How much brass do you tumble at a time?


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Skulptor
April 24, 2013, 02:43 PM
I have been doing it for awhile now but got to thinking: maybe, for longevity of my tumbler's sake, I should back down a little from what I am doing now.
I have a Lyman Turbo Pro 1200. I usually tumble about 400 9mm cases at a time (A Jif peanut butter plastic jar almost full). It seems to do fine. I have it on a timer in my studio and runs on and off over night. (I thought that might give the motor a break)
I also use walnut shells. (just an fyi)
Thanx for you insight!

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rondog
April 24, 2013, 02:52 PM
I have that same tumbler, and I usually put approx. a heaping Cool Whip container full of brass in it, or about halfway full, then I'd top it off with media. I'd fill it nearly to the top, and it would just go like crazy. It's a very robust machine, and has always happily accepted whatever I put in it.

I really like the action it imparts on the brass and media, it has always rolled that stuff quite vigorously. The first tumbler I had was a Frankford Arsenal model, and it was easy to overload it to the point where the stuff wouldn't move. I believe the "inverted donut" shape of the Lyman bowl is the secret to it's robust action. The flat bottomed FA tumbler couldn't hold a candle to it.

Main thing to remember is to put the tumbler on a hard, flat surface like a concrete or tile floor, never on carpet. Any kind of padding under it will absorb the vibrations and diminish the action of it, and those machines breathe in their cooling air from the bottom - carpet can inhibit the airflow and contribute to overheating.

Now I use a small cement mixer and 25# of stainless steel pins with water, dish soap and Lemishine. I can put in about 20-25# of brass in that puppy, or about a 2.5 gallon bucketful. This is a whole different world though.

ReloaderFred
April 24, 2013, 03:03 PM
Tumblers are built with continuous use motors, so there's no need to cycle it on and off. I've left mine on for a couple of days when I forgot it was running, which will remove the nickel from brass, by the way.

I have two Thumler's Ultra Vibe 18's, which run most of the time. In fact, both of them are running right now. One has 500 rounds of .45 Colt brass in it, and the other is full of .45 acp and .45-70 brass. They'll both run all day, since I like my brass to shine brightly. My DI in Boot Camp at MCRD, San Diego, said if he ever caught me with tarnished brass, he'd have my butt. Even though he's probably pushing up daisies now, I'm not taking any chances........

Hope this helps.

Fred

45lcshooter
April 24, 2013, 03:08 PM
I throw my brass in and turn the tumbler on, when the brass is getting ready not to tumble then I stop putting brass in. Fill up the tumbler. I have the same tumbler as OP.

Arkansas Paul
April 24, 2013, 03:14 PM
Honestly I have never counted. I put a layer of media a couple inches deep in the bottom, fill it to about 2/3 of the way full with brass, more media and turn it on. Never had any issues.

cfullgraf
April 24, 2013, 03:51 PM
I prefer to store cases ready to load as opposed just shot so I resize and clean cases shortly after shooting them. I usually put a days shooting, 100 to 200 cases or so, in the tumbler at a time. More would fit.

I generally let the tumbler run all night. I guess I could get a timer to shut it off early but I never remember to buy one when at the hardware store.

I have never had a motor quit on me in 20 or so years of using a tumbler. Other problems, including broken wires, yes.

gilly6993
April 24, 2013, 03:58 PM
I fill it about 2/3 then fill with media.....tumble for a minute or 2 and then fill again with media once the cases fill up and make some more room....

Skulptor
April 24, 2013, 04:25 PM
Great! Sounds like my concern is unfounded.
A heaping Cool Whip container might be more than I tumble but, it's close. BTW, the plastic Jif jars work awesome for storage. Altho I'm not a huge lover of PB, I do eat it often on toast for breakfast and have always kept the jars. It paid off. Topped off they hold about 450 empty 9mm cases. (I counted one and marked it so I can keep a rough track of what I have. Not sure about .40's, .45's and .223's yet.)
Thanx again for the info!!!

Otto
April 24, 2013, 04:26 PM
The Model 1200 is rated at (350) .38 Special cases with 3lbs of media. Or (125) 30.06 with 2lbs media.

gamestalker
April 24, 2013, 04:40 PM
I've got a smaller model, the Ultra Vibe 10, and I tumble about 125 or so .357's, and probably around 80 or 100 of 30-06 size bottle necks. I run it for about 24 hrs.. I also size, trim, and tumble after each shooting session, so my brass doesn't accumulate much, unless I've just bough a large amount.

GS

nofishbob
April 24, 2013, 04:57 PM
I have the same tumbler as the OP.

I have noticed that when I overload it, the brass never gets shiny as they are vibrating against each other and constantly getting small scratches.

If I take half of the cases out and re-tumble, all is well. It just wastes time and power.

Bob

JSmith
April 24, 2013, 08:19 PM
I have one of those little Franklin tumblers. I do 100-150 cases at a time and they're clean in an hour or so.

mljdeckard
April 24, 2013, 08:50 PM
I once dumped in 500 .45 brass, and they all fit, and it did work and clean them, but a lot of them stacked and wouldn't move. It also put rings on a lot of them. No harm, but I don't do it anymore.

Hilljun
April 24, 2013, 08:52 PM
I am using the original Thumler's Tumbler Model B. I believe it is supposed to handle 15# at a time. I have five pounds stainless media and a gallon of water. So before brass I'm at 13 pounds. I usually tumble between 300-500 brass ( 9mm, .38, .44) at a time. They come out looking new every time. I am going to buy a cheaper one to polish my loaded ammo though so suggestions welcome.

Miata Mike
April 25, 2013, 12:04 AM
I also have a Lyman Turbo Pro 1200. I put a small sauce pan worth of pistol brass at a time. Might be a little less than a cool whip container like someone else said. Fairly well loaded with brass and Lymans walnut media. Maybe a touch of mineral spirits and Nufinish polish.

Rangemaster
April 25, 2013, 12:40 AM
I use a big dillon tumbler which can do like a 1000 rounds of 223, I really don't think it works very well with that much brass.

bullethead
April 25, 2013, 01:00 AM
I have a Thumlers Ultra Vibe 10. I tumble about 200 pistol cases at a time using corn cob. Set the timer to run for about 4 hours at night and the brass is ready to go in the morning.

bigdaa
April 25, 2013, 10:14 AM
I load as many as possible in like 45lcshooter does.......until the brass shows signs of not moving. I may pull a few out and then fill with the media. I have the Midway tumbler.

The most important thing to me is to look down through the clear lid and see the brass migrating in circular path vigorously and in contact with each other. There can't be any big voids where there isn't polishing media either.

How many pieces of brass? I never counted. I just do it by a feel for volume and mass. If the mass is too high, the brass just kind of sits there and loo0ks stupid. Same with brass volume.

Skulptor
April 25, 2013, 10:28 AM
Hmmmm... maybe I'll back off a few cases. It does seem to do a good job tho. Good movement, etc.
I have never put anything in it but walnut shells and brass. I always figured if it's clean that fine with me. No one ever sees it but other "range rats" picking it up. :D But I may have to try the Nu Finish (or something similar) and see what that does. I doesn't seem like it would take anymore time or work.
Oh, do you even "clean" your media?? I do get dirty!!!:)
Thanx guys.

1SOW
April 26, 2013, 02:03 AM
Oh, do you even "clean" your media?? I do get dirty!!!
Media is cheaper than trying to clean it. for sure. If your range brass is nasty, prewashing them in a bucket using a garden hose with a nozzle, will greatly extend the media life.

You'll be glad you tried the Nu-Finish. Shinier, yes; but also more slippery in the press, in the magazines and feeding into the chamber.

I like BLING.

My Berry's 400 (same as Cabellas 400) is rated at 1000 9mm, but 400 cleans fastest and shiniest with corncob and Nu-Finish.

Skulptor
April 26, 2013, 11:42 AM
I'll get some. Do you just give it a good squirt or...???

mljdeckard
April 26, 2013, 06:28 PM
The guys who use nu-finish say a capfull or so. I haven't tried it yet. I was using the Lyman's treatment (that smells suspiciously like the oil you use to lube the valves on a trumpet,) and I ran out so I did some without......and it worked just fine. The treatment does help keep the dust down.

788Ham
April 27, 2013, 12:58 AM
Mine was starting to get dirty, had it in the tumbler for about 4 years. Just dumped it into the trash hopper, and put new in tumbler, put in some Nu Finish, good to go another 4 years.

1SOW
April 27, 2013, 01:29 AM
I'll get some. Do you just give it a good squirt or...???
With MY model 400 tumbler, I put about 3/4 of a capfull in with new media,
then after maybe a thousand or a little more 9mm cases I put another 1/4 capfull in.
If they're still coming out glossy and slippery then don't add any more. It just takes a little. Don't overdo it. Scatter it in droplets when you add it in, and let the tumbler run a few minutes before puting the cases in.

I only tumble cases a few times/week. A bottle of Nu-Finish lasts a long time

Fire_Moose
April 27, 2013, 05:06 AM
I have the Berry's 400.

I did 150ish 308, and maybe 400 9mm once. They came out very clean and very dull. As if they were sandblasted. They've shot fine but it was terrible all around because the 9s nested on the necks.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Boxhead
April 27, 2013, 07:36 AM
I can't remember the last time I tumbled brass. I just wipe them down with a rag right after shooting and reload.

evan price
April 27, 2013, 12:48 PM
Five gallon bucket heaped full of brass and three buckets of walnut.

TfflHndn
April 28, 2013, 01:41 PM
"I am going to buy a cheaper one to polish my loaded ammo though so suggestions welcome. "


NOT a good idea to use a tumbler to polish loaded ammo. Tumbling can break down the grains of powder, or take flash or burn suppressant chemicals off, leading to significant changes in burn rate and a possible KB. Strongly recommend you don't do it. Polish your brass before loading it, or by hand after, not by tumbling.

mljdeckard
April 28, 2013, 03:52 PM
If you onl;y do it for a brief time, like 15 minutes, it won't hurt anything. Lots of guys tumble finished ammo.

Fire_Moose
April 29, 2013, 12:21 AM
Factory rounds are tumbled before packaging.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

david_r
April 29, 2013, 04:41 PM
NOT a good idea to use a tumbler to polish loaded ammo. Tumbling can break down the grains of powder, or take flash or burn suppressant chemicals off, leading to significant changes in burn rate and a possible KB. Strongly recommend you don't do it. Polish your brass before loading it, or by hand after, not by tumbling.
FUD. Nothing but FUD.

Arkansas Paul
April 29, 2013, 05:05 PM
NOT a good idea to use a tumbler to polish loaded ammo.

This subject gets brought up every month or so and it's just not true.
A couple of the guys here on the board ran extensive tests tumbling for insane amounts of time with no noticeable difference.

How do you think the big companies like Remington, Winchester and Federal clean their loaded rounds? They tumble them.

TfflHndn
April 29, 2013, 05:36 PM
You all can do what you want. Lots of people smoke til they're 100 and claim it never hurt them. Some get lung cancer. Given the down side of taking the risk of tumbling loaded rounds, and the fact that at least two of my manuals say it shouldn't be done, I'll pass on doing it myself. Rather be safe than sorry.

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