I decided to use up a bunch of the rifle reloading components I have laying around and quickly found I was spending way more time than I wanted. Using hand powered tools trimming the brass to length and cleaning the primer pockets was taking, on average, about a full minute for each round. Also, my hands ached after about 100 rounds and I would have let them recover for an hour or more before continuing. With many thousands of rounds in my immediate future I decided I needed another solution.
I purchased the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System (see video at the link):
This cut the one minute down to about 15 seconds. I can still get an ache in my hands if I’m not careful to mostly press the brass when trimming rather than trying to grip it tightly. But if I pay a little bit of attention it hasn’t been a major problem.
I have processed over 1000 rounds with it now now I am very pleased.
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I have a 550 too. The first thing I looked at was Dillon’s case trimmer. I wasn’t quite happy with what I saw and continued looking. I looked at the RCBS solution as well as the Frankford Arsenal solution. The Frankford Arsenal tool lets me do length trimming, chamfering, deburring, primer pocket reaming, and primer pocket cleaning all on the same machine in 15 seconds per round.
I don’t have a drill press (and really, not enough room for one either) so I didn’t really explore those options.
My process now is:
1) Dry media clean.
3) Trim, deburr, chamfer, primer pocket ream (if required), primer pocket clean.
4) Ultrasonic clean.
It is an older version of this one.
I use Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Gun Brass Cleaner Solution.
I use it until it gets really dirty so that I can’t see through it more than about a half inch or so. This depends on how dirty the brass and how many rounds I have put through it. Typically this is about 200->400 rounds of .223.
The solution is diluted 40:1 with water so a jug lasts quite a while.