Case Trimmers/brass prep

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by rooster721, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. rooster721

    rooster721 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. farout

    farout Well-Known Member

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    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. :rolleyes: But I don't mind hearing them, if any :D
     

  3. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    rooster721,

    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.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Active Member

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    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)
     
  5. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  6. rooster721

    rooster721 Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  7. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    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!!
     
  8. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have the rcbs and the Redding w/micro.I really like redding. Like everthing get a system of same pressure and such. One thing that helped my concentricity was a vld chamfer for that type bullet. I like leaving my rcbs set up for long case like 340 wby.
     
  9. stater61

    stater61 Active Member

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    Giraud....trims & chamfers inside and outside all at the same time.
    JH
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Kevin...

    You need to take a hard look at the WFT which operates on the same principle as the Giraud but costs substantially less.

    I use the WFT, sold my Redding because it was way too tedious for any volume cases plus the spindle deflection was a recurring issue.

    Admittedly, the Giraud is a nice machine, pricey but nice. The WFT is hundreds less, in fact, a nicely arbored WFT is less than a Redding Micrometer head lathe new.

    I did a review (of the WFT) for Len a while back. I believe it's on one of the Admin pages.

    I get repeatability across cases of +- 0.003 typically. It square cuts the case neck face so you still have to chamfer (either VLD in my case) or standard 60 degree chamfer, your preference and you have to deburr the outer diameter with the included cutter that ships with the WFT. I changed mine out to a solid micrograin carbide 4 flute fast helix cutter and that eliminated the od burr.

    I believe the WFT is sold on Amazon.com but the owner/manufacturer is Little Crow Gunworks and he's up in Len's neck of the (snowy) woods.

    I also believe the WFT will out accurize the Wilson across a number of cases.

    I know that Giraud is always at Camp Perry.... I'll be sure to stop in and say hello.:)
     
  11. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Sidecar,

    Your post goes right back to the OPs original question, in that you mention the WFT (really hard not to type WTF?, isn't it?) keeps lengths to within .003". For the OP, yes, variance like this is fine, and no problem at all. As I said before, it's a safety measure, and you're just trying to make sure that the cases don't get any longer than the chamber itself. Anything below that, is no problem. A little variation like this won't hurt a thing, especially if it comes with a system that is fast. I haven't used the WFT, but it seems to be rather well liked. Another one to consider.

    As for me, I already have the Giraud and the set ups for all the calibers which I need to do large volume trimming with, so I'll just be sticking with that. End result is what counts, and there's lots of ways to get there from here. About the only thing I'd recommend against these days would be the old file type trimmers. Unless there's some very specific reason for doing it that way, they're a real pain in the ass!
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I knew you had a Giraud, probably got it at Camp Perry on dealer's row...lol You have more wherewithall than I do anyway. I'm retired, sort of.

    The one thing that the Giraud and the WFT (WTF..lol) is incapable of is reducing a straight wall case. You still have to resort to the old file method for that and/or chuck it and face trim it, which is what I usually do with an emergency step collet bored to the correct od.

    The is another case trimmer on the matket that I've seen but it's not popular, it feeds itself from a stack of cases and it's real expensive, beyond the reach of the home reloader.

    Lapua brass never needs trimmed anyway......:D

    FYI, the box of brass I received was the new style box but someone inadvertently left the foam pad out..... So it was shake, rattle and roll.
     
  13. Hunter2678

    Hunter2678 Well-Known Member

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    I own a Wilson trimmer and I'll be using it for years to come..they are superbly simple, consistent and precise.
     
  14. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely THE slickest way to trim cases was how Jim Hull (my predecessor and mentor from Sierra) did it; he set up one of our jacket trimmers to do cases. Had a bunch of 222 or 223 cases that he wanted as 221 FB cases, ran them all through the form die to set the new shoulder, and then trimmed off the excess on the trimmers. Set it up, filled the hopper and it was rolling. Probably trimmed 25-30 cases a minute, all to within .003", and no need to chamfer. Refill the hopper as needed and he had several thousand cases in a very short time. Yeah, there were some perks to workin' there.