by: Germán A. Salazar
Doug Giraud has been making his patented case trimmer for the better part of a decade now. I don’t remember the exact date but I do remember getting one of his earliest production models and immediately selling two other power trimmers that I had at the time. The Giraud trimmer made them as useful as a Model T on a modern Interstate highway. Many of our more experienced readers are familiar with Doug’s trimmer, but we have many newer shooters in our club and every now and then I hear “Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner?” from them, so it’s worth taking a closer look.
The basics of case trimming should need little explanation here. Suffice it to say that the Giraud trims, chamfers and deburrs in one operation and with such ease that my average speed is twenty cases per minute and I’m not particularly dexterous. The consistency of trim length is within 0.001″ and the blade cuts without grabbing the brass, something I can’t say for many other power trimmers I’ve examined.
Changing the setup to another cartridge is accomplished in a matter of about three minutes. Unscrew the case holder and remove it, unscrew the cutter blade holder (if switching to a different caliber) and remove it as well. Screw in the new cutter and case holder, adjust the case holder with a case and you’re ready to go. Couldn’t be any simpler.
I shoot about 5,000 to 7,500 rounds of centerfire rifle ammunition each year. Since buying the Giraud, I have made it a practice to trim each piece of brass after every firing. So far, after seven or eight years of this reasonably heavy use, the trimmer shows no sign of wear or degradation of performance. I have rotated the three-corner blade on the 30 caliber cutter at some point, but that’s about it.
To give some realistic time references, I trimmed a set of 70 6XC cases while timing myself. First, I changed the setup from .30-06 to 6XC, that took a little under 3 minutes. Next I trimmed the 70 6XC cases working at a normal pace, it took 3 minutes and 15 seconds. If you’ve worn out your arm and your patience cranking on a hand powered trimmer, nothing more needs to be said, other than – call Doug!
The top picture is from Doug’s website and shows the current version of the trimmer. Mine is old and doesn’t have a belt guard, but I think that’s the only difference. Here you see the unit along with the case holder and the cutter head.
Screw the case holder in like a reloading die and tighten it with a 1″ wrench. I make a little index mark on the case holder to help me hit the right spot again. I suppose you could use die lock rings and leave them set, it’s the same 7/8 x 14 thread.