All I want to do is to trim my rifle brass....


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Josh45
January 17, 2012, 10:41 PM
As the title says, All I want to do is to finish trimming all my rifle brass.
But the Lee Zip Trim doesn't want to play fair here. The cases are 30-06 brass I'm trimming and has been an annoyance all day trimming them.

I trimmed about 60 cases and within those 60 cases, The Lee Zip Trim has come apart about three times, All needing to stop what I am doing and fix this little thing. 60 cases.....In hours. Not 30 min. It's ridiculous. But it works just fine when doing 30-30 brass?

The shell holder will come off even tho it is tighten down on it. The brass will wobble. Looking at it, It shows the rim trying to come out of the shell holder.
Had it fly off three times already. i'm not putting any type of ridiculous force trying to trim it.And yes, It is the correct shell holder and everything on it.

Ugh.

Any suggestions for a case trimmer? Maybe hint's? Tips? It's quite annoying.
I'm looking into getting another one, But what would be good? Not looking to buy one for $400 for now so no electric. Just manual is fine.

I would like some input about the trimmer you use for your brass. Good or bad.

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NeuseRvrRat
January 17, 2012, 10:54 PM
put the Lee trimmer in a cordless drill or get a possum hollow trimmer with the cordless drill adapter (which is nice to have b/c it can be used on a number of chamfer/deburr tools).

or you could get one of the many "mini-lathe" style trimmers.

i use a possum hollow for my bulk .223 and a L.E. Wilson trimmer for everything else.

cfullgraf
January 17, 2012, 10:59 PM
Sometimes it is difficult to tighten the shell holder down enough by hand. As you found, it comes loose. You can use an open wrench to snug it down. One side of the flat will cross over the opening in the shell holder and the other is against the opposite side. I think a 9/16" wrench is about right, but I slept since I last use the wrench. An adjustable wrench may work but I have never tried one.

Since the cutter rests on the mouth of the case, any wobble is a non issue. The cutter will align itself with the mouth and when the case gauge pins bottoms out, you are done. Mine frequently wobble a little and the case mouths are square.

Other styles of case trimmers are not so forgiving and wobble is unwanted.

Ditch the Zip trim and use another power source. I use a battery powered screwdiver for the drive but most folks use a drill motor. Some folks chuck the shell holder stud in a drill press or lathe.

I find the drill motor too cumbersome. One of these days i will try the lathe.

I also have an L E Wilson trimmer for cases that Lee does not make a case gauge for.

Hope this helps.

rondog
January 17, 2012, 11:03 PM
I used a Lyman Universal until I bought my Giraud. Works fine, even better if you get the arbor/shaft made for a cordless drill and then screw the trimmer down to the benchtop so it can't move around on you. Trims easily and accurately, but you'll still have to bevel the inside and outside of the mouth with a hand tool. That's what I really love about the Giraud, it does all three operations at once, and quickly.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/ammo%20and%20reloading/LymanUniversalCaseTrimmer.jpg

NeuseRvrRat
January 17, 2012, 11:15 PM
can you set the trim length on the giraud or does it only trim to the book trim length?

cfullgraf
January 17, 2012, 11:19 PM
The Giraud can be adjusted.

It will also lighten your wallet a bit.

It is the "cat's meow" if you trim large quantities of the same case.

T Bran
January 17, 2012, 11:21 PM
I chuck the shell holder in my cordless and clamp the trimmer in a small vise. After trimming I grab the champher/debur tool and spin the case against it. Just be careful not to over do the champher/debur or your cases will get trimmed even further than intended.

icanthitabarn
January 17, 2012, 11:28 PM
I love the handheld pilot and cutter from Lee, without the case holder. This way the length can be cut and measured, without having to use the default length and spend time setting the holder. Before this, I MADE pilots from threaded rod and nuts, parts, etc. ;)

helotaxi
January 17, 2012, 11:29 PM
I used a Lyman Universal until I bought my Giraud. Works fine, even better if you get the arbor/shaft made for a cordless drill and then screw the trimmer down to the benchtop so it can't move around on you. Trims easily and accurately, but you'll still have to bevel the inside and outside of the mouth with a hand tool. That's what I really love about the Giraud, it does all three operations at once, and quickly.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/ammo%20and%20reloading/LymanUniversalCaseTrimmer.jpg
I have that trimmer and used it for the first couple years that I reloaded for all my trimming tasks. After a few thousand .223 and .204 cases, the shell holder wore to the point that it will no longer hold a case. They don't offer that as a replacement part so it's essentially a paperweight. I replaced it with a Forster Classic for most of my cartridges and the Forster Power trimmer with a 3-way cutter for .223.

I have a Possum Hollow for .223 but the last time I used it I got really inconsistent results for some reason. None of the necks were trimmed square. No idea what the problem was.

280shooter
January 17, 2012, 11:43 PM
U been using the lyman trimmer for over 30 years,, But I think i found my new case trimmer,,,
Its called the worlds finest trimmer, Made by Little crow gunworks,, designed to work with any 3/8 in drill...it trims 500 cases in a hour..
check them out in youtube,,

FROGO207
January 18, 2012, 03:46 AM
I use the Lee trimmer in a HF cheapie drillpress. I put an old aluminum cake pan on the drillpress table. It catches all the brass shavings and the aluminum will wear so that the cutter stud that contacts it will not wear out as fast so it trims to the same depth for a long time.Just make sure that the drillpress table is off center so that you have something backing up the thin aluminum and move it around so that the center stud does not wear a hole in the cake pan. Cake pans have a shallow side wall and are easy to fit your hand in. I actually think it was a 9X12 brownie pan I am using.

ArchAngelCD
January 18, 2012, 03:47 AM
Even though the Zip Trim worked just fine for me it was too slow like you said. I just bought a Forster Case Trimmer Kit after trying a friends. It's a great tool and it's a lot faster than the Lee Zip Trim.

x_wrench
January 18, 2012, 06:35 AM
i have a bunch of lee case trimmers sitting in a box here that i very seldom use. i got tired of having to screw in different pilots, and checking and rechecking the length to get it correct. when i initially bought them, i was told all you had to do is screw them in and go. which i did on my first try. i ruined 35 45-70 cases because it cut them so short they were no longer useful. i ended up buying a forester case trimmer. it is quick and easy to set up between calibers, and very very seldom cuts a piece of brass wrong. i say that because i have chucked a few incorrectly and cut them short. but that is my problem, not the machines. the lee cutters work, but they are a pita in my opinion to use. if you could just screw them in till they seat, or had some sort of stop on them so they would cut to the same depth every time, they would be great. i have even had them change cutting length while using them on large projects.

Josh45
January 18, 2012, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I tried the drill method and works just fine for me. Just when you do it, Make sure the shell holder is set correctly and the brass case is to....My fingernail of my thumb smacked into it after it came off. Not a pleasant feeling but it get's the job done in a pinch.

kingmt
January 18, 2012, 10:01 PM
You ruined 45-70 brass?

Mine do have a stop it is the pilot. They trim everything to .0005" of each other. As long as they are shorter then max I don't care.

Right now I can only shoot 100yds so maybe that is why I'm happy about the tiny groups I get. When I get to start shooting 600 maybe I will spaz over these things also.

Cmeboston
January 18, 2012, 10:26 PM
I chuck the lee trimmer in my drill
Press and hold the shell in the shell holder with my hand, no need to shut off the drill or tighten the shell holder. The only thing the shell holder does for me is stop the trimmer from going to far.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Cmeboston
January 18, 2012, 10:33 PM
Haha I have pics! Sorry for the quality but they were taken by my 4 year old! He gets bored sorting brass an enjoys photography with my phone, but you get the idea


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

splithoof
January 18, 2012, 10:35 PM
I use the RCBS power trimmer. Works very well, is rock-solid. I would buy it again.

rskent
January 19, 2012, 05:52 AM
Cmeboston
Why donít you just put a piece of scrap steel on your drill press table and run you cutter down through the case into the table.
It works great that way. It will save you a bunch of time. I have done it that way a bunch. The only reason I built my Gracie copy
was to get the cutting, chamfering, and deburing done at the same time.
I hate prepping cases.
Steve

Cmeboston
January 19, 2012, 06:34 AM
Cmeboston
Why donít you just put a piece of scrap steel on your drill press table and run you cutter down through the case into the table.
It works great that way. It will save you a bunch of time. I have done it that way a bunch. The only reason I built my Gracie copy
was to get the cutting, chamfering, and deburing done at the same time.
I hate prepping cases.
Steve

My drill press does not have enough throw.......well for 30-06 anyway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rskent
January 19, 2012, 06:05 PM
Good excuse to pick up a used Bridgeport, aint it.
Steve

Redneckly33
January 19, 2012, 11:23 PM
I also used the Lee depth Gauge & Shell holder for a long time. I have Athritis in my Hands now. It worked fine. Chucked in a 3/8 Drill. Hands got so bad, I finally bought a Wilson abought 4 months ago. It has a Micrometer on it. Easy to set up Trim length. Once you get the feel of it, they come out .001 to length. Alot of them come out right on the Money. Best investment I ever made. It's a little pricey though. Cartridge holders are $10 a piece at Midway but they will fit several different Calibers

trapper500
January 23, 2012, 08:28 AM
i use a Lyman Universal Trimmer I had a Lee Zip trimmer & thats why i now have a Lyman . Smartreloader makes a good trimmer also & it doesnt' require you to sell several units of blood to buy one either

danbowkley
January 23, 2012, 09:08 AM
I absolutely swear by the Possum Hollow trimmers. They index off the shoulder, so you need to size before you trim, but they're adjustable so they can work on any cartridge of the same caliber and best of all they make an adapter that lets you chuck the trimmer in a drill. Beware the flying swarf though.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/775644/possum-hollow-kwick-case-trimmer-270-280-25-06-30-06

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/295771/possum-hollow-chamfer-and-deburring-tool-power-adapter

ArchAngelCD
January 24, 2012, 12:33 AM
Doesn't anyone else like the Forster Case Trimmer?

P-32
January 24, 2012, 06:37 AM
I do! ;) It's fast enough for me. One of these days I'm going to get a three way cutter for it too. :cool:For 223.

GW Staar
January 24, 2012, 11:27 AM
I love my Forster Original case trimmer....in use for 40 years. Its one of the finest machined reloading tools available.

Now they have 3-way carbide cutters available that really make it nice. Trim, chamfer, and deburr at the same time.

After many many years turning it by hand, and after buying an RCBS Pro 2000 progressive press, it became a bit of a bottle neck, so I mounted it vertically, motorized it and added a 3-way.

http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_1066.jpg

Video Demo link trimming .308 below. (Click on the picture) Notice how smooth the action is...not a hint of wobble....for a 40 year old tool. Thankfully they never changed the design or quality.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/th_MVI_1047.jpg (http://s935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/?action=view&current=MVI_1047.mp4)

germ
January 24, 2012, 01:01 PM
I have the Sinclair version of the LE Wilson and use a powered screwdriver. Wish I had gotten the carbide bit though. Works great but is not exactly lightning fast. Actually, it's the separate deburring that slows my progress.

If my needs were higher volume, or I just had more money to burn, I wouldn't hesitate to get a Giraud. I suspect that machine would almost make bearable, the most tedious boring task in all of reloading. The Dillon Rapid Trim looks enticing as well.

Elkins45
January 24, 2012, 03:48 PM
I don't know if this sounds dumb or not, but I really don't want my case trimmer to be adjustable, at least not the one I use for high volume work. I like the Lee because you just screw in the appropriate trim guide and don't have to worry about it, and you can poweer drive it.

I bought a Lyman for 257 Weatherby because Lee didn't make a pilot and I hated it. If you press on the shaft hard enough to make sure the case is completely trimmed you run the risk of causing the stop collar to slide on the shaft...then you ruin your brass because you trim it too short. The stop collar is only held by a flimsy allen screw.

My next investment is the Possum Hollow trimmer.

trapper500
January 25, 2012, 12:36 AM
I had a Forester trimmer many years ago & it did a good job I got my Lyman trimmer as a gift from my mom for Christmas & i really love to use it but thiers not a thing wrong with a Forester at all

4895
January 25, 2012, 11:08 PM
I have thought about taking the wife's sewing machine foot pedal and wiring it to an electric drill that I mount on the bench with c-clamps or in my vise.

GW Staar
January 26, 2012, 01:21 AM
:) I actually do use a foot pedal but not for power. A momentary push button powers the trimmer. The foot pedal lifts and lowers the trimmer shaft so my hands are free to insert the brass and power it on and off. A piano wire does auto-ejector duties. (Picture is for clarification, I actually sit with a leg on either side of the post...both feet make it effortless and comfortably balanced.)
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/Forster%20Case%20Trimmer%20in%20Style/ForesterImages_0008.jpg

RustyFN
January 26, 2012, 02:50 PM
I trimmed 300 223 cases yesterday with the Lee trimmer in a drill. It works pretty good but from tightening the nut and undoing it on every case my fingers are killing me. I shoot quite a bit of 223 and am seriously thinking about saving up for a Garaud trimmer.

Certaindeaf
January 26, 2012, 03:02 PM
...
You must be a rocket scientist.

Sniper66
January 26, 2012, 03:04 PM
I have Forrester Trimmer and it works well, but is a hand trimmer so it is slow and hard on fingers when you do all the deburring by hand too. I reload a lot so I bought a Lyman Power Trimmer and it is GREAT. Combined with my RCBS Case Prep Center makes trimming (the worst reloading chore) easy. If you plan to reload for yearsto come, it's worth investing in good equipment.

P-32
January 26, 2012, 03:41 PM
I don't know if this sounds dumb or not, but I really don't want my case trimmer to be adjustable, at least not the one I use for high volume work. I like the Lee because you just screw in the appropriate trim guide and don't have to worry about it, and you can poweer drive it.

I make a dummy case cut to the size I want. When I switch pilots I'm changing to another caliber. Using a dummy cartridge and making sure the allens are snug makes trimming with my Forester a snap. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm going to get a 3 way cutter for 223 then one in 308. With the 3 way cutter the need for the chamer tool is no more. :D

Arkansas Paul
January 26, 2012, 04:24 PM
It works pretty good but from tightening the nut and undoing it on every case my fingers are killing me.


Chamfering and deburring do that to me when I'm trimming a lot of cases. I gotta get one of those fancy RCBS case prep thingies.

Using a dummy cartridge and making sure the allens are snug makes trimming with my Forester a snap.


Yep, that works great with my Lyman Universal trimmer as well. If I need to adjust at all, it's very little.

GW Staar
January 27, 2012, 01:05 AM
You must be a rocket scientist.

Riiiiiight! Us rocket scientists use a lot of alder wood, pvc, cast iron pipe, cable, and lead shot for weight....and drywall screwguns for power. Oh and vacuum cleaner from Target, and momentary switch from Radio Shack. :D

Actually I'm a building contractor who flunked out of Rocket Science 101. I do like to tinker tho...

Resident Rocket Scientist is Jmorris....search some of his threads and you'll see what I mean.....and he can weld!:)

Certaindeaf
January 27, 2012, 03:13 PM
^
Tip a the hat to you, sir. I saw that Sandia sticker and thought you might be a rocket man. As you were/are.

GW Staar
January 27, 2012, 07:14 PM
^
Tip a the hat to you, sir. I saw that Sandia sticker and thought you might be a rocket man. As you were/are.

I had to go back and see what Sandia sticker you saw. It was a very old box, maybe 20 years old, of empty .223 cases. Sandia Cartridge sold .223 reloads back in the day....I think he thought the name made his little company sound important here in New Mexico.;) I wouldn't have bought them...I did pick up a perfectly good box of perfectly good empty cases, tho. :) Sorry for disappointment...wasn't from Sandia Labs. My cousin works for Los Alamos labs tho. He was the head scientist who developed the powerful lasers now used in the starwars satellite defense system. My son developed software for it for Lockheed, and I..... I am not nearly as smart as them or most of you.:(

4895
January 28, 2012, 01:50 PM
When I have a lot of rifle brass to "process" I split up the work over a few days. I've worked my hands to the point where my grip was much weaker shooting my 357. A friend of mine has a Gracey trimmer that he says takes all the work out of it. Someday, I will take a few brass over there and check it out. If I hit the lottery, I will definately buy one for each caliber I load.:D

bluetopper
January 29, 2012, 10:47 AM
I bought a used Forster case trimmer then bought the power adaptor and the 3-way cutting bit and rigged me up an elevated platform to lay my drill on so it lays flat. Now trimming brass is a snap and very quick. I can trim brass about as fast as I can change them in and out of the collet and the necks are chamfered inside and out.:)

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