Putting live ammo in a tumbler

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  • 40Arpent

    TGT Addict
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    Jul 16, 2008
    Is it safe to put live, brass-cased, FMJ rifle ammo in a tumbler to remove minor surface corrosion from the case?

    Bullseye Shooter

    Active Member
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    Apr 28, 2008
    Texas Panhandle
    This has been batted around on some of the other forums. The major ammunition manufacturers tumble their ammo after it has been loaded and before they put it in the boxes for sale, so for them, it appears not to be a problem.
    I accidentally tumbled a live .38 Special round in my rotary tumbler and it shot just fine.
    Granted, if you rotary tumbled something long enough, the powder might break down slightly and the burn rate might change.
    If you're talking about a vibrating tumbler, it should not be a problem.


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    May 6, 2008
    Out here by the lake!
    Yes, I am talking about a vibrating tumbler. Baboon, now that that is clarified, do you still oppose it?

    Thanks to both of you for your responses.

    Yes I still do. Powder come in different forms with different burn rates. I'm sure the manufacturers know what they are doing, but regular guys don't. Hell you take a slow burn rate tumble it & it becomes a fast burn rate then what? Do you really want to seize up a gun? Blow up a gun?.

    I've shot some really grimy surplus mostly out of Evil Black Guns over the years with no problems. If the ammo was that nasty that your afraid it wont chamber or eject you must have a gun with a vary tight chamber why risk it.

    Ever think about the ammo that old cowboys had on their gun belt loops out in the weather & becoming green from reacting to the leather? You think that was their concern?

    You can do what you want, but I would never do it personally.


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    Jul 16, 2008
    What would the purpose be other than making it shiny before you shot it?

    I want to increase the burn rate of the powder for more Zombie killing power.

    There was no functional purpose, I just wanted to experiment, but didn't want to harm the ammo. So, the real answer to your question is "nothing other than making it shiney before I shot it." ;)
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