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What case trimmer is best?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lone_Gunman, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I am looking to trim mainly 30-06, 308, and 223. Also 45-70, if that ever needs trimming.

    What is a good quality case trimmer? My volume is low, so I dont think power is needed. My other reloading equipment is Lee.

    I am looking at the Lyman Universal Trimmer. Does anyone have experience with this one? It looks like it uses a universal chuckhead, so I would not need to use shellholders right?

    Can I trim all the calibers listed above with it?
     
  2. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    The lyman universal is the way to go. It will trim almost any caliber except .50 bmg and the like. I bought mine after talking with several friends who reload. I got mine on E-bay for about $15 or so. I probably bid on 20 or so, I always set 50% of new price for my high bid. Good luck. Mac
     
  3. Grump

    Grump Member

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    I don't like anything that uses one of those dumb collet things to grip the case--the one I used drew the collet BACKWARDS into the fitting, AWAY from the cutter. End result? If I had a burr on the casehead, or a different brand casehead that was a thousandth or three smaller in diameter, the "lockup" would be nearer or farther away from the cutter, resulting in very erratic lengths.

    I worked around it by sorta standardizing how far I would turn the locking bar. Even then, the collet was still free to spin inside the fitting, and would still drift around and result in odd lengths.

    Best for me? Wilson. Simple, dead-nuts reliable, and never goes out of adjustment.

    I've *heard* that something like a Geraud is the best, and it includes a three-cutter system than deburrs inside and out at the same time. Motorized and somewhere north of $300, so it's too rich for my blood.

    Also look into the Gracie (spelling?) unit--It's a handheld manual unit that, IIRC, also deburrs at the same time. Or maybe it was just a neck turner. Saw one while pulling targets in a match in the 1980s, but at $100 then, it was too rich for my poor broke college student lifestyle. It was all I could do to keep in powder and bullets then...
     
  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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  5. halvey

    halvey Member

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    Skip the Lee unless you like to buy a lot of aspirin also.

    For a non-powered or drill powered: Wilson. Cuts perfect every time.

    If you want a powered trimmer that is nice, get a Gracie or Giraud (?) I used one of these recently and it trims brass faster than you can trim a pencil. BUT, unless you get a custom holder, you will need to full length size your brass. Neck sized brass does not work in the above unless you get a custom holder.
     
  6. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

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    I bought a RCBS trimer years ago and added a power head when I needed to increase my production. RCBS also has a 3 way cutter (trim and champher inside and out at the same time) which is wonderful. They are caliber specific and retail for about $40. They are worth the price for the convenience they offer.
     
  7. BSlacker

    BSlacker Member

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    The Gracey is fast but it does not set cartridge length from base to case mouth. The unit references the shoulder and cuts the case mouth, not base to case mouth. If you are full length resizing and it is accurate and the shoulder to base is consistant you will get good case length, if not it will be random. Most of the hand powered and drill powered units reference case base to mouth. Just my two cents worth. :)
     
  8. P0832177

    P0832177 member

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    Giraud is the best powered trimmer bar none! Nothing else compares! Halvey speaks with a smile on his face!
     
  9. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    I bought the powered version of the RCBS unit fineredmist mentions above, because I was shooting high power at the time. It was able to keep up with the demands I had, but I only shot a couple matches a month.

    I think if you're low volume, the hand powered version of the RCBS unit would do you a fine job and like fineredmist points out, it has the capability of being upgraded to power later if you decide you need more volume.

    It's a good compromise between power and manual.

    Dave
     
  10. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Do I have to buy RCBS shell holders or anything else to use the RCBS trimmer?
     
  11. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    For low volume work, the Lee gauge/trimmer setup is inexpensive, accurate, and dirt simple to use. I use a small hex-bit screwdriver handle on the lock-stud (shellholder end). For more volume, use a cordless drill on the lock-stud. For even higher volume, chuck the cutter/gauge in a drill press, and just hold the brass against the table with a leather glove. Make sure you're not over a hole in the drill press table. Just let the gauge bottom out on the table.

    Andy
     
  12. MrBill-RWVA

    MrBill-RWVA Member

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    For low volume high accuracy, NOTHING comes close to the Wilson trimmer. Sinclair makes several nice add-ons for the Wilson trimmer including a stand, and Micrometer adjuster that you can just dial the case length you want and don't even need to measure (I still do but it is always perfect) case length. The way the caseholders work for the Wilson the cases are always perfectly square to the cutter, and nothing touches the rim or head of the case. And the Wilson trimmers are cheap to boot unless you add all of the Sinclair goodies.

    Now for volume, wondering if I would be better off with one Giraud and extra adaptors or two dedicated Graceys one for 223 and one for 308?
     
  13. doubs43

    doubs43 Member

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    I've had a Forster for close to 40 years and it's been great. Not powered but quick and easy to use.
     
  14. the_right_reverend

    the_right_reverend Member

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    I have Used the Lyman universal for 30 years and have been very happy with it. I recently acquired a Forster and attached a neck turner and set it to turn and trim at the same time :D
     
  15. lykoris

    lykoris Member

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    Giraud trimmer all the way.

    I bought a redding 2400, universal collet is horrendous to use, I used it for all of two hours before ordering the Giraud
     
  16. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "I am looking at the Lyman Universal Trimmer. Does anyone have experience with this one? It looks like it uses a universal chuckhead, so I would not need to use shellholders right? Can I trim all the calibers listed above with it?"

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    It indexes off the case head, not the rims (really the same as Wilson) and is the fastest to use hand powered case trimmer I've ever seen/used. I got mine in the mid-70s because of a very good review in the Am. Rifleman. Never had any cause to reqret that decision.

    It's probably true that the Wilson is the ABSOLUTE best hand trimmer, but not by much. IF I were a serious BR shooter I'd likely get one but I'm not and doubt I would ever see any useable difference if I were. The Lyman "Universal" (not the "Accutrimmer") is much more convinent to use and plenty "accurate" enough for factory rifles, IMHO. It includes nine of the most common neck pilots so once you have it you're ready to go, you never need to buy any case holders.

    Wilson's trimmer, alone, is a reasonable price. Until you have to add several of those really nice case holders! Wow!
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Hand: Wilson, Forster, RCBS, in that order.

    Powered: Possum Hollow (supply your own power), then the big boys, Giraud, etc.
     
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I own a forester and a rcbs with all the bells and whistles both now gather dust in the corner. I took an old battery drill bolted it down used a gel cell battery, trickle charger,and remote foot switch. couple that with the Lee cutter stud setup and a large wooden block (yes square) glued to the handheld cutter and I am at least five times faster than the other ones. No destroyed brass to set it up each time either, then use RCBS chamfer tool before removing ( also modified with a better grip in the center) and WOW can I go. Almost forgot,I wrapped self vulcanizing tape to the drill chuck so that it can be rotated to hold the brass from below when tightening the lockstud. See no aspirin just more time to reload.:D
     
  19. dirtman

    dirtman Member

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    +1 grump... "I don't like anything that uses one of those dumb collet things to grip the case--the one I used drew the collet BACKWARDS into the fitting, AWAY from the cutter. End result? If I had a burr on the casehead, or a different brand casehead that was a thousandth or three smaller in diameter, the "lockup" would be nearer or farther away from the cutter, resulting in very erratic lengths.:

    Thats exactly why i stopped using my RCBS and bought a Lyman Universal ... its just more accurate and does a better job....
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have a forster trimmer that I use if I'm only trimming a few.

    The Giraud is what I would call "the best"

    The Dillon is the fastest.
     
  21. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Hand: Wilson, Forster, RCBS, in that order."

    Walk, any particular mechanical or design reasons you prefer the Forster and RCBS over the Lyman Universal?

    Grump/Dirtman's experience is exactly why I don't care for draw-in collet type case holders.
     
  22. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Giraud trimmers don't work with straight wall cases (45-70).

    If you're low volume a Wilson would be fine.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The Wilson is slower, but very rigid, and cuts case mouths dead square. It's the best.

    The Forster is more rigid than the RCBS, which means there will be less varience. (checked, not guessed at)

    The RCBS is good, but you have to be carefull with hand pressure, as it flexes some.

    The collet system the Forster and RCBS uses works very well.

    I have never used the Lyman. I have the three I mentioned.

    I trim match prepped 6PPC cases on my Wilson. Everything else is done on the Forster or the RCBS. I am just careful with the RCBS, since I know hand pressure from either side, or both at the same time, can flex it and cause more case length varience.
     
  24. lykoris

    lykoris Member

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    Jmorris,

    I don't believe you're right in saying the dillon is the fastest, you have to manually chamfer/deburr the cases after the dillon cutter has trimmed them...the giraud does everything in one pass
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I size deprime and trim on a 650 then run through a 1050 with another size die and swage/expand die. Check the condition of the carbide blade before starting and you’re good to go. No deburr or chamfer used in many thousands of rounds. Mixed brass has more than enough accuracy for 3-gun and if I sort brass by head stamp and weight groups are under 1moa. As for speed, trimming is faster than this http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/?action=view&current=1050.flv
     
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