The pilot (trimmer) won't go into some cases.


Ignition Override
May 28, 2010, 01:09 AM
Still a novice and I've only reloaded for .303 (British) Prvi Partizan. Every step is done manually.

Recently bought my first trimmer (Lee) and out of about sixty cases, the trimmer's thicker area won't fit into about ten cases.

Can not remember whether all sixty cases neck-sized first, or after the hand trimming.
Does it matter?

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May 28, 2010, 01:39 AM
size first, then trim.

not familiar w/ the lee trimmer - does the case appear to be aligned properly? if so, can you just shove the trimmer in? if not, is there a brass consistency/thickness issue? if not, you probably just need a little emery cloth and a cordless drill for the pilot...

Ignition Override
May 28, 2010, 02:24 AM
The drill came to mind, but have not used it yet.

Even the other cases require a little bit of force to insert the pilot. I simply hold the case in my right hand and push the pilot with the left.

May 28, 2010, 06:38 AM
Are you sizing them with a die that has an expander ball on it?

If so there should be no reason that the trimmer would not fit.

Now if you're using some type collet or bushing die then that is another thing.

Jimmy K

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 28, 2010, 06:47 AM
I use Forster pilots which are blued steel.

I've had some pilots like that and I ended up putting the shaft into a small metal tube and letting it spin freely while holding it LIGHTLY on an upright angle against my bench-grinder grinding wheel just enough angle so it not only spins, but you are taking off some metal - in an even manner.

When I have taken just enough metal off of the pilot so it works, I re-blue the pilot and it is as good as new.

Some people prefer to trim cases before resizing, some after. With rifle loads, I generally trim AFTER resizing. For straight-wall pistol cases, I generally trim right AFTER I have performed the second step of belling the mouth of the case enough to accept the bullet (pill).

May 28, 2010, 12:35 PM
I use the lee trimmer with a drill and sometimes the fit is snug. I clean the pilot and it works better. Then I give it a quick spin with steel wool and the case looks like new.

May 28, 2010, 01:51 PM
I traded for some .357 brass that was sized too tight for my .35 pilot. So much so I did not want to polish it down that much, so I made one (

May 28, 2010, 02:04 PM
to the OP, and the others -

I have the same issue with the .45 Auto pilot for my $5 Lee trimmer. I don't have the problem with the 30-06 pilot, or the 30-30 pilot. I haven't yet mic'd the pilot, I just tried to trim a few cases last night, and none of them would fit. I may give the steel wool a go tomorrow night.

On another note, I did chuck my case mouth chamfer tool into my drill press last night - what a huge difference!

thanks for the tips!

May 28, 2010, 03:38 PM
Try chamfering the case mouths first.

.303 British very likely has a crimped in place bullet on first firing.

The remnant of the crimp, even after sizing & expanding, can make the trimmer pilot tight.
Remove it by chamfering before trimming.


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