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Hornady Case Trimmer

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by fmnnc, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. fmnnc

    fmnnc Well-Known Member

    I've been using a Lee case trimmer to get started but I've been "lickin my chops" for a trimmer upgrade. I've looked at the usual; Lyman, Redding, RCBS, Forster, and etc. but the Hornady seems to have caught my eye. Some of the reviews I've been able to find state the folllowing:


    It is solid! Does not flex or twist when using. Trims cases to exact length.


    Regarding the Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer, I am thoroughly pleased. The time it takes to trim my "average" batch of brass has itself been trimmed by approximately seventy five percent. Once I become more proficient with the trimmer, I suspect that time will be reduced substantially. Case length trim accuracy has thus far been outstanding. The tool, mounted on my reloading bench, has a solid "feel" to it, and it turns very easily under a work load. If there was one thing I would change, it would be some of the wording in the set-up instructions. They were not bad, but could have been a little clearer. I certainly would not go back to my old trim method! Great product!

    Excellent product, solid, well made, good fit & finish on base and intuitive, precise adjustments.

    Nice trimmer, very solid with tight tolerances. I have to use a digital caliper to trim the first case, then tighten everything to trim the rest. I don't agree that it has a micrometer adjustment. I have to manually adjust it when changing calibers.

    Hornady scored a grand slam with this trimmer. I've trimmed several thousand cases in several different calibers from rifle to pistol and through out it all it's been an absolute pleasure to use. The frame is a nice solid iron casting and all parts are well fitted with little to no slop. The cam is slick, quick and easy and holds the case good, tight and straight. This trimmer does require Hornady shellholders but given the quality and performance of this tool I consider it a small expense. At the rate I misplace tools I don't mind having extra shellholders anyway. Adjustments are easy and stay put until you change them. The adjustment collars use a positive friction fit and allow very precise adjustment without a set screw throwing the adjustment off when you tighten it (like my old trimmer). I see some have complained about the "micrometer" billing in the ad. Does it have little numbered hash marks like a micrometer? No. Does it allow easy and repeatable .001" adjustments? Yes, I do it all the time and it's not hard. As long as I can make fine adjustments easily and predictably I personally don't care if it does or doesn't have little marks and numbers. I've used scores of reloading tools over the last 20 years and every now and again I find a gem that I can't imagine doing without - this trimmer is one of them. It's a quality tool and highly recommended.

    Much better than RCBS. Easy and fast to set up and use. The only thing is you have to get their shell holders.

    This is a vast improvement over the more expensive Forster trimmer I had been using. the adjusting mechanism is secure, and will not flex if off axis pressure is applied to the handle -- a problem with the Forster unit. I would suggest lightly oiling both the cutter and cutter rod. Quite solid.

    A sturdy and accurate product. Once adjusted for the proper case trim lenght, it's "good to go". Mine trims case mouths eevenly and without low or high edges. I would recommend this product over a redding trimmer.

    Product performs as expected. Very sturdy and easy to handle. Like the higher profile than the other trimmers. Only draw back is having to purchase Hornady shell holders, this was not mentioned in the add, came as an extra expence. All my shell holders are Lee and do not fit the Hornady trimmer.

    The hornady case trimmer is a big improvement over the Lee basic case trimmer. The amount of time trimming cases was reduced tremendously. Be sure to securely clamp the trimmer to your work platform.

    And there were many others. As such, is there anyone in this group that uses or has used one and has any input? This group seems to have some great insight on what is out there.

  2. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    I bought a used one last week...nice product, solid, not really "micrometer adjustable" as they advertise. More of a slice and try, but still entirely reasonable to setup.

    One catch that surprised me. Shellholders are, for most any purpose including on a press, interchangeable among brands...RCBS, LEE, Hornady, whatever. Not so with this trimmer...the center hole of the shellholder must be bored straight through - no taper. To my consternation, I discovered that Lee holders are tapered in the (usually irrelevant) center hole. You need to use Hornady holders or else confirm that some other brand will fit onto the trimmer shaft.

    Nonetheless, I'd buy it again.
  3. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    I've gone completely in the other direction. I have a forster trimmer sitting unused while I've bought all the lee pilots for the lee trimmer system. They're so easy to use in a drill chuck, you can trim, chamfer, flash hole de-burr, and polish, all in one operation. The forster was never as accurate as the lee.You'll get real tired of turning the crank on that trimmer, I did!
  4. fmnnc

    fmnnc Well-Known Member

    I thought about that. Luckily they have a power adapter!


    Thanks for the input!
  5. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I'm leaning that way myself. (Lee Trimmers)
    Especially for high-volume stuff.

    I just trimmed 2,000 .223 cases with the Lee Trimmer shell holder chucked up in my little bench lathe. I used a hex-bit screw-driver handle to hold the trimmer cutter/pilot.

    I trimmed them all in about the same time it would have taken me to do a couple hundred in my old Forster hand-cranker with an electric drill attached.

  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Hmmm. I have some .223 that needs triming. I may just try the Lee trimmer. It sure is tedious on a hand trimmer. :)
  8. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    When using the Lee, do you have to stop the motor to change cases?
  9. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Yes. A simple twist of the shell holder drops the just finished case out, another twist puts another one in.
  10. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    I've heard several guys chuck the Lee cutter/length gauge in a drill press, and just use a leather glove to hold the brass down on the table (not over a hole!). No stopping the drill press to change cases. That's got to be faster than almost any other system, especially for the price.

  11. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    That impies that the standard cutter is 3/8" or smaller in diameter. Anyone know if that's true?
  12. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    You'd need a 1/2" chuck to fit the Lee cutter head, it's .495".
  13. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Nope. It's ½". Most drill presses have chucks that will accept ½ or bigger drills or shafts. I've wanted to get a drill press for this and other uses.
  14. dcloco

    dcloco Well-Known Member

    I had the Hornady Cam Lock - Excellent trimmer....BUT....you HAVE to use the Hornady brand of shell holders. The center hole is larger to accept the shaft on the camlock trimmer.

    You can drill the centers of other brand of shell holders, but they are VERY hard.

    Go with the Forster. ALL of the accessories are 30-40% cheaper than the other brands (pilots, outside neck turner, etc, etc).
  15. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    I recently bought a Forster trimmer from a member here, it's a neat tool, and dcloco is right, the accessories are cheaper than other trimmers.

    Just don't buy a primer pocket chamfering tool to use with one of these guys, it's the most useless ~25$ I've ever spent.
  16. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Well-Known Member

    The Hornady case trimmer is a solid piece of reloading equipment.
    I do believe it is adjustable in increments using the ridges on the ram as a guide.

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