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German Jim

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Has/Have/Do any of you shooters ever run LOADED cartridges through your vibratory case tumbler to get the brass polished?  Is it safe?

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NO!  Stop, back up...  smokeless powders,  whether ball, spherical, or extruded, are coated to control burn rate, etc... tumbling the completed cartridge will alter the characteristics of the powder.

 

And for all those that say... "...the powder's jostled around in shipping and handling..."  it ain't like the powders moving in a VERY small confined space, and to such an extent.   Frankly, if you want to take your safety and your firearms and risk damage... okay... but don't bring that redneck bs out to the range and subject John Q. Public, his wife, and their children to your stupidity.  And, if this weren't a junior friendly forum, I'd tell you what I think of that practice in good 'ol fashioned, non public cowardice Salty Sailor language.

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15 minutes ago, German Jim said:

Has/Have/Do any of you shooters ever run LOADED cartridges through your vibratory case tumbler to get the brass polished?  Is it safe?

No I never have tumbled loaded cartridges.   Dull brass will shoot just as good.

Edited by Matthew Duncan
fix typos
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I do it everyday, as do hundreds of manufacturers. Professional ballistics lab test have shown (I've been present during testing)  that a 15-20 minute tumble in corn cob has zero affect on the powder composition. Do and believe what you want but I won't box a round up without it. 

Edited by Deuce Stevens SASS#55996
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I have, but not to make them shiny. I run them through the vibrator to clean them up before I load them. My 32-20's are a bottleneck cartridge that requires they be lubed before running them through the resizing die on my LNL press. After I load about a hundred of them, and have to refill the primer feeder back up, I run the ones I just loaded through my vibrator for less than 5 minutes  just to get the lube off of them.

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The shiniest my brass ever gets is when it comes out the tumbler just before I load it. After that it gets a wipe down and into the box. Has worked well for 50 years and I prefer clean to shiny!  :rolleyes:

JC

Edited by Joe Cross, SASS #13848 L
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19 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

I do it everyday, as do hundreds of manufacturers. Professional ballistics lab test have shown (I've been present during testing)  that a 15-20 minute tumble in corn cob has zero affect on the powder composition. Do and believe what you want but I won't box a round up without it. 

Ok Deuce, I'll allow as a quick 10-15 minute spin to get lube & such off... is probably not going to affect the powder greatly... however, my brass takes at least an hour, sometimes a couple more to actually polish... therein lies my aversion.  

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I do know that dull brass shoots as good as shiny brass. I was just curious to know if I could tumble to remove some of the lube after reloading.

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41 minutes ago, Griff said:

Ok Deuce, I'll allow as a quick 10-15 minute spin to get lube & such off... is probably not going to affect the powder greatly... however, my brass takes at least an hour, sometimes a couple more to actually polish... therein lies my aversion.  

 

I'm gonna take a wild guess that Deuce tumbles his brass for an hour or so BEFORE loading it then those 10-15 minutes he mentioned AFTER it's loaded. Just a guess mind you.

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

Ok Deuce, I'll allow as a quick 10-15 minute spin to get lube & such off... is probably not going to affect the powder greatly... however, my brass takes at least an hour, sometimes a couple more to actually polish... therein lies my aversion.  

I polish for 1-3 hours in corncob or walnut shell and then decap and relaod.  If I lube a straight wall case it just a small blast of One-Shot and I never bother wiping them down.  1 hour with my tumbler ($40 frankford) just gets it clean, 3+ hours get is shinny.

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2 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

I'm gonna take a wild guess that Deuce tumbles his brass for an hour or so BEFORE loading it then those 10-15 minutes he mentioned AFTER it's loaded. Just a guess mind you.

 

I do this..^^^^

Tumble/vibrate empty/fired cartridge brass in a mixture of half corncob

and half walnut media with wax/cleaner for approximately 2-3 hours..

I then lube all the polished cases..

After reloading I'll put 200 loaded rounds back in my tumbler 

and run them maybe 15-20 minutes.. To remove wax/lube film..

I've done this reloading with Trailboss powder since it came out.. 2004-2005??

I've pulled a few of my reloads apart after tumbling..

All the little cheerio's were still in tack..

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' I've never had a problem :unsure:

Then again.. That's just me.. :rolleyes:

 

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Yep. It's how I get the case lube off my rifle rounds

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Griff, you got a little carried away, didn't you Partner?

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Negatory, good buddy!  I'll tumble BEFORE priming and loading! I check the flash holes to be sure no media particles get lodged therein.  If I am not satisfied with lube removal, I'll dampen a soft cloth with 50/50 water/vinegar and wipe them off by hand!  But, generally, just tumbling them will get them as shiny as necessary.  But tumble loaded rounds? NO!

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Just out of curiosity have any of you in the no crowd ever shot factory ammo centerfire ammo?........if so you’ve shot ammo thats been tumbled after loading. 15-20 minutes is very common and I’ve witnessed it in some pretty major manufacturing facilities first hand. 

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Hmmm ... if we were talking about shaking/vibrating a jug of black powder ... effectively changing it's granule size (prior to loading) ... but we're not ...

Can't find any manufacturer warnings anywhere but found this (snopes type) article ...    

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2012/10/10/is-tumbling-loaded-ammo-dangerous/

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I've cleaned all my LOADED SASS match ammo over the last 15 years in a vibratory cleaner, running about 15 minutes.  Enough to clean off any bullet lube or case lube added during loading.

 

I have NEVER seen any increase in velocity, pressure, or had any dangerous result from this.   I have vibratory or tumble cleaned ALL my .45 auto loads in this manner since about 1980.   That number exceeds 100,000 rounds.    Also, no detectable problem. 

 

I follow the lead of Hodgdon and Hornady tech experts.

 

Someone please cite one documented example of what kind of ammo problem HAS occurred by reasonable mechanical cleaning of loaded ammunition.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Quote

NO!  Stop, back up...  smokeless powders,  whether ball, spherical, or extruded, are coated to control burn rate, etc... tumbling the completed cartridge will alter the characteristics of the powder.

A few years ago we did extensive tests on this. We tumbled loaded cartridges with various powders for hours and there was zero difference in velocity over a chronograph. No change in pressure what so ever.

 After all, powder is shipped in tractor trailer trucks, bouncing around for days as it is shipped cross country. And our loaded cartridges are traveling in our vehicles, sometimes for weeks, without any issues.

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Okay,

I'll buy this... 

Quote

Both scientists felt that tumbling was a safe practice within the bounds of reason.

The Ruling
We are calling BullShooters on this one. While extended tumbling could, at some point theoretically cause a problem, a reasonable amount of tumbling to clean up loaded ammo is not dangerous.

But... note the underlined portions.  

 

And, I drive one of those tractor-trailers... and with air ride suspension and careful driving, in 20 years of this, I've never had a damaged freight claim... stuff just doesn't get shaken around as much as folks might think.  Loaded cartridges aren't being turned end over end or spun on their axis during such transit.   

 

3 hours ago, Max Payne said:

Griff, you got a little carried away, didn't you Partner?

No, I was restrained in how I articulated my aversion to this practice.

 

Roy, who's this "we" you speak of?  And what powders were tested?  

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I wipe mine down one at a time with an old tee-shirt as I box them. It’s one more opportunity to inspect my handiwork and one more aspect of the zen of reloading that I enjoy.

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I loaded a batch of 41 mag bullets that had been treated with an excessive amount of Lee's liquid alox. Sticky and ugly.  I threw the bullets in a vibratory tumbler with walnut.  I figured an hour should take care of the problem.  I opened the tumbler to find the cutest little brown teddy bears.  The liquid alox was stronger than the walnut and each bullet had a strong hard coating of walnut. I had to dip each bullet in solvent and scrub to get rid of the brown fur.

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9 hours ago, Griff said:

 

 

Roy, who's this "we" you speak of?  And what powders were tested?  

Back in the day (1980s) when friends and I were shooting benchrest and traveling from the East coast to Montana to shoot prairie dogs, we were concerned about this. So we did the previously mentioned testing. BLC2, 335, VIT 133 and 135, and a few others were tested. I wrote up an article about it but lost it years ago in a computer crash. "We" is just a few friends that sometimes  have too much time on our hands....

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I learned to do it from the Dillon web site FAQ's and have never had an issue. My brass is shiny B4 loading, I run it just to get the case lube and bullet lube off. Maybe 2-5 minutes while I clean up the loader. I add just a little mineral spirits to the corn cob for this process.

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If i can use an inertial puller to get components back, how in the world is tumbling going to be anymore violent than that?

 

I guess i'm alone on this, but usually I load up 2-300 rounds, and toss them in the tumbler for a few hours to polish them up to a mirror shine.

 

So far with trailboss and win231 i've yet to ever have an issue.

Edited by El Cubano

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Well ..... Harrumpff.  I've found really shiny brass is real shy.  Hates to come out of a nice warm chamber and hop into the mud on the range.  Makes some rifles jam more frequently.  My stained brass, on the other hand, see's the mud as "FUN" and leaps right out of the rifle and doesn't jam.  Therefore, I propose Stained and Experienced rifle brass actually shoots BETTER than that silly shiny stuff.

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I polish my brass before loading more then a lot of reloaders. I don't after they're loaded. No big deal to put them in after loading to clean them up, but not needed.  For those selling ammo I can understand they want it looking as perfect as they can get it.

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5 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Well ..... Harrumpff.  I've found really shiny brass is real shy.  Hates to come out of a nice warm chamber and hop into the mud on the range.  Makes some rifles jam more frequently.  My stained brass, on the other hand, see's the mud as "FUN" and leaps right out of the rifle and doesn't jam.  Therefore, I propose Stained and Experienced rifle brass actually shoots BETTER than that silly shiny stuff.

Yeah ... but there is nothing like spreading the super shiny stuff out at the loading table ... Then the person next to you says ... "gee ... your brass is really shiny ... how do you get it to look like that??" AND THEN ... you say "hmmmm ... I really never noticed?!?? Doesn't everybody's come out like that??"

 

If you really want to rub it in you tell them you are still using the same bag of "lizard litter" you bought at Walmart several years ago and can't remember the last time you changed the media in your tumbler!! :P

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1 hour ago, Patagonia Pete said:

Yeah ... but there is nothing like spreading the super shiny stuff out at the loading table ... Then the person next to you says ... "gee ... your brass is really shiny ... how do you get it to look like that??" AND THEN ... you say "hmmmm ... I really never noticed?!?? Doesn't everybody's come out like that??"

 

If you really want to rub it in you tell them you are still using the same bag of "lizard litter" you bought at Walmart several years ago and can't remember the last time you changed the media in your tumbler!! :P

I actually cant remember the last time I changed my media lol.

 

I love shiny brass, so I actually deprime, then wet tumble with pins to clean the inside and out, load, then finish with a dry tumble in walnut with polishing compound. I add more polishing compound when it starts taking more than an hour or 2 to get the brass looking like white gold.

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22 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

Just out of curiosity have any of you in the no crowd ever shot factory ammo centerfire ammo?........if so you’ve shot ammo thats been tumbled after loading. 15-20 minutes is very common and I’ve witnessed it in some pretty major manufacturing facilities first hand. 

I've never tumble cartridges because I never had the need to do so.

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