Need new case trimmer, ideas?


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Kachok
March 2, 2013, 12:56 PM
I desperately need a new case trimmer, my old Lyman is rusty and I am shooting far too high a volume to be hand cranking that thing for hours on end. Need something electric or something that I can hook to a power drill to trim with, I got lazy on the last batch and had several cases that would not feed (I know shame on me) My reloading space is pretty crowded so something compact would help, any ideas?

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rayatphonix
March 2, 2013, 01:01 PM
I use the Little Crow Gunworks trimmers. Not inexpensive but very fast and precise. I put mine in a small drill press but you could use a power drill almost as easily.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/119117/little-crow-gunworks-worlds-finest-trimmer-243-winchester-260-remington-7mm-08-remington-308-winchester

You can buy direct or Midway sells them.

Kachok
March 2, 2013, 01:15 PM
That does look nifty, do they offer anything that is not caliber specific? At present I load 9 different calibers and getting one for each would be a bit pricy, though that would be nice :)

Mike 27
March 2, 2013, 01:20 PM
I use the Lee trimmers. They are caliber specific but very cheap. Throw them on a drill and go. With some practice you can get pretty quick with them.

45lcshooter
March 2, 2013, 01:23 PM
Lee trimmers, takes up very little space. Then put the Zip Trim on it.

Mudball_3
March 2, 2013, 01:25 PM
I use the Lee trimmer setup as well. Here is the link to the Lee trimmer (http://leeprecision.com/case-conditioning-tools/case-trimming-tools/). It is about 6 dollars per caliber. I would recommend getting the cutter with the ball grip.

GT1
March 2, 2013, 01:26 PM
I'm on a Lyman Universal, love that universal chuck. I have a power adapter on the way in case I get tired of cranking. 100 case batches are about my limit, way better than holding a case though, any trimmer where one has to hold the case is a bad idea for old carpal tunnel arthritic hands. :o

Kachok
March 2, 2013, 01:48 PM
That Lee or Lyman look perfect for what I need, thanks guys. That should cut my case prep time by 75% at leased.

cfullgraf
March 2, 2013, 04:39 PM
The Lee trimmer system is about the best bang for the buck until you start to do large numbers of cases. What os a large number, that is a theshold you would have to determine.

The WFT trimmers are slick and I have aquired ones for cartridges I shoot most. They make a couple versions that handle a "family" of cartridges but they would need resetting when changing cartridges.

While investigating the Giraud trimmer, I learned complete cutter heads cost the same as the WFT. So, if you can get past the initial capital cost, the Giraud is the same price as adding additional WFT trimmers.

I find using a drill motor cumbersome so I may invest in a Giraud in the future.

Hope this helps.

rondog
March 2, 2013, 04:53 PM
I have a Giraud. While it's very expensive and a PITA to change calibers, the accuracy and speed of it is awesome and there's a LOT of advantage to the fact that it chamfers the inside and outside of the case mouth at the same time! That's a feature to be considered. Trimming 1000 cases is one thing, but when you then have to chamfer the inside and outside of the case mouths by hand afterwards, that's a real drag.

lightman
March 2, 2013, 05:26 PM
If you are trimming in volume, look at Giraud. Anything that has a chuck or a shellholder is going to get old, quick. I can do 14 to 15 a minute, and sustain that rate over the long haul. The Giraud trims to length and de-burrs the inside and outside. I have owned several differeny trimmers and used quiet a few others and the Giraud is where its at. Lightman

GT1
March 2, 2013, 05:36 PM
Trimming 1000 cases is one thing, but when you then have to chamfer the inside and outside of the case mouths by hand afterwards, that's a real drag.

Boy howdy. It prompted me to pick up a Hornady Case Prep Trio. Now trimming and deburring/chamferring is about 98% less painful than hand tools.

That Giraud is big, I don't have room, and it is $500+extra for other calibers?

Centurian22
March 2, 2013, 05:40 PM
Lee lock stud in a cordless drill. I agree on the ball cutter. I didn't splurge and wish I would have.

Triumph
March 2, 2013, 06:18 PM
GT1 - you have the Lyman Universal & Hornady Case Prep Trio.

How does the Lyman Universal compare to Forster & LE Wilson?

Also, where would an RCBS Trim Mate fit in - same function as Hornady?

witchhunter
March 2, 2013, 08:59 PM
If you like the Lyman trimmer, you will like the Lyman power trimmer, same chuck, no collets and your pilots are the same. I have one and a RCBS case prep center...love em for large quantities of brass prep

Kachok
March 2, 2013, 09:03 PM
I have actually never been thrilled with the Lyman, new in the box the trimming edge was dull, feels like trying to cut a tough steak with a butter knife, was a cheap trimmer though, I am not mad at them.

GT1
March 2, 2013, 09:04 PM
GT1 - you have the Lyman Universal & Hornady Case Prep Trio.

Yes, like them a lot. The trio is small, about the size of a soda can. I went through 500 .223 cases the day after it got here, about a 1001 count on each bit was perfect and I hope to never have to use my RCBS hand debur/chamfer tool in anger again.

The lathe type trimmers in basic function are all similar, some use pilots and some use other means to hold alignment. I suspect any of them rely on the operator to get the best results.

I only have experience with the Lyman and Lee trimmers.

The trim mate and Lyman case prep centers are large and while I'm sure they are awesome, they were just too big for what I needed.

Trio holds three bits and they are ran on a similar planetary gear drive as the big machines, think of it as more of a hand held prep center.

winterhorse290
March 3, 2013, 07:31 AM
little crow, WFT. not too pricey and sure beats the lee thing.

CGT80
March 5, 2013, 03:59 AM
CTS case trimmer from ebay. $43 shipped to you. It is similar to the WFT, but doesn't have a ball bearing. The new bits, used in the cutters, leave no bur on my 30-30 brass. The 223 brass has a very slight burr. A boat tail bullet takes care of the inside and a very slight crimp knocks the sharp edge off the outside. I load for 3 gun shooting, not high precision.

I made my own motorized base to use with the CTS trimmer, but the guy that makes them also sells an electric motor. Customer service is great. Send him an email. I wanted a giraurd, but didn't want to spend the money. The CTS also works in a hand held drill or drill press.

I also use an adapter to run my deburring tool on my machine, for cases that I might want to debur. Trimming takes 1-3 seconds per case and deburing takes half a second for inside or outside.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-9017-1355737522446.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-29752-1355907138829.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-25890-1355907224801.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-16072-1355907191596.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-16852-1355907207387.jpg

redclay
March 5, 2013, 02:37 PM
Small batches I do with my Lee in my drill press. Just bought a Little Crow to do 1000 5.56, man am I glad I bought it. It is fast and painless, a great trimmer!

Hondo 60
March 5, 2013, 03:26 PM
http://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/10632/inline/1

But wow - did they go up in price!
I 'think' I spent $200 on mine about 2 years ago.

$239.99 at Cabelas

silicosys4
March 5, 2013, 03:47 PM
The Hornady LnL case prep center has worked very well for me. Very convenient to go through all the steps on one unit.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/314017/hornady-lock-n-load-case-prep-center-110-volt

CGT80
March 6, 2013, 01:13 AM
Is how long does it take to just trim a single piece of brass on the Hornady, silicosys4? Does it have a lot of power, or does it stall easily?

It looks pretty cool. I have an electric lyman trimmer. It is very slow, the cutter doesn't seem that sharp and it is easy to stall the motor. The ball handle it tiring on the hands and I have to grim the trimmer and force the shell into the cutter. It beats my old RCBS hand crank trimmer, but it left a lot to be desired.

I still trim my 460 mag brass on the lyman, but I think I will have CTS build a trimmer for the straight wall cases. He mentioned that he could.

I like to have an informed opinion on products to make recommendations to others. I know my brother will be looking for a trimmer as soon as he can get a press setup for 223 ammo. I have a feeling my brother may go with the Dillon trimmer. I would have liked to run the Dillon trimmer on my 1050 to swage and trim 223 brass, but I keep the 1050 setup for 9mm. I didn't want to buy another toolhead and trimmer kit all at once, plus I still have a number of other cartridges to trim.

rondog
March 6, 2013, 02:16 AM
That Giraud is big, I don't have room, and it is $500+extra for other calibers?

It's not that big, doesn't take up any more bench space than a big phone book, I'd say. And changing calibers, all you need is a different shellholder for the new caliber. The PITA is readjusting the cutter for the different case mouth diameter. I haven't done it yet, I bought mine setup for .223 and it's still that way. But I do have a .30-06 shellholder for it already.

Once the cutter is setup for .308 diameter, then any .308 diameter cases should trim OK. But change to .303 Brit or any other .310-.312 diameter caliber, and the cutter would be off just a little and you'd have to readjust it. I think shellholders are available for nearly everything except .30 Carbine, I guess they're too short.

CGT80
March 6, 2013, 01:16 PM
30 carbine is most likely not offered due to being a tapered case or closer to straight wall. These trimmers index off the case neck, of which the 30 carbine doesn't have. Giraud may offer a cutter for this solution, but I am not yet aware of it.

CTS has made a 30 carbine trimmer in the past, but he says he now has a different design for that. I am seriously considering having CTS make a cutter for 460 mag revolver brass which is also a straight wall.

I thought I read that the Giraud had a way to swap out the cutter and shell holder to eliminate the need to readjust for each different cartridge.

rondog
March 6, 2013, 02:08 PM
I thought I read that the Giraud had a way to swap out the cutter and shell holder to eliminate the need to readjust for each different cartridge.

I "think" you can just buy more cutter heads, set them up for different calibers, and then swap them out. But they're not cheap. Typical way to do it is to just relocate the carbide cutting insert in the head and reclamp it. I'm not positive of all this, my Giraud is boxed up and stashed away at the moment.

Only thing I'm positive of is that it's a HELLUVA good way to trim, bevel and chamfer a whole bunch of .223 brass! Next up is a couple bucketfuls of .30-06, so I'll be getting familiar with the caliber changing procedure soon.

silicosys4
March 6, 2013, 09:36 PM
Is how long does it take to just trim a single piece of brass on the Hornady, silicosys4? Does it have a lot of power, or does it stall easily?

It looks pretty cool. I have an electric lyman trimmer. It is very slow, the cutter doesn't seem that sharp and it is easy to stall the motor. The ball handle it tiring on the hands and I have to grim the trimmer and force the shell into the cutter. It beats my old RCBS hand crank trimmer, but it left a lot to be desired.

I still trim my 460 mag brass on the lyman, but I think I will have CTS build a trimmer for the straight wall cases. He mentioned that he could.

I like to have an informed opinion on products to make recommendations to others. I know my brother will be looking for a trimmer as soon as he can get a press setup for 223 ammo. I have a feeling my brother may go with the Dillon trimmer. I would have liked to run the Dillon trimmer on my 1050 to swage and trim 223 brass, but I keep the 1050 setup for 9mm. I didn't want to buy another toolhead and trimmer kit all at once, plus I still have a number of other cartridges to trim.


When I'm trimming .308 LC brass, I trim, debur, decrimp the primer pocket, and clean up the primer pocket. I haven't had the motor bog down on me, it seems strong enough that it wouldn't be a problem. I can do probably about 500-600 cases an hour. Its pretty easy to set up, but it's a production machine meant for high volume, and if I set it to trim to 2.005 trim length, say, it will be anywhere from 2.004 to 2.007.

scottishkat
March 9, 2013, 05:41 PM
Don't buy a redding 2400 really bad purchase for me. After that I bought the wilson trimmer from sinclair upgraded later with the battery drill chuck works good when I've got a lot to trim.

Cleftwynd
March 9, 2013, 06:50 PM
The RCBS trim pro is far better than the redding 2400, shame on Redding for even marketing that POS.

gab909
March 9, 2013, 10:21 PM
Just got my CTS in the mail. Bought it on EBay on Wednesday. I ruined one piece of brass setting it up. Ran through 20 in a little over a minute. Wow, I wish I would have bought one a while ago. If I ever find some 30 cal boolits, I will have to purchase one in 308 also.

HighExpert
March 9, 2013, 11:32 PM
Possum Hollow all the way.

Trent
March 9, 2013, 11:43 PM
I'll toss my hat in the ring, RCBS trim pro, with the 3-way cutter.

Superb little machine.

Rat Robb
March 10, 2013, 07:50 PM
The WFT is a great trimmer, as long as you full length resize the brass. I resize only the neck on my .308 and found it to be useless. If it were indexed off of the extractor groove/rim, it'd be awesome. Guess I'll have to design that myself.

I have realized the search for the perfect trimmer sucks, lol

-Robb

TBH
March 10, 2013, 08:06 PM
What about Dillon's 1200 trimmer. I use a Redding trimmer with a18 volt drill. Would love something more accurate. Watched a video on the Dillon and it looked sweet.

OldTex
March 11, 2013, 12:49 AM
My 30+ history of trimmers: I started with an RCBS crank trimmer, an old style they don't make anymore. It worked fine for the small quantity of brass I could afford back then. But when I got my first big sack of once-fired LC in .223, I knew that crank wouldn't cut it anymore. I rigged my own converter to turn that trimmer off an electric drill. That worked fine at first but the locking mechanism that set the length wasn't made for powered use and it tended to slip, making my cases shorter than I originally set the machine for.

Then I tried the little Lee trimmers. Several things: The cutters are cheap (what do you expect for under $10?) and get dull real fast. Bigger problem: The caliber-specific cutters set their length by using a pin that runs down through the primer hole and indexes off the shell-holder base. When you start doing volume trimming with a drill on the cutter end, that pin will drill a little pit into the shell-holder base, thus shortening your cases more and more as the pit gets deeper. After going through several bases, the Lee trimmer went into the trash. (Besides, you couldn't adjust your length.)

After trying another crank style or two, I bit the bullet and bought a Gracey (http://www.matchprep.com/trimmer.htm) (they were about $75 cheaper back then). I now have three of them. They are a PITA to adjust when you change calibers (thus three of them for my main calibers) but you get the knack after a while. They chamfer and deburr at the same time they trim. It's like sticking the case into a pencil sharpener - about 3-4 seconds and you're done. You're not stuck with some pre-set length either, you can set it at whatever makes you happy (there's nothing magic about the 'trim to' length - just a way to shave off more than needed, especially if you trim after every firing to keep things consistent case to case).

Last year I bought a Giraud. It is fancier and 'slicker' that the Gracey by far, and it has some advantages and some disadvantages. The main thing I don't like about the Giraud (other than the price) is that it uses a single V-shaped cutter, and that cutter leaves a sharp knife edge on the lip of the case mouth - something I was always taught to avoid - and isn't a proper cut the main purpose of a high-dollar trimmer?. The Gracey has two cutter blades and you can adjust those blades to get a flat lip on the case mouth, 'flat' except for the amount of chamfer and deburring you want. You can also adjust the blades when switching between thinner-walled cases or fatter-walled cases (like Win .308 at 0.011 to LC at 0.016 in neck wall thickness). You can't do that with the Giraud; it just gives you a thicker knife blade.

There are more pros and cons between the two powered machines. The Giraud is really nicer in many respects than the older, more crude Gracey design. But I can't stop using the Graceys. If I were a machinist, I would build a Gracey-type cutter head that would fit on the Giraud. There's no reason why it can't be done. Now that would be the best of both worlds. And oh yeah, something to quiet that screeching noise the Giraud makes. The Gracey runs almost silently. (But the Gracey also tends to throw oil out into your table.) And the Giraud is just as hard to adjust for a new caliber as the Gracey. The instructions tell you that several cases will need to be sacrificed in that process. The Gracey is much easier to adjust for case length.

For the oddball calibers that I don't shoot much, I just use a Wilson trimmer from Sinclair with a drill adapter. The cost and hassle of setting up a Gracey or Giraud isn't worth it for just a few cases. And the Wilson has shell-holders for those odd calibers without a shoulder, like 30 carbine or 45-70 (although those rarely need trimming).

I could talk more about the Gracey vs Giraud comparison, but I figure your eyes have glazed over already. I've never tried some of the other trimmers on the market today, like that World's Best Trimmer.

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