Lee PrecisionTitan ReloadingADvertise hereRepackbox
RotoMetals2Inline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Thread: Tips on using Lee Case Trimming system by hand?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pullman, WA (Student)
    Posts
    244

    Tips on using Lee Case Trimming system by hand?

    I've recently purchased a set of Lee Case Trimmers. I'll put the components up that I've purchased with Midway USA Listings:

    Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012835597?pid=476992

    Lee Case Length Gauge and Shellholder: 38 Special
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012838679

    I understand that with a low pressure cartridge like 38 special, case trimming is a very optional ordeal. However, I'd want to get some experience with the system either way once I start loading for cartridges in the next couple of years that more critically require such adjustments to case length.

    I was wondering if anyone else has used this system to trim their cases, and if they have had good experiences with it. Not to mention, any tips on putting it to good use.
    As far as I can see, having a fixed metal piece that limits the travel of the case is a pretty foolproof way to guarantee case length.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Posts
    4,449
    I use the Lyman ezee trim, which works the same way. Keep in mind, you need to inside chamfer and outside deburr the mouth after trimming. I trim 38 special once for consistent length and thus consistent crimp, while many do not trim it at all.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pullman, WA (Student)
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I use the Lyman ezee trim, which works the same way. Keep in mind, you need to inside chamfer and outside deburr the mouth after trimming. I trim 38 special once for consistent length and thus consistent crimp, while many do not trim it at all.
    I actually picked up the Lyman Case Prep system, the one that has the removable tool heads for chamfering and deburring, and screw in primer pocket cleaners. Works like a charm for primer pockets but I have not tried the chamfering on it yet.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    1,794
    I use the Lee system. Lock the base in small hand electric screw driver. A hand drill was to o big and loud. Using it at midnight trimming brass got me in trouble a time or three.. The screw driver is one of those little Black Deckers that plug into the wall to recharge. I clamp a little vice grip on gage holder. Acts like a holder so my wrist and fingers don't cramp holding it. I can run through a bunch of brass quickly.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pullman, WA (Student)
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by Rcmaveric View Post
    I use the Lee system. Lock the base in small hand electric screw driver. A hand drill was to o big and loud. Using it at midnight trimming brass got me in trouble a time or three.. The screw driver is one of those little Black Deckers that plug into the wall to recharge. I clamp a little vice grip on gage holder. Acts like a holder so my wrist and fingers don't cramp holding it. I can run through a bunch of brass quickly.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    I have a medium sized cordless drill available to put to use. It could stand flat on my table if I had wanted to use it. Would that be too fiddly of a process?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    SE MISSOURI
    Posts
    818
    A cordless drill is what I use or even a corded drill and it worked fine.I have even used the lee trimmer by hand. That even worked fine. If you are doing a lot it’s nice to have the drill. I just sit in my recliner put the drill on my leg and start trimming brass while watching tv. It’s as easy as that.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    toallmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    easternshore of va.
    Posts
    2,546
    I use the lee cutter on several different rifle cartridges , it works pretty simply and does the job . As mentioned above a battery powered low speed drill really helps when trimming over a box or so , remember brass cases need to be resized before trimming + a little lube helps .

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

    tankgunner59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    West Central Illinois
    Posts
    463
    +1
    The Lee trimmer system is all I have ever used and it works great. I have used it by hand and with a small cordless drill/driver for larger batches of brass. It's all you need.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bartlesville, OK
    Posts
    205
    I just went through about 5,000 .223 cases with the lock stud/trimmer. And you can wear a stud down after enough trimming. Ask me how I know? I was chairbound for a spell, and decided to do what was suggested above, but do have you a good wide catch box/pan under your trimmer. Trimmings go everywhere. I also got tired of holding that little cutter, so ordered the cutter with the ball, instead of putting a wrench on it. Whatever works for ya.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pullman, WA (Student)
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by la5676 View Post
    I just went through about 5,000 .223 cases with the lock stud/trimmer. And you can wear a stud down after enough trimming. Ask me how I know? I was chairbound for a spell, and decided to do what was suggested above, but do have you a good wide catch box/pan under your trimmer. Trimmings go everywhere. I also got tired of holding that little cutter, so ordered the cutter with the ball, instead of putting a wrench on it. Whatever works for ya.
    Would a paper bowl beneath the drill be a reasonable trimmings catcher? or, would that be too small of a surface area to use? I'm not planning on using the couch when I trim, just on the dinner table.
    Also, I think the prices for a stud are very fair for the price they are sold for, and seem pretty simple to replace, compared to other options around.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Indian trail NC
    Posts
    531
    use drill clamped in a vise i run some polishing compound on a rag while its spinning to shine them up
    70 year old brass looks better than new

  12. #12
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    North East, USA
    Posts
    1,267
    I use the LEE as well...chucked up in a drill with a 5 gal bucket underneath to catch the trimmings.

    turtlezx...just make sure your polish doesn't have ammonia in it....it will eat the copper in the brass alloy. Its better to use #0000 steel wool.

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.
    Not all who wander....are lost.
    "Common Sense" is like a flower. It doesn't grow in everyone's garden.

    If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question. - Ronald Reagan

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Indian trail NC
    Posts
    531
    no doesnt auto polishing coumpound and buffed off same time

  14. #14
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    North East, USA
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by turtlezx View Post
    no doesnt auto polishing coumpound and buffed off same time

    Good...just wanted to throw it out there...just in case.

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.
    Not all who wander....are lost.
    "Common Sense" is like a flower. It doesn't grow in everyone's garden.

    If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question. - Ronald Reagan

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    1,794
    Paper towel or anything will work. Just anything to cut over will work. Any drill or electric screw driver with a bit driver head will work. I even snapped the shell holder into a bit driver to save my hands on small batches.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pullman, WA (Student)
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by Rcmaveric View Post
    Paper towel or anything will work. Just anything to cut over will work. Any drill or electric screw driver with a bit driver head will work. I even snapped the shell holder into a bit driver to save my hands on small batches.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    When would be the best time to trim the cases? Right after cleaning and sorting? or after sizing and before case expansion? Obviously I don't want to put effort into sizing brass that is going to be sorted out of potential use. I currently have sized and expanded all of my brass. I was thinking of testing the trimmer with a small batch once the trimmer/cutter and lock stud thingy gets there. I'd purchased the .38 sizer/shellholder at my local sporting goods store and I had realized that they didn't sell the actual trimmer needed for them to work with.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Posts
    4,449
    You trim after sizing, but before expanding/belling. This is also the time you measure for length. Brass will be short before sizing.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,086
    I have both the Lee system and the Lyman case trimmer, I much prefer the Lee system as I find it much faster and as you pointed out fool proof. My method of case prep starts with removing primer with a universal deprimer and running them through a wet cleaner with pins, as I do not run dirty brass through my dies, When brass is dry I put the Lee shell holder in a cordless drill and and trim all brass to correct length and this may well vary according to the firearm being used and the projectiles to be used in that firearm, for example a mates Colt Python had to have shells trimmed so he could use the RCBS 180gr cast we both used. After trimming, and while shell is till in shell holder I use the mouth deburing tool to debure the shell, I also at this time use a drill bolt socket filled with 0000 steel wool to polish the debured case mouth by holding it on the shell mouth and giving the drill a quick run, you will notice a marked difference in how smooth the shell mouth now is, this helps the seating of cast and jacket bullets alike and I believe accuracy as well. My final step is to inside outside debur and uniform the primer pockets with an RCBS deburing tool which I remove from the handle and put in my cordless drill, I consider this necessary to top accuracy and uniformity. There is one step I used to do and that was polish the shells while in the shell holder, I no longer do this with any form of polish as I believe it contributes case stretching in rifle and some hot pistol loads, the shell is supposed to grip the chamber at ignition and cant do this if shell is highly polishes, I have noticed shells to show signs of high pressure in my 375 Whelen when shells are polished. I do however give shells a quick rub with 0000 steel wool if needed. I do not size and prime my brass till all the above is complete. I hope this has been of some help.Regards Stephen

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    AL
    Posts
    270
    the lee has been my go to trimmer for over 40 years. Cordless drill sitting on the table, all i have to do is squeeze the trigger. I put a large piece of cardboard on the table and tape 3" sides on it to catch all the shavings.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    130
    I have been using it for as long as I've been loading, 15+ years. I've also never trimmed a 38 special case, ever.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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