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Please Recommend a Case Trimmer

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 460Shooter, Apr 19, 2018.

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  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I shoot pistols of various cartridge and pistol caliber carbines. I've never cared that much about shooting rifles. Right now I load 45 ACP and 10mm auto. 38/357 will get added to the mix in the next few months, and I currently have Redding dies to load S&W 460 magnum.

    The 460 magnum is more like loading for a rifle and I would think may require case trimming. I may also get into long range rifle shooting (I'm thinking Ruger RPR or Savage 110), but it's very likely I'd own one long range rifle and only load one cartridge. I'm sort of topping off on my cartridge variety interest.

    I've heard that an electric trimmer is the way to go, but I don't see myself loading a very high volume of 460 mag or rifle cartridges compared to my volume of pistol cartridges. I'm thinking maybe 500 cases a year combined. Maybe 1000 a year max.

    Can you all make a recommendation on a case trimmer for this volume of trimming needs, and a unit, manual or electric, that will handle anything and not break the bank? I don't mind spending decent money on equipment if it will last me forever.
     
  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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  3. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    Here is my review of the LE Wilson case trimmer, Ive found this to be excellent, a little on the pricey side but accurate to within +/- .001 of an inch.


    Thanks,
    Dom
     
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  4. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    If it's just a few calibers the Lee cutter and lock stud set works well, you have to buy the gauges separately for each caliber tho.
     
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  5. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    I have a Franklin Arsenal case trimmer for rifle cases with high volume but for the volume you are anticipating, and no more frequently than those need trimmed, I'd also suggest just buying the appropriate Lee Cutter and lock stud, as well as the "Zip trim" from Lee. About $7.00 for the first and $25.00 for the second and you're ready to trim.
     
  6. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    I use the Lyman Universal. I bought the one that came with the second shaft for use with an electric screwdriver. It works well. I have also used the Lee cutter and lock stud. These also work well and if your volume is low and you are just doing the one caliber, that is the way to go.
     
  7. Toprudder
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    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    For the relatively low volume that you are talking about, I would recommend the Lee trimmers. If you get a case prep center, you can get the Lee cutter with a 8/32 thread stud that will mount in any standard case prep center. Or, you can chuck the cutter into a drill. You will have to buy a gauge/shellholder for each caliber.

    Get one of these:
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/509050/lee-8-32-threaded-case-trimmer-cutter-and-lock-stud (for case prep center)
    or
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/476992/lee-case-trimmer-cutter-and-lock-stud (hand held)

    and then the caliber specific gauge/shellholder
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012838679/lee-case-length-gauge-and-shellholder

    I have used the Lee trimmers, with a RCBS case prep center, to process several hundred cases at a time. I trim, chamfer, deburr all on the case prep center.
     
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  8. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I really like my Forrester trimmer, but you have to buy all the collets and pilots separately. With a complete set of both though you can trim absolutely any case your ever likely to come across. I use the cordless drill adapter if doing any volume. The RCBS trimmer with the release lever also works nice and is probably faster.
     
  9. fotheringill

    fotheringill Member

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    OP has a question and we have varied answers.
    On recommendation six or so years ago, I got the Wilson. Works well, has the micrometer set. But there are so many others out there at a much lesser price that will do the same job or a slightly not so same job, I would now get the "lesser priced" tool.
     
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  10. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I have an old Lyman universal, upgraded with a carbide cutter.
    I think it's real easy to use and cuts them all very consistently.

    Everybody complains about trimming, but I've trimmed untold thousands with it, and I don't mind it a bit.
    I even turn it by hand!
     
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  11. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Yeah, it is kind of hard to recommend you blow a bunch of money on a dedicated single caliber electric or lathe type.
    If it is just the one and not a lot of brass that Lee pin gauge trimmer is the way to go.

    As far as full on trimmers it is hard to beat the Lyman universal, once one sets up ergonomically with brass in easy reach that universal chuck is very quick and I can hand crank darn near as fast as guys using those rip off priced WFT/Giruad contraptions. Plus I am set for almost any caliber out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The Lee cutter system is reasonable for straight walled cases but getting the case locked to the drive stud can sometimes be problematic.

    A wrench can be used to snug the shell holder to the stud. Pick a wrench that fits over the open end of the case holder and the back of the case holder.

    The LE Wilson trimmer works well with straight walled cases but it is a bit pricey and removing the trimmed case from the case holder and installing the next case takes a bit of time. Not much but, it slows down the trimming process.

    I find trim dies pretty efficient for trimming straight wallef cases. But, sometimes getting them can take lots of time.

    I have, and use all three systems with various cartridges. I did get a trim die for my 460 S&W Mag trimming.
     
  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I am not liking the price but that Wilson trimmer looks really well made and easy to use.

    I plan to reload for the next 30-40 years so I guess the price is not really an issue given the lifespan of the equipment.

    I'm still thinking though. Lyman and Lee both seem to make decent stuff.
     
  14. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    The Wilson tool is not very flexible and is not very convenient to use with out a clamp and mount.
    I can say this because I have 4 of them that I got in trades and brass buys. The Wilson tool requires expensive case holders that are not convenient to use in pistol calibers.

    The Forster tool is easier to use since it actually clamps the case. Once you have a set of 3 collets you can trim almost any thing. For short pistol rounds a short base may be required.
    I also own 5 Forster trimmers. I bought the first one in 1976. The Forster can also be used to turn case necks if you have the neck turning attachment. You can also ream case necks. You can easily replace the handle assy with a 5/16" -24 high nut and drive the cutter with a battery powered drill or screw driver.

    The Forster tool is the most widely available used since it has been in production over 50 years. They can often can be found used for $25 to $35. Collets and pilots are widely available.
    I don't have any experience with all the others because none except the Wilson were in production in 1976.
     
  15. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    I bought an original "original" Forster 45 years ago. It still works today....like new.....no.... better than new, because 5 years ago I bough 3-way cutters and a motor shaft adapter when I bought my first progressive. Now it trims, deburrs, and chamfers in one pass. Accuracy as always been great as long as I don't try to trim junk dinged rims.....and those you can smooth out with a sanding block first, advisable before you chamber such anyway.
     
  16. fotheringill

    fotheringill Member

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    Be aware that a little extra pressure on the handle is going to throw off your cut to much deeper than what you are set for.
     
  17. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    I also use this Wilson for low-volume trimming. Large volumes of brass are run through my Girard.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    How often do you all have to trim 357 mag cases?
     
  19. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Never
     
  20. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    Ive yet to find a pistol caliber case that I need to trim.
     
  21. Captaingyro

    Captaingyro Member

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    I shoot revolver matches at 70 yards using cast bullets in .44 Mag and find that trimming cases gives me a much more consistent roll crimp and improves accuracy. I wouldn't do it for any taper crimped cartridges, but for roll crimping it makes a difference.
     
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  22. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    My main concern is the S&W 460 mag. I imagine after a few loadings it'll need trimming.
     
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  23. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    ^^This^^

    +50-70
     
  24. Englishmn
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    Englishmn Member

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    Only done couple loadings on my 460 haven't had to trim yet but I'm not loading anywhere near factory levels.
     
  25. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I trim magnum handgun cases when I want a consistant roll crimp. Otherwise, I do not trim handgun cases.

    With 357 Magnum, pretty much once trimmed, I have not needed to trim them again but I have not shot those cases more than a few cycles.

    Same with 460 S&W Mag. I have not shot many full power rounds so I’d be venturing into virgin territory here. Most 460 cases I load are hot 45 Colt loads.

    Full power 460 Mag loads will be loaded in trimmed cases and I will monitor their condition at each reloading and trim accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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