case trimmer questions


January 19, 2007, 08:33 PM
I'm in the middle of processing 3000 pieces of once fired remington 223 brass. I'm currently using a lee shell holder in a drill and the lee case trimmer to trim with. It is taking forever. I've thought about getting a giraud trimmer but it will be $395 to trim 2 calibers. I load 30/06 also. I've looked at the powered rcbs trimmer with a 3 way cutting head that trims, chamfers and deburrs for $260 from Midway. Is the Giraud really worth $135 more? Which would be faster? The RCBS looks like you can drop a casel in and push the lever down to lock it. How do you trim a case on the Giraud? Do you just push a case into the head or do you have to load it into something? The Giraud website isn't too informative. Thanks

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January 19, 2007, 08:54 PM
Hornady LnL,

I have the RCBS trimmer with the head you're describing and based on the production I get with it and the fact the three way head chamfers both the inside and outside of the mouth of the neck, I don't think I'd spend the extra money for the Giraud unless it does all three operations at one time. If you have to chamfer after trimming, the time saved doing that on the RCBS more than makes up for it.

It's not as fast as the Giraud, but it's plenty fast enough for the average reloader. So unless you plan on shooting competitively and running through a a small ton of brass, I'd save that extra money and get the RCBS. The way the RCBS works is, you press down a lever, put the case in. Next, pull back and drop down the other leverl. A spring pushes the cutter into the brass mouth, trims and chamfers it. In the time it's doing that, you can do something else on the bench, like lube the cases with Imperial sizing wax. When it's done, pull the lever back and lock it, then insert another brass.

I've found it is just about right for most of my needs, because in cases like 30.06 and .223, I'll trim to minimum specs, then use an RCBS X-die through the progressive process. I'll get 6 or so firings before needing to trim again if I set things up right. So the operation is something I only do every once in a while. Hard to justify a Giraud if it's gathering dust most of the time.

One thing though: It works much better when it's screwed or clamped down solidly to the benchtop and everything is adjusted properly.

I've been very happy with it and it's kept up with most of my needs production wise over the years.

Hope this helps,


January 19, 2007, 09:02 PM
Do not worry about the cost, buy once and cry once.

Get the Giraud. Doug Giraud is the man. He stands behinds his product.

You can process close to 1K per hour!

January 20, 2007, 02:03 AM
Here's a video of the Giraud in action. I have the Dillon and have been tempted to sell it and get the Giraud, but I really don't shoot that much rifle stuff nowadays to really justify the extra expense.

January 20, 2007, 11:36 AM
Yep, Giraud ( is the best...
I bought mine when I needed to prep .50DTC brass from BMG brass by trimming 1/10" off the case neck. My older Gracey ( trimmer just couldn't do it fast enough. The Gracey is probably fine for smaller cases and doesn't cost as much. Get the carbide cutter upgrade if you do get the Gracey though...

Here's my own video of 1/10" being trimmed from a .50BMG case.
Right-click, save as:

January 20, 2007, 08:27 PM
Is the giraud hard to adjust? How much time does it take to change between 2 different calibers? Each caliber change is about $40 isn't it? I just bought 3000 pieces of remington 223 brass. At least I don't have to swage it but I've trimmed and deburred about 750 already. I definitely want to get a better trimmer than the lee in a cordless drill before I start the last 1500 pieces.

January 21, 2007, 02:45 AM
If you're changing bullet diameters,(ie. .223 - .308) it's easier to change if you buy a separate cutting head assembly along with the case bushing.
If you're only changing cases,(ie .308 - ..30-30) then you only need to change the case bushing.

You can do with one cutter head if you don't mind adjusting the cutter blade when you change calibers.

The parts are locked into place with a large nut and are easily adjusted with the sample cases Doug supplies with each conversion. He also supplies the appropriate wrenches with the trimmer.

The only thing that's broken on mine has been the lexan chip guard. It cracked after several hundred cases were trimmed and Doug replaced it without charge or question.

January 21, 2007, 06:48 AM
I hadn't realized how much the RCBS trimmer has went up this year. I checked at Midway and it's up to $210.00. Add a three way cutter head for $40.99 in one caliber and you're up to $250.99 before shipping.

The Giraud setup for one caliber is $365.00 before shipping. That's only a $114.00 difference and the Giraud is one helluva lot better machine, not mention much more rugged and durable device. Oddly enough, additional case holders are only thirty bucks, $11.00 less than the RCBS. By the time you buy three or four, you've offset a good bit of the price difference and it's a heckuva lot better machine.

Here's a link to the information on the Giraud, including the instruction manual in .pdf format. I withdraw my earlier recommendation. Go with the Giraud:


Peter M. Eick
January 21, 2007, 07:05 AM
I have an RCBS with the 3way trimmer shown here:

I find that it is fast and indispensable. I now trim, chamfer and deburr prior to every loading. It is so quick that it is not even an issue. My routine is to trim one while I am hand priming the previously trimmed case. Works perfectly. If you cases have not been trimmed before it may take a few extra seconds to trim them down the first time, but once set up, you can trim them quickly after every firing.

I did notice that trimming every time has improved my groups noticeably.

January 21, 2007, 08:19 AM
I have a Lyman Universal Trimmer that is powered by a cordless drill. Its slow, but it was cheap.

January 25, 2007, 09:21 PM
I'm very happy with my RCBS power trimmer with the 3-way cutters.

January 26, 2007, 02:41 AM
Giraud owner here.

Anything over a couple hundred cases and you'll be singing praises about the Giraud.


Winger Ed.
January 26, 2007, 03:02 AM
Here's one for ya:

Back in the early 80's I got a hand crank Hornady trimmer as part of my initial reloading set up.

I'm not a hand crank guy, especially if I'm fixing to trim brass by the thousand. So when I got my first 5,000 once fired, surplus 7.62 NATO brass,,,,,,,

I looked at the little trimmer I'd never used,, and took the handle off.
I chucked the end for the handle in a drill after I screwed it to my workbench.

Once it was set up, I could change brass, hit the 'go button' on the drill, move it in, take it out, release the holder knob, change to another brass, and so on in a second or so.

Wear thin leather gloves or you'll get blisters from the knob that tightens the brass in shell holder, but you can do 1,000 brass in less than a hour- no problem.

Then, put your hand de-burring tool in that little holder you get from Midway in a drill press..... and you can finish the necks in about 2 seconds each for the outside edge, then the inside too!


January 26, 2007, 10:39 PM
I trimmed 3000 223 with my Lyman power trimmer, all as expected. They were running up around .762 or so. So I bit the bullet, stayed home a couple nights and got 'r done.

Then I found the 4 dollar sinclair tool and measured my chamber. It will accomodate brass with a length of .780". My surprise was doubled when I checked the other rifle and found the same thing. One is a production XR-100 and the other a custom 700.

So spend the 4 bucks already and check before you wear your little fingers out unnecessarily.


January 27, 2007, 12:01 AM
I only trim for uniformity when crimping. My chambers are out to around 1.78 so unless the brass is longer than that I dont mess with it

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