Hardware Talk: Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer

Hardware Talk: Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer
The Lyman Cyclone brass dryer will get your brass dry ... fast. It holds a lot of empty brass, and with five trays, you can even do different calibers simultaneously and not mix them up.

Want to get your muddy brass to shine like new? Here we look at the Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer.

My gun club is a nice place to shoot, but it does have some drawbacks. The main one? The range floors. Basically, sand and silt. Your brass can get muddy. If you vacuum up everything that has been left behind, you’re going to have some pretty grubby brass. Rinsing the sand, silt and mud off in hot—even boiling—water can get them cleaner, but getting them dry? In the summer months, I can spread them out in the sun on an old bath towel and they dry pretty quickly. I can’t do that in the winter, and a lot of you can’t do that at all.

Fittingly, Lyman makes a case dryer, the Cyclone, with a simple setup. You put the cases (after their hot water rinse) into the trays, stack the trays, put on the cover and turn on the timer. The Lyman Cyclone dryer both heats the air and blows it through the trays, drying your brass.

Once I have enough grubby brass to run, I put an even layer in each tray, crank it to three hours and leave it. Lyman advises caution, as the brass can be hot once done, but I’ve not had that problem, because I have yet to be at the point of unloading the dryer while the cases are still hot.

Plug in the Cyclone. Put wet brass in the trays and stack, and put the lid on. Crank the timer and come back when they’re done. It’s that simple.

Then, it’s just dump the brass into your vibratory cleaner, set that timer and get clean and shiny brass. I’ve found that my tumbling media lasts longer, since I’ve rinsed off a certain amount of the dirt that’d otherwise end up in the mix.

If you run your brass cleaning in a wet mix, with stainless steel pins, you can use the Lyman Cyclone dryer to dry your brass after its bath and avoid or diminish water spots on your brass.

Now, the Lyman dryer isn’t without its drawbacks—nothing in life is. Nothing holds the assembly together but gravity, and the inset lips of each tray to the one below it. So, you want to be reasonably gentle in handling … or you’ll knock the trays across your workbench. Drop them, and you’ll need to buy new ones.

Also, hot, drying brass has a particular metallic smell to it. This isn’t going to be running on the dining room table unless you’re a confirmed bachelor (or want to be one). And it does require a power outlet.

The listed capacity is 1,000 .223 or 2,000 9mm empties. (Lots of other calibers will fit; they just list common calibers to give you a sense of its capacity.) Since there are five trays, you can easily dry five different calibers without having to re-sort once they’re dry.

If you’re a serious shooter, your brass gets dumped on the ground, wet or dry, clean or muddy, and has to be cleaned. If you vacuum up everything in your caliber left behind (my gun club has a simple brass rule: Leave it and you lost it), then at the end of your practice session there’ll be a lot of muddy, sandy, stepped-on brass in need of de-silting. That means hot water, and then a trip into the Cyclone.

For the $94.95 they ask, this is a must-have.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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