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Thread: What can be used in a Tumbler?

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    Worry about nothing - I've got it covered....

    After the cases are clean, the old pillowcase is likewise clean - but I also run the machine again after I'm done with the cases (using detergent)

    I've been doing that since the mid-70's, and my 3 kids (now 54, 51 & 48 years old) are just fine.

    Thanks for caring, though.

    .
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    Size/Prime a few cases when starting off with a progressive and put them aside. You can plug them back into the process when a bad/odd case screws up the priming station and continue loading.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Iv'e tried the dishwasher method when I was testing loads or just shooting BP and they cases were pretty dinged up. Yours dont kink anyhwere?

  3. #23
    Boolit Bub
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    Are you talking about a vibratory or rotary tumbler?

    In the vibratory, I use cob or walnut. If I'm doing brass, I put a squirt of car polish/wax in it. Nothing if I'm polishing parts or what have you.

    In the rotary I use stainless steel chips rather than the pins. I don't have near the issues with pins sticking in the necks or elsewhere. A squirt of Dawn is all I use.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Iv'e tried the dishwasher method when I was testing loads or just shooting BP and they cases were pretty dinged up. Yours dont kink anyhwere?
    I use a clothes washer, not a dishwasher - but cleaning them within a towel load results in clean cases w/o any denting/etc.


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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    I use a clothes washer, not a dishwasher - but cleaning them within a towel load results in clean cases w/o any denting/etc.


    .
    I meant a clothes washer also. Dont know why I said dishwasher, sorry. My cases got beat up.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Are you talking about a vibratory or rotary tumbler?

    In the vibratory, I use cob or walnut. If I'm doing brass, I put a squirt of car polish/wax in it. Nothing if I'm polishing parts or what have you.

    In the rotary I use stainless steel chips rather than the pins. I don't have near the issues with pins sticking in the necks or elsewhere. A squirt of Dawn is all I use.
    Vibratory, I got it at cabelas. Its a Frankford arsenal I think.

  7. #27
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    A squirt of automotive chrome polish makes a big difference in how fast a load gets clean in my experience.

    I like walnut more than corn cob just because it’s faster and it also seems to last longer before it needs replacement or charging with some sort of polish or abrasive. You can find it cheaper than the gun shop if you buy some brands of reptile bedding or kitty litter.
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  8. #28
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    Don't try to over think something as simple as case tumbling. Men have reload brass cases since about 1880 and until about 1980 without tumbling at all so it's obviously not mandatory.

    Our fetish about shiney cases, inside and out, is cosmetic, it adds nothing to accuracy or case life. Fired cases used to be wiped clean when each one was picked up for sizing and that still works quite well.

    Both crushed cob and crushed shells are sold for tumbling media because both work very well and are moderately inexpensive, especially considering how long either one will last if we don't glob it up with excessive "polish" (as seems most folks actually do).

    Don't use sand in a tumbler, not only will it abrade the brass but any particles of grit left inside will surely scour your bore. Steel pins are quite expensive; they're heavy and they ONLY work in (wet) roller tumblers, not common viberators.

    Don't know what kind of "beads" is being talked about but largish beads won't work as well as smallish and enough smallish beads to do the job (at least a quart?) would likely be much more expensive than cob/nut.

    Worry about what you will but I don't think primers contain traces of "lead styphinate" anymore and they haven't for a long time. If the lead content in primers were a legitimate health problem we'd have frantic California type warning labels all over the cartons; there aren't any. And, if spent primer lead was a hazard, I'd have been stone dead 40 years ago; as it is so far I only look and smell bad.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    I did that once, but only once.

    I think the rice might have swelled in the humidity, I'm not exactly sure.

    But I do remember how tedious it was digging rice out of a couple hundred 5.56 cases.

    Looking back:
    I think the rice would be fine for straight wall pistol cases with the spent primers left in them
    if the tumbler was full enough that when the cases came up & over the top,
    they dumped the rice out and re-filled when they went back around underneath.

    I only use corn cob media now, but unprimed rifle cases all get put in a loading tray
    upside down so I can check & use a needle to poke that one piece of media out of the flash hole.
    Never had that problem. Glad I didn't

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I think sand would work and have been tempted to try it myself to get a better clean. I don't see how any sand could be left on or in the casings.

    I do get walnut dust inside and out using lizard bedding. Walnut cleans better than cob, so if I use it I run again in cob to remove the dust.

    Winger Ed, sir,
    Tell me more about using spent primers. Is it the cups, the anvil, or both? And what ratio to media do ya think works the best?

  11. #31
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    I use lizard litter and have a separate bowl with 2mm ceramic beads I use for BP brass. I use water and a squirt of soap in that, then move them to the lizard litter.
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  12. #32
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I've not heard of ceramic beads. How do they do for cleaning vs stainless pins?

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Forget going to a gunshop for tumbling media. look for a large welding supply house instead. Should have both corn cob media and crushed walnut shells in 50 pound bags. Do the math and you should find you will save money buying the 50 pound bags. Where I worked we had a 6000 HP gas turbine. Had a few oil leaks which basically killed the efficiency of the turbine. take the cap off a small air inlet and filled a 2 pound coffee can with crushed walnut shell. When you take the cap off the sir inlet it's like a vacuum. take the can and stick it over the inlet. Will suck out all the walnut shells.Then the whole turbine room smells like roasted walnuts. Then go back to the control room and watch the efficiency go up. Was called feeding the turbine. I haven't even used half of the corn cob and walnut media so far and bought the bags some years back. Frank

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Tell me more about using spent primers. Is it the cups, the anvil, or both? And what ratio to media do ya think works the best?
    I always have a little media get away as I go through the process with it.
    One day, instead of buying more, I had a bunch of spent primers that had accumulated in the loading room.
    I threw them in there for filler. It worked pretty good.

    I had a little trouble with some of them getting into bottle neck cases and had to poke 'em a time or two to fall out.
    I've since bought new corn cob media, but I save it for the bottleneck cases.

    I use the old stuff for straight wall cases, and the spent primers are about 10-15% or so by volume.
    I wash them for possible lead dust residue before I toss 'em in, and wash & dry the media itself when it gets sort of greasey feeling.
    Its just a easy fix when ya get low on media and are gun shy about using rice.

    I wouldn't recommend it specifically, and I let the tumbler run all night in the garage so I don't know if its faster or not with them.
    Its a cheap solution when ya get low on media, or are too tight to buy more until ya find a deal on it.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-22-2020 at 03:00 AM.
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  15. #35
    Boolit Man
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    Lots of great advice here- Lizard litter and NuFinish are my go-to's. I have also gone to Harbor Freight and bought the coarse grit walnut blasting media. $25/25# and mix it with the litter for a "Kentucky Windage" method of medium. Works like a charm.

  16. #36
    Boolit Man
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    I quit tumbling my cases. Tarnished brass is the badge of an experienced reloader. Kids tumble their brass.

  17. #37
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    I quit tumbling my cases. Tarnished brass is the badge of an experienced reloader. Kids tumble their brass.
    I do have to say tumbling/polishing makes the brass much easier to find in all seasons. Unless you shoot only indoors on concrete. Western ND gets a bit on the brown side and while some of the calibers are easily replaced.... some not so much without forming.

  18. #38
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    For dust control when using dry media, throw a used dryer anti-static sheet in with the brass and media.
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  19. #39
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    I quit tumbling my cases. Tarnished brass is the badge of an experienced reloader. Kids tumble their brass.
    I only tumble to clean, but its rare. Old brass has character and looks ****** in a cartridge belt

  20. #40
    Boolit Buddy pacomdiver's Avatar
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    i use a harbor freight concrete mixer with 10lbs of 1/8 stainless ball media , abt 3 gal of water and a teaspoon of dawn, i can do 6000 9mms or 2500 plus 223s at a shot, then spin them thru the dillon monster media seperater to remove the water and stainless media, then batches in a 1 gal bucket with enough Isopropal alcohol to cover then, a couple side to side twists to make sure the cases are fully soaked, then back thru the dillon seperater to remove the alcohol and onto a 2ftx4ft 1/4" screen box with a window fan blowing on it to dry them overnight
    Last edited by pacomdiver; 03-05-2020 at 12:32 AM.

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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