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Tumbling live ammo

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Ironbar, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably going to take some heat for this, but I have officially crossed over into the camp that believes that tumbling live ammo is no big deal. The reason for this switch is the last two shipments of Greek HXP .30-06 I received from CMP.

    Both batches were on the older side, especially the shipment from December. It was primarily 60's vintage, and while it had the usual age tarnish, it also had a somewhat tacky feel to it. As if sitting in one place for decades had attracted a muck to the outside of the cases. I'm probably being a mother hen to my pristine Garand, but I wasn't totally comfortable running it through. So I went searching for info, and ran across this piece posted a few years back on ar15.com:

    Tumble live ammo Tumbler O' thruth EXTREME edition, 200hour torture test**UPDATE**fired rounds in OP - AR15.COM

    This guy did an extreme torture test of tumbling live ammo for 205 hours. He used a microscope camera to record the pre and post test results on the powder itself. Well, I'll let you see what he came up with and decide for yourself.

    Suffice to say, the HXP ammo I've tumbled is now clean as a whistle, and the tacky residue has been eliminated. I'm pretty sure they'll all go bang.
     
  2. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    People from the Dillon shop recommend tumbling ammo to remove excess lube. Check their forum here:

    Removing Case Lube?
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Thats because it is no big deal.
     
  4. Phrank

    Phrank Forest Grove Active Member

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    Yep, do it whenever necessary, never worried about it. Welcome to the club. :thumbup:
     
  5. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I've bought a couple of 223Rem Black Hill blue box ammo, and it is pretty obvious it has been tumbled.
     
  6. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    I remember back when I thought "bullet-pullers" was a practical joke........:huh:

    X2 on ask & welcome; resistance is futile.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. bmgm37

    bmgm37 Coos Bay Active Member

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    Yep I do the same...
     
  8. kburr64

    kburr64 Milwaukie, Or. Member

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    Would it be necessary to seal the primers first ? :dunno:
     
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Seal them from what? If high pressure gas can not get out when you shoot it what is going to get in when you tumble it?
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  10. kburr64

    kburr64 Milwaukie, Or. Member

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    My bad , let me pull my head out. I was thinking sonic cleaning, not media tumbling.......... :banghead:
     
  11. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Will the powder granules inside the case breakdown with excessive tumbling and change the burn rate?
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    From the OP,

    "Tumble live ammo Tumbler O' thruth EXTREME edition, 200hour torture test**UPDATE**fired rounds in OP - AR15.COM

    This guy did an extreme torture test of tumbling live ammo for 205 hours. He used a microscope camera to record the pre and post test results on the powder itself. Well, I'll let you see what he came up with and decide for yourself. "
     
  13. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well OK! I guess we're all on the same page then, LOL!
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If that were the case the military could never ferry ammo to the troops in the field via helicopter. What about air dropping it as well?


    Tumbling finished ammo doesn't involve any real amount of time. Most that I know only do so for about 10-15 minutes max. If the brass was clean to begin with, just how dirty do you think it gets while loading? Lube and fingerprints are about it.
     
  15. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Final`step for all my reloads is one last pass through the tumbler before they are bagged up.
     
  16. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    I wonder about damage to the soft points? That has been the only reason I have never done it.
    Silver Hand
     
  17. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I have tumbled thousands of rounds of reloaded rifle and pistol rounds with no ill effects.
     
  18. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    You can tumble ammo... it's pretty common in the commercial setting, however the danger with tumbling live ammo is one cartridge can hit the primer of another hard enough to set it off. Sounds silly I know, but I've seen it happen. Then again, just putting ammo in bags can also cause the same thing to happen (seen that cause explosions, however no one got hurt..)
     
  19. digital0ne

    digital0ne Portland, OR New Member

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    So I'm wondering if rim-fire would be as stable as center-fire... I purchased 2100rds of the Federal bargain 22LR and it seems to have a waxy residue all over it. Would throwing this in a tumbler A) remove the waxy junk or B) blow up?
     
  20. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    That wax is a chemical metal preservative to keep the surface from oxidizing... unless it actually causes a problem, leave it.

    Other thing you can do is take a rag, put a tiny amount of nail polish remover on it, and wipe the rounds down. (I MEAN TINY AMOUNT!!!)

    In general, you're probably going to be ok tumbling rimfire... however just remember the main reason why most large caliber cartridges got away from rimfire was if you dropped one of the bigger rimfire rounds, they had a tendancy to go off. .22 has become mostly immune from that because of it's light weight.