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Old January 19, 2000, 12:14 AM   #1
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Hi guys, found an interesting thread on GT about finish polishing loaded rounds. Many say that it is a hazardous practice since the tumbling can possibly alter the qualities of the powder. The rational was that the friction generated can cause the coating of the powder to rub of and you will get faster burn rates as a result. Has anyone heard of this? Agree? Disagree? I had a buddy in HS who's dad was a commercial loader and always did a final polish on his ammo. He in fact loads match ammo for the AMU, so I'd like to think he has some idea about what he's doing. Any feedback?
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Old January 19, 2000, 03:12 AM   #2
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I've got a buncha stock, inherited from my father-in-law. Tried some out, shoots just fine. So I tumbled it up and sealed it in ziplocks. Of course, it takes an air hose to get all of the compound out of the primer and bullet grooves. Haven't shot any "post-spin", now I'm wondering.
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Old January 19, 2000, 01:09 PM   #3
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Tumbling loaded rounds for 10-15 min causes zero problems. I do it when I load .223 on my Dillon 650 with no problems. In colleg I worked at a commercial reloading company and we also tumbled our loaded ammo with no problems.
I think this is one of those things that sounds good in theroy so it is preached to the masses much like the "contaminating primers" myth.

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Old January 19, 2000, 02:44 PM   #4
Walt Welch
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I tumble loaded ammo as well, to remove fingerprint oils. It only takes 10 to 15 min. in my Dillon tumbler with walnut shell media and Dillon brass polish.

Absolutely no problems after thousands of rounds. Walt
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Old January 20, 2000, 09:32 AM   #5
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I have noticed some change in flash and increased deviations after tumbling.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old January 20, 2000, 07:50 PM   #6
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Tumbling loaded ammunition for a short time probably won't do any harm. Longer tumbling could alter the physical condition of powder particles, thereby perhaps causing pressure/burn rate changes. Personally, I never bothered with "cleaning" loaded ammunition. As for the AMU, I doubt that they paid much attention to whether their ammunition was shiny or dull. How it shot, I suspect, was their concern.

Just my take on the thing.
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Old January 21, 2000, 03:41 AM   #7
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There was a great two part article a few years back in Precision Shooting magazine about the AMU, specifically their gunsmithing and ammo loading operations.
It was specifically mentioned in the article that ammo appearance is very important and all ammo loading operations are done with rubber gloves so the ammo will not get tarnished. When asked why, the AMU guy said that it was mainly psychological. If during am important competition, a 1,000 shooter takes out a round and it is tarnished and dirty, he may have less confidence in the ammo and it could affect his shooting. I guess every little thing helps?

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Old January 21, 2000, 02:02 PM   #8
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I've done the tumble deal with loaded pistol ammo before, but to get excess bullet lube off the case mouths. I would definitely keep the time in a tumbler to an absolute minimum, because the deterent coating on powder will wear away if done to excess. Ask military armorers about ammo the army carries in vehicles for extended periods. I'll bet they get rid of it after a specified time, and for the same reason we shouldn't tumble loaded ammo too long.

As for my rifle ammo, I prep all cases ahead of time, whether I'm going to load them on a single stage press or a Dillon. Size them, tumble to get lube off, then trim and whatever else needs done. Store them in sealed coffee cans to keep beetles & spiders from getting into them and dying or making cobwebs, and they're ready to load when I need them. If I'm going to load 223 on a Dillon, I put a neck size die in station #1 to make certain the neck is round and that there's nothing(like tumbling media)left inside the case or flashhole.

[This message has been edited by flatlander (edited January 21, 2000).]
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Old January 22, 2000, 12:20 AM   #9
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Forgot about the psychological aspect of the thing. As you noted, every little bit helps.

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Old January 22, 2000, 08:30 PM   #10
Bud Helms
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I don't know guys.

There's something about putting a loaded round inside a tub that goes Bzzzzzzzzzz ... that just doesn't seem right. Not just a loaded round, but several! All chummy and shaking around! Egads!

All I can think of is a Sierra boattail hollowpoint going clinkclinkclinkclinkclink against its little brother's primer.

Call me old-fashioned, but that's one thing I don't even want to try.

It gets warm in there and the possible breakdown of powder ... well, I don't want to go there.

Some of us 'got buzzard luck. Why don'cha just tell me how it works out?

[This message has been edited by sensop (edited January 23, 2000).]
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