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Posted: 4/18/2010 5:56:40 PM EDT
All this talk about using a tumbler, instead of a vibratory case cleaner, and using stainless media has me really interested.

Cleaning inside and out is great, but supposedly doing the primer pockets is what I really want.

Is everyone in agreement? Does it really clean the inside of the cases and the primer pockets?

If so, I guess I am going to sell my vibratory cleaner and get a tumbler. Is there any consensus on which tumbler is best? Also, using a tumbler and stainless, how long does it take to clean cases? Is it the same as vibratory? Shorter or longer?

Damn, with reloading, there is always something else to buy.
Link Posted: 4/18/2010 7:51:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 3:30:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Wingman26:
The media always needs to be softer than the material it is cleaning, if it isn't, it can damage what you are tumbling.

So the obvious question is stainless steel softer than brass? If you don't know the answer to that question you should quit reloading.




It "can" damage but not necessarily will damage it. Did you even see the thread he was talking about? If you look at the original thread on Snipershide the OP has been using this method for several years and he has tumbled the very same piece of brass in every single tumbler load and it hasn't lost any weight (abrasive removal of material) and doesn't show any signs of damage.

To the OP, the Thumlers is a good one and that is what most everybody is using. But there are other options out there including small concrete mixers from Harbor Freight type places. Just don't get a tumbler that is circular without some sort of agitator inside, otherwise the drum of the tumbler will turn but the media/brass inside won't roll over.

And yes, viewing the thread most everybody is very satisfied with it cleaning inside and out to like-new condition.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 4:46:24 AM EDT
One question is "how many cases to you want to clean at a time?" If you are wanted to clean 223 in large amounts, the tumbler/liquid will take you more time than a vibratory. Will the cases be cleaning from a tumbler/liquid approach? Yes. Do you need them to be that clean? I dunno. That is another question you will have to answer.

My guess is, you will have an opportunity to prefer either method depending on your needs at the time. So, get both!

jonblack
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 5:21:18 AM EDT
OP, the primer pockets look like new. Then again so does the inside and everything else. I mean absolutely spotless. I'm still working up my method but I know that presoaking the brass overnight in some water and a bit of dishwashing liquid will reduce the time required to actually tumble to about 1.5 - 2 hrs. Use a Dillon media separator then rinse with boiling water. Twirl again to remove water and the ambient heat just about finishes the drying process...

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:02:16 AM EDT
see this thread and all related links , all will be answered

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=311325
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:03:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 7:18:16 AM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:55:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
The Thumbler's machines are pretty darn good and seem to last forever. I called for some new belts a couple of years ago, and they showed up in a couple of days. The prices for these tumblers is high, but I suppose they are worth that.

Rotary tumblers are slow compared to the vibratory style if used for cleaning with walnut. I use mine with corn cob for delubing and it works great in that role.

In the thread I linked I didn't notice whether anyone stated the time required and the photos aren't sufficient to see how the primer pockets worked out. My objection to ceramic and stainless media has always been the cost, but according to someone in the other thread the media shown procured specifically for reloading and the cost is about $10 per pound - a pound ain't a whole bunch of steel. I think I would dig around the industrial suppliers before buying the media shown to see if something comparable or identical is being sold; I'll bet it is.

If the steel can't be removed from the case interiors with nothing more than a quick run through a rotary separator, then it's a no go in my opinion. I would be interested to see an accurate count of the number of cases with steel stuck in the flash holes, too.

I would also be interested to see the rubber liner in a Thumbler's tumbler after several cycles with the steel media.

Don't sell your vibratory tumbler too soon.


This is a custom cut media size that gives the best results with the fewest "clogs" and least media sticking in flash-holes. You can dig around industrial suppliers but you're aren't going to find it nearly as cheap as this, and it likely won't work as well.

From what other's have said the media only gets stuck in the flash-hole occasionally, but it's quick to get out. The problem is that flash-hole sizes vary, so it's dependent on headstamp.

IIRC from reading the thread the OP has been using the same thumblers tumbler for several years now and he didn't mention anything about the rubber liner going bad.

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:04:46 AM EDT
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