Tumbler Help

Teacher

Well-Known Member
2-Step Enabled
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
480
Location
North Alabama
I am almost at the point now where I can begin reloading. I am in search of a tumbler for my brass. I need some input as to what you are using and how it is working out for you. If you will, let me know which direction I need to go with my purchase from your experiences. I want a good one, but I will probably not load over 150 rounds a year.

TIA
 

Jcalder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
7,158
Location
Cookeville
Standard vibratory tumbler has served me well. Harbor fraud has pretty good media if you that route. I started with corncob and have since went to walnut and prefer the walnut.

Some like the water tumblers with the steel pins. They probably clean the best, but can be messy and you have to dry them once removed before you can load.

Either are fine. If I was in your shoes I have no idea which way I’d go. I would stay away from a sonic cleaner and dodged that bullet as they were popular when I first started, and fell flat fairly quickly.
 

EastTNHunter

Well-Known Member
2-Step Enabled
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
8,152
Location
Rhea Co., TN
I just bought a cheap Frankfort Arsenal dry tumbler. Walnut blasting media is fine, cheaper than the stuff marketed for reloading
 

skipperbrown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2021
Messages
271
Location
Birchwood
I have a Lyman vibratory that is probably 15 yrs old. I used walnut media for a while but it is too dusty. Now I just use the cheapest white rice I can find at the grocery store and add a teaspoon of metal polish. The dust is practically gone, the brass is shiny, and the primer holes rarely have media stuck in them.
 

EastTNHunter

Well-Known Member
2-Step Enabled
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
8,152
Location
Rhea Co., TN
I have a Lyman vibratory that is probably 15 yrs old. I used walnut media for a while but it is too dusty. Now I just use the cheapest white rice I can find at the grocery store and add a teaspoon of metal polish. The dust is practically gone, the brass is shiny, and the primer holes rarely have media stuck in them.
Never thought of rice.

I do NOT use metal polish because many times that can actually make the brass brittle
 

DaveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
15,769
Location
Shelby County
My first tumbler was a Hornady model. It lasted fewer than 3 years. Most of Hornady's peripheral stuff is on the very low side of the quality scale.

Next was a Lyman. I beat the tar out of this tumbler for over 10 years. When it died, I purchased a new motor assembly and continued to abuse the tumbler for another 7 or 8 years.

When it died I got a Lyman 2200 turbo. I beat the tar out of that one until I got a SS tumbler. Now, it gets used for the range pickups and my nickle plated cases, of which I have many.

There are small batch cleaners that use a cleaning solution in water that is vibrated. I would stay away.

Read what MUP says about his Frankford Arsenal SS tumbler. This is not the most economical on the front end....and it is not much faster overall than traditional media which includes cleaning of flash holes. But is it better? Better is not the proper adjective. It is ahelluvalotbetter. Be sure you go to Harbor freight for your pickup magnet. Go to a 3rdhand store and buy half decent towels for a place to throw the wet brass. Shop SS pins HARD. Current prices are simply too high. When you are done cleaning and drying your brass place them primer down in a tray and look in each one. You may find a pin lodged sideways. I generally do not spend time to clear the pin. both hit the trash.
 

RidgeRunner13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
610
Location
Claxton, TN
I have been using the Harbor Freight single drum rock tumbler for the past 3 years with SS pins. It works great. I have a Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler sitting in the closet waiting for Christmas day when I can officially open it though lol. Whole reason for the upgrade is volume purposes. The single drum does just fine, but I'm limited on the amount of cases I can do at one time.
 

gemihur

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Ridgelines of the Blue Ridge
Started with a used Thumbler tumbler for dry media
Had a few vibrating drum but too loud.
Just got a twin drum rotating stone polisher from Harbor Freight and some stainless Saturn shapes from Amazon.
Mixed up bath solution of water, drop or two of dish soap, and food grade citric acid.
That has proven to be the most effective although requiring patience between drying and loading steps.
The stainless pins can be tedious but the Saturn shapes don't get stuck in primer holes.
my 2¢
 

Lost Lake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
4,183
Location
Middle Tn
I just use the cheap Frankford Arsenal vibratory tumbler with either corn Cobb or walnut hull media. Works for me.
 

Rockhound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
4,712
I've used an rcbs vibratory tumbler for years and it has worked fine. I just ordered a Frankford rotary Tumblr with pins. May not be much faster but I won't manually have to clean primer pockets and that a win
 

Latest posts

Top