GUN Tell me of tumblers for cleaning up brass

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Emfuser, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    One incredibly ugly oversight on the part of the guy giving me brass aside, I have a box of brass. I may have to give him a friendly reminder about not taking the STEEL BUCKET WITH RUST AND BROWN RAINWATER (and brass) and dumping that into my box next time, but I'll just count this as a one-time occurrence. :hsugh: Most of the brass was dry, but still outdoor fired.

    Anyhow, for the brass that's in good shape, I want to wash and tumble it. I know what I need to do to wash it, but I want a quality tumbler and don't want to pay retail outdoor/gun store ass-rape prices.

    Tell me what I need to be looking for, please. :)
     
  2. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Frankford Arsenal sells a tumbler that would do 600 cases of 9mm at a time that they sell at Midway for about $35. I have one I've used to tumble several thousand pieces of brass, that's still running strong. In the end you'll want 2-3, or one really big one.

    For media I use "crushed walnuts" you can buy at Walmart for $5 for a 10lb. If you want your brass super shiney, before you add the brass, pour a few cap fulls of liquid car wax in the media and let it run for 30 minutes. Then add your brass and add a few cut up sections of dryer sheets. This will help keep your media from being so dusty. The wax will polish your brass.

    Sift it out, sort through the brass and toss out all the ugly ones and stick it in a freezer bag to be reloaded or sold. 1 large freezer bag is roughly 1k .45 acp.
     
  3. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    Thanks :cool:
     
  4. Keesh

    Keesh New Member

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    Hey AB, how long do you tumble your brass for after the initial 30 minutes? Also, how noisy is it? Is it going to need to go in the garage/basement because of the noise?
     
  5. kf4zht

    kf4zht New Member

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    I have an old lyman tumbler. It has 2 different sized buckets depending on how much you are doing. I usually fill it up with brass and the walmart walnut shells (look in pet care) and run it overnight. You will not do anything bad to the brass by tumbling it longer, I have left mine running for 3 days and the brass did not "melt away" or anything, it was just really clean. It is fairly quiet, kind of a gentle drone.

    I use mine for shit other than brass. Have a bunch of automotive nuts and bolts that are greasy/dirty/rusty throw em in, machined parts with rough edges and more. I have put sandblasting media in mine for harder to clean stuff like steel.
     
  6. Jinkle

    Jinkle Habs/Vikings > *

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    Any tumbler + walnut media + capful of nufinish
     
  7. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I tumble for about 3 hours. I have it set on a outlet timer to go off. I tumble in my garage, like already posted it's a low droning sound.


    VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The thing you have to worry about with tumbling brass is, wear a respirator when you are done tumbling and separating/sifting the media from the brass. The plume of cloud that gets emitted when separating media from brass is very VERY bad for your lungs. It's essentially all of the residue, lead and gunpowder from the brass. I go outside with a respirator to separate and try to stand up wind. Especially if you have young kids in the house. As a re-loader I check my lead levels every 6 months.

    When I'm done with the bullets, I throw them back in the tumble for a couple more hours. Dump it out in a bucket, and start case gauging them before I place them in my Berry's bullet box.
     
  8. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I use a dillon tumber and seperater as I'm a dillon whore. I just support them as they are a great company, great customer service, and they support the matches I compete in with prizes.

    Anyway. What AB said is pretty spot on. I will add a few tricks I have. Change your media regularly and you will have cleaner brass and do not have to tumble as long, and it will not create as much lead filled dust. I change media every 3000 cases (I tumble about 500 cases at a time so 6 cycles).

    I use the crushed walnut you can get a pet and feed stores. I add some 3m finesse it 2 which is the best polish I have tried and I tried them all. One bottle lasts you a long time. Mix about 1/2 ounce of polish with 1/2 ounce of water. I also put in one used dryer sheet cut in half. This helps with the dust. My media is fairly dust free after a cycle.

    Before you tumble brass get a shifter and get all the little rocks and dirt you can out of the brass. Otherwise it ends up in your media. Dirt in your media will be dust when you finish your cycle. The dust as AB mentioned will be filled with lead and airbore after you dump your brass.

    When doing a load of brass start your tumbler with just the media. Then add the brass a handful at a time. The trick is to have the right amount of brass so that the brass is moving quickly. Too little brass or too much brass and the brass moves slow. If it moves slow then it cleans slow. It only takes me one hour to get super bling bling brass.

    After I load my ammo (jacket ammo only, no lead, molly, or hollow points) I tumbe again for 20 minutes. This takes off any case lube from reloading, and it will vibrate out any loose primers. If the primer pocket is blown out from a over pressure load, been reloaded too many times, etc it will be loose. If you load this brass the recoil of the gun can shake the primer out and it will case a huge malfuntion in your gun. On a AR the primer usually finds its way into the trigger group, and jam-o. In a pistol it works loose in the mag and jams all the rounds in so they don't feed. Tumble your ammo for 20 minutes and you won't have this problem. Just look for ammo without primers as you do your final QC check before it goes into your range bag or ammo boxes.

    Oh I hope your case guaging your ammo too.
     
  9. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    Would something like this work?
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BYE9Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    It's for woodworkers, or do I need more specialized one?
     
  10. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    Details on this? I understand the concept, but prefer to hear from those with know-how.
     
  11. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    That should be sufficient. The one I use was given to me from my father, whom worked for Boeing. He had several he gave to me.

    You should only be in contact with the plume for 30 seconds at most, mostly when you are pouring the media out of the tumbler, into your seperator. After I pour it out, I stand up wind and wait for the dust to settle a little bit.
     
  12. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    It's really nothing serious. I have a Wilsons case gauge I use. It's just taking the finished ammo, and one by one dropping it into the case gauge, if it's the rite size, it makes a little "ting" noise. If the ammo doesn't fall freely into or out of the case gauge, it gets put aside to be put through my crimp/sizing die. I have an undersize die I use for .40.

    Out of 500 rounds of ammo, I'll find 4-6 rounds that don't fall freely into the case gauges. It's not dangerous, but these rounds are what causes FTE's and FTF's.
     
  13. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Wilson case gauges...

    http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Bro...67&categoryString=9315***731***8868***9505***

    there are other brands, but my wilsons doesn't rust, and is usually tighter than other brands. So if it fits in the wilsons, it'll feed in my pistol.

    If you don't want to buy a case gauge you can always use your gun barrel to case gauge. Disclaimer***** take the barrel OUT of the gun when doing this******:)
     
  14. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    It's a hollow pipe with internal dimensions to fit a certain calibre round exactly. You drop a round you made into it (one way only), it should drop in freely without any hang up. Check for primer fit, run your finger over it make sure it's flush with the case or slightly pushed in. Look at the other side of the case gauge, the bullet should not extrude out of it. You still need to use a caliper to check for minimal OAL, as case gauge will check for maximum OAL.
     
  15. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    It's good practice when you are reusing "range brass". The big culprit here are brass fired out of a Glock, or other unsupported barrels.

    It's called "Glock bulge". It's fine if you are loading to shoot out of another Glock, but not so good if you are firing out of a gun with Match barrels, or tighter.

    The case gauging process ensures that the "bulge" is removed when you put the brass through your "sizer" die, which should eliminate the bulge.
     
  16. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    You use Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die for this purpose? If yes, why don't you run all your rounds through this die in your progressive the first time around?
     
  17. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    It's not fool proof apparently. I "used to" NOT case gauge at all because I though the LFCD would catch it, apparently not. It does eliminate it in 98% of the time. It's those 2% that costs me a stage win that kill me.

    I use the LFCD for 9mm and .45. I have an EGW U die in .40.
     
  18. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    I thought he wilsons were prone to rusting and the dillon gauges were stainless, really wilson?
     
  19. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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  20. Jinkle

    Jinkle Habs/Vikings > *

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  21. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    So what do you do with those 2% that doesn't get crimped properly? Just throw them out (after savaging savageable parts of-course)? Any other way to fix it?
     
  22. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I put them through the sizer one more time, and if that doesn't knock the bulge out, I salvage the powder and bullet.
     

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