Tumbler Recommendations


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Savage .250
September 11, 2009, 11:28 PM
Hi gang,
I'm looking for experience/opinions on a tumbler to polish/clean brass.
I'm comparing a liquid type (RCBS Sidewinder) vs. a vibrating dry media type.
Anybody have experience / opinions on both types and their Pros & Cons?

I've got 1,000 rds of 30-06 brass to clean, make shiney and reload. Is one type "better" than another?

Thanks!

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Randy1911
September 11, 2009, 11:34 PM
I have been using a MidwayUSA 1252 tumbler (now sold under the Frankford Arsenal brand name) for over 14 years with no problems. I use corncob and a little bit of Brasso. I know a lot of people say Brasso is bad for brass, but how could brass polish be bad for brass. I have never had any problems in over 25 years of using it.

billybob44
September 11, 2009, 11:38 PM
I started years ago with a Model B barrel tumbler. Very noisy+PITA!! Have had a Dillon 2001 for 6-7 years+LOVE it. I really think that you would like a vibe.type case cleaner over a barrel cleaner too!;):neener:

billybob44
September 11, 2009, 11:40 PM
I have been using a MidwayUSA 1252 tumbler (now sold under the Frankford Arsenal brand name) for over 14 years with no problems. I use corncob and a little bit of Brasso. I know a lot of people say Brasso is bad for brass, but how could brass polish be bad for brass. I have never had any problems in over 25 years of using it.
Randy, car polish works very well+also is cheaper than Brasso!

jcwit
September 11, 2009, 11:55 PM
Wet Brasso is bad for brass as it is ammonia that makes it wet. Ammonia weakens brass very quickly. Brasso that the Ammonia has evaporated out of is safe and containes the polishing compound in it. You can also use just about any auto cleaner wax like Nu-Finish, Turtle liquid wax, ect., ect. One bennifit using the auto waxes is they also apply a light coating of wax or polish that helps to keep the brass from tarnishing.

Only tumbler I'd stay away from is the HF tumbler. Went thru 4 before I gave and got my money back. Got a Cabales tumbler, can't beat the warrenty, or the price for that matter.

If you need to impress your buddies pay the money for the Thumblers tumbler or a Dillen.

Just my 2 cents.

giggitygiggity
September 12, 2009, 12:28 AM
I got the kit from Cabelas. It is the Cabelas brand tumbler kit. It came with a tumber, media, and brass polish. I have cleaned thousands of cases with it thus far and haven't encountered any problems. I think it was around $60. Everyone else that has it seems to like it too.

Hesenwine
September 12, 2009, 12:28 AM
I use 2 Midway tumblers and 1 Lyman turbo something-or-other.

Corn cob media from the pet store and Flitz.

I have them on a countdown type timer so I can turn them on (all or 1 or 2 at a time) and forget them until the next day or whenever.

Never tried the barrel tumblers from RCBS-kinda spendy for me.

I also have several extra bowls for moly coating.

1SOW
September 12, 2009, 12:30 AM
jcwit +1

I got my first Cabellas about 5K 9mm cases ago because of forum recommendations. It works very well, and the price is low. It has an in-line on-off switch.

I recommend a cheapy light timer (like you use to make the thieves believe you're at home ). You can set and forget it.

I also recommend the crank handle media separator instead of the shallow pan that comes with their 'kit'. I wouldn't have made a good gold panner as heavy as gold is. Brass is heavy too.

jcwit
September 12, 2009, 01:04 AM
My Cabellas tumbler has polished cases from .38 to 30/06 Loard only knows how many but I know it in the 100,000 range. Remember cabellas has a satification guarantee deal.

To those starting out try corn cob media from Grainger Ind Supply in the 20/40 grit. No more media in the primer poctedt or in the flash holes, just runs right out. Cost, about $25.00 for 40 lbs, which will last a long time.

Walkalong
September 12, 2009, 09:36 AM
My used Lyman 1200 only lasted around 20 years. That was with me routinely running it all day or all night, so when it finally died I bought another Lyman, but went up in size to this one (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=514805&t=11082005).

I found I missed the smaller sized tumbler for doing small amounts of brass from testing, so I got a Berrys tumbler (http://www.berrysmfg.com/product.aspx?i=14546&c=47&pp=8&sb=0&p=0) for that. (Same as Cabelas I believe)

Both tumblers are nice and I would recommend either one. The Berrys isn't noisy, but the Lyman is very, very quite, if that matters. Mine are out back in the shed, so it doesn't for me.

Randy1911
September 12, 2009, 10:01 AM
Wet Brasso is bad for brass as it is ammonia that makes it wet. Ammonia weakens brass very quickly. Brasso that the Ammonia has evaporated out of is safe and containes the polishing compound in it.

JCWIT

I always let the tumbler runs for a couple of hours after I add the Brasso. I only add it to a new batch of corn cob. That is all that is needed. Next time I switch corn cob I will try the Nu-Finish tho.

ny32182
September 12, 2009, 10:29 AM
I have been using my Frankford Arsenal for about a year and a half with not issues; I have no reference for comparison, but it seems to perform well to me. I have used about half a bottle of the same brand case polish that came with the tumbler. It is alright, but expensive when purchased separately... I will be switching to a car polish when I need a new bottle.

I am curious about how long everyone tumbles.

bullseye308
September 12, 2009, 11:20 AM
I use a Frankford tumbler with lizard litter(walnut) from a pet store and a little Nu-Finish. Run it 2-3 hrs and I'm happy.

One day mine died and I went and bought another to finish what I had started. Being thrifty I tood the dead one apart to see what made it tick & saw a wire had broken at the clip. Took no time to fix that, and now I have 2 tumblers running frequently.

ranger335v
September 12, 2009, 11:43 AM
"Only tumbler I'd stay away from is the HF tumbler. Went thru 4 before I gave and got my money back. Got a Cabales tumbler, can't beat the warrenty, or the price for that matter."

Just curious, what were the failures with all those HF tumblers?

Polish is polish but avoid any ammonia contact with case brass. If the "cat pee" smell is gone, the ammonia is gone.

Using Nu-Finish auto polish or any other that's ONLY a polish is good. But DON'T use any liquid car/furniture/etc, "wax", it's not the same thing at all.

longdayjake
September 12, 2009, 11:49 AM
I have used the dillon vibratory for well over 10,000 pieces after I bought it from another guy. I don't know how much he used it, but he handloaded for decades before finally going on to other things. The dillon works wonderfully and had shown no signs of slowing down. From what I hear vibratory case cleaners have a habit of slowing down as they get used.

dagger dog
September 12, 2009, 12:42 PM
It used to be that the major reloading equipment manufactuers (l-red,h-red,orange, green,blue) tumblers were about double the price of the first batch of Chinese brands that hit the market here in the USA. The prices of the majors have dropped considerably, making them worth the few bucks extra,if for nothing else their warranties. Just about anyone who has had warranty problems with the major manufactuers products have mostly good thing to say about their experiances, not always but mostly.

I own a Frankford, and at the time of purchase it was about 1/2 the cost of the RCBS vibratory I would have liked to have owned, that was about '96 .

I am not a competitive shooter but a hunter, casual target shooter, load 22 Hornet ,.223 Rem,(for an auto loader and bolt gun), .308 Win. 8mm Mauser ,38 Special, 9mm. I may shoot 1,500 rounds, plus 500 rounds of scrounged brass from the local range a year.

I tumble my brass before I deprime, and after sizing, so that figures to 26,000 rounds and a purchase price of $49.95 in 1996, and if you factor in the double cleaning well , thats pretty cheap. Of course you could do the same number chrunch with the major brands.

Roccobro
September 12, 2009, 02:57 PM
Same as walkalong. Lyman 2500 magnum. Under $70 shipped when you time it right.

First one lasted a short time (10 months/~100k shells). And with the new one running sooo quiet, I think mine was from the "bad motor production batch" they had a few years ago. Didn't send it in for a free fix as I felt I got my moneys worth.

Justin

lgbloader
September 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
My Midway 1292 has been good to me but I noticed last week that time may be catching up with it. I guess Lyman is probably going to get my money next time around.

LGB

jeepmor
September 12, 2009, 03:20 PM
Whatever you do, I suggest buying the kit that offers the tools to quickly separate your media from your cases. You'll be glad you did.

lgbloader
September 12, 2009, 03:32 PM
tools to quickly separate your media from your cases
I have the RCBS rotisserie job and it works great. I also have my old blue midway seperator that fits over a 5 gal bucket and that works well too.

LGB

Walkalong
September 12, 2009, 04:24 PM
My "High Tech" media strainer.

putteral
September 12, 2009, 07:36 PM
Cabela's 400 Case tumbler. Just got one and works great.

coloradokevin
September 12, 2009, 08:14 PM
I recommend a cheapy light timer (like you use to make the thieves believe you're at home ). You can set and forget it.

That's actually what I do. It is my Christmas light timer in my case, and I hook it up and set it for the number of hours I want it to run. Works well!

My setup is a Frankfort Arsenal tumbler, and it has been buzzing away just fine for a couple of years now. I'm still trying to get my tumbler media down to a science (as the last thread I posted explained), but I've had no issues with the tumbler at all.

soloban
September 12, 2009, 11:06 PM
I'm using the tumbler from Harbor Freight. I think I paid $50 for it. I use it with Walnut with a little dash of liquid polish thrown in for good measure. I usually let the brass run for 45-60 min and it comes out looking new.

45ACPUSER
September 13, 2009, 01:16 PM
The RCBS is way to expensive.....go to Buffalo Arms and get the high speed Model B Thumblers. They are quiet as all get out in my use, and a few other uses report the same as compared to a vibratory polisher.

PALMERJ
September 14, 2009, 07:03 PM
I would stay away from one that has straight sides on it I have a RCBS, 2 Lyman and 1Cabelas tumbler and the Cabelas is my least favorite because the media can spill out if you run it without the lid while you add brass.

USAFRetired
September 14, 2009, 08:40 PM
Walkalong:

What is that? Looks like a tray from a medical sterilizer?

FROGO207
September 16, 2009, 01:20 AM
I have a Dillon and love it. Holds up well even tho I abuse it regularly. Bought it used about 15 years ago and run it about 3 nights a week since then. As good as the pink bunny!

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