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Thread: Thinking of buying a tumbler - Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy bbogue1's Avatar
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    Thinking of buying a tumbler - Suggestions?

    I wet tumble now in an ice cream maker. I think the agitator keeps the brass stirred up for the most part. Tub rotates the agitator/scraper does not. It does a good job for my pistol brass, but, a friend, whom I am assembling tools to reload for (almost done) has rifle. I am concerned my system of cleaning may not work as well with the small neck size of his 25 caliber cases. I read about tumbling in lizard, walnut and other medias and adding car wax to the mix and the cases come out clean as my wet tumbling my straight wall cases. When I wet tumble I use citric acid, Dawn and warm water for 45 minutes to an hour. I'd like to add SS pins but I'm not convinced the expense is worth it. Maybe I will need to with the addition of rifle brass. What is your opinion?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Franklin Arsenal aka "FART"
    Most are very happy as I am with it. I use SS chips but most use pins.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The biggest Dillon model. If you want to clean a whole bunch in a short amount of time use the Dillon. Now I clean cases in the ultrasonic cleaner dry them and polish them in the Dillon.
    Last edited by 6bg6ga; 01-08-2018 at 07:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    can you fit the square 2# plastic peanut jars in the ice cream tank?
    If so you could wedge a couple of these in the tub, set the ice cream maker on its side and have a tumbler(I use 2.5# pins in each container)
    You might need to put some caster or something where the ice went to keep the drum level and spinning

    Another method is a 14 in piece of 2x8 a piece of 1/4 ply or " 3 x 12 in screwed vertically to the end of the 2x8
    a windshield wiper motor bolted to the 1/4 ply
    bolt a long nut (with a rubber washer) to the center of a 2# square peanut container
    shim a caster/roller to support the lid of the peanut jar
    get an old computer power supply use 1 set of black and 1 set of yellow wires for the 12 v power
    then connect green to black for on-off
    1/2 tsp lemishine/citric acid, 2 tsp dawn and 2.5# stainless pins in the container.

    you could go with 2 2-gallon buckets (1 attached to the [must be a larger windshield wiper motor]and two rollers to support the bucket) and 1 that slides in the attached one with a lid with a rubber seal and some baffles bolted to the inside .

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a STM Rebel 17. The kit comes with ss pins and lemishine. The thumblers tumbler model B works too, but uses 1/4" shafts and nylon bushings. The rebel 17 uses 1/2" shafts and pillow block bearings. Both can be had from STM vendor on this site. You can use Dawn dish wash, but I use simple green as it will remove case lube better.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    +1 on STM Rebel 17
    just got done doing 6 lbs of 45 Colt and 44 Mag brass--cases drying in den as I type this

    I use Armor-All wash and wax + Lemishine as the wax keeps the cases from tarnishing i.e. stays bright and shiny unlike using soap which will allow cases to tarnish quickly

    use SS chips as they cut my tumbling time in half. Get them from here: https://www.facebook.com/southernshinetumblers/

    not connected to either of these other than being a happy customer
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Gtrubicon's Avatar
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    I have two of the frankford arsenal units. Very happy with them, they replaced a large thumblers tumbler. It worked very well also. The frankford unit is much easier to use in my opinion.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

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    I don't know why I'd never thought of using an ice cream churn but thanks for the idea. I can see tilting the metal tub at an angle, attaching a couple rubber strip to the inside,(after removing the agitator) , supporting it with casters underneath and maybe at the bottom of tub. A simple wooden frame would be fine for the motor. I think I'll play with this design and see if it goes anywhere
    Jeff

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Been using the same Thumbler's Tumbler Model B for over 40 years.....just an occasional o-ring belt replacement.

    Winelover

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Lyman Cyclone,
    Comes with 5# pins and sifter.
    Great machine.
    Great price....dale

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by winelover View Post
    Been using the same Thumbler's Tumbler Model B for over 40 years.....just an occasional o-ring belt replacement.

    Winelover
    I also use that tumbler, works great, no problems.

  12. #12
    Vendor Sponsor D Crockett's Avatar
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    I got a paper folding machine and made a wet pin tumbler out of it I have not used my dry tumbler in a few years now. I think the wet tumbler works much better than the dry tumbler does it gets the brass like new shinny D Crockett

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Reddirt62's Avatar
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    Used both the fart and Dillon for years, pretty much back to just using the Dillon. Much less mess overall and with a bit of nu-shine I get the same results. That's my story and I am sticking to it!

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    I bought a Lortone #12 from Paul Jones 37 years ago & it's still going strong. They not cheap, but they're worth every cent. I do all of my wet tumbling in it. A 6 to 1 mixture of water & lemon juice (the cheap stuff) + a dash of dawn & they look new.

    Henry
    Last edited by oldhenry; 01-08-2018 at 08:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    When you look inside brass tumbled with SS pins, citric acid, dawn, you'll know why the method is so popular. The inside looks just as clean and bright as the outside. Not to mention the primer pockets are bright and clean. Granted they don't shoot any better, but totally clean and shiny in much less time is a winner to me. I used to do lots of range brass that was extremely dark with total success. I often delt with 8-12 gal of brass a week. Both tumblers ran every night and I spent my time separating by cal.
    No primer dust to breath or clean up.
    No brass to re-run.
    Much less noise.
    No grundgy media to replace.
    Just New looking brass, ready to size.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  16. #16
    FART all the way. The built in strainers caps are easy to use and all you need are 2 buckets for rinsing the brass and separating pins. No additional separators necessary.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man


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    Going into my third winter with the FART, collect and sort the rest of the year. Nothing like it. I use the tried and true Lemishine, Armorall, Dawn mix and SS pins. Many thousands of various cases done. Money well spent. Dave

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    if your looking to buy a tumbler more than one any reloading tumbler will work , FART, LYMAN OR OTHER. If you want one that will last 20 years or so. . think lortone, Thumlers, diamond Pacific
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Drew P's Avatar
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    There’s a thumbless copy on eBay. Ethics aside, it’s worked well for me for a few years now. Quality unit at half the price.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    My experience with tumblers is that I have had a Thumlers and a couple of the large Dillons for years. A few years ago I sprung for the larger "Big Dawg" model. One of my Dillons is old enough to be covered by their lifetime warranty and one is not. I've gotten good service from all of them. I use the Thumlers drum on the Big Dawg more than anything. I usually run the wet tumbler for 2 hours. It takes the vibrators about 12 hours using corncob and car polish to do the same job. Really grubby brass never seems to get clean in corncob but will with the wet tumbler.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check