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One of the best ways to save money for a gun enthusiast is to reload the spent cartridges. The process is not that difficult if you have the best case trimmer, and that can save a lot on expenses regarding ammunition. Reloading brass is the most effective way to minimize the costs for a budget gun lover.
But what exactly do you need for this? Well, you need a reloading press for one thing. Additionally, you will also need a case trimmer. What is it? What does it do? And where exactly can you find one?
In this comprehensive article, we will tell you all you need to know about case trimmers and also review some of the top products that you can find on the market.
What is a Case Trimmer?
When you shoot a bullet, the cartridge that you are left with gets elongated. The bullet shells are made with malleable materials that can be resized and reshaped using the right tools.
This is where a case trimmer comes in handy. The primary function of a case trimmer is to trim down the elongated brass for reuse.Without a case trimmer, the spent bullets would not be usable in a reloading press.
It will not fit the size and will cause issues when you try to force it onto the machine. By conditioning them with a trimmer, you can cut the bullets down to size and make new bullets effortlessly.
Top 5 Best Case Trimmer
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular case trimmers on the market.
Anyone who has spent their time on reloading pre-owned cartridges knows the vitality and importance of a case trimmer. The case trimmer is known to highly decrease the costs of ammunition, especially for those enthusiasts who reuse cases.
The Frankford Case Trimmer is guaranteed to live up to your expectations with its state-of-the-art materials and top-notch performance. It has been constructed to trim up hundreds of cases with efficiency.
This trimmer is highly functional and known for its versatility. It has four different types of functions; the trimmer can deburr, chamfer, clean, and trim the primer socket within a matter of a few seconds.
You will find it easy to around since it is quite lightweight and portable. Also, all the additional components can be kept within the case, which is linked to the machine. The trimmer is very easy to operate even for an amateur; it will enable you to trim different sizes of shells that are used in the prominent rifles.
The tool has three output shafts, which are all highly suitable with devices that contain 8-32 threads. Moreover, the chamfering machine has a VLD inside it to prevent it from damaging the bullets and simplify the loading process. This is one of the most dynamic and adaptable features of the trimmer.
It has a robust aluminum body with a flexible stand that is made of durable steel. You can stand the equipment vertically on its rubber feet as well as horizontally flat. The trimmer can handle caliber from .17 Remington to a whopping .460 Weatherby.
If you love firing at the range, then having a prime case trimmer can work wonders for you. As most of you already know, the price of fresh and new ammo keeps increasing, which means you'll have to pay more and more for every shot you make.
But with a standard case trimmer like Lyman, you can have a fun time enjoying a smooth trimming session. This device has all the necessary accessories that you need for trimming.
It is an ideal instrument that is compatible with every case within caliber 0.458. Therefore, it is capable of trimming any rifle case and pistol without using costly collets. The trimmer can also be operated both electrically and manually because it is attached to a power adapter which enables the mechanical powering.
Furthermore, the trimmer features an adaptable ring dial for easy use as well as nine pilots along with shell holders. So, if you need to set up the length manually, you can dial the intended measurement without any effort.
So, it is effortless for the trimmer to produce precise case lengths, and it also has the flexibility for coarse and smooth cases. The kit also contains the primary cutting heads as well as the carbide. Both of them are easy to retrieve, and as a result, it makes the whole process quick and straightforward.
The equipment is known as a universal trimmer because it is installed with a unique universal chuck-head that can maintain any case from .17 to .458 caliber. If you want the process to be faster, you can connect a power adapter that is linked to a hand drill, and it will boost the pace of the cutter.
Nowadays, there are many outdoor activities available for people to enjoy. Shooting and hunting are some of them, but to thoroughly enjoy such sports, you need to have the proper kind of tools to make sure that you have a great experience.
For hunting, you will have to gather all sorts of tools and materials, and one such tool is a case trimmer. With the best kind of device such as the Hornady Cam-Lock, which is well-known for its high-quality materials, you can expect superb performance.
This model of the trimmer is pretty new and upgraded from the other ones, and it also has some additional features from the previous models. The case trimmer can be attached to any kind of workbench for more stability. It also contains a reliable cam lock system.
This locking mechanism will allow you to securely provide the shells in your holder for the trimming along with its pre-set case measurements, which ensures high consistency each time you work with this device.
The handle of this trimmer has been re-designed to make it more convenient and ergonomic as well as the raised frame provides ultimate comfort to the hand. It is quite simple to install and operate it.
Moreover, the trimmer has four holes for setting it up on a bench. You can also attach it to a vise. To operate the trimmer, you have to know how to use the lock; a spin holds the lock, whereas a touch disengages the cam lock.
It has a micro-adjustable head cutter that ensures precise case lengths. This flexible cutter will allow you to change the settings while keeping the case steady and secured. Other than that, the cutter can be removed for sharpening or replacing it with another one.
There are a lot of benefits that come with reloading cases. Other than the product and its features, a reloading case can help you save money and also enhance your reloading skills with proper practice. But over time, the cases tend to go out of shape with every shot you fire.
To ensure that they remain loadable, you need a case trimmer to prevent the cases from being deformed. The RCBS Case Trimmer is known to every beginner and professional hunter for its highest quality materials and excellent features.
This sturdy equipment is constructed with die-cast metal and includes sharp cutting blades that ensure long-lasting durability. One of the notable features of this trimmer is, it contains a shell holder that is rigged with a spring.
The spring allows the shell holder to hold cases firmly and securely without needing particular shell holders. This container works with all types of basic pilots and accommodates nine of the most standard ones. Its extended lever and sturdy cutting handle make the whole operation seem like a dream.
It is made to resist tear and wear, and the materials are built to protect the cases from damaging. You will, without a doubt, love its speed and have a great time adjusting its settings with efficient and flexible micrometers.
The adaptable micrometer allows you to trim the cases according to your preference. Furthermore, the trimmer has been accommodated with a modest RPM motor, which has been enhanced for effective trimming. It also features increased torque for you to be able to execute different tasks.
If you love shooting or hunting, you will more or less have to learn the process of reloading. Making reloading a hobby will help you cut down costs in the long run. However, you must have the right kind of tools to do so. If you're planning on using your cases more than once, then you need a case trimmer.
The Lyman Universal Trimmer is an affordable and versatile case trimmer that comes with several innovative features. If you are tired of having to work with particular shell holders and you want an accurate and easy trimmer, then this product is for you.
This heavy-duty trimmer is made out of cast iron. It can trim with exceptional precision daily. Moreover, with this case trimmer, you will not need any expensive case collectors or shell holders.
Unlike other devices, this trimmer has high adjustability, and you can easily change your settings up to a thousandth of inches. This brilliant feature gives you the flexibility to trim the cases according to your preference.
The case trimmer can also be an ideal gift for those who love shooting or hunting, such as your friends or family.One of the notable elements of this tool is its universal chuck-head.
The chuck-head can easily clutch cases from a .17 to a .458 caliber. So, you don't have to worry about repeatability because its adjusting ring will allow you to turn the dial to a predictable setting for comfortable usage.
The kit contains the standard and carbide cutting heads, and both of them are easy to extract, which makes the switching process swift and straightforward.
Types of Case Trimmers
There are many different types of case trimmers that you can find on the market. Knowing about the different options available will allow you to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing a product for yourself. In this section, we will take a look at five different case trimmers that you can buy.
This type of case trimmer is the most common among all devices. It uses a holder of some sort to clamp the bullet. With the help of a cutter located on the opposite side, the bullet is trimmed.
Lather-type trimmers are capable of making rough to fine adjustments and can also work quite fast. However, for precision, a slower speed is preferred.
The Fixed-Adjustment Type:
These units are quite affordable but come with a massive limitation. They can only support a single size, and so is not that effective if you are planning on reloading different calibers of bullets. However, the simple design of the device makes it a great choice if you do not need a lot of variations.
If raw speed is what you are looking for, then you cannot go wrong with on-press trimmers. In a matter of seconds, this trimmer can trim and deburr the bullets. However, it is quite bulky and creates a lot of ruckuses. Additionally, you also need a full-length sizing reloading die for the unit to work properly.
Do not underestimate this type of case trimmer just because of the low-volume tag. It can sometimes be even faster than some Lathe-type trimmers. This type of unit comes with a stand mechanism to make operating easier.
However, the design of the unit is not that welcoming for a beginner. It takes a long time to set it up, and so is not that practical for someone who works with different sizes of caliber.
Shoulder-indexing case trimmers are perfect for trimming a high number of bullets in a specific time. The device is easy to use and comes with a lot of flexibility. You can make a lot of adjustments and manage the chips easily. However, if you want some case-length variety, you might not be completely satisfied.
Things to Consider When Buying A Case Trimmer
For a simple device, there are a surprising number of features that you should look at before buying a case trimmer. This section of the article will give you an idea of what to consider before investing so that you can find the best case trimmer in the market.
Chamfering and Deburring
The process of smoothing a case after finishing the trimming stage is known as chamfering and deburring. It allows you to get rid of the sharp edges at the mouth of the bullet and give it the perfect shape. You can find aftermarket deburring tools for this purpose.
However, many case trimmers come preinstalled with these tools. So if you are serious about gun reloading, it might be worthwhile to get a trimmer that comes with deburring tools.
Shell holders are used for holding shells as you trim it. Thanks to holders, the case is kept stable and does not move around while reloading. For different sizes of calibers, the size of the holder will be different. Some case trimmers do not come with holders at all.
You should find a unit that allows you to adjust the size of the holder to some degree. If you plan on working with different caliber sizes, this is a must. You should never overlook it if you are serious about reloading.
Ease Of Use
Usability is an important factor to consider when buying a case trimmer. The device should be simple and easy to use, allowing you to get to work as soon as you want. Trimmers that require a lot of time to set up and adjust have a tendency to get frustrating to work with.
Find a product that can be easily mounted on your worktable and offers you a good amount of stability. If the adjustments are easy to make, you will be able to get to trimming faster. If you want to use portable trimmers, make sure to check the weight of the device.
Tumblers and Polishers
If you want your finished cartridge to be shiny and smooth, then you cannot overlook the importance of polishers and tumblers. However, keep in mind that not all trimmers will come with this option. Since it is a personal preference, you can skip this step if it is not essential to you.
The speed of trimming and reloading is another important factor to consider when choosing the best case trimmer. Not all units have the same efficiency, and you need to check it out yourself. If you want to get into reloading regularly, then speed is of utmost importance to you.
It is not worth spending hours on trimming if you can find a model that does the job in less time. Chances are you would be reloading a high number of bullets. So finding a fast model will save you from a lot of frustration.
How Does It Work?
There are countless variants of case trimmers, and their operating procedure often differs from one another. Whether it is a manual or an automatic one also plays a role in how it works. However, you can easily replace the handles of the manual trimmers with a drill to turn it into an automatic one.
First and foremost, you need a trimming template. To do that, you have to find the right case holder and trim one case according to size. The case holder should have a mechanism to lock down the shells. Once you do that, the rest of the process is simple.
In the case of a Lee trimming system, you need to do this manually by adjusting the length of the screw and turning the handle manually. You need to make adjustments to find the perfect length of the cartridge. There are two other openings in the prep center for cleaning the mouth of the device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a case that is deformed?
Yes, you can. In theory, as long as the case fits the holder, you can trim and reload it for future use. But if the case looks to be too deformed, it is advised not to use it.
Do I have to trim every case?
IF the case is of the right length, you do not need to trim it. However, most of the time, the cases get longer because of the pressure from gunfire. In these situations, you must cut the case to use it.
How do I set up the trimmer the first time I use it?
It depends on the model of your case trimmer. There are countless tutorials that you can find related to the setup of your specific trimmer.
Additionally, you can refer to the manual book that is provided with your unit. If you are unsure about how to set it up, you can also get in touch with the manufacturers.
As you can see, there are a lot of different case trimmers available to you, all with its own set of advantages. You need to be clear of your purpose if you want to be wholly satisfied with your device.
After reading the article, you should have a good idea about case trimmers. We hope our selection of products could help you find the best case trimmer for all your reloading needs.
Larry is a professional Shooter and his hobby is shooting and Hunting! He has been shooting for the last 6 years and he loves using many types of guns while outing as well. Based experiences with a different type of Guns and Hunting related products. He is sharing his opinion about various Guns so that a beginner can get started right way. Find him on Twitter.