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Old April 2, 2013, 09:10 PM   #1
Join Date: November 11, 2012
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anyone have expeirience rcbs-trim-mate-case-prep-center

I'm considering purchasing one. Just want to know if it's worth the money.
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Old April 3, 2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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It's a tough call. I've had one for about five or six years now and I do still use it. I feel that there are better tools available but at the same time this prep center does a pretty good job.

The major downside to it is that the brushes that come with it are pretty much useless and they wear out fast if you use them. The most useful tools like the military crimp remover and the primer pocket uniformer are added expenses, and they are not exactly cheap. In fact if you need both tools, and one of each large and small, then your cost nearly doubles.

On the good side, the tools are very durable and after thousands of uses I still feel that there is no need to replace anything due to wear.

The chamfer tool can be used to cut away crimped primers, though it isn't great. The chamfer and deburr tools produce very nice smooth cuts with no chatter marks.

However, I normally use a different chamfer/deburr tool in a drill adaptor that does just as good a job and is much faster to use. I also the chamfer end to cut crimped primers and that is also much faster to use than the Prep Center. One of these pieces.

The primer pocket uniformer works well too, and can help remove crimped primers as well. It leaves a very clean primer pocket and eliminates the need for the brushes completely.

I rarely use the chamfer and deburr tools anymore, but use the primer pocket uniformer all the time. So my unit's total cost is in the $200.00 range, and that's way too high for what I use. If I had only purchased the actual tools I needed, my end cost would have been a lot lower. Because in essence, my Prep Center has become just a two hundred dollar primer pocket uniformer. And that is just stupid.

My answer to the question is no, it is not worth it.

The Prep Center seems like a good idea primarily for chamfer and deburring routines. But no matter what method you use to trim cases, you're always going to better off doing the chamfer/deburr while the case is still mounted on your drill during trimming. Once you remove the need to chamfer and deburr, the Prep Center's value is diminished greatly.
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Old April 3, 2013, 12:31 PM   #3
William T. Watts
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Thank you for your opinion on the RCBS prep center, I had reservations about the points you covered and will forget about this particular tool. I have been eyeing the Hornady prep center that's about $400, I can't pull the trigger on that one either! William
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Old April 3, 2013, 12:47 PM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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I still use one... though today I use the chamfer / de-burr & have a Lyman flash hole uniforming tool in 3 of the stations... it runs well, & has plenty of power

I used to use the primer pocket brushes, & the case body brushes & they "work" though a few bristles roll over right away on the primer pocket brushes... but now I wet tumble, & that eliminates the need for either of the brushes

I don't uniform all my flash holes, but do on cartridges like 380 & 9mm where I have mixed brass, so my loads are more consistant...

I swage my primer crimps with the RCBS single stage press tool

would I buy it over again... um... maybe... it sure beats hand turning the chamfer tools & the flash hole uniforming tool, & it's cheaper than some of the others...
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Old April 3, 2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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We use ours and love it, have started a Ammo Company and find it speeds up the operation with 2 people working at the same bench. We did 27,000 .223 cases in two days and it helped a great deal. Better than using the hand held tools.
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Old April 3, 2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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The negative response is based on how he trims and preps brass. There are other ways. Personally I wouldn't be without my Trim Mate.

I automated my Forster Trimmer, so that a case trims, chamfers, deburrs, and ejects into a bin, in about 3 seconds. Post-trim case prep is a quick pass through the RCBS bench swager and Trim Mate in one continuous operation: Swage, then on the T.M. ream the edge of the primer pocket a little, Uniform the pockets, and finally deburr the flash holes. The reamer (less than a second) does three things for me: makes identification of swaged brass obvious, makes the uniformer easier to center, and makes primers easier to start. This quick operation wouldn't be quick at all without the Trim Mate, nor would I have the trouble-free primer seating I have on my progressive Pro 2000.

BTW, the pocket uniforming is a must for my progressive....which has a depth adjustment for primers that is only useful if primer pockets all have the same depth.....which they don't without the uniforming step.

RCBS has a new tool that would do all the above in combination with the Bench Swager, called the Universal Case Prep Center. If they delivered that a few years ago, I wouldn't have had to mod and automate my Forster.

Last edited by GWS; April 3, 2013 at 07:22 PM.
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Old April 3, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
Join Date: February 19, 2012
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I couldnt make my mind up either ended up buying the lyman case prep center it comes with all the tools included were the rcbs doesnt and each piece is about twenty bucks have preped thousands of rounds on it so far no issues I do use the rcbs trim pro with drill attachment it is a serious time saver
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Old April 3, 2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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I made my rcbs prep center more useful by tapping a lee trimmer. I put the case in a lee holder clamped with small vise-grips. With one hand, I true up the primer pocket, then put the case in the holder for trimming and deburring. I think the rcbs tool should come with the primer pocket tools. The brushes are pretty useless.
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Old April 3, 2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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I used the common inside/outside hand deburring tool for over 30 years. The tool was always rough on my fingers, especially when deburring large numbers of cases. When I first saw the trim mate, I had to have one. I still do and I use it all the time.
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Old April 3, 2013, 07:23 PM   #10
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+2 on replacing the standard options with the Lyman tools...I did that about a few months back and its a huge difference...this piece of equipment is one of my must haves
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Old April 3, 2013, 08:54 PM   #11
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If you believe in cleaning large numbers of primer pockets, or chamfering/deburring large numbers of case mouths, it is well worth it imo. I use one for case prep, and wouldn't be with out, or something with same capability. It ain't exactly a precision tool however

The carbide chamfer cutter is worth it, if you uniform length any quanity of brass and your trimmer doesn't have a cutter that chamfers.

Last edited by zeke; April 4, 2013 at 05:06 AM.
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Old April 3, 2013, 10:40 PM   #12
F. Guffey
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Join Date: September 8, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 313 The negative response is based on how he trims and preps brass. There are other ways. Personally I wouldn't be without my Trim Mate.

GWS, I have had one for years, I had a Lyman hand operated kit with all the attachments, I moved the attachments to the RCBS case prep center. I saved money on attachments and do not regret it. I use a bore brush on the back center position. When doing flat rate and time in motion is considered there is nothing that can compete with a prep center. With a little practice one end of the case can be done on the primer/case head end then flipped to complete the prep work by finishing the neck and case mouth.

Using a brush for the neck while the brush is turning beats all options.

F. Guffey
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:12 AM   #13
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F. Guffy, the new tool is even better. It has stations with variable speeds. That would be handy. Someday I may spring for it...especially since an RCBS R&D engineer assured me that their 3-way trimmer head works on it as well. The only thing it lacks is a spring ejector like my modded Forster has.
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