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Old July 13, 2012, 08:33 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: October 2, 2007
Posts: 634
sf, 7/14/12

The age old tumbling question with many opposing answers, all of them right for that particular person.

I've reloaded 90,000 rounds in the last seven years including pistol (9mm. 45acp, 38 sp, 357mag, 44sp) and rifle (270win, 30-06, 30-30) and used a tumbler just once in the first 80,000 rounds. It was too loud and didn't improve either the shooting or reloading of the cartridge.

So my system was to take each case, inspect the base, rim, body, mouth and interior before wiping it down with a paper towel. It takes between 6 and 7 seconds per case. This way I can clean and remove any damaged cases (remember tumbling does not get you out of inspecting each and every case for defects). The cases were clean but not shiny. I never scratched any of my dies, either carbide or non-carbide dies.

My only problem was that I would get some high-primers from the primer pocket residue after a number of reloadings. I finally bit the bullet and bought stainless-steel-pins and a Thumbler's rotary tumbler from Buffalo Arms and tumble the cases after I deprime them. Now the primer pockets, interior and exterior of the cases look all shiny and new. I figured out the time element for the SS-pin tumbling and my handling of each case takes about three times as long per cartridge (de-priming, tumbling, case inspection and drying). So while I get a better result their is a major labor component involved now.

So take a look at all the poster's replies above and figure out a system that works for you. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow
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