I use walnut for cleaning and corncob for polishing afterward. Also if you have friends that reload it is much cheaper to buy corncob and walnut media at a sandblasting supply house. Locally we pay about $15.00 for corncob and $23.00 for walnut in 50 pound bags. They are usually available in two grit sizes. I used 2 tablespoons of Blue Coral liquid wax in my corbcob media last night and it worked great for polishing.
When I have both I mix corncob and walnut. I ran out a few weeks ago and the local store only had tuff-nut. I tried some and it works OK but why do they add the red dye? I'm not going to use it again unless it is the only thing I have available. I don't like having red stain on my fingers.
I know people are going to freak, but I use Nevr-dul on my brass. I run brass on my drill like a lathe and polish with Nevr-dul. Immediately after I follow with a paper towel to wipe all Nevr-Dul off. Shines em good and I have never had an ammonia problem eating my cases. Soaking in it, yes. This method, no.
Walking Point- My problem is I keep spending money on pistols, bullets, primers and powder and never have enough left to buy a medium separator. I have to dip my fingers in the colander I stole from the kitchen and "stir" the brass to separate brass from medium. The first time I did this with tuff nut I had solid red fingers. With the corncob and walnut I just dust off my hands, with tuff nut I have to be careful or I'll have red over everything. I'll just use it until the red goes away. It does do a good job of cleaning.
Gentlemen, thanks for all the great replies to my question. You've all been a great help.
Just got a 50 bag of walnut shells from the local sandblasting materials supplier. One batch of sized cases went into the tumbler with lube all over 'em, and came out one hour later looking and feeling like they just came from the factory.
Houston, I use a coffee can to separate the media from the brass. I punch a bunch of holes in the plastic lid, then snap it back in place, and turn it upside down over the tumbler bowl or a newspaper. Move it around a bit to encourage the media still in the cases to fall out, wait a few seconds, and your media will be separated from the cases without getting your hands dirty. Another thing that helps are throwaway latex gloves.