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Old October 21, 2012, 11:11 AM   #1
rebs
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tumbling live rounds

I have read where guys tumble clean loaded rifle rounds, what about handgun rounds like 45 acp ?
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:51 AM   #2
Daggitt
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A search of this site will reveal multiple prior spirited and lengthy discussions of your inquiry.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:02 PM   #3
Vance
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I tumble my .223 loaded rounds to get the case lube off. Haven't had any problems.

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Old October 21, 2012, 12:17 PM   #4
rjrivero
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Tumbling won't hurt the rounds. Cast led that have lube all over the nose of the bullet can be a mess though. Test a few rounds first looking for dirt accumulation on the nose of the bullets.
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:19 PM   #5
Gerry
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I've tried tumbling rounds before that had LLA all over the boolit noses. The rounds tended to sink to the bottom in the corn cob media and the LLA lube made a mess of the media. Now I save my tumbler for cleaning cases only - well maybe an old coin or two as well...
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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I just cleaned up about a hunert .223 rounds today for a buddy to shoot in his new toy. Not askeered of them at all. I vibrated them in a Dillon vibtatory bowl, not actually tumbled them, becayse I do have an old tumbler, nuch like a rock tumbler. I haven't used it in a coon's age.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:59 PM   #7
chris in va
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Factory ammo is cleaned before being shipped out. Don't do it with lead though, the dirt in the media sticks to the bullet.
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:59 PM   #8
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I do it all the time.

I have an on-going test right now, with some ammunition that has been tumbled for 28 hours. When I feel that it has reached an adequate point for testing, I'll shoot most of it, and pull the bullets from a few cartridges to inspect the powder. I don't expect anything out of the ordinary (other than sparkling-clean case walls inside the case).


Tumbling with lead bullets, however, will pick up abrasives in the media. It can get a little messy, and you probably don't want to send abrasives down your barrel intentionally.
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Old October 23, 2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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Makes 'em shiny.

Which is important if you shootin' with Da Boys, who all know that shinier boolits shoot farther.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:42 PM   #10
Vance
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Don't do it to make them shiny, just to remove the case lube after reloading them.
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Old October 23, 2012, 10:05 PM   #11
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Yeah. We believe you.
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Old October 24, 2012, 04:20 AM   #12
rebs
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I did not mean to say tumbler since I have a vibratory cleaner with crushed walnut media.
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Old October 24, 2012, 04:27 AM   #13
Mike / Tx
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I tumbled (vibrator type) some bullet years ago to remove the case lube, but they were all jacketed. The two thing I noticed from that were the accuracy of a known load went to pot, and the lead tips on the Partitions were pretty deformed. I cannot say that the actual powder was damaged during this or that the tip being deformed changed everything as I have shot the same bullets with the tips knocked all sorts of ways and never got out of MOA out to 200yds. These particular loads wouldn't keep that at 50.

FOr lead bullets, if I am wanting to clean the cases I do so before loading, if I am simply wanting the bullet lube off of them I just sit down in front of the tube with a rag and some denatured alcohol and wipe them off.

Most of the time I clean my brass in batches of 3-500 and then load them all up. After that I don't sweat how they look and with the cast, I don't sweat the lube unless I am loading for hunting, and even then I don't worry too much about it. Wiping it off DOES help keep the accumulated dust and grit down to a minimum however.
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Old November 8, 2012, 12:05 PM   #14
Nevmavrick
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My normal loading procedure entails throwing the cases into the tumbler after belling the mouths. When I'm loading auto cases, there may be 200 to as many as 500 cases at a time...I shoot competition, usually, but not limited to Steel Challenge. When I go to a two-day event, I need at least 600 rounds, and I don't use a progressive. I DO use a progressive for my trap-shooting ammo, tho'.
Anyway, after loading a hundred or so, I throw them into the tumbler to wipe off the grease. I'm loading lead bullets, so some of the lube gets on the cases, and I don't like the cases to be stickey from the sand and dirt that is on the ranges I use. I keep cleaning the guns, but they get gummed up anyway. I'm just trying to keep it to a minimum.
They stay in the tumbler for at least an hour, or slightly longer. I don't see how there can be any harm done, compared to the hours/days the powder is in a truck going across country, then moved by forklift/palleting around a warehouse before it gets to me.
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