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Reloading Berger Bullets


Case Trimmers/brass prep

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Unread 12-16-2013, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 196
Case Trimmers/brass prep

What trimmers are you guys using for uniformity and consistency? Has anyone seen big differences as far as accuracy goes, between different trimmers?

..I personally have had fairly good luck (I thought*) I use rcbs lathe type and trim by hand. But some say they're no good ? Curious to hear what guys (here) loading and prepping for longrange have to say. And curious what all'a you guys use*

I'm always trying to fine-tune my routine and prep to maximize consistency, but it seems the things a guy can (still) do are endless. Almost feel like you can't possibly keep up with it all-- I'm beginning to wonder
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 03:21 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: Oregon
    Posts: 224
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep

    I use the following:

    Lee case length gage
    Ball grip
    3 Jaw chuck case holder
    and a cordless drill

    Lee Case Trimmer Cutter Ball Grip

    This is fast and accurate for me. It cut all cases square and same length. Only issue is it cuts them back to standard trim length that you find in reloading manuals.

    I'm sure some will find issues and flaws with these tools. But I don't mind hearing them, if any
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 05:12 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Sedalia, MO
    Posts: 1,256
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep


    The Wilson is probably the #1 trimmer in terms of precision and uniformity, but there's some other things to consider as well. Trimming is a safety operation, to ensure that you're not "crimping" a bullet in place via a too long case imposing on the throat. Precision isn't really the issue here, unless you're applying a crimp (in some instances). It's tedious, usually slow, but necessary. Stepping up to a motorized trimmer will speed up the process, anything from something like the RCBS lathe types, to die type trimmers like the Dillon. Significantly faster there, and they do a good job. Still need to chamfer and deburr in these operations, but it's an increase in speed, regardless. Lastly, you can get into the specialized, dedicated trimmers such as the Gracey or the Giraud. They're pricey, but do an outstanding job, and do so very quickly. I use a Wilson for much of my hunting and specialized shooting stuff, but for anything requiring high volume (competitive HP shooting, etc.), I wouldn't use anything but the Giraud. Great tool, if you're processing enough cases to justify the expense. That's for you to decide.
    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 05:27 PM
    Bronze Member
    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: NE PA
    Posts: 42
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep

    I'm using a Forster Case Trimmer. It's actually a small lathe and they have a lot of tool heads you can buy to perform other functions than just trimming brass. (like turning necks and cleaning primer pockets)
    Freedom Is Never Free
    Proud member of the NRA
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 05:55 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: New germany, NS
    Posts: 489
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep

    for many years I used the Lyman trimmer and It works!
    Then I tried the Lee system with a case length gage and cutter and it works!
    I have recently acquired the Lee quick trim and it works! Also it chamfers and deburs bonus!
    If you are happy using your rcbs lathe type and your friends are not ask them to go out and buy you the type of trimmer that they want you to use, or they can keep their opinions on your tools to themselves, IMHO
    In short use the tools that you are comfortable with and let your friends use theirs
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 06:12 PM
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    Join Date: Jan 2012
    Posts: 196
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep

    It's not so much the speed or time it takes that brought me to question the subject.. more the "importance" (or suppose-ed importance) to trimming being within whatever tolerances (ie:0.001" or whatever, of each case) I myself don't hurry and quite honestly measure each case as I go* In mine, I see roughly one thousandth difference in each trim, per case (max) and most are with-in half a thousandth difference across the case-mouth.. (So under a thousandth difference in cut) Is that really "that bad" and extreme enough to throw accuracy out ? ...I get the odd flyer impact (up to) an inch off zero, but tied that to neck-tension above anything else and am working at annealing to minimize the tension differences regarding that. But I can't imagine one-thousandth difference in trim could cause it all on its own-- could it ?? Wouldn't that be rather extreme of a variable ?

    Kevin-- would a wilson give a guy so much more precise a'cut that it warrant having one, vs the half/or one-thousandth variance I'm getting now? Is that thousandth REALLY that big a player toward causing flyers?
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    Unread 12-16-2013, 08:51 PM
    Gold Member
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: Mechanicsville, VA
    Posts: 564
    Re: Case Trimmers/brass prep

    I just used my new Wilson the other day for the first time after final setup. My first 4 cases were trimmed to the exact same length! Honestly, I was impressed! I checked all the trimmed cases, (25) when I was done. Well, 19 of them were right on the money. The other 6 were so close I couldn't see doing any more to them. Day and night difference between the Wilson and the old Forster I used for years. I do have to say the Forester can do the same but, with a lot more time spent on getting that finite adjustment. I need all the help I can get. The Wilson is quite spendy but, well built. All in all I feel the Wilson is worth it to me. That's all that counts!!
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