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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Met a fella on the range couple of days ago that appears to do a significant amount of reloading and shooting .40 S&W and during our discussion about our various loading processes, he commented that he tumbles all his reloaded cartridges.

Curious if that is a step that is commonly done as I certainly don't, but maybe I should. The time required isn't a problem and reducing contaminants may help with semi-auto loads?

Dan
 

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Met a fella on the range. . . he commented that he tumbles all his reloaded cartridges. Dan
Suggest you DON'T DO THIS. Tumbling loaded cartridges could very well change the physical characteristics of the propellent since the powder flakes may be abraded losing their finish and/or broken into smaller pieces resulting in erratic performance.

IMO, tumbling is best done on the bare cases prior to actual reloading.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Suggest you DON'T DO THIS. Tumbling loaded cartridges could very well change the physical characteristics of the propellent since the powder flakes may be abraded losing their finish and/or broken into smaller pieces resulting in erratic performance.

IMO, tumbling is best done on the bare cases prior to actual reloading.

Had not thought of that, sounds logical......appreciate the help.

Dan
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Yup - no matter what folks say about doing it and getting away with it, tumbling loaded ammo is a BAD idea. As stated, the propellents may be broken down with deterrent coatings removed and erratic pressure results.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #5
Yup - no matter what folks say about doing it and getting away with it, tumbling loaded ammo is a BAD idea. As stated, the propellents may be broken down with deterrent coatings removed and erratic pressure results.

I do tumble the cases after each firing and use carbide dies without lubricant so the rounds should be pretty contaminant free. Appreciate you two getting me up to speed as I sure don't need the powder to be anything other than what the manufacturer delivered.

Dan
 

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agree with you all.The only thing I Do after cartridge is loaded is wipe it off with terry cloth.You can wipe some of die marks and residue off and looks as good as new.One point barring the ovious hazzards of tumbling live amo,is you still have to wipe the tumbling media before using the rounds.So your not really saving time.Thats my take
 

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I may wipe loaded ammo if necessary but never tumble for the reasons stated and the remote possibility of primer going off.
 

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Coincidentally, there's a "golden oldie" article in the current Shooting Times by the late George C. Nonte, Jr titles "Cleaning Reloaded Ammo."

He suggests what I have always called "towel tumbling" where you lightly dampen a towel with a solvent, roll it into a tube with the ammo inside, and then gently "slosh" it end to end for a couple of minutes.

Nonte also warns against putting live ammo into a tumbler, but he surmises that it is just remotely possible to set off a primer. I doubt that, and also doubt it would cause much if any damage other than ruined underwear. But it's unnecessary, anyway.
 

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The Sierra reloading manual warns against tumbling loaded ammo, their concern is that the deterrent coating on the powder grains can rub off and cause faster burning of the powder and dangerous pressures.
 

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The Sierra reloading manual warns against tumbling loaded ammo, their concern is that the deterrent coating on the powder grains can rub off and cause faster burning of the powder and dangerous pressures.
Makes you wonder, what happens to ammo that rides around in a truck for days and days, or in shipping to you, all the bouncing and jarring should also rub off the coatings.

I have heard it both ways, don't do it / do it, maybe someone should take a few shells that are being loaded, count the actual powder kernels after it is weighed and then load it, tumble it for a few hours/days, pull it apart and re-count/weigh the powder.
Maybe also a powder/brass/bullet company could do the same type of tests before and after testing the pressures.

Michael Grace
 

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Makes you wonder, what happens to ammo that rides around in a truck for days and days, or in shipping to you, all the bouncing and jarring should also rub off the coatings.

I have heard it both ways, don't do it / do it,

Michael Grace
My thoughts as well...


I talked with a guy at Dillon about this once. He said they left some ammo tumbling for several hours (I think) just to compare it to non-tumbled ammo and they couldn't detect any difference- I don't consider that a very definitive test but his advice to just tumble them for a few minuets, since that's all that's needed, was pretty sound.

I prefer to simply wipe off the finished ammo with an old t-shirt as I package it instead of tumbling. I hold the case rim while doing it and this also lets me feel each round for high primers without taking any extra time . Takes about as long, anyway, as waiting the few minuets for the tumbler, digging the rounds out of the media and then wiping off any media dust that may have clumped in the case rims.
 

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One thing I do is that I tumble the case only .to clean them then I luble them and size them then I wash them in Ivory dishwashing soap.It take the case lube off then I let them dry and then I just load them. If there is any film on the case that is loaded from the seating die I just wipe it off. But that is mainly from the bullet lube from cast bullets.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A couple of minutes of tumbling couldn't be any worse than riding around on the deer lease in the bronco ?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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All depends on how you drive, Mike!!!!!!!! :D :D :D
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Ask Tom. He won't ride with me anymore!
 

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Tumbling loaded rounds ? I bet he de-caps live primers just to see if one will go bang, There is always one no matter what.

I watched a guy some time back who used to manage a gun shop and was also president of a gun club, lob up with a borrowed 45 and for his first shot put his supporting hand thumb over the top of the shooting hand, where the slide took two neat pieces of meat and bone removed completely from his thumb, seems some mothers have em no matter what.

Cleaning loaded rounds ? perhaps a rag and metal polish might do better, nice shiny soldiers.
 

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This is an often discussed (argued?) subject. One side says don't tumble because it can change the characteristics of the powder, or possibly detonate a round by bumping primers. The other side says this is normal proceedure for ammo manufactureres and that all factory ammo is tumbled after loading to clean them up. On one forum one poster said he vibrated a box of handloads for 12 hours and then shot them over his chrony with no noticable changes over freshly reloaded ammo.

There you have it. I don't do it because, 1. I never thought about it, 2. my ammo is clean and doesn't need any extra cleaning, and 3. I'm lazy...


BTW, I've deprimed over a hundred cases at one sitting without one pop!
 
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