case trimmer blues


January 4, 2006, 11:48 PM
I'm getting ready for a SD prairie dog hunt this spring, and have trimmed 1200+ cases in the last week on a Lyman Universal trimmer. Someone please show me a better way. What do you use for high volume case trimming?

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January 5, 2006, 12:04 AM
......What do you use for high volume case trimming?

The Giraud Tool ( trimmer!
Here's a video of mine being used to trim a 1/10" off a .50bmg case mouth!

right-click, save as:

January 5, 2006, 07:50 AM
That's pretty slick. I assume there's some sort of "die" type thing that keeps the case mouth perfectly aligned to the cutters?

I use my case trimming time as an excuse to stay avoid the inlaws when they're in town. :) I have trimmed 800 rounds of 5.56 in the last 4 months on a manual lyman universal trimmer and I know what you're saying. I just don't know if I'd use a high-end one enough to justify the cost.

Have a good one,

January 5, 2006, 08:11 AM
Take the little crank handle thingy off the end

Go to the local hardware store and get a small hex head screw to replace the one on the handle (mine was metric, got it at Lowe's)

get one of the cheap little hex drivers for a regular drill and use the appropriate sized socket

my whole "conversion" cost 30 cents for my RCBS. What used to take a few minutes of continuous cranking now takes 15-20 seconds

January 5, 2006, 11:20 AM
I've tried to take the handle off of mine but the damn thing seems to be frozen in place. I might have to try it again. :)

January 5, 2006, 11:26 AM
Well, all I have is the super cheap Lee trimmer - I can do 10 before my fingers are worn out...

January 5, 2006, 11:52 AM
I started with the Lee and like it's simplicity, but it gets tiring to mount the case in the holder and remove each time. I got the Possom Hollow trimmer from Sinclair and it's not bad as it trims with the shoulder as the reference point - or something like that. The PH trimmer it a little hard on the hand holding the case. I end up putting on a leather glove with the fingertips cut off.

I'm looking to do volume for the 5.56. So my next stop on the trimmer "tour" is the Dillon trimmer I bought used on eBay. I will have it on Monday.

The Gracey and Giraud look very nice but I didn't want to spend that amount of money plus I wondered if you would have the same problem as with the PH trimmer where your hand is the case holder?

January 5, 2006, 03:51 PM
One thing that is nice on the Giraud is that it chamfers and deburs automatically when you trim, so there is only one thing you have to do, instead of trim, then chamfer, then debur, 3 separate things that have to be done to each case.

Peter M. Eick
January 5, 2006, 09:58 PM
My RCBS trims, chamfers and deburrs all in one step and is powered. Just buy a powered unit and 3 way cutters for each caliber. Once they are set, you can just go to town trimming cases.

January 5, 2006, 11:10 PM
I've heard that some folks chuck the lee pilot/cutter up in their drill press. Then if you align the table such that the pilot stops on the table, rather than going into a hole or something, you can just hold the brass down on the table, and run the spinning cutter/pilot down into it.

Lee also makes a unversal chuck for their trimmer system that is quicker to use than their lock-stud and shellholder.


January 5, 2006, 11:35 PM
1200 cases a week? Gotta be the Giraud. Even a powered RCBS with the 3-way cutter can't compare.

On the Giraud those 1200 cases might take you an hour and a half.

January 7, 2006, 02:29 AM
Once you get all those cases trimmed: RCBS X-Die. That way you won't have to trim them again!

January 7, 2006, 03:17 AM
I use the Lee trimmer with the drill. It works OK but it a bit of a hassle to put the case on the holder and tighten it up with a plier. Otherwise it would slip out. It's is OK for a small number of brass. But I would go for something better if I want to trim 1000 casings.

January 7, 2006, 04:04 AM
I use a RCBS trimmer - it's a zen exercise.

Lloyd Smale
January 7, 2006, 05:32 AM
I use a rcbs power trimmer to and love it. Its real handy for making up .41 special brass1200 cases a week? Gotta be the Giraud. Even a powered RCBS with the 3-way cutter can't compare.

On the Giraud those 1200 cases might take you an hour and a half.

January 7, 2006, 07:06 PM
The best manual case trimmer is the Wilson.

And you can adapt it to work with a drill/screwdriver - Leave the thing hooked up, and rewire the switch to a foot switch. Use two shellholders - works great.

January 8, 2006, 08:42 AM
Do yourself a big favor and check the Wilson trimmer at Sinclair. Most people end up with one sooner or later. It's arguably the best manual timmer made. Over the course of 50 years I've tried all of the "manuals" and they pale in comparison to the L.E. Wilson product.


January 8, 2006, 09:26 AM
before you go out and spend $100 on a new trimmer, replace the handle with a cap screw and try the drill thing (mine's on a RCBS)

I had 300 .357 Herrett cases to trim that are made from .30-30's. Had to take 2/10th's off each one. I wasted money on special made "trim to length" dies (what a joke).

I can cut the .200 off in maybe 15 seconds apiece. Once the stop collar is set, each case is exactly the right length.

Push the spring loaded handle and put in a case, put the drill against the little bolt and trim until you stop at the collar, and put in a new case. Takes about as long to do as it takes to read this.

I've got an extra Lyman out here and I think it's the same as the RCBS, IIRC


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