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I've had my big Thumbler for over 35 years. Still humming along. Can't seem to break it.
My Model B was given to me after many thousands of hours of use (about 35 years ago). I actually bought the smaller one for rock tumbling. I rarely use the "B" anymore as I tumble smaller batches of brass nowadays, but would recommend either as they do seem to be bullet proof. Keeping extra belts is a must though as they don't seem to last as long as they used to.
 

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I have used the vibratory and tumbling type and there are some differences between the two.
Vibratory cleaners are slower and noisier than a tumbler but they are cheaper. The vibratory tumbler seems to spread more dust.
I use a Frankford Arsenal tumbler that is commonly used with steel pins and water. I use it dry with walnut media that I buy from the local feed and grain store in 25 pound bags for $15. Soap and water with steel pins cleans and polishes like new but takes longer and adds steps to the process I don't want to mess with. I caT
I have used the vibratory and tumbling type and there are some differences between the two.
Vibratory cleaners are slower and noisier than a tumbler but they are cheaper. The vibratory tumbler seems to spread more dust.
I use a Frankford Arsenal tumbler that is commonly used with steel pins and water. I use it dry with walnut media that I buy from the local feed and grain store in 25 pound bags for $15. Soap and water with steel pins cleans and polishes like new but takes longer and adds steps to the process I don't want to mess with. I can clean several hundred rounds of brass in an hour and a half and be loading them.
All the different types work and you need to choose what you are willing to put up with and how much clean you need.
GK: I too have a Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler w/ SS pins (pins will last forever),
Not sure why it "takes longer" (other than drying) as I can do 1500 9mm's in one hour. Yes there is the time to separate the SS media (shaker and magnet works great and takes 5 mins max) and drying time; which is not an issue unless you need them immediately.
The simple pin separation step is worth it for not having to deal with the walnut dust, or putting corn cob media in to try to collect the dust - both of which don't give you as clean a case
IMO: If you plan on doing a lot of brass and a number of years - pay the extra for the SS media tumbler.
From someone who vibrate dry media cleaned 30-40K brass for years w/ Pet Store walnut media.
 

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I have used the vibratory and tumbling type and there are some differences between the two.
Vibratory cleaners are slower and noisier than a tumbler but they are cheaper. The vibratory tumbler seems to spread more dust.
I use a Frankford Arsenal tumbler that is commonly used with steel pins and water. I use it dry with walnut media that I buy from the local feed and grain store in 25 pound bags for $15. Soap and water with steel pins cleans and polishes like new but takes longer and adds steps to the process I don't want to mess with. I can clean several hundred rounds of brass in an hour and a half and be loading them.
All the different types work and you need to choose what you are willing to put up with and how much clean you need.
 

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Oh, sorry.

I have a Lyman 1200 (?) I use corn cob mostly with a cap full off Flitz added periodically when it seems that it "takes longer" to get the job done. I don't really "change" it, just add to it as it seems I spill a lot. If it looks "black" I'll pitch it.

RJ
If you save your used clothes dryer wrinkle sheets and use one every time you clean your brass your media will last longer they some how attract the dirt in the media, just place it in the media bowl with your brass and media. change the sheet every time
 

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Bought a midway vibrator years ago and it's never let me down. It's such a simple mechanism that there's nothing to go wrong. But I don't use it to "clean" brass. It's only for polishing. I always wash dirty brass in a plastic bucket with dish soap after removing the primer and tumble afterwards. But realistically only about 10% of my brass gets tumbled because it has to be really bad looking before I will go to all the trouble to polish it. A tarnish doesn't affect the accuracy of the cartridge but I do try and make sure the spider webs are gone from the inside and any saw dust or contaminants such as that. I've found all kinds of things inside brass in 50+ years of reloading. 🤣
 

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If you save your used clothes dryer wrinkle sheets and use one every time you clean your brass your media will last longer they some how attract the dirt in the media, just place it in the media bowl with your brass and media. change the sheet every time
Yes, this works.
I used to use a bit of NuFinish car polish to the media as well
 

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Have used both. The wet tumbler with SS pins will truly clean brass, inside as well as outside. So if you pick up brass from ???, wet tumbling with pins, Dawn, and Lemishine will both clean and polish. Brass looks almost new.
Vibratory tumblers work fine if your brass just needs to be shined up. Definitely seems to be a difference depending on what media is used.
For those using the wet tumblers; get yourself an inexpensive toaster/convection oven, build a basket to fit out of 1/4" hardware cloth (screen). Works great on low to dry cases. Almost all of them have a built in timer. Also, it can do double duty if you cast your own bullets as a means to temper them without upsetting the spouse by using the oven in the kitchen.
 

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Brite clean is for "show", dull is for work.

RJ
 
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to this date,...no one has explained to me (factually) the difference between dull-clean and bright-shine brass.
Functionally, there is no difference.
When I was out of anything but Flitz, the cases came out sorta dull, but clean.
The only difference that makes a difference, is the wet tumbler with SS pins cleans primer pockets and the inside of the case. This probably makes less of a difference for someone that only uses brass they started with new. For those of us that clean up our outdoor, dirt floored ranges, cleaning the inside of the case matters.
But if they are clean and dull, that's ok. It's just so easy to add a bit of citric acid and get them shiny too.
 

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I built a tumbler using 4 pillow block bearings, two 5/8 steel shafts (covered with heater hose for traction) a used 1/4HP electric motor and two pulleys and a V belt. All mounted on a piece of 3/4" plywood. I built it 40 years ago. It's still going strong. I use 1 gallon steel paint cans on it with treated corn cob media. It holds two 1 gallon cans. Timer ? I load the brass in the cans in the evening and empty them the next morning. It'll out last me.
 

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Just the p\reverse nature of shooters....spend the $ for a "dull" rifle, but then spend the time/effort for "bling" brass.

Clean does count...shinny doesn't.
 

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I built a tumbler using 4 pillow block bearings, two 5/8 steel shafts (covered with heater hose for traction) a used 1/4HP electric motor and two pulleys and a V belt. All mounted on a piece of 3/4" plywood. I built it 40 years ago. It's still going strong. I use 1 gallon steel paint cans on it with treated corn cob media. It holds two 1 gallon cans. Timer ? I load the brass in the cans in the evening and empty them the next morning. It'll out last me.
Sounds like a very sweet set-up, MacGyver
 

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to this date,...no one has explained to me (factually) the difference between dull-clean and bright-shine brass.
Something to consider in this conversation:
What type of brass case is used for most Law Enforcement and ALL Home Defense?
Nickle plated.
Why?
Because they look pretty? Maybe, but no
Because they can sell them for more? Maybe, but no
Because they are easier to find in the dark or if dropped on the ground? Maybe, but no.
Because they provide less resistance in the mag, while feeding into the chamber, while ejecting?
Yes, We have a winner.

Slipperier brass potentially causes less malfunctions.
What %?
I can't say, may be non-negligible; however, how many FTF's do you want when you really need them to go Bang, Bang, Bang?
On the brass 'slippery' scale: Nickle-plated, Shiny, Dull, Dirty
 

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Something to consider in this conversation:
What type of brass case is used for most Law Enforcement and ALL Home Defense?
Nickle plated.
Why?
Because they look pretty? Maybe, but no
Because they can sell them for more? Maybe, but no
Because they are easier to find in the dark or if dropped on the ground? Maybe, but no.
Because they provide less resistance in the mag, while feeding into the chamber, while ejecting?
Yes, We have a winner.

Slipperier brass potentially causes less malfunctions.
What %?
I can't say, may be non-negligible; however, how many FTF's do you want when you really need them to go Bang, Bang, Bang?
On the brass 'slippery' scale: Nickle-plated, Shiny, Dull, Dirty
One downside though, seating jacketed bullets in them adds another step or two or three: Cases must be chamfered, must seat bullet, then crimped in a separate operation I like the way they look, but they're a PITA loading jacketed pistol bullets
 

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I've only used one 'case cleaner", a tumbler style, and it works great. An old rock polishing tumbler I 'borrowed' from my father's basement. This thing has to be from the '60's - an old style electric motor with a tiny v-belt driving a reduction gear case all housed in a green sheet metal box, and then a shaft coming out spinning an orange silicone coated octagonal shaped rock box - ever seen one? ... I didn't think so ... I use Dillon walnut and their polish, usually run around 150 .45ACP cases for about an hour - plenty clean enough to reload. If this thing broke or I needed to do volume I think I would consider the industrial vibratory ones I see mentioned, and without reading the details too much I'm not sure I would want to add steps of drying cases - just want to get them out of the machine, shake off media and move on ..
 

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One downside though, seating jacketed bullets in them adds another step or two or three: Cases must be chamfered, must seat bullet, then crimped in a separate operation I like the way they look, but they're a PITA loading jacketed pistol bullets
I don't reload them, but sell the NP brass at a premium to those who like them.
Your point/info is good, we're straying away from the topic a tad.
 
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