators are well worth the money in my opinion as it helps prevent problems with brass when reloading.
 

mikld

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Clovishound said:
mikld said:
Hmmm. I've never had the trouble the OP had with his colander separating media from brass. I have used many different home made items for separating; I took a 3 lb coffee can and punched a bunch of 1/4" holes in the plastic top, works quite well. I now use a wire mesh waste basket (12" dia at the opening, 14" high and 1/4" wire mesh. Cost me a whole dolar). All I have to do is dump the brass/media in the basket shake the mix around for 30 seconds and the media is out of the cases...

But if you want a "dedicated" media separator, that's good, do it...

The issue I have using a colander is that lots of cases stay upright and remain full of media. I have to reach in and turn handfuls to get them all to empty. It's a slow, dirty process.

Shake it brother, shake it! :mrgreen:
 

Eliminator

Bearcat
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Dec 18, 2007
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Clovishound said:
I got the Lyman one. Basket is a little flimsy, but should hold up with a little care. The outside case is fairly sturdy. The biggest down side is that it is a bit bulky for storage. Still, seems well worth it to me.
Definitely worth it! I've got the RCBS version which is very similar. Had it for years and has been durable.


contender said:
...I then place my brass in a dehydrator to dry.
Contender, what are you using for a dehydrator?
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
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Feb 22, 2007
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So. Florida
I use and like this one. I have a little square mop bucket that fits right under it to catch the media.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/731116/frankford-arsenal-standard-media-separator
 

contender

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I use a plain old food dehydrator. It's a cheapie I got long ago to dry jerky etc. It's round,,, has about 4 trays, and holds all the brass I need at one time. I quit using it long ago for food when I got a bigger & better one. For brass,,, it works like a champ!
 

Clovishound

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I used to manually wash my cases before getting a tumbler. I just put mine out in the sun to dry, or spread them out on a pan in the shop a day or two before loading them. Both methods worked fine, but I found wet cleaning a pain. I will have to say the SS pins do a very thorough job that most others cannot come close to. At least on the insides and primer pockets. Not sure I would want to have to deal with the pins.
 

contender

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Clovishound,,, I was hesitant as well about SS pins. But doing a wet tumble separator after the cleaning has made the job EASY. I have my separator on a table beside my tumbler. Once a wet tumble is done,,, I immediately pour the pins & cleaner into the Dillon. Some of the pins stay inside my tumbler tub. As I rotate the separator in the water,,, it washes them all out & into the bottom of the tub. Once I run out of pins,,, or feel the water is too dirty,,, I take the Dillon tub outside & pour it out. I go slowly & capture my pins by not pouring them out. I have a fine screen strainer that I pour my last little bit across. Then the pins get a courtesy clean water wash,, & back into the cup I get them out of for re-use. By doing this,,, I've never had any pins get stuck in any cases. Once I dry mine,, I pour the warm dry cases into tubs & shake them around,,, just trying to see if any pins are still there. Never found a single pin.
 

freediver01

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
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FLORIDA
I process a lot of brass and use two Dillon separators, one for dry and one for ss pins. Best way to go. I wash 5 gallons at a time. Works even better if you deprime before washing.
 

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