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First thoughts on the Frankford Arsenal Case Trimmer and Prep Center

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wreck-n-Crew, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Wreck-n-Crew
    • Contributing Member

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    Processed the final #250 223 cases today on the Frankford Arsenal case trim and prep center today. It took just 25 minutes to trim, chamfer, and de-bur. I manage a case every 6 seconds and 10 every minute. Not bad i think.

    In total i have fully processed #815 223 brass with it since buying it a few weeks ago. A little early for a review but I figured a early review can always be followed up later so here is where I am right now as far as my first uses and impressiins .

    On a negative note I did dull the deburring tool already it started about 750 cases in and by the time i was done it was done. On a good note the chamfer tool remained sharp thus far however it was warped from the beginning and made it harder to lign up a case. The cutter is still fairly sharp though but I dont trust it after experiencing the quality of the bits that came with it.

    Anyhow Since I already had a Lyman hand tool with good bits i went ahead and changed them out with the exception of the Cutter. If I had any suggestions to this point I would say go ahead and grab different bits right off the bat when or if you get one of these. It seems the quality control in the heat treating process in China is still lacking and they seemed to have invested their time and money into the prep ceter itself.

    The Fit and finish of the Trimmer/Prep Center itself seems pretty good. Solid construction from appearance. Casing is all metal with the exception of the back panel. The tool head face plate is solid cast aluminum. This thing is not light either. Not like some Typical chinese import tool you might find at harbor freight for $15.

    Though the jury is still out on how it will hold up over time, my first impressions is that it was a perfect fit for my needs. Price was right for what appears to be a great tool and value for me is where i sum up my description of the Frankford Arsenal Trimmer/Prep Center. Plus it is pretty fast at removing military crimps using the Lyman primer pocket reamer bit.

    As i posted in my first impressions a few weeks back setup was simple. Adjusting the Trimmer to a different length is easy too. my advice is to go ahead and check out a couple YouTube videos on it it's pretty simple pretty straightforward there's nothing hard about it and you will see for yourself if you happen to get one how easy they really are set up.

    Also I think the tool fits certain people better than it does other people. If you rarely trim brass and in smaller quantities and you have all the time in the world then there is nothing wrong with one of the little Lee cutters chucked in a drill. I have a few they work fine but they are just slow and a little finicky for my needs.

    Lett's be honest I hate and I mean loathe prepping large quantities of rifle brass for plinking purposes. I don't mind hand prepping cases at all in my precision rifle because I don't shoot tons of rounds and taking my time to prep up 50 or 100 cases is not that time consuming. Plus i can be more precise with them which is the goal.
     
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  2. SG1

    SG1 Member

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    I appreciate this early review. I've been looking at this specific item this week for an all-in-one solution. I'm only loading straight wall pistol cases at the moment, but have been looking for a cost effective solution for case prep for when the time comes. I'm pretty new, but I'm sure I'll eventually need to trim some cases.
     
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  3. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I can recommend the RCBS carbide chamfer and deburr tools, but I believe there are some other carbide tools out there that might be better still. The Forster 3-in-1 case mouth cutter comes to mind.

    Thanks for the review. I am interested in this case prep center because I want to trim several thousand handgun cases. I haven't decided on a tool that I'd be willing to do that with yet.
     
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  4. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    Only one problem is this (sorry I failed to mention it) Trimmer only does bottle neck cases as far as I can tell. Cutting length is set from the shoulder. There is nothing to stop a case from going too far in or set trim length off of.
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Sounds like a happy customer.

    what does the deburring tool look like? You might be able to sharpen it and get some more life out of it.
     
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  6. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    The debuting tool is pretty standard. It shouldn’t dull that easy.

    Yes the FA case trimmer is for shouldered cases. It’s perfect for processing lots, but I keep mine set up for 223 because I really don’t like resetting it. But for high volume I wouldn’t use anything else. I trim other caliber cases using a FA case prep and Lee Case Trimmers on 8/32 holders.

    OP get the FA Case Prep Expansion kit if you have crimped brass. Works great.
     
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  7. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    I've had mine for close to 2 years now.
    1st one 'up and quit' about 8 months in. FA replaced it with a new one. It's been running ever since.
    I have installed the RCBS carbide cham/debur bits.

    The OEM bits are enough to get you going, but not keep you going forever.
    All brass is not created equal. I am of the opinion that 'Wolf Gold' .223 is harder to cut than, say LC.

    We also all know about 'letting the tool do the work',,, I still tend to have a hard time with that.
     
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  8. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    I got mine last Christmas on a Black Friday sale for $85. Frankfort also makes the device WITHOUT the cutter head, but don't even think about buying it or any other electric case system unless it has a case trimmer cutter on it. The ones without the trimmer are a waste of money as they don't do all the necessary brass jobs.
    Wreck-N-Crew- you can buy the cutter heads for $5 from btibrands.com. The part number used to be 1024132. I bought several last year as spares. They might have changed the part number by now so check first. My Microsoft Word file on the part number is still on my computer.
     
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  9. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    The Black is wore off where the case mouth makes contact seems like it wasn't hardened thouroughly and once it got pass the surface hardening the metal on the but was softer. Anyhow it looks like the RCBS VLD style. Small center pilot with 3 curved cutting edges that stick out like claws. Also similar to the Lyman ones that come on the Lyman tool.

    Both the RCBS and Lyman case prep bits work and i put my Lyman bits on. im im going to put the RCBS cutter head on as soon as i get it.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Lyman E-zee Trim handgun set 7821892
    https://www.lymanproducts.com/e-zee-trim-hand-case-trimming-system
     
  11. Wreck-n-Crew
    • Contributing Member

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    glad to hear FA took care of you 8 months iin. I haven' had any experience with their customer service and i hooe im lucky enough to not ever have to. Yet things do wear out.

    Had a guy tell me his bearing went out on the trimmer shaft said he relpacednit with a new one and it was easy enough to do.
     
  12. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Herez further on the hard to get parts list stuff: Use this link to download the instruction manual and parts info.

    https://www.btibrands.com/wp-conten...56-Case-Trim-and-Prep-Center-Instructions.pdf

    Go there to d/l the manual. In it is all the part numbers. I was correct on the cutter head being a 1024132. I hope the price is still 5 bucks and it will be the cheapest cutter head in the industry, thats why I bought 5 at one time.
     
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  13. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    thanks
     
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