Case Tumbler


April 2, 2010, 12:50 AM
Has anyone used the Frankford Arsenal Case Tumbler? And how did it work?

If you enjoyed reading about "Case Tumbler" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 2, 2010, 07:20 AM
Haven't used the Rockford, but I bought the tumbler from Harbor Freight and it cleaned up my brass quite well.

April 2, 2010, 07:32 AM

I had to do some extensive researches a few months ago when my tumbler died. I ended buying a Lyman autoflow...and buying a new motor for my Dillon 550 tumbler.

The Lyman is not bad. I don't use the autoflow. It is slower to clean brass than the Dillon. I still use the Dillon a lot more.

Thank you

April 2, 2010, 07:58 AM
I have a Midway (early Frankford) a Lyman 1200 and a very large Lyman Autoflow. The 1200 works fastest and quietest. The Midway and Lyman Autoflow work well, but are slower and noisy.

I don't use the autoflow feature, either. It just helps me make a mess.

April 2, 2010, 09:43 AM
I have an early Lyman 35/40 years old?--still works great
Had an RCBS---lasted 15 years & motor died
Purchased a new Lyman--the bowl was off center --I guess I got a bad one.
Purchased a Hornady ( same as RCBS-different color ) this year--too new to tell.

April 2, 2010, 09:54 AM
I had a Frankford Arsenal tumbler from Midway. I'd rate it as a p.o.s. Noisy as hell, poor action, and died an early death. The flat bottom on it just didn't produce decent tumbling action, and it would easily get overloaded and bog down. My simple little Lyman Turbo Pro 1200 is far better, by orders of magnitude. I can pack it full and it still goes like crazy. I still have the FA media separator that came with the tumbler, it works great!

April 2, 2010, 10:58 AM
I have 2 frankford tumblers and both had the same problem. One of the wires broke going to the motor. I replaced the first one before I looked at it and realised it was an easy fix. 6 Months later the other one did the same thing. Could have sent it back under warranty, but I just fixed it & went back to work. No problems other than that and they both work very well. Not too loud and very efficient.

April 2, 2010, 11:15 AM
I have both the old (round bowl) and the new (flared bowl) Frankford Arsenal vibratory tumblers. Have used the old one for 15+ years and no problems. Yes, it is a bit noisy, but I tumble in the garage so no problems for me. The new unit is quieter and has the added on/off switch on the powder cord.

As to speed, it takes 20-30 minutes in dry walnut for about 500 range brass to come clean for resizing but you could clean/polish in one step with walnut+polish (what I used to do). I polish separately using walnut/corn media mix if I want really shiny cases (another 30 min to 1 hour).

April 2, 2010, 11:25 AM
I have a Lyman 1200 which is amazing but small. I just aquired a Frankford. It's slow and noisy. I'm trying the red walnut bird litter from Petsmart and it's quite dusty. Looks like I will give it one more shot with corn cob media. The Frankford takes quite a bit more time to get the same finish that I get from my Lyman with cord cob.

April 2, 2010, 11:54 AM
Real happy with the Lyman I have now. My first one went over 20 years before crapping out. The Berrys is a pretty good little tumbler as well.

Mike 27
April 2, 2010, 01:08 PM
I have one and have had no issues. I think it takes longer and it comes with the cob media. I have had it for about 4 months and use it a few times a week for pistol cases. I like it so far and can't tell much difference in the cleanliness compared to friend’s cases that have come from higher end tumblers. I clean about 100-200 cases at a time and usually polish them for about 5 hours just because I like how they turn out and they are usually out of the snow and ice here and I am sure most do not want to wait that long. I have had no failures though and haven’t loaded it down more than 200 .45 ACP cases at a time. I picked up the kit with the media separator and bucket, probably my selling point. Like I said it runs about 5-20 hours a week for 4 or 5 months and no issues yet.

April 2, 2010, 01:24 PM
I bought an Auto Flow up grade for my Lyman Tumbler.
I could not believe what a piece of crap that thing is:what:

Yes, the media flows out..all over, every where.
But, get this, the cases are left still FULL of media:eek:
I cannot believe Lyman still markets and sells the Auto Flow feature.

The best part about the upgrade for me was I used the original bowl and cover to build another tumbler.

$10 for hardware and an old fan motor for a tumbler that works better than the Lyman.

Just my opinion,

April 2, 2010, 02:09 PM
My original Lyman--still working 35/40 years old.
In a gun shop the next city over was the same unit---I offered a price & he would turn it
down. He wanted $30 more than I offered--we kicked it around for years.
One of the people he hired took care of the problem---the guy & some of his friends tied up the owner--cleaned out the shop & set it on fire---I really miss him---the kids got life.

April 2, 2010, 02:22 PM
I have one (new design). It works fine for me. I tumble in the garage so noise is not an issue for me.

April 2, 2010, 02:40 PM
I have owned a Frankford tumbler for years with no problems whatsoever. It has tumbled thousands of rounds over the years. I agree it is a little noisy but like some of the others I clean my cases in the garage so no big deal. I would buy another no problem.

April 2, 2010, 08:03 PM
A vib tumbler is a vib tumbler. A plastic bowl, lid and base; a few springs; a cheap electric exhaust fan motor and a power cord. Nothing special about any of them.

They all work or they wouldn't survive in the market.

April 2, 2010, 08:49 PM
Thanks all, I think I will get one. they are on sale for about half the price of the others and will only be doing about 300-400 rounds a year so it sounds like a good deal to me

Thanks again

April 2, 2010, 11:50 PM
300-400 rds per year!?!!

Do them by hand and save $.


April 3, 2010, 04:17 AM
I have had the Harbor Freight for about 3 years. Works fine. At the time it was a good deal on sale for around $40. I also have a harbor freight caliper. The buttons are identical to one of the big name calipers, it is just painted a little different. I'm pretty sure sure the same chineese company is making them for harbor freight and the big name company.

April 3, 2010, 01:18 PM
I've been using the same Thumler's Model "B" rotary tumbler for over 30 years now.

It gives me the option to tumble in walnuts or corncobs, or better yet, to wash with warm water and Tide. :cool:

April 3, 2010, 05:28 PM
I have a recent Frankford tumbler and it works great, no problems. I use Lyman walnut media and finish off with corncob media for extra shine. I usually put in 300 to 400 38 spl or 357 mag cases at a time.

April 11, 2010, 06:02 PM
Well I bought one about a week ago and I have run 100 38spl and 200 7mm mag through it and I like it so far. Yes it is a little loud but I put it in the spare bed room in the basement, (my 22 year old son is using it, again! Maybeit will help him get his own place! HA HA) Yes I could hvae done them by hand but I do not have much time to reload and I am too lazy. Thanks for all the comments.

April 11, 2010, 06:25 PM
I have an older Frankford Arsenal model. Have tumbled thousands in it. No complaints. I have no basis for comparison to other brands, but I know it does a fine job of cleaning my brass.

Gadzooks Mike
April 11, 2010, 07:23 PM
After a bit over a year, Frankie is doing just fine for me. He only gets about 6 hours of workout per month, so I'm not a heavy user.

April 11, 2010, 08:05 PM
Tumblers are about as simple as a press; no secrets, no vast differences between them. A cheap plastic bowl, lid and base, a few springs, a cheap electric fan motor and power cord. Get the least expensive you can find and buy it, how long it lasts will be determined by the motor. None of the "makers" make their motors, they buy them from the cheapest possible source so how long it runs is luck, not the color of the plastic.

April 12, 2010, 06:38 PM
No complaints about my frankfort good bang for the buck does the job but I plug mine in and leave for work........

But if you really need a good long lasting one seriously look at the dillon
Mine lasted over 15 years

deadeye dick
April 12, 2010, 08:45 PM
Bought one 2 mos. ago works fine. Do my reloading in the garage and run it in the evenings till late. If I go to bed before they are done I hook up a light timer( for lamps when you go on vacation) so it will go off automaticely, No need to get up

April 12, 2010, 08:49 PM
I have Two Lyman 1200 Turbo, they work great.

April 13, 2010, 01:13 AM
I use a FA tumbler for initial fired case polishing with walnut media and polishing liquid, and a Midway tumbler for final cleaning and polish of loaded ammo with corn cob media and a squirt or two of auto polish (just like the commercial ammo producers do!). Many, MANY thousands of rounds over the last fifteen or twenty years, with zero problems...and the loaded ammo won't tarnish!

I haven't noticed any difference between the tumblers as far as noise or polishing efficiency. I could switch them if I want...that's just how I have them set up now...

April 13, 2010, 11:22 AM
My Frankfort is the only one I've owned in three years of reloading. I don't use it every week, but it works every time I fire it up and the brass comes out shiny. More than that I cannot ask.

Peter M. Eick
April 17, 2010, 10:43 AM
My midway 1292 (predecessor to the frankfort) is easily over 10 years old now and still runs just fine. The wires vibrated off maybe 7 years back and I soldered them and the bowl broke (cracked) about 5 years back and midway replaced it for free.

I used it last weekend with no problems.

April 17, 2010, 10:49 AM
I have a Frankford Arsenal/Midway tumbler. I got my first one about 4 yrs ago, and after about 2 years it died. I called Midway, and they replaced the whole thing for free even though it was not under warranty. They sent a new one, and it works fine too. It is loud, and does not have huge capacity, but it seems to get the job done, and I see no need to buy a new one until this one dies.

April 17, 2010, 11:46 AM
It is loud,

You know, Harley Davidsons are loud too - few seem to complain about their "noise" tho ... :D

April 17, 2010, 11:55 AM
I am on my second Midway/Frankford tumbler in 30 years. I have done many thousands of rounds over the years and have no complaints. The first tumbler had a wire break after about 10 years but Midway replaced the tumbler at no cost to me. I would buy another if I needed one. Midway has great customer service.

April 17, 2010, 02:50 PM
I have my old Midway 1292 as well and it keeps going and going. A bit small at times and noisy to boot but I tumble in the garage and tumble often so it don't bother me none.


If you enjoyed reading about "Case Tumbler" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!