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Reloading Berger Bullets


Tumbling loaded ammo?

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Unread 01-19-2012, 09:27 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,241
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

I guess I would ask "WHY" ?

Prepare your brass before you load it and don't take a chance with changing burn rates.

Powder burn rates are controled by shape and size and the coating(A Stabilizer in most
cases) and changing that can be detrimental to the performance.

Think about how many times the case gets shook or tumbled in order to remove the patina/
corrosion on the outside of the brass.with an abrasive media. Powder is not subjected to this
amount of vibration in its lifetime of shipping and handling.

Media wears out with use and produces lots of dust in the process of tumbling and powder
will do the same. I'm sure that different powders will break down at different rates,So again
WHY take a chance.

We all have had different batches of the same powder burn at different rates and the formula
is the same for that particular powder so what has changed ? the shape,hole diameter,coating
thickness ETC.

So I a person wants to tumble or vibrate a loaded round ,It is his choice but common sense
alone should tell you it is not a good practice. It is best to error on the side of safety.

Enough said.

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Unread 01-19-2012, 09:48 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

Post #6 has the answer.

When I first heard that idea some 30 years ago, I too decided to err on the side of caution; that's never a bad thing to do. But then reason kicked in; I "tested" a few mixed cartridges - rifle/handgun - with different powders. Removed half after an hour, pulled the bullets and examined the powder, turned the tumbler back on and left the rest to run over night. Couldn't see any difference between the powders in either batch and new powders. Seems the action of my Lyman 1200 tumbler is was too gentle to damage my powders. YMMV.
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Unread 01-19-2012, 09:49 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Big Horn Basin, Wyoming
Posts: 4,335
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

Originally Posted by J E Custom View Post
As others have said "DONT DO IT"

If it needs to be cleaned use some steel wool and do them by hand.

The problem with tumbling loaded rounds is that it wears the powder down and produces a
fine dust that burns a lot faster than the original powder granules making the same ammo
very dangerous.(Higher pressure).

Shoot it like it is, and if it has corroded spots on it like lots of the old military ammo toss it
because it could fail and damage your chamber.

+1 on the steel wool! Very rarely do I even tumble at all. steel wool is easy, fast and gives it a cool "brushed" look

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
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Unread 01-19-2012, 09:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 410
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

Knew a guy that use to buy huge quantity of old Military ammo that would be green and grungy. He bought a cement mixer and would fill it half full of sand and then through in a bunch of this ammo. Stuff looked great when he finished with it and every now and then one would bang off and make the neighbors nervous. They even called the cops a few times but never did anything about it. Small town and he supplied the PD with their ammo. FREE.
He would then re-box the ammo and sell it at gun shows. One reason I never buy ammo at a gun show. Did this for years and the only complaint he had from his customers was you would end up with about 5 -10 duds in every box. Thus the reason he sold it cheap.
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Unread 01-19-2012, 10:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 4,120
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

I use H322-335 in my match rounds and I've not observed any change in accuracy or behavior in the handloaded rounds.

I use a single stage (Rockchucker) for loading, not that I progressive would make any difference. It's finished ammunition before storage....

I'll keep on with my procedure, works fine for me.

To each his (ir her) own.....
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Unread 01-19-2012, 11:25 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 420
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

I think that a lot of us wont tumble finished ammunition because it takes us back to the military surplus and rock tumbler days. I do not use this practice but honestly can not say that I never will. There are several reasons why I do not but on this subject if a guy wants to put his ammo in a wool sock and bury it under an Oak Tree during a full moon then go ahead and do it if it works!
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Unread 01-19-2012, 01:09 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: pabst, wisconsin
Posts: 72
Re: Tumbling loaded ammo?

The only reason I wanted to do it is because I have a box of about 70 rounds of some older ammo. I'm not the luckiest guy so I think I'll try the steel wool and try to clean them by hand, although I may do some experimenting and check before and after powder conditions out of curiosity.

Thanks for the plentiful help.

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