Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Southwest Firearms Forum
Gun Deals
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Low Price Guns
Sporting Systems
J&B Firearm Sales
Oregon Rifleworks
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Welcome to Northwest Firearms
Join our community, sign up for free today!
Sign Up

RCBS Trimmer inconsistent?

Messages
387
Reactions
447
I have a brand new Trim Mate II that refuses to trim consistently :mad:. I'll get it set, then after just a few cases, it starts cutting shorter and shorter. I finally gave up in disgust and went back to my Frankford Arsenal prep center, a bit harder on the fingers, but at least I get consistent results. Is this a common issue with the RCBS unit, or am I just being an idiot o_O? Thanks.
 

Spitpatch

Messages
1,993
Reactions
1,308
Perhaps a "Trim PRO" ?? (I think the trim MATE is the multi-head "finisher" that deals with primer pockets, chamfering necks, etc.). On the Trim PRO, there are THREE areas that need to be cinched down with set-screws and the like:

1) The three black plastic knurled screws that actually hold the engine to the platform (this is your first area of adjustment and dictates the initial "crude" setting for whatever case you are dealing with).

2) The larger "stop ring" on the shaft of the lathe (your second area of adjustment that gets you very close to the length you are striving for).

3) The thinner "stop ring" that is your fine-tune, and is in tandem with the larger stop ring.

Verify all these are solidly locked down. When I have experienced "travel" (as I call it, resulting in cases being produced shorter and shorter during the process), it is most commonly #1 that I have neglected to tighten sufficiently. One or more of the three knurled hand-screws holding the entire engine assembly to its platform has not been cinched. (This takes only moderately firm finger pressure and I have never had to put pliers or anything else on them, but all three must be anchored with that finger "torque"). Rarely it is the stop rings that are "traveling" due to insufficient tightening of the allen set screws.

The "malfunction" is (or was) always at my end. NOT characteristic of the tool at all.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,463
Reactions
2,275
Hopefully you get it figured out! Looks like some great information above to check out!
 
OP
D
Messages
387
Reactions
447
Perhaps a "Trim PRO" ?? (I think the trim MATE is the multi-head "finisher" that deals with primer pockets, chamfering necks, etc.). On the Trim PRO, there are THREE areas that need to be cinched down with set-screws and the like:

1) The three black plastic knurled screws that actually hold the engine to the platform (this is your first area of adjustment and dictates the initial "crude" setting for whatever case you are dealing with).

2) The larger "stop ring" on the shaft of the lathe (your second area of adjustment that gets you very close to the length you are striving for).

3) The thinner "stop ring" that is your fine-tune, and is in tandem with the larger stop ring.

Verify all these are solidly locked down. When I have experienced "travel" (as I call it, resulting in cases being produced shorter and shorter during the process), it is most commonly #1 that I have neglected to tighten sufficiently. One or more of the three knurled hand-screws holding the entire engine assembly to its platform has not been cinched. (This takes only moderately firm finger pressure and I have never had to put pliers or anything else on them, but all three must be anchored with that finger "torque"). Rarely it is the stop rings that are "traveling" due to insufficient tightening of the allen set screws.

The "malfunction" is (or was) always at my end. NOT characteristic of the tool at all.
Yeah, Trim PRO 2, guess I should take the time to read the box instead of trusting my memory :oops:. We part ways at 1, mine done NOT have those screws you're referring too, maybe because it's a 2 instead of the earlier version? Or are they on the bottom? I have mine screwed to a piece of plywood so I can clamp it to my bench when needed, so I haven't looked at the underside. That said, the shell holder head does flex, I assumed it was designed that way to allow it to self center, but I guess I better pull it off the plywood and check it out. Will do so and get back to you, thanks.
 

Spitpatch

Messages
1,993
Reactions
1,308
Yup. mine's an older one (when these Sweet Peas first came out I couldn't wait to quit being a galley slave behind the hand-cranked Forster).

Um...if you overlooked reading the box is there a remote possibility the instructions received your equal attention?

(Yeah, I'm being the whiney-voice wife in the passenger seat asking you to vicariously cut off your KAY-HONIES by pulling into a gas station and ask directions.)
 
OP
D
Messages
387
Reactions
447
Yup. mine's an older one (when these Sweet Peas first came out I couldn't wait to quit being a galley slave behind the hand-cranked Forster).

Um...if you overlooked reading the box is there a remote possibility the instructions received your equal attention?

(Yeah, I'm being the whiney-voice wife in the passenger seat asking you to vicariously cut off your KAY-HONIES by pulling into a gas station and ask directions.)
Fair question, but yes, I did read the instructions BEFORE all else had failed ;). That said, color me stupid, mine has a single Allen head bolt holding both the headstock and tailstock to the frame, the headstock bolt, the one that has the shellholder, was loose, not even finger tight. Guess I should have looked it over more carefully when I first got it, like I said, I assumed it was meant to be that way, and yes, this proves, yet again, what happens when you assume something :oops:. I haven't given it a test run, but I'm betting the problem is solved, so my thanks. Later.
 
Messages
2,463
Reactions
2,275
I always wonder why people post stuff like this. The first thing i would do is call up RCBS customer service. They are great.
To get different ideas and opinions?

I agree a lot of these reloading companies have great customer service! Some times after hours or weekends can delay an answer though, and if you're set on getting things squared away quickly often a thread on a forum like this can solve a problem, or give other ideas and views especially if someone has had to deal with a similar issue in the past.

It's also a great learning source for others who read about these things.
 

HighlandLofts

Messages
376
Reactions
815
I like RCBS products and love their customer service. Like every manufacturer they make certain products people do not like.
Fo me it is their rife/pistol hand case trimmer. It hascthe step up collets that hold your case. I hate it.
I like the Lyman hand case trimmer that hasvthe cam lock case set up. I have two of these, one to trim by hand and the other I had the handle taken out & drilled & tapped for 10/32 and then took a small piece of six sided steel. Hand it turned down and threaded to 10/32. Screw it in and hook up my cordless screw driver to it and go.
 

Caveman Jim

Messages
14,545
Reactions
38,441
I always wonder why people post stuff like this. The first thing i would do is call up RCBS customer service. They are great.
Wonder no more. I am HOH and I do not call for help so email is my only option, IMHO email might as well be named “snail mail”...
Plus, on forums with posts like this help me enormously with a way to interact with Gurus for further questions that will always arise.

I thank @ageingstudent, @Dyjital, @DizzyJ and @Certaindeaf because they are walking encyclopedias in the reloading world!!!:s0104:

CD has his own hilarious twist on things so a follow up may be needed to get the real dope.;)
 
Messages
14,988
Reactions
29,533
Wonder no more. I am HOH and I do not call for help so email is my only option, IMHO email might as well be named “snail mail”...
Plus, on forums with posts like this help me enormously with a way to interact with Gurus for further questions that will always arise.

I thank @ageingstudent, @Dyjital, @DizzyJ and @Certaindeaf because they are walking encyclopedias in the reloading world!!!:s0104:

CD has his own hilarious twist on things so a follow up may be needed to get the real dope.;)
I'm a one page encyclopedia!
 
OP
D
Messages
387
Reactions
447
Since this taken on a life of its own, I figured I'd better get in a final update. And yes, I like RCBS products, too, this was never meant as a slam at Big Green. That said, I'm not married to the brand, I like my Hornady powder measure more than my Uni-flow. I did do a test run after tightening the head stock down, works as advertised, but I still like my FA Prep Center better, so this sits on a shelf as a backup in case the FA goes down. Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and amusing comments. Later.
 

LATEST REVIEWS

  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    I had a second gunsmithing job completed by Mr. Copeland. As with the first, he did amazingly good work, communication was solid, and the rates...
    • CountryGent
  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    I brought Tim a henry goldenboy youth and a vision of what I wanted. Tim made it come true at a very reasonable price, while others quoted me way...
    • Iceman04503
  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    Tim, has done several projects including a sweet 1911 .38 super project
    • Qochoc
  • Mary's Pistols
    5.00 star(s)
    Fantastic small business with equally excellent folks running the place. I was given fair value for a trade in and was able to order something I...
    • Red98422
  • Gooseneck Road
    4.00 star(s)
    Very popular service road with some unmarked logging roads that branch off of the main. Relatively cleaned up from what we saw. I just wish that...
    • Benzdriver81

SUPPORT NORTHWEST FIREARMS

Staff online