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best case trimmer for the money?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coosbaycreep, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    I'm finally getting around to buying a brass trimmer, and I wanted to know what the best make/model is for the money.

    My press, dies, and shellholders are all RCBS, but I'll buy whatever brand is the best value.

    The only calibers I'll be trimming to start off with is .30cal, but eventually I plan on also reloading for .303british, .223, and probably 7mm and 8mm mauser. I also load for handguns, but haven't worried too much about trimming the brass for any of those.

    I have more time than money, so I'm not going to spend a bunch of money on one of the powered units. Most of the manual trimmers seem to have an adapter so that you can power them with a cordless drill anyway, which is something I already own.

    So, what brand/model would be best for me?

    thanks
     
  2. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Member

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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I would not not without my Possum Hollow trimmer for .223.

    Forster hand trimmer is my recommendation for all around use, with the RCBS next. The Wilson is the best, but slow, and better than needed for all but the most demanding situations.
     
  4. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

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    I started with a RCBS trimmer using their "3 way cutters" and found it to be a very good tool. The "3 way" trimmers are expensive, caliber specific but do an incredible job as each case is finished exactly the same. I have since added a power head for the trimmer and like the total package. I would highly recommend the product.
     
  5. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    lee lee lee and a cordless drill

    Trim, chamfer, deburr flasholes and polish all in one step without turning a crank or even picking up a pair of calipers.

    But do yourself a favor and buy the ball handled cutter.


    For cost invested vs results obtained you simply will not match the lee system. Ive found that by using a flex extension, a drill with variable torque setting and the right pair of pliers I can FLY through brass prep spending only seconds on each case
     
  6. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    c672abd3.jpg

    a333e1bd.jpg

    RCBS with a (LRP & SRP)pilot made out of 1/2" steel... chucked in the collet.

    Once set, works faster than a Lee with a drill*. Connected to a small cordless drill, it is as fast as you can put cases off and on the pilot.

    It is dead accurate too, because you use the bolt face to brass end dimension, no collet-Rim variance.

    * if you use the Lee cutter and pilot in a drill press and use the drill table as the stop, it may be faster or about the same.


    Jimmy K
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I like Jim's idea, and may copy it one of these days for my RCBS trimmer. ;)

    It would also take the flex part out using a power tool. Pushing hard on the handle trimming is what flexes it a tad. With care is does not flex at all though.

    Ain't copyrighted yet, right? :D

    I really like the idea for doing revolver brass.
     
  8. dirtman

    dirtman Member

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    Jimmy k.

    I Really like your idea... As i have never liked the way the old RCBS trimmer held the butt end of a case... there was always a bit variance...
    great idea...
     
  9. clone

    clone Member

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    I have used Lee's hand trimmer chucked in a drill with good results. Fast, cheap, simple, precise.... perfect. ;)
     
  10. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    6c1265b4.jpg

    Well if ya gonna it copy, do it right:D ..... make checks out to:

    Jimmy K....

    turned out of a peice of 1/2" rod ... on my drill press using the side grinder and a file.
     
  11. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

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    I like my Gracey case trimmer but it is not inexpensive.
     
  12. Dave Bone

    Dave Bone Member

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    I recommend avoiding any trimmer that requires shell holders or plates. For example, the Hornady CamLock is a good machine. I have one. However, only Hornady shell holders will work.

    A Lyman, with their patented chuck, will chuck up pretty much any size case. Not that I am recommending it. I have used one, but do not own one.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
     
  13. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    I used a Forster for 30 years, then moved to a Giraud. The Giraud is worth every penny.

    Can I suggest you get one of the spuds that allow you to power the mini-lathe trimmer with a drill? They are available for most, if not all, of the hand-powered mini-lathes. The case of Carpal-Tunnel avoided will be yours:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=421718

    One of the RCBS mini lathe trimmer heads trims to length, inside and outside chamfers, all at the same time. Giraud is the only other one that comes with this feature from the factory. This is a savings of a huge amount of irritation:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=251948
     
  14. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    +1 Lee Precision -
     
  15. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    The Hornady Cam-Loc has the following advantages:

    - the caseholder mechanism (the so-callled cam-loc) is simple and very fast to use, and easy on the fingers. It takes less than a half-turn to release or grip a case.
    - the crank handle is big enough that it delays finger cramping.
    - the tool's casting is high enough that the crank clears the bench top so you don't bang your knuckles.
    - the depth of cut is consistently repeatable, within .001".
    - the casting is easy to lube while on the go.
    - the supplied steel cutter does not chatter and cuts very well; carbide cutters are an option.
    - good quality alum casting and good machining of controls, knobs.

    Other things to consider:
    - if you reload more than one caliber, keep a properly sized case on hand for each caliber. This will speed up the set-up and caliber changeovers. The tool's so-called 'micrometer' does allow for very fine adjustments, but it does not have a scale to which you can return by dialing-in a setting.
     
  16. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

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    I use the L.E. Wilson and it is very accurate though somewhat slow to get adjusted. I just got the drill adaptor for it so will see how that works out.

    I also have the Possum Hollow but was not impressed. I found it difficult to adjust and it didn't cut as smooth as the Wilson.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The possum hollow needs power and to be running fairly quickly, but it will cut very smooth that way.
     
  18. deadeyedog270

    deadeyedog270 Member

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    i second the lee and a cordless drill
     
  19. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    Don't get cheap when it comes to a case trimmer. I would go with any of the better known brands except the Lyman, which for me will not cut the case mouth evenly. I copied JimKirk's idea (Thanks Jim:D) which works very well for me. Personally, I do not like any of the trimmers that require a shell holder. Too many variables.

    t2e
     
  20. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Any number of trimmers will do some nice work, find something in your price range and go for it.

    I've been very pleased with the RCBS Power unit and 3 Way cutter head.....beautiful trimmed cases.

    IMG_7529.gif

    IMG_7528.gif
     
  21. LeverGunJunkie

    LeverGunJunkie Member

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    Lee cutter and lock stud is tough to beat. But Krochus is right, get the cutter with the wooden handball. I started to get tired of the shell slipping out of the lock stud, so I just graduated up to the Lyman. Once I got the hang of it, it works very well.

    But, for the $, Lee can't be beat.
     
  22. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    NOTHING beats the Giraud trimmer... I can do 20 cases in a minute.
     
  23. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

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    I'm sure it's nice (I'd like one) but the OP stated he didn't want to spend a lot of money.
     
  24. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    +1 for the L.E. Wilson, a very simple, robust, accurate, easy to use and low priced trimmer. No collets or neck pilots, just a shell holder for each family of base cartridges. e.g. 243win, 260rem, 7mm-08, 308win, 338fed and 358win all use the same holder.

    Sinclair sells some really nice accessories for it that are pretty expensive, and not at all necessary. They are nice though!

    Andy
     
  25. 454PB

    454PB Member

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    +2 for the Wilson. Somewhat slower than others, but the most accurate and repeatable trimmer I've used in 40 years of handloading.
     
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