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All I want to do is to trim my rifle brass....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Josh45, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    As the title says, All I want to do is to finish trimming all my rifle brass.
    But the Lee Zip Trim doesn't want to play fair here. The cases are 30-06 brass I'm trimming and has been an annoyance all day trimming them.

    I trimmed about 60 cases and within those 60 cases, The Lee Zip Trim has come apart about three times, All needing to stop what I am doing and fix this little thing. 60 cases.....In hours. Not 30 min. It's ridiculous. But it works just fine when doing 30-30 brass?

    The shell holder will come off even tho it is tighten down on it. The brass will wobble. Looking at it, It shows the rim trying to come out of the shell holder.
    Had it fly off three times already. i'm not putting any type of ridiculous force trying to trim it.And yes, It is the correct shell holder and everything on it.

    Ugh.

    Any suggestions for a case trimmer? Maybe hint's? Tips? It's quite annoying.
    I'm looking into getting another one, But what would be good? Not looking to buy one for $400 for now so no electric. Just manual is fine.

    I would like some input about the trimmer you use for your brass. Good or bad.
     
  2. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    put the Lee trimmer in a cordless drill or get a possum hollow trimmer with the cordless drill adapter (which is nice to have b/c it can be used on a number of chamfer/deburr tools).

    or you could get one of the many "mini-lathe" style trimmers.

    i use a possum hollow for my bulk .223 and a L.E. Wilson trimmer for everything else.
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Sometimes it is difficult to tighten the shell holder down enough by hand. As you found, it comes loose. You can use an open wrench to snug it down. One side of the flat will cross over the opening in the shell holder and the other is against the opposite side. I think a 9/16" wrench is about right, but I slept since I last use the wrench. An adjustable wrench may work but I have never tried one.

    Since the cutter rests on the mouth of the case, any wobble is a non issue. The cutter will align itself with the mouth and when the case gauge pins bottoms out, you are done. Mine frequently wobble a little and the case mouths are square.

    Other styles of case trimmers are not so forgiving and wobble is unwanted.

    Ditch the Zip trim and use another power source. I use a battery powered screwdiver for the drive but most folks use a drill motor. Some folks chuck the shell holder stud in a drill press or lathe.

    I find the drill motor too cumbersome. One of these days i will try the lathe.

    I also have an L E Wilson trimmer for cases that Lee does not make a case gauge for.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I used a Lyman Universal until I bought my Giraud. Works fine, even better if you get the arbor/shaft made for a cordless drill and then screw the trimmer down to the benchtop so it can't move around on you. Trims easily and accurately, but you'll still have to bevel the inside and outside of the mouth with a hand tool. That's what I really love about the Giraud, it does all three operations at once, and quickly.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    can you set the trim length on the giraud or does it only trim to the book trim length?
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The Giraud can be adjusted.

    It will also lighten your wallet a bit.

    It is the "cat's meow" if you trim large quantities of the same case.
     
  7. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I chuck the shell holder in my cordless and clamp the trimmer in a small vise. After trimming I grab the champher/debur tool and spin the case against it. Just be careful not to over do the champher/debur or your cases will get trimmed even further than intended.
     
  8. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Member

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    I love the handheld pilot and cutter from Lee, without the case holder. This way the length can be cut and measured, without having to use the default length and spend time setting the holder. Before this, I MADE pilots from threaded rod and nuts, parts, etc. ;)
     
  9. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I have that trimmer and used it for the first couple years that I reloaded for all my trimming tasks. After a few thousand .223 and .204 cases, the shell holder wore to the point that it will no longer hold a case. They don't offer that as a replacement part so it's essentially a paperweight. I replaced it with a Forster Classic for most of my cartridges and the Forster Power trimmer with a 3-way cutter for .223.

    I have a Possum Hollow for .223 but the last time I used it I got really inconsistent results for some reason. None of the necks were trimmed square. No idea what the problem was.
     
  10. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

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    U been using the lyman trimmer for over 30 years,, But I think i found my new case trimmer,,,
    Its called the worlds finest trimmer, Made by Little crow gunworks,, designed to work with any 3/8 in drill...it trims 500 cases in a hour..
    check them out in youtube,,
     
  11. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I use the Lee trimmer in a HF cheapie drillpress. I put an old aluminum cake pan on the drillpress table. It catches all the brass shavings and the aluminum will wear so that the cutter stud that contacts it will not wear out as fast so it trims to the same depth for a long time.Just make sure that the drillpress table is off center so that you have something backing up the thin aluminum and move it around so that the center stud does not wear a hole in the cake pan. Cake pans have a shallow side wall and are easy to fit your hand in. I actually think it was a 9X12 brownie pan I am using.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Even though the Zip Trim worked just fine for me it was too slow like you said. I just bought a Forster Case Trimmer Kit after trying a friends. It's a great tool and it's a lot faster than the Lee Zip Trim.
     
  13. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    i have a bunch of lee case trimmers sitting in a box here that i very seldom use. i got tired of having to screw in different pilots, and checking and rechecking the length to get it correct. when i initially bought them, i was told all you had to do is screw them in and go. which i did on my first try. i ruined 35 45-70 cases because it cut them so short they were no longer useful. i ended up buying a forester case trimmer. it is quick and easy to set up between calibers, and very very seldom cuts a piece of brass wrong. i say that because i have chucked a few incorrectly and cut them short. but that is my problem, not the machines. the lee cutters work, but they are a pita in my opinion to use. if you could just screw them in till they seat, or had some sort of stop on them so they would cut to the same depth every time, they would be great. i have even had them change cutting length while using them on large projects.
     
  14. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I tried the drill method and works just fine for me. Just when you do it, Make sure the shell holder is set correctly and the brass case is to....My fingernail of my thumb smacked into it after it came off. Not a pleasant feeling but it get's the job done in a pinch.
     
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    You ruined 45-70 brass?

    Mine do have a stop it is the pilot. They trim everything to .0005" of each other. As long as they are shorter then max I don't care.

    Right now I can only shoot 100yds so maybe that is why I'm happy about the tiny groups I get. When I get to start shooting 600 maybe I will spaz over these things also.
     
  16. Cmeboston

    Cmeboston Member

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    I chuck the lee trimmer in my drill
    Press and hold the shell in the shell holder with my hand, no need to shut off the drill or tighten the shell holder. The only thing the shell holder does for me is stop the trimmer from going to far.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Cmeboston

    Cmeboston Member

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    Haha I have pics! Sorry for the quality but they were taken by my 4 year old! He gets bored sorting brass an enjoys photography with my phone, but you get the idea


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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  18. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    I use the RCBS power trimmer. Works very well, is rock-solid. I would buy it again.
     
  19. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Why don’t you just put a piece of scrap steel on your drill press table and run you cutter down through the case into the table.
    It works great that way. It will save you a bunch of time. I have done it that way a bunch. The only reason I built my Gracie copy
    was to get the cutting, chamfering, and deburing done at the same time.
    I hate prepping cases.
    Steve
     
  20. Cmeboston

    Cmeboston Member

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    My drill press does not have enough throw.......well for 30-06 anyway.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Good excuse to pick up a used Bridgeport, aint it.
    Steve
     
  22. Redneckly33

    Redneckly33 Member

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    I also used the Lee depth Gauge & Shell holder for a long time. I have Athritis in my Hands now. It worked fine. Chucked in a 3/8 Drill. Hands got so bad, I finally bought a Wilson abought 4 months ago. It has a Micrometer on it. Easy to set up Trim length. Once you get the feel of it, they come out .001 to length. Alot of them come out right on the Money. Best investment I ever made. It's a little pricey though. Cartridge holders are $10 a piece at Midway but they will fit several different Calibers
     
  23. trapper500

    trapper500 member

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    trimming

    i use a Lyman Universal Trimmer I had a Lee Zip trimmer & thats why i now have a Lyman . Smartreloader makes a good trimmer also & it doesnt' require you to sell several units of blood to buy one either
     
  24. danbowkley

    danbowkley Member

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  25. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Doesn't anyone else like the Forster Case Trimmer?
     
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