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Posted: 6/14/2009 1:33:55 PM EST
Question from another thread.

I've always heard it is a no no.

Does anyone have any DEFINATE FACTS about it? Not just what they have heard all their life.

I have a real need to do this now, IF it is completely a non issue.

It will save me LOTS of time and effort.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:38:34 PM EST
From what I understand you can tumble loaded ammo for short periods.

The fear is that tumbling could cause some powders to wear off the burn retardent coating. This might increase pressures.

Chrono tests before and after tumblings might help answer that question.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:38:43 PM EST
I won't say yes or no, but I would assume yes, since tumbling is pretty gentle. I've dropped many live rounds onto rocks and gravel and haven't had a primer impact hard enough to ignite it.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:39:30 PM EST

I tumble live ammo all the time. So do ammo manufacturers.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:39:31 PM EST

Tumble it for 30 years.... It doesn't matter.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:40:21 PM EST
yes ive done it. for like 30 min. or so.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:41:03 PM EST
Only with the appropriate media... a bag of firing pins.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:43:36 PM EST
I tumble my reloads.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:46:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 1:47:44 PM EST by Old_Painless]
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:50:49 PM EST
I've done it. Last time was when I bought a "stockpile" of Guatemalan surplus 5.56 with really grody cases. I've fired maybe a thousand of those so far.
Google around –– people have done tests, with no resulting problems. Can't find anybody who did a test and found problems.
IMO, it's an old wives' tale.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:53:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 1:57:16 PM EST by onthedgeofmyseat]
Oh shit search is broken again.. Someone tell the goat...

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:56:06 PM EST
Hmm, sounds like another episode for Mythbusters
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:01:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 2:01:52 PM EST by Bugalaman]
Originally Posted By EZsnake:
Hmm, sounds like another episode for Mythbusters

they don't even have the slightest clue about ammo. any time they need bullets for experiments they rip them out of live cartridges with pliers.

ETA: I still like Mythbusters, but they do the dumbest things sometimes
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:09:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:13:36 PM EST
Everyone's reloading techniques differ depending on their own comfort levels...I, personally, have no problem with tumbling live rounds...
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:14:46 PM EST
I bought a bunch of milsurp Swedish 6.5x55, I found it to be rather corroded when I received it. I had the same question, whether it's safe to tumble, most people said yes. I did a bunch to clean it up, and fired it alongside some untumbled, plus some fresh ammo, from my M96 and MG42B Ljungman (my main concern was to not blow up the Ljungman, since I'd just got it). I did not use a chrono, but I could tell no difference in behavior or performance between the tumbled, corroded/untumbled and fresh ammo.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:15:02 PM EST
Think about a case of ammo in a truck going across the US

4 8 hour days from one side to the other vibrating all the way.

That shit is already well tumbled before you get it.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:19:22 PM EST
I've heard that with some extruded powders it can split the powder granules and create increased pressure. I don't tumble any of my reloads as everything is clean when I load and it stays clean after(until shot).
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:22:21 PM EST

I used to reload a LOT of .45ACP and .40S&W because I shot 2 IPSC matches a month. I tumbled all of my loaded ammo for about 30 minutes or so just to clean it up a bit and get the fingerprints off of the brass.

Never had any unusually high pressure signs.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:28:09 PM EST
Yes. Preferably in someone else's dryer...
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:39:42 PM EST
Sure at least Once
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:45:57 PM EST
The retired owner of Tulsa Reloading Supply once told me that he had been tumbling live ammo for 40 years and never had an incident. This guy used to have several contracts with state and local PD's to reload their training ammo.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:50:04 PM EST
have a friend that been doing for years
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:52:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
Only with the appropriate media... a bag of firing pins.

awe fuck, pepsi up the nose burns
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:53:46 PM EST
I've done it several times with tarnished surplus ammo... No problems so far
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:12:52 PM EST
As a matter of fact, I just so happen to have a large amount of .30-06 ammo tumbling next to me right now and I've nev
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:14:16 PM EST
Pics of the .308 when they're cleaned!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:21:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 3:21:52 PM EST by hourglassing]
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
The rumor about not tumbling ammo has to do with the fear that excessive tumbling might wear off the retardant coating on some powders, or that it might cause some stick powders to break down into smaller, and possibly faster burning, pieces.

Is it true? Hard to say.

As some have noted, some manufacturers tumble loaded ammo with no problems. But if the cartridge had tightly packed powder, that would make a difference in the process. Ball powder might behave differently than stick powder. There are many variables.

Just because some manufacturers tumble their own ammo safely, doesn't really tell us much about other brands of ammo.

I wish I had a chronograph and especially a pressure gun, as I believe this subject is begging for some actual test data.

But, even then, if we tested a lot of ammo and found no problems, and someone asked, "But what about WWII Russian ammo, loaded at this arsenal?", we really wouldn't know for sure without testing that particular ammo.

It is a complicated question and I am not sure that there is a universal answer.

I would think that you could correlate the surface strain response on the OD of the barrel at the chamber to the interior pressure. At least enough to give a relative difference. Getting to absolutes would involve some engineering math relating the surface stress to the chamber stress.

I would be willing to bet that there is an arfcommer out there that could spare, and attach, a strain-gage and leads to the barrel of a rifle you sent him, and maybe even donate a recording oscilloscope for the testing (or at least a peak-recording voltmeter).

This would be an amazing test.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:30:07 PM EST
About 5 or 6 years ago, there was a LOT of surplus 5.56 ammo from Guatemala, much of which had stains and even some light surface corrosion on the brass. It was dirt cheap though so I bought a bunch to feed my M16. I tumbled thousands and thousands of rounds of that stuff, often for hours at a time, with absolutely no ill effects.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:39:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By kap_x:
Pics of the .308 when they're cleaned!

I'll do before and after pics.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:41:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By coyote3:
As a matter of fact, I just so happen to have a large amount of .30-06 ammo tumbling next to me right now and I've nev

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 4:11:27 PM EST
I don't know about tumbling, but a vibratory cleaner is fine.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:07:04 PM EST
yes you can i've done comercial reloading for years and i tumble the ammo live with out any problems
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