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Dillon 1200 Trimmer First Impressions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dbarnhart, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    I have about 3000 cases that need trimmed staring me in the face. It is time to step up my case trimming throughput.

    While the Giraud trimmer is really nice, the thing that attracted me to the Dillon is the fact that by mounting it in the press it becomes a part of the sizing and decapping process and does not require an extra step.

    I mounted it on my Hornady LnL AP. As others have noted the startup torque of the motor causes the LnL bushing to unlock from the press. Hornady has a shim that purports to correct the problem. I have one on the way.

    I'm guessing that the Dillon Die Plate is thinner that the Hornady's upper casting because I needed to screw the sizing die in quite far, to the point that part of the chip exhaust port on the die is obscured.

    It is quieter than I expected. After hearing other people's comments and watching a few YouTube videos I thought it was going to be really loud, to the point that hearing protection would be necessary. It is not. It makes no more noise that the Frankford Arsenal vibratory polisher on the floor next to my bench.

    I examined the trimmed case mouth under an 8X loupe and the cut it makes seems very clean. I'm going to set up a subsequent station on the press with my sizing die backed WAY out so that the expander ball gets run through the case neck after trimming. That should take care of any teensy burrs on the inside of the case mouth.

    Because the Hornady presses are so popular I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in some photos and a video. After I work through any other issues and have run a few hundred cases through it I'll do that.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  2. crkr

    crkr Member

    "I'm guessing that the Dillon Die Plate is thinner that the Hornady's upper casting because I needed to screw the sizing die in quite far, to the point that part of the chip exhaust port on the die is obscured."

    Do you have the lock nut on top or bottom of the tool head? As I recall I had the same issue on a Dillon until I moved the nut to the bottom.
  3. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    Great idea! Unfortunately, ther is not enough of the die protruding below the casting either. Great idea though.
  4. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    IIRC you still have to expand the necks. Also, it doesn't chamfer the case mouth...if that's important to you.
  5. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    As EddieNFL said, the Dillon RT1200 sizes the cases but does not expand the necks. Rather than try and shoehorn a separate die on the toolhead I've mounted the trimmer on I just use a Lee Collet Die on Station 1 of my Dillon 650 when running these cases through the loading process. The collet die requires no lube so my cleaned cases don't get lube on them ( I tumble after the de-prime/size/trim process). The collet die also helps center the case on the shell plate. Lastly, the mandrel expands the case mouth and by setting the die so the collet just lightly compresses the case neck I am assured that they are nice and straight.

    Make sure to rotate the cutter bit periodically so you are always using the sharpest surface. This will insure the minimum burr on the edges. Unless loading VLD's most BT's just slip right in with no issues.
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    No matter what you have to make two passes so on your "loading" tool head you can have another size/deprime die to iron out the trimmed mouth. I size/deprime on #1 trim on #3 and have another size die on #5.
  7. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    As promised, video. As you'll see, I installed my RCBS sizer die in station 5, with the die body backed way out so the expander ball can do it's job.

    Regarding deburr and chamfer: I've examined several cases with an 8X loupe after trimming. While the outer edge isn't deburred, the cutter blade is mounted at a small angle (I've heard 4 degrees) so it appears to be 'good enough'. As for the inner edge, I figure that between the expander ball knocking away any burrs there and the fact that I use boat-tail bullets almost exclusively, that's good enough as well.

  8. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    Rt 1200

    I have dedicated RT 1200's mounted in old cast iron RCBS Reloader Specials. Yep, I still have to open the necks but I can kick out a ton-o-brass in short order.

  9. Tom488

    Tom488 Well-Known Member

    Dbarnhart, now all you need is a case feeder :D

    On the LnL, is there room to put a die in station 4, or will the Dillon vacuum shroud still interfere?
  10. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    I checked and the shroud makes it practically impossible to use station 4.
  11. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Noisy? Nah, the trimmer itself is fairly quiet, but the 5 gal shop vac I attached to the side makes more noise than a jet engine at ten feet. I ended up putting the shop vac outside my reloading room, in the garage, and running the pickup hose through a hole in the wall. I installed an on/off switch on the wall inside the loading room.
  12. codefour

    codefour Well-Known Member

    I am also looking at the Dillon RT 1200. My questions are: What do the cases look like after the Dillon trimmer.? Are the case necks cut really clean not requiring seperate chamfering and deburring? Do you recommend a chamfer and deburr of the cases after you ran them into the Dillon trimmer..?
  13. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Well-Known Member

    @medalguy: Same thing I found out with my home built on press trimmer - the 2.5 gallon shop vac is really loud. - I'm running a hose through a wall into an adjacent room.
  14. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    >>What do the cases look like after the Dillon trimmer.? Are the case necks cut really clean not requiring seperate chamfering and deburring? Do you recommend a chamfer and deburr of the cases after you ran them into the Dillon trimmer..?<<

    I wish my photography skills were good enough to take a close-up photo of the case mouth. (If someone here has decent macro photography skills I'll be happy to send then a couple cases so they can photograph them and post the photo here)

    I examined several cases using an 8X loupe. The cut is very clean and has a slight bevel to it, deburring the outer edge. The inner edge is pretty sharp. If I were not using boat-tailed bullets I might want to chamfer the inner edge.

    My opinion: My rifle shooting is mostly plinking using HK clones (C93 and JLD PTR91) Translation: I'm just out having fun, so my standards of what is acceptable may be different from yours. I've seen cases run through a Giraud trimmer and they are much nicer. For me that extra 'niceness' is overkill. For me the Dillon is 'good enough'.

    The main attraction of the Dillon is that I can trim cases with no extra steps. Last night I decapped, sized and trimmed a thousand cases in about an hour.
  15. Deavis

    Deavis Well-Known Member

    This setup worked very well for me on a 650

    #1 Size and deprime (carbide dillon die, no expander ball necessary)
    #3 trim, no sizing just trimming
    #5 Lyman M-Die for neck sizing, knock of burrs

    Putting the trimmer in 3 let me route the exhaust a bit better. In addition, by sizing in station 1, you have more freedom to lift the trim die up a bit and still be able to trim the neck. That let me cut the lockring to open up the route to the exhaust port and that solved my chip issue with the 223 size die buried in the toolhead. Plus the carbide die is great for reducing effort when you run it by hand.

    Since I use a 1050 now and use military brass exclusively, I switched to
    #1 Lee decapping die (easily indicated a missed primer with the lifted pin)
    #2 carbide sizing and swage (no decap or expander)
    #3 empty
    #4 trimmer (easy backside exhaust routing)
    #5 empty
    #6 M-die

    Then I can simply tumble, put a Lee decapper in station 1 of the loading toolhead to knock out any flashole debris and I get an extra swage in station 2 before seating a primer when loading. M-die lets me put just a slight amount of flare to help with seating non boatail bullets. Hook up an autodrive and that setup rocks, all you have to watch is station 1 and make sure the pin doesn't pop up before you try to swage a still seated primer.
  16. WNTFW

    WNTFW Well-Known Member

    My friend uses the Dillon trimmer. His solution was to size, trim and then re-tumble the brass. Says it cleans up the burs enough for what he does, bullet type and event.
  17. crkr

    crkr Member

    I wet tumble mine with stainless steel pins and there is still enough bur that the expander makes a little shaving. This might be partly due to the blade getting dull and next time I process some brass I'll rotate it.

    Like dbarnhart though - it's good enough for me.

  18. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting the photo, crkr.
  19. crkr

    crkr Member

    No problem. I assumed it would be illustrative of what you see as well.
  20. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    Central Vac's are great for this.

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