lee case trimmer question


May 10, 2008, 08:38 AM
has anyone else noticed that the lee case trimme will shorten the case way to much if you screw the rod all the way into the cutter? what is up with that. i have several of these, and all of them do it. is it designed that way for a reason? what i have figured out, for now, is screwing it almost all the way in, and trying it on a case that is just at, or as close to max length as i can get. then i set the rod so it cuts just a little deeper (about .010").

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May 10, 2008, 09:02 AM
I have three of them and no problems with any

May 10, 2008, 11:41 AM
I use a Redding 2400 mostly but sometimes i'll use a Lee Case trimmer and I have'nt had any problems either.

May 10, 2008, 11:49 AM
I have only one I use in a lathe for .223 cases.

Mine quickly wore out the threads in the cutter & the depth-stop rod, and became progressivly shorter as I used it.

I finally used Red Lock-Tight on it, then set the proper length, and set it aside for a day while the LT cured.

Hasn't changed since, after doing a couple M more cases.

If I get anymore of them, I will Lock-Tight them before I ever use them to prevent the threads from wallowing out.


May 12, 2008, 04:18 AM
the red Loctite was required after I noticed the same problem.

I put the Loctite on the threads and trimmed and adjusted the depth until it was perfect, then let it sit overnight. never had a problem since.

May 12, 2008, 07:09 AM
I've never had this problem.

May 12, 2008, 07:14 AM
I had the problem because I screwed the gauge rod into the cutter too far. When I got the trimming thing figured out and had to back the rod out it did the same thing. So I used Loctite!


May 12, 2008, 07:44 AM
i guess i figured that the depth rod should stop threading in @ the correct depth so the cases would trim @ the correct length. why would that make sense?!

May 12, 2008, 07:54 AM
"...anyone else noticed that the lee case trimme will shorten the case way to much if you screw the rod all the way into the cutter?"

You don't say how just how excessivly your cases are shortened.

All of the Lee trimmers I've used cut pretty near to the .010" under max needed to reach the common "trim to" length, none of them stop cutting at the max length.


May 12, 2008, 11:24 AM
That makes another one that don't understand the problem. The pilot stops at the face of the cutter, how could it screw further into the cutter?:confused: What I think some of you are experiencing is wear on the end of the pin that goes into the flash hole. OR the pin is making a dimple in the face of the case spinner. Both of those scenarios would result in the trimmer cutting shorter.

The beauty of the lee system is the ability to change from one cartridge to another by removing the pilot, locktiteng would mean buying more cutters for each caliber.

May 12, 2008, 11:40 AM
Well Mr. Snuffy, I can prove that fine little instrument is not idiot proof. :uhoh:

I have learned though, so I am less of an idiot now than I was, except for my proclivity to confess my idiocy.


May 12, 2008, 12:32 PM
That makes another one that don't understand the problem.Pretty sure I understood the problem.

The problem was just as I stated in post #4.

After the threads wear out and become sloppy, the stop continues to get shorter unless you Lock-Tight it in place.

As far as not being able to interchange stops with one cutter?

The darn cutters cost less then a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

It's just not worth it to me to have to keep track of a bunch of little stop pins when I can have a cutter set up for each caliber, that I know is right.


May 12, 2008, 01:08 PM
The only way a pilot could cut shorter is if the stop at the base of the threads was cut by the cutter.(Or in my example as stated above.) To do that you would have to turn it very tight with some sort of pliers/wrench. The cutter COULD cut the pilot at the base of the threads, if over tightened.

I too have cutters/pilots set up for my most used calibers. with one for all the others. BUT I have never seen one of them cut shorter than the minimum trim length, which is what the lee system shoots for. I have, at times, shortened the pin on a couple for trimming unprimed new cases to less than recommended minimum trim length.

dagger dog
May 12, 2008, 03:53 PM
Yeah I had the same problem, but I was over tightening the gauge( rod,) if you do that it will cut too short, you run the threads in 'till they just bearly touch the cutter and it will stay at that depth, any tighter and it actually shortens the gauge (rod).

May 12, 2008, 05:41 PM
Add me to the list of folks that are havin' trouble with this little gizmo. I hand threaded the gage into the cutter until it stopped. When I use it on my resized 223 cases, it'll cut them down to 1.742, instead of the "trim-to" length of 1.75 (1.76 is the max length). Guess I'll be getting out the red loctite also, but it may be that Lee's got a manufacturing defect with this product. My gage is brand new, by the way.

May 12, 2008, 09:26 PM
well, in any case, i contacted lee. they told me to send them in. so tomorrow, off they go.

Der Verge
May 12, 2008, 10:17 PM
The one I had was at proper trim legnth when it was cranked all the way down. Guess I got the odd one.

May 12, 2008, 10:52 PM
so far mine work great with .223 and .308, just screw in untill it hits the cutter, I use the same cutter in all my calibers, some times with a new guage I have to use the plyers the first time, after that they screw in by hand.

May 13, 2008, 07:53 PM
interesting thread......I've been using them for years without any problems at all and I've never worn one out.

I have one for every cartridge I load and I have each mated to its own cutter. One thing I do before assembling them is spread the split threaded shaft so it locks tightly into the cutter. I also mated each cutter to a wood ball to prevent hand cramps when doing lots of cases at one time.

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