The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 4, 2014, 08:53 PM   #1
Beginner 1960
Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2012
Location: East TN
Posts: 46
If u could only afford one?

Was just wondering about everyones opinon if u could just afford a wet tumbler or a chronograph which one would u choose?

I don't shoot competition or any thing, just plinking in the back yard...... and hate to clean plimer pockets lol

But I am wanting to work up a sd load for a snubnose sp101....... and would love to know the fps of them

Decisions....Decisions...Decisions....lol
Beginner 1960 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 09:14 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I don't clean primer pockets anyway, especially for handguns... so chrony. Tumbling is basically unnecessary. It just makes pretty ammo.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 09:23 PM   #3
nemesiss45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2014
Posts: 361
Chrony... thats why I have one instead of a wet tumbler
nemesiss45 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 10:57 PM   #4
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,999
Wet tumbler.
Chrony can be nice, but I've never 'needed' one in the past.

Taking care of my dies by keeping dirty cases out of them... that's a worthy cause.

Plus, I don't currently have a tumbler of any kind. So, I may as well go wet, and skip all the dust this time. (My previous vibratory tumbler was on long-term loan from its owner.)
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 09:38 AM   #5
AllenJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,383
Tough choice but I would go with the chronograph. Loading for handgun I've never cleaned primer pockets and it has not caused me a problem yet.
AllenJ is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 09:51 AM   #6
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,181
A tumbler is nice to have or to impress other shooters at the range with glossy brass, but it's really nice to know how fast your bullets are going...

FWIW, I reloaded for mebbe 12 years before I got a tumbler, and nope, I didn't scratch/ruin and dies and yep, I could see any defects. But I do tumble shine my 30-06 brass 'cause I shoot in an area that has dirt, grass, and rocks and a shiny 30-06 case is easier to find when flung from a Garand...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 10:02 AM   #7
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,845
I would go for the tumbler, although I don't see a need for a wet one.

Neither one is essential, and while it's nice to know how fast your bullets are going, it is not essential. Clean tumbled cases are nice, but not essential, too.

Given that, if you get a chronograph, once you know the velocities of your loads, what do you use it for? Its likely to sit unused, until you go to work up another load, or get a different gun.

A tumbler on the other hand, will get used every time you process brass. (or could be)

For most of us, that is a LOT more often than we check velocities...
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 10:06 AM   #8
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 2,798
Quote:
if u could just afford a wet tumbler
Another shooter/collector/reloader etc., wanted a wet tumbler, 25 gal stainless-drum chain drive with a rheostat variable speed with wheels and handles. It was not long before he called for help, so I went over and finished it. A magnificent machine, we are the few in the neighborhood that can fill it.

Then he received his reloading catalog and found the stainless steel pin tumbler. He ordered one, it is still in the box. He had no ideal they were so small. I use dry media for tumbling, when I want to show off I spin my cases.

F. Guffey
F. Guffey is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 11:25 AM   #9
Beginner 1960
Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2012
Location: East TN
Posts: 46
Am I the only one that has trouble seating pimers in a dirty primer pocket?

Not all the time but have hi primers sometimes when I don't clean them

Ahh to be rich and have both lol
Beginner 1960 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 12:51 PM   #10
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 2,798
Quote:
Ahh to be rich and have both lol
As Red Green always says, if you are not handsome it pays to be handy. I am handy and at the same time I would not walk across the street to watch an ant eat a bail of hay. I make spinners for cleaning cases, I use vinegar and I have dry media tumblers. That is it, the spinners are slower on large batches but do the best when best looking is the criteria.

Forgive, I have a primer pocket uniformed that is screwed into the Case Prep Center, and a primer pocket brush, brushes do not last long.

F. Guffey
F. Guffey is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 12:54 PM   #11
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
ammo first

Clean cases are less likely to ruin your dies, and being clean helps them function through the gun better.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 01:01 PM   #12
pgdion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2010
Location: MPLS, MN
Posts: 1,118
Chrono, I have a cheap dry tumbler and yes, it basically makes pretty brass (but it is pretty). Pretty sure reloading would be fine without the tumbler but a dry tumbler from harbor freight is cheap (and so is there media) and it does strip off any dirt. Wet tumbler, not on my wish list. But a chrono is, if the one I'm building doesn't work as well as I'd like.
Yea you only need it to work up your loads and then you're done with it (for awhile) but with out it you really can't be sure where your loads are at. I go off of accuracy and feel right now but it would be nice to have an objective measurement too. I have lots of tools that don't get used often, but when you need them, you really need them. I'm fine with them sitting in the tool box most of the time.
__________________
597 VTR, because there's so many cans and so little time!

Last edited by pgdion; June 5, 2014 at 04:26 PM.
pgdion is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 02:15 PM   #13
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
Clean cases first; chrono eventually.....?
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 05:23 PM   #14
mnoirot64
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2013
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Posts: 355
Chronograph. You really need one to work up load recipes. I have a Beta Master Chrony. I also just purchased Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series SS tumbler. It does make your brass look brand new!
mnoirot64 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 05:55 PM   #15
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,387
Quote:
Tumbling is basically unnecessary. It just makes pretty ammo.
Brian is obviously not OCD

I'd get the chronograph. Fairly easy choice, actually. Even with my incessant "quest" (re: OCD) for beautiful brass.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 07:25 PM   #16
mnoirot64
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2013
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Posts: 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
Brian is obviously not OCD



I'd get the chronograph. Fairly easy choice, actually. Even with my incessant "quest" (re: OCD) for beautiful brass.

Nick - You and me are on the same quest. I found the proverbial "four leaf clover" with the new SS tumbler. It provides great "form." The chronograph provides "function."
mnoirot64 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 07:31 PM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
Brian is obviously not OCD



I'd get the chronograph. Fairly easy choice, actually. Even with my incessant "quest" (re: OCD) for beautiful brass.

Haha

I use both but if I had to give one up it would be the tumbler.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 07:53 PM   #18
MarkGlazer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2013
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 118
How about both? And why do you need a wet tumbler? What is wrong with dry?

Buying used equipment, you can probably have both for the same cost, if not less than what you have in mind for a budget.

Happy shopping.......
__________________
non ministrari sed ministrare
MarkGlazer is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 08:21 PM   #19
Monte
Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2014
Posts: 22
Why not both? Get a good chronograph, then buy the Harbor Freight dual wet rock tumbler for just under $50 with 20% coupon. I picked one up a few months back and 2 1/2 lbs of ss pins on ebay for just under $20, That tumbler works great. It's nice not dealing with the dust of dry tumbling and brass comes out like new.
Monte is offline  
Old June 6, 2014, 11:09 AM   #20
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,181
FWIW; I remember going to the range in the mid to late 60s and noticed the types of shooters. I saw the police practicing, I saw the recreational shooters, and I saw some guys that were shooting a lot. It seemed the guys shooting a lot were reloaders, mainly because they picked up all the brass and I also noticed their brass was brown, not shiny virgin looking like the ammo the other shooters used. It seems tumbling and polishing weren't considered "the thing to do" back then. I remember one guy in particular, he put up one target and shot several magazines at it, mebbe 10, at it and it ended up with one hole about 4" in diameter (1911 at 50', standing two hand hold).

Just a memory that comes up when fellers talk about shooting pristine, polished, glossy inside and out brass...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old June 6, 2014, 02:09 PM   #21
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,389
^If the guys would have been using bright brass, the ragged hole would have measured 2.5 inches.

If I was loading for a rifle, the chrono would be first. I would want to check velocities, plus most rifles can smack the primer hard enough to fire the cartridge.

Since I'm loading thousands of pistol rounds, the wet tumbler came first (free leftover from kids rock tumbling days).
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old June 6, 2014, 06:50 PM   #22
mnoirot64
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2013
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Posts: 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
FWIW; I remember going to the range in the mid to late 60s and noticed the types of shooters. I saw the police practicing, I saw the recreational shooters, and I saw some guys that were shooting a lot. It seemed the guys shooting a lot were reloaders, mainly because they picked up all the brass and I also noticed their brass was brown, not shiny virgin looking like the ammo the other shooters used. It seems tumbling and polishing weren't considered "the thing to do" back then. I remember one guy in particular, he put up one target and shot several magazines at it, mebbe 10, at it and it ended up with one hole about 4" in diameter (1911 at 50', standing two hand hold).



Just a memory that comes up when fellers talk about shooting pristine, polished, glossy inside and out brass...

I certainly don't believe shiny brass will make my reloads more accurate. It just makes me feel better and that may make me shoot better.
mnoirot64 is offline  
Old June 6, 2014, 10:53 PM   #23
Onward Allusion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 1,816
Chronograph, definitely. I personally don't care about tarnished ugly brass as long as it's still functional. Also, doesn't wet tumbling wear the cases out faster? I'm asking 'cause I'm still new at this.
__________________
"You haven't lived until you've died." - various

Last edited by Onward Allusion; June 6, 2014 at 10:59 PM.
Onward Allusion is offline  
Old June 7, 2014, 08:24 AM   #24
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,389
Quote:
Also, doesn't wet tumbling wear the cases out faster?
While I have no proof, I suspect much more wear comes through the expansion during firing and sizing/resizing.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old June 7, 2014, 10:25 AM   #25
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 2,798
Onward Allusion. In the beginning I used vinegar, because the other method was some bad stuff. First, I placed cases in the vinegar and left them, I did check progress, first the pink and orange, in time the cases disappeared.

I set the time exposed to the vinegar at 15 minutes, I could have reduced the time If I choose to stir, agitate etc. Them I set the exposure of the case to vinegar to once, once for the life of the case.

In the beginning acid was used, it is in the book, but!! the time limit the case was exposed to the solution was for a maximum of two and a half minutes

The instructions made it very clear, there can be nothing of the solution left on the case, then the instructions explained how the cases were to be cleaned and the solution was to be removed. Boiling clean water, twice and they were thoughtful enough to include the time the cases were to be exposed to the boiling water.

Anyhow, I thought there were perimeters, I was not using the same acid, my cases did not turn black, the instructions did include instructions for those that get out and dig, like, if you are out looking through stuff and find sealed cans of 30/06 etc. cases that are black do not throw them out, black cases in sealed cans were 'pickled' for storage.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; June 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM. Reason: remove not
F. Guffey 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 12:15 AM.


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 0.11774 seconds with 7 queries