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Recommended wet tumblers?


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Looking for recommendation on wet tumblers as far as durability and price etc.  Will strictly be used for my cowboy .38 brass.  I appreciate any advise and thank you.

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I like the Rebel. Broke a belt once, other than that it’s been trouble free.

F9C2CF33-BD29-4F51-B795-ED92F8DDC2CF.jpeg

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The Frankfort Arsenal is hard to beat. No external belt.  
thumbkes tumbler is a pain to seal the can. 

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Frankfort for me. Sold my Thumlers after getting it, so much easier to use.

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Picked up a used Frankford and love it.

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So what are the advantages to wet tumbling vs dry tumbling with walnut or other media? I can see the obvious reusability of the media in wet tumblers but was wondering if there was some other magical result that I'm not aware of? 200+ for a tumbler is a lot of cheddar.

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6 minutes ago, John Ruth said:

So what are the advantages to wet tumbling vs dry tumbling with walnut or other media? I can see the obvious reusability of the media in wet tumblers but was wondering if there was some other magical result that I'm not aware of? 200+ for a tumbler is a lot of cheddar.

For me and many of my shooting friends it's the less exposure to lead, certainly not any quicker or easier.

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51 minutes ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

I've had a Thumblers for years. Works fine BUT if I were buying new the only one I would consider is the REBEL !!!

Same here.

OLG 

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20 minutes ago, John Ruth said:

So what are the advantages to wet tumbling vs dry tumbling with walnut or other media? I can see the obvious reusability of the media in wet tumblers but was wondering if there was some other magical result that I'm not aware of? 200+ for a tumbler is a lot of cheddar.

Cleans better, maybe to good in some instances. You don’t have to dig media of of the primer pockets if you deprime first. Lead exposure as mentioned. Stainless pins probably last forever or at least a long time. I have a old dehydrator I throw them in after tumbling. Definitely not faster or easier but the end result is better. 
I was gifted a Thumblers years ago, works great, no complaints. There was not as many choices when I got mine so maybe there are better option now?

LF. 

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For me it just cleans the inside of the case better. Makes it easier to visually check the load for my son and wife's smokeless loads. It also cleans my daughter and my BP fired cases better.  Cuts down on the airborne lead also that you can get from vibratory tumblers, but I had been using liquid paint swirl remover anyway, so that wasn't as big a deal.

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What is the best mixture that most people use.?

                                                                                           Largo

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1 minute ago, largo casey #19191 said:

What is the best mixture that most people use.?

                                                                                           Largo

 

A squirt of Dawn dish washing soap and a touch of citric acid.

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1 minute ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

Does everyone deprime first?

Pistol calibers, no.  Rifle calibers, yes.

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Water, tablespoon Dawn, teaspoon Strato Sheen, 1/4 teaspoon Lemishine no pins or other media needed. I don’t deprime unless I’m really bored and don’t have anything else to do, I utilize the depriming feature on the sizing die.

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Posted (edited)

I deprime all brass before cleaning.  I use a Frankford then run every thing through a Dillon as it just makes the .44-40's load easier.  The tumbler takes most if not all black residue off the brass then the Dillon puts a lasting shine on the brass.  I use pins with Dawn and Lemishine in the wet and just about any polish I can get for brass in the Dillon.

Edited by Pee Wee #15785
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I have always just used the vibratory tumblers with cob or walnut and some polish. Without depriming first. But I only load handgun ammo and the only real rifle caliberthat I load is 45-70. A buddy loads for one of the popular 6.5 long range calibers and swears by the wet tumbling. But that's a whole different ball game. I may eventually give it a try especially if my current one conks out.

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+1 for the Rebel Tumbler.  I use Yul's formula, but I do de-prime because I think the brass come out even cleaner.

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Posted (edited)

I have been using a Frankford Arsenal wet Tumbler 7L for several years now without any issues, still going strong. Very satisfied with the results.  If you do get the FA one, recommend the straining caps they sell as an accessory.  Makes rinsing the brass and SS pins a bit easier.  Less chance of pin finding its way into the sink. I do de-prime before cleaning using a Lee APP set up for just that job.   Picture below is 38 SPL brass after a cleaning, works pretty good. 

IMG_0375.jpeg

Edited by Bingo Montana
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I use the smaller Frankford Arsenal LITE.  The larger ones require a lot of brass in them to do a good job; if you don't put enough brass in the batch, they tend to slide around instead of tumble.  With the lite it does 150 - 250 45 Colt at a time, which is perfect for me.  I tumble every two local matches or once per state match.

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1 hour ago, Diamond Jake said:

I use the smaller Frankford Arsenal LITE.  The larger ones require a lot of brass in them to do a good job; if you don't put enough brass in the batch, they tend to slide around instead of tumble.  With the lite it does 150 - 250 45 Colt at a time, which is perfect for me.  I tumble every two local matches or once per state match.

 

They came out with that model right after I bought one.  The LITE would have worked for me also.  I may have a lot of brass to clean but not the same calibers.  38 hide in 38WCF or larger cases.   38WCF is hard to separate from 44WCF,  etc. 

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11 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

They came out with that model right after I bought one.  The LITE would have worked for me also.  I may have a lot of brass to clean but not the same calibers.  38 hide in 38WCF or larger cases.   38WCF is hard to separate from 44WCF,  etc. 

 The first time I ran it, I had some pistol brass mixed with .223...I think 80% of the 223 had pistol brass over the mouth when I took them out.

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Posted (edited)

Wet tumbling = yes

Pins = yes

De-prime = yes.  Reason: cleans primer pocket; gives more air flow when drying; if you re-load before the primer pocket is completely dry you stand a good chance of FTFs

Solution = car wash/wax, ⅛ tsp Lemishine

 

I’ve heard adding a burnishing solution (like Strato Sheen) will get the cases looking like new. 

Edited by Tequila Shooter
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I deprime using a universal decaping die first. On my SG shells I do a quick run to clean, then deprime and size, then a second run to finish the cleanup and make sure all sizing lube is gone. 

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Loading exclusively .357's and 38 specials, I don't clean my brass.  back when I had a 300 BO, I would just soak them in a solution I found online, didn't tumble, they came out fine.  I'm picking up a rock tumbler this weekend as part of a BP making kit.  I may start to run my cases through it occasionally, or my primers if I start to remanufacture them.  I'll do my cases if I start loading BP in them.  

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IMO I think they all work the same as far as brass cleaning goes.  I think the main issues would be capacity and ease of use.  I have a Rebel 17.  The thumb screws are just annoying.  So is the belt drive.  I think that is a weak spot.  Mine broke once.  If I bought another tumbler, I'd probably get the National Metallic or a Franklin Arsenal.  Franklin has a couple of different flavors so I guess it would depend on how much brass you want to tumble.  Other manufacturers make similar tumblers with different features.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. :o

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2021 at 6:43 PM, Tequila Shooter said:

Wet tumbling = yes

Pins = yes

De-prime = yes.  Reason: cleans primer pocket; gives more air flow when drying; if you re-load before the primer pocket is completely dry you stand a good chance of FTFs

Solution = car wash/wax, ⅛ tsp Lemishine

 

I’ve heard adding a burnishing solution (like Strato Sheen) will get the cases looking like new. 

I like your philosophy of depriming for air flow.  Makes sense.

 

Edited by Realtree
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