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Location: River Ridge, LA
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 15
Case Trimmer

I am just getting into reloading, the person that was reloading for me doesn't want to do as many anymore. I was wondering what is a good case trimmer and what all do I need for the trimmer? I have a few different cartridges that will get reloaded, .270,.280, 7mmum, .308, .30-06, .243, 40S&w. Thank you for your help.

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 181
Case Trimmer

I've been using the Lee case trimmer for years. Simple to use and handheld. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=136199 This one is about $6 and you have to purchase the Lee Length Case Gauges for your individual cartridges, about $5 each http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=271467 Hope this helps.

Don Fischer's picture
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Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Case Trimmer

I've never used a Lee case trimmer but can't imagine a need for more. I have an old manual RCBS trimmer. I think last time I looked they were around $50 plus pilot's. Simply not needed. All your really doing is trimming a case to a specific length.

Funny thing about reloading gear. I was looking at the electronic scales the other day, don't know the appeal of them. Then I noticed that they are only guarenteed to one tenth grain accuracy. My old balance beam scales are guarenteed to that! Collet dies are the rage now too. Don't understand that either. I've had great luck with old standard dies for 40 yrs. Don't know what the new ones will do different?

As you gather you gear, don't get taken in by the latest and greatest. Some people are still turning out good ammo with the old Lee Loader set's.

JJD
JJD's picture
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Location: Right Side WA state
Joined: 11/07/2008
Posts: 208
Case Trimmer

I too use the Lee triming tool. Simple, accurate and cheap. Less than $10 for the initial set up and a new pilot & base for additional cal is less than $5. If there is a want to set case lenght to other than new spec, I don't know what it is. I see the new Lee trimers have a peg sticking out the top of the cutter so you can connect something like a cordless screwdriver to it and speed the process along. I will trim cases, clean primer pockets and case necks while watching a ball game, a no brainer. Priming, charging and bullet seating require undivided attention.

I agree with Don on the elect scale, I have an old Herters scale that increments as small as a 20th of a grain. I will admit that anything less than 10th grain makes little difference. I scale all my loads.

I love the Lee collet dies. No more messing with case lube. No more "missing one" and spending time getting the stuck case out of the die. Especially in the bigger mag cases.
Decresed the group size in my .243 varmint rife by an average of .125 over 25 rds. I will warn you, If you start usng them, forget everything you know about setting up dies (RCBS, etc) and read & follow the directions.

CVC
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
Case Trimmer

I think the trimmer I have is a Foster. Simple and easy to use.

On the issue of electronic scale, I chose one for two reasons. 1) speed and most importantly, 2) I am able to check my zero each time.

All scales will drift off zero from time to time and I noticed after filling a bunch of cases that my zero had changed on my mechanical balance which affects the load. On my electronic balance I simply check zero before filling the next case. Only takes a second.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Case Trimmer

You won't need a case trimmer for the 40 S&W rounds. You will only need a trimmer for rifle brass.

I have a RCBS trimmer (lathe). I like it, it's easy to use once I mounted it to a piece of foot long 2x4 with the trimmer at one end and enough room at the other to grip down the 2x4 on the bench. It's more versatile for me to do it this way rather than mount the trimmer permanently to the top of the bench. I can move the whole assebely out of the way when need be. Only thing I permanently mount to the bench top is the die press. Powder hopper is temporarily mounted with C-clamps or spring clamps. Trimmer as stated above.

Don Fischer's picture
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Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Case Trimmer

My bench is kind of small and I still have most everything bolted down. Can be a real pain in the butt! I do have my lube-a-sizer set on a board I can clamp down though. If I started over I'd use a bigger room, make a bigger bench, have more storage and make everything removeable.

Offline
Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Case Trimmer

The Lee case length trimmers are pretty much dummy proof. You can't go wrong as it trims to a set length and them stops. I use a variable speed drill to power the cutter but doing it by hand works too. Good for hunting and military surplus rifles where I'm not so much worried about half-moa accuracy.

I also have a Forster case trimmer (looks kinda like a miniature lathe). The advantage to this is that I can trim the case to any length I want. I use this one for match ammo.

I have a Redding BR powder thrower and Redding balance beam scale.

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