How long to tumble?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by sped, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. sped

    sped New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    Willis, Tx
    Hi all.
    I just purchased a Lyman 1200 Turbo tumbler and it came with some corn cob media. I added some Lyman Turbo Charge to it and have been cleaning some spent brass for a couple of hours.

    How long should I let it run?

    How do I get it "shiny" like the reloads I have purchased at the gun shows?

    How full should I keep the bowl with media?

    How should I store the media after I've used it?

    And finally....

    How many times can I re-use the media before I replace it.

    I hope that's not too many questions. Thanks for all your help.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2003
  2. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    Hi sped, welcome to TFF and the reloading forum.

    I'm no expert on tumblers, just recently got a Frankford Arsenal tumbler myself.

    I just add media and tumble until they look shiney enough for my taste and let it go at that. Usually a couple or three hours is all it takes.

    I have a little invention I've used for the last 15 years its an old zerox machine electric motor that turns pretty fast RPMS, no way of clocking it, and put it in a little metal sheet frame I made. On the spinning shaft I mounted a small 1/4 inch chuck that holds different caliber mandrels to spin my cartridge brass while holding some 3M crokus pads to spin them bright and shiney in seconds.

    But this is a bit labor intensive but does a better job as it far out does the media tumbler as to the end result.

    Gunguy ;)

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Have had a Lyman 1200 tumbler for years - found the length of tumbling is predicated by how fresh your media is, how many cases are dumped in, the type of case (pistol/rifle), how full the bowl is and finally - what you desire as far as clean.

    Usually, a fresh batch of media with a moderate amount of cases (about half capacity) will take about 4 hours to get a mostly shiny case. after tumbling, I use a large strainer spoon swiped from the wife's utinsel drawer to sift the cases and then just leave the media in the bowl until next usage. My bowl has a drain plug on the bottom whereas the media could be drained into a seperate container, but that is very messy, so I just use the strainer spoon.

    The amount of tumbling and the number of cases cleaned will determine the longivity of the media. When you find it takes a lot longer to get the desired results, recharge the media and keep using. In time, the cob media will turn to almost dust with usage and you can replace with new.

    I use a mixture of 50/50 corn cob - crushed walnut hulls with a little recharge compound. This has lasted me for several years before having to replace. Of course, I don't tumble cases with every firing, either.
  4. sped

    sped New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    Willis, Tx
    Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the help.
  5. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Welcome to TFF, Sped.

    Hope you will visit often and post often with our congenial and most informative group.
  6. Cow Caregiver

    Cow Caregiver New Member

    Mar 26, 2003

    Cement mixer works well. Commercial loader who showed me that trick used 6 of them at a time.
  7. rayra

    rayra New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    I'm using a medium-sezied tumbler. More full the better, media & brass.
    Same comment about how fresh the media is affecting tumbling time. Usually 1-3hrs as well.
    Sometimes remember t use Dillon's case polishing compound, as well.
    I just leave the media sealed in the tumbler.
    And I use a large plastic collander, which I've used a drill on to open up the bottom'most holes to 1/4".
    Dumping the tumbler into this, over tarp or newspapers, a little 'gold panning' action, and pistol brass is sifted pronto.
    Rifle brass takes grabbing by handfuls and pouring out.
    Someday I'll get around to buying a seperator.
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