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Posted: 9/15/2009 2:54:50 PM EST
Hey guys – I’m still in the reading, learning and trying to figure out what all I want\need to buy phase but I think I’m getting close. One item I’m still completely at a loss on (as far as which one to buy) is a case trimmer? I know there are a lot of choices out there and a wide range of cost vs. speed and precision.

All I know is this, I will be reloading 223 for both my bolt gun and my AR’s and will be full length resizing (particularly the AR rounds) and I don’t see me having the patients to hand trim each case, especially considering most of my brass is Mil 5.56 brass with crimped primers. So not only do I need to trim and debur each case but I need to swage the primer pockets too. Still, there’s no way I can justify $400 for something like the Giraud trimmer no matter how fast or nice it is. So what I’m looking for is something in the middle, preferable closer to $100 or less but powered, quick, consistent and reliable. The closest thing I’ve seen to what I’d like is a setup I saw on Youtube where a guy took an RCBS Case prep center and mod’ed a Lee case trimmer and a Hornady primer crimp tool to work with it. Check it out…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZGkWUtKz4k

I know this thing probably isn’t ideal and it is a noisy little SOB and I wouldn’t count on it having a long life but for ~$120 (by the time you buy the Lee trim tool and Hornady primer pocket tool) it doesn’t seem like too bad of a setup? I really like the idea of sitting down in front of it with a piece of brass and being able to trim a case to size, debur it (inside and outside case mouth) and decrimp it all within ~15-20 seconds a case. Any of you guys have one of these RCBS case prep tools and set it up similarly or have a similar setup using something else that hopefully doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 3:24:36 PM EST
My Trim Mate is no wear near that loud, his must be about wore out or an older model or something, mine makes hardly any noise at all.

I bought the Lee Three Jaw Chuck and spinner stud to fit in my cordless Hilti drill so I can quickly lock into place and trim my brass using the Lee case length gauge and cutter, from there I move to the Trim Mate to finish all other case prep work(removing crimp with Hornady reamer, uniforming primer pocket with Lyman uniformer, De-burring & uniforming flash hole with Lyman flash hole tool, & then chamfering & deburring) all on the Trim Mate for a finished piece of brass.

I also have a Hornady LnL case trimmer and a Lyman Universal case trimmer and the Lee/Trim Mate setup is faster that both of the other trimmers and also gives a smoother cut since the Lee cutter is sharper than the cutter blades on both of the other trimmers, so deburring and chamfering is faster and takes less effort as well.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 3:34:26 PM EST
I have one of the case prep centers.

If you do many cases your hands hurt from all the pressing down on the cases.

Wish the RPM was faster.

I have never used a Lee trimmer, but that looks like a clever idea.

The Hornady PP reamer is a great tool.

Would I recommend that setup?

Only if you have young hands and no carpel tunnel.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:01:39 PM EST
I chuck that Lee trimmer in a table top drill press and trim that way. And then I put the lock stud part into a stubby handle. Using a drill press it takes about 3 seconds to trim a case.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:03:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 4:09:08 PM EST by HankZudd]
the possum hollow seems to be very popular; not sure of the total cost with the power adapter, but the
trimmer alone is around $20; it works best chucked into a drill press.

You might ask around about the RCBS X-Sizer die; you over-trim the brass by .020 once, then run it thru
the X-sizer die & it's supposed to quit stretching after a few times.

Then there is a guy doing a case prep service for ? per pound; comes back to you trimmed, primer pocket cleaned
& swaged (if needed) & tumbled-ready to prime.

As for me, I do the sweat equity thing- Lee Zip trim + time. It works ok, but I may get a possum hollow since some
other guys may kick in so they can use my bench also.

You can chuck a primer pocket cleaning tool in a drill, so the RCBS case prep tool isn't needed.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:08:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By HankZudd:
the possum hollow seems to be very popular; not sure of the total cost with the power adapter, but the
trimmer alone is around $20; it works best chucked into a drill press.

You might ask around about the RCBS X-Sizer die; you over-trim the brass by .020 once, then run it thru
the X-sizer die & it's supposed to quit stretching after a few times.

Then there is a guy doing a case prep service for ? per pound; comes back to you trimmed, primer pocket cleaned
& swaged (if needed) & tumbled-ready to prime.

As for me, I do the sweat equity thing- Lee Zip trim + time. It works ok, but I may get a possum hollow since some
other guys may kick in so they can use my bench also.

You can chuch a primer pocket cleaning tool in a drill, so the RCBS case prep tool isn't needed.

Good luck.



Yes but you can't do all 5 chores at once without changing anything using a drill press, I have one of thoes also and the Trim Mate beats it hands down everytime.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:53:24 PM EST
I watched the video and I since I have owned an RCBS Trim Mate for 10 Years let me tell you squarely you are wasting your time. A Forster Trimmer will Trim More Cases faster once setup than the LEE/RCBS Trim Mate Ever Will and in a shorter period of time. Do yourself a favor and start saving for a Giraud Trimmer-there simply is no substitute. If you like the Trim Mate than buy one. I suggest Buying a Redding Primer Pocket Uniformer that screws into any of the five Stations and uniforms the primer pocket while it cleans the pocket as well. It does a better job than the provided brushes. Forget the Military Crimp Remover on the Trim Mate and Buy a Dillon Super Swager 600. The VLD Chamfer Tool is excellent for the Trim Mate and the Deburring Tool Works well also.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 5:15:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 5:15:52 PM EST by Overton-AR]
That thing is "SLIT MY WRIST" slow. I can full length size and trim 100 cases on my Dillon 650/1200 trimmer combo in the time it took him to make that video of prepping 2 cases. If you are after speed, then you need something different. I know that my Dillon 1200 doesn't debur or chamfer but I dont care as I am not shooting match grade ammo. I do full length size with an expander ball in station #5 and that cleans out the inside edge of the case mouth and thats all I need to ensure a clean entry for my bullets when it comes time to load.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 6:33:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Overton-AR:
That thing is "SLIT MY WRIST" slow. I can full length size and trim 100 cases on my Dillon 650/1200 trimmer combo in the time it took him to make that video of prepping 2 cases. If you are after speed, then you need something different. I know that my Dillon 1200 doesn't debur or chamfer but I dont care as I am not shooting match grade ammo. I do full length size with an expander ball in station #5 and that cleans out the inside edge of the case mouth and thats all I need to ensure a clean entry for my bullets when it comes time to load.


My thoughts exactly!!! The 250 or so I spent on the Dillion RT1200 trimmer, was money well spent!! I too have never worried about chamfer/deburring the case mouth and have never had any issues with accuarcy as a result.....My case prep is as follows: toss a few hundred cases into a ziplock bag, spray a few squirts of my alcohol+lee sizing lube mix, shake the bag up to make sure all lube is dispersed, toss cases in a box to dry, then bag up for later...when I'm ready to process the brass, I pull the cases out, run em through my Lee loadmaster which is setup with FL sizing die in #1 station, RT1200 in #3station and an old .308 die with a .223 expander in station #4 to clean up the case mouth after trimming.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 6:56:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 4:54:22 AM EST
So what you guys are basically telling me is that my only options here are either slow and tedious or ridiculously expensive and fast and regardless of price or speed, there is no “all in one solution”? I am kind of surprised that with all the cool and well thought out reloading solutions out there today and with as common as it is for people to need to trim, debur and swage brass that someone hasn’t come up with an effective and reasonable priced tool that can do it all in a reasonable amount of time and minimal fuss?

So lets see if I have this right?… I basically have to get one tool to trim with, another tool to debur with and a third tool to swage with? For the trimmer, there is no way I can afford or justify the Giruad or Dillon 1200 but there doesn’t seem to be a quality powered option for ~ $100 that will give consistent quality results? My only option here is to try and jerry rig a manual tool or a powered tool designed for something else? For deburing I either have to get one of those hand tools that can do the inside and outside case lip with a few turns or a machine for $100 of more. For Swaging, the top choice is the Dillon SS600 for $100 or the RCBS or CH4D press mounted primer pocket swaggers for ~$20-$25 or lastly the Hornady primer pocket tool for ~$10-$15? The problem with the Dillon and the press mounted options is it seems that they will all need to be adjusted for each different lot\make of brass and the problem with the Hornady tool is that it removes brass and is slow and tedious to use unless its mounted into a drill but the problem then is If you do mount the Hornady tool in a drill or other motorized tool, your hands are going to get a major workout trying to hold onto the brass unless I come up with some type of mounting fixture? Forester has a swage tool that is designed to be drill press mounted and has it’s own alignment and mounting fixture but it’s not cheap (for what it is) and results will vary if my DP has any slop?

If you ask me, all of these options leave at least something to be desired. No wonder so many people only reload pistol ammo!
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:46:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 6:48:09 AM EST by LonelyRaven]

Originally Posted By airgunner:
So what you guys are basically telling me is that my only options here are either slow and tedious or ridiculously expensive and fast and regardless of price or speed, there is no “all in one solution”? I am kind of surprised that with all the cool and well thought out reloading solutions out there today and with as common as it is for people to need to trim, debur and swage brass that someone hasn’t come up with an effective and reasonable priced tool that can do it all in a reasonable amount of time and minimal fuss?

So lets see if I have this right?… I basically have to get one tool to trim with, another tool to debur with and a third tool to swage with? For the trimmer, there is no way I can afford or justify the Giruad or Dillon 1200 but there doesn’t seem to be a quality powered option for ~ $100 that will give consistent quality results? My only option here is to try and jerry rig a manual tool or a powered tool designed for something else? For deburing I either have to get one of those hand tools that can do the inside and outside case lip with a few turns or a machine for $100 of more. For Swaging, the top choice is the Dillon SS600 for $100 or the RCBS or CH4D press mounted primer pocket swaggers for ~$20-$25 or lastly the Hornady primer pocket tool for ~$10-$15? The problem with the Dillon and the press mounted options is it seems that they will all need to be adjusted for each different lot\make of brass and the problem with the Hornady tool is that it removes brass and is slow and tedious to use unless its mounted into a drill but the problem then is If you do mount the Hornady tool in a drill or other motorized tool, your hands are going to get a major workout trying to hold onto the brass unless I come up with some type of mounting fixture? Forester has a swage tool that is designed to be drill press mounted and has it’s own alignment and mounting fixture but it’s not cheap (for what it is) and results will vary if my DP has any slop?

If you ask me, all of these options leave at least something to be desired. No wonder so many people only reload pistol ammo!



I agree 100%! I'm just getting into reloading for .223, and I've been doing pistol for about 10 years now. I was upset at the cost to speed up what is a very common and necessary process!

To try and keep the costs down, but not be painfully slow, here is what I'm putting together now. And I basically got the idea from that same video you posted.

I use the Lee trimmer on my Bosch cordless drill. Chuck it up and spin time, about 5 seconds.
Over to the Trim Mate, I run the brush up and down through the case neck 2 seconds
Run the primer pocket cleaner 3 seconds
Chamfer in and out, 3 seconds each

I'm waiting on a Hornady reamer (which just came back into stock at Midway yesterday) which I've been told will fit the Trim Mate without any issues (I hope I was told right!), and I'm looking for a flash hole tool I can add to the Trim mate.

So figure I'm currently running 16 seconds per case now, figure 20 seconds per case when I have the reamer and flash hole tool on the Trim Mate.

Seems like a respectable speed to process brass, all for under $150 total

If someone can help me find a flash hole deburring tool that will fit the Trim Mates mandrels, I'll pick one up and I'll do a video and write up once I get everything dialed in.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:48:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By HankZudd:
the possum hollow seems to be very popular; not sure of the total cost with the power adapter, but the
trimmer alone is around $20; it works best chucked into a drill press.


That thing is a piece of shit. It's worth exactly what you pay for it. If you can master the right technique to eliminate the chatter, you still have a gnarly debur and chamfer job in front of you. And half the cases are not cut true since there's so much play where the tool indexes off of the brass. I just did 250 pieces of LC brass on that damned thing over the last two evenings.

That's why I pick brass that doesn't need to be trimmed. LC and WCC is the worst for trimming.

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:01:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 7:05:49 AM EST by EWP]
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

Originally Posted By airgunner:
So what you guys are basically telling me is that my only options here are either slow and tedious or ridiculously expensive and fast and regardless of price or speed, there is no “all in one solution”? I am kind of surprised that with all the cool and well thought out reloading solutions out there today and with as common as it is for people to need to trim, debur and swag brass that someone hasn’t come up with an effective and reasonable priced tool that can do it all in a reasonable amount of time and minimal fuss?

So lets see if I have this right?… I basically have to get one tool to trim with, another tool to debur with and a third tool to swag with? For the trimmer, there is no way I can afford or justify the Giruad or Dillon 1200 but there doesn’t seem to be a quality powered option for ~ $100 that will give consistent quality results? My only option here is to try and jerry rig a manual tool or a powered tool designed for something else? For deburing I either have to get one of those hand tools that can do the inside and outside case lip with a few turns or a machine for $100 of more. For Swaging, the top choice is the Dillon SS600 for $100 or the RCBS or CH4D press mounted primer pocket swaggers for ~$20-$25 or lastly the Hornady primer pocket tool for ~$10-$15? The problem with the Dillon and the press mounted options is it seems that they will all need to be adjusted for each different lot\make of brass and the problem with the Hornady tool is that it removes brass and is slow and tedious to use unless its mounted into a drill but the problem then is If you do mount the Hornady tool in a drill or other motorized tool, your hands are going to get a major workout trying to hold onto the brass unless I come up with some type of mounting fixture? Forester has a swage tool that is designed to be drill press mounted and has it’s own alignment and mounting fixture but it’s not cheap (for what it is) and results will vary if my DP has any slop?

If you ask me, all of these options leave at least something to be desired. No wonder so many people only reload pistol ammo!



I agree 100%! I'm just getting into reloading for .223, and I've been doing pistol for about 10 years now. I was upset at the cost to speed up what is a very common and necessary process!

To try and keep the costs down, but not be painfully slow, here is what I'm putting together now. And I basically got the idea from that same video you posted.

I use the Lee trimmer on my Bosch cordless drill. Chuck it up and spin time, about 5 seconds.
Over to the Trim Mate, I run the brush up and down through the case neck 2 seconds
Run the primer pocket cleaner 3 seconds
Chamfer in and out, 3 seconds each

I'm waiting on a Hornady reamer (which just came back into stock at Midway yesterday) which I've been told will fit the Trim Mate without any issues (I hope I was told right!), and I'm looking for a flash hole tool I can add to the Trim mate.

So figure I'm currently running 16 seconds per case now, figure 20 seconds per case when I have the reamer and flash hole tool on the Trim Mate.

Seems like a respectable speed to process brass, all for under $150 total

If someone can help me find a flash hole deburring tool that will fit the Trim Mates mandrels, I'll pick one up and I'll do a video and write up once I get everything dialed in.


Yes the Hornady reamer works great in my Trim Mate and the Lyman flash Hole deburing/uniforming tool and the Lyman primer pocket uniforming tool also works great in the trim mate and is the setup I use.

I also use a Lyman VLD chamfering tool instead of the one that come with the Trim Mate and it works great as well and will cut your time down since it's sharper and only takes like 1 second each to get a nice inside chamfer.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:25:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 7:33:11 AM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

If someone can help me find a flash hole deburring tool that will fit the Trim Mates mandrels, I'll pick one up and I'll do a video and write up once I get everything dialed in.



Found!
BTW, I bought the .308 pilot stop in addition to the cutter assembly, and just turn the stop over to use the .223 and it works fine. That way I can deburr two calibers without having to buy an extra pilot stop.

I do what you do, except I trim with a cordless drill-powered Forster (which I love), but in addition to your list of operations on the Trim Mate, I also use RCBS's primer pocket uniformer. (you have to buy three if you want to do all sized primer holes)
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:53:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 7:55:22 AM EST by LonelyRaven]

Originally Posted By EWP:
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

Originally Posted By airgunner:
So what you guys are basically telling me is that my only options here are either slow and tedious or ridiculously expensive and fast and regardless of price or speed, there is no “all in one solution”? I am kind of surprised that with all the cool and well thought out reloading solutions out there today and with as common as it is for people to need to trim, debur and swag brass that someone hasn’t come up with an effective and reasonable priced tool that can do it all in a reasonable amount of time and minimal fuss?

So lets see if I have this right?… I basically have to get one tool to trim with, another tool to debur with and a third tool to swag with? For the trimmer, there is no way I can afford or justify the Giruad or Dillon 1200 but there doesn’t seem to be a quality powered option for ~ $100 that will give consistent quality results? My only option here is to try and jerry rig a manual tool or a powered tool designed for something else? For deburing I either have to get one of those hand tools that can do the inside and outside case lip with a few turns or a machine for $100 of more. For Swaging, the top choice is the Dillon SS600 for $100 or the RCBS or CH4D press mounted primer pocket swaggers for ~$20-$25 or lastly the Hornady primer pocket tool for ~$10-$15? The problem with the Dillon and the press mounted options is it seems that they will all need to be adjusted for each different lot\make of brass and the problem with the Hornady tool is that it removes brass and is slow and tedious to use unless its mounted into a drill but the problem then is If you do mount the Hornady tool in a drill or other motorized tool, your hands are going to get a major workout trying to hold onto the brass unless I come up with some type of mounting fixture? Forester has a swage tool that is designed to be drill press mounted and has it’s own alignment and mounting fixture but it’s not cheap (for what it is) and results will vary if my DP has any slop?

If you ask me, all of these options leave at least something to be desired. No wonder so many people only reload pistol ammo!



I agree 100%! I'm just getting into reloading for .223, and I've been doing pistol for about 10 years now. I was upset at the cost to speed up what is a very common and necessary process!

To try and keep the costs down, but not be painfully slow, here is what I'm putting together now. And I basically got the idea from that same video you posted.

I use the Lee trimmer on my Bosch cordless drill. Chuck it up and spin time, about 5 seconds.
Over to the Trim Mate, I run the brush up and down through the case neck 2 seconds
Run the primer pocket cleaner 3 seconds
Chamfer in and out, 3 seconds each

I'm waiting on a Hornady reamer (which just came back into stock at Midway yesterday) which I've been told will fit the Trim Mate without any issues (I hope I was told right!), and I'm looking for a flash hole tool I can add to the Trim mate.

So figure I'm currently running 16 seconds per case now, figure 20 seconds per case when I have the reamer and flash hole tool on the Trim Mate.

Seems like a respectable speed to process brass, all for under $150 total

If someone can help me find a flash hole deburring tool that will fit the Trim Mates mandrels, I'll pick one up and I'll do a video and write up once I get everything dialed in.


Yes the Hornady reamer works great in my Trim Mate and the Lyman flash Hole deburing/uniforming tool and the Lyman primer pocket uniforming tool also works great in the trim mate and is the setup I use.

I also use a Lyman VLD chamfering tool instead of the one that come with the Trim Mate and it works great as well and will cut your time down since it's sharper and only takes like 1 second each to get a nice inside chamfer.

Awesome! Thanks for those tips! Too bad I didn't know about the Lyman stuff before I put my order in for the Hornady (and other stuff) yesterday!



Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

If someone can help me find a flash hole deburring tool that will fit the Trim Mates mandrels, I'll pick one up and I'll do a video and write up once I get everything dialed in.



Found!
BTW, I bought the .308 pilot stop in addition to the cutter assembly, and just turn the stop over to use the .223 and it works fine. That way I can deburr two calibers without having to buy an extra pilot stop.

I do what you do, except I trim with a cordless drill-powered Forster (which I love), but in addition to your list of operations on the Trim Mate, I also use RCBS's primer pocket uniformer. (you have to buy three if you want to do all sized primer holes)

Oh! I didn't realize the RCBS handled one could be use in the Trim Mate. It doesn't say anything about that anywhere I looked! thanks for the heads up on that as well!
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:06:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 8:16:12 AM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Hey guys – I’m still in the reading, learning and trying to figure out what all I want\need to buy phase but I think I’m getting close. One item I’m still completely at a loss on (as far as which one to buy) is a case trimmer? I know there are a lot of choices out there and a wide range of cost vs. speed and precision.

All I know is this, I will be reloading 223 for both my bolt gun and my AR’s and will be full length resizing (particularly the AR rounds) and I don’t see me having the patients to hand trim each case, especially considering most of my brass is Mil 5.56 brass with crimped primers. So not only do I need to trim and debur each case but I need to swage the primer pockets too. Still, there’s no way I can justify $400 for something like the Giraud trimmer no matter how fast or nice it is. So what I’m looking for is something in the middle, preferable closer to $100 or less but powered, quick, consistent and reliable. The closest thing I’ve seen to what I’d like is a setup I saw on Youtube where a guy took an RCBS Case prep center and mod’ed a Lee case trimmer and a Hornady primer crimp tool to work with it. Check it out…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZGkWUtKz4k

I know this thing probably isn’t ideal and it is a noisy little SOB and I wouldn’t count on it having a long life but for ~$120 (by the time you buy the Lee trim tool and Hornady primer pocket tool) it doesn’t seem like too bad of a setup? I really like the idea of sitting down in front of it with a piece of brass and being able to trim a case to size, debur it (inside and outside case mouth) and decrimp it all within ~15-20 seconds a case. Any of you guys have one of these RCBS case prep tools and set it up similarly or have a similar setup using something else that hopefully doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?



First off, I love the Trim Mate. Even if you use only half the things possible to do with it...it's worth it in that is removes some of the drudgery in reloading rifle.

Second, there still are some negatives:

Using the Uniformer works great on commercial brass...on LC swaged brass it's a nuther thing. Because you can't present a case to the tool perfectly vertical by hand, the tool grabs the case, and scratches the sides of the primer pocket and even sometimes stops the motor...all because the swaged hole is not as wide and smooth as commercial. That's a pain and is hard on your hands. But that is a problem with the RCBS Swager not the Trim Mate. The Military Reamer for the Trim Mate works...but takes a lot of metal off. Jury's still out on that tool.

The other main negative is the case mouth Deburring tool does not hold its edge. Use it, but order a RCBS VLD tool to replace it. RCBS VLD Deburring tool

Not too impressed with the Lee Trimmer conversion for it. Tried that and found that using a real trimmer like my Forster is faster.

I deprime and resize a large batch of brass in a Rock Chucker
Trim it using the Forster (powered by a cheap straight-line cordless drill cradled in an appropriately high half moon wood cradle).
Finish the case prep on the Trim Mate
Then the quick pass through the Progressive, primes, fills, and seats the batch.

Until somebody shows me a better faster way.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:26:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Hey guys – I’m still in the reading, learning and trying to figure out what all I want\need to buy phase but I think I’m getting close. One item I’m still completely at a loss on (as far as which one to buy) is a case trimmer? I know there are a lot of choices out there and a wide range of cost vs. speed and precision.

All I know is this, I will be reloading 223 for both my bolt gun and my AR’s and will be full length resizing (particularly the AR rounds) and I don’t see me having the patients to hand trim each case, especially considering most of my brass is Mil 5.56 brass with crimped primers. So not only do I need to trim and debur each case but I need to swage the primer pockets too. Still, there’s no way I can justify $400 for something like the Giraud trimmer no matter how fast or nice it is. So what I’m looking for is something in the middle, preferable closer to $100 or less but powered, quick, consistent and reliable. The closest thing I’ve seen to what I’d like is a setup I saw on Youtube where a guy took an RCBS Case prep center and mod’ed a Lee case trimmer and a Hornady primer crimp tool to work with it. Check it out…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZGkWUtKz4k

I know this thing probably isn’t ideal and it is a noisy little SOB and I wouldn’t count on it having a long life but for ~$120 (by the time you buy the Lee trim tool and Hornady primer pocket tool) it doesn’t seem like too bad of a setup? I really like the idea of sitting down in front of it with a piece of brass and being able to trim a case to size, debur it (inside and outside case mouth) and decrimp it all within ~15-20 seconds a case. Any of you guys have one of these RCBS case prep tools and set it up similarly or have a similar setup using something else that hopefully doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?



First off, I love the Trim Mate. Even if you use only half the things possible to do with it...it's worth it in that is removes some of the drudgery in reloading rifle.

Second, there still are some negatives:

Using the Uniformer works great on commercial brass...on LC swaged brass it's a nuther thing. Because you can't present a case to the tool perfectly vertical by hand, the tool grabs the case, and scratches the sides of the primer pocket and even sometimes stops the motor...all because the swaged hole is not as wide and smooth as commercial. That's a pain and is hard on your hands. But that is a problem with the RCBS Swager not the Trim Mate. The Military Reamer for the Trim Mate works...but takes a lot of metal off. Jury's still out on that tool.

The other main negative is the case mouth Deburring tool does not hold its edge. Use it, but order a RCBS VLD tool to replace it. RCBS VLD Deburring tool

Not too impressed with the Lee Trimmer conversion for it. Tried that and found that using a real trimmer like my Forster is faster.

I deprime and resize a large batch of brass in a Rock Chucker
Trim it using the Forster (powered by a cheap straight-line cordless drill cradled in an appropriately high half moon wood cradle).
Finish the case prep on the Trim Mate
Then the quick pass through the Progressive, primes, fills, and seats the batch.

Until somebody shows me a better faster way.

Great tip on the VLD tool. You're not the only one that's mentioned the Trim Mate tools dulling quickly.

Also, I forgot to mention above about the speed of the Trim Mate.

I opened mine up and it's clearly geared for torque, not speed. No easy way to change that. I thought I'd be crafty and use a variac, variable transformer and dial the voltage up to 130v in hopes the Trim Mate would speed up just a few rotations a minute. All it did at 130v was run louder. If it was faster at all, it was so minimal that it was not noticeable without a stop watch and keen eyes.

I'm betting the RCBS (And the new Hornady) are geared slow and strong for safety sake.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 9:31:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By markm:
Originally Posted By HankZudd:
the possum hollow seems to be very popular; not sure of the total cost with the power adapter, but the
trimmer alone is around $20; it works best chucked into a drill press.


That thing is a piece of shit. It's worth exactly what you pay for it. If you can master the right technique to eliminate the chatter, you still have a gnarly debur and chamfer job in front of you. And half the cases are not cut true since there's so much play where the tool indexes off of the brass. I just did 250 pieces of LC brass on that damned thing over the last two evenings.

That's why I pick brass that doesn't need to be trimmed. LC and WCC is the worst for trimming.



I'll take it, if you want to throw it away.
BTW, you must not reload much if your picking brass that doesn't need to be trimmed.
Oh, and any brass you don't want.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 10:16:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 10:23:52 AM EST by markm]
Originally Posted By metoo:

I'll take it, if you want to throw it away.


It's all I have for the few cases that I need to trim. I can't justify the expense of a better set up.

BTW, you must not reload much if your picking brass that doesn't need to be trimmed.


I guarantee I load more ammo than you, Son. Not that how much I reload has shit to do with how long brass is or which cases need trimming.

And I load so much .223 that I can tell you which brass will and will not need trimming before you even measure it.

Oh, and any brass you don't want.


I recycle any brass I don't want.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 12:05:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By LonelyRaven:

Great tip on the VLD tool. You're not the only one that's mentioned the Trim Mate tools dulling quickly.

Also, I forgot to mention above about the speed of the Trim Mate.

I opened mine up and it's clearly geared for torque, not speed. No easy way to change that. I thought I'd be crafty and use a variac, variable transformer and dial the voltage up to 130v in hopes the Trim Mate would speed up just a few rotations a minute. All it did at 130v was run louder. If it was faster at all, it was so minimal that it was not noticeable without a stop watch and keen eyes.

I'm betting the RCBS (And the new Hornady) are geared slow and strong for safety sake.


The Trim Mate is geared for torque and slow speed. Yet one can easily stop the motor pushing the Pocket Uniformer harder than it can cut. RCBS says let the tools do the work and don't push too hard. I agree, safety has to be the governing factor in such designs, and BTW pushing too hard into the tools certainly dulls them faster.

Mention was made about trimmers that chatter while cutting. I was lucky 38 years ago, long before this information-rich internet site was a glimmer in somebodies mind, that I was led to and ended up buying the Forster Trimmer. It has all the features needed for precision and quality. Consider after 40 years, the product is still unchanged, except for the addition of more accessories and my favorite, the power converter. Of its best features is the smooth as glass cutting cutter head, which I've had to replace twice...in 38 years.

If one owns a good quality drill press, Forster also makes a trimmer that uses the drill press for a powerhead. But be aware that the Forster precision can be compromised by a cheap drill press.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 4:38:34 PM EST
Welcome to my world of hurt. I hate trimming brass...I really do. But, the anal retentive in me won't allow me to reload without it.

I started with the Lee Trimmer and drill. This worked great! Brass was trimmed evenly, and came out to the same length within reason every time. However, after about 50 my hands became tired. Also, switching hands to chamfer / deburr was annoying. Also hard on drills. You really can't feed a semi auto with this.

Next, I tried a Lyman Universal Power Trimmer. Pile of shit, pilots sucked, inconsistent trim lengths, I sold it.

Next, I got a RCBS trim-pro (the one with plates, not collects). Properly secured this thing is nice. The optional power adapter (for a drill) works to. However, to use a drill you kinda have to mount the thing in a un-ergonomic fashion if your using a bench. Also, if you try to trim for quickly the consistency of your case length suffers. I still have it, and use it for bolt gun calibers or other rounds I don't mass produce.

Next, I set up my RCBS prep center similar to what is seen in the OP's youtube.com link. This works, but is SLOW. I have regulated it to doing primer pocket uniforming, chamfer and deburr, and flash hole deburring. To use the Lee trimmer with this you have to chuck that case in the special lee holder (which I had in a simple screw driver). This is time consuming, but works. My prep center is NOT as loud as that video, I think his camera mic was sensitive. A higher RPM would be appreciated.

Next, I got the possum hollow trimmer (for .223). I bought mine from Lock Stock and Barrel as they were the only ones in stock at the time. This thing is pretty clever, very consistent. HOWEVER, it is a PAIN to adjust properly.

Lastly, I purchased a Dillon RT1200 and a .308 trim die. This thing is built like a tank. The cutting head is easily replaceable ... a standard carbide bit used on brake lathes and other industrial cutting tools. Not that you will ever wear it out. I do NOT like the adjustemt (spinning the motor onto the die and retaining with a lock ring) until I got smart and ordered a second lock ring (they are a custom thread pitch, but only $4.50 from dillon) I placed 2 lock rings on the die and used the top one to set the depth and the bottom to snug into it. Perfect repeatability. This thing is CONSISTENT. Cuts for sorted head stamps vary by about 0.001-.002" On the down side, you will need to re-expand the neck after trimming, as it seems to be pushed to small and results in some funny looking ammo that is probably not the safest in the world. This thing also gets VERY hot in a short time so don't burn yourself. It doesn't chamfer or deburr, but believe the advertisements about how clean that cut is! They are true!. Unless loading flat-base bullets you are fine, although I usually chamfer/deburr them on the RCBS prep center.

Just my $.02
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:23:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By markm:

I guarantee I load more ammo than you, Son. Not that how much I reload has shit to do with how long brass is or which cases need trimming.

And I load so much .223 that I can tell you which brass will and will not need trimming before you even measure it.



Easy there, Pops. I realize brass tends to stretch each time, just didn't understand your process of chunking instead of trimming.
It's all good.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 4:50:43 PM EST
That's why I pick brass that doesn't need to be trimmed. LC and WCC is the worst for trimming.


WOW were is that brass coming from that you DONT NEED to trim ????????? sign me up
I use a rcbs case trimmer with a drill in stead of the handle .I bought a 3 jaw cutter head for it trims, deburrs and champers the case one shot .for the primer hole I use a Dillon swag . ps I'm not an English major so please be nice
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 9:38:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 9:39:03 AM EST by LonelyRaven]

I received my Hornady reamer last night. Popped it into my RCBS Trim Mate and rocked through 500 cases in no time!

After work I'm hoping to find a flash hole deburing tool that fits the Trim Mate and I'm all set.

Seriously, this setup is easy and enjoyable. The only part that seems to even remotely tire my hands is the new reamer. And if I chuck up the case in a screw driver handle with a Lee case holder, that would resolve that issue but slow me down a bit more. Otherwise, this process ROCKS!


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