As winter draws closer I keep promising myself I'll once again set up my presses and start reloading. I like reloading. I like the precision possible with good loads, the control, the cost savings, and its' peaceful to have something to do in the evening. Especially during wintertime when the cold and snow restricts my outdoor activities.
Since I haven't reloaded in a few years my bucket of brass has grown to two buckets, three buckets.. you get the picture. It's enough where the small scale case prep I did in the past just won't do this time around. Before I used vibration type tumblers and an inexpensive separator. The brass would get nice and shiny on the outside, but not the inside and especially not the primer pockets. Vibration tumblers are also really noisy, they create a lot of dust, and a lot of media (corn cob, walnut, etc) often ends up stuck inside cases. And it would take forever. There must be a better way.
Research shows wet tumblers are the way to go. Thanks to the magic of Amazon and a prime membership I can do my research, select and purchase a product, and if it doesn't work out UPS picks it up the next morning all at no cost to me. You've gotta love it. Weeks later and unfortunately I had to go through three tumblers, 4-5 types of additives that go in the tumbler, and four media separators. I'll write more about the tumblers and additives later. Today I want to talk about media separators.
I ordered the RCBS, the Lyman, Frankford Arsenal, and others. All really good names who have been involved with reloading for decades, and all brands I've used before with great success. But they were ALL flimsy, poorly made, and in some cases dangerous.. if they bends, spread, and drop 30-40 pounds of brass on your foot it come break something. Why were they made this way? Possibly I'm over loading them for their intended usage. Change that to probably. But I also believe they compete for each others business and having the lowest price widget has it's marketing advantages.
Keep in mind they were all in the $35-$55 price range. And I could get all of them easily on Amazon. But the one I couldn't get was also the most expensive at $75.95. The Dillon CM2000, The CM500 is a smaller unit and costs $47.95. Today it arrived. How to put this. If the others were worth $50, the CM2000 is worth $1500!
It's made like the proverbial tank, reinforced with metal, the latches are super strong and take two hands to unlatch, it's got a real and not make believe handle to turn the basket, and the basket will hold at least as much brass as my new wet tumbler will hold. Very few decisions with modern products are this easy. This one is super simple,. The CM2000 or maybe the CM500 is the media separator you want.. And if you need something to prop up the corner of your house this is the one you want. A night and day no doubt in my mind comparison. If you simply want the best media separator in the home reloading business, get the Dillon CM500 or CM2000.