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  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Best tumbler and case trimmer

    In my quest to get started in reloading I'm looking at tumblers and trimmers. The reviews on pretty much everything are all over the place some people giving one star while other give five. Which ones are you guys using and liking? Remember I'm just beginning and on a budget too!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Kennet Square, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    I use a smart reloader tumbler from midsouth for 29 bucks. SR787 model. I use the heck out of that thing. Its a good ass machine. As far as case trimming, i dont have an automatic machine. I just use a lee peice with a drill. Dont buy expensive walnut or corn cob media from reloading stores. Buy it for a 3rd of the price and petsmart
    Heres a link to the midsouth tumbler
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.co...047VBSR0052001

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Home, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    I have the RCBS trim pro and I like it. It comes with the most commonly used shell retaining plates and pilots. Some guys have tried the Lyman with the universal chuck and the chuck wore out and broke on them. I don't have any first hand experiance with the lyman though.

    I had a used forster for a little but the chuck system (collet type), I didn't like. It was a little subjective in how you seated the brass into the collet leading to slightly different trim lenths. The RCBS uses a plate to draw up the shell to a machined surface that doesn't float or move anywhere, which I think makes things a little more uniform.

    For doing high volume trimming, I am told the "GTC trimmer" is the bees knees.

    http://www.giraudtool.com/prod02.htm
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Somerset, Pennsylvania
    (Somerset County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    I think it is Max384 that had the problems with the Lyman trimmer chucks.

    I've had one for 30+ years with no problems. I got a second one a couple of years ago and it seems to be holding up so far. If I'm doing a bunch of cases, I use mine with the power adapter and a cordless drill instead of the crank handle.

    I can't say much about a tumbler as mine is an old model from Midway that uses rubber straps to hold a 'tupperware container' to the vibrating base.

    Dale

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    I'd really like an electric trimmer but can't justify the expense as a newbie to reloading.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Piney twp, Pennsylvania
    (Clarion County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by YBNORMAL View Post
    . Some guys have tried the Lyman with the universal chuck and the chuck wore out and broke on them.
    http://www.giraudtool.com/prod02.htm
    I have experience with one Lyman and you're right. Takes awhile but starts by not gripping smaller cases. Replaced the head cutter early winter, and it may be my imagination, but it didn't seem to be the same quality of the ones I had from a decade ago. Seems to be grumbling over the net that Lymans quality control isn't what it used to be, particularly with casting equiptment.
    From a trailer park on a strip cut where my neighbors call me Mister.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Ambridge, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    As for trimmers I second the RCBS Pro Trimmer. Get the manual one and the take the handle off and chuck up a 1/2" cordless drill where the handle was. Instant power trimmer. As for a tumbler I suggest the Thumbles Tumble Model B. 3000 RPM variety. I used to use a RCBS vibratory with walnut from Pets Smart until I went to a wet stainless media. Never clean a primer pocket again with the wet stainless method. If your even the slightest bit anal about clean and shiny the stainless is the way to go.
    Steel Valley Casting is your source for hard cast and powder coated bullets.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Centre County, Pennsylvania
    (Centre County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    FWIW:
    I use the L.E. Wilson trimmer and caseholders.

    I purchased my trimmer and caseholders on ebay for much less than retail and am extremely pleased.

    I bought the power adapter on sale at MidwayUSA and use a small lathe to power it. Works like a champ and I can go fast or as slow and carefully as I want.

    Even by hand, this setup is accurate and reasonably fast.

    This is by no means the only good trimmer. If you have any friends who reload, see if they will let you use their gear. After you trim a few hundred cases, you will know if the trimmer is ok for you. Depending on your hand size and shape, what works for me may not work for you. However, I like the L. E. Wilson products in general. They are well made and have stood the test of time.

    Best of luck to you. You will enjoy reloading.
    Cheers,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Bethel, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    I have been using a Lyman Turbo 1200 for several years, no problems or issues with it. I buy cheap ground walnut "lizard bedding" from walmart for media. I add a cap of Flitz and NuFinish, a capful of mineral spirits every other batch. A used dryer sheet cut up in 1/4's removes a ton of crap from the media and seems to help.

    I have seen no difference using my "homemade" media to the expensive store bought tumbling media, but I am saving quite a bit of money on it.

    As for trimming, when I first started out, I didn't have the cash for an expensive trimmer set up. I opted for the cheapo Lee trimmer and pilots. Chucked up in a cordless drill, I can sit a desk or table, trim, chamfer and debur a case, change over is quick. It is a tedious process but it has been working out OK for me. I have been looking into a better "more professional" set up, but what I am doing works and is about as fast as any other trimming method.
    "Disperse you Rebels! Damn you! Throw down your Arms and Disperse!" British Major Pitcairn at Lexington April 19, 1775

    "Sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things" Marvin Heemeyer

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: Best tumbler and case trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Waldershrek View Post
    In my quest to get started in reloading I'm looking at tumblers and trimmers. The reviews on pretty much everything are all over the place some people giving one star while other give five. Which ones are you guys using and liking? Remember I'm just beginning and on a budget too!
    I have the Cabela's case tumbler. It's cheap, only $50, and works great. I've had it for a couple years now and I don't have one negative thing to say about it. I use the Redding 2400 case trimmer with micrometer. It's on the expensive side, but the quality is top notch and the trim is very precise. The one downside (other than being hand cranked) is the push button chuck they use. It's a bit complicated and awkward to use at first. Once you get used to using it, it is quick and works fine. However, they could have used a less complicated design IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by dk99358 View Post
    I think it is Max384 that had the problems with the Lyman trimmer chucks.

    I've had one for 30+ years with no problems. I got a second one a couple of years ago and it seems to be holding up so far. If I'm doing a bunch of cases, I use mine with the power adapter and a cordless drill instead of the crank handle.

    I can't say much about a tumbler as mine is an old model from Midway that uses rubber straps to hold a 'tupperware container' to the vibrating base.

    Dale
    You are correct sir!

    When it worked, it worked very well. I like the mechanism Lyman uses in the universal chuck, and I had the power adapter, so I could really crank out a lot of cases very quickly. However, the chuck arms (or whatever they're called - the pieces that grab the brass) kept wearing out at an annoyingly fast rate. I finally got fed up with it and switched to Redding. It's hand cranked and slower, but the quality is worth the downgrade in speed IMO.
    loose≠lose; you're=you are; 'your' shows possession.

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