Reloading your supply of bullets is not only an amazing way to save some cash but it is also a great way to be more involved in your hobby.
For reloading many items are generally required, one of which is a brass tumbler.
Tarnished brass looks unprofessional and is also be a safety hazard.
An amazing way to clean your excessive amount of brass is to use a brass tumbler. A brass tumbler can help you get your work done faster.
A brass tumbler turns the tarnished bullets into clean and professional-looking bullets. They are also safe to use. A clean brass will also protect your dies from gathering debris.
What You Will Read Here:
To get most work done you need to select a tumbler according to your needs.
Below we list down some of the best tumblers on the market that you can pick and use for all your reloading purposes.
Lyman Pro 1200 Turbo Tumbler (115V) is an entry level vibratory tumbler that comes loaded with some best high end features.
With its powerful thermally protected motor, built-in sifter lid, and advance bowl design this Lyman Pro 1200 Turbo Tumbler can help you to remove oxidation, old lube, and fouling from your brass cases so that you can get them ready for reloading within no time.
And for this reason it offers you a perfect balance between capacity, durability, and economy.
Proudly made in the USA some of the key highlights of this affordable vibratory tumbler are:
Lyman Pro 1200 Tumbler is easy to use and is designed to deliver you the superior most results in a shortest possible cycle time.
You can simply add your favorite Lyman dry media into the machine along with dirty cases. And turn it on.
For getting better results and to remove the heavy fouling you can consider mixing in Lyman’s Turbo Case Cleaner solution into the tumbler.
This Lyman Pro Tumbler can also be used as an individual polishing and drying step for cases that are already cleaned in a rotary wet tumbler or your sonic cleaner machine.
All tumblers have their own weakness as well as strong suits. The choice of tumbler depends on the re-loader and his needs.
Numerous types of brass tumblers are available in the market these days.
However, they are broadly categorized into two kinds.
Most common types of tumblers are rotary tumblers and vibratory tumblers. Both of them are pretty efficient to clean brass.
This type of tumbler is in use for over fifty years. These are generally more expensive than the vibratory tumblers. They usually have a barrel and a type of roller at the bottom.
Rotary tumbles actually work as rollers. And they use small stainless steel pins to clean the brass. They can also be used with either dry or wet media.
Basically, you load the barrel and then position it on the machine. The machine then turns on the barrel. Then the machine tumbles the cases to clean them of any tarnish or dirt.
The best media to be used with these type of barrels are walnut media or the corn cob media.
As the rollers spin, they throw the cases towards the side and lets the gravity do its work. The cases are then dumped back to the bottom with the help of gravity.
Rotary tumbles are less time consuming than the vibratory ones. Thus limits the chaffing of the brass against one another.
However, it is important to note that the agents must be selected with the utmost attention to avoid abrasive behavior.
Vibratory tumbler is the most popular tumbler in the market today. It is cheaper than the rotary tumbler. And is also the most well know tumbler for brass cleaning.
The working of this tumbler is very straight forward. And the design is also fairly simple.
The tumbler has a larger bowl and it holds the bullets that need cleaning.
Vibrations are produced by the machine and it causes friction. The bullets rub against each other due to friction.
Vibrations also move the bullets around to ensure cleaning. Strain out the bullets after this and you are good to go. This process cleans the bullets thoroughly.
Typically they use corn or a rough small object usually corns as the cleaning medium.
This tumbler can clean a huge amount of bullets in one cycle. This tumbler does have some disadvantages as well. They take a long time to clean the cases thus are very time-consuming.
Another disadvantage is that the bullets rub against each other causing the brass to harden.
The major disadvantage of this tumbler is that it does not clean inside the case. Also, the media can be stuck inside the primer pockets.
This tumbler is comparatively new and has been in use for almost two decades.
There are various types of tumbler media used for cleaning. They range from rice to small stainless material. Here we will discuss three main types of media.
All these have their own strong and weak points.
Two main things to consider when choosing a media are; the extent to which the bullets need cleaning and the type of tumbler you are using.
This is mainly used for brass that has fired many times and needs a thorough cleaning.
Also if your brass is heavily tarnished after not being in use for a very long time. You should consider using crushed walnut shells.
Walnut media has higher efficiency but it does not the brass brand new shine or polish.
However many people recommend using a combination of media to get their brass looking new and shiny. First, they use walnut media. And then whip them in a cycle of corn cob media.
Polishing agents can also be used to increase shine. But if you don’t care about the shine too much and are okay with using dirty looking ammunition then you are fine with walnut shells.
Walnut shells work best with a vibratory tumbler.
If your brass is not extremely tarnished then corn cob is your best friend. It can be used with either of the two tumblers.
It is quite aggressive and gives your bullets a nice shine. Different polishing materials can be used with this media to increase shine.
This is mainly meant for once or twice fired brass which is lightly tarnished.
If you want your brass to shine very brightly then it is recommended to use your own polishing agent or treated corncob.
Stainless steel pins are wet media. They do an exceptional job at cleaning your brass. They clean the cases from inside and out. However, it can only be used with a rotary tumbler.
This is the most effective media and gives the best professional looking outcome. Using a little dish soap will help clean the media even more. And they will turn out even more fresh.
However, this media is a little hard to use. Separating the media and the brass is a little time-consuming. They can also be stuck in the primer pockets.
Another thing to keep in mind is the drying time. When using wet media it is extremely important to give the brass adequate drying time.
The drying time can vary from twelve to twenty-four hours. Usually, it is recommended to let them dry for at least twenty-four hours. This ensures complete drying.
Stainless steel pins are also more expensive than either of the two dry media.
Before tumblers were invented people used to clean their bullet cases with hand.
To do this a mixture of citric acid and water or soap and water was used. Some people even used detergent or vinegar.
Some people used a rag and cleaned each case one by one. It was time-consuming. Not to mention daunting and a very slow process.
And even after all this the results were not very satisfactory and often sloppy.
Using a tumbler can save you from all this. And also generate a better looking and professional case for reusing.
A re-loader can benefit from the tumbler in the following ways:
Besides above, it also helps you save you a massive amount of time. It is true that it gets the work done in a considerably less amount of time.
And at the same time producing a more professional looking out-come.
There are various types of tumblers available in the market. And that makes it easy to find the perfect match for your needs. Some important points to keep in mind while choosing a tumbler are:
The quality matters in everything that you purchase. The higher the price of the tumbler the better quality tumbler it would be. But sometimes the price is high and the quality is low.
Ensure that all the parts are working and are perfect to get the job done. Double check the gears and the bolts. Check if they are screwed properly.
They should remain firm after a long duration of cleaning. Also, check that the sped of the cleaning wheels is constant throughout.
You need durability to ensure its working in the long run. Tumblers are usually made of steel or plastic. It takes no brainer that the steels one are more durable.
Steel tumbler is however more expensive than the plastic ones.
While choosing a tumble it is important to keep all these factors in mind. And make an informed decision about keeping your needs in mind.
Durability and size are the most important and can really make an impact on your decision.
☑ The type of cases you’re going to clean:
Generally, all the tumblers can hold almost all types of cases.
But there are certain custom tumblers for a certain type of case. Communicate about your case size with the seller before making the plunge.
It is recommended to buy the tumbler that can hold the largest size of the case. So that if you are working with different sizes than it can be helpful.
☑ Amount of shells that the tumbler can hold:
It is most important to check the storage of the tumbler.
To ensure faster cleaning larger tumblers are recommended. Most models can hold five hundred to a thousand shells.
However the price of the tumbler increase with the number of shells. Keep all these factors in mind when choosing the tumbler.
Best Brass Tumblers for Reloading
Lyman is My Favorite Most Brass Tumbler for Reloading. It really saves me tons of hours and energy….
Marc is passionate about shooting and hunting. Besides camping and writing online he loves spending time with her cute little daughter. He also spend good deal of time on weekends to clean and maintain his firearm collection.