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Old July 9, 2021, 01:25 PM   #1
Linker
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Vibratory case cleaner

Original cleaner was a Midway brand. It lasted the longest at about 15 years. I used the heck out of it and often forgot it was running ( in the garage) sometimes for 24 hours. Anyway it finally died. They had no more Midway brand ones so I got a Frankford Arsenal. It was more noisy and died after only a few months. I then got a hornady and it lasted about 5 years and died. I got another Hornady and it still runs well but the top has warped with the heat I suppose. Anyway top will sometimes shake loose. Cannot be trusted. Want another and thinking about the Dillon cv-750 but the cost is right now 185.00. But it is supposedly American made and the thing has a substantial cover and mostly good reviews. I understand that all costs are going up. Don't get me talking politics. But is the cost justified or are there others I should consider?
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Old July 9, 2021, 03:11 PM   #2
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Go with the wet tumbler and don't look back. Does a lot better job cleaning cases.
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Old July 9, 2021, 05:24 PM   #3
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A FART, Frankford Armory Rotary Tumbler, is the way to clean these day.The small model is too small for my needs but should clean just like it's big brother.

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Old July 9, 2021, 06:22 PM   #4
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I've got a Dillon Precision so old that if it had a serial number, it would probably only be two digits long. Still running like a champ!

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Old July 9, 2021, 09:13 PM   #5
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Linker, my experience was close to yours. Waay back when, an RCBS vibratory that ran forever, probably 15+ years. Then I was out of reloading for a while. Back into it now and totally satisfied with a new Frankford Arsenal. Contrary to your experience, mine is quiet and very effective. Count me as a +1 on that one.

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Old July 9, 2021, 11:25 PM   #6
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One of my tumblers is the Dillon 2001. I believe it's still their biggest capacity wise. I also remember it wasn't made in U.S.A. They do, however, honor the warranty if needed. I've had it for probably over a decade. It runs better than any tumbler I've ever had and ones I have, now.

The 750 is still a beast. At the time I purchased the 2001, the 750 was made here. Is it now? Dunno. Give them a call. Either way, I HIGHLY recommend their tumblers.

(And, I'm a Hornady fan over the Dillon presses, if that tells you anything)
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Old July 10, 2021, 01:27 AM   #7
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I went with the Frankford arsenal tumbler for wet cleaning...and a second drum for polishing.
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Old July 10, 2021, 12:22 PM   #8
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My frankford lasted me for years. The bowl cracked and it replaced it about 4 years in. The important thing is to keep it on a hard surface. otherwise it vibrates itself to death. I put on a cheap light timer so it would shut off when It was done. Anything that vibrates as its method of operation will eventually vibrate itself part.

I recently switched to wet tumbling, It gets the brass a LOT cleaner and I really like it, but it is a bit more involved and you have to dry the brass (I usually just put it in a cardboard box with some silica gel for a couple days). It also holds about twice as much as my frankford vibratory, and can process that batch in 1hr, vs 4hr for the walnut media. But then you have to let it dry.
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Old July 10, 2021, 01:07 PM   #9
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My big blue Dillon is over 20 years old, still runs like a top. I use it for pistol cases mostly now. Have a FART for rifle cases.

I do have a small blue Berry's that is about 12 years old that still works great too.
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Old July 11, 2021, 12:07 AM   #10
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I started with a Frankford and I found it loud and it rattled itself to failure in less than two years. I dissected it, found the wires that needed help and reconnected them. It lasted many months after that fix but eventually one of the copper windings snapped and I junked it.

Replaced it with a Berry’s tumbler and ran that one maybe 5 years give or take. Replaced that with a Cabela’s which was 100% a Berry’s tumbler but with a green bowl instead of blue. I’m still running that one and recently snagged another new Berry’s as a back-up since they don’t seem to be easy to find anymore.

Wet tumbling and sonic cleaning are NOT the answer when someone asks about a vibratory tumbler. Yes, I love the way your brass looks, it is gorgeous and I would love for mine to be that gorgeous also, however not at the expense of the hassle of having to dry something out. I just don’t want that on my list of annoyances. The vibratory tumbler and a lamp timer is the answer for me.
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Old July 11, 2021, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I started with a Frankford and I found it loud and it rattled itself to failure in less than two years. I dissected it, found the wires that needed help and reconnected them. It lasted many months after that fix but eventually one of the copper windings snapped and I junked it.

Replaced it with a Berry’s tumbler and ran that one maybe 5 years give or take. Replaced that with a Cabela’s which was 100% a Berry’s tumbler but with a green bowl instead of blue. I’m still running that one and recently snagged another new Berry’s as a back-up since they don’t seem to be easy to find anymore.

Wet tumbling and sonic cleaning are NOT the answer when someone asks about a vibratory tumbler. Yes, I love the way your brass looks, it is gorgeous and I would love for mine to be that gorgeous also, however not at the expense of the hassle of having to dry something out. I just don’t want that on my list of annoyances. The vibratory tumbler and a lamp timer is the answer for me.
Never tried sonic, But it looks much less efficient than standard dry or wet tumbling.

Wet tumbling MAY be the answer based on the price range the OP is looking at.

I have experience with both. I gave my experience with my dry tumbler. As well as what I am doing now and why, wet. If the OP is almost in the $200 range, it should be a consideration.
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Old July 11, 2021, 11:35 AM   #12
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I'll try to better capture what I meant when I used the capitalized and underlined NOT.

Wet tumbling, stainless steel pins, rotary, sonic, vibratory with corn or walnut, all of these are options. Some folks don't tumble at all. Some wipe with a rag. Some wash them in a sink. There are many ways to skin this cat.

I think it's fantastic when someone figures out what works best for them. But something about the wet tumbling folks reminds me of the Jehova's Witnesses. It's like item #1 in the wet tumbling instructions and bylaw #1 in the wet tumbling club is that you have to beat everyone over the head with wet tumbling.

Naaaa. Dry tumbling works wonderfully for me. I can take a couple minutes of my day, dump clean brass out of my bowl, put dirty brass in and dump in the media and the lamp timer handles the rest. All of the other nonsense ceases to exist. If I forget about it and go on vacation, it's just going to repeat it's cycle one time each day. It's probably 35 cents of a electricity. I'll wipe some bird defecate off a solar panel to make up for my carbon footprint.

Wet tumbling might be as fantastic as a Barrett .50 cal. I've shot the Barrett and it put a grin all across my skull but I'm going to go ahead and stick with .223 and the 50-grain V-Max. Just like I'm not going to get my brass wet and then have to get to work getting my brass dry and wondering how sideways it will go if I miss a step somewhere and don't get my brass dry.
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Old July 11, 2021, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I'll try to better capture what I meant when I used the capitalized and underlined NOT.

Wet tumbling, stainless steel pins, rotary, sonic, vibratory with corn or walnut, all of these are options. Some folks don't tumble at all. Some wipe with a rag. Some wash them in a sink. There are many ways to skin this cat.

I think it's fantastic when someone figures out what works best for them. But something about the wet tumbling folks reminds me of the Jehova's Witnesses. It's like item #1 in the wet tumbling instructions and bylaw #1 in the wet tumbling club is that you have to beat everyone over the head with wet tumbling.

Naaaa. Dry tumbling works wonderfully for me. I can take a couple minutes of my day, dump clean brass out of my bowl, put dirty brass in and dump in the media and the lamp timer handles the rest. All of the other nonsense ceases to exist. If I forget about it and go on vacation, it's just going to repeat it's cycle one time each day. It's probably 35 cents of a electricity. I'll wipe some bird defecate off a solar panel to make up for my carbon footprint.

Wet tumbling might be as fantastic as a Barrett .50 cal. I've shot the Barrett and it put a grin all across my skull but I'm going to go ahead and stick with .223 and the 50-grain V-Max. Just like I'm not going to get my brass wet and then have to get to work getting my brass dry and wondering how sideways it will go if I miss a step somewhere and don't get my brass dry.
Your kinda coming of a little strong yourself in defense of vibratory.

Agreed, there are lots of ways to get the job done. Some do a more detailed cleaning than others and all of the ways have their pros and cons. In the end all that really matters is that you get the carbon/dirt off the brass you don't wear your dies out, and the brass functions properly in the gun. With that said I personally feel that If I am going to put the effort into cleaning my brass, I might as well go all in an make it look pretty/like new. Yes the process is slightly more involved, but I feel that its worth it. I'm not shoving my ideas down any ones throat or telling them what they should do. I simply stated my experience with vibratory. What I am doing currently. And why.

The important thing is that the OP gets some good equipment that meets their needs. If the OP is looking at an entire new setup and is considering spending almost $200 it really depends on what the OPs needs are, and the OPs preference as long as its a good reliable setup.


For the OP to help figure out which tumbler will be best for your needs.
How much brass are you needing to process regularly?
How much brass are you wanting to fit in the tumbler per batch?
What kind of medial are you using, walnut, corn cob, other?
How long do you typically leave your brass in the tumbler, assuming you don't forget them?
are the powders you are using particularly sooty or hard to clean off?
do you have your tumblers on a flat hard surface
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Old July 12, 2021, 02:14 AM   #14
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I totally love the curb appeal of the wet tumbled brass. I’m just not going to deal with drying brass out.
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Old July 12, 2021, 08:54 AM   #15
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I totally love the curb appeal of the wet tumbled brass. I’m just not going to deal with drying brass out.
I was there. I made a dryer out of a 5 gallon bucket, a duct fan and a 10" hydroponics basket. I just dump it in and let it run overnight...dry brass. Took about 20 minutes to make, no heater, none of the other time consuming stuff. Converted me for rifle cases.
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Old July 13, 2021, 05:10 AM   #16
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bought my Dillon (used) in 1991. still running.
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Old July 13, 2021, 10:02 AM   #17
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I used a Midway tumbler for 25 plus years, replaced it with a Lyman. So far so good. I do use a timer on the Lyman, couple hours usually does the trick. The wet tumblers will make brass clean and shine like new but I don't want to do anything to add time and labor to the process. I'll never go back to a single stage press either.
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Old July 13, 2021, 11:29 AM   #18
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I’m on my second Harbor Freight VT. Cheap. Works fine. Not going to wet tumbling. Call me lazy. But you don’t has to call me Ray….
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Old July 13, 2021, 12:27 PM   #19
GE-Minigun
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Been using a Thumbler Tumbler for about 10 years, the only complaint I have with it is the bowl size and that is my fault…should have gotten the larger bowl. Works great and is very quite.
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Old July 13, 2021, 07:05 PM   #20
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Thumlers Tumblers now makes a commercal grade vibrating unit for dry polishing .
It should be in it for the long haul .
I have a rotary rock polisher that I use for polishing rocks and it's 30+ years old now and still polishing . I have used it to wet polish brass cases but don't care for the water mess and drying the wet cases ... I have a dry case polishing thumblers unit ...10-15 years old.
It's not the new commerical grade but ...whatever case polisher you want ...look over all the units Thumler's has for sale ...durability and long life is what they're known for .
check out their professional line www.thumlerstumbler.com
PS - they even have Industrial Grade of polishers !
Gary

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Old July 14, 2021, 08:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCO View Post
I was there. I made a dryer out of a 5 gallon bucket, a duct fan and a 10" hydroponics basket. I just dump it in and let it run overnight...dry brass. Took about 20 minutes to make, no heater, none of the other time consuming stuff. Converted me for rifle cases.
Great idea. I made my wet tumbler out of things I had lying around….always satisfying.

For now I just lie my cases out by a heater vent, or in the sun in the summer. If I’m in a rush the oven works fine. Main thing is just not to be in a hurry to load them.

Not sure if mentioned already but decapping prior is key to wet tumbling. Otherwise the cases are practically air locked and won’t dry.
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Old July 16, 2021, 07:26 AM   #22
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I totally love the curb appeal of the wet tumbled brass. I’m just not going to deal with drying brass out.
30 minutes in the free hot sun is all they need.

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Old July 16, 2021, 09:34 AM   #23
pete2
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30 minutes won't dry brass, not even in Texas in July. I have to wash brass sometimes due to a wet match and have muddy brass, it don't dry in 30 minutes. I would prolly get a toaster over to dry it in if I was gonna use a wet tumbler. I'd rather be loading or shooting.
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Old July 16, 2021, 04:40 PM   #24
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Drying brass is easy, as long as you do it when SWMBO isn’t home. I just set the oven at 175 deg for an hour. I use a dedicated cookie sheet for this. I wet tumble in Dawn and Lemishine, no pins and it’s just the easiest thing in the world. I do rifle brass a second time in just Dawn to remove the lanolin case lube. If I want them to stay shiny I also do an hour in the VT with crushed walnut shells and Nufinish.

Last edited by jetinteriorguy; July 16, 2021 at 05:39 PM.
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Old July 17, 2021, 10:23 AM   #25
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Some of you folks don't have enough to do..................
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