Case Trimming

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TheHunt, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. TheHunt

    TheHunt Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    This is my first post. I was given an old press from my father's friend and I purchased a scale, powder measure and two full sets of 7 MM Mag and 270 dies from Redding. but I need some help.

    How do you use a case trimmer? What stops one from taking too much material off the case? What trimmer is the best?

    Thanks for any help
  2. ColonialBuff

    ColonialBuff Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    There are many other forum posts on this issue which bear directly on your need. Please feel free to use the Search tool. If you do an exhaustive search, you will see that a few of the posts are mine, because I had some of the same questions, i.e. is the Lathe type better than a Trim die.

    Also, try using the RCBS site as there is a email address to ask questions and/or the Nosler reloading forum. There is also the Reloaders Nest, Chuck Hawk's, and a plethora of other internet sites and reloading manuals on this issue. As a final thought, you may want to try a Google or Yahoo search.

    Presonally, I use the lathe type of case trimmer. To make life easy on me, I have one case per cartridge I handload for and use that to setup up my RCBS lathe type trimmer. Then I make a cut and check with the caliper. Just remember to tightenup the rings "real good".

    As one person on this forum said, it takes patience.

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Get the Lee trimmer. Can't screw up with the Lee tool. Low cost too.
  4. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2003
    I'd recommend the Lee tool as well, as long as you're not doing a high volume of cases.
  5. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    I prefer the Wilson myself and don't see how you could possibly do better. It's not necessarily speedy, but it's very precise. They can be had at
  6. ColonialBuff

    ColonialBuff Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    The Wilsom looks almost fool proof. How dos it stop? Does the holder stop it or does it use rings like my RCBS?

    Hear tell (which means anecdotal evidence at best and without a shred of proof) that the Lee does not cut the mouth of the case squarely. I have not used one, so what do the Lee guys have to say?
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    Forster is nice and easy. What keeps the trimmer from taking off too much? The nut attached to the handle should have a good caliper in the other hand. Give the case a few cuts and then take it out measure it and put it back in and cut a little more and take it out and measure it again. When it is right, then set the hex screw with the hex wrench. You can keep an "index case" if you want to. I have my trimmer mounted on a small piece of plywood and will put it in my lap and trim cases while I am watching the Crimson Tide play or the #17 Dewalt ford run. Usually will put a towel or old shirt under it to catch the shavings if I think my wife might walk in while I am trimming.
  8. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    The Wilson uses cylidrical shell holders that are machined in the ID to the shape of the case your trimming.On average,about six bucks a pop.This is the trimmer I use also,I just feel it lines up the shell squarer than others Ive used.
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    Welcome aboard

    The wilson is most probably the #1 as far as quality goes. As you can see both wilson and forester type units have their place.

    With the addition of an inside neck reamer it makes wilson pretty much complete for most of the kinds of stuff you'll "need" to do.

    If you want to outside neck turn I'd recommend a hand neck turner.

    That's a 338 Win case in the wilson and a 270 and 17 Rem neck reamer standing behind the trimmer.

    It is easy to see how the case length is set.

    BTW, the red price tag on the 270 inside neck reamer's box says $6.95. Purchased in 1966. Its an investment /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
  10. Jim Hundley

    Jim Hundley Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Delta Hunter,
    I too use the Wilson trimmer.What is the "secret" of getting a consistant press of the brass into the Wilson case holder so that the thing trims at a consistant length?
    Jim /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have used the Lee tool for 20ish years with no problems. I use a little cordless driver and trim the cases. Than debur the inside and outside of the neck and than polish the cut with some steelwool. My driver as a nice forward reverse rocker switch which makes it easy to tighten/loosen the case in the holder. I think its quite quick. No problem with the case not cut square and you cant remove to much.
  12. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    One more vote for Wilson.

    I even use one to trim my revolver cases for perfect crimp.

    The Wilson holds the case by a press fit (in rifle anyway) in a sort of pseudo "chamber". That as I see it is simply to get the alignment to the stop (which butts up against the case head) and the cutter (which is up against the mouth) correct and makes sure that the case head and mouth are square to the stop and cutter.

    Once you get the feel right it's pretty quick. I have a power attachment and use an electric screwdriver.

    It's priced well too in my opinion.

    I trim after sizing and decapping.

  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2005
    Any trimmer that makes a square mouth will do just fine. Depending on ones abilities, one make/model may be easier to use than another. I like the Wilson for slow work but the Forster on a drill press bed is great.

    I think the case length should be no longer than what's ten thousandths of an inch shorter than chamber length. A good caliper will measure them and compare the readings with data from a decent loading manual for maximum length. And I've seen no difference in accuracy if there's several thousandths of an inch difference in a batch of cases.

    After trimming, I chamfer the mouth with an Eazy-Out screw remover turned clockwise; makes a better angle and virtually no burrs or sharp corners which means bullets won't have jacket material scraped off when they're seated. Conventional deburring tools do well on the outside of the mouth. Finally, I run the case mouths over a bore brush spinning in a drill press to clean up all the inside edges and surfaces.
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    Sinclair makes a chamber length guage for specific calibers. It costs $5.95 each. Part number G-308 is the 30 cal at

    The use of this tool is to put the guage in a fired case and insert into the chamber. If you leave the plug extra long it will seat back into the case at the exact length of your chamber and not what some book says.

    It is not uncommon to see as much as .030-.050 difference in actual chambers vs the book. That longer area will catch carbon and be very difficult to get out. This will be the start of the dreaded carbon ring.

    If you are trying for extreme accuracy, you want to case length to be as close to the throat as possible. Therefore an adjustable case trimmer is necessary, which leaves out the Lee's

    The forester and wilson are the top two IMO. I have used the Forester for over 30 years but am looking for a good used wilson with micrometer on Ebay.