I have two Lymans, one is about 35 years old and the motor has been replaced twice, the newer has a better motor with ball bearings so I expect it to give less trouble. That said, tumbers are quite simple devices, the only things likely to give trouble is the bearing in the motor can seize due to old oil OR the powder wires can break due to the constant viberation.
Paying a lot for a tumbler is foolish, all we need is one with a good motor. Berry's tumblers have very good "heavy duty" motors and IF I were to buy a new one tomorrow that's what I would get because the price is right. Berry makes the Cabela's tumbers too.
Some people use nut and some use cob media and some mix it to make sure they get it right I suppose. Fact is, the media we use makes no significant difference. What does make a difference is the grit size, most of what is marketed for us is 14/20 grit and, IMHO, that's too coarse, it clogs flash holes. I now use 20/40 grit cob from an industrial supply house, it's about the consistancy of coarse table salt. I love it because it works great and does not clog flash holes.
I've out grown my early fastination with shiney cases and only use diatomacous earth now, it cleans beautifully and makes my brass look factory new. I get diatomaceous earth from Lowe's garden and home insecticide department, a couple of pounds costs about $7; it's the stuff used in toothpaste to clean our teeth. I won't eat it but it's harmless to humans and will NOT harm bores.
Last edited by wncchester; September 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM.