What's the best case prep tools approach for a new to reloading guy? - Page 2
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Thread: What's the best case prep tools approach for a new to reloading guy?



  1. #11
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    Economy reloading here for the last 44 years. I use the Lee handheld trimmer chucked in my cordless drill,and the Lee inside/outside neck chamfer tool. Primer pockets get cleaned with a small screwdriver. No complaints.
    I am very careful about case length,checking every time after sizing without fail. Consistent length makes consistent crimp,one of the contributing factors to ballistic uniformity.


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    I've been reloading almost 50 years. Originally I went with the Lee prep tools and I'm still using them.

    Like others, I chuck the case holder base in a light portable drill for the case trimmer. Then I spin it against the inside/outside chamfer tool. I have the RCBS tool, but it chatters against my 45-70 brass. The Lee one does not.

    I use the RCBS primer pocket swager for military crimped primer pockets. It irons them out nicely, and I think it's easier than using a reamer. I have two carbide primer pocket reamers, but I only use those for my varmint caliber cases. I don't bother with handgun cases or my larger rifle brass. I also have a flash hole uniformer for the varmint brass. These are operations that only need to be done once, and only if you're obsessive compulsive about your brass. I do it once on my new brass for first loading.

    A lot depends upon how much you will be loading and shooting. Straight wall cases will "grow/stretch" very little. Bottle neck cases more so. Magnum belted cases, will need trimmed every 2-3 loadings.

    If I were loading .223 I wouldn't bother. I would only load those 2-4 times then toss them. They're common pickups for free at most ranges.

    Over all, I prep my brass--primer pocket, flash hole, trim length, inside/outside chamfer only on my .22 hornet, 22-250, .222 Rem, 7x57mm, and .308. My new 45-70 cases get flash hole and length trims. Handgun brass gets nothing.

    Unless you are loading a ton of bottle neck cases/year, hand tools are sufficient. You really don't need to do it all that often. Not for every loading, certainly.
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  3. #13
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    Lee tools. By hand or use the cordless drill if my arthritis is acting up. Minimal expense and effort. Easy to feel results.
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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven M. View Post
    I have the Hornady bench mounted manual case trimmer.
    I have no complaints about it.
    I don't feel a need for a powered one.
    I was thinking about starting with hand trimmers and later also get some brand/typr of powered case prep tool/s like the Lyman station,preferably with a sealed electric motor. (are they made this way?)

    That way I'd have powered to use, but also, in cases where no power was available (society meltdown) I could continue to reload as to be able to hunt/eat.

    Never hurts to plan ahead for the worst.........just in case....
    Last edited by MarlinManCB45/70; 01-29-2017 at 02:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewtoSkeet View Post
    Lee tools. By hand or use the cordless drill if my arthritis is acting up. Minimal expense and effort. Easy to feel results.
    I just have reservations of using hand drills/cordless drills on a reloading bench.....both are ventilated to the atmosphere, and create a constant (yet small) "shower" of sparks while operating them. (unless they have sealed motors)...I see it as an accident waiting to happen with gunpowder close by.

    Just have a look up into the ventilating slots and hold the trigger down on a hand drill.......any electric motor used in proximity to gunpowder should be a "sealed" electric motor IMO.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarlinManCB45/70 View Post
    I just have reservations of using hand drills/cordless drills on a reloading bench.....both are ventilated to the atmosphere, and create a constant (yet small) "shower" of sparks while operating them. (unless they have sealed motors)...I see it as an accident waiting to happen with gunpowder close by.

    Just have a look up into the ventilating slots and hold the trigger down on a hand drill.......any electric motor used in proximity to gunpowder should be a "sealed" electric motor IMO.
    I generally keep the powder in a wooden cabinet 3 feet from my reloading bench until I am ready to charge the cases.

    However, you make a very valid point and I will change "generally" to "always" when using my cordless drill.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIKayaker View Post
    I've been reloading almost 50 years. Originally I went with the Lee prep tools and I'm still using them.

    Like others, I chuck the case holder base in a light portable drill for the case trimmer. Then I spin it against the inside/outside chamfer tool. I have the RCBS tool, but it chatters against my 45-70 brass. The Lee one does not.

    I use the RCBS primer pocket swager for military crimped primer pockets. It irons them out nicely, and I think it's easier than using a reamer. I have two carbide primer pocket reamers, but I only use those for my varmint caliber cases. I don't bother with handgun cases or my larger rifle brass. I also have a flash hole uniformer for the varmint brass. These are operations that only need to be done once, and only if you're obsessive compulsive about your brass. I do it once on my new brass for first loading.

    A lot depends upon how much you will be loading and shooting. Straight wall cases will "grow/stretch" very little. Bottle neck cases more so. Magnum belted cases, will need trimmed every 2-3 loadings.

    If I were loading .223 I wouldn't bother. I would only load those 2-4 times then toss them. They're common pickups for free at most ranges.

    Over all, I prep my brass--primer pocket, flash hole, trim length, inside/outside chamfer only on my .22 hornet, 22-250, .222 Rem, 7x57mm, and .308. My new 45-70 cases get flash hole and length trims. Handgun brass gets nothing.

    Unless you are loading a ton of bottle neck cases/year, hand tools are sufficient. You really don't need to do it all that often. Not for every loading, certainly.
    I plan to reload enough to have and keep at least 500 to 1000 rds. for any and all firearms i own (currently and new firearms later on)

    Currently these include British .303, 30-30, 45-70 for my 1895 CB , 7.93 (8MM).45 acp for handguns and later a semi auto thompson "machine gun" and later 30.06 .308. and perhaps a few more later on.

    I already have the reloading dies for these and more, except 7.92mm IIRC.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

  9. 01-29-2017, 02:31 PM

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  10. #18
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    I can't know... bought mine near 40 yr ago and they still work good.

    Battery operated stuff is cool as long as you got batteries ( I bought a scale that uses watch batteries and they seem to last a year) bought to confirm my RCBS scale is accurate.

    Electric would be fine for triming cases... but I don't do a lot.

    I like my RCBS manual trimer as it is basic and I don't know better as I have only used it

    I bought a Flash hole tool and a primer seat reimer....both are easy to use with fingers... but I use the Primer seat tool in a drill (somebody mentioned carpel tunnel).

    NOT BROKE DON'T FIX IT... my tumbler is vibrator and medium is walnut. (I don't do this much as I should I suppose).

    I have lost brass for not aneiling it as I should ... this is my weak spot.

    Straight cases need trimed less than shouldered.
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