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Old April 28, 2011, 05:53 PM   #1
troy_mclure
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i hate trimming brass!

i hate trimming brass, and i have around 3k pieces of brass to trim(.223/.30-06).

my lee zip-trim is not up to the task.

what is a not too expensive trimmer that will do lots of brass fast. i saw something in a gun mag that you hook to a drill for $60ish per cartridge.
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:18 PM   #2
MADISON
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I hate trimming brass!

If you hate trimming brass, my solution for HANDGUNS is to taper crimp them.
For rifle you can trim the brass one time and try an RCBS X-die?
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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You sound a lot like me...
I bought a Hornady Cam-Lock case trimmer when I started reloading over 6 months ago. Bought 500 pieces of brass to start, and was kinda surprised that it didn't grow much, even after three or four reloads. When it started to get near the 1.76 max I bought some more brass...and have another hundred coming UPS tomorrow to get me through the weekend.

Anyway, I'm finally down to the point where I actually have to use it (trimmer, that is). Getting all my brass the same length will probably increase my accuracy as well. I haven't used it yet- but this might be what you're looking for, and they have a drill adapter for it:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=315831
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
If you hate trimming brass, my solution for HANDGUNS is to taper crimp them.
Myself included, I don't know anyone who trims handgun brass.
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Old April 28, 2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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I have a Lyman Universal, and a Lee case trimmier for triming .223 Rem, and .221 Fireball. The lymam gets used for the first bit of the .221 when I reszie them from .223 then I use the lee with a corded drill. No bateries to charge average for trim, cnamfer, and debur is about 15 to 25 seconds or so if I am in a zone. Most times I can trim a couple of hundred in an hour while watching tv.
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Old April 28, 2011, 08:20 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
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I use a Hornady Cam-Lock trimmer. It's not bad to use.

The key to case prep, and especially, trimming, is to do small lots. Doing 20-50 cases at a time isn't bad at all. It's when you put things off, let it pile up, and otherwise just procrastinate, that the job seems insurmountable. (Or you purchase a massive lot of brass, and think it all has to be done at once.)

I try to keep the case prep jobs in check by trimming, deburring flash holes, and chamfering/deburring case mouths on the days/nights when I don't feel like sizing or working with powder. It gets me in the reloading room, is a productive task, and makes actual "loading" days more efficient. On occasion, I'll even do the flash hole deburring and case mouth jobs while watching a movie with my wife (if I have brass that's already trimmed, or doesn't need a trim).
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Last edited by FrankenMauser; April 29, 2011 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Super stupid Typo!! Yeehaw!
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Old April 28, 2011, 08:26 PM   #7
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Yep, small lots over time. Larger lots can be done with a movie marathon.
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Old April 28, 2011, 10:04 PM   #8
chris in va
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I hate it too, probably the worst part of reloading.
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Old April 28, 2011, 10:54 PM   #9
greentick
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I just finished using a possum creek case trimmer to go through 1000pcs of 223. Easy to use and I agree with FM, do small batches a few times a week or daily and before you know it its done. That being said, I gladly paid extra$$$ to Scharch to trim the 1000pcs of 308 I just bought from them. I use the RCBS x-dies so trim once (or pay someone else to do it) and call it good.
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Old April 29, 2011, 12:36 AM   #10
dmazur
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Well, I read the "not too expensive" part, so I figured the high-end powered trimmers would not be a useful answer...

And, the advice for doing it in small batches is also wise. I have a Hornady Cam-Lock and I used to do 50-100 at a time and it wasn't that bad.

However, I found that I only have access to my reloading equipment on weekends, which are often booked solid with commitments for things other than reloading. So, I wind up reloading a few thousand rounds in various cartridges maybe twice a year. (If I was shooting competition, I'd probably be reloading thousands of rounds per month.)

So, even though I couldn't justify the cost based on total rounds, I wound up buying a Giraud. The initial cost was around $450 (so this does cause a good case of sticker shock), but the quick-change adapter and additional heads are only around $70, I believe. So the setup for .30-06 and .243 was around $260 per cartridge, which was cheaper than the Dillon power trimmer.

I no longer hate trimming. Looking back, it was worth the cost, even though my production numbers are quite low compared to true volume reloaders.

My only complaint is that the Giraud can't handle straight-wall, so I still have to use the Hornady for .44 Magnum. Fortunately, I don't shoot that in large quantities.

Just something to ponder. I know the durn things are expensive, but in terms of saved aggravation, I think they are worth every penny.

(For a chuckle, you might read up on the history of the Giraud. I believe it was designed and built by a machinist who shot high power rifle competitions. He wasn't satisfied with the time required for trimming and "designed a better mousetrap".)
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Old April 29, 2011, 12:36 AM   #11
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For 223 and 30-06 I use a Dillon trimmer. It sizes and trims the brass as fast as you can run it up into the die. I can knock out 1,000 30-06 cases sized and trimmed in just over an hour.
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Old April 29, 2011, 01:38 AM   #12
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I have modded a few cheap small drill presses.The problem they all have is a plastic depth stop that is flexible.re-create the plastic part in aluminum,there is one hole that should be bored,as I recall.Bandsaw is close enough for the rest.Then you have a positive stop.Put a Lyman or Forster fixture on a plate.Somehow I put an arbor on an RCBS 3 way cutter.Gave mine to my brother,he has the Dillon presses.Works good.Been a while back,it not here with me.
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Old April 29, 2011, 03:52 AM   #13
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My favorite way is with a trim/form die and a file or hack saw OR an aircraft counter sink, I have L. E. Wilson case trimmers, RCBS ole colet type, Hornady universal chuck trimmer, and a Dillon attach it to the press type, but with the price of adapters for the Dillon and having a choice when spending my money, I had rather have another forming/trim die.

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Old April 29, 2011, 06:34 AM   #14
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I just got a Lee case trimmer.Hand crank and all,but i got a vise with a suction cup and just clip it on the coffee table in front of TV and have at it. I also just finished off 2500 cases my self.Im sure it took a long time,but doing it while watching TV made it seem not to bad.
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Old April 29, 2011, 06:44 AM   #15
Jkindy
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I have been using the Lee Case Trimmer chucked into a cordless drill. Pop in a case, trim, chamfer, debur and done. Very quick. I usually do a large lot at each step at one time / night. Lately I have been doing batches of 50 and loading them too. I can get 100 / night with a single stage press in a couple hours.

To me, the Lee is the cheapest quickest way when chucked into a cordless drill. It stands up on the bench and is easy to use. Get the Ball Cutter makes it easier on your hand. It wont be such a chore anymore.
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Old April 29, 2011, 07:01 AM   #16
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There can't possibly be a less expensive way to trim than the Lee cutter and a drill... but the nightmare of this setup is the too-damn-small shell holder lock ring.

It's a silly, small knurled ring that is horribly difficult to snug down where it's good and tight the way it needs to be.

If Lee would design a lock ring with some small petals on it to give you some leverage, it would improve the system tremendously. Of all the ones I trim, nothing is worse (not even close!) than .30 Carbine. The .30 Carb demands that you have it snugged tight as she'll go and doing that and subsequently loosening it just destroys your hands.

I've taken to using a cheap pair of pliers... yes indeed, it mangles the living hell out of the lock ring, but it's either that or it won't stabilize. I look at the rings as a consumable part.

The Lee system is miles from great, but there's no other way out there to go from "no tools" to actually trimming rifle brass in the span of ten bucks. For that reason alone, it's got a place in the world.

The Giraud trimmer is an absolute marvel. I'm shocked that no company (of any size) hasn't copied the idea and marketed a rival. There sure seems to be room to make money given the price of the Giraud.
Quote:
(For a chuckle, you might read up on the history of the Giraud. I believe it was designed and built by a machinist who shot high power rifle competitions. He wasn't satisfied with the time required for trimming and "designed a better mousetrap".)
What I would find interesting is if the guy who makes/sells the Giraud has made a killing on it. It's textbook American ingenuity and sells for a high price. (I'm not saying it's not worth it!) I wonder if he's created a product that has made him absolutely rich.
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Old April 29, 2011, 07:41 AM   #17
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If you chuck the Lee trimmer in a drill press you don't have to use the shell holder. The stop pin will hit the table on the press and stop. I have a drill press but it might not be worth buying one just to trim cases.

Tony
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Old April 29, 2011, 07:52 AM   #18
stu925
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My solution to the dreaded case trimming is an RCBS trim pro with a 3-way cutter. I remove the handle from the trim pro and chuck the trimmer shaft in a 1/2 drill (my speer manual is the perfect thickness to take the weight of the drill off the shaft), no more hand cranking the trimmer, no more chamfer/deburring. After that I use a 3/8" drill on low speed with a primer pocket cleaning brush chucked in it for cleaning primer pockets. Cordless drills work great for these steps and luckily I have about 3 of them and lots of batteries. Would probably be cheaper to buy one of the case prep stations though if you don't have a bunch of drills laying around. I can't say enough good things about that 3-way cutter, it's a real time saver.

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Old April 29, 2011, 12:46 PM   #19
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The problems that I have seen with trimmers, low cost does not get you ease of use.
I found the Wilson to be the best choice between money spent and quality of the trimmed case.
It’s also why I have a computer on my loading bench so that I can watch movies as I trim.
Right now I am working through several thousand 5.56
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Old April 29, 2011, 01:47 PM   #20
4runnerman
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I found the Wilson to be the best choice between money spent and quality of the trimmed case

Plus one on that.I did 2500 223 cases. Set trimmer to 1.752.When i finished all 2500 cases i check over 200 at random grab in bucket. My variance was 1.752 to 1.753. I will not complain about that. At my age ,, Im not in a hurry to do anything any how.
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Old April 29, 2011, 04:44 PM   #21
troy_mclure
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anybody use the wft(worlds finest trimmer) that is in all the gun rags?
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Old April 29, 2011, 04:55 PM   #22
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case trimming

I do the same as STU925 and it works just fine. Use an old RCBS case trimmer, remove the handle and put in a 10-32 x 3" all-thread stud. Use a 3/8 " drill and off you go. Make sure to use the collet!
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Old April 29, 2011, 05:19 PM   #23
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Trimming bass; Necessary Evil : )
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Old April 29, 2011, 08:54 PM   #24
That'll Do
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Trimming brass is the bane of my existence. I only have 223, but I have A LOT of it. I shoot upwards of 1000 rounds of it a month, and if I don't process it promptly, I have a monster pile of brass.

Currently I have the Lyman universal trimmer, which while it does an OK job, isn't my favorite. I've noticed that the OAL length varies after trimming X number of cases, so I have to keep an eye on that throughout the trimming process.

I think I'm going to upgrade to an RCBS power trimmer (or ideally a Giraud). My poor arm gets sore as can be trimming all that brass.
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Old April 30, 2011, 12:19 AM   #25
dmazur
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Quote:
What I would find interesting is if the guy who makes/sells the Giraud has made a killing on it.
From information on his site, he is a one man machine shop. He makes a couple of other things, like a folding target scope stand, and this business is a second job for him. He has a full time job as a design engineer.

I have no idea of the volume a one man machine shop can turn out, but it doesn't sound like a good way to get rich quick.

It sounds more like a guy who came up with the thing because he wanted one, and then sells a few on the side to help support his shooting habit.
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