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Possible to over tumble brass?


Malarky112
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Just curious if it’s possible to tumble brass so long it makes it unsafe or unusable? 
 

I’m mainly talking dry tumble with walnut but curious about any other methods too. 
 

Example, you start your tumbler then forget and let it go for 24 hours? 3 days? Leave for vacation and come back 2 weeks later? 
 

 

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Many, many years ago while touring RCBS, they showed an area where tumblers were tested - to the extreme.  They did not show me the cases, but said that they were destroyed.  

 

Since it is an abrasive process, I expect there was wear through the case wall, along with rounding or elimination of the rim.  

 

I don't recall the exact time they said, but I think it was months rather than a couple of weeks.

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Have over tumbled overnight. The only problem I encounter is that the inside of the case is so clean, it drags on the powder funnel on my Dillon press. There needs to be some lubricant, be it case lube or carbon residue, on the inside so it doesn't drag on the powder funnel.

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had a midway tumbler,, with walnut,, put brass in turned on,,   Got deployed,,, 6 months later was still running,, brass was nice and shiny,,, every thing in garage was coated with walnut dust.
They didn't warn you you were going?
This may be the funniest thing I've read in a while.

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was RDF, ( rapid deployment force) was a big joke, load us on C 5's  fly around,,, come home,,, well one time we didnt come home. didnt know I was going to war till Platoon Sargent started passing out live ammo on plane.

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1 hour ago, Joe4d said:

had a midway tumbler,, with walnut,, put brass in turned on,,   Got deployed,,, 6 months later was still running,, brass was nice and shiny,,, every thing in garage was coated with walnut dust.

Damn dude I was talking hypothetical but this is as real as it gets!  Did you load and use the brass? And thanks for your service! 

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I have never had a problem letting cases tumble overnight or longer in a vibratory tumbler with walnut media. 

 

But if wet tumbling with stainless steel media and tumbling too long you will get case mouth peening.

 

Below on the left a .243 case wet tumbled overnight, it had been trimmed and deburred and the case mouth is now badly peened. The case on the right is right out of the factory bag and shows the effect of factory tumbling.

 

CIxnlIW.jpg

 

Below a .44 Special case that was wet tumbled for less than one hour. And you can see the effects of the cases hitting the case mouth and the dents.

 

After this I bought a sonic cleaner, no dust, no media stuck in the primer pockets and no case mouth peening.

 

EYdJ5Ye.jpg

Edited by bigedp51
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I wonder how long it would take to over polish brass?  I've left dirty brass in the tumbler for hours and I've never had an issue.  I even tumble loaded rounds after I load them since I use case lube.  

Stick, I use case lube as well but I process brass, then tumble to remove lube, then load after that. I had some rifle brass that I didn’t get all of the lube out of the inside before and I had powder sticking to the case walls. Is this not a problem with pistol cases?


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4 hours ago, looking4reloadingdeals said:


Stick, I use case lube as well but I process brass, then tumble to remove lube, then load after that. I had some rifle brass that I didn’t get all of the lube out of the inside before and I had powder sticking to the case walls. Is this not a problem with pistol cases?


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How are you lubing the cases?  I spray the lube into a large bag, wait a few seconds, then add the cases to the bag.  I do the same with rifle.  I've never had that problem.  How much lube are you using?

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I've wet tumbled dirty outdoor pickup brass for hours with Brass Juice, or detergent and a couple Vitamin C tablets(ascorbic  acid).   Normally do 90 min.  No pins, so no hard/soft metal interaction.  No problems with major peening. Any sharp case edges are smooth as expected.  I would think using a true expander plug,  with a step dia., and not just a basic flare  would clean any peening off the ID of the rim anyway.   I'm loading .358 coated bullets in 9mm with no issues,  can't see a ring from the crimp on pulled bullets.  When I did more precision rifle reloads (.22-.250) I trimmed/reamed cases after cleaning so wouldn't matter much anyway.    I also have a large Branson ultrasonic cleaner with heated tub I use for other things,  like motorcycle engine parts,  but the throughput compared to the FART is much less, and it's more of a hassle.

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