why do people dry tumble and not wet tumble?


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trigga
January 18, 2014, 09:00 PM
before i got into reloading, i did plenty of research on the process. the first stage to reloading was brass prep. most people i've read about dry tumbles their brass which at one point i was going to buy a dry tumbler. then i came upon a video with a wet tumbler and the results were much more desirable. it almost makes me think that wet tumbling would be the method of choice. i'm not the smartest person but common sense tells me everything about it is better in a way unless i'm missing something.

when dry tumbling you get a lot of dust particles, some of it being lead. wet tumbling captures most if not all the dirt with the water. dry tumbling only cleans and polishes the outside of the case, wet tumbling cleans and polishes the inside, outside AND the primer pocket. Dry tumbling media can only be used a number of times before it needs to be replaces, stainless steel media used in wet tumbling will last you a lifetime if you don't lose them. am i missing something? like the ss media will shorten the life of your cases, will damage the lip? sometimes it makes me wonder why it's not as popular..

a couple of weeks ago i asked my cousin how he cleans his brass and he told me he uses some chemical. it's corrosive he said. ???, I don't have a fancy wet tumbler but the dual drum version from harbor freight. i've tumbled over 2500 rounds using the same media, bottle of lemi shine and dawn. the results surprised me so much i tested some pennies. i'm not particularly picky about shiny brass but seeing is believing.

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rcmodel
January 18, 2014, 09:12 PM
Because I simply despise drying wet brass before I can use it.

I gave up wet cleaning 40 years ago when I built my first tumbler, and never looked back.

Rc

bds
January 18, 2014, 09:24 PM
I like dry tumbling with fine grit walnut media with NuFinish car polish for the following reasons:

- Cleans and removes tarnish well (as quick as 15-20 minutes) and puts light polish good enough for me to reload and be proud of showing to others.

- Residual polymer on the surface of the brass acts like case lube and makes resizing easier (I use Lee carbide resizing dies and resizing takes much less effort than just dry cleaned brass).

- Residual polymer on the surface of the brass keeps brass shiny longer and prevents tarnishing for years/decades inside a 5-gallon buckets (great for long-term storage of brass). I know many who wet/SS tumble their brass but tumble again in walnut/corn cob with NuFinish for these reasons.

If you are concerned about lead dust, get yourself a respirator with 3M filters and sort brass/tumble outdoors with good ventilation (I think excellent insurance against lead for $15) - http://www.amazon.com/3M-6391-P100-Reusable-Respirator/dp/B001NDN29O/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2G5S4SDVEREB7

GBExpat
January 18, 2014, 09:40 PM
why do people dry tumble and not wet tumble?
That is how I have always done it and, as they say, "if it ain't broke ...".

Often I will pre-clean tarnished brass in a citric acid/water solution prior to putting it in one of my vibratory case cleaners (corncob media w/ a bit of polish).

Dust is not a problem because I don't run the things for any amount of time with the covers off.

Rangemaster
January 18, 2014, 09:50 PM
I have the equipment to do wet, dry and sonic.

I prefer dry over everything else. Wet with pins do leave the brass looking the best, but removes the carbon from inside the brass.

jmorris
January 18, 2014, 09:51 PM
I use both methods. You can't get much cleaner than wet with SS but you can only post load tumble to knock lube off dry.

Jesse Heywood
January 18, 2014, 09:59 PM
I don't worry about how clean the inside of the case is. But I do find the inside cleaner with small cob media than with walnut. I also don't clean primer pockets, which means I can deprime during the loading process.

Rushthezeppelin
January 18, 2014, 10:01 PM
I tried ultrasonic first. It didn't hardly do crap to the brass except let it tarnish easily and the drying process was a pain, I'm an impatient person and would stare at it to make it dry faster :D So far I've been very impressed with dry tumbling in corn cob media. It might not clean the primer pockets like stainless tumbling will but it really isn't a big deal imo, I personally think most people harp too much on clean primer pockets. I think as long as the flash hole is clear it doesn't matter much.

Rule3
January 18, 2014, 10:01 PM
Dry tumble, place brass in tumbler turn on with timer. Remove brass.

Wet tumble, add solution and water, run machine, rinse several times to remove acid, separate stainless pins, place brass somewhere to dry ( I do not think the family kitchen oven is a good place) wait for it to dry.

Cost of wet machine is much higher, solution is not free it costs also,

Generally it's a PITA;) I have picked up really dirty range brass full of sand and dirt. I use a 5 gal bucket some citric acid or vinegar and water. Rinse it outside with hose (advantage of Fl weather) Dry on driveway.

Dry tumbling works just as well if you spend the .29 cents to change the media once and a while. It takes about 2-3 hours with good media and some Nu Finish or similar additive. A 50 lb bag of corn or walnut is cheap at Harbor Freight or online and will last for years.

higgite
January 18, 2014, 10:05 PM
Just because I'm too lazy to type it for myself, ditto what Rule3 said.

straight-shooter
January 18, 2014, 10:10 PM
I find the drying process to be very simple. Put the brass in a mesh dryer bag and hang it over the door of the dryer and close the door. Set the dryer to 40 minutes on medium heat.
Done....

rcmodel
January 18, 2014, 10:14 PM
But, while you are running up the electric bill running the dryer for 40 minutes drying your wet brass?

I got my dry brass out of the tumbler and reloaded it!!!

rc

Schwing
January 18, 2014, 10:15 PM
I have messed around with liquid tumbling. I know several others who have as well. It seems like almost everyone who does ends up going back to dry media. There is no reason to clean the inside of the case and dry media is good enough. Add a little brass polish in the mix and you probably won't be able to tell the difference except dry shells are ready to use right out of the hopper

kevinakaq
January 18, 2014, 10:16 PM
It works, it's easy, it's cheap.

If accuraccy improved wet tumbling i would be in....other than that i dont see an advantage.

Kevin

leefan
January 18, 2014, 10:47 PM
Let me put this argument to rest. If the Comanches were crossing the Red River, and you were reloading for a desperately underammoed troupe of Texas Rangers, you wouldn't clean the cases at all. If you wanted to imagine that shiny clean cases shoot better, you'd clean, while the Injuns scalped the Rangers. The more you wanted to believe that, the cleaner you'd make them. Until you got scalped. That said, I like my cases to be shiny clean, and I am absolutely convinced that the accuracy is better. Can't tell that from MY shooting, a course. It's a matter of faith.

ArchAngelCD
January 18, 2014, 11:13 PM
FOR ME, it's just easier to dry tumble and wet. I like easy and wet tumbling is not easy.

rbernie
January 18, 2014, 11:19 PM
I wash fired range brass by the thousands and leave them to dry in 5gal buckets. When dry, I dry-tumble them in treated walnut without fear of issues with the dust.

Easy peasy.

RustyFN
January 18, 2014, 11:31 PM
before i got into reloading, i did plenty of research on the process. the first stage to reloading was brass prep. most people i've read about dry tumbles their brass which at one point i was going to buy a dry tumbler. then i came upon a video with a wet tumbler and the results were much more desirable. it almost makes me think that wet tumbling would be the method of choice. i'm not the smartest person but common sense tells me everything about it is better in a way unless i'm missing something.

when dry tumbling you get a lot of dust particles, some of it being lead. wet tumbling captures most if not all the dirt with the water. dry tumbling only cleans and polishes the outside of the case, wet tumbling cleans and polishes the inside, outside AND the primer pocket.True but the inside of the case and primer pockets don't need to be clean. Dry tumbling media can only be used a number of times before it needs to be replaces, stainless steel media used in wet tumbling will last you a lifetime if you don't lose them. am i missing something?Well in the last eight years I have used $7 of walnut and cleaned around 30,000 cases. How much did your stainless pins cost? like the ss media will shorten the life of your cases, will damage the lip? sometimes it makes me wonder why it's not as popular..

a couple of weeks ago i asked my cousin how he cleans his brass and he told me he uses some chemical. it's corrosive he said. ???, I don't have a fancy wet tumbler but the dual drum version from harbor freight. i've tumbled over 2500 rounds using the same media, bottle of lemi shine and dawn. the results surprised me so much i tested some pennies. i'm not particularly picky about shiny brass but seeing is believing.

That's just my opinion. The wet method is more work and more time involved to do things that are not needed. I also add a little Nu Finish car polish to my media and can store my cases for years without them tarnishing. You can't do that with your cases.

cfullgraf
January 18, 2014, 11:54 PM
I dry and wet tumble.

Most of the time I dry tumble. Quick and dry. Cases can be reloaded immediately after removing them from the tumbler.

Occasionally, I have a large batch of cases that I want very clean. I will dust off the wet tumbler. Usually several batches over several days and a week or more for drying.

I never found my dry tumbler produced any dust to speak of and I wash my hands after separating cases from handling cases from the media..

mljdeckard
January 18, 2014, 11:56 PM
Because wet tumbling leaves your brass......wet. Which causes the need to.....dry tumble.

BrianC636
January 19, 2014, 12:17 AM
I wet tumble with the dual drum unit as well. Instead of dawn, I've started using a wash and wax with the lemi-shine. Brass come out with a light coat on them and are sparkly clean. I also have an old toaster oven I use to dry the brass with.

Reefinmike
January 19, 2014, 12:22 AM
I dry tumble

1) 2 hours in the tumbler and a dab of nufinish gets outside of the case factory new shiny
2)Nufinish leaves a thin film that A- eases sizing and B- keeps the cases from tarnishing as bad over time
3) I dump brass in, wait two hours, separate media in 30 seconds, then size and prime in bulk and reload

wet tumbling would make me
wipe down or even dry tumble brass to remove any grit
size and decap
measure scoop pour tumble
seperate media
rinse
rinse
rinse
dry
prime
powder + bullet

Just too much time and interference with my loading method to bother with for the interior cosmetics that wont be seen. Its kinda like a progressive press. several times ive had everything in the cart and canceled the order under the pretense that it just complicates things too much for such little gain.

Not saying a progressive is useless, but Id have to shoot 2000+ rounds a month and reload in 1000+ round sessions to make it worth it. Now I reload about 250 rounds a week of 4 different calibers.

Mohave-Tec
January 19, 2014, 12:43 AM
Because most people don't like wet tumbling and the extra work involved.

jwrowland77
January 19, 2014, 12:47 AM
I like to dry tumble. I like to go from tumbler straight to loading at the bench instead if having to wait for cases to dry. It's just easier to use a dry tumbler in my opinion.

788Ham
January 19, 2014, 02:59 AM
Because I can't hook up the garden hose to my tumbler ! Its easier, faster, as far as I'm concerned. Folks worry about the dust, my tumbler is enclosed, I don't see any dust from the walnut grits. If I've got a lot of brass to clean, I tumble in walnut, throw that into another tumbler I have filled with corn cob, fill the other one, run them both, switch them out when finished, bada boom, piles of freshly cleaned brass. And did I mention, don't have to roll up the hose when finished either. Hope this helps.

Wreck-n-Crew
January 19, 2014, 03:09 AM
In a way I do both. I wash tumble to remove most of the filth and then dry them. From there I use the Lyman red crushed walnut with the tumble lube to polish. Longer process and all but it keeps my media cleaner and I don't like using dryer sheets. Am I overthinking this? Little OCD I guess...:o

7mmb
January 19, 2014, 04:44 AM
Who cares if the inside of the case is spotless? It affects nothing. You only need the outside clean so it doesn't scratch your dies. Wet tumbling is a pain. I tumble with dry and then can go straight to reloading.

41 Mag
January 19, 2014, 06:05 AM
Well like most I dry tumble.

My first tumbler however was the RCBS Sidewinder which came with stuff to wet tumble. Well that lasted about as long as it took to get rid of the stuff it came with, then I bought a vibrating cleaner and haven't looked back.

Like mentioned I picked up my media at a sandblasting supply in 50# sacks for less than $20. That was close to 20-years ago and I still have some of each in partial 5 gallon buckets. Trust me when I say 50# of fine corn cob and walnut will last a long TIME. I have even used some of it to fill shooting bags and such.

I have two of them. One does big batches, the other sits close to my bench, and as I deprime and size I simply drop the case into the top, when done sizing I turn it on for 10 or 15 minutes while I am clearing the deck of my bench, then when I have my powder, bullets, and primers ready the cases are ready as well.

howlnmad
January 19, 2014, 09:56 AM
Because I'm to cheap to go buy a new tumbler just so I can wet tumble and rinse and then wait for them to dry. I don't care what the inside of the case looks like, I can't see it once I seat a bullet.

Potatohead
January 19, 2014, 10:13 AM
My crushed walnut seems to clean the primer pockets ok.

Also, I've yet to see this "dust" problem I always hear about. It's either invisible or not there.

I'm always open to an easier technique though.

Potatohead
January 19, 2014, 10:14 AM
I don't see any dust from the walnut grits

+1 Ham

jmorris
January 19, 2014, 10:41 AM
But, while you are running up the electric bill running the dryer for 40 minutes drying your wet brass?


To be honest I haven't wet tumbled in a long time. I loaned my large tumbler to a friend to use and just bring him brass to clean and stop back by to pick it up later.

He had just finished this batch of 3000 or so when I stopped by one day in August. In the Texas sun that afternoon, in 2.5 beers not only were they dry but also too hot to hold in your hand.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMG_20130727_144639_090_zpsd9095290.jpg

bds
January 19, 2014, 11:35 AM
wet tumbled ... batch of 3000 or so when I stopped by one day in August. In the Texas sun that afternoon, in 2.5 beers not only were they dry but also too hot to hold in your hand.
But that's in Texas summer heat of August!

For the rest of reloaders in less sunny parts of the country, reloaders could be all drunk after several cases of beer waiting for the brass to dry (and moisture inside the primer pocket may still remain). For folks in wet Northwest, they'd be passed out as the rain kept falling on their wet tumbled brass. :D

And for us impatient reloaders, we want to reload as soon as the brass is ready and drinking and reloading don't mix. :eek:

I think wet tumbling with stainless steel pins definitely has beneficial applications (like bench rest shooting to remove all carbon from the inside of case to not damage/erode the barrel rifling and reduce exposure to lead) but for most, especially for pistol shooting, dry tumbling with walnut/corn cob/NuFinish is quick and easy.

Beanie-Bean
January 19, 2014, 11:49 AM
I've done all methods mentioned in this thread since I started a few years back. Corn cob/Nu Finish/dryer sheets was my mainstay. Then I tried out ultrasonic cleaning, but found I could only do small batches at a time. I only used this method for really dirty, muddy, or dark brass.

Then, I moved on to stainless tumbing. I've got the process down now, and I'm not waiting on the brass to dry (also a beneficiary of the drier air and Texas heat) because I keep tumbling the brass I've used and then place them in their respective "good to go" containers. When I see them getting low, then I'll start lining up the brass I need to replenish.

Yes, I have to do quite a few more steps, but that is by choice. I get to weed out any suspect brass during the process, and also get to sort by headstamp if I'm developing new loads.

Why do I like to drive a car with a manual transmission? Because I can, and it's what I enjoy. Not everyone will do things the same way, and I totally respect their decisions and choices.

solman
January 19, 2014, 12:13 PM
I tried wet tumbling and the results were great. It is a lot more work so, I am back to dry tumbling as well. I found that separating the pins and brass, and draining the water without losing the pins to be a hassle. The best I could do was to use the Dillon case media separator to spin out the brass and pins. Still you have to dry out the cases and it's not quick enough if you want to load right away. Once in a while I will wet tumble in the summer and put the brass out in a tray under the sun. That dries them well enough and fast too.

leefan
January 19, 2014, 12:25 PM
I forget which kind soul here linked us to the wet tumbling vendor, but said vendor also sells private labelled desiccators for case drying. I tried that in my own thirty year old dryer, exactly the same looking as what he sells, and does it dry fast! Thanks! Now I don't have to sneak my wife's hair dryer.

Elkins45
January 19, 2014, 12:29 PM
I dry tumble because I have a dry tumbler. When I bought my tumbler in 1988 I don't think the reloading community had really embraced wet tumbling. I certainly don't remember seeing stainless pin tumblers in the Cabela's or Gander Mountain catalogs.

Even now the expense of wet tumbling seems much higher than dry, and a lot of the tumblers I've seen on forum posts have been made at home from plumbing pipe and cannibalized motors. For the first few years I reloaded I didn't own a tumbler at all, I just washed my brass with Dawn. I don't remember enjoying waiting for it to dry back then, and I doubt I have gotten more patient.

Besides, how shiny does your brass really need to be?

Nordeste
January 19, 2014, 12:59 PM
To each his own. I own a ultrasonic and a small tumbler and use both. My thought is that wet tumbling with stainless media is harder on brass (galling), whereas ultrasonic is the less harmful but you won't obtain shiny brass out of it. This is where the dry tumbler comes handy.

My procedure is first of all, decap with a Lee universal decapping die, then go to the ultrasonic. I like clean primer pockets. I know it's not necessary for handgun, but I still like them clean, it makes for a better feel when inserting a new primer into the primer pocket. Together with the dirty water, goes all the toxic primer residue. Then they get a pass under the hair dryer (five minutes do) and go to the dry tumbler+(local equivalent of) nu finish for one or two hours. The result is clean in and out, primer pockets spotless brass. As you have mentioned, dry tumbling has a lubricating and protecting side effect that I have noticed and like.

How I do is not the quickest way, but it is how I like it. This said, when I've been in a hurry I have just dropped my cases in the dry tumbler for a couple of hours and that was enough.

another pake
January 19, 2014, 01:38 PM
I'm relatively new to this forum, but not to shooting and reloading.

My methods for cleaning brass probably differ because my situation differs. First of all, as I said in another thread, I'm one of the fortunate guys who get to shoot right at home on my farm. So do my sons, sons-in-law and my grand kids. There is usually a lot of empty brass available, and for us shooting and reloading are family times and social events.

When reloading, I prefer not to resize dirty brass because I like to keep the grit out of the die. That's just me. It's a preference. So, I decap first. Or rather one of the grand kids does. Even a young child can use a Lee decapping punch and a hammer while sitting next grandpas anvil in the shop. I'm usually tinkering with something or other while that goes on and it gives us both a good opportunity to chat about "important" stuff.

All decamped brass of any caliber gets tossed in a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket never gets full cuz from time to time someone will say, "Can we clean brass today?"
"Sure, why not?"
So we throw an ice cream pail full into the wet tumbler and let it go, while we go on to something else. When they're done we load em to an old dehydrator that sits on the corner of the bench for just this reason. After a half hour or so we unload, inspect for damage and sort by caliber. Now they're ready to reload the way I prefer, but there certainly are more ways than one to skin that cat.

Best way?

If it meant cleaning each piece by hand I'd do it to spend a little time with the kids and grand kids. But that's me.

bds
January 19, 2014, 02:08 PM
When reloading, I prefer not to resize dirty brass because I like to keep the grit out of the die.
Been dry tumbling so long I forgot to mention that. Resizing clean dry tumbled brass keeps your dies from getting dirty and prevents dies from putting scratches on the brass.

Even with rifle cases, I use Lee Universal decapping die first to deprime all the cases then I tumble clean before I full-length resize the rifle cases. Then trim/chamfer case neck, prime and reload with powder/bullet.

mtrmn
January 19, 2014, 03:03 PM
Much less PITA with the old standard vibratory tumblers.
I add a couple ounces mineral spirits to mine and it cleans better and no dust.

jmorris
January 19, 2014, 03:24 PM
For the rest of reloaders in less sunny parts of the country, reloaders could be all drunk after several cases of beer waiting for the brass to dry (and moisture inside the primer pocket may still remain). For folks in wet Northwest, they'd be passed out as the rain kept falling on their wet tumbled brass.

True enough. As always, results may vary;)

blarby
January 19, 2014, 03:41 PM
For the majority of my operations, I use dry tumbled brass.

Not only is the degree of cleanliness afforded by wet tumbling not required for this average use, it also increases the time required ( drying ) and difficulty ( removes "naturally" occuring lubricants from the firing and prior cleaning cycles- resulting in stuck cases and a large amount of galling if not relubed precisely).

I also finish tumble loaded rounds- something I believe is actually more beneficial than a squeaky clean case to begin the operation.

This aids my end use by removing toolmarks and residue from the presses and loading operation, and coats all of my ammunition with a combination of superfine dry lubricant that aids in chambering and extraction, and a(n) polymer that prevents corrosion during storage.

I also possess an ultrasonic cleaner for restoring excessively corroded brass, or for completely "undressing" a set of cases for both detailed inspection of fireforming results and the progression of general brass fatigue, and where the absolutely uniformity of the brass is of upmost importance ; long range benchrest rounds and personal defense loads that are worth the extra effort. Even with that process, they still get dry tumbled first to remove coarse material, and dry tumbled last for the reasons stated above.

For me, I've danced around the idea of wet tumbling. If I were to do it, it would be in extremely large drums to process first use brass that was obtained from a bulk source. We're talking in the neighborhood of thousands of cases- not hundreds.


In the end, its hard to say which method suits anyone the best.

What really matters is which method suits YOU the best.


As to overall beauty of the brass ? I offer many fine examples ( as have others ) that the end results very quite widely by user, and how the techniques were applied, here :

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=654866

Little steel pins are not required for great results.


But, while you are running up the electric bill running the dryer for 40 minutes drying your wet brass?

I got my dry brass out of the tumbler and reloaded it!!!

rc

True.

AND, if I stuck brass in my dryer intentionally, I'd be figuring out how do disengage from a fully armed wife- being shot at with ammnunition I designed to be as lethal and reliable as possible :eek:

Potatohead
January 19, 2014, 04:03 PM
:DThis thread is reenforcing my belief that you cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Arkansas Paul
January 19, 2014, 04:09 PM
I've toyed with the idea of wet tumbling. I'm still considering it.
Part of me says that drying it is an unnecessary step, but the vain part of me likes the way it shines. :)

Rule3
January 19, 2014, 04:39 PM
:DThis thread is reenforcing my belief that you cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Sure you can if it provides a reasonable return on your effort or improves the end result. Wet tumbling with the high intial cost and the other reasons mentioned proved no benefit to me, To others if they like it go for it.

Dirty brass actually shoots as well as clean brass.

Clean brass is clean enough,(so you do not mess up your dies) it does not need to be blinding. With a dry tumbler I can make brass look as good as wet so why bother.? The inside of the case does not need to be cleaned. Heck some rifle shooters use a powered metal brush on the inside??

Warp
January 19, 2014, 05:49 PM
This potential for wet tumbled (and not later dry tumbled with polish) brass to tarnish over time in storage. Does anybody have photos of what this looks like and how long it took to happen?

It hurts nothing other than how pretty the brass is, correct?

cfullgraf
January 19, 2014, 07:01 PM
[QUOTE=Rule3;9305596
Dirty brass actually shoots as well as clean brass.
[/QUOTE]

Technically yes, psychologically maybe not.

plodder
January 19, 2014, 07:53 PM
I started with a dry vibratory tumbler...(well, when much younger I never gave cleaning the brass a thought). But, as I acquired more calibers and many thousands of more cases and a progressive setup, I started wanting to have cleaner brass and the ability to do more rounds at a time.

So, I fabricated my own stainless media wet tumbler. With capacity of 2000 .45 ACP & 1000 .223 it can do far more than my vibratory tumbler per batch. And it results in absolutely sterile primer pockets, flash holes and internal cases. Drying is never an issue because I either lay it out on a towel for air drying, or if in a hurry stick in a dryer bag & put it on the stationary shelf of our clothes dryer on Hi setting for 10 minutes.

Call me crazy, but I like shiny brass!

Yes, there are a few extra steps to stainless media tumbling, but if we were all interested in the easy way we wouldn't be on this Handloading and Reloading thread and would instead be on the whiney, hand-wringing "I can't find ammo" or "I hate gougers" threads, wouldn't we?:)

jerkface11
January 19, 2014, 08:05 PM
You can take brass right out of a dry tumbler and load it.

plodder
January 19, 2014, 08:14 PM
You can take brass right out of a dry tumbler and load it.

I understand that, but my point is that I have enough brass that I do not need to immediately reload spent brass as soon as I return from the range. I like clean, shiny brass. It doesn't improve accuracy (at least you can't tell it from my shooting), but I just like it.

The OP asked "why", so as one who has experience with multiple types of cleaning brass I provide my input. It is no more or less valid than anyone's.

Rule3
January 19, 2014, 08:25 PM
Technically yes, psychologically maybe not.

Really? You think that because your brass is shiny , mentally you shoot better or is it because the gun "feels better" and has a high self esteem??:D

Guess that's why guys wear tactical, shirts, pants and boots:barf:

Mohave-Tec
January 19, 2014, 09:02 PM
Time to go....

buck460XVR
January 19, 2014, 09:23 PM
Why do people dry tumble and not wet tumble

My process is probably all wrong for some, but it works well for me. Seems to me that's what matters. Don't see any reason to question others that do it differently, when how they do it, works for them.

cfullgraf
January 19, 2014, 09:39 PM
Really? You think that because your brass is shiny , mentally you shoot better...

Yup!

I feel better about my reloads so I shoot better.

Jaymo
January 19, 2014, 10:19 PM
I dry clean with a 1996 Midway vibe polisher.
It works well for me, and I already have the equipment.
The money a wet tumbler would cost me will buy other reloading components.

If anyone else wants to wet tumble, go ahead.
It doesn't bother me.

I'd like to have an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning gun parts, but not for brass.

Queen_of_Thunder
January 20, 2014, 03:14 AM
If you don't like dust just throw in a couple of dryer sheets and when finished tumbling just throw the sheets away. It picks up a lot of the dirt and dust and extends the life of the media,

hartcreek
January 20, 2014, 05:29 AM
I used to wet tumble. The equipment was cheep as I just used a dual drum Thumbler. I just used a bit of laundry soap and my brass cam out nice and shiny but it was a hassle because of the rinse and the drying involved.

I used the same Thumbler for dry tumbling and the tumbling time wound up being the same but with less mess. I gave the Thumbler to my niece when I found a large vibrating unit at the Goodwill for $15 dollars and have been using the vibrating unit with corncob media ever since. I get my corncob media in the pet department isle and rodentr bedding is much cheeper then polishing media.

MoreIsLess
January 20, 2014, 08:46 AM
A couple of weeks ago I was all set to buy a Thumler Tumbler (I already have a Lyman Turbo 1200 tumbler). Then, I watched a video on You Tube demonstrating wet tumbling and that convinced me, I am staying with a dry tumbler.

MoreIsLess
January 20, 2014, 08:49 AM
Incidentally,how do you put Nu Finish in your dry tumbler, just squirt it in the bowl with the media?

I may have to give that a try.

Warp
January 20, 2014, 08:56 AM
This potential for wet tumbled (and not later dry tumbled with polish) brass to tarnish over time in storage. Does anybody have photos of what this looks like and how long it took to happen?

It hurts nothing other than how pretty the brass is, correct?

So...tarnish isn't actually an issue?

blarby
January 20, 2014, 09:42 AM
Incidentally,how do you put Nu Finish in your dry tumbler, just squirt it in the bowl with the media?

Yep.

cfullgraf
January 20, 2014, 09:57 AM
Incidentally,how do you put Nu Finish in your dry tumbler, just squirt it in the bowl with the media?

I may have to give that a try.

Let it mix a short while to get distributed before dumping in cases.

HOWARD J
January 20, 2014, 11:46 AM
Some people that wet tumble say what a great job it does cleaning the primer pockets---
that sounds like you have already run your cases thru the resizing die ?
Do you run dirty cases thru your die & then wet clean later or do you also clean them before resizing?

jerkface11
January 20, 2014, 12:01 PM
Maybe they use a universal decapper.

cfullgraf
January 20, 2014, 12:28 PM
Do you run dirty cases thru your die & then wet clean later or do you also clean them before resizing?

If I wet tumble, it is after resizing.

Generally, I run fired cases through a dry tumbler before resizing to knock off any loose dirt and mud.

I always clean cases after resizing whether it is dry or wet, whether handgun or rifle.

Just one of my idiosyncrasies.

jcwit
January 20, 2014, 12:28 PM
Some people that wet tumble say what a great job it does cleaning the primer pockets---
that sounds like you have already run your cases thru the resizing die ?
Do you run dirty cases thru your die & then wet clean later or do you also clean them before resizing?

For handgun cases I size then tumble, all my handgun caliber dies are carbide, I have yet to wear a die out doing it this way in 50+ years of reloading, and at the age of 70 its very doubtful if I ever will.

Regarding the original question, I'm all set up to do it using the dry method, and do not wish to invest in another method, will use that money to add another Tag Heuer, or Rolex to my collection.

jerkface11
January 20, 2014, 12:37 PM
Honestly I don't even have a tumbler! I wipe the lube off my cases with a paper towel.

Comrade Mike
January 20, 2014, 12:54 PM
Dry tumbling doesn't require extra washes or drying. It's just quicker and easier for me. Dust has really never been a problem on my end

Captaingyro
January 20, 2014, 04:29 PM
I dry tumbled for years, but the first time I saw the results with wet tumbling, I switched and never looked back. After you've climbed the learning curve of the first few sessions, wet tumbling involves about the same amount of work as dry, with one exception: the rinse stage. Other than that, every step in the process requires about an equal amount of effort. As for drying, unless you haven't been shooting too long and have a limited supply of brass, you rarely need to begin reloading the minute you finish tumbling. The brass pretty much dries itself.

The real reason to choose wet or dry tumbling pretty much boils down to pride of craftsmanship. The one phrase you will routinely hear from dry tumbling holdouts is, "I don't care..." as in, "I don't care if my brass is shiny", or "I don't care if the insides of my cases are clean", or, "I don't care if my primer pockets are clean", or, "I don't care what anyone else thinks of my reloads."

Craftsmanship does mean something to a significant segment of the shooting world, though, and those are the folks who tend to gravitate towards wet tumbling. Who knows if the rounds shoot better, or if the guy at the next bench thinks you're reloads are factory rounds? It doesn't matter: this is our hobby, and pride in our product is it's own reward.

Warp
January 20, 2014, 04:32 PM
Some people that wet tumble say what a great job it does cleaning the primer pockets---
that sounds like you have already run your cases thru the resizing die ?
Do you run dirty cases thru your die & then wet clean later or do you also clean them before resizing?

Universal deprimer/decapper.

Deprime then clean.

Rule3
January 20, 2014, 04:46 PM
I dry tumbled for years, but the first time I saw the results with wet tumbling, I switched and never looked back. After you've climbed the learning curve of the first few sessions, wet tumbling involves about the same amount of work as dry, with one exception: the rinse stage. Other than that, every step in the process requires about an equal amount of effort. As for drying, unless you haven't been shooting too long and have a limited supply of brass, you rarely need to begin reloading the minute you finish tumbling. The brass pretty much dries itself.

The real reason to choose wet or dry tumbling pretty much boils down to pride of craftsmanship. The one phrase you will routinely hear from dry tumbling holdouts is, "I don't care..." as in, "I don't care if my brass is shiny", or "I don't care if the insides of my cases are clean", or, "I don't care if my primer pockets are clean", or, "I don't care what anyone else thinks of my reloads."

Craftsmanship does mean something to a significant segment of the shooting world, though, and those are the folks who tend to gravitate towards wet tumbling. Who knows if the rounds shoot better, or if the guy at the next bench thinks you're reloads are factory rounds? It doesn't matter: this is our hobby, and pride in our product is it's own reward.

Huh?:confused: Bright and shiny cases from a dry tumbler are not as shiny as wet tumbled ones? My brass comes out plenty shiny and clean. I could put them in a factory box and you would not know the difference. No I do not clean primer pockets

This whole concept is absurd. Maybe we should switch to Nickel as it is so purty and does not get "dirty" like regular brass.

Potatohead
January 20, 2014, 05:02 PM
Sure you can if it provides a reasonable return on your effort or improves the end result. Wet tumbling with the high intial cost and the other reasons mentioned proved no benefit to me, To others if they like it go for it.

Dirty brass actually shoots as well as clean brass.

Clean brass is clean enough,(so you do not mess up your dies) it does not need to be blinding. With a dry tumbler I can make brass look as good as wet so why bother.? The inside of the case does not need to be cleaned. Heck some rifle shooters use a powered metal brush on the inside??
true

Potatohead
January 20, 2014, 05:18 PM
Really? You think that because your brass is shiny , mentally you shoot better or is it because the gun "feels better" and has a high self esteem??:D

Guess that's why guys wear tactical, shirts, pants and boots:barf:
Maybe the ammo feels better so it flies straighter.


But I would actually think they would go straighter if they didnt get tumbled. Theyd be less dizzy ya know :)

John3921
January 20, 2014, 05:30 PM
I accumulating parts to build a wet tumbler. I 'm not exactly sure why. The biggest issue I see coming is pistol. I have no intention of doing anything twice with the pistol brass. Currently I dry tumble and then load 'em up. I can't say that having a bit of carbon in the primer pocket causes me any lost sleep. I do not plan on dry tumble - resize/decap - wet tumble - load. It seems excessive.

Warp
January 20, 2014, 05:38 PM
I accumulating parts to build a wet tumbler. I 'm not exactly sure why. The biggest issue I see coming is pistol. I have no intention of doing anything twice with the pistol brass. Currently I dry tumble and then load 'em up. I can't say that having a bit of carbon in the primer pocket causes me any lost sleep. I do not plan on dry tumble - resize/decap - wet tumble - load. It seems excessive.

That would be excessive.

It would be a whole easier, IMO, to use a universal decapper to pop the primer out before you wet tumble, than to take all of the steps to try tumble it before you start the process.

jcwit
January 20, 2014, 06:06 PM
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
Sure you can if it provides a reasonable return on your effort or improves the end result. Wet tumbling with the high intial cost and the other reasons mentioned proved no benefit to me, To others if they like it go for it.

Dirty brass actually shoots as well as clean brass.

Clean brass is clean enough,(so you do not mess up your dies) it does not need to be blinding. With a dry tumbler I can make brass look as good as wet so why bother.? The inside of the case does not need to be cleaned. Heck some rifle shooters use a powered metal brush on the inside??

And a dirty car gets you from point A to point B as well as a clean car, but you know? I like to drive a clean car!

cougar1717
January 20, 2014, 06:15 PM
I've got a friend that is into reloading and rock tumbling and also has kids under 5. He wants to tumble his brass, but doesn't have a good place to do it. He also doesn't want to put his kids at risk of lead dust. I can see how he would be looking into wet tumbling. If you already have a heavy duty rock tumbler, the additional costs of wet tumbling are just a dedicated drum, SS pins, and cleaning solution.
I think his situation is a little unique. Many people either have a place to dry tumble that is off limits to kids or they do not already have a rock tumbler.
For most people, there isn't a lot of additional benefit to get a wet tumbler setup if you already have a dry one.

Warp
January 20, 2014, 06:21 PM
I've got a friend that is into reloading and rock tumbling and also has kids under 5. He wants to tumble his brass, but doesn't have a good place to do it. He also doesn't want to put his kids at risk of lead dust. I can see how he would be looking into wet tumbling. If you already have a heavy duty rock tumbler, the additional costs of wet tumbling are just a dedicated drum, SS pins, and cleaning solution.
I think his situation is a little unique. Many people either have a place to dry tumble that is off limits to kids or they do not already have a rock tumbler.
For most people, there isn't a lot of additional benefit to get a wet tumbler setup if you already have a dry one.

If dust is a concern it's not like dust stays where it is generated, exactly. It gets in the air and goes wherever, and it gets on anything near it, including your and other stuff, and contaminates.

I like the idea of washing everything down the drain more than having it go up in dust (during tumbling or during retrieval or during media separation or while dumping media back in tumbler or whenever).

But really...they both work. Pick one. Or both. You don't have to pick the same thing as every other person.

John3921
January 20, 2014, 06:21 PM
That would be excessive.

It would be a whole easier, IMO, to use a universal decapper to pop the primer out before you wet tumble, than to take all of the steps to try tumble it before you start the process.
This would be fine - but it is still handling things twice - decap everything one at a time, then tumble and load.

The dry tumble essentially eliminates a step. Dry tumble everything - and you're ready to go.

Bottleneck rifle cases are different, I do 2 tumble ops now - once before doing anything and once to get the lube off.

Potatohead
January 20, 2014, 06:30 PM
And a dirty car gets you from point A to point B as well as a clean car, but you know? I like to drive a clean car!
true

tightgroup tiger
January 20, 2014, 06:53 PM
I prefer to clean my brass in an ultra sonic cleaner then dry under my inferred heater I have mounted over my work bench. It take 8 minutes to clean my brass, 15 minutes to dry it and I'm ready to go. My inferred cleaner doesn't take any more electricity than my tv does so, BIG DEAL on the electricity.

I like my brass clean and want it to look like I cared and knew what I was doing when I loaded it. I usually lube my shells when I resize them so my last move is into the dry rotary tumbler for 15 minutes to take the lube off and put some polymer on them to preserve them.
The weight of the loaded rounds dramatically speeds up the cleaning process in the dry rotary tumbler.

My primer pockets are clean and the inside of the cases are clean. I can't ask for any more than that from 38 minutes of time. That's a total of 38 minutes that I'm doing something else while they are being cleaned.

cfullgraf
January 20, 2014, 07:35 PM
This would be fine - but it is still handling things twice - decap everything one at a time, then tumble and load.



It's what ever floats your boat.

I clean twice during my reloading cycle and I still have time to load more ammunition than I can shoot. I enjoy spending the time in the reloading room and it makes me feel better about my hand crafted ammunition.

Other folks prefer to spend some of their time doing other things and that is just fine by me.

Rule3
January 20, 2014, 08:07 PM
Here ya go, you can use the Jerry Miculek method. Concrete mixer AND case tumbler and crimp those 223/556:D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5y_dsP3dsM

RustyFN
January 20, 2014, 08:17 PM
I dry tumbled for years, but the first time I saw the results with wet tumbling, I switched and never looked back. After you've climbed the learning curve of the first few sessions, wet tumbling involves about the same amount of work as dry, with one exception: the rinse stage. Other than that, every step in the process requires about an equal amount of effort. As for drying, unless you haven't been shooting too long and have a limited supply of brass, you rarely need to begin reloading the minute you finish tumbling. The brass pretty much dries itself.

The real reason to choose wet or dry tumbling pretty much boils down to pride of craftsmanship. The one phrase you will routinely hear from dry tumbling holdouts is, "I don't care..." as in, "I don't care if my brass is shiny", or "I don't care if the insides of my cases are clean", or, "I don't care if my primer pockets are clean", or, "I don't care what anyone else thinks of my reloads."

Craftsmanship does mean something to a significant segment of the shooting world, though, and those are the folks who tend to gravitate towards wet tumbling. Who knows if the rounds shoot better, or if the guy at the next bench thinks you're reloads are factory rounds? It doesn't matter: this is our hobby, and pride in our product is it's own reward.

Sorry but I'm just not seeing it. For me to load my dry tumbler, tumble and unload it takes me 3 to 4 minutes of my time and I have 600 + clean cases. What you are saying is you can decap 600 cases, load all the chemicals and water, clean, empty and dry and only have 3 to 4 minutes of your time involved? Also after they are loaded you can set yours and mine side by side and won't be able to tell them apart.

Warp
January 20, 2014, 09:09 PM
Sorry but I'm just not seeing it. For me to load my dry tumbler, tumble and unload it takes me 3 to 4 minutes of my time and I have 600 + clean cases. What you are saying is you can decap 600 cases, load all the chemicals and water, clean, empty and dry and only have 3 to 4 minutes of your time involved? Also after they are loaded you can set yours and mine side by side and won't be able to tell them apart.

I think you have some misconceptions based on how you say "load all the chemicals and water". It takes very very little time to run a few cups of water from the tap, pour a quick bit of dish detergent, and tap in some lemi shine. It takes no longer than the length of time to type and/or read this paragraph I just entered, more or less.

Yes, everything involved takes more than 3-4 minutes. If you can complete the dry tumbling and separating process with 3-4 minutes of your time, that is going to be faster than wet tumbling.

jerkface11
January 20, 2014, 09:28 PM
Dry will always be faster than wet simply because you don't have to dry the cases off.

mtrmn
January 21, 2014, 09:07 AM
Been loading for 30 yrs, owned a dry tumbler for 25 of those years--never once noticed a dust problem.

Constrictor
January 21, 2014, 10:29 AM
because I prefer dry tumbling.

Master Blaster
January 21, 2014, 11:58 AM
Tradition, Tradition, I already have the dry tumbling stuff, and I am not going to change as I see no need.

buck460XVR
January 21, 2014, 12:13 PM
At the end of the day, both processes work very well and produce quality ammunition. Shinier cases do not mean better ammo, suggesting it does is pure BS. Just cause one prefers one way over the other does not make them wrong, just means they have a preference. Nice to have a choice so one can have a preference.

Rule3
January 21, 2014, 02:02 PM
A true artist craftsman would polish each case by hand with Flitz and a soft cloth, then brush the inside and primer pocket.

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