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Frankford Arsenal Wet Tumbler

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by wvcardsfan, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. wvcardsfan

    wvcardsfan Member

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    Just got one (delivered on Sunday!) and have it tumbling it's first batch. Everything I read leading up to this purchase indicated that people used Dawn liquid in them, but the instructions caution against using anything other than the blue stuff they included. (They only sent enough for 1 batch) Anyone else use one of these and will I have to wait until I can get their blue goo before using it again?
     
  2. Stripesdude

    Stripesdude Member

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    You don’t need their overpriced cleaning solution. I’m actually running mine right now - Dawn and Lemishine.

    You can use lots of things - wash n wax car wash is another popular one. The key is to get something that suds so the particles get suspended somewhat. If you use citric acid, be careful as it can discolor the brass.
     
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  3. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I use Dawn and lemon shine most often (dozens of loads) and then vibratory tumble with corn cob and flitz for high shine and long protection.

    If I’m NOT going to dry tumble then I use their special sauce cause it does seem to protect from tarnishing.

    Regardless, mine is still going strong even using Dawn and lemonshine.
     
  4. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    Dawn and lemi shine.
     
  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    ArmorAll Wash&Wax and Citric Acid powder (the active ingredient for this process in Lemishine).

    AAW&W will keep them from tarnishing and slightly ease their movement thru the sizing die. ;)
     
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  6. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    2nd GBExpat
    Auto wash and wax (tumbler gets what the car gets, car gets what's on sale, usually seems to be Turtle)+Citric acid from the canning section of your supermarket.
    (used a couple flavors of wash and wax, all seem about the same on cases, the more expensive stuff works better on the car;))

    This is enough citric acid to do LOTS of cases

    https://www.amazon.com/Milliard-Citric-Acid-Pound-VERIFIED/dp/B00EYFKNL8/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1PZDG2V7F7FWR&dchild=1&keywords=citric+acid&qid=1605484672&sprefix=citric,aps,231&sr=8-5
    5lbs $15...

    About a 9mm to 45 case full of acid, depends on your water PH and a splash of wash and wax (couple oz)
    Wash and wax amount is not critical, to much acid is bad.

    Edit: My water is high PH so I need more acid than most...for most people probably more like 1/2 a 9mm case

    Do not use paste or liquid car wax, just the wash and wax.
    (I know do not use paste wax from trying it, major mess, everything covered with grey slime...)
    Wash and wax helps prevent tarnish, makes sizing easier.

    Wondering about spending the money for a wet tumbler (got a Lyman Cyclone) was sure happy after I did after the first batch.

    Shiny brass may not shoot any better but it makes me smile, and after seeing the crud that's in the water it's nice to not have it in my dies or on my fingers.

    Please let us know how you like it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  7. wvcardsfan

    wvcardsfan Member

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    I don't have a press or any dies, but I sure have a lot of nice shiny brass! By the time I get some equipment, I'll have a trash can or 2 filled with brass ready to learn with. Thank you guys for sharing your knowledge.
     
  8. MakBaba

    MakBaba Member

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    I did the same thing. Wet tumbler was my first reloading purchase. I’ve only used Dawn and get great results.
    I tumble with hot water and Dawn for 20 or so then dump the dirty water. Add clean water and another squirt of Dawn for an hour or so. Dump the water out as soon as it’s done. Looks like new!
    I’ve had the brass come out with a tarnished look if I just ran it for an hour or two without dumping the dirty water early on. Others have had the same thing happen. Never used any Lemi Shine.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I use Lemi-shine, because it was on the end cap at Wal-mart. I use ArmorAll Wash & Wax (W&W) because it helps against tarnish and running smoother in the press. The Lemi-shine breaks down the carbon, the W&W keeps it suspended

    My water is pretty hard and I'm using a .45ACP case of Lemi-shine. You only need enough W&W to create a small amount of suds...I use a small dollop.

    If you want clean primer pockets, you'll need to deprime before tumbling and use stainless media
     
  10. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    You read the directions?? And.... why do you think they tell you to “only use our stuff”??
    9mm case of citric acid, 9mm case of Dawn 3X. Note, Dawn liquid comes in different concentrations, I’m just using the bottle I swiped from under the kitchen sink and it happens to be 3x.
    I do tend to keep the load to 30#s total and when I push that the cases don’t come out quite as clean. Good luck.
     
  11. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    You load how many at a time? I have a Forster “lite” (small version) and a load is 200 45ACP or 300 9mm. Each with a pound of pins. And always deprime first.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  12. BCR#1

    BCR#1 Member

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    A TSP of blue dawn and 1.5 FL OZ of 100% Lemon Juice is what I use. Cheaper than LemiShine and works just as good. I do de-prime before the bath as the primer pocket will corrode if not dried out quickly. I also won't clean more than 20 lbs total weight at a time to prevent a strain on the motor.

    I run for the full 3 hr cycle and double flush with clean water to remove the dirt. Air dry in the sun and ready to load.

    Bill
     
  13. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    The bigger FART says to keep the total weight to 30#s, which with 5#s of pins, about 15#s of H2O and container, leaves about 10#s for cases. That’s about 1K 9mm cases, but I use a maxwell house coffee can to measure so it might be a bit more or less. I don’t deprime first, and haven’t experienced any issues to date.
     
  14. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Thanks
     
  15. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    I can't help myself I just have to ask how much louder the
    is than the smaller one.
    :rofl:
     
  16. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    That’s tsp, not TSP:)
    hahaha
     
  17. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    The worst is when the cap leaks and you have a big wet one.
     
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  18. CRracer712

    CRracer712 Member

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    I just bought the bigger FART, I like it. Used the sample pack on the first load, Dawn/lemmishine on the second. Can't tell the difference.

    I was surprised how big the jug is on the bigger FART.
     
  19. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I didn’t notice a difference right away but after a day or so the tarnishing was more pronounced on the Dawn/lemishine.
     
  20. CRracer712

    CRracer712 Member

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    IDK, I rinsed both batches the same, oven fried both batches the same.
     
  21. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    It’s probably on my end—I don’t oven dry.
     
  22. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    LOL, can’t quite answer as I’ve never heard a smaller FART... maybe it’s just me.
     
  23. shamfrod

    shamfrod Member

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    Lately I have been using dish detergent with lemi shine to clean the cases really well. Then I'll dump the water and refill using car wash/wax for a few minutes to see if it reduces the tarnishing. Time will tell if I see any difference.
     
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  24. packetloss

    packetloss Member

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    This is what I do as well (except I use citric acid). I find I had better results without the wash and wax in with the initial cleaning run. The wax appears to keep it from fully cleaning the cases.
     
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  25. CRracer712

    CRracer712 Member

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    Just doing a test run here on the big FART.

    IMG_20201117_091641697.jpg

    Franklin says 1000 223 cases. In this photo is ~950 cases on top of the ~5lbs of SS pins. It won't hold much water at all, total weight is less than 20 lbs.

    I put two cap full maguire's car wash(it's just what I had handy), and a 1/2 tsp lemmishine.

    There's very little tumbling action going on, I had to shake it good to get the SS media mixed in, once mixed in, I can't even see any.

    The base spins it like no bodies business, no different than if I had 500 cases in it. Timer is set to 3 hours. I'll check it them.
     
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