Have you ever come across a cartridge case of a bullet? The shiny copper-colored brass metal with its attractive look makes almost everybody want to own a firearm, isn’t it? However, this shine of the brass is not something that comes naturally to that metal. A chamber of a bullet or the cartridge case, as we say, goes through a pre-manufacturing wash.
But why is washing a metal, which eventually will end up having inflammable primers inside it needed to be washed, right?
Here is the answer to the question, the brass metal is an alloy made of zinc and copper in different proportions and hence has impurities and dust stuck on the surfaces. In order to eliminate such impurities so that the primers inside the chamber would burn properly in order to provide the perfect pressure for the projectile, a thorough wash of the metal, after molding it into the shape of the chamber is needed. The process of washing is considered as the last step of the pre-manufacturing process, after that, the chamber is filled with primer (at the rim-end) and the bullet at the neck of the chamber is installed. Washing the metals removes the dust (produced during the manufacture) in the chamber inside out and smoothens the surfaces giving it a very shiny, yellowish look.
Now the next question that arises would be that how would one choose the product that can be used to wash these chambers properly? Moreover, how to determine which product would be efficient enough to provide a cost-effective purchase?
So, before we discuss different products that can be a best-suited purchase for a customer, we should determine what would be the important things that are to be kept in mind before making any such purchase.
- Can the product be efficient enough to handle mass production?
- Can the product maximize its efficiencies?
- Will they be durable enough?
- Are they cost-effective and pocket friendly?
- Would the product consume my valuable time? (because being stuck with just one task in today’s times is a strict no-no!)
- Will the product start producing defects after some time?
- Will the product consume a huge space in my living area and would need an extra set-up?
There can be many such questions that may arise regarding the product because, anybody nowadays, before investing in any product observes the ease that the product offers regarding its usage. Nobody wants any product that would invade their personal space and routine. Hence, the solution to this is simple, use wet tumblers!
A wet tumbler, as we know by now is used to clean brass. However, there are various types of tumblers ranging from the ultrasonic tumbler to the vibrational tumbler to the rotatory tumbler among which, the rotatory tumbler is the top-grossing and trending tumbler that is available in the market. Why? Well, this very product fulfills almost all the criteria we stated as questions above.
Let me now discuss a little bit about how the wet rotating tumbler works, the compact tumbler that can fit even on your tabletop has two opening chambers, one for washing your brass and another for disposing of the wastes that are produced during the wash. Using this tumbler is very easy as all you have to do is put the cartridge cases inside the tumbler and pour some water and a reliable detergent or soap powder into it. The tumbler comes with a stand that resembles a Weiss, and you can mount the tumbler on it and set the rotating speed.
So, this was the basic knowledge of almost how every tumbler works with some variations depending on the manufacturing company.
Let us move on to discussing 7 best wet tumblers that are available in the market and their specifications.
- Frankford Arsenal Series of Rotating Tumblers:- with a rating of 4.7 out of 5, this rotating tumbler is used for cleaning and polishing the brass. This tumbler has a total capacity of 7 liters and can house upto1,000 brass of the size .223 at a time.
- The drivetrain is maintenance-free, which means the belt need not be replaced every now and then
- The built-in timer helps the tumbler to run for three hours allowing it to shut off automatically. The timer is however adjustable and the user can adjust the timing that is needed for the wash (just like a washing machine timer!)
- Additional stainless steel media will not be required and the brass can be washed using just some water and a solution that can potentially clean brass.
- The product makes almost a very minimal noise because of the noise dampening rubber.
- It has a dual drum structure so that you don’t have to turn it around every time.
- dimensions= 16*15*11 inches (i.e 2.2 lbs)
- The tumbler comes in a combo pack which includes a cleaning solution by Frankford arsenal brass cleaning and 5 pounds of 304 stainless steel media.
What’s interesting about this product is that it gives a shiny new look to the brass and works much faster than a vibrational tumbler or an ultrasonic tumbler. The stainless steel media when immersed into a liquid bath, gets the brass much cleaner and the pins easily penetrate inside the cases and the primer pockets to provide the case with a thorough clean-up.
The customer’s reviews state that this tumbler has given excellent results and they are very happy about it, the tumbler can clean thousands of cases and still has it’s strength and durability maintained even after such continuous use. The brass looks almost as new and that once this product is used, one will never switch back to the vibratory tumbler again. The construction of this product is very solid and can hold a large capacity of brass.
The only limitations to this product as stated was that it takes a little more work to load and reload the brass and the separating compartments are a little too big for the .9mm brass as they slip through the compartment onto the other side (which obviously is a little inconvenient)
However, this tumbler is one of the state of the art designed for the best results.
- Lyman 7631550 cyclone rotatory tumbler 115V:- A bit more trendy looking and compact tumbler model, this tumbler has a Weiss along with a time adjustment regulator. This enables to you the ease of setting the time of wash as per your needs and convenience. The cardinal part of this tumbler is its powerful belt-driven electric motor whose quiet operation and easy maintenance adds up to its reliable nature. The belt-driven motor can bear an increased capacity of the load which sets a hallmark for this very model of the tumbler.
- The large capacity drums hold up to 1000 pieces of .223 brass
- Has a protective rubber lining to protect the brass cases.
- Produces significantly lower noise during operation.
- The built-in timer can be set between 0-3 hours and it shuts off automatically.
- The stainless steel media can clean the areas in the chamber which even a corn-cob or nutshell cannot reach.
- Unlike vibratory tumblers, the rotating tumbler can reach the primer areas and cleans them thoroughly.
- The dimensions of the stainless steel are accurately made for the purpose of a thorough cleaning.
- The dual sifter system gives a huge advantage than any other tumbler as it gives a very easy separation technique for the stainless steel media from the brass cases.
- The two pans that are provided with the model helps in separating the liquid the cases and the media from each other, do you know what that means? No more messy sink and the extra work.
The product in total weigh for about 10 pounds and the dimensions are 15*10.5*12.5 (inches). The interesting part about this model is, as we saw above that it can wash up to 1000 cases of the size .223mm, which means that, for the cases of size .9mm 1500 cases can be washed at one time and the perks of washing the small cases is, it would never penetrate through the separating channels. The wattage of the motor is 80w. According to the reviews obtained by the customer, they stated that the unpacking and the set-up were easiest. However, it was also stated that the capacity of housing the cases to be cleaned absolutely properly is 800 with a reasonable amount of room left for tumbling, however, the separating channels were one of the most comforting feature of this tumbler. Keeping in mind that every drawback comes with a solution of its own, this tumbler does its job right and efficiently. So, investing in this very product would not go in vain.
- Hornady 050220 rotatory brass tumbler:- This tumbler is very compact and can fit into any place on your platform near the sink. With a color combination of black and red, the tumbler looks are escalated. The Weiss of the tumbler has a digital pad that is used to set timer digitally. The rating given to this product by its users is 4.5 out of 5 and is sold by various other sellers too, and guess what? No matter who the seller is, the authenticity of the product is maintained to its fullest. The features of this product are as follows:-
- The or the power consumed by the tumbler is 110V
- And the capacity to which it can hold the media is 5 lbs.
- The drum/bowl capacity of the product is 5 lbs too.
- The drum is lined with 6-quart rubber along with a digital timer.
- The lid is a quick seal compression lid and the motor is cooled down by the fan.
- The product comes with a cartridge case solution.
- One excellent feature of this product is that the timer can be set for up to eight hours using the digital timer (half-hour increment is done with the timer).
As the reviews speak for the product, the tumbler is very silent and some of the customers claimed to not have any special solution for washing the brass cases yet with some normal metal cleaner, they were able to get the best results.
What’s more to it is that the tumbler is designed in such a way that even if any liquid or water is leaked, the tumbler will not be affected or damaged.
This tumbler ranges towards a bit higher side but investing in this product will not go in vain.
- Lyman pro-1200 wet tumbler:- Lyman pro tumbler is a small compact and a round-shaped tumbler having a very attractive look. Some more features of this tumbler are as follows:-
- It can wash up to 350 cases per cycle increasing its productivity.
- The sifter lid helps in separating media and hence adds to the cost-effectiveness of the product.
- It speeds up the cleaning procedure without compromising with the end results. the cases will still shine like a new one.
- A case separation tool is not needed because there is already a rubber feet and a rubber lid.
- To avoid the risk of the motor overheating, thermal protection is provided.
- The capacity can extend up to 2 pounds.
- This tumbler washes the cases in such a way that the oxidation is completely removed.
So if you are looking for a very cost-effective wet tumbler, this would be the best choice.
- Lyman pro magnum tumbler:- from the few products discussed above, the tumbler’s washing efficiency was only stated for cases of either very large size or small sizes. The only dilemma was, where do we wash the mid-sized cases? Hence, Lyman pro magnum tumbler is a perfect solution for this dilemma. How? Well, let us browse through some points:-
- The cases of size .38 can be washed along with the large-sized cases.
- Its dome-like design is specially made for high volume reloaders.
- The tumbler can handle up to 1000 cases at one time.
- It’s long life and durability is because of it’s advanced drive system which also ensures fast cleaning.
One drawback that is stated by a user is that the tumbler is not suitable for lead-styphnate primers. However, the rest of the users have stated how convenient it has been for them to use this product.
- Hengwei roller polishing machine:- the interesting part about this tumbler is that it can even wash the pieces of jewelry, the wattage of this tumbler is 45 watt and the voltage used is 110V. This is slightly different from how the other tumblers work. This tumbler uses stainless steel shots this product does not have a specific detergent or solution that is used to clean the piece of metal. The chamber of the tumbler is transparent which enables the user to keep a vigilance upon the metals while it’s being cleaned. The dimensions of the glass barrel 5.9’’*5.9’’ and the dimension of the entire product are 9’’*7’’*3.9’’. The tumbler can even polish materials like rocks, coins, stones, and many other things. The processing time, however, for this tumbler is a little high because of its compact design and smaller dimensions. The tumbler can wash about 6 pounds of brass in two or three turns. The Weiss of the tumbler has a timer on which the user can set the time needed to wash the brass and the rotation of the tumbler is bi-directional. This feature of the tumbler enables a thorough wash. In total, the product weighs 3kgs and is very compact and easy to use with a 5 speeds control system.
- KT-6808 MIN TUMBLER:- this tumbler is the same version of the Henwei roller polishing machine, the only difference being, the design is a bit more compact than the other model of this very product. The difference in size means that the weight bearing capacity will slightly be less than the other tumbler that we discussed earlier. The voltage consumed by the product is 220V and the tumbler is capable of washing rocks, coins, brass, or any such metals and as a result, a very shiny metal will be obtained. There is no specific kind of detergent used for the washing process, however, the detergent helps in cooling the tumbler down when it is heated extensively which lessens the chances of any damage in the product due to over-heating. The process of washing, just like the previous model of the tumbler, takes time but the end result is very satisfactory as the luster of the metal is the only need that we want to gain by this product. The product comes with a warranty of 1 year which means that if a user faces any kind of problem with the product, the issues can be resolved to the soonest possible time. The drum size and the diameter of the tumbler are 15cm and the rotation of the tumbler is bi-directional. Hence, the product gives you value for money and is easy to use.
- Rebel 17 professional kit:- this rugged looking rotatory tumbler can house up to 6 pounds of materials including the stainless steel media. This stainless steel media helps with the polishing of the metal and giving it a perfect shine from the outside and a thorough clean from the insides of the cartridge cases. The product has a heavy-duty sealed ball bearings and the seams of the product are efficiently welded. And the capacity to which it can bear tumbling is 6 pounds.
With this, we come to an end of the product descriptions of the wet rotatory tumblers. The process of cleaning and tumbling the brass cases in all the tumblers were found to be time taking and the time taken was relatedly similar for all the products, these tumblers will, however, help to keep the metals to have an improved quality for a very long time, the cost of inventory would be low, these tumblers would also help in reducing the operating costs, along with a very quiet and low sound environment around the working space.