Dillon's CV-2001 Vibratory Case Cleaner
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Dillon's CV-2001 Vibratory Case Cleaner

Stock Number: 20493
Tender Loving Care of Cases for Reloading: Part 2
By D. K. Pridgen

After all the spider webs have been swept out, exactly where does the TLC of your soon-to-be-reloaded cases begin? Cleaning them of course! Carbide dies are tough but even they don’t like pushing their way through sandpaper, nor will your shiny Dillon press much enjoy grit and grime building up everywhere or spider legs dropping randomly in the mechanism.

Rotary (tumbler) rock-polisher-like setups were all the rage when I fired my first competitive shot. Dump a cupful of real rice in the rotating polisher and let it spin – and spin a long time it did. (Can you believe someone – Not me! – wrote a column extolling the virtues of rice as a polishing media?) Rotary cleaning was really not meant to be speedy.

As I have mentioned, raising young families requires money and I did not know very many folks with a lot of it to spare. A small common electric motor, a one-gallon paint can, and several strips of tin pop-riveted as baffles inside the can made a decent enough polisher, it seemed then.

I eventually switched to walnut or corncob media, which was quicker and more effective. The only expense was polishing media, which a neighbor bought by the drum for use in pest extermination. Voila! I was in business. But it was slow and crude.

Because the gallon bucket could only handle 100-150 empty .45 ACP cases, the contents were dumped in an aluminum pan and clean cases plucked out one at a time. (As I said, slow and crude.) During the run-up to a national IPSC match, I shot and reloaded 300 rounds two or three times a week with my old single stage press and homemade polisher. My wife primed cases, sized cast bullets, and plucked clean brass, while tending to two boys in diapers!

Somewhere around the time Mike Dillon sprang his progressive press on the world I read (on paper pages; no electrons involved) about the manufacturing of vibratory case cleaners. For those who wonder, a rotary/tumble cleaner rolled with the dirty brass and polishing media (or rice!) sliding up the wall until gravity yanked it back down to the bottom to start the climb again. (This method actually resulted in minimal friction between case and media.)
On the other hand, during its entire life in a vibratory cleaner, media buffets a case nonstop. So much faster and effective but I pressed on with my makeshift cleaner. However, this abstinence did not last too long. Dillon introduced their vibratory case cleaner (the CV-750, I think) and I got one!

Wonderful! High capacity, speedy and worked great. Brass was shiny and straight from the Dillon vibratory cleaner. I was so pleased that I could not imagine how I had stumbled along all those years without one!
Although, with this cavernous workhorse, came new challenges. But Mike Dillon’s teams always seemed ahead of me with their offerings!