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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I do not have a case trimmer yet as I have only started reloading a week or so ago. I checked all the cases I have and none exceed the max length so I am good for a while but I expect that at some point I will have some that exceed the length and since I do not reload in great quantities I thought that maybe it would improve the end product if I cut all the cases to the same length before loading so the seating would be the same in every shell loaded.

I was looking at the Wilson one and while some comments were that it was expensive it is about the same as the other ones unless you have a lot of different dies to buy. I have 3 that I need and unless you move up to the stainless steel with all the good stuff it is in the same price range as hornady or Lyman or redding.

Then there is the lee zip thing that would be going the low cost way. I also see a Forster on Ebay that for now is not all that expensive and some of the reviews I read rate it well.

So what is the way to go?
 

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I like the Wilson trimmer for bottleneck cases. The thing I like about the Wilson it can be used to true the case head. Every case comes out the same length because it's not dependent on rim thickness for index as some of the other trimmers are.
 

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I use the Lee trimmers for individual caliber for some stuff. Not the zip thing. I have a wilson and it is precise. Gets a bit complicated with the different holders for fired and new and bottle neck and straight but I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have all the parts for a Wilson put into my cart at midway but was wondering if I would be better off going the cheap way. Seems like the Wilson is always reviewed well be it here or at other sites. Being new to this I was hoping to pick one up used or on Ebay but had no luck finding any other than a really beat up one that was not that much less than new so figured it was not worth the risk.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Lee hand trimmer is the cheapest, simplest, most reliable way to ensure consistent trim length. If you can read, you can trim with set-up that lasts something like 10 seconds. No adjusting, just trimming.
 

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I've got the Forster and it works very well. I've also got a Lyman model that works with a drill press and is great when you have to trim quite a bit of length off a large number of cases.

For most of the trimming you'll ever do, you can't beat the Lee case length gauge/cutter system. Chuck it up in a cordless drill and you're all set to get the most tedious job in reloading done, quick and easy. No adjustments, no measuring...just put the case in the two-piece base, twist 'em together and you'll be done in no time. For guys just getting into reloading, or for guys who've been doing it for decades, there really isn't a better system. How's that for an endorsement? :)
 

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I like the Wilson trimmer for bottleneck cases. The thing I like about the Wilson it can be used to true the case head. Every case comes out the same length because it's not dependent on rim thickness for index as some of the other trimmers are.
+1 :)

I have used the same Wilson trimmer since 1966. They never wear out and are easy to use but not terribly fast. I like them because the system guarantees accurate alignment, and you can also purchase reamers that work with the system for removing inside material like dognuts that form and excess brass when I neck down some calibers.

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Get the Lee. The only improvement you can make is to have a drill press to chuck them in.
 

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+1 :)

I have used the same Wilson trimmer since 1966. They never wear out and are easy to use but not terribly fast. I like them because the system guarantees accurate alignment, and you can also purchase reamers that work with the system for removing inside material like dognuts that form and excess brass when I neck down some calibers.

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Yeah, I forgot about that. I have the .22 cal and 6mm reamers although I very seldom use them. They also make a primer pocket uniformer for that trimmer which I haven't bought. One other aspect is you can mount a dial indicator next the the trimmer and with loaded round held in the case holder, use it for a run-out tester. Since the case holders are 1" OD they slip into the collet on my lathe for various machining options on the case.
 

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I've got the Forster and it works very well. I've also got a Lyman model that works with a drill press and is great when you have to trim quite a bit of length off a large number of cases.

For most of the trimming you'll ever do, you can't beat the Lee case length gauge/cutter system. Chuck it up in a cordless drill and you're all set to get the most tedious job in reloading done, quick and easy. No adjustments, no measuring...just put the case in the two-piece base, twist 'em together and you'll be done in no time. For guys just getting into reloading, or for guys who've been doing it for decades, there really isn't a better system. How's that for an endorsement? :)
Yep. I have an RCBS and a forester bench mounted trimmer and end up using the lee more than the other two. The Lee is simple and accurate. I love it. The Lee is also very inexpensive
 

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Get the Lee. The only improvement you can make is to have a drill press to chuck them in.
+1. I have a Hornady trimmer (the older one) and once it's set, it's not bad, but slow. When I had a couple thousand .223 brass to trim...I finally got the Lee, threw it in a hand drill and would trim them watching tv...I could do 100 in the time it'd take me to do 10 in the Hornady.
 

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The ONLY downside to the Lee trimmer system is that you do need a separate one for each case you work with. Given that they cost ~$10, that isn't much of a problem. I think a lot of folks have a hard time believing such a simple and inexpensive system could work so well, but they really are the best thing going, if you're only trimming .010" or so off a whole bunch of cases.
 

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Mine are Forster. I make up de-primed dummy cases cut back .010 - .015, from the maximum length, depending on the cartridge. When it's time to trim, I use it as a gauge by putting it in the Forster, and setting the cutter against it. Then just tighten the set screw, and trim all the cases.
Pretty much the same thing. I've had the same little trimmer for over 30 yrs and while I only load a couple of different calibers for hunting, it has served me very well.
 

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Lee's hand trimming system is fast, easy, and cheap. It's also accurate, in addition to being precise. They're what I use most. I do also have a Redding case trimmer that I bought to turn necks and address a wildcat cartridge or two. The Redding in an excellent machine. Nevertheless, Lee's hand tools are far faster and easier to get repeatability from.
 

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Nobody could argue that I'm not a fan of Lee equipment. I met up with their innovative, affordable, quality products in the late '70's, So it's no surprise that I'll say get the Lee trimmers for your cartridges. As mentioned, there is that downside of having to buy one for each caliber, but I think you'll find all the accuracy you need at an affordable price. A cordless drill will help you in all facets of reloading, but especially using their trimmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the feed back seems as if Lee has quite a fan club so I have to believe they make something that is pretty rare in this world. Something that is inexpensive yet does what it is supposed to do well.
 

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I use the Forster as well and am very happy with it. The main reason I chose it (other than price) was the number of attachments you can get with it for neck work, and it works great. I should mention that I got the Lee trimmers with each caliber when I started reloading and they worked just fine. I'm sure it's not just me, as I have read other's posts here about the same topic, but I have only been reloading a little over a year and I have accumulated more equipment and stuff that I probably don't need than any other hobby I have :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I went with the Wilson with the case holder thing. Figured it had very little to break and was among the best liked on this forum and others as well as reviews at dealers. I figure that I only will reload for a few of my guns enough times where I will need to do a trimming so I do not need a die for every caliber. And if in the future I need one well each one is not that much. I still might get the lee thing for cleaning the priming pocket but for now I am trying to keep my costs down. I finally got it set up because of all the allen wrenches I have all over my house I did not have the size to tighten it to the stand I got. I got it hand tight and trimmed a little off a bad case I have just to see how it works and it trimmed a bit off pretty easily. Again if I get lazy they have an attachment for a electric screwdriver. At this point I do not see loading so many where trimming becomes a chore. We will see.
 
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