SS media tumblers

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,923
699
I am am tired of cleaning the dust from my pretty & shiny brass after pulling them out of the walnut media in the vibratory tumbler. Wiping the outside and clean the dust out of the necks is a pain in the butt, and the insides of the cases below the necks are not clean. I saw some pictures of how clean the brass are inside and outside after SS tumbling them with little soap and LemiShine. I and so stoked to buy a SS tumbler and which brands are good quality and less maintenance? Is it really worth it?
 

Charlie-NY

Handloader
Mar 11, 2005
1,241
332
I bought a STM SS tumbler set. It is very well made and will likely outlast its owner by many years. I've used the vibratory method previously and it doesn't compare to the STM when it comes to thoroughly cleaning the inside & outside of the cases. Primer pockets get cleaned too. Brass comes out with a better shine than when it was new in the box.
There are many cheaper aftermarket SS tumblers out there that may work fine but I'm glad I bought the STM.

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/
 

thatguySHM

Beginner
Feb 11, 2017
249
2
I've used the Frankford Arsenal kit for quite some time now and can't really tell you how much brass I've cleaned, about half a Lemishine bottle worth. I absolutely love it. I use their magnet and dryer oven also, but I'm sure a cheap harbor freight dehydrator would work just as well to dry the brass.

The kit is well made, biggest thing I've found is the need to rinse really well, and to make sure your Dawn dish soap doesn't have any lotion or anything extra in it, or you'll get spots and a film on your brass. I don't use the vibratory tumbler for anything besides HbN coating now.

SHM

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DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,715
2,683
Is it worth it? That depends on your expectations. If you demand shiny brass, it will be worth the cost. The media last for a very long time. I use a Thumbler Tumbler. I do believe it was a good investment.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,923
699
DrMike":16s2bwa1 said:
Is it worth it? That depends on your expectations. If you demand shiny brass, it will be worth the cost. The media last for a very long time. I use a Thumbler Tumbler. I do believe it was a good investment.

I liked to have the brass inside and outside clean of dust for annealing, tis reason why I am looking for other alternatives besides vibratory tumbling. (y)
 

maninthemaze

Beginner
Aug 14, 2017
1
0
Once you start using a SS tumbler you might notice that the case necks are too clean. They could provide more grip on the bullet. After inserting primers in my cases, I dip the case neck in dry graphite lube. This keeps my SD/ES in check.

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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,416
811
I use the Frankford Arsenal SS tumbler. So far so good. My method is to anneal, deprime and pitch them in. They come out perfect and no cleaning primer pockets anymore. Plus it only takes about 1-2 hours vs long hours with walnut or corn cob media.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,923
699
SJB358":1e0ine3l said:
I use the Frankford Arsenal SS tumbler. So far so good. My method is to anneal, deprime and pitch them in. They come out perfect and no cleaning primer pockets anymore. Plus it only takes about 1-2 hours vs long hours with walnut or corn cob media.

You anneal first, then deprime and tumbler after? If so, then you size afterwards?

If you anneal first, does the carbon get baked in the necks / shoulders? Tip was to have the brass spotless clean before annealing, or the carbon / dirt will get baked in the brass and hard to remove. Correct me if I am wrong.

The way I did it was tumble, wipe down, clean inside necks of dust, anneal, size & decap, clean inside necks and pockets, primed and load. This was with the vibratory tumbler.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,416
811
The Stainless pins will get those necks spotless. I wouldn't worry about the carbon baking in. It'll come clean and look like brand new brass.
 

HomerOz

Handloader
Sep 13, 2012
649
0
G'Day Fella's,

Tack Driver284, I'm a recent convert myself.
But be warned ........ it appears you can over do it!

The first batch I done was 500ish x 9mm cases.
After two hours of cleaning/tumbling, I was draining off the water/soap brew and noticed a lot of brass metal flakes in the water.
So these days, I only clean/tumble for 1 hour (the cases still look stunningly clean, when compared to Walnut and Vibration cleaning).

Hope that helps

Doh!
Homer
 

Alderman

Handloader
Apr 5, 2014
1,149
221
I did some research and bought a Lortone Q12 Rock tumbler, but only because I found it for a good price on Craigslist.
I also bought the cheap Harbor Freight tumbler when I had a coupon. The end result after tumbling is the same, but the Lortone has much more capacity.
Since I bought these, the vibratory tumbler sits idle.
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26172467b8f421fc20655cd7e623638a.jpg



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greenheadcaller

Beginner
Jul 8, 2014
119
0
TackDriver284":2k75pib0 said:
I am am tired of cleaning the dust from my pretty & shiny brass after pulling them out of the walnut media in the vibratory tumbler. Wiping the outside and clean the dust out of the necks is a pain in the butt, and the insides of the cases below the necks are not clean. I saw some pictures of how clean the brass are inside and outside after SS tumbling them with little soap and LemiShine. I and so stoked to buy a SS tumbler and which brands are good quality and less maintenance? Is it really worth it?

It is worth it to me.

When I went wet, there weren't may options to do volume. So I made my own crafted off of biggdawg tumblers.... it was legit, because in addition to selling them, biggdawg freely offered his plans.

http://www.biggdawgtumblers.net/

plans (31 pages over time, refined) https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/3449 ... mbler.html

I love my DIY.

Fast forward, many more offerings now.

The majority of my buddies who were using mine to do volume, and crashing/breaking rock tumblers to do small volume .... all pretty much own there own FART's (Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumblers) now. If I had to replace mine ... and DIY wasn't an option ... today I would get the FART (if I didn't have crazy volume to do). Decent/manageable size and doesn't break the bank.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/PLATINUM ... lsrc=aw.ds

Pretty sure you can fit 800-1000 of 223 brass in the FART. I think the Thumbler only holds 200-300, but I could be wrong, haven't used the Thumbler. Consider this. When shopping/comparing, also note if the package comes with the SS pins, or not.

I use Dawn with a touch of lemishine granular with the SS pins = bling

My process is .... deprime, wet tumble (before annealing), rinse really good in cold water, dry (on old screen door under the sun in summer, or on a towel in front of fan in winter), anneal if rifle brass, size/process, remove lube via short ride in small grit cob (won't stick in flash holes - ask me if interested), load, shoot, repeat.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,923
699
Just ordered the FART. :mrgreen: ( Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler )
$147 at Cabela's.
Thanks guys.
 
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