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Choosing a tumbler???


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So since I have ventured into reloading, I find that I need a tumbler and media before I start using a lot of the range brass I have. Not much to discuss on types because most are sold out. I can find these 2. Anyone got experience of reason to go with one or the other? The Hornady is $20 more where i can find it and says it has a sifter. Other than that look the same to me. 

 

Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Case Tumbler

Hornady M-1 Case Tumbler

 

Thanks

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I have both dry media and a wet tumbler. That dry media tumbler is almost never used. I HIGHLY recommend the Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler. No need to buy SS pins, just add a tiny bit of Dawn and 1/4 teaspoon of "Lemi-shine" to your brass and it'll come out so bright it blinds you. The media (water) never goes bad and no need to add any renewal agents. 

But remember, if you're just venturing in to reloading you don't need to clean your brass at all.  It's mostly a cosmetic function. I loaded a lot of "dirty" brass for a long time before I ever bought a dry media tumbler with no problems at all. If you're going to reload stuff you pick up from the ground at the range, though, a tumbler will work well.

If you only plan to do very small batches, look at the Harbor Freight rock tumblers. You can do 50 pieces of handgun brass at a time with those, though you're better off, in my opinion, with the FA tumbler.

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I have a Frankford Arsenal and Lyman Turbo.

I use walnut media to clean the cases before they go to the press. Desert Blend from Petco does a great job and cheaper. 

For cases that are trimmed and sized I use corncob media to remove the lube.

New media will take a hour or 2 to clean the cases. As it gets older it will take longer. I add spent dryer sheets to remove some of the black dust. I go about 5 years before dumping the old media in a flowerbed. 

Use the tumbler outdoors. I got a container of Tuff Nut once, ran the tumbler in my shop for about a month. I have red dust on everything.

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Want a cheap tumbler, got a treadmill? A friend built a wood ladder to fit on his mill. Add the large Folger's coffee cans like Sam's carry with media and cases inside. He can tumble 7 cans at once. He's looking at you tube for wet tumbler ideas.

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50 minutes ago, Darrell said:

I have both dry media and a wet tumbler. That dry media tumbler is almost never used. I HIGHLY recommend the Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler. No need to buy SS pins, just add a tiny bit of Dawn and 1/4 teaspoon of "Lemi-shine" to your brass and it'll come out so bright it blinds you. The media (water) never goes bad and no need to add any renewal agents. 

If you only plan to do very small batches, look at the Harbor Freight rock tumblers. You can do 50 pieces of handgun brass at a time with those, though you're better off, in my opinion, with the FA tumbler.

I've got this one from Harbor Freight. If cleaning small brass ( 9mm ) you can do about a 100 in each container. I usually fill mine about half full so the number will vary with the size of the cases.

tumbler.png

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2 minutes ago, DeepSouth said:

Want a cheap tumbler, got a treadmill? A friend built a wood ladder to fit on his mill. Add the large Folger's coffee cans like Sam's carry with media and cases inside. He can tumble 7 cans at once. He's looking at you tube for wet tumbler ideas.

I have a treadmill, it about shakes the entire house. Not sure the wife would like that. Interested how it works though. Got any pics?

14 minutes ago, DeepSouth said:

I have a Frankford Arsenal and Lyman Turbo.

I use walnut media to clean the cases before they go to the press. Desert Blend from Petco does a great job and cheaper. 

For cases that are trimmed and sized I use corncob media to remove the lube.

New media will take a hour or 2 to clean the cases. As it gets older it will take longer. I add spent dryer sheets to remove some of the black dust. I go about 5 years before dumping the old media in a flowerbed. 

Use the tumbler outdoors. I got a container of Tuff Nut once, ran the tumbler in my shop for about a month. I have red dust on everything.

I had read about the lizard bedding. May have to try it, not finding much media locally. Ever used any Harbor Freight media. Also, can you just use corn cob to do it all?

I was thinking of putting the tumbler in a plastic bin with a small hole for the cord and setting outside the garage. Unfortunately that is right below our bedroom window, but would isolate it from the house slab and flooring. 

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Lizard bedding works fine. I have a similar workflow to @DeepSouth, use the bedding (with a capful of nufinish added every couple of months) for initial cleaning, deprime and resize, and then into corn cob (with a capful of brass polish added every couple of months).

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That is pretty cool.  I love the way some people think.  I would have never thought to make something like that but after seeing it it makes perfect sense.

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Yeah, that is cool. I probably have enough materials around to make it. Wife keeps talking about moving the treadmill to the basement. Maybe I need to move that along. I am no where close to needing that much capacity right now though. I have yet to load my first cartridge, so maybe I wait until I see if I need it. 

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2 hours ago, DeepSouth said:

I have a Frankford Arsenal and Lyman Turbo.

I use walnut media to clean the cases before they go to the press. Desert Blend from Petco does a great job and cheaper. 

For cases that are trimmed and sized I use corncob media to remove the lube.

New media will take a hour or 2 to clean the cases. As it gets older it will take longer. I add spent dryer sheets to remove some of the black dust. I go about 5 years before dumping the old media in a flowerbed. 

Use the tumbler outdoors. I got a container of Tuff Nut once, ran the tumbler in my shop for about a month. I have red dust on everything.

Deep South mentioned dryer sheets, which work very well with your dry media tumblers. And you need not use new sheets, just use one that's already been through the dryer. 

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10 minutes ago, Darrell said:

Deep South mentioned dryer sheets, which work very well with your dry media tumblers. And you need not use new sheets, just use one that's already been through the dryer. 

Absolutely! I would say only use used sheets. New ones can leave a gicky coating on cases. 

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 I started out with a Lortone Rock Tumbler that did a good job for about 7 years.  Wanted a new one, so I sold the Lortone and tried a FA.  They have two models and the bigger one was just a little 'tall' for where I wanted to use it.  The Hornady has a lower profile and I like the way it looks and works.  Can't go wrong with either one.  I like the SSpins and I generally run a load of several hundred 9mm brass with just a drop of dawn and a teaspoon of  lemon shine for about an hour.  Rinse and run another hour with RCBS brass cleaner.  I don't rinse the brass cleaner; simply separate and put in the dehydrator to dry.  It leaves a coating that helps prevent tarnish.  I like my brass shiny and looking new.

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I've been using the old Lyman Turbo "Pumpkin'" for many years and see no reason to change. I tend to load in large batches. The pumpkin will clean 500 or more cases at a time.  I think its still the biggest tumber available. 😉

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There's a thing about using dryer sheets in the dryer. They lessen the life of a dryer and can cause fires. Here's a test. Pull the lint screen from the dryer, roll up the lint and do what you want to do with it. I stuff it in toilet paper rollers for fire starters. Take the screen to a sink and put a couple of drops of water on it. Does the water bead up or run through? If it beads up look for other problems too. The lint screen needs to be sprayed with HOT water every couple of months.

That glue in dryer sheets gets into vent pipes too. Visiting a cousin in Nashville some 15 years ago. She is at her computer and I'm at my laptop. You know, I use to see smoke outside the window when the dryer was running and I don't see it anymore. I crawled under the house and brought out a 22 foot piece of 4" PVC vent pipe. No way to see light from one end to the other. Ran a water hose through it and added a nozzle and set it to fan spray and drug it back slowly. Took 3 hours to clean all the lint out of the pipe. I was under the house cleaning others connections while she cleaned the pipe. The next morning while our clothes were washing and drying there was smoke from under the window.

Edited by DeepSouth
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I have a FA dry media tumbler, works good, no complaints but I also have the FA wet tumblers, cleaner brass IMO.  Depends on your needs or desires.  The dry tumbler does not get used much anymore.

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DaveTN, there's 2 ways to buy one of the FA media tumbler kits.

Buy the SKU: 645880 kit for $80 or buy the SKU: 855020 tumbler for $45 and the SKU: 507565 rotary shifter with bucket for $30. I would go with the second and save $5.

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I've been playing with this treadmill all morning. It has a 160 minute timer, almost 3 hours of future tumbling time, set it and let it run. Belt speed, I set dial to 24, jacked the rear end up on a concrete block. Placed a brick at the head and turned it on. The brick went 21 feet then rolled another 7. Turned it down to 0.1 and got on it. I think snails move faster than I walked. Headed to Harbor Freight to pick up some bar clamps.

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I heard of putting mineral spirits in the media. Suppose to helps cut the dust. How many loads could you tumble before refreshing it. I don't care for the smell, I'll buy a cheap paint brush and throw it away before cleaning it with mineral spirits

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On 11/19/2020 at 11:35 AM, xsubsailor said:

I've got this one from Harbor Freight. If cleaning small brass ( 9mm ) you can do about a 100 in each container. I usually fill mine about half full so the number will vary with the size of the cases.

tumbler.png

Thanks!!

(Was looking at that very item a week ago but held off).

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