Little lathe trimmers...


March 16, 2008, 08:20 AM
Just a memory from the past as yesterday I was sitting at the range looking at all the empties littering the ground.

I remember when I first started handloading, I loaded for a 45 ACP and 22-250. It was a good learning experience. I also remember using one of those little Lyman hand trimmers, you know, the one that looks sort of like a little lathe? Somehow the stop collar had slid down the shaft, and I ended up ruining an entire batch of cases by trimming the necks down too far!

Anybody else have a "tool failure" like this in their experience?

So when I looked at that treasure of brass laying there on the ground, I wondered how many of those cartridges left by others had had "issues" in its preparation? Yet another reason I don't scrounge brass for re-use.


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March 16, 2008, 09:59 AM
In response to your questions/comments I offer the following:
1. I have been using the same Lyman case trimmer for over 35 years now to trim my rifle cases when necessary, and have never once had a problem with it. I did wear out a cutter head several years ago and replaced with a tungsten head and so far so good. I also use both an old Lyman case gauge and micrometer calipers to check case length when finished.
2. I do scrounge brass at the range, but only discarded once fired factory ammo. Your know the kind, nice and shiny dumped into the trash cans along with the empty box. I never scrounge old reloaded cases unless it is some oddball or obsolete case. Good shooting!

March 16, 2008, 11:42 AM
It's a simple matter to measure cases and discard any that are too short. You should be doing that anyway.

As for once-fired or not being trash?

Auto pistol brass has almost an unlimited lifespan.
Just because someone else might have reloaded it once or twice doesn't automatically make it bad.

If you trip over range brass and leave it lay with todays new brass prices, you are leaving money laying on the ground.


Grandpa Shooter
March 16, 2008, 12:46 PM
Don't leave that money laying on the ground! Can't you just see all those nickels laying around?

Pick it all up, don't bother to sort it or clean it, stuff it in one of the USPS boxes and send it to me. I will dispose of it for you.

Rollis R. Karvellis
March 16, 2008, 01:59 PM
Yes I, had the same problem with mine so I, just went a head and spent the $12.00 for the Lee trimmer

March 16, 2008, 02:38 PM
Don't discard the bad brass at the range, take it home and put it in your own discard bucket. When it is full sell it to the scrap man for $$ to put in your own pocket. It adds up, expecially when scrab brass is selling in the range of $1.50/lb.

March 16, 2008, 08:38 PM
I tried a bunch of trimmers and now exclusively use the one made by L.E. Wilson. It is awesome.

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