Messages
3,535
Reactions
5,170
I'd like to start reloading 223 and am putting together the equipment needed. I was able to pick up a rock chucker supreme with primer tray and shell holder at the Albany gun show,. Also picked up a set of used Redding deprimer/sizing die and seating die set for $20. I'm now looking at case trimmers. This will be for bulk loading of range ammo with occasional use for scaring sage rats.

Brass is all range pickups. I can pick up quite a bit more after LEO requal/training sessions but don't know if they're using ammo with crimped primer pockets or not. I have around 1500 pieces of brass that I've run through the tumbler over the years but haven't sorted them or done any prep yet.

Seems to be quite a few stores and online vendors are having sales so it doesn't seem unreasonable to pick up one of the major brand trimmers for around $100. Here's a Lyman for $84.79 at Midway. The powered version is $119 but I'm not sure what else is needed or how the powered version holds the case to cut to proper length. I also see the Lee trim tools and like the idea of using a press and battery powered screwdriver.

Any recommendations from those that have already been through this?

BTW, yes, I know I'll be paying around $100/k for primers and sold 2k of my SPPs at that price to help fund this project.
 
Messages
750
Reactions
1,028
I went through about five iterations of trimmers to reduce case prep time. For volume you want a trimmer that you can change cases fast and powered. You also want to be able to cut and chamfer in one step.

What you want to avoid with trimmers is universal shell holders or anything that takes a lot of effort of your hands. Universal shell holders typically are not fast to change cases and can misalign cases. When you do batches of 1000 or even a hundred, repetitive motion that takes muscle effort will cause temporary and possibly permanent damage to your hands. Any trimmers where you have to secure cases by holding them can be an issue with this.

The discontinued RCBS that used shell plates or current Hornady trimmer both are quick to change cases and secure the case while cutting. The RCBS has a slight advantage in case changeout speed. Both are threaded for the RCBS 3-way cutter to allow cutting and chamfering in one step. Both can be easily modified to be ran with a cordless drill.

For high volume, I currently use the older RCBS mounted in my drill press with a 3-way cutter. I can trim and chamfer 223 cases in about 3 seconds per case or 1 hour per thousand. For smaller batches I use either a powered RCBS or a Hornady with my cordless drill. I have multiple RCBS 3-way cutters since they are extremely difficult adjust.
 
Messages
276
Reactions
210
I’d get a 3-way cutter so after trimming you don’t have to handle each piece again to chamfer . Sure wish I did…
 
Messages
17,837
Reactions
37,513
What you want to avoid with trimmers is universal shell holders or anything that takes a lot of effort of your hands. Universal shell holders typically are not fast to change cases and can misalign cases. When you do batches of 1000 or even a hundred, repetitive motion that takes muscle effort will cause temporary and possibly permanent damage to your hands. Any trimmers where you have to secure cases by holding them can be an issue with this.
I REALLY wish I'd had this info in my brain BEFORE I "Upgraded" to the RCBS with the universal shell holder! Thankfully it was used and not full, new price. My old RCBS trimmer with three shell holder collets works just great for any calibers I load.
 
Messages
4,101
Reactions
7,697
I’ve had mixed results with the three way trimmers. So much so that I don’t use it any more for mixed brass. Varying neck thicknesses made it impossible to get consistency. Why go to the effort if it’s not going to be done right?
 
Messages
750
Reactions
1,028
I’ve had mixed results with the three way trimmers. So much so that I don’t use it any more for mixed brass. Varying neck thicknesses made it impossible to get consistency. Why go to the effort if it’s not going to be done right?

How do chamfer now for better consistency?

I use my 30 cal 3-way for about 6 different cartridges from 300 wm to 30 carbine and never have had to readjust it. As long as it removes the burrs and does not knife edge the case mouth it is a good chamfer for me.
 
Messages
3,535
Reactions
5,170
After looking at several, I'm leaning toward the Lee Power Trimmer. My years of working in an industrial environment makes me squirm a little when I see people holding onto a case and sticking it into a running drill.
 
Messages
1,150
Reactions
1,816
I used a Forster hand trimmer for years, but for volume processing of .223 brass, I think you might like one of these. I picked one up a couple years ago and have trimmed thousands of .223 cases. It is capable of trimming any bottle necked case, but doesn't work for straight wall cases.
 
Messages
13,394
Reactions
24,122
I use the old Lee trimmer on my cordless drill. Easiest thing in the world.
Ditto this!

The trick IS to chuck up the cutter and feed the case onto it, as opposed to what Lee says which is to feed the CUTTER onto the chucked up case.

761736-1dcc052927f55c51c4026b7f53c8409c.jpg
I use my lathe as well to do this on low speed when I have a LOT of
cases to trim.
IMG_1748.JPG
I also made a handle for the case holder to make this easier. IMG_1752[1].JPG
 
Messages
3,535
Reactions
5,170
Messages
8,241
Reactions
14,041
Seems to be quite a few stores and online vendors are having sales so it doesn't seem unreasonable to pick up one of the major brand trimmers for around $100. Here's a Lyman for $84.79 at Midway. The powered version is $119 but I'm not sure what else is needed or how the powered version holds the case to cut to proper length. I also see the Lee trim tools and like the idea of using a press and battery powered screwdriver.
I have the Lyman and have been happy with it. Its accurate and repeatable. I didn't get the powered version, but did get the basic one with the carbide cutter. I think the powered version all you need is to chuck it up to your hand drill.... but you can buy the drill shaft separately later if you wanted. The lyman has a universal shell holder thats super fast and easy to set.
Can recommend.

1664501733529.png
 

Upcoming Events

Klamath Falls Gun Show
Klamath Falls, OR
Wes Knodel Gun Shows
Redmond, OR
Wes Knodel Gun Shows
Chehalis, WA

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top