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Thread: case tumbler

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    C-dubb's Avatar
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    case tumbler

    Is anyone but me using a case tumbler to apply PC.
    I started using mine about a year ago, with a few airlift BBs and it has really improved my PC bullets.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    I'm 'sorta' using a case tumbler. Rather than aggravate my carpal tunnel shaking a #5 container of ASBBs and powder by hand, I fabricated a spare drum for my Thumbler rotary from a 1-gallon paint can and then made an insert for the paint-can drum to hold the #5 container of ASBBs, powder, and raw boolits. 5-6 minutes 'tumble time' provides a nice, even coating. Doesn't add any extra time to the process because I normally use two #5 containers: while one is tumbling, I'm picking coated boolits out of the other and standing them on a silicon-lined oven tray.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  3. #3
    Boolit Man


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    I use an old Hornady tumbler I picked for $5 at a yard sale to powder coat. I don't use the airsoft BB's in it though. I just add powder and bullets and let it run for about 5 minutes a batch.

  4. #4
    C-dubb,

    So switching to a tumbler improved your coating over what? What method had you tried before?

    And what sort of "improvements" are we talking about? Actual, practical improvements, where the bullets are more accurate or lead less? Or cosmetic improvements. I don't mean to belittle the cosmetics - if I'm going to spend time working on something I like my work to look good.

    I coat using a #5 tupper-ware and airsoft BBs. Dump it into an ice-cream pale with holes drilled in it to act as a sieve. Then dump bullets onto a tray lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Shake the tray a bit so the bullets are all one-layer, then in the toaster they go. I use Harbor Freight red.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-dubb View Post
    Is anyone but me using a case tumbler to apply PC.
    I started using mine about a year ago, with a few airlift BBs and it has really improved my PC bullets.
    Oh heck yeah! My old, lopsided, turbo 1200 was too good to toss out when I bought a bigger FA tumbler. Now I use it for applying hBN coatings to all of my lead bullets and even some jacketed rifle stuff. I just swapped out the tuffnut media for some steel ball burnishing media and in 30-60 minutes I get the slickest, dark, dark-grey, lead slugs I've ever shot. I love it!
    Because freedom isn't free....

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I don’t have a tumbler, but if I did, I sure would be trying it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    I found a tumbler to be too aggressive, so I modified a small tumbler. The straps holding the bucket in place alloy me to adjust the tension on the bucket and the amount of vibration. I tumble coat approximately 6 pounds of bullets at a time, with no effort. If the humidity is high I can preheat the bullets and drop in the running tumbler. The bucket lid keeps the powder confined.
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  8. #8
    I have used just an HF case vibrator, I've used it with #5 containers in it and I've used it with the boolits in plastic ziplock bags.

    20 - 30 seconds swirling by hand gets it done, haven't used my case vibrator for some time

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman Turbo 1200 on a 5 minute timer. Works great and I can be doing something else while the timer is running. Like everyone else, dump it into a sieve, shake it and dump it onto a silicone mat or whatever. Dump the catch pan back into the tumbler and repeat. Easy color change with an air hose. Note: Do not stand downwind during the easy color change. I won't say how I discovered that handy tip.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


    Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    I'm 'sorta' using a case tumbler. Rather than aggravate my carpal tunnel shaking a #5 container of ASBBs and powder by hand, I fabricated a spare drum for my Thumbler rotary from a 1-gallon paint can and then made an insert for the paint-can drum to hold the #5 container of ASBBs, powder, and raw boolits. 5-6 minutes 'tumble time' provides a nice, even coating. Doesn't add any extra time to the process because I normally use two #5 containers: while one is tumbling, I'm picking coated boolits out of the other and standing them on a silicon-lined oven tray.

    Bill
    Do you mind showing some pics of this set up?
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy

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    Are we talking a vibrator tumbler or a rotrary tumbler, my rotrary tumbler seems to be really aggressive to tumble lead bullets in.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Do you mind showing some pics of this set up?
    No problem but it may take a day or two. Just got back from two-weeks vacation and we're still getting things back together and re-acclimating ourselves to Illinois winter. It was +52 F. when we left San Antonio at 7AM Wednesday morning and +12 F...with a 20 mph wind...when we got off the train yesterday afternoon.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    My tumbler set-up. The 'drum' is a 1-gal. paint can and the internal carrier made from 1/4" mahogany plywood held in place with 'Quik Seal' foam insulation from a spray can. Ends of barrel are wrapped with non-skid walkway tape for better 'traction' on the tumbler rollers. #5 containers are Rubbermaid food storage boxes. I'm not really a high-volume reloader but can turn out 400-500 finished boolits an hour using my two thrift-shop toaster ovens.


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    Last edited by Kraschenbirn; 01-26-2019 at 06:01 PM.
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    No problem but it may take a day or two. Just got back from two-weeks vacation and we're still getting things back together and re-acclimating ourselves to Illinois winter. It was +52 F. when we left San Antonio at 7AM Wednesday morning and +12 F...with a 20 mph wind...when we got off the train yesterday afternoon.

    Bill
    You rode a train.....man, I want one.
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I use a cheap Frankfort arsonel vibrator (not true tumbler) it works great. I don't even mess with bbs anymore. Tried it with bbs then switched to #4 buckshot and eventually found that 15 minutes in the tumbler and they were coated just as well by the bullets banging against each other.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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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