Is it Ok to polish live ammo in a tumbler?


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IAJack
September 17, 2005, 10:01 PM
I am posting this for a friend. He was outed from his house and hunting camp in NO from the hurricane.

He couldn't get everything stored or packed out. The ammo is his ammo cans is fine but some of his ammo that was still in cardboard boxes got soaked for awhile. Mostly just damp cardboard due to the pressure. None of it was soaked in dirty flood water or anything. Most of it is mil spec stuff and some is the steel cased Russian stuff. It is tarnished, dirty and some rust spots etc. He asked if he could possibly place it in a tumbler and clean it up that way instead of by hand one round at a time. I told him I thought that in an unsupported chamber it shouldn't have alot of power if one went off? I told him I'd place it in the tumbler at his family's other hunting cabin out in the field with a long extension cord and place a plywood or tool box over it before plugging it in -IF I were to do it at all.

I told him I'd ask for ideas or opinions on here

Thanks all

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pauli
September 17, 2005, 10:21 PM
i could have sworn i've read a thread here on polishing live ammo (and i believe the answer was that it is safe to do), but i can't find it.

i'd be more concerned about the ammo being ruined by the water, though...

IAJack
September 17, 2005, 10:27 PM
Well it is mostly mil-spec stuff, isn't that supposed to be sealed on the bullet seat and primer end anyway for use if crappy situations like hurricanes and war anyway?

He was going to test fire a sample of rounds he hand cleaned to see if any failures and decide from there to clean the rest or dispose of it.

Strongbad
September 17, 2005, 11:44 PM
It's not a matter of the round being sealed so much as it is what happens inside the case. You might get away with it, but you might not. If you tumble loaded rounds there's a potential for the grains of powder inside the case to basically crash together and break apart etc. Changing the grain structure of the powder can affect the burn rate. So in short, I wouldn't do it. Wipe them down with some case polish or something or rub them real quick with some steel wool but I wouldn't put them in the tumble.

wrangler5
September 17, 2005, 11:56 PM
There was indeed a long thread on this subject that ended earlier this year, but I can't find it now (read it yesterday.) There was a real split of opinion, some saying it was dangerous and they'd never do it, others saying commercial loaders do it all the time, at least one of the reloading companies says its OK (RCBS, if I recall correctly) and that they'd been doing it themselves without incident for years. Nobody could point to anyone actually having the tumbled mass go boom. One fellow, who was confident that tumbling was safe, offered to run a test tumbling ammo for several days, with rounds pulled out daily and fired over a chronograph to see if there were any change in performance (presumably from powder being broken down.) There was no follow up on that offer.

Deavis
September 18, 2005, 12:24 AM
The follow-up up to that "offer" is going to get started this week and the results will be posted by another forum memeber as they are available. The offer was not full of bull as many other things that have been tossed around here when threads get a little heated. I took on a couple of extra side projects at work and have been waiting on some reloading supplies. The wait has been a little frustrating but I like to give my business to my supplier, he is a great guy and waiting is part of the game.

I wouldn't hold my breath if you are in the "tumbling is bad camp" I fully expect the results will prove those ideas incorrect. If you realize what powder grains are coated in and think about how they "rub" together at a lower level you will realize that probability does not favor the breakdown camp. Of course, only a chronograph and a high powered optical microscope will say for sure. ;)

Smokey Joe
September 18, 2005, 01:10 AM
There is nothing, NOTHING, like actually testing out a theory, let the chips fall where they may! I for one look forward with great anticipation to yr report!

wrangler5
September 18, 2005, 01:27 AM
I remember your name, Deavis, as one of the posters in that earlier thread. My conclusion after reading all that was written was that tumbling finished ammo posed no unusual risk, either during the tumbling or when firing the ammo later. But it will be interesting to see the results of the test as they are published. It was going to be a rather extensive test, as I recall, and my comment about no follow up was merely a statement of my recollection, not any criticism of the participants.

I've about concluded that the don't-tumble-finished-ammo line is one of those sounds-like-it-might-be-right things that gets more play than it deserves, at least partly because of the litigious nature of our society today. Nobody (writer/publisher/blog-poster) is going to get sued for advising not to do something, whereas if you do advise someone to do something then somebody might someday decide to sue you (whether properly or not.) This analysis would account for such lines as "don't carry a gun with a round in the chamber," "unplug the drill before you change bits," "stop the car before adjusting the electric seat," and so on.

BluesBear
September 18, 2005, 03:31 AM
you tumble loaded rounds there's a potential for the grains of powder inside the case to basically crash together and break apart etc Poppycock.

If a week inside a rotary tumber won't break down the powder I don't know what will.

Fatelvis
September 18, 2005, 10:39 AM
I've read this Q&A quite a few times.... My question is: alot of people do this. Have you ever heard of, or know anyone, that has experienced a Kaboom or major malfunction, due to tumbling live ammo? I have never HEARD of one (1) incident, and I've asked that question a couple times on different sites. Go ahead and tumble to your heart's content!

Rockstar
September 18, 2005, 10:55 AM
Anybody who's ever eyeballed the action of a vibratory "tumbler" would quickly realize that there's no possibility of a "boom" from tumbling loaded ammo. I routinely tumble any ammo on which I've lubed the cases, just to remove the lube. I don't tumble but just a few minutes, though.

Jeeper
September 18, 2005, 12:16 PM
Deavis is doing the tests and I am giving it a home on the Web so that we can finally point to some actual experimentation that shows some results other than theoretical word play.

Fatelvis
September 18, 2005, 12:26 PM
I'll be very interested in the results. Wiping every loaded round down after progressively loading them, always felt too time consuming to me! I hope it makes no difference.

bakert
September 18, 2005, 06:24 PM
Got to agree with rockstar, just a few minutes to take the case or bullet lube off. I know people that disagree with me but I've never had a problem.

Sport45
September 19, 2005, 01:40 PM
I don't think the tumbler could hurt the powder. Could a few hours in a tumbler be any worse than the ride across Europe or Korea in a duece-and-a-half? I'd worry more about plugging hollowpoints or deforming softpoint spitzers.

kimbernut
September 19, 2005, 02:29 PM
1400 - .30 Carbine cartridges loaded from 1941-1955 recently survived overnight tumbling in my Lyman 2200 in 200 round batches.Shot to point of aim at 50 yards just as before the tumbling. No problems.

Ten_X_Ammo
September 19, 2005, 09:14 PM
I can attest that we too have been tumbling live ammo for about 30 years, without incedent. There has been an issue on a decapping machine once, before I was even born, and of course you can't avoid the occasional primer pop in an ammo load when you run millions of rounds a year. We tumble litterally millions of rounds a year, live, without incident.

You have to of course tumble them with the proper amout of product, walnut shell, corn cob or what have you. If not, you may end up with more tiny dents in larger cases (45-70) than you would like.

Remember that rounds like 9mm and such have a small volume inside the case the ISN'T filled with powder. Powder is SO light and HARD that I could not possibly see it breaking itself down with just a slight area to move in. I mean, you would probably have to shake a half full keg VERY hard for quite a while to develop a sufficient amount of wear on the powder to matter.

I suppose if I HAD to worry about something, it would be with a long grained powder. The would tend, based totally on physics to break more easily than a typical ball powder. Obviously if one grain struck another right in its center with its own tip, it would potentially have enough of a 'lever arm' to snap the other grain.

I would say, if you are tumbling slowly enough, with enough 'polising compound' you will be more than fine. No need to be turning ammo at 1800 RPM if you know what i mean! :D

snuffy
September 20, 2005, 02:00 AM
I was refered to this thread from a similar topic on AR. I'm grizz on there, I got weary of the nay sayers there and other places, and did my own test. Take a look over there at this link;

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/2511043/m/602103723

For those that don't want to follow the link and read the whole thing, here's my results. Now I ONLY tumbled for 15 hours. Seeing no degradation, I saw no reason to continue.;

here's my findings!
First the targets, then I'll copy off the velocity readings.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/terrysoops/websize/tumble%20groups.jpg

The numbers 2 5 10 and 15 indicate the hours that the shells that made that group were tumbled.

I made one little addition to what I posted last time. I took 10 winchester 300 WSM shells that had been fired before. I loaded them with the same 65 gr. of R-19. 5 were left out of the tumbler, the other 5 were tumbled for 2 hours. I pulled 2 of the 2 hr. bullets and looked at the powder. No dust or dirt, the powder was also unharmed. The two center top bulls were where I shot the win. shells, labled win control and win 2 hr.

Now for the chrono readings. I almost stopped the test after firing the 2 hr. shells. The velocity jumped about 700 fps in three of the five shots! It was high noon on a cloudless day, I believe I was getting some bullet glint, triggering the stop screen early. I took a break and discussed it with a shooting buddy. He said I was crazy if I continued the test. Well the apperance of the cases, and the recoil convinced me there was no problems. The next 5 were at 5 hours, they were the same area that the control group were reading. And the 10 hr. and 15 hour as well!

Control 1
Av. 2781 1 2639
Hi 2852 2 2851
lo 2639 3 2852
ES 212.4
SD 122.3
Only got 3 to register.
Control 2 group was better in that I got 4 to register with the chrono, and the ES was 46.6.

2 hr shells
Av 3115 1. 2810
Hi 3490 2. 2449
Lo 2449 3. 3490
ES 1041 4. 3392
SD 460.8 5. 3428
Recoil wasn't more, primer apperance was normal, no hard bolt lift, so on I went!

5 hrs.
Av 2832 1. 2837
Hi 2862 2. 2805
Lo 2805 3. 2836
ES 57.2 4. 2862
SD 24.7 5. 2818

10 hrs.
Av 2809 1. 2819
Hi 2824 2. 2766
Lo 2766 3. 2824
ES 57.8 4. 2824
SD 24.7 5. 2815

15 hrs.
Av 2835
Hi 2907
Lo 2758
ES 149.0
SD 58.4

The winchester shells were almost identical to the new Norma brass. I won't put those reading up, they prove that even previously fired shells act the same as new brass.

My conclusion; Tumbling loaded ammo does nothing to deteriorate the powder, causing it to burn faster, AT LEAST IN THIS PARTICULAR APPLICTAION! One conclusion you COULD draw is that at 15 hours, the accuracy improves! At least the size of the group shrunk! Big Grin

Well I had fun, and I feel much better now. Cool It was a beautifull day, 75, warm for this late in the year in Wisconsin.

Smythe77
September 20, 2005, 02:32 AM
I actually knew a chap that did polish his finished reloads & would set them up as the best he had to possibly win anything from some money to actually a S&W M-41, holseters & such. The ammo given highest approval by the judges was then tested with the person's h/gun & depending upon the grouping & all that clinched the wins for him.

So dumped 50 rnds of 38 Spl with 150Gr cast SWC in an old rock tumber of crushed walnuts & resin.

Looked good only the resin had impregnated the bullet tips.

That was my only try & have never done it since. Any NO I have not heard of anytumbler going boom. I guess because MOST do not tumble live ammo.

BluesBear
September 20, 2005, 06:25 AM
Welcome ABoard™ Snuffy(grizz)!
It's good to see you over here.

Thanks for posting the results of your test.

I did almost the same thing 20 years ago, when i was in the business, by tumbling an assortment of handgn rounds for 30 days.
My conclusions mirror yours.
In fact I know of no one who has actually done the experiment for themselves who has had a different outcome.

But there are still those armchair experts who will choose to believe a day dream over empirical data.

snuffy
September 20, 2005, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the welcome, bluesbear!

I registered over a year ago, there didn't seem to be much going on at that time, but then my memory is far from good! :p

I guess I could call myself a myth buster of sorts. I'm skeptical of the "I HAVE HEARD information, repeated without actually engaging the brain to think about it.

As was pointed out by others on AR, there's really only one reason to run a tumbler with loaded ammo,(well two if it's to remove corrosion from old military rounds). The one is why I do it, to remove the lube after loading .223 and .308 in my dillon 650. Then only for about 10-15 minutes. To get a high polish on the brass, I run corn cobb with either flitz or midway tumbler additive before sizing. I just started using the midway stuff, I really like it.

I'll check back here more often, I might just have something else to add! ;)

Jeeper
September 20, 2005, 12:52 PM
But there are still those armchair experts who will choose to believe a day dream over empirical data.


I cant believe that happens on the internet!!! I am truly stunned!!! :)

BluesBear
September 20, 2005, 02:12 PM
When I am standing face to face with someone who gives me that old song and dance about the powder grinding itself into pixie dust I ask them how long their walnut or corncob media lasts.

Why doesn't it grind itself into subatomic particles?

From the look on their faces you'd think no one had ever asked them that before.

trickyasafox
September 20, 2005, 03:02 PM
i figured if the inside of the cases dont get to clean from regular tumbling, its because media doesnt circulate well within the case. how could powder be any different?

goon
September 20, 2005, 03:25 PM
Can't speak for the powder breaking down but I don't see a loaded round causing much damage if it does go off inside a tumbler. A friend of mine stuck a 50 BMG round in the berm at a range once and shot the primer. It went off. The burning of the powder just pushed the primer out and left him with a perfect 50BMG dummy round.
I would think that the worst case scenario would end up with setting your tumbler on fire, but that would be WORST CASE SCENARIO.
I'll be watching for your results too.
Thanks.

Smokey Joe
September 20, 2005, 04:09 PM
The only accidental detonation of any sort I ever heard of was written up in the American Rifleman many years ago. In a sporting goods store, a box of shotgun shells was dropped, sending the shells all over the floor.

In collecting up the shells, one of them was kicked (apparently pretty hard) and slid across the floor, where its rim hit another of the shells hard enough to detonate the second shell's primer.

There was a "FUFF!" the shell ruptured sideways, and they had a mess of shot on the floor to clean up. That was it.

Doesn't seem like much of a big deal to me. And it's gotta be a one-in-a-zillion kind of occurrance.

The point for this discussion, is that for the incident to happen, the first shell had to be kicked--which gains it more motion energy than it could ever acquire inside a tumbler.

KSoldier
February 23, 2009, 06:55 PM
Things I would address in this thread is that every issue should be evaluated independantly.

If the reason you are tumbling live rounds is to clean off lube, I couldn't imagine any problems.

But if you have surplus (old) or water damaged rounds, you may have problems related to exposure or age.

My concensus, I would go ahead and do it while maintaining extreme caution and examine each round carefully when finished.

The only verified myth I know of is that a .22 round should never be used to replace a fuse in your car.

Hopefully I will never become a footnote in the Darwin awards.

Odd Job
February 23, 2009, 07:10 PM
http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228339

Hungry Seagull
February 23, 2009, 07:16 PM
Very interesting thread.

ARE YOU NUTZ!!?:what:

Anyhoo. I will continue to think about corroding ammo.

Iron Sight
February 24, 2009, 11:23 AM
I once tumbled some loaded 45 acp rounds that i had lubed the bullets/projectiles with liquid Alox bullet lube. When done the alox was still on the bullets plus the walnut media was stuck all over the area with Alox. I had to clean each round with a towel and solvent.

Floppy_D
February 24, 2009, 11:37 AM
What caliber for zombie thread?

Shiny factory ammo isn't shiny because they use magical dies. I tumble loaded rounds all the time. They don't need long, just 30 minutes or an hour, and they clean up purdy.

rcmodel
February 24, 2009, 11:42 AM
+1

The factorys do it.
I do it and have been for 30 years.

It is perfectly safe and sane to tumble loaded ammo 30 minutes - to an hour to remove sizing lube, and get that factory shine.

As noted by Iron Sight, it doesn't work so hot with cast bullets & bullet lube!

rc

Smokey Joe
February 24, 2009, 01:25 PM
How about that! A 3 1/2 year old thread, revived.

Have just had a "tumbling live ammo" incident myself--A loaded round of .357 magnum, target load with lead wadcutter, in front of a charge of Win 231 powder, somehow got in with my latest round of fired cases to clean. Tumbled that set of cases for several hours (didn't keep careful track) as some of them started out pretty messy. At the end, all were clean.

Discovered the loaded round when I tried to resize it and lo & behold, it wouldn't go into the die. Surprise!

The front end of the wadcutter bullet had turned sort of dull brownish-gray, I expect from the dirt tumbling about with the corncob-and-walnut medium being used.

Now there is a dent where the decapping pin hit the center of the front of the wadcutter bullet. Aside from that and the bullet color, the round looks quite normal.

The plan is to take that round to the range and shoot it, carefully noting any abnormalities. Will report on the results.

Mal H
February 24, 2009, 01:44 PM
Smokey Joe - you need to have your eyes recalibrated! You couldn't tell there was a bullet in the case before putting it in the press? I know it was probably a flush set wadcutter, but still! :)


Several years ago (more that the 3 1/2 that this thread is old), I would have said it wasn't wise to tumble live rounds. It just seemed to me like the powder makeup could change with the continual harsh vibrations. The carbon coating on some stick powders for example could be worn off, but I'm not sure that would cause any noticeable difference. Now that I've heard and read so many accounts of experienced reloaders doing it with no noticeable problems at all, I would have to say it's not a problem.

I'm not sure where I read it, but someone even went to the trouble of chrono'ing some rounds of a batch without tumbling and some with and he got the same results from both sets.

The chance of a round going off during tumbling (unless they are tumbling off a cliff) is nil.

Smokey Joe
February 24, 2009, 02:28 PM
Mal H--Smokey Joe - you need to have your eyes recalibrated! You couldn't tell there was a bullet in the case before putting it in the press? I know it was probably a flush set wadcutter, but still! Mal, I simply did not look into the case as I put it into the shellholder. They'd all been cleaned, all fired in my own revolver, none dropped or bent or stepped on. What's to look at? Apparently didn't notice the extra "heft" of the loaded round, either. It took the decapping pin stopping on the front of the bullet for me to realize something was amiss. One gets into a rhythm, reloading, and the most efficient thing is to maintain that rhythm.

Yes, it was a wadcutter.

ETA--I'm a careful, deliberate reloader, and fussy with my measuring. Please don't get the impression that I was just slamming cases through the machine as fast as possible--nothing could be further from the truth. BTW, this is pistol ammo going through a single-stage press, here; the rounds will each get handled and inspected at least twice more before being finished.

As to recalibrating eyes, do you know any outfit that does that? If so please publish that info--I and many many other "senior" shooters would eagerly make use of such a service! :) I use reading glasses (prescribed by my optician) when shooting bullseye indoors with open iron sights, and can remember when the sights were much clearer. :mad:

BTW, laser surgery on the lens limits you to exactly ONE focus; you have to use glasses for everything else. So for me, that'd be no improvement. I already use bifocals for everything except indoor bullseye shooting.

Iron Sight
February 24, 2009, 07:36 PM
Cataract surgery has made a world of difference in my eyesight.

<SLV>
March 18, 2009, 01:56 PM
I picked up 10 rounds of surplus 50 BMG. After de-linking it I cleaned off the grease with WD-40, removed the tarnish with Brasso, then tumbled it for 12 hours.

I'm hoping to shoot it in a couple weeks. I'll have my next of kin report back if anything goes wrong.

Smokey Joe
March 18, 2009, 02:06 PM
Shooting off that one tumbled round:

--Report just like normal.

--Recoil just like normal.

--Hit the target just like normal. Within my skill with a revolver, the POI was same as that load, not-tumbled.

--'Zack'ly what I expected.

Carl N. Brown
March 18, 2009, 02:52 PM
My son inherited a bucket of .223 that had been stored in a shed at a friend's mother's house. It got wet and most rounds were noticeably tarnished. My son has been tumbling batches of the rounds in cleaning material as for cleaning brass for reloading and so far all the ammo has fired, functioned my son's M4gery fine, and grouped nicely at 100 yds.

bobotech
March 18, 2009, 03:07 PM
Wow. A free bucketful of 223. Very jealous.

I tumble loaded ammo with no worries.

vjay
May 17, 2009, 12:49 AM
Reading this thread, encourage me to tumble live ammo myself to remove bullet lube. 15min tumbling, no lube!! Works great. :)

Afy
May 17, 2009, 06:10 AM
If tumbling action breaks up powder... then any vibration would.

So what kind of hremetically sealed, vibration proof containers do you transport your ammo in?

Rollis R. Karvellis
May 17, 2009, 08:28 AM
It wasn't a Fraghtliner with a Detrot in it.

me26245
May 17, 2009, 08:58 AM
Yes, It is ok to tumble live ammunition.

Munition manufactures tumble their products to remove the lube used during manufacture.

I've tumbled thousands of rounds to remove the lube from reloading. I've also tumbled surplus ammunition to remove tarnish and discolouring, sometimes letting it run for a couple of days.

Walkalong
May 17, 2009, 10:02 AM
Yes it is, just don't leave it for days and days.

SquirrelNuts
May 17, 2009, 12:35 PM
I have some old WWB 9mm and some mil-surp M2 ball .30-06 that I plan to polish once I get a tumbler. For now, I have a coffee can with walnut media. I throw in a couple dog biscuits and let the Chihuahua at it. :D :D :D :D

Walkalong
May 17, 2009, 01:09 PM
I throw in a couple dog biscuits and let the Chihuahua at it.Why haven't I thought of that. Our Dachshund should work just as well as a Chihuahua. :D

TooTaxed
May 17, 2009, 03:20 PM
I've routinely tumbled my freshly reloaded ammunition for years...everything from 9-mm Mak up through 300 Win Mag. I initially tested some batches against a non-tumbled control group for pressure and accuracy changes... found no appreciable difference.

My initial tumbling is with ground walnut hulls just before decapping and resizing...that can take as long as an hour depending on amount of tarnish of the cases. You need clean, but not real shiny, cases to protect your reloading dies. I've tried tumbling after decapping to clean the primer pockets...doesn't work efficiently, and results in an extra operation to clear primer flash holes clogged with tumbling media. I initially used a hand tool to clean the primer pockets after decapping...but found no disadvantage in repriming uncleaned pockets, so I no longer bother. I've never had a problem seating new primers or had a misfire due to uncleaned primer pockets.

My final tumbling after loading is 20 to 30 minutes with ground corn cob media with a couple of sprays of auto polish added (currently Dupont Teflon Spray Wax). That cleans off all oil and gives me shiny ammo indistinguishable from factory ammo, that has not tarnished after two years. I've never had any ammo damaged or "go Boom!" during the process. Think about it...even a fairly heavy, but still less than full, primer strike won't set off ammo.

I don't use auto polish in the initial tumbling for two reasons: (1.) To avoid any possibility that the polish on the inside of the case could react with one or more powders over extended time, and (2.) Polishing the completed ammo also polishes and protects the primer and bullet as sell as the outside of the case.

The only potential problem in final tumbling loaded ammo is that tiny hollow-points on rifle bullets could fill with media. I haven't noticed any of this, but if gummy media (even with a couple of sprays of polish, mine is still virtually dry) was used, the likelihood would increase. However, considering the striking power involved in expanding the bullet, I doubt that there would be an expansion problem even if the tip were jammed with media. I also doubt that the aerodynamic action of tiny hollow pointed target ammo (i.e., Sierra HPBTs) would change...mine seem to shoot as accurately as without the tumbling.

TooTaxed
May 17, 2009, 04:15 PM
In response to what would happen if a round did "go Boom!", not much would happen as the round is not confined by a tight gun chamber and bolt head.

Many years ago I questioned a newspaper report of a .38-Spl bullet wound due to an accidental dropping of a live cartridge in a fire.

I placed a live .357-Mag cartridge on a hot plate, placed a cardboard box over the hot plate, turned on the heat, and took shelter. When the cartridge cooked off, I removed the box and found one fragment of the split case and the primer embedded in the box...nothing penetrated. There was a barely noticeable dent in the box where the bullet hit.

The accident couldn't have occurred as stated in the newspaper account...as I so notified them.:p

rsilvers
March 8, 2010, 01:01 AM
If ammo does go off, it won't go through the plastic tumbler.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGeJjKnWm9o

EddieNFL
March 8, 2010, 08:28 AM
Cross? Check. Holy Water? Check. Wooden stake? Check.

Carl N. Brown
March 8, 2010, 09:22 AM
Vital Statistics:
Opening post #1 17 Sep 2005
Last "live" post #26 20 Sep 2005
Resurrection post #27 23 Feb 2009

Subject: is it ok to polish live ammo in a tumbler?

OK, a lot of "undead" threads deserve the cross, holy water and stake through the heart treatment.

Some, like this one, address an issue of genuine perrenial interest.

And in several hundred rounds polishing .223 (5.56x45mm) in a tumbler, no discharge.

EddieNFL
March 8, 2010, 01:53 PM
Some, like this one, address an issue of genuine perrenial interest.

There have been at least two other threads in the past two months; one started on 6 March was still active yesterday.

This topic has been around longer than I've been on the internet (15 years?). I've yet to visit a board that didn't see a new thread at least twice each year.

rodinal220
March 8, 2010, 02:46 PM
The ammo companies do it,top/knowledgeable competitive shooters have been doing it for years.Brian Enos does it,and states so in his reloading video.

I conducted my own testing in a Dillon vibratory tumbler.I tumbled assorted rifle and pistol rounds from different lots of ammo.I had "un-tumbled" rounds as a control.

The idea is to tumble long enough to remove case lube and a final polish/cleaning.This normally takes about 15-30 minutes with corn cob.After tumbling I disassembled the rounds and found the powder had not turned in to baby powder like many have claimed.IMR stick propellant was not broken into smaller pieces.All the primers lit just fine and I did deprime some:neener: as a sample and could not find any that had broken up or turned to dust.I have also run ammo for several hours just to find out and no problems,but I normally do not tumble more than 30 minutes.

Just use some logic:

Imagine all the billions/trillions of rounds of ammo that have been shipped by the military and ammo companies over the decades.The ammo is moved by various trucks,trains,C-130s,etc,bouncing and vibrating over all types of roads and runways.

Its seems to hold up just fine.

I routinely pull surplus ammo down and inspect it before shooting.Some of it dating to WWII.I have yet to see any with powder turned to dust or primers coming apart.Again we are not talking about ammo that has had powder/primer compromised by moisture,heat,cold or old age.

I will continue to vibratory tumble ammo(not rock tumbler/cement mixer) and call BS on the whole subject.If the ammo companies do it,they must do it for a reason.

Fatelvis
March 8, 2010, 07:15 PM
yes.

X-Rap
March 8, 2010, 09:03 PM
If it wasn't many of us would have blown ourselves up by now.

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