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Old 07-10-2020, 07:04 PM
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Default need opinions on a new case tumbler

my 20+ year old Midway tumbler is on it's last legs. searching the web i see a lot of Frankford Arsenal tumblers for sale. i really want one with the side dump thingie on it. thanks in advance. lee
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:12 PM
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When mine gives out, I am going to switch over to the wet tumbling rout. Its a little more of a process but even the insides and rim cut get cleaned.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:30 PM
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Wet tumbling with stainless steel media only here. Thumbler's Tumbler is the one I have. Super rugged heavy duty, but not cheap. Very clean shiny brass including the primer pockets.

Just did these after a good range trip.
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:37 PM
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Here's a good link for you. This one is cheaper but includes the media and lemishine. In addition to the lemishine (which makes them sparkle) I add a couple drips of dishwashing liquid.

Reloading Kit Extreme Rebel 17, SS Media and Lemishine
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:05 AM
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I'm in the wet tumbling camp as well after decades of tumbling dry. No more hazardous dust to deal with and I can now clean brass inside during the winter. I went the cheap route and bought the Harbour Freight dual drum rock tumbler and 2 lbs of stainless steel pins. Bought in 2015 it's still working fine. The big plus with wet tumbling is if you deprime before tumbling the primer pockets get cleaned as well. Wet tumbling adds a few steps but the results are worth it.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:22 AM
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I started with dry tumbling then went to wet. Now I do both. Why? The wet tumbling gets them so squeaky clean that running them through the dies after is a bit of a pain. Wet tumbling is definitely more of a process between dumping water and separating pins but it gets the insides nice and clean. The dry tumble after the wet tumble is just a quick 1 hour tumble. Add a bit of car polish and let it go. Since the brass is clean there’s no real issue with dirty dust.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:44 AM
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I am still using the tumbler I got from Midway over 30 years ago.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:57 AM
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I've been using my Thumbler's Tumbler since probably the mid 1970's. All I've ever had to do to it is change the drive belt (once). I like it.
J.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:22 AM
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Lee; I am a very big fan of wet tumbling! But the draw back is for the large batched of hand gun cartridges. On 45 Colt & 45 ACP (and a few others I like to load in batches of 5000. In order to do that, I need to clean the brass every time I shoot (or at least every other).

My first purchased vibratory brass cleaner was by Thumbler's Tumblers also. I used crushed walnut shell (bought in 25 pound bags) and it was big enough to do 400-500 223 cases. I did 3 batches a day (about 8 hours)> That machine rand 24/7 for weeks and sometimes months on end, It lasted for about 10 or 12 years. I had Lyman, RCBS, & others. None were as good as Thumbler's! Now through the wonders of the internet, I have located replacement motors! If I had found a motor I probably would still be using it!

My very first tumbler was a 5 gallon steel bucket with lid, powered by a 110V washer motor through a bunch of reducing pulleys to about 5 RPM. (My F-I-L looked at it and said it should have been closer to 3 RPM. His at the Academy was a 30 gallon drum and went 2 RPM (the bigger the diameter, the slower the speed!) It was built into my loading bench, so it stayed when I moved and I bought the Thumbler's Vib.

The JOY OF WET CLEANING comes into focus if you shoot the less common sports. Black Powder Cartridge, Sniper Challenge, or Cowboy frontier Cartridge. When wet tumbling with the stainless pins, it not only cleans the inside of the cases and the primer pockets, I had 45-70 & 43 Reformado brass that was stained for 20 years by the sulfur! In 2 1/2 hours my stained brass was like new again, inside and out!

Ivan
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Barner View Post
my 20+ year old Midway tumbler is on it's last legs. searching the web i see a lot of Frankford Arsenal tumblers for sale. i really want one with the side dump thingie on it. thanks in advance. lee
Call Midway, they might replace it. They replaced my 20 year old Midway, motor bearings went out, 7-8 years ago with a Frankfort Arsenal. Not as good as the "Midway" but serviceable!

Smiles,

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Old 07-11-2020, 10:48 AM
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I don't know if I am ready to retire my dry media tumbler just yet (been using one for almost 40 years), but I am planning on picking up the Harbor Freight wet tumbler.

It may be an extra step in the long-run, but if I run my brass through a depriming die first, I see the following benefits:
a) tumbling time reduced from a few hours to 8 minutes,
b) super clean primer pockets (eliminates scraping primer pockets when repriming my match ammo),
c) easier separation of brass from cleaning media, and
d) potentially easier to find brass at the range.

In the long-run, wet tumbling looks like it could also be less expensive.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:51 AM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Thumlers Tumbler (that's T-H-U-M-L-E-R-S, BTW) is THE way to go IMHO: that is, only If you just want to buy the Best once...?

CHEERS!
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:02 AM
Steve912 Steve912 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Barner View Post
my 20+ year old Midway tumbler is on it's last legs. searching the web i see a lot of Frankford Arsenal tumblers for sale. i really want one with the side dump thingie on it. thanks in advance. lee
Sounds like you have one of the recalled Midway tumblers...
Midway will send you a Frankford replacement, free.


CPSC, Midway Arms Announce Recall of Tumblers | CPSC.gov
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:51 PM
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I think the Berry's 400 is the best dry tumbler available on the market today. It comes in various colors relabeled by a handful of companies. I have the green on from Cabela's and others are by Brownells, Sinclair and the like.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:58 PM
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I switched to wet tumble, never looked back. And now i dont even use the stainless pins anymore. Dawn dish soap (or your favorite car wash with spot remover), lemme shine. Cases come out just as nice as if i used the pins. Whatever junk left in the primer pockets wont hurt a dang thing. Heck there is people out there that dont ever clean their primer pockets at all, and i`ve not heard of one complaint of bad reloads from it. One less step in the washing process, i`m perfectly ok with that. And my brass looks better than new.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:02 PM
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The Frankford with ss pins has done me well - no complaints. It's important to have large vessels in order to immerse the drum and shake the pins free while suspended in water, otherwise trying to corral 'em is worse than cats.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:26 AM
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I use the dish soap/lemishine mix in an ultrasonic cleaner; decap, then 3 or 4 cycles gets them clean and bright. Rinse in hot tap water, dump and rub dry in an old bath towel.

Put cases in cardboard soda trays and leave them in a car parked in the hot sun for an afternoon--dry as a bone but they'll burn your fingers!

I used to tumble them but the last batch of walnut media with red rouge left too much dust all over the place, and the insides were coated with the polish--no good!
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaPow View Post
I switched to wet tumble, never looked back. And now i dont even use the stainless pins anymore. Dawn dish soap (or your favorite car wash with spot remover), lemme shine. Cases come out just as nice as if i used the pins. Whatever junk left in the primer pockets wont hurt a dang thing. Heck there is people out there that dont ever clean their primer pockets at all, and i`ve not heard of one complaint of bad reloads from it. One less step in the washing process, i`m perfectly ok with that. And my brass looks better than new.
Really? I wet tumble fired brass when I get back from the range before I re-size and deprime. Gets them clean enough so I don't dirty my dies. Hot water and Dawn/Lemi-Shine. After they're re-sized and expanded, I give them another wet tumble with the pins. I'd love to ditch the pins, since separating them is a bit of a pain, but find they come out much cleaner with the pins.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:50 AM
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I've been using a Lortone lapidary tumbler for about 50 years. I had to replace the belt a couple of years ago! About $10! It has a rubber barrel so it is quiet and seems to run forever. I don't wet tumble but could and they also have pins for sale.
Lots of choices.
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbm6893 View Post
I started with dry tumbling then went to wet. Now I do both. Why? The wet tumbling gets them so squeaky clean that running them through the dies after is a bit of a pain. Wet tumbling is definitely more of a process between dumping water and separating pins but it gets the insides nice and clean. The dry tumble after the wet tumble is just a quick 1 hour tumble. Add a bit of car polish and let it go. Since the brass is clean there’s no real issue with dirty dust.
This is my method also. Wet tumbling alone gets the cases so squeaky clean that you have to add something to lubricate them before resizing anyways, so after wet tumbling and drying them I run them in my vibrator Lyman with clean dry media to get them lubed up. I am using the Lyman green corn cob media instead of untreated because I had it left over from before getting my FA wet tumbler.
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:32 PM
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How would a mix of corn com AND walnut media work?
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