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Thread: Tumbler alternatives

  1. #1
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    Tumbler alternatives

    Are there any reasonable alternatives to tumbling your brass? Could bore brushes and solvent do the trick? What about low cost tumblers? I really cannot afford the ones I have seen recently (super-tight budget right now) and I have lots of brass and WW just itchin' to jump into some ACP and LC brass, but it's all dirty...

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    "...super-tight budget right now..." You're not alone.
    A bath in regular white vinegar, rinse well in plain water, then onto a clean cookie sheet and into the oven set on the lowest temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to dry. Don't touch the cases for another 15 to 20 minutes.
    "...What about low cost tumblers?..." Used will do nicely, but you can make one with a bit of ingenuity. Think in terms of what a tumbler really is and outside of the box. They vibrate a polishing media. Rumour has it that nylon stockings(how you get 'em is another thing. snicker.) in a regular dryer will work.
    Forget anything that has anything to do with firearms for the media. Crushed corn cobs/walnut shells are sold as small pet bedding in discount pet supply shops. Big bags run less than $20.

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    I knew a guy once who recycled an ice-cream freezer. He took the paddle out, pop-riveted some small angle iron in it, turned it on it's side and put in brass and media. I think he paid $5.00 for it at a garage sale.

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    Never tried it, but I've heard of guys (usually unmarried guys...) who put them in a mesh bag and threw them in the the dishwasher or washing machine.

    The bore/bottle brush idea sounds like a seriously time consuming process. And most likely overkill. The cases don't have to be spotless, just get the gunk and build-up off of 'em.
    Last edited by kcshooter; November 13th, 2010 at 01:03 PM.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    Thanks for that suggestion, Sunray! We already buy two or three gallons of white vinegar each month for fabric softener, so it's always on hand, and, best of all, when I'm broke, food stamps can buy it.

    Our oven has 170F as the lowest temp marked on the knob. Is that too high for the drying part? What about just putting the cases on a cookie sheet in front of a fan (projectile side toward the fan, of course)?

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    Never tried it, but I've heard of guys (usually unmarried guys...) who put them in a mesh bag and threw them in the the dishwasher or washing machine.

    The bore/bottle brush idea sounds like a seriously time consuming process. And most likely overkill. The cases don't have to be spotless, just get the gunk and build-up off of 'em.
    Nothing like contaminating your dish washer or cloths washer with lead.

    Man alive talk about living on the edge.

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    Brass don't have to be shiny to work.
    You can use a Lee case holder and lock stud chucked in a drill and hold steel wool against it if you prefer shiny.

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    Tumbler alternatives

    Your time is worth buying a tumbler in my opinion. I suggest you search your local pawn shop or craigslist. I saw one in my local pawnstore the other day. A good one too.

    jeepmor
    We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

  9. #9
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    Tumblers are cheap, even the expensive ones. When you consider what you are paying for a pound of powder, a decent rifle, even a single scope mount or a single box of nice rifle bullets, then the price of a tumbler is CHEAP. Don't be chintzy. Go buy a good tumbler. It will be with you for years, making all that reloading effort so much more pleasant. I let the hum of my tumbler put me to sleep at night, knowing that in the morning I will have a shiny batch of brass waiting for me.
    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
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    Brass don't have to be shiny to work.
    +1
    Rinse them in hot water or even hot soapy water if they had corrosive primers in them.

    Michael

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    Build one, it's cheap & easy!

    I built mine from scratch using a dollar store plastic bowl, scrap & junk. Works great! Nice & quiet too.

    Here's a picture.

    http://thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=394521
    Take care, Moptop

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    I recently cleaned a lot of 9mm by soaking them in simple green for 10 minutes and then rinsed them. Worked pretty good. They loaded up and fired just fine.

    I did the same with some .223 and I was not satisfied and ended up using steel wool on them. 5-10 seconds per round, they look brand new. Luckily I only had about 150 of them... but they don't have to be pretty to work, just not dirty.

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    Good golly, how times change our perceptions of what we MUST have.

    When I started reloading in the 1960's, we hadn't discovered tumblers yet.
    Just wipe with clean cloth, inspect, reload.
    And we reloaded Bullseye ammo that way!



    Today it is absolutely essential that you buy a giant capacity vibrating tumbler, industrial tumbling medium, tumbler media booster, automobile polish, feminine douche, deodorizer, sanitizer, and a special perfume to make all your brass accurate, otherwise you will reload inaccurate squibs.


    Sheesh.


    If you're on a super tight budget, wipe down your brass and inspect it carefully. Just make sure sand and grit won't get blown down your barrel at supersonic velocity. Now you're good to go!!! Reload and shoot.


    Yes, it really is that simply.

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    Today it is absolutely essential that you buy a giant capacity vibrating tumbler, industrial tumbling medium, tumbler media booster, automobile polish, feminine douche, deodorizer, sanitizer, and a special perfume to make all your brass accurate, otherwise you will reload inaccurate squibs.
    I'd better start shopping then. I'm missing a few items from that list.

    By the way, is there such a thing as an accurate squib?

  15. #15
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    By the way, is there such a thing as an accurate squib?
    Only with magnum primers, short barrels, and really close targets.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  16. #16
    I sent back a couple of vibratory tumblers for mechanical failure at the 10-14 monthv time.

    Went to harbor freight and picked up their rubber drum tumbler.

    I use lizard litter for media.
    I activate it with a shake of Bon Ami cleanser "Hasn't scratched yet!".

    I sift all the media out with a colander, then tumble the shells back and forth between the colander and a plastic ice cream tub until I stop seeing media appear from inside the shells.

    I re-tumble with clean media and a torn up recycled dryer sheet to make sure I'm not introducing abrasive into my dies or guns.

    Unless I'm in a hurry. Then I wipe them off, run a brush inside the case and sometimes even brush out the primer pocket.

    Neither method seems to affect my ability to hit the broad side of a barn.

    Oh well...

  17. #17
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    By the way, is there such a thing as an accurate squib?
    If you define a squib as a loaded cartridge without powder, then yes! I do that every once in a while with some hot glue stick rounds. Lots of fun!

    http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread...bullets&page=2

    See post #33
    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
    --George Washington

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