For those using Lee case trimmer setup

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Apr 22, 2006
I am preparing to trim 1000 lake city 308 brass.:eek:

Up to now I've used a Lyman universal trimmer (hand cranked). The Lee setup is appealing because of the price and the potential for using it with my drill press. I am considering chucking the cutter in the drill press and the shell holder/lock stud in the press vise. Here's my question:

How quickly can a case be changed out of the shell holder? Would the Lee 3-jaw chuck make changing cases quicker? Is it as reliable/consistent as using the shell holder?

It would seem that the cutter setup will be much less labor than my Lyman, but I am concerned that removing the trimmed case and inserting a new case will be awkward or time consuming. I would love to hear from those of you who have actually used this setup.

Thanks in advance,

Can't say

I've never tried that set-up. BUT I think it would be awkward! My method is placing the spinner spud/shell holder in a cordless drill or using a corded hole shooter, then hand holding the cutter pilot. That way you can also do the deburring/chamfer operation, use a flash hole deburring tool, run some steel wool against the case mouth and over the case body to shine it up. With your proposed method, the shell would be stationary with the cutter turning, you would ONLY be trimming.

Thanks for the reply. I understand your setup--that is the conventional method for sure. I was hoping that by using a drill press that it would be less fatiguing. If I chuck the shellholder into the drill press (instead of the cutter), I have to turn it off each time to change cases. As for chamfer/debur and polishing, I find chamfer/deburring by hand quick and easy, and I have already retumbled my cases after sizing and crimp removal.

What I would really like to know is how difficult it is to remove a case from the shellholder. How much must the shellholder be unscrewed from the stud in order to release the case?


How much must the shellholder... about 1 turn as I recall.

Try this, throw away the shellholder. Place trimmer in drill press, put a case on it, and lower the trimmer down to the work table of the press. Presto chango - its done!

I take about 5 seconds each for this method.

Great idea, Dave!

Do you have any problems with holding the case by hand? How about problems extracting the cutter from the case? Can you tell me what RPM you use?

This sounds very promising--grab a case, lower the press, grab another case!:)



This is the exact setup I use for batch trimming:

Chuck up the cutter & set the press at lowest speed.
Lock the Universal Shellholder in a pair of mini Vise Grips.
(You can lock in & release a case with one twist)
After trimming I pick up the Chamfer Tool & give the inside
& outside three quick twists- done- next.
This setup throws brass slivers all about so take care.

I trim like this up to .308. The longer length gauges have
too much wobble.

Drive on,
I chuck the shellholder in my cordless drill the hold the cutter in my hand. Please note that I bought one of the Lee cutters with the wooden ball on it, it is much easier to hold on to than the standard cutter.
Thanks for all the help, guys. :)

I've ordered a lockstud, shellholder, case gage, and trimmer. I will report back on which setup works best for me with my drill press.


I found I needed a harder plate to press down on than the drill press table offered. With a cordless drill and the Lee cutters, I can do about 6 a minute. The drill press would be faster.

I trim infrequently, so I just use the shellholder in my ratchet screwdriver, and the ball typer cutter, followed by the cone style Lee chamfer tool. Works well so far.
I'd use a leather glove to hold the brass down against the table. Lot's of brass shavings flying around, just looking for some flesh to dig into!

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