With big game hunting seasons starting to get under way, many people who take the time to reload their ammunition have probably been working on the loads for upcoming hunts.

Many, like myself, like to tinker with loads, always trying to find a one that works a little better than the one you used last year. Others prefer to stay the course, having landed on a load they never alter.

No matter which kind of a loader a person is, somewhere in the process they'll find one aspect that is somewhat a nuisance.

In my case the nuisance was trimming brass. This was the part of preparing ammunition I hold in utter disdain.

Being old school, I have shied away from many of the advancements that were put out on the market with the thought of putting ease into reloading. I realize that electric powder measures and scales can cut the time in dropping charges, but my old manual drop and balance beam still works pretty well. And if I did get an electric primer pocket/ deburring tool, what would I do while watching football on Sunday afternoons?

But trimming brass was just something that had a tendency to make me walk out of the room and look at the shooting and reloading magazines with the thought of ordering a electric trimmer on the spot. Somehow, during these moments of frustration, I always seem to calm down and decide that doing the trimming with my old manual wasn't that difficult.

I'm pretty sure it was the price, ranging from $140 to $180, that had the calming effect. I consider myself frugal when it comes to buying reloading equipment. My wife, Betty, says I'm just a tightwad.

When we decided to build a deck in the spring of 2003 I suggested to Betty that I thought that a cordless screwdriver would be a good birthday present, not to mention the fact that it would come in handy in putting together a deck. Little did I know that it also would turn out to be the answer to the thing I hated most about the reloading process.

I use a Lyman Universal trimmer. I prefer it over other models because of the cam lock system utilized for locking the base of the brass instead of using collets that have to be changed for different cartridge bases. The other reason is, it was the first one I bought and, well, it still works fine.

Naturally when the Cabela's 2003 Shooting Catalog arrived I had to look at the reloading equipment. Normally I limit myself to just looking for what I feel is a bargain on brass or lead, but thinking about how I really disliked the thought of trimming brass 1 just couldn't resist checking the prices on the power trimmer's again.

When I arrived to the page with the Lyman products and surveyed the trimmers I noticed that there was a listing for a power adapter under the Universal Trimmer. As I read this listing it said it replaced the manual handle, and, that it was for use with a cordless drill or screwdriver.

Not being that bad at math, even I could add up that 1 adapter + 1 cordless drill + plus shipping and handling = no more trimming cases the old-fashioned way. It was only a matter of 15 seconds or so before I was placing the order on the 800 number for Cabela's.

In the months that have passed since that day I have always felt that this will always be one of the best purchases I have ever made for reloading. And I always knew that if I was frugal for long enough something would come on the market that us cheapskates could use for a power case trimmer.


Frank Dixon lives in Milton-Freewater and is an avid reloader and shooter.


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