Upgrading!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Axis II, Jan 29, 2022.

  1. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,854
    I started this journey with a borrowed Lee C press, a set of RCBS 223rem dies, Lee debur and chamfer tool, HF calipers, borrowed vibratory tumbler, Lee pilot trimmer and made some pretty good ammo. I quit loading for about a year now and started back up last week realizing that all my cheap stuff just sucks! Soooo....I have a Frankfort Arsenal Precision trimmer on the way. Normally like $70 on Amazon I got it for $55. Purchased a good set of digital calipers, ordering a case prep center once its not backordered anymore. Ditched the HF vibratory tumbler for a FART. I learned really fast the other day that processing 1500 pieces of 5.56 and LE 223rem with crimped pockets is not fun to do by hand hence the trimmer and case prep center.

    I look at it this way I am in my 30's with a long road ahead of me and many rounds ahead of me. I may as well buy good stuff that is going to make it easier and last me years than save a couple bucks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
  2. Mark_Mark
    • Contributing Member

    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    7,781
    You can’t go wrong with Quality

    my best purchase was a Starret Dial Caliper
     
    AJC1, Demi-human and Axis II like this.
  3. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,854
    It makes things a lot more enjoyable. :)

    While I got away with using the cheaper stuff for so long its not enjoyable to use and makes me say screw this and walk away.
     
  4. redcon1

    redcon1 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Money well spent. I went through similar pains with lake city 7.62 and finally broke down and ordered the RCBS case prep center and a Giraud tri-way trimmer. Life became better immediately. I haven't replaced the old Lyman turbo tumbler yet. I want to of course but it serves me well enough for now and there are some other gadgets that I'd prefer first including an upgraded press. I'm using an inherited Rockchucker that has the date 1971 written on it.:eek: it works fine but maybe it's time for an upgrade. I'm thinking I want a magnetospeed too. plus all the gunsmithing tools that I think I need. There's just no end to it.
     
    armydog likes this.
  5. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,854
    No there is not an end! I have a LCT now that I love to use. Not having to setup dies for each caliber is great! I have a C press still for little stuff and decapping.

    I almost went with the little crow or Giraud trimmer but the FA is cheaper, pretty much the same and I can so other calibers on it. I'll have either a 308 or 6.5 by summer so having something universal works better for me.

    Next step is turning my Savage Mark II FV into a dedicated target gun for shooting local amature benchrest shoots and then finding a nice competition pistol. Oh, and a rifle for banging steel out to 1k.
     
    Mark_Mark likes this.
  6. redcon1

    redcon1 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    I still have my trusty Forster original case trimmer set up for lower volume case trimming but that thing was not "cutting it" with Lake City 7.62. After a pass through the FL resizing die, that stuff needs quite a bit of trimming and it seems thick and heavy. It was taking me like 60 seconds per case and by the time I'd done a hundred, my hand was barely functional. It takes about 6 seconds per case with the tri-way cutter and there's no lingering hand cramps. I'm getting ready to do some high volume 5.56 so I think I'll just buy another triway for that. I just chuck them in my drill press and zip zip zip. It's too easy. I think there's a 30 Nosler or 300 PRC in my future too but I don't expect that that will involve high volume case processing. 3&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=FWs83sY5mO8AX9IQfQ1&tn=9WRbl7sqaDhG3rOE&_nc_ht=scontent.ftol2-1.jpg
     
    lightman, Axis II and Mark_Mark like this.
  7. armydog

    armydog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2021
    Messages:
    238
    I started out with the bare minimum. That didn't last long. Tools that make life easier will keep you from being annoyed and distracted. And the right tools will lessen the kinks in your neck and back which will have you looking at the clock and wanting to call it quits earlier than you planned.
     
  8. Mark_Mark
    • Contributing Member

    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    7,781
    I started out by asking my brother, who’s been reloading since 15yo. He said to get a RCBS master press kit, or whatever it was called.

    best part of that kit, The press, green tray, powder drop, scale… manual sucked and lube was to light.
     
    armydog and Demi-human like this.
  9. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,854
    Prep center ordered and trimmer just showed up. The trimmer seems very well built and has a micrometer type adjustment. I will do a review after I used it.
     
  10. JEBruns

    JEBruns Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2021
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Not sure about the Little Crow, but the Giraud is not really the same as the FA trimmer. With the Giraud, it trims/chamfers/deburrs at the same time. With the FA, it will be 3 separate operations. I purchased the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Prep Center so that at least I'd only have to handle the round once through the 3 operations. Same trimmer as the unit you bought. I may well upgrade to the Giraud at some point. It seems a better mouse trap to me.
     
    Skgreen, Demi-human and Axis II like this.
  11. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    4,610
    Location:
    Orygun!
    For me, and FWIW; inexpensive isn't necessarily cheap. I have made my living with hand tools since 1968 so I have an idea of tool quality. I've purchased $$$ German made hand tools, Snap-On, Craftsman, down to Harbor Freight tools. For reloading tools I have used Smart Reloader (only once), Lee, Frankfort Arsenal, to Redding, Wilson and Forster, and some were junk (Smart Reloader), some were "pretty" and worked exceptionally well (Forster). I started with Lee and found every Lee tool I have purchased and used in over 40 years has done the designed job quite well (but I know how to use hand tools and read instructions). If you want to go with a $$$ name cool!, But with a knowledgeable tool user/reloader your targets won't know the difference (one good load for my 308 bolt gun was assembled with Lee dies, a Lee powder measure, trimmed brass with a Lee trimming tool, on my Forster Co-Ax. 7/8" groups @ 100 yds)...

    Hey, jes an old geezer's experience...
     
    ballman6711 and Bazoo like this.
  12. Grumpy_old_Fart

    Grumpy_old_Fart Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2021
    Messages:
    263
    Fwiw, the Lyman hand trimmer kit has the same thread as the rcbs case prep station and allows you more options in cleaning and deburring primer pockets at speed.
     
    Axis II likes this.
  13. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,854
    It wasn’t because they were cheap it was because they were a PITA to use. Look at other brands debur and chamfer tool compared to Lee. Huge difference. My Hf calipers started going crazy on me even with new batteries so instead of a $10 caliper I opted for a $40 calipers. I have mostly Lee dies. I have a Lee PPM. I have found that better tools will make hobbies more enjoyable. Instead of putting a case on a lick stud, lining up a guide rod and twisting for 2min now I shove the case in the trimmer, turn still on and done. 2 less steps to do and easier on my hands.
     
  14. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6,710
    Location:
    Memphis
    Just wait till you try a high ratio press with a long lever!!!!!
     
  15. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    3,534
    Location:
    Montana
    F32EF1A7-98CE-4BA8-AC37-C980B9F586F5.jpeg I’m still in the first line
     
  16. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    I am always trying something new. Either a new item or a new way. I have a lyman universal trimmer. I have switched to the powered shaft and foun it works pretty good if I mount the trimmer lengthwise so I can push into it with my drill. I'd like a powdered chamfer deburr tool but I don't hate the Wilson hand tool. I trim about 25 ten chamfer deburr them, then repeat.

    I also use the lyman ezee trim occasionally. It works okay for when I take my kit outside.

    I'm interested in learning new methods though and the tri way giraud trimmer seems interesting.
     
  17. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    4,610
    Location:
    Orygun!
    Are you just talking about chamfer/deburr tools? I have been reloading for quite a while and have not (IIRC!) used a dedicated reloading chamfer/deburr tool. Being a machinist/mechanic for 50 years I have found better tools for the job. I have a few countersinks in my shop, high speed steel and carbide. Chuck one in my drill, touch the case against the countersink for 1/2 second, good chamfer. Works quite well for removing primer pocket crimps too. For chamfering/deburring OD, I stuffed some coarse steel wool in a half inch socket mounted on a 3/8" square to 1/4" hex in my drill. Same as ID tool, but maybe 2 seconds. But there are some good tubing tools for deburring; https://www.amazon.com/tubing-deburring-tool/s?k=tubing+deburring+tool

    I've found case prep is mainly "Metal Working 101" and many tools available can do just as good and better job than dedicated reloading tools (and often cheaper too). Some tools just don't work well under any circumstances. I tried 3 different digital calipers, all went crazy and died, but my Starrett and Craftsman dial calipers lasted many years...

    I'm just sharing my experience as I have no reason to question what tools you choose. (I have worked with "tool snobs", those that would only buy Snap-On and look down on Craftsman as cheap junk, but the Craftsman tools worked just as well as the Snap-On across the board). For some the name on a tool, what color it is, or how much it costs are more important than how well it works or how long it lasts.

    Forgive an old geezer's opinion...
     
    AJC1, ballman6711 and Axis II like this.
  18. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    Course steel wool in a socket with power adapter. Hmm. How long does that last? How far from the end do you pack the steel wool in?

    Metal working is something I'm learning, since I didn't go to high school or trade school. I was homeschooled and got a GED, so I missed shop class.
     
  19. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6,710
    Location:
    Memphis
    My craftsman tools are right at home next to my mitatoyo calipers and proto inch pound torque wrench. There are good tools under many names and my 50 year old craftsman torque wrench is now a 3rd generation hand me down. Reloading tools are the same, the quality dies, presses and hand tools will last if you care for them.
     
  20. Mark_Mark
    • Contributing Member

    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    7,781
    I got a set of digital mitatoyo, I still have the mic but lost the calipers

    bought these in 1996
     
    AJC1 likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice