The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 15, 2012, 03:59 PM   #1
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 344
What is the best $-value tumbler?

I'm in the market for a tumbler to clean about 200 rifle cartridges per month. I've read several good threads on media but can't find one on the best tumbler to get. I like to buy quality but am willing to temper this need to accommodate my relatively low-volume needs. Thanks
FLChinook is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 04:04 PM   #2
sc928porsche
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2008
Location: now living in alabama
Posts: 2,433
Frankfort Arsenal should do for you.
__________________
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
sc928porsche is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 04:08 PM   #3
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
seconded
tkglazie is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 04:09 PM   #4
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,467
thirded
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 06:05 PM   #5
leadchucker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 252
fourthed.
leadchucker is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 06:21 PM   #6
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
I bought a cabelas brand tumbler several years ago and its worked great for me, looks like an RCBS and probably is?
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 06:28 PM   #7
jaguarxk120
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,928
There are two types of "tumblers" the vibrator style and the rotary style.

The vibrators are cheaper and they clean the brass so it shines very nicely.

The tumblers can use the same media and cost more, but when stainless steel pins are used, thats where the big difference is.

The brass deprimed and processed with the pins comes out just as shiney as the media tumblers, BUT the brass is clean inside and out. The inside of the cases look like new unfired brass and the primer pockets are clean.

From the start it may cost more but in the long run it is cheaper.
jaguarxk120 is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 07:40 PM   #8
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarxk120 View Post
From the start it may cost more but in the long run it is cheaper.
I dont follow. Steel pins are great for making cases look like new (which can be argued is purely cosmetic), but how are they ever going to be cheaper? I could spend several lifetimes trying to use up enough walnut and cob media to make up the price difference. A few scraps of cut up used dryer sheet keeps my media clean for 10s of thousands of cases.

Are pins better? If for some reason you want the insides of your cases shiny, and if for some reason you decap before tumbling and want shiny primer pockets shiny, then yes. If you just want the part of the case that touches your chambers and dies to be clean, vibratory is just as good.
tkglazie is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 08:10 PM   #9
bamiller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2010
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 455
5th for the Frankfort Arsenal.
bamiller is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 08:46 PM   #10
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,493
I use a Harbor Freight, along with the 25# bag of walnut media they sell. I'm not happy about being made in China, but it's all I can afford.
chris in va is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 09:54 PM   #11
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Frankfort Arsenal, Harbor Freight, made in china.

Berry's, Cabela's, Graf's, all made by Berry Mfg. made right here in the U.S. of A, except for the motor which has no one making one here in the U.S.

Berry's are in the same price range, and if you order $49.00 plus you get FREE SHIPPING currently, from Cabela's.

Plus with Cabela's satisfaction guarantee forever, why buy elsewhere.

Why would one not support U.S. manufacture in todays economy when the product is in the same price range?
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 09:59 PM   #12
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
I use a Harbor Freight, along with the 25# bag of walnut media they sell. I'm not happy about being made in China, but it's all I can afford.
Harbor Freight--------------------$54.99 current price

Cabela's--------------------------$54.99 current price/free shipping
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 10:03 PM   #13
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,210
I use the Harbor Freight, with the walnut media that they sell. It's cheap but functional. And I notice that several of the more expensive ones you can buy look EXACTLY like the Harbor Freight one. What a shock. Just go to Bubba Central (Harbor Freight) and get one. It works fine and it works pretty darn quick. Of course you can spend more money if you just feel better doing that. Somebody might chime in and say that they'll burn up quick, but that hasn't happened to mine. If it does, just get another one. You can buy 4 for what the high dollar ones cost.
603Country is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 10:33 PM   #14
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
good point jcwit. I am ashamed.

and now I hate my tumbler.....
tkglazie is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 10:50 PM   #15
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Don't go that far, but next time look before you leap.

Sorta comes natural to me, I started purchasing for a hardware store at the ripe old age of 14, and ended up as a procurement officer for the largest RV company back in the 70's/80's.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 10:52 PM   #16
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 344
Quote:
Steel pins are great for making cases look like new (which can be argued is purely cosmetic), but how are they ever going to be cheaper? I could spend several lifetimes trying to use up enough walnut and cob media to make up the price difference. A few scraps of cut up used dryer sheet keeps my media clean for 10s of thousands of cases.
Can you not use walnut/cob media in a rotary tumbler?

I don't mind spending a little more for a rotary tumbler if it increases versatility. This thread started out asking about tumblers in general but perhaps I could redirect it to focusing on rotary tumblers...
FLChinook is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 10:53 PM   #17
hikingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 249
Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler.

There's lots of tumblers on the market, and this one is for you!

Shopping for media outside of the lizard dept. at Petco, or Petsmart stores is a waste of money!
__________________
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem. Ronald Reagan, 1985
hikingman is offline  
Old December 15, 2012, 11:14 PM   #18
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
Shopping for media outside of the lizard dept. at Petco, or Petsmart stores is a waste of money!
Oh it is? Check Here!

http://www.drillspot.com/products/52...bs_blast_media

$34.48 shipped right to your door, no gas expense getting it, no shipping charges. Plus you get a lot more media per lb. of corn cob than shell media. The 20/40 I linked to will not, I repeat NOT clog primer pockets or flash holes. Plus it cleans just as well. Add a teaspoon of liquid auto polish to the tumbler when first starting, then another teaspoon after 5 or 8 thousand cases.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 07:40 AM   #19
oneoldsap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2009
Location: I live in the foot of the Green Mountains of Vermont
Posts: 1,584
Corncob media is good for polishing , not so good for cleaning ! Walnut is a much better cleaning media !
oneoldsap is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 08:31 AM   #20
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
Corncob media is good for polishing , not so good for cleaning ! Walnut is a much better cleaning media !
I have that over and over. However my experience has proven that false with over 30 years of cleaning/polishing my cases. Only media I find that will out do either corn cob or walnut is SS pins and wet tumbling.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 04:13 PM   #21
FLChinook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 344
Is the Lyman Pro 1200 made in USA? Lyman doesn't say and nothing in their instructions...
FLChinook is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 04:48 PM   #22
Goet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2000
Location: North Ogden, UT
Posts: 953
I will have to try some media. I've only ever used detergent and water. Shines them up well, but not inside. No dust to clean.
__________________
Bomb Canada!
Goet is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 05:53 PM   #23
Shane Tuttle
Staff
 
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: Blue Grass, IA
Posts: 8,532
If you're looking strictly to get the brass clean and don't care about it being pretty, I'd get a 5 gallon bucket. Fill it with water and your brass. Add Palmolive dishwashing liquid that has the oxy-whatever solution in it. Swirl away by hand or a drill with a drywall mud mixer for a couple of minutes.

Go to your nearest Goodwill store or garage sale and pick up some designated cookie sheets and towels. You don't have to get it super dry via towel. Just lay the brass on a couple of towels and get some of the water off and out of it. Lay them out on the cookie sheets and stick 'em in the oven which should be set at 225-250 or so. This will evaporate the water out of the nook and crannies. After about 30-45 min, you should be good to go. Be sure to let the brass cool off for a while before handling them.

That's a real cheap way of dealing with a small quantity of brass you have. Reason why I wouldn't recommend a vibratory tumbler is by the time you buy one, along with the walnut/corn medias, sifter, and such, you're going to approach somewhat close to $100. On top of that, I think the cheap tumblers such as the Frankford Arsenal, etc. needs to have the brass fairly loaded up in order to get a quick and effective clean & shine. If most of your cartidges are large rifle, this might not be the case (no pun intended).
__________________
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting
Shane Tuttle is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:11 PM   #24
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Shane, I had a good friend that swore by the same method you just described, I never did try it as I had a good tumbler to use
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:38 PM   #25
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Your method is solid shane, I have used it. A good FA tumbler and media costs $50 max though, not $100. My batches are quite small- whenever a quart sized ziplock bag of a caliber gets full, in it goes. Works great with small batches.

Still using the same batch of media I put in back in April. Must be approaching 20K cases by now.
tkglazie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14396 seconds with 7 queries