Tumbling loaded ammo?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by grizlywinkleman, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. grizlywinkleman

    grizlywinkleman Well-Known Member

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    Anyone ever do it? Can it be done?

    Thanks,

    Ryan
     
  2. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    don't do it
     

  3. retiredcpo

    retiredcpo Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt
     
  4. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest a rotary tumbler with the stainless steel pins(firing pins) and no water. It would be rest to run it on a timer and be long gone!

    I honestly thought about it at one time. I think the best case scenerio would be that you probably do things to the powder that would dramatically change the way it performs. The burn rate of powder is partially determined by the coatings on the granuals. If you happened to break a significant number of the pellets there would be much more surface area as a whole and all the "new" surfaces would not have the coatings to slow thier ignition rates.

    It seemed like a better idea to get a rag and a little rubbing compound and shine the cases back up. I hate the fact the loaded stuff tarnishes up..... guess we need to shoot them faster!
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    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.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Stormrider

    Stormrider Well-Known Member

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    This is from an old thread on: Is it Ok to polish live ammo in a tumbler? - THR

    So at least one (and I think most likely, all) manufacturer(s) polish loaded ammo.


    [quotel]Ten_X_Ammo
    September 19, 2005, 10:14 PM
    I can attest that we too have been tumbling live ammo for about 30 years, without incedent. There has been an issue on a decapping machine once, before I was even born, and of course you can't avoid the occasional primer pop in an ammo load when you run millions of rounds a year. We tumble litterally millions of rounds a year, live, without incident.

    You have to of course tumble them with the proper amout of product, walnut shell, corn cob or what have you. If not, you may end up with more tiny dents in larger cases (45-70) than you would like.

    Remember that rounds like 9mm and such have a small volume inside the case the ISN'T filled with powder. Powder is SO light and HARD that I could not possibly see it breaking itself down with just a slight area to move in. I mean, you would probably have to shake a half full keg VERY hard for quite a while to develop a sufficient amount of wear on the powder to matter.

    I suppose if I HAD to worry about something, it would be with a long grained powder. The would tend, based totally on physics to break more easily than a typical ball powder. Obviously if one grain struck another right in its center with its own tip, it would potentially have enough of a 'lever arm' to snap the other grain.

    I would say, if you are tumbling slowly enough, with enough 'polising compound' you will be more than fine. No need to be turning ammo at 1800 RPM if you know what i mean! :D[/quote]
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    More 'dont's' than 'do's'....

    I've been tunbling my loaded match .223's for years after loading to remove all traces of lube and make 'em pretty. before boxing in cartridge boxes.

    Never been a problem.

    I only tumble them (in treated cob) for about 15 minutes, dump the cob and box 'em.

    At the range I always get comments on how good my loads look and they perform just like they look.

    I don't believe I'd use a rotary (Thumblers Tumbler) just a vibrating bowl type.

    I'm still here......:D
     
  8. Trental

    Trental Well-Known Member

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    If vibration was so detrimental to powder function we wouldn't be able to ship ammo or drive with it in our cars.

    Test it for yourself. Tumble some dummy rounds for say... 12 hours. Then pull the bullet and examine the powder. This has been done and done. Google it.

    I tumble live ammo after processing it through my progressive press to remove case lube. I have no fears what so ever of it affecting my powder.
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Depends entirely on whether the vehicle has square tires or is driven on Michigan (potholed) roads......:)

    I never knew why Monroe Shock Absorber was located in Monroe County, Michigan until I mover here. The colunty is a test track for shock life......
     
  10. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Commercial manufacturers do it. I never have, don't see the need but I wouldn't be
    afraid to do it for a short time. If I have old ammo that is tarnished I spin them in a cordless and use steel wool. If I see any corrosion I pull them apart. A stuck bullet can
    stretch the case neck into the throat and drive pressures off the charts. I tumble before
    loading to get the lube off.
     
  11. Trental

    Trental Well-Known Member

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    Tough to do in a progressive press though.
     
  12. elkoholic72

    elkoholic72 Well-Known Member

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    I too have tumbled loaded ammo on several occasions without any problems. I was a bit apprehensive ond overly cautious the first time i did it(ran an extension cord to my tumbler into my cerakote oven which is actually an ond safe) and ran it for an hour. Then I talked to a ammo maker that told me it was a common industry practice at one time.

    Ben
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  13. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    For the guys that have tumbled and then checked the powder..... Have you done that with stick and ball powder? Did you notice any difference?
     
  14. TikkaShooters

    TikkaShooters Official LRH Sponsor

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    I tried it few years ago and ended up with media in my meplats that could not be removed.

    The rounds did look good but were highly inaccurate.