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The Lyman Cyclone

By Dean Roxby

This Rotary Tumbler Gets Your Brass Clean with Little Dust

If you appreciate the look of bright, shiny brass cases for reloading, then consider getting the Lyman Cyclone rotary tumbler case cleaner. This thing really works! Aside from the cosmetic value of shiny cases, there is a possible safety advantage to tumbling with stainless steel pins as well. The old vibratory case cleaners are notorious for producing dust. Most of the dust is dirt, powder residue and the dry media itself. But a small percentage of the dust will be lead from the lead styphnate primer compound as noted in the book, Making Ammo: A Beginner’s Guide to Handloading, by Kyle Lynch (reviewed by this author in SAR V21N4, May 2017). As SS tumbling is a wet process, there is no dust produced, although there is some murky looking water.

I was surprised at just how well the Lyman Cyclone unit polished my cases after only one hour of tumbling. For years I have used a vibratory case cleaner filled with crushed walnut shells as part of my reloading process. While the old walnut-shell (or crushed corn husks) type of cleaner does an adequate job, it certainly does not compare to the Cyclone. The Cyclone uses tiny stainless steel pins to scrub both the exterior and also the interior of each case. And if you resize and de-prime the cases first (the enclosed manual suggests doing so), the pins will also partially clean the primer pocket. As a test, I cleaned some 577/450 Martini-Henry cases that were filthy with black powder residue. My old vibratory cleaner could not get them clean, but the Cyclone shined them up perfectly.

The system consists of the motorized drive base, the drum that holds the cases and pins, the stainless steel pins that do the cleaning, a small sample of cleaning solution and two Dual Sifter pans. The drive base has a built-in timer that allows you to dial in any length of time between one minute and 180 minutes. This is a handy feature, although the instruction manual does warn against leaving...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N8 (October 2017)
and was posted online on August 18, 2017

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