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Old January 17, 2013, 07:50 AM   #1
SerenityNetworks
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Case Trimmer for .204 Ruger / .243 / 30.06

I'm new to reloading and need to pick up a case trimmer. Whew! They tend to be expensive. I need something that will do the job properly, but I don't need the latest whiz bang trimmer. I don't mind putting in some additional manual effort to the task.

For the foreseeable future all I'll likely be loading is .204 Ruger, .243 Winchester, and 30.06 Springfield. I'm looking for suggestions on a case trimmer &/or source that will give me quality results for the least amount of money.

Thank you in advance,
Andrew
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:43 AM   #2
603Country
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These days I use an RCBS Trim Pro, and I finally bought the 3-way cutterhead. Very fast, and trims, chamfers, and deburrs all in one step. Love that thing. But..I started with a inexpensive manual trimmer, which I think maybe is a Sinclair, and it worked just fine (and still does, after many many years). I just looked in the Sinclair catalog, and I didn't see it offered, but they probably still sell it. And Lee probably makes a good affordable one, since they make quality affordable versions of just about everything. If you absolutely can't find anything, PM me and I'll think about parting with that old manual trimmer.
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Old January 17, 2013, 11:03 AM   #3
SerenityNetworks
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603country, thank you.

Is this the trimmer you are talking about?
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/114...se-trimmer-kit

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Old January 17, 2013, 11:11 AM   #4
603Country
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Yes, the pictured one in the attachment is the one I use, though like I said, I've added the 3 way cutter. I really like the trimmer, but I'm sure that there are quite a few others that will work very well. The one I was possibly willing to part with looks a lot like the Lee handheld case trimmer. Probably the Lee would work fine for you, but I REALLY like the 3 way cutter on the RCBS Trim Pro. That setup was money well spent, since all the work is done in one step and takes seconds per case.
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Old January 17, 2013, 11:51 AM   #5
SerenityNetworks
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Am I understanding correctly that I would need this cutter for my .204 (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/145...ter-22-caliber) and then could purchase other pilots for my other calibers?

Thanks again,
Andrew

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Old January 17, 2013, 12:52 PM   #6
603Country
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That is correct. Lemmesee now...You need the base Trim-pro, you need the case holders for the specific cartridge or family of cartridges (260, 7-08, 308 would use the same one, since they are the same base cartridge case), so you'd need one for the 204. The trim pro 3-way cutter head works for most all cartridges (maybe not for the 50 BMG, however), so you only need the one cutterhead and you'll need the .20 caliber pilot for the cutter head. And, of course you'll need the case holder and pilots for any other calibers you want to load for.

The only very minor irritant is that when I change cartridge cases (from 223 to 260 for instance), I have to change the cutterhead pilot, which is very easy, but then I have to make minor adjustments to the cutters to get the deburring and chamfering just right. It isn't difficult in the least, but it takes a few minutes to set them to suit me. I could just buy multiple cutterheads, one for each caliber, but haven't done that yet....but I might.

There are plenty of other trimmers out there, and one or two might be better than the RCBS, but I'm quite happy with the Trim-Pro. Might even be better to have the powered one, but I don't feel that I need that upgrade.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:42 PM   #7
SerenityNetworks
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Thank you for the detail.

I have an RCBS press so I don't mind at all continuing with them, unless I can save a good bit by going with someone else.

Thanks again,
Andrew

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Old January 17, 2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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I have been more than happy with my Forster trimmer. It holds great tolerances and also accepts a neck turning attachment. The neck turner also works like a charm; it will produce brass within .0005".
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:43 PM   #9
emcon5
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What sort of volume are you talking about?

For the price, it is hard to go wrong with the Lee hand trimmer.

You need this:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/476...-and-lock-stud

and these:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/459...06-springfield

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/321...243-winchester

The only problem is I don't think they make a case gage for the .204.
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Old January 18, 2013, 08:43 AM   #10
SerenityNetworks
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Thanks fellows for assisting this noob.

I will look into the Forster and Lee. I'm learning more each time. If I understand correctly, the Lee guage system speeds the trimming by eliminating individual case measurements. Is that correct? Do Forster or RCBS have similar and does the Lee perform the campher? It seems like I'm trading one benefit for another with the different makes. I don't mind saving money by doing something manually, but I do want to get all the pieces I need or will use at one shot. I hate getting part way into doing and learning something and then have to put the process on hold for a week while I wait for one more part to arrive.

PS. Not having a holder or guage for the .204 would be a deal breaker. That is the case I will be reloading most often. I've searched Midway and I'm not finding one.
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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Serenity....I've used and appreciate both the Wilson crank model and Lee's simple cutter, shaft, and case holder model....both work well but the Lee is dirt cheap, works well with a drill press if you need vast numbers trimmed in a hurry and is accurate. On a budget, I'd go with the Lee...and I use both models on almost a daily basis. HTH's Rod
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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I have been using the same Forster for over 40 years. Still good as new. A great investment.
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Old January 18, 2013, 02:34 PM   #13
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I've got a Forster I use for my wildcats and it can also do neat things like neck turning and I even have a hollowpointer for cast bullets. But for all of my standard stuff I use the Lee. I can sit in front of the tube and several hundred before Big Jake is done.
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:14 PM   #14
SerenityNetworks
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Okay, I am learning, but slowly.

I was thinking I'd need a case trimmer - to trim cases. But I find it can also camfer and deburr the case (which seems quite handy to me). Are there other functions it can perform that I should consider?

With the variety of functions a case trimmer can perform and the need for different bits, holders, and whatnot, I'm still feeling stumped on just what I need to order for any of the manufacturers you fellows have kindly suggested. I feel ignorant enough about the topic to believe I'm likely to order and miss some part or another that I need in order to make it work. (The manufacturers' sites haven't been any too helpful either, that I have found, in saying you need this part and that part and another part. They assume understanding and knowledge that I just don't have. I've read the Speer manual a couple times, but it doesn't go to the detail I need to order specific parts for the cartridges I want to reload.)

Thanks again fellows. I appreciate your guiding me through this.

Sincerely,
Andrew

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Old January 18, 2013, 08:04 PM   #15
603Country
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Let me suggest that you get a Sinclair catalog (order it online), and they have quite a few trimmers shown. In addition to the RCBS that I have, they offer the Forster, which also has a 3 way trimmer head option. I'll leave the comparative math to you, but I do think that the RCBS is the cheaper way to go if you want to do the 3 way trimming on more than one case type, and I suspect that it might be a bit faster per case trimmed, due to the quick way they've engineered the shellholder use mechanism. Still, I think either make would do just fine. I'd be happy with either.
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