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Thread: Name something you can't live without that most don't have

  1. #1
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    Name something you can't live without that most don't have

    I was thinking the other day how far my journey has come down the reloading path. I have a LOT of equipment many years after I started. Some things I'd not buy again if I had it all to do over again...but I have a few things...I just don't want to do without.

    So...name something you think most people don't have...that you simply can't live without....however...make it affordable....like a tool or device that is small...and not 'Super Mega Auto Reloading Station 5000" with auto feeders for all components.

    I have a few myself in mind...and it is really hard to narrow down to one...I really wouldn't want to do without my Dillon Super Swage...or my Shockbottles in 9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP...or my Lyman multi-cal case gauges for pistol/rifle/large rifle...but if we are going to quantify it by saying something most don't have and I simply don't want to go back to the old way....

    It would be my Hornady 1911 style vibrating primer tube filler. The thought of loading 1k+ rounds at a time on a single stage or turret press simply doesn't interest me in the least...it actually sounds like a bad dream I keep waking up from. However, even with my Hornady LNL AP, the case feeder, bullet feeder, powder hopper with the electronics package to give me level warnings.....loading primer tubes every 100 rounds is a pain in the posterior. So, preloading 3-5 tubes of primers before hand is the way to go...and filling a tube in ~15seconds is almost comical when you think back of the days when you poked each primer to fill the tubes.

    Thats' mine...what's yours?

    Lee

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    Well, you said affordable and this was a little bit expensive. But I'm thinking about my Giraud case trimmer. If you're only trimming 20 cases for your hunting ammo it may not be worth the time to change calibers. But if you are loading 1000 cases for a Prairie Dog hunt it sure is nice. My routine will let me trim 15-16 cases a minute at a sustained rate. Sure, you fumble one occasionally or encounter a case thats longer than normal and break your rhythm but I can trim around 900 in an hour. If your fingers are up to it! It also deburs both the inside and outside and maintains .001 in length.

    There are probably other things that I'll think about later.

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    When it comes to trimming rifle cases...many people...including my past self...dread the mere thought of processing thousands of pieces of brass. A hand trimmer is a nightmare and will probably have you either depressed or outsourcing your trimming to a service. I myself wanted a Giraud Trimmer very badly. However, at the time there was a back order and I couldn't wait. I ordered a Little Crow Gun Works WFT setup with bushings for 5.56, 300BO, and 308 and had it in my hands in 3 days. Chucked to a drill press I can fly through them.

    However, I still have to debur and chamfer each one which takes longer. One day I may still get the Giraud...however it is down my wish list at the moment...but yes...great example of what most don't have...but you simply can't live without. Man, just the thought of a 5 gallon bucket of 5.56 and a hand trimmer would keep me up at night. Also, I guess the term 'affordable' is very objective.

  4. #4
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    I bought the hornady case prep center and added the RCBS 3 way cutter head so it trims, deburs and chamfers all in one step and it's easy to adjust the trim length to anything I want.

    41VY9OG88HL._SX425_.jpg

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    Member DaveL's Avatar
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    I can't decide between two things I have that I can't live without. My Lyman Power Case Trimmer and or my Redding powder measure.
    I used a Forster case trimmer for many years. I used it so much that the aluminum handle grip part was so worn that it would pinch my finger and draw blood if I wasn't very carful. So I had to replace it. I bought the Lyman Power Trimmer and never looked back. I think Lyman discontinued the Power Case Trimmer (why? I don't know) but RCBS makes one. I will never go back to a manual trimmer.
    As to my Redding powder measure, I've used nearly every brand of powder measure out there starting with an old Ideal measure through Lyman, RCBS, Frankford and Hornady (never Lee, never never Lee). None compare to the Redding. It will dump very small charges more accurately than any of the rest of them. Yes, it still has a little trouble with large grain stick powders but not nearly as much as the others I've tried. So there's my take on it. Take it as you will.

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    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    The new Lee auto drum (not auto disk) actually works pretty good. I use it on my hornady progressive press. Spare drums are very cheap to buy so I have several already set for different loads and powders. When I want to switch a load or powder it's super easy to swap out the drum. Saves me a bunch of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveL View Post
    I can't decide between two things I have that I can't live without. My Lyman Power Case Trimmer and or my Redding powder measure.
    I used a Forster case trimmer for many years. I used it so much that the aluminum handle grip part was so worn that it would pinch my finger and draw blood if I wasn't very carful. So I had to replace it. I bought the Lyman Power Trimmer and never looked back. I think Lyman discontinued the Power Case Trimmer (why? I don't know) but RCBS makes one. I will never go back to a manual trimmer.
    As to my Redding powder measure, I've used nearly every brand of powder measure out there starting with an old Ideal measure through Lyman, RCBS, Frankford and Hornady (never Lee, never never Lee). None compare to the Redding. It will dump very small charges more accurately than any of the rest of them. Yes, it still has a little trouble with large grain stick powders but not nearly as much as the others I've tried. So there's my take on it. Take it as you will.

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    So far...a running theme seems to be around the dreaded topic of case trimming....a necessary evil.

  8. #8
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    Check out this new Lyman case trimmer and other products for 2019

    https://youtu.be/s365RUwneg4

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    I love my lee auto drum, it’s always within 0.1gr of the set weight, but that’s not the best thing on my bench.

    I would have to say that there are 2 things that have greatly helped me,

    The first is a simple insert for my cordless drill that has 8-32 female threads to accept case prep tools. I chuck up the adapter and a small primer reamer and can go through no small amount of 5.56 brass in short order.

    The second is my APS strip priming tool and strip loader. Since switching to that from the Lee XR, I haven’t mangled a single primer or installed any backward. I’m actually thinking about getting the bench mounted version to see if it’s even better than the hand tool.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyJoe View Post
    Check out this new Lyman case trimmer and other products for 2019

    https://youtu.be/s365RUwneg4
    That trimmer does show some promise.

  11. #11
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    Are you using the RCBS crimp remover that has the built in over travel stop so you don't ream out too much of the pocket?

    41rCeIVD95L._SX466_.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbaker78 View Post
    I love my lee auto drum, it’s always within 0.1gr of the set weight, but that’s not the best thing on my bench.

    I would have to say that there are 2 things that have greatly helped me,

    The first is a simple insert for my cordless drill that has 8-32 female threads to accept case prep tools. I chuck up the adapter and a small primer reamer and can go through no small amount of 5.56 brass in short order.

    The second is my APS strip priming tool and strip loader. Since switching to that from the Lee XR, I haven’t mangled a single primer or installed any backward. I’m actually thinking about getting the bench mounted version to see if it’s even better than the hand tool.

  12. #12
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    I think it looks similar to the one made by frankford arsenal

    s-l640.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbaker78 View Post
    That trimmer does show some promise.

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    The Lyman is more of a dedicated trimmer, and I like the fact that it’s adjustable.

    And I’m just using the cheap reamer that doesn’t have a stop, but I have yet to take too much material out of a case, I think it bottoms out on the inside of the pocket. It came in a Lyman multi pack that had chamfer, deburr, small and large pocket cleaners, and small and large pocket reamers. I think it was like $20 for the whole thing and it’s lasted me a few years.

  14. #14
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have the same one you are using, but I stopped using it after I bought the ballistic tools swage gage and discovered it was too easy to mess up the primer pockets and allow the no go gauge to fit. Here's a link to that $12 tool. https://ballistictools.com/store/swa...-primer-pocket

    The frankford trimmer is adjustable too, but the lyman looks easier to adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbaker78 View Post
    The Lyman is more of a dedicated trimmer, and I like the fact that it’s adjustable.

    And I’m just using the cheap reamer that doesn’t have a stop, but I have yet to take too much material out of a case, I think it bottoms out on the inside of the pocket. It came in a Lyman multi pack that had chamfer, deburr, small and large pocket cleaners, and small and large pocket reamers. I think it was like $20 for the whole thing and it’s lasted me a few years.
    Last edited by SafetyJoe; 01-19-2019 at 11:12 AM.

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    While sitting here at my bench prepping some 380's I thought of something else. My RCBS ChargeMaster. I use a powder measure for most powders other than the extruded ones. It does great with those. Back when I was working it allowed me to make a few matches or hunts that I would not have had the time to load ammo for otherwise.

    I'm another that uses a cordless drill for cast prep and I have one of those adaptors that goes from 1/4 inch hex to 8/32nds. I have used it with a bore mop to polish a dirty die or chamber.

  16. #16
    Member DaveL's Avatar
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    The new Lyman case trimmer looks good but $165 seems expensive to me.

  17. #17
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    I'm seeing it for $140 on midway. I imagine after it's been out for a couple months it might go on sale for $100. I bought the hornady case prep center when it was on sale for 4 times that amount, but because I added the RCBS 3 way cutter head it trims, deburs and chamfers all in one step so for me it was worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveL View Post
    The new Lyman case trimmer looks good but $165 seems expensive to me.

  18. #18
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    RCBS Trim Pro case trimmer

    I have friends who have the Dillon case trimmer and they say it is superior but I couldn't imagine my setup without RCBS Trim Pro case trimmer. I used it as a manual trimmer for a year after sizing several thousand 30-06...I asked for the motor attachment for Christmas and got it. Thank God for that case trimmer.

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    I always believed electricity is your friend when it comes to case prep.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check