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I had to rebuild my tumble today. I figure it is time to get a new one. I like to tumble a plastic coffee can of brass at a time. Any recommendations?
 

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I like to tumble a plastic coffee can of brass at a time. Any recommendations?
First, remove the cases from the coffee can. ;)
 

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Frankford Arsenal or Harbor Freight.
I hope you are talking about a harbor freight cement mixer tumbler. There dual drum holds about 225 rounds total per batch. Definitely not a coffee can worth lol
 

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Whatever tumbler you get look around for a decent digital timer to attach it to. That way you can set it for about 3 hours and forget it. I don't want to predict how many times you may load up your tumbler and turn it on only to come back several days later and still have it running if you don't have some automatic way to limit its cycle time. I will say it has happened to me in the past and several others reloaders I have known. On the plus side the brass was REALLY shiny. On the minus side the tumbler and brass were exposed to a bit more wear and tear than was necessary.
 

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Nothing fancy here, just the plain Jane Franford Arsenal. My 3rd actually because the 1st one was branded Midway and was recalled after several years of use. The second probably made it for close to 15 years and the one I have now is a duplicate under the Frankford Arsenal brand. Corn-cob media and an occasional cap-full of NuFinish car polish. ;)
 

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Whatever tumbler you get look around for a decent digital timer to attach it to. That way you can set it for about 3 hours and forget it. I don't want to predict how many times you may load up your tumbler and turn it on only to come back several days later and still have it running if you don't have some automatic way to limit its cycle time. I will say it has happened to me in the past and several others reloaders I have known. On the plus side the brass was REALLY shiny. On the minus side the tumbler and brass were exposed to a bit more wear and tear than was necessary.
Uh...wow...what are you loading that you run a media tumbler for 3 hours and have it do, well, anything? :???:

Mine (Lyman I got on sale) runs for 24 hours with Walnut Media and then the cases go into a cheapie Harbor Freight for 12 hours in dry white rice....3 hours wouldn't do jack to my .40s or .45s....then again, I worry about the inside of the case, not the outside...

now, if you meant a sonic cleaner then yes, 3 hours is almost overkill...I am going with the OP needing a media tumbler, since that is what he mentioned ;)

OP: The Cheapies from Harbor Freight are pretty decent for the $$ but I have burnt up 2 in the same amount of time my Lyman Turbo 1200 has been running strong--if you go the HF route, grab a couple--it is DAMN handy having spare top-halves when they crap out though! :grin:
 

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Uh...wow...what are you loading that you run a media tumbler for 3 hours and have it do, well, anything? :???:

Mine (Lyman I got on sale) runs for 24 hours with Walnut Media and then the cases go into a cheapie Harbor Freight for 12 hours in dry white rice....3 hours wouldn't do jack to my .40s or .45s....then again, I worry about the inside of the case, not the outside...

now, if you meant a sonic cleaner then yes, 3 hours is almost overkill...I am going with the OP needing a media tumbler, since that is what he mentioned ;)

OP: The Cheapies from Harbor Freight are pretty decent for the $$ but I have burnt up 2 in the same amount of time my Lyman Turbo 1200 has been running strong--if you go the HF route, grab a couple--it is DAMN handy having spare top-halves when they crap out though! :grin:
Doesn't have to be a sonic cleaner, just a wet tumbler with some lemishine and a drop of dish soap. 2 hours and my pistol cases come out sparkly and clean. SST pins are the way to go.
 

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Thumber's Tumbler.

Water
Dawn dish soap
LemiShine
Stainless Steel pins

or build your own out of wood and Line-X.
I've seen some pretty cool ones built out of old vcr's and big pickle jars. I'd like to give it a try but don't have any old vcr's laying around haha
 

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dish soaps contain Ammonia...which accelerates the breakdown of brass cases...I will stick to the dry method, but thanks for the clarification...guess I forgot there were many ways to accomplish the same goal
 

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dish soaps contain Ammonia...which accelerates the breakdown of brass cases...I will stick to the dry method, but thanks for the clarification...guess I forgot there were many ways to accomplish the same goal
Not all dish soaps are the same! Dawn is OK on Aluminum and brass!
 

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Uh...wow...what are you loading that you run a media tumbler for 3 hours and have it do, well, anything? :???:
Some .30-06 brass I had sitting on shelf for several decades. Into my Dillon with a couple cap fulls of their polish.



<===>
90 minutes later.....more than clean enough for me to reload. I don't see a need to get it any brighter. I've not witnessed a correlation yet between the shine of the brass and the size of group. :)
<===>

 

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Some .30-06 brass I had sitting on shelf for several decades. Into my Dillon with a couple cap fulls of their polish.



<===>
90 minutes later.....more than clean enough for me to reload. I don't see a need to get it any brighter. I've not witnessed a correlation yet between the shine of the brass and the size of group. :)
<===>


clean brass functions better in semi-autos...also loads and indexes more accurately in multi-stage reloading presses...also hard to inspect dull or dirty brass for imperfections...got nothing to do with "group size" but has everything to do with adequate Quality Control and with proper functioning...

rifle brass has always been easier to clean for me than straight-wall pistol cases
 

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Uh...wow...what are you loading that you run a media tumbler for 3 hours and have it do, well, anything? :???:

Mine (Lyman I got on sale) runs for 24 hours with Walnut Media and then the cases go into a cheapie Harbor Freight for 12 hours in dry white rice....3 hours wouldn't do jack to my .40s or .45s....then again, I worry about the inside of the case, not the outside...

now, if you meant a sonic cleaner then yes, 3 hours is almost overkill...I am going with the OP needing a media tumbler, since that is what he mentioned ;)

OP: The Cheapies from Harbor Freight are pretty decent for the $$ but I have burnt up 2 in the same amount of time my Lyman Turbo 1200 has been running strong--if you go the HF route, grab a couple--it is DAMN handy having spare top-halves when they crap out though! :grin:
Your doing something wrong. Thev1200 is. Good tumbler.. If your media is old, that is a problem. I use a 20yr old ultra vibe, 3-4hr in good walnut media, nufinish, done. No they don't look factory new, but they are clean & shiny. I tumble every week, toss the media after a year.
Not a big FA fan, HF can alo thow one poly made motors. Thy tend to burn out, potential fire haz.
 

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Uh...wow...what are you loading that you run a media tumbler for 3 hours and have it do, well, anything? :???:

Mine (Lyman I got on sale) runs for 24 hours with Walnut Media and then the cases go into a cheapie Harbor Freight for 12 hours in dry white rice....3 hours wouldn't do jack to my .40s or .45s....then again, I worry about the inside of the case, not the outside...

now, if you meant a sonic cleaner then yes, 3 hours is almost overkill...I am going with the OP needing a media tumbler, since that is what he mentioned ;)

OP: The Cheapies from Harbor Freight are pretty decent for the $$ but I have burnt up 2 in the same amount of time my Lyman Turbo 1200 has been running strong--if you go the HF route, grab a couple--it is DAMN handy having spare top-halves when they crap out though! :grin:
No, I'm talking about a vibratory tumbler with walnut media and some NuFinish car polish. I have both a Dillon, which is really nice, that I've had for at least a dozen years, and a backup Frankford Arsenal one I use for "overflow" like this week when I went out a couple of times and shot up what looks to be around 1000rnds. When you shoot at steel you can go through a lot of ammo pretty fast.

Like Fred said, it goes faster if you change the media every so often. I get mine now from Pet Smart which sells large bags of the stuff as "reptile litter". They also have the corncob media, but theirs is a bit larger than some you might get from a gun related seller and so it may get stuck in small cases. The crushed walnut shell media is good though and I use that all the time. I sometimes also put a teaspoon or less of jeweler's rouge in it I got from Dillon (I think) a long time ago. You need only do that once until you dump any worn out media, but in combination with a capful of NuFinish every few loads it helps shine stuff up pretty well. So yeah, about 3 hours for 3-500 cases per tumbler of 9mm or 40cal and it's good to go.

I have read of several people using white rice as you mentioned. I have never tried it personally, but it seems like it would work with a little polish. I'll have to try it. Rice is cheap and can be had in pretty good sized bags in any grocery store. My only concern would be any break down of the rice into dust sized particles that might get stuck somewhere, but people who use it report no problems so I guess it's ok.
 

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What is a good tumbler for a starting off reloader?
 

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No, I'm talking about a vibratory tumbler with walnut media and some NuFinish car polish. I have both a Dillon, which is really nice, that I've had for at least a dozen years, and a backup Frankford Arsenal one I use for "overflow" like this week when I went out a couple of times and shot up what looks to be around 1000rnds. When you shoot at steel you can go through a lot of ammo pretty fast.

Like Fred said, it goes faster if you change the media every so often. I get mine now from Pet Smart which sells large bags of the stuff as "reptile litter". They also have the corncob media, but theirs is a bit larger than some you might get from a gun related seller and so it may get stuck in small cases. The crushed walnut shell media is good though and I use that all the time. I sometimes also put a teaspoon or less of jeweler's rouge in it I got from Dillon (I think) a long time ago. You need only do that once until you dump any worn out media, but in combination with a capful of NuFinish every few loads it helps shine stuff up pretty well. So yeah, about 3 hours for 3-500 cases per tumbler of 9mm or 40cal and it's good to go.

I have read of several people using white rice as you mentioned. I have never tried it personally, but it seems like it would work with a little polish. I'll have to try it. Rice is cheap and can be had in pretty good sized bags in any grocery store. My only concern would be any break down of the rice into dust sized particles that might get stuck somewhere, but people who use it report no problems so I guess it's ok.
I rotate my media out every 6 months or so and get the same results...well hmmm...gonna have to do some more investigation now...appreciate the follow-up, guess it pays to ask! I am now wondering if it is my chosen media (usually grab the jug of Lyman media when its on-sale) maybe the stuff just isn't good quality
 
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