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Would it make sense to start tumbling brass now?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KiloBravo, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Okay, so as I have said before, I am going to take the plunge and start reloading. I picked up a copy of the ABC's of Reloading and have been reading through it, and I know I need to read the entire thing and I will do that.

    I have been saving brass I plan on reloading for, and I even bought a kinetic bullet puller. That was for an experiment making my own dummy rounds that didn't work out to well. It has also come in handy though for safely dis-assembling live rounds I find mixed in with the brass I have been picking up at the range.

    I found a tumbler at Wally World for around $70. I was wondering if it would make sense for me to buy that now and clean brass as I find it? My thinking is that I will have plenty of cases ready to go by the time I buy my press and everything else I will need. I won't have to spend time cleaning and can just start loading.

    Another thought I had is that if I buy a piece of equipment here and there like that, then I can accumulate stuff as I am able to. For a press, I am going to go with what Colorado4Wheel said about the LCT kit or w/e it was from Kemph's.

    How about what type of media? I have one guy at the range tell me uncooked dry rice from any grocery store is what he uses. I have heard other talk about walnut? I realize it probably does not make a lot of sense to buy the specific "tumbling media."

    I am sorry if any of this sounds dumb to you more experienced guys. I am always learning and will keep asking questions when I think of them. I also plan on ordering the press and everything next month.

    Any input would be most appreciated.
  2. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Polish now. Load later! LOL

    I have used rice in a regular tumbler machine it works well. Nice patina. I have not used it in a vibrating tumbler. I use ground walnut and NuFinish polish in them. Get the bird cage walnut litter from PetSmart or find a bird supplier and buy a 50 pound bag for about $25.00.

    Try to keep ahead on the polishing and sort your cases by heads stamp when they're nice and shiny.


  3. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Thanks a lot for the great tip. I will check out Petco next time I am in there to see what a bag of ground walnut runs.
  4. MarcusT


    Jan 1, 2010
    Oviedo, FL
  5. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

  6. I think you can find something cheaper. Even the local gun store sells a Frankford Arsenal for $49.
  7. proraptor


    Aug 8, 2007
    Not all tumblers are created equal....I had the frankford arsenal tumbler and that thing is so loud and annoying. I have a lyman now and its pretty quiet. The dillon tumblers are super quiet
  8. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Why waste your time, you have more important things to attend to... let the butler do it.

  9. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    So ture JAck! Really, unless you are just wanting something to do, there is nothing gained by polishing brass now, especially if you do not seal it up in an airtight container. Forget rice, it gets messy after a couple uses IMO, ground walnut or corn cob or both mixed work far better.
  10. AA#5


    Nov 26, 2008
    I've using only the corn cob media (untreated). Great results. I've found that it's better to get the larger size tumbler first. If you get a small one, you'll probably realize you need a bigger one anyway.
  11. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I got the Cabela's tumbler for $50 and went to Pets Mart and got their corncob and walnut in the bird section and just go to AutoZone and get NuFinish and Paint Thinner from Homers. All this and your good to go for months under $90 bucks.
  12. 21 shooter

    21 shooter

    Aug 22, 2001
  13. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Why thank you, but you give me entirely too much credit. :rofl: :supergrin:
  14. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Thanks for that info. I will go check that stuff out. :wavey:
  15. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Quite often cleaning brass is optional. If you are getting stuff piecemeal get the press first. A tumbler would be way down on my list.
    you can clean your brass by hand if you had to.
  16. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Lot of truth to that. I didn't start to tumble untill I reloaded my brass 4 or 5 times. In fact it was the last thing I bought.
  17. G1ock N9nteen

    G1ock N9nteen

    Feb 10, 2010
    I bought my tumbler from HF while waiting for the LCT Kempf Kit.
    PS tumbling mixed calibers it annoying to sort after the tumble, they get inside of each other.
  18. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
  19. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Never to early to clean your used brass. Others have said you don't need to clean the once or twice or even more shot stuff, and that's true. I bought my tumbler long after I started reloading. But the cleaned brass gives your reloads a better look, if not function, and helps keep the dies in good shape. It also makes it easier to see any cracks or deformed cases before they get into the assembly line.

    I usually tumble in the summer, when I do most of my shooting, sort and spray the brass with One-Shot lube, and store the empties in labeled plastic coffee cans. Come those long winter nights, I can just break open one of the cans and crank out a few hundred rounds with less prep work. Stock the shelves back up with re-loads for when the snow clears out fo the gravel pit.

    Have fun reloading....and be safe, follow the directions. If something doesn't feel usually isn't!
  20. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I started reloading when I lived in Oklahoma. I am now in Arizona. If your brass hits the ground it is going to be inoculated with some really neat stuff called sand. I am afraid that the sand a case that has not been cleaned will make short work of the interior of a die. I realize you can wipe them down but extractor grooves are like magnets for holding junk.