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Old January 10, 2012, 09:48 AM   #1
rebs
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case cleaning tumbler ?

I need to buy a tumbler for cleaning brass case.
Is there any particular brand or model that you experienced guys recommend ?

Wet or dry media ? rotary or vibrator ?
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Old January 10, 2012, 12:02 PM   #2
Eazmo
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I have no wet experience but for a dry tumbler I HIGHLY recommend the Berry's # 400 tumbler.
1.5-2 hours with walnut media from pet store and new finish and my brass shine like a diamond in a goats a**

I have noticed that the Berry's does a much better job on the inside of cases and primer pockets also. It has a nice wave churning that really rolls the brass around.

I tried the Frankford arsenal unit and sent it back. The berry's is ten times the cleaner
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Old January 10, 2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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All the basic tumblers are about the same, pick one from a company that has good costomer service and your set.
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:12 PM   #4
serf 'rett
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All the basic tumblers are about the same ...
Not really. I happen to think there’s a significant difference in vibratory tumblers using corn cob/walnut media and rotary tumblers using stainless pins. I’m a water, Lemishine, dish soap and stainless steel pin user; others swear by their vibrators.

If you want to go the rotary/stainless high dollar route, for ultra clean, then Tumblers Tumbler is the name you’ll want to know. With no vibrator experience myself, I'll say I’ve read many good reports about the Berry’s and Lyman machines.

An alternate cleaning method is ultrasonic.

It may be helpful to know what calibers and volume you intend to clean. Rifle? Handgun?
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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I use a Lyman 1200. Works fine. I don't know if it's any better or worse than others. I did experiment with an ultrasonic cleaner. Works well, but kind of a pain.
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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If you can afford the initial setup, wet tumbling with stainless media is hard to beat. I switched over about 6 months ago and haven't used my vibe tumbler since. Primer pockets are clean, brass is clean inside and out. It's like shooting new brass every time.
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Old January 10, 2012, 02:03 PM   #7
rebs
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tumbler

I checked and the Cabela's tumbler is made by Berry's, I am leaning towards that one.
I will be loading 357 mag for myself, 45 auto for my son and myself and some 300 savage for myself. So not a whole huge amount. I think the initial investment for a rotary and stainless steel is over kill for me.
Also being retired the cost for stainless would be a bit too much on my budget.
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Old January 10, 2012, 03:10 PM   #8
Eazmo
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Yes the Cabelas is made by Berry's
Do yourself a favor and get there rotary media separator also.
Both B and C had sales going on them for the holidays but didn't check if was still going.
Berry's has it in a package with everything you need to start running brass. it's a good deal.
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Old January 11, 2012, 06:59 AM   #9
rebs
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I have a media separator, so I ordered the Cabela's 400 tumbler and a bottle of their case polish.
Thank you for the help guys
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Old January 11, 2012, 07:49 AM   #10
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I use the 14-20 corncob media in my vib. tumbler. I got the 40 pound bag from Granger and it works well. Add a bit of media polish and it cleans brighter and faster too.

Granger is not really open to the public. It is for business use. So if you work for a company that does business with them or your own business has a relationship you should be able to get it there. A 40 pound bag will last a long time. The media is very fine so it doesn't get stuck in primer pockets unlike corncob media you get at the pet store. I do suggest getting a plastic container like a trash can to put it into to. Then just scoop out what you need. If that isn't an option, place the heavy paper bag it come with into a large heavy duty garbage bag. You want it in a container that will last a long time since the media will last a long time.

Walnut media will clean faster then corn cob. I think corn cob leaves a nicer finish. I turn mine on out in the garage before going to bed and in the morning it is quite clean. It probably doesn't need to run that long. I do put about 500 9 mm cases in mine at a time so it might take longer then some of the lower volume machines take.
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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Grainger?

Sorry Miss Dave,
I'm a first time poster but,
Forget wwg. Not very friendly to USA. Was a supplier to them for 20 years, they took our product to China. Compleatly ripped off a USA invented produced product. Don't mean to high jack the thread, but watch WWG!
Terry
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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Who is wwg?!

To the subject, my first vibratory case cleaner was the Frankford Arsenal unit. It was inexpensive and came in a decent "package" deal. I put it through a lot of work over about four years of hard use. In the last two years of it's life, it gave me trouble... internal wiring would work itself loose, a connector would crack and the unit would stop.

I'd open it up, band-aid the problem and the tumbler would run again. Horribly loud and obnoxious to listen to... I ran it in the basement and if the TV was off, you could hear it anywhere in the house -- but it worked and made a LOT of clean brass.

This last time it gave up on me, I gave up on it. Tired of taking it all apart and stripping some wire and jamming another wire nut in there.

On the recommendation of a friend who tumbles mindblowing lots of brass (he's a reseller), I considered the Berry's unit. The fact that I buy a heckuva lot of Berry's bullets and I use Berry's flip-top ammo boxes exclusively and because I've really enjoyed the service I've gotten from them, the decision was an easy one.

What I did not expect was how much better the Berry's tumbler is than the Frankford unit. Wow. It's a fraction of the noise and it's pleasant to listen to. You read that correctly... it sounds like one of those "relaxation" CD's they sell with sounds of the ocean & whatnot. If anything, it sounds like a REALLY expensive dish washer. So calm and low-key.

It does a better job on the brass than my Frankford did. If I had known back then what I know now, I'd have tossed the Frankford even while it was still working, the first time.

The Berry's tumbler is on a whole other level from the Frankford that it replaced. I'd recommend it all day long.
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
I use a Lyman 1200.
Me too. Don't know if it cleans any better than the others but can tell you this...I bought mine in 1984. Runs today just like the first time I plugged it in. 27+ years is a long time for a piece of equipment that by design should shake itself apart..........
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Old January 12, 2012, 03:00 PM   #14
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Thumlers Tumbler requires lubing and cleaning old lubricant off (shaft bushings) and reapplying new lube every time it is used, that's the down side. A vibrating tumbler requires virtually no maintenance, I use a 50/50 mix of walnut and corn with a capful or two of New Finish car polish (available from Wal/Mart). I have both but prefer hands down my vibrating Lyman 2500 Turbo Thumbler (I have two of them and love them) they do a terrific job of cleaning brass. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; January 12, 2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 03:02 PM   #15
terry56
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wwg=W W Grainger

Grainger,
Going to China! Taking USA MADE and sending to CHINA.
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Old January 12, 2012, 06:41 PM   #16
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William T Watts
What shaft are you referring to?

The motor shaft? My little AR-1 motor tag states to add a few drops of oil every six months.

The drive shafts that the barrel rests on? I may put a drop of oil on them when I oil the motor.

What Tumbler model must be lubed every time it is operated? I have considered upgrading to one of the larger units simply because I've had no problems with my old 3# tumbler.
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Old January 14, 2012, 10:48 AM   #17
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Thumler's Tumbler, and the media I use is from the late eighties, and my brass can be as shiny as anybodies, if I choose it so. I mainly use my tumbler to remove the sizing lube, and if I go off and forget it, it almost looks better than new brass!!!
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Old January 14, 2012, 11:09 AM   #18
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I've been using the same Lyman 1200 tumbler for over 25 years and it has never failed, knock on wood.
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Old January 14, 2012, 10:09 PM   #19
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Cabela's 400 tumbler (same as the Berry's), corn-cob and a capful of Nu-Finish car polish. It's an excellent tumbler with a lifetime warranty at Cabella's. Clear top and has a shut-off switch built in.
Says it holds 1000 9mm, actually works best for me with 400+/-.

Walnut media for cleaning, corn-cob for polishing. I quit using walnut and only use corn-cob. I pre-wash with a secret formula and rinse with a garden hose nozzle set to the "stun" position in a two-gallon bucket.
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Old January 14, 2012, 11:28 PM   #20
William T. Watts
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Attn serf 'rett/Thumlers Thumbler Model B

The thumlers thumbler has two shafts the barrel rest on, one is the idler (rear) shaft (this shaft provides no torque to turn the barrel) the front shaft has a pulley attached to one end that is belt driven by the torque supplied by the electric motor. Each end of both shafts have bushings that are slotted to fit the frame and lock them in place so they cannot rotate (shafts rotate inside the bushings only). This is the down side of the thumlers thumbler shafts and bushings which require frequent cleanings and lubing (I use a mix of 10/30 oil and STP). I (think) the combine weight of media & cases, plus the weight of the barrel shouldn't exceed 15 pounds, if you do that accelerates the wear & breaking down of the lubricant used. I believe the problem I've had I can attribute to exceeding the design weight limit of the thumbler, It wasn't a good choice for me.. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; January 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM.
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