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tumbling after reloading?

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While reading my Midway ad (e-mail) today I was looking at the feedback on case lubes...one responder said that after reloading his cases he tumbled them to get the lube off the outside of the cases. This doesn't sound safe to me on first thought but just getting into metallic loading after 30 yrs.r so I thought I'd pose the question here. Is it safe?

JB=Jerry Beach

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I've done it for years with my IPSC fodder. When I first tried it, I also chrono'd stuff that was un-tumbled, as well as lots that had been tumbled for 15-20 minutes (which is all I've found I really need to remove Dillon case lube), as well as lots that were tumbled for an hour, and found no statistically-significant variation in velocities or SD's, which tells me that nothing's happening to the powder/coating in the process...

Just don't go nuts (like leaving it tumbling overnight - ahem) and you should be fine...

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This topic is like asking "Chevy or Ford' ... 1/2 the world swears it's dangerous and the other half has been doing it since god was a boy. In practice, as above noted, how does all the Win and Rem arrive so clean? Further, what's going to happen if one did ignite in the tumbler? It's not in a contained pressure vessel....maybe the case would scoot off an inch - the bullet being a bunch heavier, won't go anywhere.

Many that frown upon the practice are concerned that the tumbling will alter the detonation control characteristics of the powder grains - the coating agents and carefully designed shape. Some years back, a fellow on THR did a reasonably well controlled test by tumbling batches of round for 1 hr, 2 hrs, 4 hrs....1 week and 2weeks. Shot them all over a chrono and found no statistically significant differences.

I tumble all lead rounds to get the bullet lube that oozed out off...20 minutes in decently clean (use a couple of dryer sheets) walnut works fine. Haven't needed to tumble metallic loaded.


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I tumbled many pistol rounds for many years with no problems. I never tumbled rifle ammo (with pointy bullets) however.

When I learned to lube with Hornady's One Shot Case Lube, I stopped tumbling it off. And never had any problems from leaving on the lube.

And now and then, if for some reason I really wanted to quickly remove some lube from a batch of ammo, I used the Brake Cleaner / old towel trick. I never had a problem from doing that either. Just don't flood the ammo with the Brake Cleaner. Pour the ammo on one end of the towel, mist a little Break Cleaner on the other end of the towel, lay it over on the ammo and rub it around a bit. Works great.


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I tumble all my rifle and pistol ammo...used to wipe the off one at a time <_<

I am WAY too lazy to do that anymore.

On hollow points...I box them bullet up...and use compresed air to remove any corn cob from the bullets.

This process makes real nice looking ammo.


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