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Tumble Loaded Ammo ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hummbird, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Hummbird

    Hummbird Member

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    This seems crazy to me but i might be wrong, i would like your guys thoughts on this one. I read that a guy that reloads rifle and handgun Ammo then Tumbles them after they are loaded . Is'nt that very dangerous ? Im sure you guys know the answer to this one , Thanks a bunch
     
  2. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I won't do it. Not sure why you would unless you never clean your reloading equipment. Use clean components before you reload.
     
  3. SC_Dave

    SC_Dave Member

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    I tumble every round I reload in walnut media. Never had an issue after tumbling thousands and thousands of rounds. I do it to remove residual case lube and with polish in the media it gives the rounds a nice shine. This may not be important to some but I like it. Don't have to tumble very long to accomplish this either.
    SCD
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  4. mdi

    mdi Member

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  5. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    Hummbird, it is not dangerous. The other cartridges do not hit the primer of adjacent cartridges with enough force to ignite them. Even there were a defective primer that went off anyway, a primer going off will not ignite the primer on adjacent cartridges.

    As others have said, there is little reason to do it if you are assembling rounds from polished components. But, assembled rounds that have been in storage for lengthy periods may be severely tarnished and polishing them can aide in inspecting them to determine whether they are still servicable or need to be broken down. This was the situation I faced in 2014 with rounds that had set for 20+ years. I polished over 1,000 rounds in batches of 30 rounds for roughly 8 hours per batch over the course of a couple of months. No ignitions, no explosions, no failures. After the tumbling, it was easy to see the corrosion that was not confined to the surface of the case and mark those rounds for break-down.
     
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  6. salpal48

    salpal48 Member

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    I tumble Loaded Rounds all the time without problem. The choice is yours
     
  7. Ruger 15151

    Ruger 15151 Member

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  8. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I will not condemn either side, only state my personal beliefs that it could be unsafe. I sometimes wonder if the tumbling could cause the powder to "grind" the granules smaller and change burn rate. Also, some primers are more impact sensitive than others. Either way, I just choose not to tumble loaded rounds.
    I have read some writers experiences with loaded rounds riding in a car trunk for long periods of time (in boxes) and having pressure signs when fired.
    Either way, it is a personal choice. If it works for you, good.
     
  9. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I don't routinely tumble loaded rounds because I usually have no need to, but I have tumbled thousands of them with no problem when loading on a progressive left residue case lube that I wanted polished off.
     
  10. Hummbird

    Hummbird Member

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    Thanks guys, i was just wondering why one would do it cause i clean all my brass before loading so i have no need to do it, but now i get why it could come in handy to know in the future.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Commercial ammo manufacturers tumble their loaded ammo before packaging for shipment. There are no problems associated with tumbling loaded ammo.
     
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  13. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Old, old, old topic. Safe to do, but you'll get every answer and opinion on it if you ask, which you did.
     
  14. dgod

    dgod Member

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    Didn't know that Commercial Ammo Manufacturers tumble after loading, haven't tried it, my brass is usually pretty clean before I load it, but it might be a Lead cleaning solution. I'll have to give it a try.

    Thanks
    DG
     
  15. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    That is not a phenomenon which has been observed empirically.

    See also the thread that Ruger 15151 linked to.
     
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't tumble my loaded ammo only because I see no need. Like you my brass is clean when I load. Commercial loaders have to produce really clean ammo for sales so that is one of their steps.

    I have however tumbled several batches of surplus ammo over the years that were nasty. Most come out clean enough to shoot with no real case erosion.
     
  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I do not "tumble" (vibratory case cleaner) my hand-/re-ammunition but I have tumbled thousands of rounds of filthy milsurp ammo prior to firing it without issue.

    If presented with a situation where I felt such cleaning of some of my hand-/re-ammunition were warranted, I would have no qualms about doing it.

    Some folks in forums like these have gotten themselves a bit twitchy over the possibility of primer detonation and/or propellant kernel breakdown/shape-change and/or graphite coating removal and/or fill-in-a-fear-about-which-I-have-not-yet-read and opt to not tumble any loaded ammo. <shrug> To each his/her own.
     
  18. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Just remembered; I have tumbled some GI 30-06 ammo (LC 53) that had a bit of corrosion on the OD. Can't remember how long they were in my rotary, but my Garand couldn't tell the difference if any...
     
  19. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    Unfortunately there is no answer but we can start with:
    The main reason to avoid tumbling loaded ammo is that tumblingcan break down the powder kernels inside the case and/or alter the burn-rate retarding coatings on the outside of the kernels. This can alter the powder's burning properties, with dangerous consequences. You can read all about it here Why You Should NOT Tumble Loaded Ammunition. However, should you not care for that response or any others along those lines there is no shortage of threads on the subject in these forums and a dozen other gun forums both pro and con tumbling loaded ammunition.

    This thread.

    This thread.

    There is likely a dozen other threads in this and other forums. The main argument becomes:
    The argument against the above:
    The argument also extends into the fact that the people making the powder recommend against it because of their attorneys telling them to, so draw your own conclusions. The guys making the Tumblers also recommend against tumbling loaded ammunition. Personally I have no plans to jump into this arguable discussion so I will suggest you read up on the subject, check out results here on The High Road where members have conducted their own testing and draw your own conclusions.

    Ron
    .
     
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  20. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    I tumble loaded rounds which have lube residue on them - you run a greater risk of bolt failure from increased bolt thrust if you don't clean them than from any possible tumbling event. That possible tumbling event, if it were to occur (hasn't in 40+years for me, and I have never seen a factual report of one), would screw up one round, and maybe the tumbler; bolt failure would ruin your day, maybe your eye, and maybe your life. And I just don't feel like cleaning hundreds of loaded rounds by hand anymore
     
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  21. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Ron is spot on with his comment:

    ...so I will suggest you read up on the subject, check out results here on The High Road where members have conducted their own testing and draw your own conclusions.

    You pays your money, and you takes your chances.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have for decades, no problems.
     
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  23. toxogm

    toxogm Member

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    I wouldn't do it but no-one seems to differentiate between tumbling and vibrating. I built a tumbler that uses a wide thin biscuit tin with crushed walnut. The inside has baffles that lift before dropping. (a fall of about six inches). I would imagine that if the container had a wider diameter and a longer fall there might be a chance of one going off. Just thinking out loud here. I certainly wouldn't worry with a vibrator.
     
  24. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    While I don't routinely tumble loaded ammo, it is, IMHO, not dangerous.
    Now whacking loaded ammo with a hammer - that's dangerous ;)
     
  25. WelshShooter

    WelshShooter Member

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    The guys of THR have done a great job at debunking that myth. Personally, I don't tumble my rounds after loading because I don't need to. If I do come across some ammo which looks like it could do with a polish, then I cannot see any reason why I wouldn't tumble them for a few hours to shine them up.
     

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