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View Full Version : Choosing a lathe-style trimmer


Javi
07-15-2012, 11:27 AM
I have zero experience reloading but am pretty close to having all the gear I need to get started. One of the last few things I want here is a lathe style trimmer. I almost went with a nice looking LE Wilson trimmer since it's only $40! But there's no vice here & case holders are $20 each =/ These are my top two, anyone have experience with them?

1) Hornady Cam-lock case trimmer:

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/315/315831.jpg

Appears to work great and comes with some pilots. Cons are that it has to take Hornady shell holders but at least they're cheaper than my RCBS ones.

2) RCBS Trim Pro-2

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/817/817007.jpg

I guess this is their newer, updated version. I like that they got rid of the need of shell holders even though I own 3 rcbs ones. It's more expensive up front but will probably be cheaper in the long run without buying $5 Hornady shell holders. I'm guessing it performs just like the first one which I assume is good? I've forgotten to look up reviews for how it cuts :)


I don't know how much I will be trimming for .38spl, 9mm & 6.5x55 Swede so lathe style is fine for me. I just want it to cut consistently, pretty easy to setup and give accurate lengths. Thanks!

mroels
07-15-2012, 11:54 AM
I just started reloading and I'm using a cheapo Lee zip trim. It works fine for me on .223. But I'm not doing huge quantities

Californio
07-15-2012, 12:31 PM
In the last 30 years I have never had to trim pistol brass.

In bottleneck rifle cases I use this for plink loads

http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/case-trimmers/universal-power-trimmer.php

and a hand unit only on my Lapua Brass as it is low volume.

Javi
07-15-2012, 1:04 PM
I have some empty range brass from myself & others that I haven't measured since I don't have calipers but just wanted to be prepared just in case any needed some trimming. Only have 50 loaded factory ammo rounds of .38spl & the rest I will be buying 1,000 pieces of new brass from Starline. I want to make sure the case length for it is good for good consistent roll crimps :) That powered Lyman is out of my price range, I want to start with a manual one & I'm not really expecting a ton of brass to trim.

mzimmers
07-15-2012, 1:12 PM
I have used the Hornady for several years, and have no complaints. Consider the drill adapter, as your arm can get tired pretty fast making those repetitive motions.

I recently got Hornady's (relatively) new Magnum Case Care center. Much more money than what you're talking about, but very nice. I'll post a review before long.

Divernhunter
07-15-2012, 1:21 PM
I have the RCBS unit that you use the collets for shellholders and I have the newer one that uses plates with an electric motor and I like it. The one with the electric motor is like the Trim ProII you have pictured. Most all of them work. Some are faster and some require more expensive holders and other parts.

No need to trim straight walled pistol brass

ExtremeX
07-15-2012, 2:17 PM
I was looking at the RCBS unit, but I ended up with one of these.. One for .223 and one for .308

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=587361

I just use my existing drill...

dbbspider
07-15-2012, 6:24 PM
I use the Possum Hollow and its fine. If I ever need a new one, I will consider the CTS as it look well built and is the right price

M1NM
07-15-2012, 6:39 PM
I've had one of these for years. Even took the handle off and ran it with a drill when I was cutting 30-06 down to 7.65 Mauser. The shaft is hardened so clamping the threaded part into the drill didn't hurt it.

http://www.forsterproducts.com/catalog.asp?prodid=700289

Javi
07-15-2012, 8:03 PM
I've had one of these for years. Even took the handle off and ran it with a drill when I was cutting 30-06 down to 7.65 Mauser. The shaft is hardened so clamping the threaded part into the drill didn't hurt it.

http://www.forsterproducts.com/catalog.asp?prodid=700289

I glanced at that one on Midway. Looks pretty nice but since it uses collects, I would probably go with Hornady since the shell holders are $4-6. Hmm..Since people have mentioned that handgun brass doesn't get trimmed very much at all, maybe I'd just get a something that fits the 6.5x55Swede only. Looks like I'll start reloading before getting the trimmer then. I dunno why, guys, but I just want a simple lathe trimmer. Not the possum styled drill ones. Probably lack of experience/ignorance because it looks so easy with only a few revolutions & done.

Dutch Henry
07-15-2012, 8:53 PM
After using Lee case trimmers for years, I finally broke down and bought an RCBS trimmer. That was 20 years ago and it is still working just fine.

With a case trimmer, it's a matter of personal choice; they all work well and if treated properly they'll last a lifetime. The main reason that I use the RCBS equipment is that if needed, repair/replacement parts are available locally.

22popnsplat
07-16-2012, 9:53 PM
I trim handgun brass regular so i can have a more consitant crimp. I use either my forester or the lyman and they both work about equally well .

Noonanda
07-17-2012, 4:49 AM
I upgraded from the l;ee ones to the Lyman lathe style and love it.

30Cal
07-19-2012, 6:20 PM
Neither one of those has a motor on it. Trimming is a miserable, odious task. If you're trimming more than 20 cases, get something with a motor or something that can be driven with a drill/drill press or screwdriver. If you're doing this on the cheap, then get the Lee hand trimmers and a drill.


I personally would throw out pistol brass before I sank so low as to trim it. I've shot some pretty tight pistol groups in my time, but never came close enough to the point where crimp would play any real roll.

Javi
07-19-2012, 11:08 PM
Neither one of those has a motor on it. Trimming is a miserable, odious task. If you're trimming more than 20 cases, get something with a motor or something that can be driven with a drill/drill press or screwdriver. If you're doing this on the cheap, then get the Lee hand trimmers and a drill.


I personally would throw out pistol brass before I sank so low as to trim it. I've shot some pretty tight pistol groups in my time, but never came close enough to the point where crimp would play any real roll.

I have no clue how many pieces I'd expect to trim. With the one rifle caliber I have, it'd be full-length resizing each time. I'm more interested in the lathe-style trimmers rather than the Lee but I believe both the Hornady & RCBS are upgradeable to some power adapter. I guess for me they're middle of the road in price compared to some really high end trimmers.