Case Trimming

This is a discussion on Case Trimming within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; About to start down the road of loading 5.56/.223. I know I'll have to do some primer pocket work to ensure no crimps and I ...

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Thread: Case Trimming

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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Case Trimming

    About to start down the road of loading 5.56/.223. I know I'll have to do some primer pocket work to ensure no crimps and I think I have that sorted, but the case trimming is something I do want to do.

    I'm looking at something like Lee E-ZEE TRIM Hand Case Trimmer Rifle Set. The dilemma I'm having is that it says that "the case locking device requires the use of standard shell holders sold separately."

    All of my stuff is Hornady Lock N Load and I have a progressive, so no shell holders (though looking at the Hornady .223 dies I'll need to get, it looks like they come with a shell holder)

    I was planning on just putting one of the pilots into a drill chuck and trimming that way, so i have an easy, uniform length, but is that how it works? I'm just trying to avoid getting what I think I need, only to find out that I'm missing some crucial piece of equipment.

    Anyone have any experience with this set (or similar) who can confirm or correct my thought process? thanks!

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    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    W.F.T.
    Worlds finest trimmer. Buy at Brownells/Sinclair. If you buy this first, you'll save the money you would have spent on everything else that you bought until you buy this one in the end.

    Size first (you need to with any trimmer, then spin this puppy up in a drill, and trim hundreds in no time at all. Read the instructions to set, (having a dial caliper helps), then trim every case to within +/- .001". Fast, easy, and in the long run, cheap.

    Terry

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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Thanks, it looks like that will do what I want, but I'll eventually want to reload several other calibers so I'm having a hard time getting over the $70 price tag for a single caliber.

    Perhaps it is my inexperience showing, but I was hoping that I could get a multi caliber solution with power option. I'm not against manual trimming, and I'm open to other options, but at that price, I think I'll forego the convenience for versatility. I appreciate the info though. I was considering the Possum Hollow one, but that WFT looks way better, and the added weight probably helps it cut a lot cleaner.

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    Here's my input on trimming. I have the Lee trimmer solely for converting 9mm cases (9x19) to 9mm Mak (9x18), and it works, albeit slowly, inefficiently--even when using a drill. If you're only planning to trim a few cases, it will get the job done. It is okay in that matter. But for any larger number of cases, or if you're looking for more precise trimming, invest in a bench-mounted, lathe type trimmer, even if hand operated.
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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Thanks OV, that is kind of what I was looking for. I initially wanted to know if I needed to get a bunch of other stuff to make it work, but knowing that the product's performance isn't really all that noteworthy regardless, still provides an answer I can work with.

    I guess I'll just take the $70 I was going to have to spend on the WFT and get a decent lathe trimmer that handles multiple calibers. Thanks for all the help gents!

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    RCBS I have the manual one but you can hook up a drill or buy the motor. Comes with all pilots. I bought a three way bit that trims deburrs and chamfers. I like it.
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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Thanks.. That sounds like by far the best route. As much as I want to explore the budget options, I still find myself erring on the side of quality.

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    When I started reloading .30-06 for the Garand I needed a trimmer, and after a market search I bought the Forster 'original'. It uses a collet to grab the case rim so concentricity is good. After the first several cases, you get the hang of it and the process goes quickly. I like the fact that it comes with collets to fit probably any cartridge I would ever have to reload.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    When I started reloading .30-06 for the Garand I needed a trimmer, and after a market search I bought the Forster 'original'. It uses a collet to grab the case rim so concentricity is good. After the first several cases, you get the hang of it and the process goes quickly. I like the fact that it comes with collets to fit probably any cartridge I would ever have to reload.

    This is exactly what I've used since the 1970s.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    When I started reloading .30-06 for the Garand I needed a trimmer, and after a market search I bought the Forster 'original'. It uses a collet to grab the case rim so concentricity is good. After the first several cases, you get the hang of it and the process goes quickly. I like the fact that it comes with collets to fit probably any cartridge I would ever have to reload.
    I still use an old Herters lathe trimmer with collets. I don't know if I can still find pilots that fit, but fortunately I haven't needed one--yet!
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    If you are not reloading military brass, primer pocket crimps are not a concern.
    For everything else, the other members have great advice.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spovik View Post
    Thanks, it looks like that will do what I want, but I'll eventually want to reload several other calibers so I'm having a hard time getting over the $70 price tag for a single caliber.

    Perhaps it is my inexperience showing, but I was hoping that I could get a multi caliber solution with power option. I'm not against manual trimming, and I'm open to other options, but at that price, I think I'll forego the convenience for versatility. I appreciate the info though. I was considering the Possum Hollow one, but that WFT looks way better, and the added weight probably helps it cut a lot cleaner.
    I do a lot of .223. As a matter of fact I just finished trimming some about 5 minutes ago. Do yourself a favor and spend the money on the WFT. Like your idea on starting out, I did start with a Lee hand trimmer and I've done thousands of .223 by hand. It sucks... I quite literally just trimmed close to 500 cases in about half an hour. No sore fingers. No blisters. Believe me when I say that you will have a hard time finding a better use for $70. If you have any doubt, just buy the individual Lee trimmer for .223, so you'll only waste $9 to figure out that life is too short to trim .223 brass by hand!

    The main reason I say go this route is because most folks that shoot .223 want to shoot it in a decent quantity. If you only intend to make small amounts of ammo for hunting or target work, then it's not so bad. There's a fairly big difference between knocking out some hunting rounds for your .30-06 and knocking out some range fun rounds for your AR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    I do a lot of .223. As a matter of fact I just finished trimming some about 5 minutes ago. Do yourself a favor and spend the money on the WFT. Like your idea on starting out, I did start with a Lee hand trimmer and I've done thousands of .223 by hand. It sucks... I quite literally just trimmed close to 500 cases in about half an hour. No sore fingers. No blisters. Believe me when I say that you will have a hard time finding a better use for $70. If you have any doubt, just buy the individual Lee trimmer for .223, so you'll only waste $9 to figure out that life is too short to trim .223 brass by hand!

    The main reason I say go this route is because most folks that shoot .223 want to shoot it in a decent quantity. If you only intend to make small amounts of ammo for hunting or target work, then it's not so bad. There's a fairly big difference between knocking out some hunting rounds for your .30-06 and knocking out some range fun rounds for your AR.
    Kind of where I was going with my suggestion. I have, and use a lathe type trimmer for many calibers, when the quantities are less than a few hundred at a time. The Lee stuff is handy, in a pinch, or in remote areas, again in low quantities, and they will dull after a few hundred cases are done.
    Almost always, when someone starts trimming .223, or .308 for that matter, it is not long, and trimming cases becomes a chore of hundreds at a time. Then I don't care how well your lathe type trimmer works, it's hard on the hands to do that many, unless you use the WFT. At $70 per, it is still one of the best investments I have made for .223, and .308.

    Terry

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