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Old December 11, 2001, 08:53 PM   #1
Ray HP
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What Case Trimmer to Buy?

I need some help deciding which case trimmer to buy, RCBS, Hornady, Lymann, or Redding. Each of them look like they are designed well and a quality product. Are any of these better than the others?
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Old December 11, 2001, 09:59 PM   #2
dick w. holliday
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i had a Lyman years ago that had some type universal shellholder that didn't work too well.....Now i've got an older RCBS that uses a collet type thing to hold the shells --- the newer ones have a different type shellholder which appears to be faster--make sure you order the 3 way cutter accessory--RCBS are easily converted to run with your drill also--i just trimmed 200 308's and i'm pretty sure it took way less than one hour.....

Somebody will surely pipe up and say to get a Gracey but i have one and like the RCBS better....The Gracey doesn't have a shellholder--it trims based on the length from the shoulder rather than the OAL like the others...the concept is OK but if i had used it to trim the 308's i mentioned--may hands would be cripple if i even could have finished..........Dick
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Old December 11, 2001, 11:33 PM   #3
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I own several and the one I use the most is the Lee Zip Trim.
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Old December 12, 2001, 02:00 AM   #4
pbash
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I've had great luck with Lee's $10 case trimmer ($5 for the cutter and lock stud and $5 for the caliber specific guide and shellholder) chucked up in a cordless drill. With practice its pretty quick and you can't beat the price.
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Old December 12, 2001, 11:23 AM   #5
Bogie
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None of the above...

The trimmer that will give you the best, most consistent, most concentric, results, is made by Wilson... Check out www.sinclairintl.com...

It's fairly fast to use, and easy on the hands... You can cheaply hook a power screwdriver up to it should you so desire (I haven't found the need, and I'll trim several hundred at a time).

I've also got the Lee trimmers (pretty nice for what they are), and a Lyman drill-press trimmer that I'm going to set up for doing .223... real soon now... But the Wilson works GREAT.

It won't also serve as a neck turner, and all the other "fancy" stuff, but it works, and it is pretty darn cost effective.
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Old December 14, 2001, 07:17 PM   #6
300winguy
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I second Pbash, the lee trimmer and a cordless drill really work well.
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Old December 14, 2001, 09:09 PM   #7
dick w. holliday
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Since it looks like Lee is starting to take the lead here let me tell you how i rigged one up to make trimming fast and easier (But i still preferr the RCBS)....Here's what i did----take a small piece of hardwood and drill three holes in it--one hole is the size of the Lee cutter head--the other two holes are the size of the Lee chamfering tool----after drilling the holes you take a saw of some sort and split the board (Cutting through the three holes)---then you put the cutter in one hole and two chamfering tools in the other two holes (Making sure the chamfering tools are so one cuts the inside and one cuts the outside of the case). You then put screws or something in the ends of the two halves which puts them back together which will trap the cutter and two chamfering tools in the board. when you get ready to trim cases all you do is screw the cutter pilot into the cutter and clamp the board to your bench. Use one of the Lee quick release shellholders that you can run in a drill and Zip,Zip,Zip and yu're finished---the only problem i've had is running the cases too long in the chamfering tools and then yu've got a sharp edge on the casing rather than the square one with no burrs.......For a dozen or three cases i'll use it every time rather than set up the RCBS.......Hope this makes sense.......Dick
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Old December 15, 2001, 01:17 AM   #8
Archie
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I have a Forster's.

It works very well, will also turn necks. Can be power screw-drivered.

I have used Lee's. They do well as long as you don't want to adjust the case length to fit your chamber.

The Forster is more detailed to set up, but is quick over time. Gives good reproducible results.
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Old December 15, 2001, 03:26 AM   #9
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I have the RCBS one that comes in a Rockchucker kit.

I got a Forster to turn the outside of case necks. Now I can use it to trim cases too. Now I know what a P.O.S. the RCBS is, that I have been using all these years.

The main problem with the RCBS is that the case can spin. So, I pinch it with my fingers, and it still spins.

Mickey Mouse is a engineer working at RCBS. He was working case trimmers when he was getting divorced from Minnie.
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Old December 15, 2001, 04:39 AM   #10
Bill Adair
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I have a Lee case trimmer, but recently bought a Forester, and there is no comparison.

The Forester is much easier to use, and allows you to trim to any length, as well as doing neck turning. They also sell a neat plastic storage box for all the collets and pilots, plus the neck turning adapter.

You will need a chamfering and deburring tool to dress the sharp edge of the case mouth after turning, and here again I've got the Lee tool, but the RCBS is much easier to use in my opinion.

Bill
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Old December 15, 2001, 12:36 PM   #11
444
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"The Forester is much easier to use"

I must be missing something because after using the Forester for several years, I got frustrated and went to the Lee. I can't see how you can get, easier to use than the Lee. There are no adjustments at all. I never learned to master the Forester. I know it was my fault. I am not really mechanically inclined. I could never get uniform cases (I always believed this was because I didn't get the case seated in the case holder thing the same way every case), it took me a long time to get it set up.................. I realize the Forester is a more versitle tool, but all I want to do is case trimming and I went to the Lee because it was so easy to use that even an idiot like me couldn't screw it up.
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Old December 15, 2001, 07:48 PM   #12
Bill Adair
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444,

Granted, the Lee is less complicated than the Forester, but the first time I tried to trim some brand new Winchester 357 brass to uniform length, I found that the Lee trimmer was already too long for the shortest of the new Winchester cases?

The method I use to get the cases seated in the Forester collet, is to trap them between the collet and pilot, and apply light pressure to the case with the cutter while tightening the collet.

This pushes the base of the case firmly into the collet, and turning the cutter and case very slowly while tightening the collet, wipes away any crap trapped between the base and collet.

Bill
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:18 AM   #13
David Wile
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Hey folks,

I've had a Lyman trimmer for maybe 20 years, and it has always worked fine for me. It has a "universal" chuck that truly seems universal to me. It holds every shell that I reload, and that is probably about twenty or more. When I got mine, it simply had a hand crank, and the cutter was easily adjustable for case length. Now you can get the same thing with a powered cutter, and that does sound like a good thing to me. The other good thing about the Lyman is that you do not need to put each shell in a collet for trimming. No collet is required at all. Pilots are required for different neck diameters (6mm, .25, .30, .35 etc), but not for different cartridges. The pilot is secured in the end of the cutter and serves as a guide to secure the cartridge while the cutter trims the neck to the correct length. Once the case is trimmed, the universal chuck is easily opened, the trimmed case removed, and the next case is placed in the chuck. Simple, accurate, and durable.

Best wishes,
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:25 AM   #14
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Bill, I have run into the same problem. I normally don't trim my handgun cartridge cases but a couple times I decided to try and load some super accurate stuff. I figured one thing I should do is make sure all the cases were the same length. The Lee wouldn't do it because they were all already shorter than the min. OAL. I have both as you do, so I think we have all bases covered. For general case trimming, I use the Lee. For the more off beat projects, I can drag out the Forester.
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Old December 16, 2001, 12:32 PM   #15
Steve Smith
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I have a Forster.

444, I agree with you that the Lee is easy, but I was unsatisfied with it in that it does not allow you to adjust the depth of the cut. You're stuck with what they deem as "trim-to-length".

I thought of shortening the depth gauge, but I went with the forster, and I'm pretty satisfied. I get exceptionally accurate cuts, consistently. It's not the fastest thing on the planet, but it's not slow by any means.

If you really want fast, look at the Gracie or Giraud trimmers.
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Old December 17, 2001, 11:55 AM   #16
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Guys, you won't have all those problems with a Wilson... Trust me - They're easy to use, fast, and you are guaranteed a nice square head... Ask a benchrester what's the best trimmer - we're darn picky... Of course, if you're doing boatloads of .223 or something, and you're not picky about accuracy, I'd say to get a Gracey or something like that, but if you're worried about accuracy, go with the proven track record.
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Old December 17, 2001, 11:58 AM   #17
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Old December 17, 2001, 12:55 PM   #18
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Lee for Me!

I've used a little Lee trimmer for a long time...don't remember the price,but it wasn't a lot. Gets the job done on several different rifle and pistol cases. I may get a replacement in something fancier...when the present one wears out.
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Old December 17, 2001, 07:19 PM   #19
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If you are doing boatloads get a Dillon Rapid Trim!
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Old December 18, 2001, 03:22 PM   #20
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I have a Forster and of course have the Lee "kits" for about every caliber that I load for. If I am going to do a bunch I screw the forster to the bench and attatch the electric drill to it and get after it. If it's just a few I use the Lee. The Lee can also be used with an electric drill. One advantage to the Forster is I have all the pilots for the case neck turner, so it its screwed to the bench it's easy to "true up" the necks at the same time as trimming. I aways true new brass. I don't know if its considered "neck truning" or not. I just take off enough to true the brass.
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Old December 18, 2001, 04:48 PM   #21
Peter M. Eick
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I like the RCBS unit with power and the 3 way cutter. I put the sized case in the trimmer. While it is trimming I am wiping off the lube while the powder pro dispenses the load. I prime with a lee kit and make up the round. By now it is trimmed and everything is ready again. Works great for rifle.
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