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Old April 29, 2011, 07:01 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 10,983
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.
(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.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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