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Rotory v.s. Vibrating case prep

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kuyong_Chuin, May 4, 2014.

?

Which tumber is most cost effective?

Poll closed Jun 3, 2014.
  1. Vibrating type

    72.5%
  2. Rotory type

    20.0%
  3. Other type (explain)

    7.5%
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  1. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    For the long term, which is the most cost effective for cleaning up your brass a rotary or a vibrating type tumbler?

    I am leaning towards the rotary type because you don't have to replace the media as much.

    Also list the pros and cons of each.
     
  2. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Member

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    I too am wondering about this. I want a rotary so I can try that stainless media that never has to be changed.
     
  3. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Using a Thumlers tumbler, SS pins a little Dawn and a 9MM brass full of LemmyShine will clean the brass AND primer pockets so it looks like new in a couple hours max. BUT you do have to dry it first before reloading it. I usually run it through corn cob and NU Finish polish in my buzz tumbler for 15 min to Keep the brass from tarnishing and showing fingerprints after it is dry. The setup will cost significantly more to start with but it will last for years with little added cost other than an occasional liner for the tumbler.
     
  4. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    I have no problem waiting for them to dry since I am already having to do that now since I am "washing" them by hand now. Since I have had to send two tumbler kits back that were DOA I need to get one or the other sooner or later.
     
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I really don't understand why people feel the need to deprime and clean out the primer pockets. After many thousands reloaded, I've yet to have an issue with primer seating after tossing fired cases in a vibratory.
     
  6. theslasher

    theslasher member

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    Vibratory tumbler and some plain corncob media. Hour and a half and they gleam. Its worked for ages. No waiting for them to dry. Who cares if the primer pockets are spotless? It isnt going to shoot any better. And in ten years i bet i havent used $50 worth of corncob media.
     
  7. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Member

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    I just started using the ss pin tumbling thing and I think it is the only way to get really dirty brass really clean. I don’t think I will abandon the corncob and NU Finish if the brass just needs a little polishing. Which is most of the time but for brass that won’t come clean even after 4 or 5 hours in a vibrating tumbler it is the ss pins from now on.
     
  8. BillBloggins

    BillBloggins Member

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    I use a vibratory tumbler, but I sure do like how shiny SS pins in a rotary make the inside of the case. This makes the visual of verifying the powder throw is where it should be much easier than a case that has been vibrate tumbled. Note that I use a Lee Classic turret and getting the inside of the case lit up is a challenge.
     
  9. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

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    I had a dual drum thumbler but I found a Vibe thumbler at the Goodwill for $12 so I switched. My media is a ten year old mix of walnut and corncob. I don't have OCD so unless I am cleaning years old range brass two hours in the vibe is long enough. For range brass overnight is plenty long. I check my primer pockets and if they look too dirty I have a wire I scrape them with.
     
  10. codefour

    codefour Member

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    I like my brass to look like jewelry. I use two Thumlers Tumbler Model B high speeds. I only use SS pins when the brass is really grimy range pick ups. I have had two SS pins get stuck in the primer flash holes that screws up a lot.

    The vibratory tumblers are usually LOUD.! I run both Thumlers in my living room all night and you can't hear them run. I've NEVER found a quiet vibratory tumbler.

    I've had one Thumler for 5 plus years. It has run 80% of the last 5 plus years. I bought another Thumlers to increase productivity. But the motor died at 13 months..! Thumlers sold me a new high speed motor at cost but it was still a disappointment.

    I use corn cob and Nu Finish with great results. Yes, I deprime with a decapper die and brush every primer pocket before tumbling.

    I recommend a rotary over a vibratory.
     
  11. Machinist79

    Machinist79 Member

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    I have the RCBS sidewinder and have always used the rcbs cleaning solution which cleans even the dirtiest of range brass. I have been using the sidewinder for about 15 years and will never go back to a vibrating tumbler, it actually makes the brass brighter than factory ammo. I have also used the SS media with it but don't think it is necessary with the solution. The solution costs a little more say than using under the cabinet ingredients but does a great job. I have used many vibrating tumblers and they are sub-par IMHO compared to the rotary style cleaners. the sidewinder takes a 1/4 of the time to clean brass and does a much better job but that aside I'm not saying a vibrating tumbler will not do the trick if cost is a major issue.
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Don't underestimate the psych factor. If you feel better about your reloads, you will shoot better.
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I checked "other" because there was no option for both.

    Most of the time, I use a vibrating tumbler. It gets the cases clean enough. I usually do my resizing in the evening and let the cases clean overnight.

    When I have a large batch of dirty cases, then I use the wet tumbler with stainless steel pins to get the cases squeaky clean.

    I find wet tumbling more labor intensive and time consuming than dry tumbling.
     
  14. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Member

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    The OP asked about "which is the most cost effective" way to clean.

    Everyone has provided their opinion on what they do.

    Dual Drum Tumbler from Harbor Freight $42 (one time cost)
    SS Pins $21 (one time cost)
    Dawn dish soap $2 (recurring cost)
    Lemi-Shine $3 (recurring cost):eek:


    Vibratory tumbler $112 (one time cost)
    Corn Cob media $15 (recurring cost)
    Walnut media $15 (recurring cost):eek:

    So which is cheaper??? Any way, I have both and this is my routine:

    tumble in walnut (range Brass) Prep for deprime.:rolleyes:
    Wash in SS media, because i like shiny brass:D (storage)
    tumble in corn cob media (prep for reloading)

    I do this as a hobby so there is no cost effective way, it all depends on the individual:D
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  15. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yep, your right.

    For me, in terms of time expended, vibrating tumbling is more "cost effective".

    In terms of cash outlay, who knows. Both have ongoing costs. I change dry media bout once a year or so shooting 5000 rounds per year. I put some polish in the media once in a while.

    Wet tumbling has some on going costs of detergent and Lemi-shine. I suspect Lemi-shin will be discontinued or out lawed by the tree huggers by the time I need to buy more.:)

    As far as cleaning effectiveness, there is not question.
     
  16. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    Where do you find Lemi-shine at? I read somewhere the other day that the rotary type although quiet takes up to 12 hours to compete not counting drying time, where as the vibrating type although noisy does it in just a few hours. If this is true the rotary type will cost more on the electricity bill every time you do a run.
     
  17. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I got my Lemi-shine at Walmart, but it has been a while so they have discontinued it.

    Check the motors' horsepower or wattage and compare them before saying which consumes more electricity. I am not saying which consumes more electricity because it would be negligible and I really don't care. But you might be surprised.

    I run my vibrating tumbler all night so time would be no different for me. It runs while I am inspecting the insides of my eye lids.:)
     
  18. horseman1

    horseman1 Member

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    Dealing with all that juice isn't going to happen at my place. The vibratory and walnut shells work fine, thanks.
     
  19. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    I have a Vibratory cleaner, a rotary tumbler, and now an Ultrasonic cleaner.

    Of the three the rotary tumbler, using stainless steel pin media, does the absolute best job of cleaning and burnishing the brass in a single trip.

    The vibratory cleaner is great for removing case lube from finished rounds and putting a light coating of "wax" on the cartridge that will keep the brass from tarnishing during storage.

    The Ultrasonic is more of a novelty for cleaning brass. It comes out clean, sort of, and that depends on where the case was laying in the basket. It also is fairly dull when compared with either the vibratory cleaner or stainless steel tumbling.

    The Ultrasonic cleaner absolutely "Rocks" when it comes to cleaning rifle bolts, inside and out. Just make sure to get some lube on those jeweled steel bolts or you'll get some nasty corrosion spots as the ultrasonic cleaner takes everything off. Stainless, not so much a problem.

    Each method has it strong points. Some "poo-poo" the Stainless Steel Pin method as taking too long. I find that I am in not that big a hurry to get my brass cleaned/polished and just do other things when it's finished. As for drying? When I anneal my rifle brass after cleaning, that isn't an issue. The water drys literally in a flash.
     
  20. tarakian

    tarakian Member

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    I just started using the Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler with steel pins. After an hour of tumbling, around 625 9mm cases were bright and shiny. It's quite large, so I can easily fit a thousand in at a time. As for drying, I lay the cases out on a towel and they dry just fine. The biggest pain is separating the pins. I'll probably just get the magnet they sell and that should ease that process.
     
  21. MDphotographer

    MDphotographer Member

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    I just bought a FA RT about 2 months ago I sold my Lyman 1200 VT last week will never go back to a vibrator.No matter how long you run it you will never get brass looking as good in a vibrator then a rotary w/ SS pins.I run my brass through the FA for 5 hours and it looks absolutely new (not sure the extra 2 hours really helps but that's what I do.)

    A vibrating tumbler will get your brass shiny but not REALLY clean and definitely not new looking.I used to vibrate at least 8 hours overnight primer pockets would be dirty and after a few loadings the primers got harder to seat and the brass always had dust on it that turns your fingers black when loading.

    You can speed drying time by using a food dehydrator from Walmart (less then $40) and Lemi-shine can be found at most grocery stores and Lowes
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    An old sock and some soap and water would be real cheap and make the brass clean enough to not damage your dies.

    Over the long term what ever you have invested in case cleaning will be nothing compaired to everything else. An $11 sack of corn cob lasts longer than thousands of dollars worth of bullets, primers and powder.
     
  23. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Is the point to clean your brass as cheaply as possible or as clean as possible????

    Corncob's certainly cheap and if all you're interested in is shine then go for it.

    I'd rather have clean brass, inside and out. Like someone else said once on a forum like this, "I don't eat off of dirty dishes or load dirty brass".
     
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