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How much brass do you tumble at a time?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Skulptor, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    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!
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    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.
     
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    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
     
  4. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    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.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    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.
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    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.
     
  7. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Member

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    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....
     
  8. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    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!!!
     
  9. Otto

    Otto Member

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    The Model 1200 is rated at (350) .38 Special cases with 3lbs of media. Or (125) 30.06 with 2lbs media.
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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
     
  11. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

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    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
     
  12. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    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.
     
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  14. Hilljun

    Hilljun Member

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    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.
     
  15. Miata Mike

    Miata Mike Member

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    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.
     
  16. Rangemaster

    Rangemaster Member

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    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.
     
  17. bullethead

    bullethead Member

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    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.
     
  18. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    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.
     
  19. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    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.
     
  20. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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.
     
  21. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    I'll get some. Do you just give it a good squirt or...???
     
  22. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  23. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    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.
     
  24. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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
     
  25. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    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
     
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