World’s Finest Trimmer by Little Crow Gunworks
I made a couple futile attempts to video the setup and use of the World’s Finest Trimmer. After several hamfisted attempts at demonstrating the setup it was decided this post would be pictures and text instead.
This worked well enough, in fact it is downright precise. Out of the blister pack my Case Length Gauge trimmed .223 cases to 1.754″ as I recall. Wanting to get to minimal trim length I touched up the end of the case gauge with a jewelers file (a tiny bit too much) and it trims consistently to 1.749″, the danger being with brass that has stretched too long affecting headspace. I have had no issues with trim length being .001″ short.
This worked nicely, except it was time consuming closing and opening the case holder ferrule and keeping the case centered while tightening got tedious, enter the World’s Finest Trimmer. I had heard about it over on the Reloading Podcast some time back when they had the owner of Little Crow Gunworks on the show. It seemed like a good product that would speed my brass prep while maintaining consistency. So I picked up the WFT2 cutter housing and a .223 Trim Chamber. The first generation WFTs where cartridge specific, the second generation has one cutter housing and multiple trim chambers. So instead of buying multiple WFTs at around $75 each for every caliper you load, you now buy one cutter housing at around $75 and trim chambers at around $20-25 each. The cutters last thousands of trims before needing replacement.
The design is quite simple, a rather standard machine end mill, a cutter housing to provide adjustability and the trim chamber which is cut to the neck profile of your cartridge.
Ideally… one takes a piece of previously trimmed brass, placed on a table neck up, set the chamber and housing assembly on top, lower the cutter into place and snug the set screws on the housing. The instructions say cases trimmed with this setup should be +/- .002″, this wasn’t my experience unfortunately, I have two theories in my conclusion below. After a several attempts and cutting brass too short, I went digital on it.
Here I am holding my 1.749″ ‘Standard’ case into the trimmer chamber which is flush against the housing bearing and sliding it onto the cutter until it ‘just touches’ before snugging the set screws. I’m doing it with the cutter chucked in the drill as I had wearied of taking it in and out repeating the setup.
My resulting case trim was 1.716″, .034″ too short…
So I used the caliper to measure from the face of the chamber to the face of the cutter, .619″ and added .034″ to it, .653″ and locked the caliper at that measurement. Then with the cutter housing set screws loose and the housing free on the cutter, I held the tip of the caliper to the face of the cutter and moved the housing out until it made contact with the caliper body and gently snugged the screws without (I thought) moving the housing.
I overshot a bit. I should have left well enough alone I know, but that is not in my nature, so I dinked around with it until I ended up with a 1.7495″, ironically what my Lee Guage/Holder is giving me. Time to call it done! I trimmed 6 pieces of brass and all were within .0005″, I’ll take that any day.
So now I’ve been pondering, why did I had such a hard time getting the length set? I have two theories. The first is that maybe I’m being a bit heavy handed as I move my ‘Standard’ case into contact with the cutter face. The other is that as the set screws come in contact with the sides of the cutter they are causing the housing to move as it takes the clearance out. The second theory seems plausible if the face of the set screws are not true. I really don’t know, but I’m glad to have it set.
At this time .223 is the only bottle neck cartridge I load, if I start loading 7.62×39 I will be changing out the chamber and will have to revisit this again in the future. I think I will take a careful measurement of the chamber face to cutter face before removing the chamber so I can get back close.
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I owned a Marlin 60 since 1987, but never really got ‘into’ guns until 2011 when I bought my first 9mm pistol. That was soon followed by a .380 and a 12 guage pump, and I was all in. I had done some 20 guage reloading growing up, and threw myself into 9mm and .223 reloading in 2017, .380 in 2019, 7.62×39 in 2020 and my first revolver in 45 Colt in 2022. It is so satisfying to go to the range and string together ever improving groups with ammo I loaded myself; it doesn’t hurt that I’m a little OCD about technical things, the tangible/visible rewards are really gratifying.
I have a nagging but as yet unattained ‘want’ for a .358 Yeti unloader, it just looks like a really cool caliber. My next learning curve, space permitting, is casting and coating.