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Are there any significant advantages between a “drum type” tumbler and a “vibratory type” tumbler? Other than the obvious of course.

Most good quality drum tumblers will allow you to use liquids in the mix if you want to, and they really do “tumble” the contents around. I used them before (a couple of life times ago) to polish brass casings and they worked well.

The vibratory tumblers/cleaners are a new animal to me and I’m not familiar with them.

Do they both work equally well? Is there any advantage to one over the other? Would it be preferable to use one for cleaning brass “pre-loading” and another type for a quick polish of the finish product after loading?

All thoughts on the subject welcome and appreciated.
 

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If you use pulled bullets and want to polish them after swedging you need the drum polisher the vibratory polishers will not work and the manufacturer of my vibrator recommend you do not use theres to polish the bullets that it will damage the polisher. The bullets are to heavy. About the brass I do not know about. I think the vibratory would do a faster job though. Just my opinion
 

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"Do they both work equally well?"

Yes. If there was a significant difference, the better would dominate the market.

Well, vib types DO dominate the market, probably by 20 to 1. But it's because they are so much less expensive, not because they are better, per se.
 

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1972 said:
Do they both work equally well? Is there any advantage to one over the other?
No, they do not perform equally. I have both an RCBS Sidewinder and a Dillon CV-2001. The Sidewinder takes 2-3 times longer and has less than half the capacity. It does work well with ceramic media and liquid, but that's a rather messy way to clean brass. The Dillon with walnut or cob media is fast and easy to clean.

 

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I also use the Dillon CV-2001 Tumbler. Dillon told me that I can put 75 50BMG cases in at a time and with the smaller tumbler you can only put 25. The Dillon vibratory tumbler if a fantastic polisher if you have the money and the space
 

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I have both a Viking rotary tumbler as well as a RCBS vibratory tumbler. The Viking works fine if I run it overnight whereas the RCBS will do an equally acceptable job in just under 4 hours. Neither tumbler does a stellar job inside the case or primer pocket. With respect to keeping utility costs down, my vibratory tumbler is my "go to" tool.
 

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I have 3 1 drum that started out life as a rock tumbler, that I bought at a flea market, I use it with ceramic media for BPCR, and nice part is it thourghly cleans inside and out and primer pockets which has saved a number of additional steps with black powder cases , a Lyman vibratory with crushed walnut and another Lyman that I was using to moly coat bullets they all work well. I would not use the ceramic for anything but large straight walled cases but I have found it to be very fast for that purpose approx an hour and a half. Vibratory will take 2-3 hours depending on the age of the media
You mentioned a touch up polishing after loading on the finished product...I for one would be very hesitant in doing this for a couple of reasons 1) the condition of the powder, are you going to start to break it down"pulverize" it if so I would expect to see pressures go up and consistency go down 2) Just me but it is loaded amunition I sure wouldn't be a fan of that and i will be first to admit I have done many stupid things in my life. I typically will resize before tumbleing so that when tumbled what ever sizing lube was removed, I now have clean cases...what is the advantage of cleaning again?
 
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