Case tumbling

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by dwmiller, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a Thumlers tumbler for a few years. I got the smaller one because I mainly hobby shoot handguns and do not need a large tumbler for either quantity or larger rifle shells. This particular tumbler has a rubber band type closing device that snaps around the lid to secure it. I learned the hard way not to use too much detergent. I was tumbling in the garage and suddenly the sound changed. The soap apparently caused enough pressure to blow the lid off. I now set the tumbler on blocks in a pan should that happen again. I know the larger tumblers have a different way of securing the lid but I thought I would mention it anyway.
     
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  2. PaPow

    PaPow Active Member

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    I set my wet tumbler right on the kitchen counter next to the sink... that way if it ever springs a leak, it will fall onto the dish drainer tray that i set the tumbler on while its running. No muss, no fuss...lol
     
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  3. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    The large barrel tumbler purchase is what I'm trying to avoid guys. I often do several smaller/different batches of ammo at one time so my 500rd capacity bowl is ideal...

    Media and new bowl tumbler showed up FedEx while I was home. Just didn't have enough hours in the day to get things done. Nephews and niece basically moved in and stayed overnight for all three nights I was off the truck. Kinda limits time for my own hobbies, like breathing and sleeping.

    I did verify that the media I chose has pretty good motion in the bowl when its turned on. Looked like it will do what I want. Also checked to see if the media poured out of inside 223 cases, just fine, pours out like water.

    I've still got 400 rounds of boxer primed milspec 308 surplus, extremely dirty and corroded, that I bought to tear down for components. I'll try tumbling a hundred of them as is, yes, I know the dangers. Then see how effective this method and media is. That's my plan for next hometime...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  4. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Just got my media in the Hornady tumbler with a hundred rounds of 308 Winchester surplus that I need to clean. I've got a short video of the tumble action to show how well it moves...

    Us military types can probably name what belt fed weapon this was meant for by looking at those links. Poured out a hundred bag into the tumbler and that linked section brought a grin to my face.

    Bowl is ~50% full of media and cases. That's the level that seems to work best for these large 308 cases. I've got another coffee can 3/4 full of media if I need it.

    20181211_202356.jpeg 20181211_202407.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  5. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Just posted my first utube video, kinda disappointed it didn't flash anything weird...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  6. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    Hmm....not sure I would tumble live ammo......but that's just me.
     
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  7. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    If it was rotary, no I wouldn't. But with the vibratory I'll take that chance. This media also builds no static, ground strap to the bowl anyway. I still need to dump a teaspoon of powder rouge into the mix. It's got no grit as you see it in the photos and video.

    Only thing I have to watch is the combined weight of the media and ammo will overwhelm the support springs on this smaller bowl. Bowl settles on the supports and wont move.

    That's the 308 surplus I bought from Centerfire Systems a while back. It's going to get cleaned some, then pulled down to make 300 blackout ammo plus I'll primer swage those cases and size and trim for 100 rd lots of new 308 brass. Most of that is Sellier and Berliot brass...

    My collet puller jammed after about 10 rds because of the corrosion. That's the reasoning for tumbling the live ammo. I want to save those projectiles to make 147 grain 300 Blackout rds with them. So I dont want them all scuffed up from jamming in the collets.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  8. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2008/09/why-you-should-not-tumble-clean-loaded-ammo/
    A short search gave me this. I personally do not plan to tumble any loaded ammo.
    This article has nothing to do with that decision. It's just not something I will likely ever encounter a need to do. It reads not so much from a hazard during tumbling but the changes the tumbling does to the characteristics of the powder relating to burn time: burn vs explode.
     
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  9. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Not tumbling to shoot this ammo! I'm cleaning it to get it into my collet puller without destroying/scoring those high price projectiles. I dont care about the powder as it will be dumped and destroyed after pulling the bullets anyway.

    The best of the brass will be sized and trimmed, military crimps swaged out, and reprimed to become new 308 reloads...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  10. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    I understand that. Just clarifying the gist of the article.
     
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  11. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Looks like links for the M-60/M240 GPMG.
     
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  12. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Well tumbled and pulled over half my projectiles so far. Bad news is that ~90% of these cases are Berdan primed. Sucks. I went back and verified that the sales add said "boxer primed", it did. Called Centerfire Systems about it. They agreed to a partial refund as the product wasn't as described. Good people to deal with.

    Bullet itself is in fine shape after using my collet puller to get them out. Almost no marks. Still it would have been just as cheap to just buy the projectiles since the brass can't be reused. Powder was a terrible mess in some of these cases. Quite a range of different types of powders too. Ball, rod and flake in several color variations. A few showed water inside the cases, powder was a solid mass.

    Anyway I've got a big bucket of useless brass that I need to go and deactivate the primers on before I scrap them. Anyone have a suggestion easier than feeding them through one of my rifles and firing them all???

    I thought about a couple drops of motor oil in the now empty case mouth and let it soak the primers, but that sounds like a bunch of work. 500+ cases to do...

    My thoughts on the ceramic media after a couple hundred rounds? It cuts the grungy surface crud and scale quickly without damage to the brass. I found out that dropping a pulled 308 case back into the tumbler quickly fills it with media that locks into place inside the 30 caliber necks.

    I bought this mix sized for 556's specifically. The angle cut triangles get inside and turn and lock up inside the larger 308 cases. I'd probably omit the triangle media on any new media mix and just use spheres a millimeter smaller than the smallest case neck I wanted to clean. 4mm for 5.56, 6mm for 7.62's. They dump out like a liquid and dont bind up inside.

    Thinking about 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm and 8mm spheres mixed equally. That should work on both 556 and 762 caliber cases without binding. Nothing tight fitting at case neck diameters. Omit the 6mm if you reload 243's...

    The media is very clean with no dust from the tumbler. It is a bit louder than cob or nut media as the porcelain makes it's own noise when moving. It gets charged with powder polishing rouge and can be rinsed clean in water and dried in the oven. It's a viable alternative to standard media for my use. I'll let you know how it holds up...
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
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  13. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A few drops of oil or WD-40 and stand the cases up overnight will kill the primers.
     
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  14. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Nice to know, that's what I'll do then. Thanks Locutus
     
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