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Anyone Else Have This Case Trimming Problem?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by RVTECH, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Cases running not running concentric in a Lee case holder when using a drill to spin them. It seems to vary from case to case. Some run with nary a wobble and then others it's almost irritating. I suspect this has to do with case head dimensions varying a few thou from case so they will never all seat properly in the holder. I do my best to ensure the case is 'bottomed out' in the holder but nothing changes. I finally found my # 3-2 Morse taper adapter so I could run a drill chuck in my lathe (making it the biggest case trimming tool in history) and thinking now that I had the shell holder in a solid fixture it would help, especially with tightening the lock ring but I still have inconsistent case spin. OH, BTW this is happening with .223 cases.
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I see this all the time with the "Universal Chuck". Also with the old case spinners. What I find is the biggest problem with the Universal Chuck is there's no real way to insure that the case is exactly centered. This causes and Up-Down movement for the most part. Also, any nicks or irregularity of the extractor rim can cause the case to wobble at the nose. A couple of thousandth's at the edge of the case head can translate to huge movement at the end of the case.

    Inspect your cases and look for extractor nicks or any ejector marks caused by firing a case with excessive headspace. This horseshoe shaped mark can appear with even normal loads if there is extra room in the chamber that allows the case head to slam into the bolt face when it expands.

    If you have a "case wobble" rather than just an Up-Down movement of the whole case, try truing the case head with a fine, flat file. Just enough to knock down the nicks or irregularities, not enough to thin the rest of the case head.

    The good part of the Lee Trimmer is that this movement really doesn't affect the quality of the trim. With the pilot pin located in the flash hole the cut is true to the case axis, regardless.
     
  3. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    True - I was just hoping there was a simple fix for this but I guess not - so I will have to design a self centering case holder to eliminate (or minimize) this problem.
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    But aren't you trying to fix a problem that really isn't a problem?

    If you want a "spinner" that will center a case as close as possible, get a sinclair. The shell holder is as precise as can be and the "spinner stud" actually centers on the primer pocket. To use it with a LEE Trimmer with pilot you'll need to grind some material off the tip of the pin to compensate for the amount of "pilot" on the spinner stud that extends into the primer pocket hole.

    Even the Sinclair setup won't compensate for any nicks or lumps on the case head. If it's not "true", then nothing that indexes on this surface will be either.


    This is one of the reasons the high end case trimmers like Forster or the Giraud index off the shoulder of the case. Far more precise as well as a lot more expensive. All to cure something that's not really a problem to begin with.
     
  5. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Probably but this is my nature - and occasionally I get a wild hair (and a great idea) and have to put tool to steel and see if I can create something that works the way I think it should.
     
  6. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    If you shoot a cartridge in an action that has not been "blueprinted" as factory rifles and handguns are not, you will see some degree of deformation of the case caused by it being reformed by firing. If the bolt face is not perpendicular to the axis ot the chamber, again as factory rifles are in reality, then you get a case that "bends" at the head to some degree. Also, you can get a sort of banana shaped case when the chamber is very roomy. People are in business to sell you and me tools and gages and miracle cures for all that. It is fairly typical to see a case wobble around when using something like the Lee trimmer. Some people shoot the messenger, throwing away and bad mouthing the trimmer. Some people spend money on case concentricity tools and gages and never fix the real problem. Some of us just shoot our sows' ears without trying to make silk purses. Some of us buy real silk purses from gunsmiths who can take the time to make a truly centered action and bolt assembly.


    We all make our choices and live with the results.............
     
  7. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I think what it 'boils down' to is I simply do NOT like the threaded caseholder arrangement with the Lee. It goes without saying the Lee is an excellent tool for the price and it's versatility is unchallenged considering you only need one cutter and shell base, only needing additional shell holders and stems. And when the holder can be used with a powered fixture its' damn near perfect - except for the need to unscrew the shell holder from the base and this is what I would like to eliminate. I have a couple of ideas but need to make some drawings before I even think about making anything.
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Are you using the Lee shell holder that has the threaded shell holders? Or their 3-jaw Universal with a spinner stud? If not using the latter, try it. Sure is a lot easier than messing with the screw adapter and it's small OD. The "universal" has an OD of well over an inch and it's a piece of cake to secure and release a case. Still will have some issues with the case "wobble" but again, as S-S'paw said any case fired in an un-blueprinted action could well have a head that isn't square with the axis. Unless you then use a 6-jaw chuck with adjustable ball head like used to chamber precision rifle barrels then you'll just have to live with that.

    Of course should you be able to come up with something that eliminates that and doesn't cost a metric S----Ton of money you may be on to something.

    BTW, remember what I sad about the Wilson and Giraud trimmers??? Not cheap but they also don't care about crooked case heads when trimming.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Years ago when I was using the lee case trimmer I took a standard shell holder, and a RCBS bench priming tool, and made an over-sized priming punch, that would instead force the bottom of the case up into the shell holder and hold it that way. I was doing most of my trimming on a drill press at the time, and I just hooked a spring up to the handle to hold tension by default. Worked pretty good. However given all the machinations I've been through trying to trim brass I finally bought a gracey trimmer and called this problem done for my bulk production, however I just bought a blackrock, so once that's up and running, goodbye case trimmers!

    For specialty production I still use an old RCBS case trimmer I got in trade, it definitely falls more into the vein of "precision tool" than the lee trimmer does.

    My main suggestion, buy a better trimmer. Don't waste time with inferior products, there's a reason why there are companies out there selling case trimmers for $100, and even up to $500 (for the giraud) or the $4k I just spent on the blackrock. Case trimming is a pain in the butt.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I have my old RCBS that I use to trim all .308 brass. One of the old collet types that I have added a 3-way cutter to. I even upgraded the length trimming blade to Carbide.

    2-3 turns of the handle and each case is cut square to the centerline (it's a piloted cutter) and to the proper length. At the same time the edge is de-burred and the mouth chamfered to the desired amount. Adjust the 3-way cutter "once and done".

    This unit has been trimming cases since the late '70s and is showing absolutely NO signs of giving up. I figure my grand kids will be using it while teaching their kids how to reload.

    I still use the Lee for my "only load a couple box a year" calibers. Quick, easy, inexpensive, accurate enough, and really pretty well made for a $10-$12 tool.
     
  11. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yes, which now seems unfortunate.
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Save wear and tear on your nerves and upset stomach. Just get the 3-Jaw universal chuck ($10.99 at midway) and the spinner spindle for cordless drill ($3.99).

    Cheaper than "Rolaids", "Alka-Seltzer", or "Prilosec".
     
  13. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    It is my future!!