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Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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The last time I had a meeting in Phoenix I stopped by the Bass Pro in Mesa, AZ so see what I could find. Since they had no brass, bullets, powder or primers for anything I shoot, it was slim pickings, indeed. But they did have a Hornady Cam-Lock case trimmer at a nice price, and it looked to be a quality piece of equipment, one my bench lacks. I grabbed it and headed home after my meetings were done, looking forward to trying it out on some recently fired .243 and .30-30 cases I had lying about.

Whoops! All - well, most - of my stuff is RCBS, and none of my shellholders will work with this machine, nice as it is. The locking mechanism of the case trimmer relies upon a rod that slides through the primer hole in the center of the shellholder to contact the base of the case to be trimmed. A quick rotation of the assembly about 1/4 turn loosens and locks the case in place for accurate trimming. Unfortunately, RCBS shellholders have smaller holes in the center than the ones sold by Hornady. I was unable to get the rod through the holes in my RCBS shellholders.

It's taken a couple of months to get a full set of replacement shellholders of the 'right' brand to be able to use my no longer new case trimmer - Cabelas had the last two of the set I need, and they're due on Thursday - since these items appear to be as hard to find as primers. But I've almost got a working unit now, and I'm looking forward to using it next weekend.

So, just a word to the wise: If you see this case trimmer and think that it would feel right at home on your bench, take a look around the store first, and grab as many as you can of the shellholders you'll need in the Hornady brand. You can't count on your existing holders to work once you get it home. Other than that little detail, this looks to be a well made, quality machine that I'll probably enjoy using for decades, assuming I live that long.;)
 

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Thanks for the heads up. This is bad news indeed. I'm guessing that the press manufacturers have decided to not adhere to any standard.
 

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could a guy drill the holes bigger to match without damaging them?
 

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Yup. I had that problem with the Hornady trimmer that I had before my fire. This was back in the early 90s.
I polished the center rod with emery cloth so it would fit Lee, RCBS, and other non-Hornady shellholders. I didn't have access to a lathe at the time so it was done slowly with the cloth...didn't take long though. You should only need to remove a few ten-thousands off the shaft diameter.

This wasn't the cam-lock model though, it was the old knob-style retainer model. The cam-lock one should have a similar setup though. As long as you can disassemble it down to get at that shaft you can clean it up enough for other shellholders to work.
 

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The RCBS case trimmer I have uses separate shell plates rather than shell holders and a spring loaded lever to retain the cases to the trimmer. I have all the plates I need but I see that the newer Pro-2 uses a collet arrangement that is universal and works on cases in the range of 0.250 to 0.625 inches in rim diameter.

My trimmer is the motorized version and does an excellent job keeping all cases trimmed on it to within a thousandth or two in length. I have used others (hand cranked Hornady, Lyman case holder for use on a drill press, even my lathe with special tooling I made for doing 50BMG cases) and none is as handy or does as good of a job as my earlier RCBS case trimmer (I think it was called just the Pro ???)

A person would be much better off with the Pro-2 rather than the early version, I would think. So if you run across one of these as new old stock or used be aware of which version it is as the shell plates for the early one eventually may not be available. The original version works excellent so if you have that version there is no reason to replace it.

LDBennett
 

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ditto that 100%

I have the manual pro that uses the shell plates.. and I have the pro 2 that is motorized and used the universal shell holder. they way it is made.. you can swap them if you wanted.. etc.

my local gander is clearancing hte shell plates for the pro.

i rearely use mine anymore.. but do leave it setup for some of my larger safari cartridges that use a commn shellholder plate.

I think I'm gonna run down at lunch one day with a ist of the shell paltes i have and grab all they have in stock while on clearance.. and more importantly.. available..
 

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soundguy:

I have all the shell plates needed to support the cartridges I have today. I, only today, realized RCBS had changed the design (for the better if the universal case holder holds the case accurately enough compared to the original). But what about shell plates for new cartridges I might acquire in the future (in my case at this point in my life I pretty much have every cartridge size I have ever wanted in my three safes full of guns..But what about younger reloaders with the original PRO?).

I wonder if the original PRO can be updated to the Pro-2 if the shell plates become unavailable?

LDBennett
 

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makes ya wonder.

the press down arm and the metalic bases look the same. all the 'magic' ssems to happen at the front.

I havn't smoked either of mine over to see if it is a simple head upgrade... am gessing no :)

The uni head does work good. no issues holding cartridges that I've found so far. I've trimmed a few thousand assorted 222, 223, 30-30, 243, 270, 3006 and 35 rem with it.

the older pro unit i have has trimmed many serveral thousand ( mostly ) 3006. probably a thou of it emanual :) with a hand crank. and the res of it rigged on a power drill... which led me to get the new unit.

places around me that sell relaod supplies the last few months have been devoid of real supplies. but lo use items like powder bushings, shell holders and these paltes are slow move items. when i notcied gander clearancing them i looked around. no one else still seems to have them. even walmart, one of my local stores has..er.. HAD a very well stocked area, surpassing gander..e tc.. ).. even they don't hav ethe shell paltes.. nor do they sell the old style pro trimmer anymore.

doesn't bode well for all the old pro trimmers out there.
 

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I was going to buy this unit until I learned about the shell holders here a few months ago. Besides, I avoid Hornady equipment because their quality control is non-existent.
 

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LD.. just had a moment to look at my manual pro and auto pro with uni case holder.

as far as my eye can tell.. without taking it apart. looks liekthe hand levered 'heads' could be changed out and swapped....
 

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soundguy:

That's good to know. I have all the shell plates I need for now but in the future, who knows. Others with the Pro might have to do this update just to add cartridges to their trim capabilities.

Thanks for the info.

LDBennett
 

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Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yup. I had that problem with the Hornady trimmer that I had before my fire. This was back in the early 90s.
I polished the center rod with emery cloth so it would fit Lee, RCBS, and other non-Hornady shellholders. I didn't have access to a lathe at the time so it was done slowly with the cloth...didn't take long though. You should only need to remove a few ten-thousands off the shaft diameter.

This wasn't the cam-lock model though, it was the old knob-style retainer model. The cam-lock one should have a similar setup though. As long as you can disassemble it down to get at that shaft you can clean it up enough for other shellholders to work.
That would probably work great - the difference is tiny. Boring out the RCBS shell holders would work, too, which would be my preference. But although I have a decent drill press, I don't really have a proper jig for holding a round object under the bit. Machine tools are certainly on my list of toys to acquire, since I've always enjoyed metalworking as much or more than other skills. But finishing my collection of must-have guns has a higher priority and resources are always limited.:)
 

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Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was going to buy this unit until I learned about the shell holders here a few months ago. Besides, I avoid Hornady equipment because their quality control is non-existent.
I'm surprised to hear that, as everything I've seen from Hornady has been of excellent quality, and I like the design of their pistol dies much better than those made by others.
 

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I'm surprised to hear that, as everything I've seen from Hornady has been of excellent quality, and I like the design of their pistol dies much better than those made by others.
Yes, I have to agree. I am always buying something from Hornady and everything is top notch. I also agree with what you said about the pistol dies.
 

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While I agree with quite a few recent posts here and elsewhere that the QA department on the Hornady component production line must be asleep at the wheel, I can't say that I've had any problems with their equipment yet that weren't operator-induced.

I'm currently using a Lyman trimmer (or the Lee cutter/stud system), but I will take a look at my friend's new Hornady setup tonight after work. He just picked up the same trimmer that rawright is having problems with. I'll take a few shellholders from my kit over and give em a test run.
 
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