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Thread: Case Trimming

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Case Trimming

    What do you use and why?

    I currently have the Lee Zip cut case trimmer and it is OK. But I imagine there are better ways of doing it...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    This is what I use http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...imer-Drill-Jig

    Several companies make crank trimmers which are infinitely adjustable, some make these trimmers in a powered model

    You're familiar with the Lee trimmers, there are several companies that make caliber specific trimmers that fit on a drill, ranging from US $23.49 "WCT" - World's Cheapest Trimmer (they now have an adaptor so you can use it on your case prep center) to around $100 (you need to neck size the cases first ) spin the trimmer in a drill and stick the case in the trimmer. The trimmer guages on the case shoulder and cuts until the case is a the distance you set from the shoulder.
    Some of these drill mounted case trimmers also bevel the case at the same time.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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    I currently use the Forster original. It will trim standard length brass calibers up to 300 mag. I now have some longer black powder cases that need the "classic trimmer". If I had the classic now, and not the original I would purchase the standard base as an addition, that way I would not need to purchase the longer trimmer. Oh well, back when I got the original trimmer 1980, the longer trimmer was not yet available. Great trimmers especially if you do any wildcatting, or case forming for odd calibers.


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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    I use the WFT (world's finest trimmer) an't they work very well (drill mounted) but it does not bevel, that still must be done after.

    "Pardon me whilst I adjust my accrutiments." Daffy Duck

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    I have a RCBS auto case trimmer, just added a 3 way cutter head, makes life much easier

  6. #6
    Boolit Man metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Started out on a second hand Lyman Universal (non-carbide) and have graduated up to a pair of Forster's long and short with the goodies. Each has its own strength and weakness but produce constant lengths which is the overall goal. The Lyman sets up faster and the QD collet is quicker to use during the trimming process. The Foresters are slower and you have to ensure the case is fully set into the collet to avoid trimming short.

    I am a low volume guy who only loads for 3 rifle calibers and trim no more than 20-50 at any given time for case trimming so manual cranks get the job done. I have no need at this point to go any of the powered routes.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    This is what I use http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...imer-Drill-Jig

    Several companies make crank trimmers which are infinitely adjustable, some make these trimmers in a powered model

    You're familiar with the Lee trimmers, there are several companies that make caliber specific trimmers that fit on a drill, ranging from US $23.49 "WCT" - World's Cheapest Trimmer (they now have an adaptor so you can use it on your case prep center) to around $100 (you need to neck size the cases first ) spin the trimmer in a drill and stick the case in the trimmer. The trimmer guages on the case shoulder and cuts until the case is a the distance you set from the shoulder.
    Some of these drill mounted case trimmers also bevel the case at the same time.

    WCT by Hulub. Fast accurate and requires min case chamfering after trimming. Really good for large batches. And inexpensive ! Yes

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    pworley1's Avatar
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    I use a small lathe
    NRA Benefactor Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    In the beginning, I used an RCBS trimmer that wasn't mine. Then came across a Lyman. Shortly afterwards, I got my own RCBS and its still on my bench and used often. Typically a low volume loader so high speed it not really a concern. I've been loading for over 30 years and generally gravitate to RCBS equipment. Call it the old guy syndrome but they have very good quality and the best customer service I have ever experienced. Over the past few years I have been using the Lee trimmers when the volume is real low or in the rare cases I'm doing 100 or so and want to speed things up with a drill. I find them consistent but have run across one or two that cut a couple thousands too short. That's easy to deal with. Lately, I came across a stainless LE Wilson trimmer for close to nothing. I had a friend make a holder for it (see it in the projects section) and have it set up for 5.56/.223. My intent is to leave it set up for that case length and not change it. That also means it will only get used once or twice a year but I won't have to set anything up to trim for that length. I have found it to be very accurate and consistent and have no doubt it will remain so.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I've used several methods over the years and they all worked. I started with a Lyman trimmer. The Universal chuck was nice. I also got an RCBS in a trade and it worked well, although the length could vary a little depending on how tight you gripped the case. A carbide cutter is worth the cost on any trimmer. I also had a few of the Lee case gauge type of trimmers that worked ok. I also used a trim die when I was forming cases that required a lot of brass to be removed although I did not like it for routine trimming.

    Now days, I use a Wilson trimmer, the Lee case gauge type trimmer and a Giraud for my high volume stuff. The Giraud is awesome! I can trim at a sustained rate of 15-16 cases pre minute and hold .001 tolerance. It also deburrs both the inside and outside of the case mouth. I still have trim dies for forming stuff like the 357 Herrett.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I use the L E Wilson trimmers for every thing, I like the accuracy and quality of the trimmer.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I use the Forster trimmer for the drill press. It works very well and is fast once it is dialed in. I also have the Classic trimmer with the longer base for my longer cases.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
    the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
    -- Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Boolit Master ikarus1's Avatar
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    I got the Lee power quick trim nearly for free, and a few dies. So I purchased a very affordable 3.6V ($9 @ HFT) power screwdriver that runs 180rpm, and haven't looked back.

    True it's not a WFT or Giraud but it also is adjustable on the fly and easy to swap in and out for different calibers. Plus Lee will send me cutters for next to nothing.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I started out many years ago with the RCBS trimmer that had the collets to hold the case, I could not get repeatable accuracy with it. Upgraded to the Trim-Pro head and bought a few of the shellholders as well as a carbide cutter. Much better in the repeatable length area, but still kinda tedious turning the crank. About a year ago I bought the RCBS powered Trim-Pro 2 with the universal head that does not require different shellholders for each caliber and I could not be happier. This unit trims to +/- .0005, only takes a few seconds per case, and saves a bunch of time on this tedious but necessary task.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    I have a Worlds Finest Trimmer for my 308, and a lathe type bench trimmer(make?). But the system I use most is the Lee or Lyman Eezy-Trim. Simple, fast and works quite well on all my rifle brass
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Like ikarus says, get the Lee Quick Trim Deluxe with the drill adapter. This gets the trim and the in/out champfer done all in one pass. And Lee doesn't advertise it but you don't need an adapter for every cartridge -- you just need the one for the cartridge family. So your 308 die will do 243 or any of those types; 30/06 also works for 270. And 44 mag does 44/40 and 38/40 just fine also. With some of these (like 38/40 trimmed with 44 mag die) you need to back off a bit from contact so you don't get too short, but once set they'll all get trimmed accurately.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Started out with a Forster crank then got the longer version and can do all the calibers for which I load. Along the way at a gun show (Ohio Gun Collector's Association) I picked up all necessary attachments to outside neck-turn and inside ream. Then discovered Lee's case length trimmers that utilize a drill and my DeWalt has been doing most of the work ever since. Still do neck-turning on the Forsters. Big Boomer
    Last edited by Big Boomer; 04-04-2018 at 12:48 PM. Reason: addition

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Forster classic with three way cutters for most of what I do. Also neck turner and hollow pointer. Easy to switch back and forth from hand powered to cordless drill powered.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Use the Lee type. With a battery drill like that you don't have to adjust anything ,trim every time with bottle neck cases don't trim straight cases .still the worst reloading job .

  20. #20
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I use the Forster original with a Dewalt gyroscopic screwdriver. I bought the Forster adapter and it works perfectly.

    https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCF682...ss+screwdriver

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check