1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Lee lock stud trimmer (plus JimKirks Pilot idea)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Walkalong, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Anyone have a pic of this thing in operation? Folks are always saying they work great.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  2. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Not a pic, but I'll try to explain it to you.


    top row, left: lock stud
    top row, right: cutter
    center: the depth gauge
    bottom: threaded shell holder (this is not the same as the holders for the presses!)

    1 - the depth gauge is threaded into the cutter (threads go into the cutting (right) side). Make sure the gauge is fully threaded into the cutter; a pliers may be necessary. Failure to do so will cause brass to be improperly trimmed and left too long.

    2 - Gently screw the shell holder onto the lock stud; insert de-primed case to be trimmed and twist the shell holder tightly so the case will not slip/spin.

    3 - Insert the depth gauge/cutter into the mouth of the brass. The needle will insert into the flash hole. Hold the lock stud/brass assembly in one hand and the depth gauge/cutter assembly in the other hand. Twist clockwise until no more brass is removed.

    4 - Unscrew the shell holder. Remove trimmed brass. Insert new brass. Repeat step 3 until all brass is processed.

    The process can be speeded up by chucking the lock stud in a cordless drill or screwdriver. I knocked out 50 .30-30 brass in just a couple minutes once they were deprimed.

    It's very intuitive and you really can't screw it up. Cheap and easy and "accurate enough" for the average joe - what's not to like?

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I bought one to use strictly with 5.56/.223 cases.
    Used the cutter and depth stop in my drill press without the shell holder.
    Works great.
    The thread locked shell holder part sucks big chunks.

    The only problem I had in doing 1,200 cases was the little rod wore the threads out in the big rod rather quickly and kept cutting shorter.

    Adjusting to correct length and Lock-Tight fixed that perminately.


    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Do you happen to know if these are carbide steel or do they wear down like the Lyman steel cutters? Do you need one for every caliber you trim or are they universal? Thanks.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Doing 100's of revolver cases on a hand trimmer bites, so I am looking at options.

    I am off for a couple of days so I went out to the shed and made a little "Case Pilot" for my RCBS trimmer, although it would work in other similar trimmers.

    I copied JimKirk's idea.

    It should be fast when I rig some power to the trimmer. I'll make one for large primer size cases next.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  7. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member

    Chuck that cutter into a drill press.

    Set brass on table. Table acts as a stop when correct length is achieved. You'll have a few hundred done before you know it, and no need to mess with theat lock stud thing.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    That's an idea. It would need a pilot to help keep it on the case and keep things square I would think.
  9. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

  10. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member

    Not my idea - got it from rcmodel.
  11. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    Like RC said the small Lee pilot(primer punch pin) will wear and your cases will get shorter and shorter, I've tried it.

    If your drill press depth stop is accurate enough, you can take the RCBS TYPEtrimmer shaft out and put it in the drill press, using the drill press table as the bottom(bolt face end). That is the same principle as what I did with the old RCBS trimmer in the other thread. Think of it as a lathe with a quick change chuck, but with no twisting or tightening. You could devise some kind of primer pilot on a base and lock it down using T-bolts on the drill press table. Then as fast as you could set a case on the pilot and pull the drill press handle, you trim a case.

    The Lee hand trimmer works great, but that stud and lock collar(shell holder) drives me nuts, that is why I came up with the pilot idea. Your fingers hold the case and as long as you don't crowd the cutter(a sharp one works best), it take very little force to hold the case from turning.

    Jimmy K
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I'm liking that idea. I will play with the drill press tomorrow. I'm still thinking the trimmer with power added would be best though. I have an idea on that. I will be trying it tomorrow as well. I think I have a suitable motor on the shelf somewhere in the shed. I tend to drag junk home. :)
  13. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    I have two "normal" hand lathe case trimmers and like them, never had any interest in Lee's little trimmer system.

    Then, I bought a box of reloading odds and ends at a garage sale that included a Lee pilot for one of my cartridges, one shell holder/lock stud and two cutters. Tried it. Have bought three more length pilots/shell holders and will get others eventually! I love that little rig for smallish quanities of cases. A battery drill/driver runs mine.

    My cutters were the plain types but I drilled 1/2" holes in golf balls and epoxied them on for easy hand holding.

    Carbide cutters would be nice - I guess - but who cares if the inexpensive steel cutters eventually wear. I'll just use that one on a different caliber and buy a new one for a replacement, they sure don't cost much.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I was going to make another pilot with a stud for large size primers, and then JimKirk PM'd me and suggested cutting them on opposing ends. Duh, of course, so I did.

    Attached Files:

  15. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    You can see from the photo I like the ball handle trimmer. These things are dirt simple to use.


  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Cheap too. I reckon I'll get one and try it out. I have 500 .357 Mag brass I was not looking forward to trimming. I am all trimmed out doing 6 or 7 hundred .38 Spl and 3 or 4 hundred various other ones on the Forster & RCBS hand trimmers in recent weeks. Thanks to all. AC
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I was scrounging around in the shed looking for a suitable motor, and found two that might work, but I also got the idea to power it with a Dremel. I made an adapter to power it with the Dremel from a 10/32 screw. Not I have to check to see if it has enough power, and, if it does, make some sort of mount for it and the trimmer, so the Dremel won't be just hanging out in the air off the end.


    While not a total failure, the Dremel is definitely underpowered for the job. Next......
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    Heck I wear out a depth guage every so often. So when I order from Midway or whomever I get some more spares for the ones that I only have one spare left. Less than $4.00 each and don't change shipping weight any unless there are lots of them in each order. It's a no brainer, I just monitor the case length every 100 or so and when the rod wears I chuck it or save the long ones to pick media out of flash holes with. BTW same cutter heads (2) that I started with 15 years ago and still sharp. Less pressure on the drill press arms = longer life of pilot assy.:cool:
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    Walkalong go find an old battery drill that has a bad battery. Usually a couple bucks at a flea market. take it apart and attach some wires to where the battery would hook and add a foot switch and cheap 12 volt power supply or battery charger (flea market also) and mount it permanently with hose clamps and wood blocks.:D
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I backed up and punted.

    Inspired by this U-Tube video, I turned the shaft to 3/8" (missed it at .371) on the end to chuck a drill to, which should be much stronger, and made a handle extension.

    Next I need to make a platform to mount it all, but right now I must go to birthday party for my niece.

    Attached Files:

Share This Page