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Old January 6, 2005, 01:50 PM   #1
bill k
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Tumbler

I currently hand polish each spent round prior to reloading. Besides convenience, is their an advantage to using a tumbler? I'm courious if the tumber process actually helps accuracy.
If so, recomendations on a tumbler, media, and why you choose that product.
Thanks
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Last edited by bill k; January 6, 2005 at 06:32 PM.
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Old January 7, 2005, 02:42 AM   #2
xmastree
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You clean your shells before reloading? I just blow the dust out and load them.
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Old January 7, 2005, 08:03 AM   #3
Edward429451
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Well, there's conveinance, and there's conveinance. Once you use a tumbler hand polishing isn't conveinant anymore. Too slow.

The reason to tumble/clean is to keep the dirt out of your dies, males your brass easier to spot on the ground, and astetics. Oh, and it makes spotting reject cases easier.

I use both Lyman (3200) and Dillon (small one) tumblers. They both are good, both have died once and been repaired/replaced. I use walnut media and turtlewax polish. I find the corncob media takes to long to work even if it will give it a higher degree of polish. There's such a thing as polished too much also, at least for me.
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Old January 7, 2005, 09:54 PM   #4
pdhunter
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Tumbler question

I have loaded going on 30 years and have never given a thought to NOT
cleaning (tumbling ) my brass .
The way I do it will draw snickers from some guys . Oh well----
My first step is to tumble before any resizing in walnut medea. That gets the grit and grime off.
I then wipe them down with a dry rag.
Then I will lube them depending on type of resizing ie; neck size only dry
lube -fl size wet lube.
After I resize and decap them I tumble them again in corn cob medea.
At that point I check length and use a flash hole tool to remove the corn cob
piece from the flash hole. Again I wipe them down with a dry rag.
Gee- typing this out it sure seem like a lot of work but I have loaded the same 350 win cases 9 times going on 10.
When you shoot p-dogs like I do thats is importent.
Take it for what its worth and have fun with it. pdhunter

Last edited by pdhunter; January 7, 2005 at 09:56 PM. Reason: mis spelled words
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Old January 7, 2005, 11:11 PM   #5
Trini
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Tumbler

I use a Cabela's tumbler that I got a couple of years back to replace another tumbler that finally wore out after about 20 plus years. I agree with Edward that tumbling the case makes your dies last longer by removing most of the dirt, grime, and powder residue. I got away from using walnut media, it leaves reddish film on the case which gets messy with you do large amounts of brass. I have gone to corn cob media treated with a bit of brass polish.. There are many brands out there.. I have several cans of Brasso that I got at a garage sale and use that, probably will until I run out.. I reload for most of pistol calibers.. loading about 15 to 20 K a year.. If you look around on at the gun shows or better yet, on the internet you can find a really good deal on a tumbler. Once you handle tumbled brass you will realize that the purchase was not a waste of time and money..

Good Luck..
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Old January 7, 2005, 11:20 PM   #6
Ozzieman
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I had a tumbler and got rid of it for a vibrator tumbler

I use a common walnut meadum and a brass pollisher that comes in a liquid. Standard stuf from larger gun stores here in indiana.
I would never reload without cleaning brass and with the set up I have you dump it in, close the lid and turn it on and 3 hours later the brass looks like new.
The other thing thats nice to have is a bullet tumbler. Its a plastic cage affair that you dump all the brass into and as you spin it the meadium falls out.
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Old January 8, 2005, 02:59 AM   #7
rbwillnj
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Yea, I used to do that hand polish thing 25 years ago, but once I got a couple of bucks, I got a tumbler. I use walnut with some frankford arsenal brass cleaner, then switch over to plain clean corn cob for a final polish. Cases are clean and shinny. Not only do they look nice, your hands stay a lot cleaner handling them.

Hand Polishing gets old quick if your shooting 300-500 rounds/week. But maybe your a rifle shooter, and 20 rounds makes a full day of it.
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Old January 8, 2005, 10:10 AM   #8
eka
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I have reloaded for years without the need or desire for a tumbler. I know it is a personal preference, but I couldn't care less how pretty my loads are as long as they perform well. I clean my rifle and pistol brass in hot water with Dawn, automatic dishwasher powder detergent, and phosphoric acid (Parks Prep and Prime metal conditioner). The brass end up clean and shiney. I use a universal decap die to remove the primers prior to cleaning so most of the crud gets washed out of the primer pockets. I put the brass in a five gallon bucket and stir the brass. Pour the water off and spread the brass out in the sun on a warm day and you are done. To dry the brass in the sun, I use a plastic disc made for children to ride in the snow. I drilled a bunch of small holes in it and it serves as a large strainer. Pour the brass out onto it and move the brass around to get most of the water out of the cases. Then just sit it in the sun. In the winter, I use the oven. Got to be very careful here. Excessive heat can weaken the brass and make it dangerous. I turn the oven on and let it heat up to 150 degrees. I turn the oven off and put the brass inside. I let the brass sit in the oven drying while the oven cools down. Check the brass, you may have to repeat the process again to get them dry. If pretty factory appearing brass is what you are after, this may not be for you. If clean, shiney, and cheap is all you are after, it works great.

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Old January 8, 2005, 11:24 AM   #9
Austin Charles
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I use a electric icecream maker I got for $5.00 at a salvation army.
I took the blade out and run it on it's side.

I put the walnut in with a table spoon of mineral spirits, tumble for about three hours.

Then change to corncob with a cap full of polish and tumble for about three hours.

take out get the corncob out of the flash pocket and size.

They get real clean and shiny.
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Old January 8, 2005, 11:25 AM   #10
rbwillnj
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eka,

I'm sure that works, in fact, you probably have cleaner brass than anyone, but boy does that sound like a lot of work!
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Old January 8, 2005, 09:33 PM   #11
41special
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Time is money. Tumblers save time and don't cost much money.

I use a Frankford Arsenal Tumbler, it was cost effective and works like a charm. Start it and walk away, then come back shake 'em out and your ready to go.
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Old January 9, 2005, 07:19 PM   #12
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I've got a Frankford one... I liked it so much I bought a second for doing bolts on my car resto/modification projects down at my shop
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Old January 9, 2005, 11:18 PM   #13
Bass Man
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Austin Charles

Was the blade you took out metal or plastic. Did you try it with the blade. I'm trying to get started reloading, and still have a duplicate ice cream machine from our wedding. They a plastic or plastic coated "dasher" that has square holes all through it. Is just the turning motion enough to do the job.
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Old January 10, 2005, 01:02 AM   #14
Austin Charles
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I took out the plastic blade.

The icecream maker works well. Just fill it 3/4 full with media in the tub, lay it on it's side and plug it in.

I do put duct tape around the top cover just so the top will not come off.

Run it for about 3-4 hours.


I tried it when I first started to reload with the intent to buy a real tumbler but the icecream maker worked so well i'm still using it. I even ran across another one I picked up just in case this one burns up, but the thing never even gets the least bit warm.

For the $5.00 that it cost me, I just can't see spending the money on a real tumbler.


This one has a stainless steel tub that is placed into a plastic bucket. Then there is a top piece that has the motor on it that you just stick on top and lock onto the steel tub
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Old January 10, 2005, 08:13 AM   #15
Bass Man
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Thanks

I think I just found my first piece of reloading equipment and didn't know I had it.
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Old January 11, 2005, 11:26 PM   #16
ForrestB
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Lyman 3200 Turbo with fine corncob and Brasso. 2 hrs. done deal.
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Old January 12, 2005, 11:58 AM   #17
Edward429451
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Doesn't Brasso have ammonia in it? I thought you weren't supposed to use ammonia based products on cartridge brass as it will attack and weaken it.
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Old January 12, 2005, 02:52 PM   #18
Austin Charles
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I don't think that Brasso is a good idea It does have ammonia in it.
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Old January 12, 2005, 03:00 PM   #19
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After reading consistent posts from knowledgeable hand gun cartridge reloaders, along with growing tired of spending all the money and TIME on case cleaning products and gizmos, I now just 'reuse' my brass. Over the last 1000+ of my handloads over the last couple months I have not done SQUAT to my used brass. Pick it up off the floor, bring it home, and immediately reload. I don't even pop the primers out beforehand - just stick 'em in the machine and go!

Has not affected anything one iota - nothing. Accuracy remains the same. Very little grime to speak of, certainly nothing to worry about. Primers seat just fine. There just simply is no problem what so ever with doing this. Once I got over the stigma of believing that hand gun cartridge cleaning is needed, I found myself ecstatic over the time and money saved, and wondered why the hell I didn't start NOT doing this earlier!

As for the argument "your dies will last longer" - how much do you think it costs to spray a little gun cleaner through your dies for 5 seconds every 500 rounds or so? Heck of a lot less than all that case cleaning equipment and consumables that go with it, guaranteed.

Oh, and don't go gettin' me going about how useless case trimmers are for hand gun cartridges too!
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Old January 12, 2005, 09:00 PM   #20
phungus
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When using walnut or corn cob media, how often do you have to change it out and do you have to add your polish each time you use it, or only with a new batch of media?

Also, what's the easiest way to seperate the cases from the media, short of buying one of those media seperators? And, while on that subject, who makes the best media seperator. I saw some negative comments on the Frankford Arsenal ones at Midway. The RCBS one just seemed expensive.

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Old January 18, 2005, 03:09 AM   #21
41special
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For seperating media I use the 5.00 frankford one that looks like a pasta strainer, just shake 'em around and your done.

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Old January 18, 2005, 12:10 PM   #22
Edward429451
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I too use the frankfort gold panning seive. Fits right into the top of a 5 gal bucket so the medis can drain through. The tumbler lid or tumbler itself can sort of cap the pan so you can shake it up & down to get the media out of the cases themselves. Works good.
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Old January 18, 2005, 02:30 PM   #23
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Here is how I reload,

1. Spent brass gets lubed and FL sized.
2. Brass get put into Kool-Aid container with walnut and taped shut.
3. Kool-Aid container is put into paint shaker at work (I mix paint)
4. Shake brass for 8 min when boss isn't around .
5. Take shells home and seperate brass from walnut, save walnut for reuse.
6. Take air compressor and blow out brass in another Kool-Aid Container (To get rid of walnut dust)
7. Neck size brass (no lube)
8. Trim and Debur
9. Prime and load as needed.

I don't seperate brass based on # of reloads, but I am getting at least 5 reloads out of each 22-250 case (based on how much I shoot and how many reject cases I have.) and I use hot loads. 3900 fps, 55 grain.
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Old January 19, 2005, 12:49 AM   #24
hivel37
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For not-so-dirty cases, I just tumble them in Hornady media. Stuff lasts a long time.

For really dirty stuff, they go in the IOSSO liquid for about 30 seconds.
Rinse and air dry on a nail rack. Always de-prime first.
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Old January 19, 2005, 07:34 PM   #25
bill k
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I can't believe I've been hand polishing each spent round. I WAS WRONG, I'm an idiot, I'm a cheap idiot for not getting one sooner, what a waste of time and energy.
I borrowed a friends tumbler, needless to say I'll never polish again. Forget about my question about accuracy I withdraw it.
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