June 29th, 2019

Trim, Chamfer, and Deburr Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Tool

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $105.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
June 20th, 2019

Lyman Case Trim Xpress Gear Review with Video

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

Great Case Trimmer for under $130.00
We think Lyman’s new Case Trim Xpress will be a “game changer” for hand-loaders. If you’re like most of us, trimming your brass to length has been a dull, laborious and time-consuming process unless you shell out $500 or more for a top-of-the-line unit. Lyman has broken that mold by releasing an accurate, easy-to-adjust, shoulder-indexing, carbide-bladed, and SPEEDY case trimmer for under $130.00! Given its outstanding performance for the price, the Lyman Case Trim Xpress is a definite winner.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming
CLICK photo for full-screen view of Case Trim Xpress unit.

Lyman Case Trim Xpress “Hands-On” Review

Review by F-Class John
Case trimming can be one of the most boring and tedious steps in the reloading processes. This is largely because of outdated tools that either require manual turning, clunky pilot systems, or difficult adjustments. In order to overcome these obstacles, you might have to spend $500 for some premium systems. But that has changed with Lyman’s introduction of the new Case Trim Xpress. This bright orange wonder delivers premium trimming performance at a budget price. Available for around under $130, this trimmer offers an easily-adjustable cutting head plus a smart, shoulder-indexing bushing system to improve consistency and speed up the trimming process.

Video Shows How Carbide Cutter Head Adjusts Easily with Index Wheel

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress comes with the main trimming unit, power cord, and 10 bushings in a storage case. These 10 orange bushings let you trim more than 50 popular cartridge types (yes including the 6mmBR, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win of course). Set-up was simple and straight-forward. Install the bushing you need, turn the unit on and slowly push a piece of brass towards the cutting head. Once the brass is fully depressed, you can start adjusting the dial one click at a time until the case makes contact. Then you start making progressive adjustments and trim until you reach your desired length. The process is so simple that it’ll leave you wondering how you ever used anything else.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

Once the machine was adjusted for our brass, we were amazed at how easily and quickly cases could be trimmed. The unit is fairly hefty, so we found it pretty stable just sitting on the bench. If you wish, the unit can also be screwed down for added stability, using the holes in the lower “wings” of the orange housing. There’s a dial adjustment on the side that controls cutter rotation speed (RPM). In our testing, the trimmer worked well across its entire RPM range. These means you can do fast, quick cuts or make slow and precise cuts, as you prefer. And you can adjust the cutter speed to the type of brass you are trimming.

As for trim length control, the adjustment dial has good, positive clicks and the trim length holds very constant. Even after trimming 80+ pieces of brass, we observed trim consistency held within .001″.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

One of the things that sets the Case Trim Xpress apart from most trimmers is how it indexes off the shoulder. This ensures that case lengths from mid-shoulder to end of neck are identical for every case (whether they have been sized or not). This is critical for consistent reloading results and will help ensure that every case is optimally positioned in your chamber. A cutting system that indexes off the shoulder is arguably better than a system than merely trims to a given case OAL for both fired and unfired cases.

Another great feature is that this trimmer can be mounted flat on a bench-top, on the underside of a shelf, or even on a vertical wall surface (if oriented horizontally). You can choose different mountings because the clear plastic shroud that catches brass shavings can rotate. This allows the shavings exit port to be orientated to any point on the circle. We liked being able to choose various mounting configurations. Employing little-used wall or shelf space opens up precious bench-top real estate.

Summary — Outstanding Performance for the Price
Overall the Case Trim Xpress is hard to beat for the price. It is one of the few power trimmers we can recommend without hesitation. The machine trims quickly and accurately, the cutter-depth control is precise and easy to use. And the variable speed control is great. Of course we do wish the machine could also de-burr and chamfer brass. But of course that would add quite a bit to the cost, and would probably require a completely different cutting system. For trimming-to-length only, Lyman’s Case Trim Xpress is probably the best trimmer currently available for under $200. This unit should definitely be on the short list of anyone shopping for a variable-speed motorized trimmer.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 22nd, 2019

Bargain-Finder 187: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Guide — Ruger 10/22, $189.99 with CODE

Ruger 10/22 sale

If there’s one gun that’s synonymous with shooting sports, it’s the Ruger 10/22. This classic rimfire rifle is inexpensive to buy, yet very reliable. If you’ve been looking to pick one up or buy your kid his or her first rifle, here’s your chance to get a wood- or synthetic-stocked 10/22 from Sportsman’s Guide. Member Price is $199.49 while non-member price is $209.99. But it gets better — use Code GUNSNGEAR to save an additional $20.00. With that Code, SG members can snag one for just $179.49! The non-member price is $189.99 with Code. NOTE: The GUNSNGEAR $20 OFF Code works with or without a membership.

2. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Mini Arbor Press, $74.95

bald eagle arbor press

Have you been looking for a low-cost arbor press to get started with in-line seating? Perhaps you’d like to load your bullets long initially, and then adjust the bullet seating depth during load development (or even at matches). Arbor presses are great for bullet seating tasks at the range. If you need a compact arbor press for your loading duties — here is really good deal. Grab a Bald Eagle Mini Arbor press and you’ll be off and running for the low price of $74.95.

3. Midsouth — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $229.99

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.49. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Midsouth. So you can save at least $40 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder. The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen. Dispenser precision is plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan.

4. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

“case

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Labradar w/ FREE SHIPPING

labradar sale

Labradar is considered the class leader in shooting chronographs. The ultra-accurate, state-of-the-art Labradar chronos have become so sought-after that they’re hardly ever discounted. While that may be true, Bruno’s is doing the next best thing and offering the Labradar with FREE SHIPPING as well as any accessories you buy along with it. This is a great time to grab the most advanced chrono on the market, along with genuine Labradar accessories.

6. Midsouth — 350 Rds 9mm FMJ in Container, $74.99

350rds 9mm FMY ammo

Nearly all gun guys (and gals) own one or more 9mm pistols. Here is some very cost-effective Aguila 9x19mm ammo that lets you train more often. Right now Midsouth is offering 350 rounds of 9mm FMJ plus a nice ammo can for the low price of $74.99, a great deal. At that price you can may want to buy 1000 rounds or more. We’ve shot this ammo. It is reliable and the brass is reloadable.

7. Black Widow — Refurbished Trim-II with Die, $79.50

case trimmer

Trimming your brass to length can be a chore with manual trimmers. There are high-end motorized trimming systems, but some of these cost hundreds of dollars. Fear not as Black Widow Shooters now has the refurbished trim-II w/ free die for only $79.50! That’s a savings of over 50% off the normal price. The beauty of this unit is that you simply attach it to any drill, adjust it to length and start trimming. It’s just that easy. Once you use a tool like this you may never go back to manual trimmers.

8. Midway USA — Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit, $79.99

wheeler scope kit sale

Does the thought of mounting your own scope scare you but you’re tired of paying someone else to do it? With the help of the Wheeler Engineering Scope Mounting Kit your fears will be put at ease. This $79.99 Kit includes everything you need including a torque wrench, alignment bars, levels and more. All of this comes packaged in convenient transport case.

9. Amazon — Champion Precision Sight-In Target, $12.52

Sight-In Targets

Have you ever been ready to run to the range and blow off a few rounds only to find that you’re out of targets? If you’re like us that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen when heading to the club and nobody likes using printer paper and a marker to make a target. Pick up this 100 count set of sight-in targets and you won’t have to run to the store last minute or dig through the range trash cans hoping to find a barely-used target. This is a great value — only 13 cents per target! Great deal.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 20th, 2019

How to Trim Brass Like a Pro — Smart Tips from PMA Tool

Eric Cortina Trimmer
The Giraud power trimmer indexes off the shoulder of the case. It is costly, but offers high production rates, trimming to length and chamfering in one operation.

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless.

PMA tool case trimming trimmer micro-adjust

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer indexes case length off of the shoulder of a properly fire-formed and full-length re-sized case. We accomplish this through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. When the case is captured within the tool head the tool head rotates along with the case, the spring allows for the case to self-align squarely to the cutter and allows you to control the feed rate into the cutter.

— Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length
— Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation keeps cuts square
— Large, ergonomic design fits the hand well
— Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal bur
— Cases captured in Delrin™ (completely non-marring material)
— Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

Our trimmer can be used in three ways. The first method utilizes our PMA Tool caseholder drivers and your power screwdriver, drill, case lathe, drill press or lathe. Trimming via this method the case is spun and fed into the trimmer while it is held in your hand. In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after adjusting and locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. We’ve found this to be the quickest method to trim.

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User submissions are welcome.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 4th, 2019

Power to the People — Cortina Reviews Giraud Power Trimmer

Power Trimming Technology Saves Time
Trimming and chamfering brass are tasks hand-loaders grow to hate. Those chores are time-consuming and tiresome. Thankfully there are faster, better alternatives to manual trimming/chamfering. In this article, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to use the Giraud tool which trims and chamfers in one operation. Erik has his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Here we feature Erik’s video about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “If you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims five pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erik offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 16th, 2019

Cool New Products from Lyman for 2019 — All Winners We Bet

Lyman case trim xpress carbide cutter bushings adjustment wheel Lyman

2019 will be a big year for Lyman. This company is rolling out a number of new products, including three unveiled today: a variable-speed case trimmer, a universal press stand, and a really nice shooting mat. We think all three products offer some very cool features and a lot of performance for the price.

Lyman case trim xpress carbide cutter bushings adjustment wheel Lyman

For 2019, Lyman offers the Case Trim Xpress, a new, affordable variable-speed case trimmer with a razor-sharp CARBIDE CUTTER. Available in either 115V or 230V, the Case Trim Xpress can quickly and accurately trim brass at a rate of approximately 15 cases a minute. The unit has its own power source, and a strong variable-speed motor, so there is no need to use power drills. Using the 10 provided bushings, the unit indexes off the case shoulder — that’s simple, fast and reliable. Plus a precision trim adjustment wheel allows case lengths to be easily “dialed in” to 0.001″ increments. To trim your brass, simply push the case against the carbide cutter until the shoulder stops on the bushing (with precise case OAL set by the wheel). The Case Trim Xpress comes with 10 bushings that fit the most popular bottleneck rifle cartridges, so no pilots are needed. Expected retail price is around $140.00.

  • Fast and accurate — trims approximately 15 cases per minute
  • Variable speed motor and ultra-sharp, long-lasting carbide cutter
  • Utilizes case shoulders for centering and indexing cases (not for straight-walled cases)
  • Comes with 10 bushings fitting the most popular bottleneck rifle cartridges — no pilots needed.
  • Spring-loaded operation allows smooth, chatter-free trims
  • Compact, low-profile design uses minimal bench space

Long Range Shooting Mats HD Lyman

Lyman says that its new Lyman Press Stand is the only press stand on the market that will accept most current single station, turret and progressive presses of any brand. The stand is heavy-duty steel for strength, pre-drilled for common presses. It will elevate your press 9 ¼” above the bench, providing a clear view of all reloading operations while keeping the operator in an upright, back-healthy position. Raising your press can reduce fatigue while giving you extra room (below) to hold bullet boxes and dies.

Press Stand Fits All these Presses and More:
Lyman: All-American 8 Turret, Crusher, Ideal C-Frame, T-Mag, Victory
RCBS: Rock Chucker, Rock Chucker Supreme, RCBS 6 Turret, Pro 2000
Lee: Load Master, Pro 1000, Classic, Value Turret
Hornady: AP, Iron, Lock-N-Load Classic
Dillon: 550, 650, Square Deal
Redding: T7 Turret

Tac-Mat Long Range Shooting Mats

For 2019 Lyman will offer new Tac-Mat Long Range Shooting mats — in both standard and HD padded versions. These mats are long enough for tall shooters, but they still can be rolled into a compact, easy to transport size. The Tac-Mat will be offered in two versions: a basic design in 600D construction with a carry handle and shoulder strap, or the heavy-duty version (HD) in 1000D construction with elbow pads, a built-in bipod stop, carry handle and shoulder strap. We like these new mats — a lot of smart thinking went into their designs and features.

Long Range Shooting Mats HD Lyman

Want more info on all Lyman products? Click this link for Complete 2019 Lyman Product Catalog.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News 1 Comment »
December 20th, 2018

Case-Trimming 101: Tips from PMA Tool

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offered some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Website. Here we reprint a PMA article that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

Forster Case Trimmer

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Little Crow WFT

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless. [Editor’s Note: The World’s Finest Trimmer (WFT) is one power device that indexes off the shoulder datum. It works fast and is very precise. The updated WFT 2 Model and WFT Big Boy feature interchangeable trim chambers to work with multiple cartridge types.]

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User Submissions are welcome.
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
March 5th, 2017

PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer — Precise and Handy

PMA Micro Adjust Case Trimmer

Serious reloaders know that PMA Tool makes some of the best specialty reloading tools you can buy. To help folks get the most out of their PMA products, the company offers “how-to” videos. One such video features PMA’s great Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer. PMA owner Pat Reagin tells us: “We’ve had quite of bit of interest in the case trimmer, but a lot of guys want to see it in action. So we’ve created an intro video that shows how to adjust and use the trimmer in various modes.”

Watch Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer Video

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case trimmer indexes off the shoulder but it also provides precise control over neck length. You aren’t limited to a built-in, neck-length setting like some other shoulder-indexed trimmers. The PMA Micro-Adjust Trimming tool currently sells for $129.95 including one cartridge insert. The inserts, which can be purchased for $13.95 separately, can often work for a multiple cartridge types within the same family. For example, you can use the same insert for both .243 Win and .260 Rem. There is another insert that works with both 7mm-08 and .308 Win.

PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer Features:

  • Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length.
  • Cases captured in no-scratch, Delrin™ inserts.
  • Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation and clean, square cuts.
  • Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal burr.
  • Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

How to use the PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer
The trimmer indexes case off the case shoulder through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. The Micro-Adjust Trimmer can be used in three ways.

PMA Micro Adjust Case Trimmer

First, you can secure the case in a PMA caseholder chucked in a power drill, drill press, or lathe. You hold the trimming tool with your hand and feed in the spinning case. (This method is handy because if you leave the case in the holder, after you have trimmed to length, you can switch tools and chamfer the case-mouth using the same power source).

PMA Micro Adjust Case Trimmer

In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press. or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. Lastly, the trimmer can be used manually, holding the case in one hand and the trimmer in the other. That’s the slowest method, but it works if you do not have power tools handy.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 28th, 2016

New Convertible Case Prep Duo Tool from Hornady

Hornady 2017 Case Prep Duo reloading tool case chamfering

Wouldn’t it be great if a power screwdriver could also serve as a two-station case prep machine? Well now that’s possible with Hornady’s new Case Prep Duo. This rechargeable unit has a battery-powered motor that drives a dual spindle head. The back half of the unit rotates and tilts so you can use the tool in pistol grip mode or with a straight (inline) body. NOTE: The photo above shows the SAME tool in both modes — angled grip mode and inline mode.

Hornady says that “this cordless, rechargeable multi-function tool accommodates case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners, and chamfer/deburr accessories. With the easy-to-swivel body and integrated rubber feet, use it in the straight configuration on your bench top, or rotate it … for an ergonomic, handheld power tool. Use with the 8-32 spindle head for various reloading functions or remove the spindle head and use as a powered screwdriver with standard 1/4-inch hex bits (not included).” The Case Prep Duo comes complete with deburr and chamfer heads, plus plug-in charger. The unit is affordable — MSRP is just $64.59 and we expect “street price” to be around $55.00.

IMPORTANT: The Case Prep Duo has a removable dual-drive (twin spindle) head. You can remove that head and use the Case Prep Duo as a standard, powered screwdriver. WATCH the VIDEO (at 00:20) to see how this works.

Hornady 2017 Case Prep Duo reloading tool case chamfering

Permalink New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 16th, 2016

Helpful Advice on Case Trimming from PMA Tool

Eric Cortina Trimmer
The Giraud power trimmer indexes off the shoulder of the case. It is costly, but offers high production rates, trimming to length and chamfering in one operation.

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless.

PMA tool case trimming trimmer micro-adjust

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer indexes case length off of the shoulder of a properly fire-formed and full-length re-sized case. We accomplish this through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. When the case is captured within the tool head the tool head rotates along with the case, the spring allows for the case to self-align squarely to the cutter and allows you to control the feed rate into the cutter.

— Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length
— Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation keeps cuts square
— Large, ergonomic design fits the hand well
— Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal bur
— Cases captured in Delrin™ (completely non-marring material)
— Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

Our trimmer can be used in three ways. The first method utilizes our PMA Tool caseholder drivers and your power screwdriver, drill, case lathe, drill press or lathe. Trimming via this method the case is spun and fed into the trimmer while it is held in your hand. In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after adjusting and locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. We’ve found this to be the quickest method to trim.

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User Submissions are welcome.
Permalink - Articles, Reloading 2 Comments »
November 3rd, 2015

Giraud $98.00 3-Way Trimmer/Chamferer for Power Drills

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri Way cutter with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Tired of trimming and chamfering your cartridge brass by hand? Giraud Tool may have a solution. Giraud, makers of rugged bench-mounted case prep machines, now offers a new case trimmer/chamferer that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patent-pending Tri Way Case Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $98.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Tool includes carbide blade that cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way is rugged. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Rem, .204 Ruger, .222 Rem, .222 Rem Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum)

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 5th, 2015

Case Trimmer “How-To” Videos from L.E. Wilson

L.E. Wilson Micrometer stainless steel case trimmer

L.E. Wilson, makers of hand dies, case trimmers and other precision reloading tools, has released a series of informational videos. These videos show how to assemble and operate L.E. Wilson tools including the new Wilson stainless steel case trimmer with micrometer adjustment (photo below). The first video explains the operation of the Wilson trimmer and shows how to initially assemble the tool, attach the handle, and set the cut length.

This second video shows how to set up the new stainless Wilson trimmer with micrometer cut-length control. The new micrometer feature allows you to set the cartridge overall trim length with great precision. If you are trimming a variety of different cartridge types, the micrometer cut length control comes in very handy. In seconds you can “dial in” different trim lengths, without messing around with set screw or locking rings. Fine adjustment is in increments of .001″ is done with the the Micrometer. Gross adjustment is done with with the stop screw. If you go from a very short case to a very long case, you will need to reposition the stop screw. Note: In addition to the videos shown here, L.E. Wilson has a video showing how to mount a the trimmer assembly and case holder arm on a base.

KEY FEATURES of L.E. Wilson Stainless Case Trimmer with Micrometer:

  • New long-lasting stainless finish with micrometer adjustment.
  • New increased width on Stop Nut. This provides for a firm stop.
  • Larger stop screw with Black Oxide Coating, adjustment from 3/8″ (old) to 1/2″.
  • New 304 Stainless Steel Handle standard on all trimmers shipped after July 2013.
  • Made in the U.S.A. with American steel.

Along with its case trimmer video, L.E. Wilson has produced three videos showing how to use Wilson cartridge case gages. This series of Case Gage Videos show how to use the gage to check headspace and properly set shoulder bump with a full-length sizing die.

Videos found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading No Comments »
January 13th, 2015

Using the Giraud Power Trimmer — Smart Video from Erik Cortina

Forum member Erik Cortina recently launched his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Erik’s videos demonstrate the proper use of specialized reloading tools and provide helpful hints. Erik’s latest video is about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “It you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims 5 pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erick offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
October 11th, 2014

Visit to the Forster Products Factory in Illinois

This article, written by Sinclair’s Phil Hoham, originally appeared in the Sinclair Int’l Reloading Press.

Forster ProductsForster Products’ Heritage
I toured Forster Products’ Lanark, Illinois plant with Forster owners Robert Ruch and Rod Hartman. Forster Products was founded by the Forster brothers in 1935. The company’s first production was in the basement of their home. There, the brothers crafted the famous “Forster 99” model airplane engines, establishing a reputation for quality right from the start. In 1946 the company expanded into firearms reloading products, starting with headspace gauges, universal sight-mounting fixtures, and Forster’s famous case trimmers. All of these tools are still being manufactured and sold by Forster Product today.

Forster Products

In the 1950s, Forster’s reputation for precision allowed it to become a Rolls-Royce subcontractor making fluid and fuel control parts used in Rolls-Royce aircraft engines. Forster also manufactured fluid control parts used at the Hoover Dam and in the United States MX missiles. With this precision background it is no wonder that Forster Products holds an ISO 9001-2008 quality certification!

Forster Acquired Bonanza Reloading Co. in 1984
Forster reloading dies and presses came into being in 1984 when Forster purchased the Bonanza Reloading Company from its owner Clarence Purdie. Mr. Purdie designed the CO-AX press with its floating jaws, easy die installation and tremendous leverage. He also held the patents on the famous “sliding sleeve” featured in the Forster “Ultra” and “Benchrest” seaters. His sizing die design positioned the expander ball high up in the full length and neck dies so the case neck is supported as it resized while it is being withdrawn from the die. This design feature is also unique to the Forster brand. All of these innovations make Forster dies a quality product for producing precision ammunition. No wonder Carl Bernosky and John Whidden (NRA High Power and Long-Range champions) swear by them! It was great seeing that “Made in the USA” quality is still alive and well and that Bob and Rod along with their staff have such a great commitment to precision manufacturing and quality customer service.

Forster’s Time-Saving 3-in-1 Case Trimming/Chamfering Tool
Forster’s CFO, Robert Ruch, demonstrates the 3-in-1 Case Mouth Cutter tool in the video below. This unit trims the case to length, puts a 14-degree chamfer on the INSIDE of the neck, AND (last but not least), it cuts a 30-degree chamfer on the OUTSIDE of the neck. As you can see, the tool turns very smoothly (no chatter) and the job is finished in a few seconds. Forster’s 3-in-1 Carbide cutting tool works with all existing Forster case trimmers and other hand lathes with a .490″ shaft diameter. The tool typically sells for about $60.00 at major vendors, and Robert says it should last for a lifetime of use. The unit fits over the Cutter Shaft and easily secures with one set screw. The 3-in-1 cutter is available for five (5) calibers: .224, .243 (6mm), .264 (6.5mm), .284 (7mm), and .308.

Forster 3-in-1 case mouth cutter

Permalink - Articles, - Videos 8 Comments »
August 13th, 2014

New Giraud Case-Trimming and Chamfering Tool

Giraud Tool has a new case trimmer/chamferer that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patent-pending Tri Way Case Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $90 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Close-up of the Tri Way cutter with clear plastic chip guard removed.
Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Tool includes carbide blade that cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »
July 19th, 2014

Tips on Case-Trimming from PMA Tool

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless. [Editor’s Note: The World’s Finest Trimmer (WFT) is one power device that indexes off the shoulder datum. It works fast and is very precise. The new WFT 2 Model with interchangeable trim chambers works with multiple cartridge types.]

Little Crow WFT

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User Submissions are welcome.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
June 2nd, 2014

Lyman E-Zee Case Length Gauge II Measures 70+ Cartridge Types

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gageLyman’s popular E-Zee Case Length Gauge is now bigger and better. The new version II of Lyman’s Case Gauge is much larger than the original version. The Case Gauge II now measures more than 70 cartridge types — way more than before. This tool is a metal template with SAAMI-max-length slots for various cartridge types, including relatively new cartridges such as the .204 Ruger and Winchester Short Magnums. This tool allows you to quickly sort brass or check the dimensions. If you have a bucketful of mixed pistol brass this can save you hours of tedious work with calipers. You can also quickly check case lengths to see if it’s time to trim your fired brass.

If you load a wide variety of calibers, or do a lot of pistol shooting, we think you should pick up one of these Lyman Case Gauge templates. They are available for under twenty bucks at Sinclair Int’l and Amazon.com. The folks at Sinclair say the E-Zee Case Gauge II has a been a hot seller.

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Case Gauge Should Last a Lifetime
Easily measure the case length of over 70 popular rifle and pistol cases with Lyman’s new E-Zee Case Length Gauge II.

This rugged, precisely-made metal gauge makes sorting or identifying cases fast and accurate. The template is machined with SAAMI max recommended case lengths. Made from metal, with no moving parts, the E-Zee Case Gauge II should last a lifetime.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
March 20th, 2014

Trim-It Case Trimmer Features Micrometer Cut-Length Control

This new tool trims cases quickly, with precision control over case length via a micrometer-type dial. The folks at ACT Tactical have developed an easy-to-use compact case trimmer called the TRIM-IT. Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum, this sturdy case trimmer comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee. The $97.50 TRIM-IT features a micrometer that’s built into the unit itself. Caliber-specific inserts (called “Caliber Dies”) index off the case shoulder.

Trim-it Case Trimmer Micrometer Cartridge Brass

The TRIM-IT can work with any hand-drill or drill press. Once you get the hang of it, you can trim a case in 7-8 seconds — that gives you a production rate of 400+ cases per hour. The TRIM-IT delivers repeatable precision to plus/minus one-thousandth. This unit also holds its cut-length setting, unlike some other trimmers which require frequent adjustment.

Trim-it Case Trimmer Micrometer Cartridge Brass

The basic unit ships with two caliber dies, for .223 and .308. Other listed caliber dies include 6.8 SPC, .300 BLK, .30-06, 30-30 Win, 300 Win Mag, 7MM REM, 7.62x54R, and 8MM Mauser. Other cartridge types can be custom-ordered from EZTrimit.com. To change dies, simply loosen the set screw on the TRIM-IT, take the caliber die out, add another one, and tighten the screw — quick and easy.

The built-in micrometer is great. The handy dial gives you a positive, repeatable length setting quickly — no fiddling with locking rings or spacers. Once you get the ring set properly, the cut lengths are consistent from the first case to the last. Expect your case OAL spread to be about +/- .001″ (starting with full-length-sized cases with uniform rim to shoulder lengths). For more information, email sales [at] eztrimit.com or call (562) 602-0080. You can see how the Trim-It device works in the video below.

Video Shows Trim-it Set-Up and Operation

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 10 Comments »
July 27th, 2013

New WFT 2 Trimmer Adapts to Multiple Cartridge Types

Little Crow Gunworks has updated its popular “World’s Finest Trimmer” (aka WFT). The new WFT 2 version is more versatile — it can now easily change from one cartridge family type to another. That makes the $69.95 product an even better value. Trimming works the same way as before — just push the cartridge case into the trimmer and cut depth is pre-set. When ordering the WFT 2, choose a trim chamber for your particular cartridge family (such as .308, 7mm-08, .243 Win). You can trim multiple cartridge types (with one trim chamber) by ordering the largest chamber in the family you plan to trim. To trim cartridges from a different family, simply order (and install) a different chamber insert.

World's finest trimmer case trimming tool chamber insert WFT 2

The WFT 2’s designers explain: “The two main improvements are the ability to trim up to 45 caliber and interchange trim chambers. The WFT 2 has a half-inch shaft and requires a half-inch chuck to drive it. The feature most customers asked for was the ability to interchange trim chambers. After many prototypes (and much testing) the solution came from our friend, Jim Lambert. Instead of press-fitting the trim chambers, as on our original WFT, the trim chambers on our WFT 2 feature a slight slip-fit-in bearing with a groove cut for an O-ring which creates a press fit.”

How to Change Trim Chambers
Changing out trim chambers is accomplished by removing the cutter and pushing out the trim chamber with the knock-out dowel that is provided with the WFT 2. To install the trim chamber, set the trim chamber on a flat surface and steadily push the housing onto the trim chamber. To set cut depth (COAL trim length) place a ‘master case’ in the trim chamber and slide the cutter up to the case mouth. The tighten the set screws.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »
June 27th, 2013

New Lyman E-Zee Case Trimmer System (Manual or Power)

Lyman E-Zee case trimmer pilotLyman’s new E-Zee Trim Case Trimmer allows you to easily trim cases by hand or with an electric drill (for power). With both pistol and rifle brass, a cartridge-specific pilot affixed to the cutter head slips into the case. Case trim length is set by the length of the pilot. You need a different pilot for each cartridge type you intend to trim. Pilots are offered in rifle sets and pistol sets, or pilots can be purchase individually for $4.95 each. For $29.95 you can get a complete kit (for either rifle or pistol cases) that includes: case-locking device, cutter, five (5) trim-to-length pilots, and both hand and power trimming adapters.

The Lyman E-Zee system is versatile. Using the same case-holder, you can trim-to-length manually, or use the included power-adapter fixture to drive the cutter with a cordless drill (you still hand-hold the case). We think power is the way to go. Your hands get tired after manually trimming just a handful of cases. The trimmer comes with a case locking device, cutter, trim-to-length pilot, cutter head and both hand and power trimming adapters. The trimmer works with any standard shell-holder including Lyman, Redding, RCBS, Hornady & Lee Precision.

Lyman E-Zee case trimmer pilot

Editor’s Comment: With this system you have very limited control over cut length. OAL is preset based on the pilot dimensions. Also the cutter blades are not as sharp as those you’ll find on a Forster or Wilson trimmer. And there are only ten (10) types of rifle pilots — no 6mmBR, no PPC, no 6XC, no 6.5×47, no .284 Win. For these reasons, we wouldn’t select a Lyman E-Zee system as a primary rifle case-trimming system (though we can see how it might appeal to .223 Rem and .308 Win shooters).

Lyman E-Zee case trimmer pilotOn the other hand, with the inexpensive set of pistol pilots, you can trim ALL the most popular handgun cartridge types: 9mm, .38 SPL, .357 Mag, .40 SW, .44 Mag, and .45 ACP. Having a pre-set trim length isn’t a problem for pistol brass. In fact it’s normally a good idea to trim all your brass (of a particular cartridge type) to the same length so that you get a uniform crimp on every case. The complete handgun E-Zee Trimmer kit, with pilots for 9mm, 38 SPL, .357 Mag, .40 SW, 44 Mag, and 45 ACP costs just $29.95. If you reload pistol ammo and don’t yet own a power-capable case-trimmer, Lyman’s E-Zee Trim may be a good choice. For under $30.00, the E-Zee Trim is definitely worth considering for handgun brass trimming chores.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »