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When tumbling brass how long do you tumble it?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BobABQ, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Southern CA
    Wet with pins in a Lyman Cyclone
    an hour seems to do the job.

    If the brass is really nasty I might run it for 1/2 hour then change the water/wash and wax citric acid mix

    How much citric acid/ lemishine depends on the PH of your water
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  2. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

    Jul 3, 2018
    Not DFW
    When I use my vibratory tumblers I tumble till I remember to turn it off. This sometimes means 18 hours. I try and do no more than 3-4 hours max.
  3. Spare Parts

    Spare Parts Member

    Apr 11, 2020
    Tumble time depends on how sooty your powder is, and how shiny you want your brass. Like another poster, I don't like to over-peen the case rim or erode the primer pocket. Most of my pistol brass failures are rims and pockets.

    I use the cheeep Harbor Freight tumbler. Fill 2/3rd with brass and SS pins. Splash of laundry detergent, enough so there are suds at the end of the run. Fill remainder with very cold water. Tumble 30-60 minutes. Rinse, and ensure no pins (I use a magnet). If they're not clean enough, another 30-60 minutes. Semi-dry with compressed air. Toss cases into a parts bin and dry overnight. Bag in a ZipLoc to keep them dry.

    I have near-pristine water and very low humidity.
  4. Skeeter300

    Skeeter300 Member

    Dec 27, 2019
    I wet tumble for 15 minutes to clean the cases enough to deprime. Then 1.5 hours to clean and polish.
    BiknSwans likes this.
  5. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

    Sep 4, 2013
    I wet tumble until I remember to take it out. Sometimes I take it out after an hour, other times after 12 hours. I just stick a brick in front of the dial once I set it at 2 hours and it binds against the brick so I can just go do whatever I want for a while. Sometimes that means other brass prep, other times it means going and enjoying quite a few too many beers down in the river with the neighbors. In my experience, if you let the brass just sit in the tumbler and not tumble, it can get stained pretty bad and need another trip through if you care about aesthetics.
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