Tumbler Suggestions

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by John Ryder, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. John Ryder

    John Ryder Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    I had someone who was willing to prep all my cases but that is no more, they always screwed something up so it's the old, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

    I need a tumbler that can handle 12-15K worth of brass a year. I was thinking about a Dillon CV-2001 but don't know if there is a machine better suited or???

    Any suggestions?
  2. grainfed

    grainfed Active Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    John..........After buying my LNL, tons of brass and primers, I researched tumblers. I settled on the LARGE Harbor Freight tumbler. I'm not sure how much brass that thing will hold but it's a beast and has worked it's butt off for 18 months. It's the 18 lb. model. I can put hundreds of cases in it and it's only half full. I use walnut with Dillon's polish for a few hours and they're good as new. It was $150 list but got it for $125..............


    Here is a shot. I went to Home Depot and bought the large round wooden top and drilled the center for the post. The weight and oversized aspect allows the tumbler to run much quieter. The stock lid was somewhat flimsy.

    Nice and ready............


    And my nickel supply......


    The top..........


    If this one ever went south, I'd buy another in a second but I don't see that happening for some years to come............

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

  3. Rod38um

    Rod38um Opinionated Shooter

    Oct 5, 2011
    I recently bought a Hornady M-2 I think most any vibratory cleaner would do 12 to 15K a year. The real question is how many do you want to do at once? The M-2 does well with 300 - 350, 45 ACP cases at a time. I've stuffed more in it and it did ok but I think thats pushing its capacity..... The M-2 is more quiet than my old Frankford Arsonal.... so much so, I forget its on occasionally. I dont have any experience with the Dillon model. I notice it has the wide mouth, that does make it easier to fill or dump. Its twice the price though. I'm sure someone on here must have that model.....
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  4. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    I think any tumbler will probably be good enough. I researched quite a bit on tumblers when I was getting started earlier this year. The Dillon got the best reviews, but was too expensive for me. I settled for the Lyman Turbo 1200. Some people said theirs lasted 20+ years, others said a few months. Mine hasn't cleaned much, but it seems like a solid tumbler.

    If you plan on cleaning a lot of brass a once, get a big tumbler that can handle it. I also use crushed walnuts. Don't feed into the "tumbler media" BS. It's way too expensive and probably doesn't even do a better job.

    Now...with that said, I'm talking strictly about dry...are you considering wet as well? If you're cleaning all rifle, I would HIGHLY suggest looking into stainless steel tumbler/media.
  5. John Ryder

    John Ryder Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions, looks like I have some thinking to do.

    I don't think I NEED a huge tumbler, I plan to clean about 1,000-1,200 cases a month so a bowl large enough for 300-400 would work best. I've plan to use walnut for my cleaning, though I have heard of people using rice, just takes a lot long. I wouldn't know but might give it a shot.

    I'm not reloading rifle right now since it isn't much of a save and can be a PITA anyway.
  6. 3Baers

    3Baers 1911 oldie

    Oct 9, 2011
    I'm new but I thought I'd jump in here. I've been reloading for 20 plus years and when I started out I bought a Dillion CV-500.
    It has been used every year to clean thousands of cases and is still going strong. I used it today to clean about 700 .45acp cases in one run.
    The unit has been trouble free and is still in great shape for a 20 plus year old tumbler. Dillion makes and sells first class stuff, it maybe a little more expensive on the front end but it is high quality and Dillion has outstanding after the sale service and support. I personallty think the CV-750 would suit your needs just fine and isn't but $15 more than the Harbour freight tumbler.
  7. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
  8. Rod38um

    Rod38um Opinionated Shooter

    Oct 5, 2011
    As far as media, everyone has an opinion. I've tried several different products; the walnut, the corncob, both dry and with polish. After being frustrated with occasionally adding too much polish, cleaning build up out of the tumbler or really long wait times for shiney brass, I finally tried Lyman media. It works dry so the brass vibrates like its supposed to. The Lyman Tufnut gets the worst stuff off and the Lyman corncob puts a beautiful shine on it. I use it in a 2 stage process. It lasts longer than anything else I have ever used and works better and faster. All of which makes the price worth it in the long run. If you get a chance, give it a try!
  9. 50GI-Jess

    50GI-Jess Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    I've found out, that if using wet cleaning first for about 10 min. and then regular media, then the media will almost last forever. I'm using Cabelas cheramic stones and Lemi Shine, and any quality media for the dry part. Looking forward to try that new Stainless Steel method.
  10. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    SS seems like the way to go for the best results, but of course it's wet. I've read that it's especially helpful in rifle, specifically in necked cases. Plus, it the SS media literally lasts forever.

  11. Bugs

    Bugs Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Always wondered how wet tumbling would work with "hard" well water. Here in SW FL our well water is like liquid rock. Also loaded with sulfur. It is so bad that I noticed pitting in the
    gelcoat of my flats boat where the sprinkler system was hitting it. Very corrosive, have had to replace faucets, dishwashers etc. every couple of years. I think I'll stick with dry media. For what it's worth I got a Berry's Tumbler for $49 delivered (on sale) and it works great.
  12. John Ryder

    John Ryder Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    I gave the wet tumbler a serious thought but decided on a Dillon 2001. It's awesome, I cleaned a little over 9,000 rounds this weekend.
  13. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Any of you guys use a rotary like an RCBS Sidewinder or the Thumler's brand?
  14. Gress

    Gress Don't need no education Supporting Addict

    Nov 21, 2011
  15. buyobuyo

    buyobuyo Member

    Aug 25, 2011
    I've been running one of the 5 pound Harbor Freight vibrating tumblers for the last 3 years or so. I load it with 3 pounds of walnut and 2-3 pounds of brass with a quartered used dryer sheet and a little NuFinish every once in a while. The dryer sheet collects dust/dirt and helps keep the media a little cleaner, and the NuFinish makes the brass nice and shiny. Also, with an appliance/light timer, you don't need to worry about forgetting about it, and it running forever.
  16. billt

    billt Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    I've been running the same Dillon Magnum FL-2000 tumbler since 1985. It is the earlier version of the big CV Model. The thing just won't quit. I can't even begin to estimate the amount of hours I've got on the thing. If and when it goes, I'll drive right over to Dillon and buy another. This is the last batch of .223 I cleaned in it, (2,500 rounds).

  17. Mt Airy

    Mt Airy New Member

    Feb 10, 2012
  18. billt

    billt Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    I've had one a long time as well. They make a good product. But they don't have enough capacity for the high volume reloader.
  19. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    Buy the dillon and never look back...I've run mine for literally thousands of hours and it is still going strong.
  20. BHP9

    BHP9 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    I've been running 3 Lyman tumblers.

    Turbo 1200 (27 years), a 2200 (that I picked up used and it's about 23 years old) and a Magnum 2500 (5 years).

    All are running very well and I bought the 2500 so that I can clean .338lm brass (100 cases fills it).

    For media, I use a 40/60 blend of Lyman Treated Corncob (green) and cornblast and add 1 used Bounce dryer sheet to the 1200 and 2 each to the others. It/they get changed with every tumbler load. They are there to help keep the media clean. When it take 4+ hours to clean the brass, I replace the media.

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