January 7th, 2019

Bargain Basement Brass Tumbling System — Under $60 Invested

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Super Clean Brass Without Breaking The Bank

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Sierra Bullets
Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

I recently purchased 1,000 rounds of once-fired 5.56 LC brass that was fully processed and ready to load. The brass had been wet tumbled, using stainless steel pins and looked great inside and out, including the primer pockets.

I had always used a vibrating tumbler with either corn cob or walnut media and I always thought my brass looked pretty good until I saw what the wet tumbling and pin combination did.

Being the budget minded reloader that I am, I started looking for a cheap way to wet tumble my brass using stainless steel pins. Harbor Freight had recently opened a store nearby and I had received coupons in the mail, one of the coupons was 20% off any one item.

So I headed for the Harbor Freight store and after roaming around for 20 minutes or so I found a dual drum rotary rock tumbler for $55.00 and thought it would do just fine for what I was planning. The drums are rather small and only have a 3 pound maximum load limit each, but I figured that was big enough for around 150 .223 cases or maybe 300 9MM cases at a time.

I pulled the wrinkled up coupon out of my pocket, paid, and walked out with my new $47.00 brass cleaning machine. I didn’t have any stainless steel pins and couldn’t find any locally. At our local hardware store I picked up some brass plated ½” finishing brads that I thought might work until I could get some pins ordered.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads (1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads (1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

When I got home, I started depriming .223 brass for my new toy, I mean brass tumbler. I deprimed 100 cases, put 50 in each drum, dropped a package of brads in each one, filled them ¾ of the way with water, gave each drum a small squirt of Dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of Lemi Shine. I sealed up the drums and fired up the tumbler.

After an hour and a half, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and had to see the results. The water was filthy but the cases were super clean, I couldn’t be happier. For a total investment of around $55.00, I can now get my cases looking almost new.

Here are the before and after pictures of my first run of brass:

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

I have since ordered two pounds of stainless steel pins, I put one pound in each drum. To be honest the brass really doesn’t look any better, but the pins don’t seem to get stuck inside of the cases near as bad as the brass-plated brads did.

Tip: Make sure to inspect your cases and look inside each case to ensure all of the brads/pins are removed.

Just lay the brass and brads/pins out on a towel and let them dry. Mine were dry after about 12 hours.

If you want your cases to look like new without breaking the bank, give it a try. You can’t clean 1000 at a time like the $200.00 tumbling machines that are made for specifically for brass, but this is a much cheaper alternative and the results speak for themselves. — Gary Prisendorf, Sierra Bullets

EDITOR: Actually you can get a machine for a whole lot less than $200.00! See the next paragraph.

Lyman Cylone Rotary Tumbler with Factory Rebate
Sierra’s Technician got his rotary tumbler and brass media for $55.00. For eighty bucks more that you can get a much better, higher-capacity system from Lyman. The Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler features a large, polymer drum that holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases. The kit includes media separation trays, plus five pounds of correct STAINLESS media. The Lyman Cyclone system costs $139.39 delivered from Amazon.

Yep you can get a complete Lyman Cyclone system WITH stainless media for under $140.00. To be honest we think that’s money well spent, compared to the “El Cheapo” Harbor Freight unit. The Lyman will run six times as many .223 Rem cases, be easier to operate, AND get the job done faster. We suspect long-term durability will be better with the Lyman tumbler as well.

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 22nd, 2017

Shiney Savings: Wet-Tumbling Cartridge Brass on a Tight Budget

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Super Clean Brass Without Breaking The Bank

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Sierra Bullets
Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

I recently purchased 1,000 rounds of once-fired 5.56 LC brass that was fully processed and ready to load. The brass had been wet tumbled, using stainless steel pins and looked great inside and out, including the primer pockets.

I had always used a vibrating tumbler with either corn cob or walnut media and I always thought my brass looked pretty good until I saw what the wet tumbling and pin combination did.

Being the budget minded reloader that I am, I started looking for a cheap way to wet tumble my brass using stainless steel pins. Harbor Freight had recently opened a store nearby and I had received coupons in the mail, one of the coupons was 20% off any one item.

So I headed for the Harbor Freight store and after roaming around for 20 minutes or so I found a dual drum rotary rock tumbler for $55.00 and thought it would do just fine for what I was planning. The drums are rather small and only have a 3 pound maximum load limit each, but I figured that was big enough for around 150 .223 cases or maybe 300 9MM cases at a time.

I pulled the wrinkled up coupon out of my pocket, paid, and walked out with my new $47.00 brass cleaning machine. I didn’t have any stainless steel pins and couldn’t find any locally. At our local hardware store I picked up some brass plated ½” finishing brads that I thought might work until I could get some pins ordered.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads(1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads (1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27). I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

When I got home, I started depriming .223 brass for my new toy, I mean brass tumbler. I deprimed 100 cases, put 50 in each drum, dropped a package of brads in each one, filled them ¾ of the way with water, gave each drum a small squirt of Dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of Lemi Shine. I sealed up the drums and fired up the tumbler.

After an hour and a half, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and had to see the results. The water was filthy but the cases were super clean, I couldn’t be happier. For a total investment of around $55.00, I can now get my cases looking almost new.

Here are the before and after pictures of my first run of brass:

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

I have since ordered two pounds of stainless steel pins, I put one pound in each drum. To be honest the brass really doesn’t look any better, but the pins don’t seem to get stuck inside of the cases near as bad as the brass-plated brads did.

Tip: Make sure to inspect your cases and look inside each case to ensure all of the brads/pins are removed.

Just lay the brass and brads/pins out on a towel and let them dry. Mine were dry after about 12 hours.

If you want your cases to look like new without breaking the bank, give it a try. You can’t clean 1000 at a time like the $200.00 tumbling machines that are made for specifically for brass, but this is a much cheaper alternative and the results speak for themselves. — Gary Prisendorf, Sierra Bullets

EDITOR: Actually you can get a machine for a whole lot less than $200.00! See the next paragraph.

Lyman Cylone Rotary Tumbler with Factory Rebate
Sierra’s Technician got his rotary tumbler and brass media for $55.00. For about twice that you can get a much better, higher-capacity system from Lyman. The Lyman Cyclone Rotary Tumbler features a large, polymer drum that holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases. The kit includes media separation trays, plus five pounds of correct STAINLESS media. The Lyman Cyclone system costs $156.54 delivered from Amazon but this product qualifies for a $25 REBATE from Lyman. That puts your net cost at $131.54 for a complete Cyclone system. To be honest we think that’s money well spent, compared to the “El Cheapo” Harbor Freight unit. The Lyman will run six times as many .223 Rem cases, and get the job done faster. We suspect long-term durability will be better with the Lyman tumbler as well.

Brass Tumbling stainless media cheap Harbor Freight Brass plated cartridge brass

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 5 Comments »
March 29th, 2017

Bargain Hauler — Transport Gear with $55 Welding Cart

Welding Cart Range Cart

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart CRC-1High Power and F-Class shooters have a ton of gear they need to carry out to the firing lines. To do the hauling, you can certainly purchase a factory-made, purpose-built cart that folds up and has all the bells and whistles. The Creedmoor Sports CRC-1 (photo right) is a proven, quality product that works great. You’ll find these used by top shooters at Camp Perry. But the Creedmoor CRC-1 cart costs $499.95.

For a fraction of that price ($54.99), plus a few dollars more for do-it-yourself enhancements, you can have a heavy-duty cart that will haul all your gear just fine, though it doesn’t fold up. In the top photo is a Harbor Freight Welding Cart we saw at the Berger Southwest Nationals. This rig is carrying a rifle in hard gun case, bipod, folding chair, shooting mat, tripod, spotting scope, rear sand-bag, and ammo box — that’s a lot of gear!

Welding Cart Range CartWelding Cart Range Cart

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $54.99. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. Do note — this cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

As sold, the Harbor Freight Welding Cart can benefit from upgrades for range use. But with a few bungee cords (and some creativity), the cart can be adapted pretty easily to hauling your gun gear. If you want to enhance the basic cart, it’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. This ensures rifles and gear won’t flop forward. (A small piece of wood under the bottom panel provides a bit of extra lift that will keep the bottom plate out of the dirt and gravel.)

Permalink News No Comments »
February 1st, 2016

Bargain Finder 20: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — 8.5-25x50mm Leupold VX-3 for $649.99

Natchez Leupold VX-3 Sale Scope Optic

This is a heck of a deal. This Editor owns this very same Leupold 8.5-25x50mm VX-3 scope and I paid about a grand for it many years ago. The 25X max magnification is plenty for varmint hunting and most target work. If you don’t need 25X magnification, Natchez also sells the Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40mm scope for just $489.90. Both these optics are protected by Leupold’s famed lifetime warranty.

2. CDNN Sports — Remington 597 for $149.99

CDNN Sports Remington 597 Sale

Looking for a “first rifle” for a family member?. Consider this semi=auto Remington 597. It currently retails for just $149.99. That’s right, for under $150 you can get a reliable, self-feeding rimfire rifle that will provide years of fun for a young shooter. The 597 has a stock that’s sized right for both youngsters and adults. Receivers are dovetailed for standard rimfire rings and are also drilled and tapped to allow mounting of Weaver-style bases.

3. Amazon.com — RCBS ChargeMaster for $289.99

Amazon.com RCBS Powder Dispenser ChargeMaster Scale Sale

Here’s a very good deal on the popular RCBS ChargeMaster combo scale/powder dispenser. This unit sells elsewhere for up to $389.00. You may want to act quickly as Amazon pricing changes frequently. We also saw this item on sale at MidwayUSA recently.

4. GunBuyer.com — Federal .22 LR Ammo, $21.99 for 325 Rds

.22 LR Federal AutoMatch Sale rimfire ammo

Here you go — name-brand rimfire ammo for just 6.8 cents per round. Can’t complain about that price. According to Ammoseek.com, this is pretty much the least expensive name-brand .22 LR rimfire ammo you can buy. This Federal AutoMatch .22 LR rimfire ammo features a 40gr Lead RN projectile. It feeds well in semi-auto rifles as well as bolt guns.

5. Midsouth Shooters Supply — 34gr Varmint Bullets

Midsouth Shooters Varmint Nightmare X-treme Bullets Sale

Need bullets for an upcoming spring varmint safari? Midsouth has slashed prices on its Varmint Nightmare X-Treme (VNX) hollow-point bullets, in both .204 and .224 calibers. The .204-cal 34gr VNXs and .224-cal 34gr VNXs are just $45.52 for 500 bullets. (That works out to just $9.10 per hundred!) If you prefer a heavier .22-cal bullet, Midsouth sells 50gr VNX soft-points for $48.82/500, and 55gr VNX hollow-points for $51.50/500.

6. Grafs.com — Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press on SALE

Grafs Grafs.com Forster Co-Ax Co-axial reloading press Sale

If you’ve been patiently waiting to acquire a Forster Co-Ax® reloading press, now’s the time to strike. Grafs.com has Co-Ax presses on sale this week at $289.99. That includes shipping charges (with one flat $7.95 handling charge per order).

7. Sportsman’s Guide — Kahr CT09 9mm Pistol $309.99

Sportsmans guide Kahr ct09 9mm carry pistol single-stack Sale

The Kahr CT9 is still one of the very best 9mm carry pistols around. We tried one at SHOT Show and spoke to Kahr’s President, Justin Moon. This gun has a better, smoother trigger pull than most other carry pistols. The grip is comfortable, and the exterior is very smooth and clean, with nothing to snag. If you need a 9mm pistol, this is a good gun at a great price.

8. Harbor Freight — 11-Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet, $159.99

Utility Chest Harbor Freight 11-drawer

This 27″-wide Roller Tool Cabinet makes a nice addition to any loading room or workspace. The 11 drawers will hold tools, reamers, dies, and spare parts. Larger items (such as tumbling media), can be placed on the lower shelf. Now through the end of February, this rolling cabinet is on SALE for just $159.99 with Super Coupon #74449393. Print out the coupon or ORDER ONLINE with Coupon pricing.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
August 30th, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Sale at Harbor Freight

For the next four (4) days, Harbor Freight is offering some very attractive Coupon Specials. First, with the coupon below, you can get 20% off the purchase of ANY item on HarborFreight.com or sold in one of the Harbor Freight stores. Interested in a big-ticket item? Then use your 20% off coupon.

harbor freight sale

Along with the 20% off coupon, Harbor Freight is offering some handy items for FREE with any purchase. Grab a free LED flashlight for your range bag, or pick up a free power strip for your loading bench.

harbor freight sale

If you need a general purpose bench with drawers, Harbor Freight has a great deal right now on a metal-framed, lighted utility bench. With Coupon Code 73007230, this bench, normally priced at $149.99, is just $79.99. NOTE: We don’t think this workbench is strong/rigid enough to serve as a primary reloading bench. However, it CAN serve many functions in your loading room, such as holding gun-cleaning cradles, vibratory tumblers, annealing machines, and general reloading gear. The built-in overhead light is a nice feature. And there is a full width shelf on the bottom which is good for holding shipping boxes and other items that are bulky (but not too heavy).

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
April 6th, 2014

Coupons for Free Flashlight, Multimeter, Screwdriver Set and More

Free is good. Especially when “free” is the real deal, meaning no purchase required, no strings attached. And that’s what we’ve got here. Now through April 30, 2014, Harbor Freight is offering six products, absolutely free (with coupon). You can get a tape measure, flashlight, multimeter, tarp, screwdriver set, or scissors. Just print the coupon and take it to the store. You don’t have to buy anything else — but there is a limit of ONE ITEM per day per customer. So you can’t go to the store and get all six items on the same day. (But you could return multiple times and get a different item). NOTE: Before you print out these coupons, click the images below to display the 100% scale version. The coupons below have been downsized to fit our Daily Bulletin — this may make the bar codes harder to scan.

Click coupon images to get larger version for printing
free products at Harbor freight

free products at Harbor freight

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
November 21st, 2012

Sinclair’s Cyber Weekend Sale and Hot Buys at Harbor Freight

Black Friday is coming up in two days. Big and small retailers nationwide will be offering some very attractively-priced sale items. First, definitely check out Sinclair International’s Cyber Weekend Sale. You’ll find great deals on everything from bullets to electronic powder measures. And you can use Code DUS to save 10% on orders over $150.00.

Sinclair International Cyber Weekend

Along with the well-known vendors of shooting supplies, readers can find some great deals on general equipment for their reloading centers. Check out tool sales at Sears, for example. And here are two sweet deals from Harbor Freight. A rolling tool chest is marked down from $299.99 to $149.99 and the Windsor 60″ Workbench is now just $129.99. That’s $100 off the regular price. These sale prices are good for three (3) days: Friday November 23 through Sunday, November 25th.

harbor freight bench reloading

Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 8th, 2012

The $49.99 DIY Range Cart — Courtesy Harbor Freight

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart CRC-1Some High Power shooters on the Forum asked about carts for carrying their gear to the range. You can certainly purchase a factory-made, purpose-built cart that folds up and has all the bells and whistles. The Creedmoor Sports CRC-1 (photo right) is a proven, quality product that works great. You’ll find these used by top shooters at Camp Perry. But the Creedmoor CRC-1 cart costs $499.95.

For a tenth that price ($49.99), plus a few dollars more for do-it-yourself enhancements, you can have a heavy-duty cart that will haul all your gear just fine, though it doesn’t fold up.

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $49.99. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. Do note — this cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

As sold, the Harbor Freight Welding Cart isn’t quite ready for range use. But it’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. I also suggest bolting/welding on extra spacers on the most forward underside edge of the bottom so that, at rest, the cart tilts slightly back. This ensures rifles and gear won’t flop forward. (A bit of extra lift also keeps the bottom plate out of the dirt and gravel.)

How to Upgrade Welding Cart for Range Use
Get a block of hard foam rubber. Cut keyhole slots in the rubber to grip the barrel and umbrella/scope stands. Mount the rubber block to the cross piece with self-tapping screws, or drill a horizontal channel in the rubber so the whole block fits over the cross-tube. On the lowest leading edge of the welding cart box (at ground level, front), fit a block of wood 2″ high (you can also fabricate metal extensions). This will make the cart lean back a little more, which helps stabilize the contents on sloping terrain.

You’ll want to enclose the sides of the bottom box area so small items don’t fall out. You can tack-weld aluminum side-plates if you want a fancy appearance. I prefer to just cut sheet plastic from a home improvement store. These plastic panels can be attached with screws or even zip-ties around tubing.

Run the plastic side panels up high enough that stuff like hats and muffs don’t fall out. After transport you can transfer ammo boxes and small items to the upper box (attached to the back side of the cross-tube).

The hardest component to find may be the hard rubber blocks for the barrel keeper, but you can also make a barrel-holding block out of wood, with some carpet to protect the barrels. The nice thing about the rubber is that it can be cut to snap over the barrels so you don’t need straps. Likewise, you can drill a hole transversely through the rubber, then slot it from the bottom and it will slide over the horizontal tubing with no fasteners needed.

Comment: This cart is heavy and it takes up a lot of space. You’ll need a station wagon, SUV or pickup truck to haul it around. But it’s cheap. The money you save on a range cart could pay for a new Krieger or Bartlein barrel, AND some new brass. Those things (new barrel and brass) will likely improve your scores more than having a fancy $500.00 range cart.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product 17 Comments »
June 24th, 2011

Roller Tool Cabinet is Harbor Freight’s ‘Deal of the Week’

For the next few days, Harbor Freight is selling an 11-drawer rolling tool cabinet for just $169.99 with CODE 71638506. This U.S. General Roller Cabinet measures 17″ D x 27″ W x 52″ H (without handles), and can hold up to 350 pounds of tools and gear. The finish is a black powder-coat, and the lockable drawers have non-slip liners. The only assembly required is attaching the handles to the drawers. NOTE: You should pick this up at a Harbor Freight store, as the Roller Cabinet weighs 151 lbs. (crated) and has an $89.95 additional freight charge! Once the sale expires on 6/26/2011, you can still order the U.S. General 11-drawer roller cabinet for $199.99.

Harbor Freight Tool Chest

Get What You Pay For?
We know this is a thin-walled, entry-level unit. It certainly does NOT have the quality of a Snap-On Roll Cart tool chest, but you could pay nearly $1400.00 for a Snap-On rolling cabinet. Even a Craftsman mobile tool chest (of similar capacity) could easily set you back $700.00 or more. For some folks, the Harbor Freight unit will suffice pretty well until they can upgrade. And the money one saves can be used for tools to put in those many drawers. The video below does a good job explaining the cabinet’s features — and it shows the inside capacity of most of the drawers and compartments.

Roller Cabinet

Story Tip by Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Permalink - Videos, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2011

Saturday Special — 33-lb Safe for Just $59.99 at Harbor Freight

Here’s a one-day only Harbor Freight special sale on a 33-lb safe with electronic keypad. Made by Bunker Hill Safes, this 0.71 cubic foot capacity safe measures 9-7/8″ H x 13-3/4″ W x 11″ D. It would be a good small office safe for valuables or handguns (however, check with your local laws to see if this safe qualifies as a “gun safe”.) In addition to the AA-battery powered digital keypad, there is a hidden key-lock (two keys provided). Tomorrow, Saturday February 5, 2011, with the coupon below, this safe is just $59.99, marked down from $79.99. Today (Friday) it is available for $69.99, but that price is subject to change. To get the safe for $59.99 at a Harbor Freight store, print the coupon below. To order the safe online, use Coupon Code 49202492. Remember the $59.99 price is good on SATURDAY, 2/5/2011 only!

Harbor Freight compact safe

Editor’s NOTE: We haven’t tried this safe. We cannot vouch for its quality or how long it can run on one set of batteries. But the price is low enough that we figure some of you guys would be interested. Based on purchaser comments be aware that this safe requires frequent battery replacement. Also, and this is VITAL — TEST the BACKUP KEYS before you leave the store. If ordering online, as soon as you receive the safe, make sure the backup keys fit the lock. The safe does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Story Sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »