Rifle case trimmer


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stevek
January 4, 2009, 08:39 PM
Hi all. We're fairly new to reloading, so far for pistol only, but want to start reloading for rifle also. For now it will be .223 and .308. I'd like to find a manual rifle case trimmer, that allows you to remove the handle so it can also be hooked up to a drill so we could also use it as a powered model. I have heard some people speak about them, but didn't know what brand/model to get. Thanks for any help in advance...

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45ACPUSER
January 4, 2009, 08:45 PM
Shop around:
Wilson
Forster
Reddding

mrayw
January 4, 2009, 09:01 PM
I have a power trimmer but it sits while the Lee zip trimmer is used! Lee zip trimmer is inexpensive and efficient. Or you can spend a bunch of $$ like I did to discover the Lee zip trimmer.

Dean Williams
January 4, 2009, 09:10 PM
This site has the drill powered trimmer you are asking for.
http://tinyurl.com/LeeTrimmer

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
January 4, 2009, 09:23 PM
OK, the Lee Zip and the attachments for power trimming are cool if you want to trim exactly to spec using the extra case length guages you'll need per caliber. I personally trim case length to what my barrel chamber will handle. (always the longest that will function reliably, thus trimming the least amount at any reloading of brass.) For this you need something that you can adjust to the desired length. I'm sure the Forster and Redding units do this, but I've been happy with the Lyman hand powered trimmer for years. Now a small conversion is available to use your cordless drill with it.

Take a look here.

Lyman case trimmer & options (http://lymanproducts.com/lyman/case-trimmers)

I wish there was an inside/outside neck turner/uniformer attachment for this unit. Also note that it doesn't appear that the Zip or Lee attachements will allow you to trim cases if they are already primed. (someone may prove me wrong on that) The Lyman will allow you to trim primed and unprimed brass. No caselength guages to buy, and the collets for most popular calibers are included with the hand trimmer.

If I was looking for a trimmer, hand or power, I'd look at the RCBS trimmer also. There appears to be a optional power drill attachment for it too.

RCBS Case Trimmer (https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=webconnect&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_US&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=index&productId=3571&route=C13J036N012)

If you look in my gun room. On the benches and shelves you'll see RCBS, Lyman, Dillon, Lee and maybe just a few other brands of reloading tools for specific needs.

-Steve

grsjax
January 4, 2009, 09:59 PM
I use both the Lyman Universal trimmer and the Lee trimers. I use the Lee products when I just want a standard trim. If I have something that isn't available from Lee I use the Lyman.

rfwobbly
January 4, 2009, 10:02 PM
SteveK -

Great question! I'm currently using an old hand-crank model Lyman Universal Trimmer as JackOfAll suggested. The same trimmer was sold for years by numerous makers and labeled as their own, so you find them used on Ebay under Hornady, RCBS, etc.

Now what I wanted to tell you is that the handle comes off, and on mine someone drove a piece of 1/4 hex key (Allen wrench) into the screw hole for the handle. I set my cordless drill motor on slow speed, chuck up a 1/4 hex nut driver, and turn the shaft of the trimmer. It works great !! And the old Lyman is adjustable for any length in .001" increments. As long as it's lubricated monthly, it can hold an extremely tight tolerance of less than .001" in case length.

Now, the secret to making any hand trimmer stable enough to use with a drill motor is to mount the trimmer to a hunk of 1/2 or 3/4" plywood, say 12x12". You can get these free out of the scrap bin at any Home Depot.

The Lyman I have must be 30 years old. I think I'm the 3rd or 4th owner. So there's no reason to spend a lot of money on a new unit. The key to buying used is to insure that it comes with all the guide pins, which should number about 8 or 9. These are the pins that guide the case mouth square onto the cutter, so you need a pin sized to enter the mouth of each cartridge case you trim.

Hope this helps!

NuJudge
January 4, 2009, 10:12 PM
I used the Forster trimmer with drill attachment for many years with no complaints. The RCBS inside and outside chamfers cases if you buy the special cutter head, but it does not come with an adaptor for a drill, it comes with its own motor.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=462271
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=644779
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=481398

The Wilson trimmer is supposed to be the most accurate, but it is probably the slowest.

If you do huge numbers of cases at a time, look at the Gracey and the Giraud trimmers.

ar10
January 4, 2009, 11:32 PM
I have the Forstner handcrank and now have the drill press base. I use both. I don't like the idea of stick a drill on the end of the hand crank, I think it'll wear out a lot faster and the cutter shafts aren't cheap, neither is the base.
You might already know about this but if you get the little hand reamer that does inside and outside. you can chuck the shaft on the one end of the reamer in a drill press, and at least get the inside reamed out. Saves a lot of time if you run a lot of cases. Just keep the drill at the slowest possible speed.

stevek
January 4, 2009, 11:36 PM
Thanks for the replies. JOALMAN/Steve the Lyman is the one I was looking for.

alanjtc73n
January 5, 2009, 04:45 PM
Check out Possum Hollow kwik case trimmer. I've got one in .308 along with their power chuck adapter. Super easy and cheap. Trims based on the datum of the case neck. Case trimmer is $20 and the chuck is $10. Just throw it onto your electric drill and go to town. Just spend a couple minutes adjusting the cutting depth and then you're done. It won't chamfer the neck but a $1.50 tool will fix that. If you're going into mass brass processing, then the other tools are awesome. The Possum Hollow tool will make your hand sore after a couple hundred cases. Less if you spin your drill high speed.

Quickdraw McGraw
January 5, 2009, 05:30 PM
I've heard great things about the possum hollow trimmers. I have the chuck but not the trimmer. Everyone is sold out. I emailed possum hollow with no response. Know of anywhere to get one?

Uncle Chan
January 5, 2009, 08:38 PM
I've heard great things about the possum hollow trimmers. I have the chuck but not the trimmer. Everyone is sold out. I emailed possum hollow with no response. Know of anywhere to get one?

I use the Possum Hollow for my 223. The only thing you need to remember is that it does nothing for OAL. It sizes on the neck and shoulder only. So, variances WILL occur. Other than that, I can do a case every 3-5 seconds.

the foot
January 5, 2009, 08:54 PM
My trimmer is a twenty-something year old RCBS crank trimmer I bought new. It is easy to set up and is very accurate.

NCsmitty
January 5, 2009, 10:29 PM
I've used the Lyman Universal trimmer for many decades. It's all I've needed.


NCsmitty

BigJakeJ1s
January 5, 2009, 10:50 PM
Get the Wilson trimmer and their power adapter. I use mine by hand. Solid steel construction, very accurate and consistent. And not as expensive as most of the other good ones. You can ream primer pockets and case necks, and chamfer insides of necks with it. Case holders are simple to use.

Andy

alanjtc73n
January 6, 2009, 06:05 AM
I use the Possum Hollow for my 223. The only thing you need to remember is that it does nothing for OAL. It sizes on the neck and shoulder only. So, variances WILL occur. Other than that, I can do a case every 3-5 seconds.

Uncle Chan - you don't size your brass first? I've always run them through a depriming and full length sizing die before I trim. End product is sized and trimmed to the correct OAL.

Quickdraw - what caliber are you sizing? Lock, stock and barrel has a few in stock.

Quickdraw McGraw
January 6, 2009, 07:55 AM
Uncle Chan - you don't size your brass first? I've always run them through a depriming and full length sizing die before I trim. End product is sized and trimmed to the correct OAL.

Quickdraw - what caliber are you sizing? Lock, stock and barrel has a few in stock.

Got 2,000 Lake City 5.56 that are sized and waitin to be trimmed. Got a redding with power adaper but I want to get a possum hollow. I just checked they are out also. Thanks alanjtc73n. If you think of any other places please let me know.

JLb_MT
January 6, 2009, 09:28 AM
I have a Lyman but have been toying around with getting the Dillon for my 550b. I load 223 and 308 for AR15's and AR10's. Not sure if it is worth the money or not. My Lyman is ok but for doing mass quantities it gets a bit tedious.

45ACPUSER
January 6, 2009, 09:54 AM
www.gunstop.com has some Possom Hollow Trimmers in stock.

45ACPUSER
January 6, 2009, 10:00 AM
If you want cheap then get the Lee Case Trimmer
If you want something a speedier....Possom Hollow in a Sinclair Deburring Tool Holder chucked into a drill.
If you want precsion a precision lathe type then Wilson has the best rep. and the Redding 2400 is not shabby either.
If you want a powered trimmer, they Giraud is the best and the Gracey is not even close!

PCJim
January 6, 2009, 06:55 PM
+1 for the Possum Hollow trimmer, +1+1 when used with the power adapter!

Just remember that, as stated before, it trims off the shoulder datum just like the most expensive Giraud unit does. You do need to FL size the case prior to trimming.

Quickdraw McGraw
January 6, 2009, 07:23 PM
www.gunstop.com has some Possom Hollow Trimmers in stock.
45ACPUSER Thanks for the info. Gunstop is currently out of 223. I called and spoke with John. He seems like a nice guy I'll have to give him a call back!

Fat_46
January 6, 2009, 10:46 PM
John at Gunstop has forgotten more about reloading than most will ever know!



I use the Possum Hollow for my semi-auto 223 and 308, and have been using an old Pacific for my bolt guns...until the UPS man showed up today. I just finished setting up a Wilson, with the base and "shark fin" from Sinclair.

Just trimmed a few 22-250 to see how it works. Wilson is AMAZING! Fast, repeatable, and very smooth.

fguffey
January 7, 2009, 09:56 AM
Stevek, you have purchased the Lyman, this will require you to size first then trim. I use a trim/form die, it is a sizer die with the top cut off, it is installed in the press like a sizer die, adjusted for chamber length then secured. When the ram is raised, the case protrudes above the trim die if it needs to be trimmed, If the case protrudes, I use a file to trim, if it is a matter of a few thousands, if is is a matter 1/10 as in .254 thousands I use a hack saw or air craft countersink.
The Gasey power trimmer requires an adapter for each caliber, $50.00 each, when using the Gacey? well it is not for everyone, especially the hard headed.
Dillon has the 1200, again $50.00 for each die that sizes while trimming, plus the cost of the power tool.
A pilot is not used on the three options above, the Lyman you have ordered uses a pilot, after you get some experience and start giving advice please include the dimensions of the bullet and diameter of the pilot, the outside diameter of the pilot must be smaller than the inside diameter of the case neck and bullet OD.
I do not size to 'their' specifications, I size to 'my' specifications, the Gacey uses the shoulder as an index, the case dimensions from the head of the case to the shoulder is an 'included' dimension when determining case length but not a dimension use by someone sizing and trimming, as in 'my' specifications. Again, I have an Enfield-Eddystone M1917 with .016 head space, the .016 (.011 over a go-gage) is added to the distance between the head of the case and shoulder shoulder, 'their' specifications call for a max length of 2.494, if I was hard headed, I would 'trim to' 2.484.
The Dillon uses a sizer die that can be adjusted when using the press mounted trimmer, I went to Harbor Freight with a friend that was looking for a feeler gage, $4.00, I told my friend a good one cost $11.00, the $4.00 came without instructions.

For me, the forming/trim die is a bargin, it serves two functions, it is used to form and trim cases. 8X57 cases cost .35 cents each, after forming 100 cases I am even and will never run out of 8X57 cases as long as I can find 30/06 brass for .05 to .11 cents each.

F. Guffey

F. Guffey

fguffey
January 7, 2009, 10:01 AM
1/10s of an inch, I know .254 is .004 thousands over 1/4 of an inch.

kildar
January 10, 2009, 10:34 AM
I just recieved my Possum Hollow trimmer from the manufacturer himself. He's real busy filling distributors order but if you can get him on the line like I did he'll be happy to take your order.

The trimmer and power adapter is a teriffic design well engineered and stout as hell. For a smaller volume reloader like myself it is the ideal tool. Someday I may treat myself to a Giraud power trimmer but for now the Possum Hollow trimmer is all the tool I need.

I have an RCBS inside and outside chamfer tool I happily discovered fits perfectly inside the power adapter. I chucked it in the power adapter tightened down the set screw and now I can power chamfer all my .223 cases just as easily as I can trim them. I found a You Tube video that a guy recorded recently demonstrating this. Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=volkNAxUiOo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i42nDelSKf8&feature=related

Uncle Chan
January 10, 2009, 11:49 AM
Uncle Chan - you don't size your brass first? I've always run them through a depriming and full length sizing die before I trim. End product is sized and trimmed to the correct OAL.


Yes, I size FL every time. I just get variance. Don't like it. My max OAL varies from 2.10 to 2.14.

ar10
January 10, 2009, 12:15 PM
I actually think if you even look at the stupid case wrong you'll get some variance.

PCJim
January 10, 2009, 02:28 PM
Uncle Chan, I would disagree that the Possum Hollow unit does nothing for COL. It does work. Agreed, I too have had some minor variances that would have to be measured in the thousandths. I suppose it just matters whether one wants the shoulder to mouth dimensions to be correct, or the case bottom to mouth to be correct. I would think that in most cases for bottleneck rifle cases, one would want the shoulder to mouth dimension to be accurate which the PH unit will provide.

The PH unit must be used after FL sizing the case. The FL die should in theory set the shoulder datum back to original specifications (a:b) which the PH unit would then reference off of to trim the case to the desired length (b:c). a:b + b:c = a:c. Definitely not as precise as, say a Wilson case trimmer which measures end to end (a:c). But, the Wilson case trimmer, trimming a case from the same sizing die, may give you the correct COL but the shoulder to case mouth dimension could be longer than wanted.

kelbro
January 10, 2009, 02:45 PM
The PH unit must be used after FL sizing the case. The FL die should in theory set the shoulder datum back to original specifications (a:b) which the PH unit would then reference off of to trim the case to the desired length (b:c). a:b + b:c = a:c. Definitely not as precise as, say a Wilson case trimmer which measures end to end (a:c). But, the Wilson case trimmer, trimming a case from the same sizing die, may give you the correct COL but the shoulder to case mouth dimension could be longer than wanted.

Exactly! If you are set up to only PFLR, you might see variations. If your brass needs annealing and the 'springback' has gone (due to work hardening) you might see variations.

I have my dies set up to bump the shoulders back about .002 and my COLs are very close. Besides, if you get a Sinclair chamber measurement tool, you will find that COL is not THAT critical in most factory chambers. Most are very generous.

Uncle Chan
January 10, 2009, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the info, gents. I'm probably thinking too much and too hard about it. What is important to me is that everything chambers properly and feeds out of my mags properly, and it does.

And yes, I FLS and then use the PH trimmer.

And yes, I agree, I think that if you breath on a case or look at it cross-eyed, you'll get variances. :)

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