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Old August 18, 2015, 06:48 PM   #1
devils4ever
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Lyman Case Trimmer inconsistent

I've been using my Lyman Case Trimmer for about 5 years now and I'm getting tired of inconsistent results. I have it set to trimming .223 Rem brass to 1.750". I run some through and some come out 1.750" and some come out 1.740". Is there a way to get thing to be more consistent?

Thanks.
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Old August 18, 2015, 06:58 PM   #2
tightgroup tiger
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Yea, Take them out before they are at the correct size and chamfer them in and out, then put them back in and finish them to the correct size.

If the cutter is getting dull they will be very inconsistent. The trimmer will round off the edges and stop cutting. You add more pressure and you over cut. I have the Lyman trimmer also.

The carbide cutter should work better than the factory cutter does. I don't really care for the job mine does but if I chamfer my cases more often between finishing each case it does do a pretty consistent job.

Not the best trimmer out there.
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Old August 18, 2015, 06:58 PM   #3
243winxb
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lyman universal case trimmer- make sure the 2 adjustment screws are tight. After 5 years , replace the cutter head. Once set, mine does not change.
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Old August 18, 2015, 07:57 PM   #4
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Yep. Screws are tight. The cutter doesn't seem to be dull.

Sounds like it might be time for a new trimmer. Wilson seems to be the best one out there and the most consistent.
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Old August 18, 2015, 08:02 PM   #5
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Do you have the carbide cutter? It is worth upgrading to that. The original might not feel dull, but it most likely is.
Kinda like the knife edge that wont shave hair anymore is still probably pretty damn sharp.
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Old August 18, 2015, 08:16 PM   #6
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I have the Lyman trimmer and it works well for me. This is what I do to get the consistency. I push the cutter against the case before I tighten the case holder as this helps align the case with the cutter. Then after a little trimming I rotate the case about halfway push the cutter against the case once more and then tighten the case holder and finish trimming and it stays real consistent.
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Old August 18, 2015, 08:23 PM   #7
243winxb
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The case mouth may not be cut square. Higher on one side than the other. Try making adjustments to the large nut in the back. Shim if needed. [IMG][/IMG]
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Old August 19, 2015, 02:09 AM   #8
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I use the El cheapo Lee trimmer with case length gauges and shell holder for each caliber, chuck it in my drill, and I don't even see a full thou variance with this trimmer with any caliber, and I use it for all of them. I have the carbide cutter, and haven't had to replace it in like 25 years, which was when I swapped to a carbide. I have no idea how many cases I've trimmed with that single cutter, but if I had to guess, I would say probably some where between 30k and 50k. I wore out one of my single stages presses since I got that cutter, but not the cutter, or any of the case length gauges.

Honestly, if my trimmer was producing anything more than a couple thou variance, it would go in the trash can.

GS
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Old August 19, 2015, 03:19 PM   #9
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My Lyman Universal does much better when I lube the cutting spindle and the positive stop collar. Aggravating thing is the steel stop collar rubs against the aluminum housing. The aluminum against steel is a bad idea and wears and sometimes galls. Put a little grease on the stop collar. Also like mentioned push the case into the chuck with the cutter shaft before locking it down. The cheap fiber bushing used as a bearing for the cutting spindle isn't precision either. My Forster Original is more precise.
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Old August 19, 2015, 04:59 PM   #10
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5 years of dealing with such shoddy workmanship, that's more than I would be willing put up with, just sayin.

I think the Lee trimmer is about $12 or $15 to get set up with for one caliber, then an additional $7 or $8 per caliber after that.

GS
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Old August 20, 2015, 12:45 AM   #11
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I bought a Little Crow Gunworks WFT to trim .223. Some of the best reloading $ I ever spent. ($70) Major time saver. I was using a Hornady lathe type hand trimmer before which worked well but was slow.

http://www.littlecrowgunworks.com/wft.html

Others seem to like them as well.

I put in my corded Russian Harbor Freight 1/2" drill (need a 1/2" chuck) and just run all my .223 brass through it. If its to long it gets trimmed otherwise it does not.
Saves time over measuring it all.
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Old August 20, 2015, 07:11 AM   #12
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I had the same issues with my Lyman trimmer. One has to oil that shaft, and bearing. The oil on the shaft seems to prevent the grub screws on the adjustment collar from holding position. It seemed to me that the design just wasn't up to it, so it was sold down the river many long years ago. I have found the Lee design, with the rod that goes down inside the case, to be very consistent.

Here lately Lee have introduced a die sort of setup with a cutter that goes in the top. You run your cartridge up into the die with you press and hand cut the excess that pokes out the top I guess. It looks intriguing, as it is in fact adjustable, so that one can get different lengths. Trouble is, at least right now, that I have a case that they don't make a die for. I may call them and see if they can make me a die.
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Old August 20, 2015, 02:02 PM   #13
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I got a "Trim-It". Quick and easy. The more you trim the better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpau0QPX2MA
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Old August 22, 2015, 08:28 AM   #14
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Ok. So I played with my Lyman trimmer a little today trying to figure out what's going on. I did about 50 cases of .223 Rem/5.56 mm NATO.

Here's my take:
1. The trimmer is not consistent in trimming brass to length. I get slightly different lengths. I "think" the issue is the holder since everything else seems tight and rigid. Maybe, it's the cutter? If a new cutter would solve this, I would do it, but I'm not convinced it's a dull cutter.

2. I do lose between 2 and 4 thousandths of an inch when I use my RCBS prep center to chamfer/deburr the case mouth. Is this normal? Or, it could be that my dial calipers are not reading the length accurately because of the burrs (before deburring).

I think I'm ready for a new trimmer based on this. I was looking at the Wilson trimmer, but the Little Crow Gunworks and Trim-It II look really good. I'm not convinced the length would be consistent with these two trimmers since they use the shoulder as reference not the base. How does this produce consistent case lengths?

Thanks all.
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Old August 22, 2015, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
I'm not convinced the length would be consistent with these two trimmers since they use the shoulder as reference not the base. How does this produce consistent case lengths?
I have trimmers that set up on the shoulder of the case. I have gages that are not head space gages, my gages for measuring case length are case length gages, most refer to the case gage as being a head space gage and believe the case has head space. Then it gets complicated when trimming case length, as in from the mouth of the case to the case head. The case length gage measures the length of the case from the shoulder/datum to the mouth of the case and from the datum to the case head. That is complicated when most reloaders refer to the case gage as a drop-in gage.

I have chambers that are long from the shoulder to the bolt face, I do not trim cases with additional length because of the additional length of the case from the shoulder to the bolt face, I add the length to the maximum length of the case meaning SAAMI is good information but my chambers are not listed in SAAMI.

When the case is measured in a case gage it can stick out both ends of the gage. Again, when trimming the case a reloader needs to know the length of the chamber from the shoulder to the bolt face.

Most reloaders use their thumb to check case head protrusion from the case gage.

F. Guffey
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Old August 22, 2015, 01:07 PM   #16
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I bought a "Trim-It" to trim my .223 Remington cases after I fought with the Lee trimmers and others to get good consistency. Using the micrometer setting feature of the "Trim-It" let me dial in to 1.750" and hold it with very little variation over the next 500 or so Lake City cases that I trimmed.

I'm a believer and will not go back.
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Old August 22, 2015, 01:28 PM   #17
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http://leeprecision.com/case-conditi...rimming-tools/

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Old August 22, 2015, 08:26 PM   #18
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So, is the Trim-It II worth it? Or, is Trim-It good enough?
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Old August 22, 2015, 09:17 PM   #19
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If your Lyman cutter head is steel and 5 years old, you needed a new carbide cutter head long ago. Do use some CLP on a sharp steel cutter head. I use a tooth brush to remove brass and put lube on the cutter head. Don't push to hard or force the cutter. If its dull, brass will hold the pilot, making it stick on extraction. More chamfer and deburring will be needed.
Quote:
I do lose between 2 and 4 thousandths of an inch when I use my RCBS prep center to chamfer/deburr the case mouth. Is this normal?
NO. You are doing something very wrong.
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Old August 22, 2015, 09:33 PM   #20
243winxb
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Lee Case Trimmer

As already said, this Lee tool is hard to beat. When I loaded for my M16, I used it to trim 223 brass. The Lyman is great if you trim many different cartridges.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lee case trimmer.JPG (33.3 KB, 10 views)
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Old August 23, 2015, 07:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devils4ever View Post
So, is the Trim-It II worth it? Or, is Trim-It good enough?
As far as Trim-It (standard) vs. Trim-It II (3-way trimmer) goes, I suggest that you take a look at video at the link on their website. There is a guy (Deuce and Guns) that did it on both the original and the newer Trim-It II and posted them on YouTube that may help you decide. He compares this to the Lee trimmer as well and it was interesting to watch.

Once again, I am impressed with the case length accuracy that I was able to achieve over what I was doing prior to getting the Trim-It. That was my real goal and it also does save time in the trimming operation. I went with the original Trim-It and deburr and chamfer in a separate operation where I do a final case inspection so doing that in one operation wasn't a timesaver for me.
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:09 AM   #22
devils4ever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micha2u View Post
As far as Trim-It (standard) vs. Trim-It II (3-way trimmer) goes, I suggest that you take a look at video at the link on their website. There is a guy (Deuce and Guns) that did it on both the original and the newer Trim-It II and posted them on YouTube that may help you decide. He compares this to the Lee trimmer as well and it was interesting to watch.

Once again, I am impressed with the case length accuracy that I was able to achieve over what I was doing prior to getting the Trim-It. That was my real goal and it also does save time in the trimming operation. I went with the original Trim-It and deburr and chamfer in a separate operation where I do a final case inspection so doing that in one operation wasn't a timesaver for me.
I've seen those videos and others. The Trim-it II one doesn't measure overall length which makes me suspicious. The Trim-it one does which is the issue I'm having. I think the Trim-it is for me. It's cheaper as well plus I can deburr and chamfer on the RCBS.
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Old August 23, 2015, 11:39 AM   #23
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Accuracy? When trimming?

I have case forming/trim dies. When it comes to accuracy in trim to length nothing beats the trim/form die. then there is the trim by setting up on the shoulder or case head. Again, the trim/form die does both.

F. Guffey
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Old August 23, 2015, 02:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devils4ever View Post
I've seen those videos and others. The Trim-it II one doesn't measure overall length which makes me suspicious. The Trim-it one does which is the issue I'm having. I think the Trim-it is for me. It's cheaper as well plus I can deburr and chamfer on the RCBS.
Go for it...I don't think that you will regret it.

After playing around with quite a few of the trimming methods that included lathes and the Lee (which I thought could never give me inconsistent results), I decided that I needed something different.

Case length consistently trimmed to a given length was my goal and the Trim-It (standard) has done the job for me.
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Old August 23, 2015, 02:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micha2u View Post
Go for it...I don't think that you will regret it.

After playing around with quite a few of the trimming methods that included lathes and the Lee (which I thought could never give me inconsistent results), I decided that I needed something different.

Case length consistently trimmed to a given length was my goal and the Trim-It (standard) has done the job for me.
Ordered!
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