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Old August 13, 2011, 08:08 AM   #1
GaryO7
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Choice of case trimmers?

What would be your choice of a manual case trimmer? I process very few cases these days....30-06 & .243
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Old August 13, 2011, 08:17 AM   #2
wncchester
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" I process very few cases these days....30-06 & .243 "

You would do well with Lee's trimmer system. What my choice would be means nothing, my needs are much different than yours.
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Old August 13, 2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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Depends on your budget.

I bought a Forester 40 years ago. It has always worked very well. When Lee started selling their little manual tools, I bought one in .223, and .308. They work okay as long as you want to trim one length.

My only complaint with the Lee has to do with their way of holding the case tight. They slip in my experience, and trying to tighten them where they won't just makes it hard to loosen without a wrench. I'm sure many of you younger guys have hands strong as a vise and if you like them great. My hands are 61 years old and worn out with building construction hand tools.

Anyway, I went back to the Forster and updated it with new 3-way cutters that also chamfer and deburr....and they do make a power tool adaptor. Extremely happy now.

Original Forster Trimmer $59

30 Caliber Carbide 3-way cutter $57

243 Carbide 3-way cutter$57

Total $170. The Lee is a lot cheaper, but otherwise no comparison. The price is reasonable for what you get.

Here's somebody's video of the setup using an optional power tool adapter.

BTW, You use the same stepped collet for .223, .30-06, or .243. I added a file holder to one of the collet wings to make tightening/loosening easier and faster.

Last edited by GWS; August 13, 2011 at 09:50 AM.
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Old August 13, 2011, 09:46 AM   #4
243winxb
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Case Trimmer

My Lyman universal case trimmer gets the job done, but the case mouth is not square after trimming. Seems to be a design fault. Have used the Lee as said above, but when trimming lots of 223 brass, had to lock the case in the shell holder using plyers. Plus the trimmed length is set, no adjustments.
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Old August 13, 2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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I don't trim many either, been using the Lee system for years and recently stepped up to the Zip Trim. Doesn't look like much but it really works, for my purposes anyway.
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Old August 13, 2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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I like the lee system with the ball handeled cutter.
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Old August 13, 2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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+1 on Forster. I too have been using the same one for over 40 years.
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Old August 13, 2011, 08:49 PM   #8
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I am green to the bones! (RCBS) all the way
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Old August 13, 2011, 09:16 PM   #9
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really they all do the same, trim brass. any will do fine
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Old August 13, 2011, 10:11 PM   #10
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I use the RCBS Trim Pro, which I've had for years. It does a good job and is fairly quick. I just added the 3 Way Cutter for all of my calibers and that has really sped things up - trims, deburrs, and does the inside chamfer all at the same time. I can run through the cases much faster now and have much better uniformity and a cleaner looking product. I should have bought that 3 Way thingie a long long time ago (or whenever it first came out).
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Old August 13, 2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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I too like the Forester. I also have a Redding, and have tried others, but none can compare to the liquid-like smoothness of the Forester.
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Old August 14, 2011, 08:35 AM   #12
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When I don't have thousands to trim, I too use a Forester.
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Old August 14, 2011, 09:21 AM   #13
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Another Forster fan here!
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Old August 14, 2011, 10:05 AM   #14
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I started using the Lee system a few months ago. I chuck the shell holder up in a cordless drill. Works fine for me. I usually do 50 to 100 cases at a time. I did do 500 at one sitting a few weeks ago, For the price and ease of use I can’t see how it can be beaten.

243winxb, please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m just throwing out information. I’ve done a boat load of .223 and haven’t had a slipping problem. Now sometime I don’t get the case fully in the chuck (trying to work fast) and it WILL walk out.

If you want to adjust length you can use shim stock to make washers to go between the guide rod and cutter (where the guide rod is threaded into the cutter) if you want cases longer or you can take material off the pin end of the guide ride to make cases shorter. Taking material off the pin is a onetime no going back procedure though. But you can get a new pin and shell holder for $5.00. I’m using mine as it came and have had no problem in either ARs or bolt guns.
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Old August 14, 2011, 10:20 AM   #15
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case forming/trim dies

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Old August 14, 2011, 01:31 PM   #16
B78-22250
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case trimmer

LE Wilson trimmer with the Starrettte micrometer and Sinclair stand.
None better none more accurate. Easy to use many acessories.
More than some want to spend but well worth the money. JMHO.
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Old August 14, 2011, 02:50 PM   #17
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I've used Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Pacific, and Lee trimmers (if you know your company history, you know there's a redundant listing in there ).

After a lot of indecision, I bought the Hornady for personal use. It works. I like it. It's adjustable (unlike the Lee); and easily adjustable.

A minor note:
I use a 5/8" piece of marine-grade plywood as a base for my powder measure, balance beam scale, and my trimmer. The powder measure is permanently mounted. The scale comes and goes, as needed. And, the trimmer has T-nuts pressed into the wood, for mounting with thumbscrews. Although the Hornady trimmer is fairly easy to install and remove... Forster's design would make the process even better.

The Forster has the edge, when used in a situation where it is going to be installed and removed from a multi-purpose location. ...But its use is slower than the Hornady. ...These decisions just can't be easy, can they?
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Old August 14, 2011, 07:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
The Forster has the edge, when used in a situation where it is going to be installed and removed from a multi-purpose location. ...But its use is slower than the Hornady. ...These decisions just can't be easy, can they?
That made me smile! Only because my Forster is anything but portable.....and way faster than the Hornady.



For that matter, I guess it isn't strickly manual anymore either. There are no absolutes are there!
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Old August 15, 2011, 01:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
For that matter, I guess it isn't strickly manual anymore either. There are no absolutes are there!
Yep. And, yours is no longer a Forster. It's simply a "custom" case trimmer.
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Old August 15, 2011, 10:07 AM   #20
GWS
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Quote:
Yep. And, yours is no longer a Forster. It's simply a "custom" case trimmer.
Forster may take issue with that....its their trimmer, their power adapter, and their 3-way trimmer....I just added some parts from Home Depot and mounted it so gravity and my feet could help.

Does Hornady have a 3-way cutter yet?
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Old August 15, 2011, 03:01 PM   #21
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Nope, not yet.

Based on what I've seen, the RCBS 3-way cutter should work, though. I don't think my Forster neck reamer fits the Hornady trimmer, but my RCBS pilots and (pilot) reamers work just fine. (A reloader in my family always buys accessories, before the tool... and then changes his mind. He passes his "sloppy seconds" around to anyone that wants the parts. They come in handy quite often. )
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Old August 15, 2011, 05:04 PM   #22
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I think the C&H is a bargain.
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Old August 15, 2011, 05:11 PM   #23
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A Lee case length guage/trimmer, in combination with a second hand 3/8" drill is the cheapest set-up going, and is much faster than most, and way more convenient anything I've seen.

For doing "just a few cases", investing more than $20 is just silly.
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Old August 15, 2011, 05:54 PM   #24
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I haven't purchased it yet but I really like the Possum Hollow case trimmer. It's simple and after watching many videos on YouTube is seems the fasted way to trim brass. Just my 2 cents.

Here is a link to a video showing how fast trimming can be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i42nDelSKf8
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Old August 15, 2011, 05:56 PM   #25
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GWA,
Your Forster is a little different from mine (after 20+ years of being unattached, I recently screwed it to a small base). When my daughter was a preschooler, she often came up with, "It's exactly the same, only different…"
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