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Trim before sizing...?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Dyjital, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    I seem to only have issues with .223/5.56 brass on my RCBS Trimmer.

    My pilot is .220" for the obvious .223 caliber I mean .224" bullet but man I swear this is not supposed to be so damned hard.

    My .30 cal is nowhere near as hard nor has the 6mm pilot been difficult.

    I really have to force that pilot in the case neck. We are talking I have to push so hard my freaking shoulders start hurting after a dozen cases. I've tried the drill method but that doesn't help with pilot insert or lateral pushing force.

    I'm using RCBS dies (11103).

    So I'm about to revert to trimming before sizing with this caliber.

    I'll trim to the short end of the size and brass shouldn't grow that much after one sizing.


    Reasons against? Let's hear it.



    Edit:
    I've been slowly trying to sand down the pilot and so far I've been hesitant to go a long way on sanding. Maybe I should just keep going until it fits properly..?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  2. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    ive never had this issue but i do know that i have measured brass before and after resizing it. no doubt about it...brass stretches after you size it. thats why i trim after a FL size. i am also using the rcbs 3 way trimmer. im sure you will not hurt anything trimming before sizing and or after sizing as well. as long as the brass is not longer than saami spec when you are done trimming you should be good. IIRC .223\5.56 head spaces on the shoulder and not the case mouth like a straight wall pistol case.
     
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  3. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks. I'm going to keep slowly sanding.

    Problem is I had a bunch I picked up from the range the other day and resized it already so I can do a real measurement yet of pre vs post lengths.

    Im at the point though really if I can get the pilot to be resized properly I won't need to trim pre-sizing which is really preferred.


    Oh the joys of reloading.
     
  4. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    It's actually for the obvious 0.224", but your expander ball should undersize a tad for neck tension. It sounds to me simply to be that your expander ball and trimmer pilot are too similar in size. I'd not hesitate to turn the pilot down as you said you are doing.
     
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  5. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Aye, I was thinking headstamp, but the correct info needs to be there regardless. :s0012:



    Update:
    I've been slowly sanding down. I currently have the pilot down to .218" right now so I've taken .002" off so far and it's going a lot better. I may take it down another .0005" and call it finished. I didn't like that I had to take 600 grit sandpaper to a tool but I guess that's the prize for reloading. :eek:
     
  6. Rick4070

    Rick4070 Central Oregon coast Active Member

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    Did I miss where you listed what diameter your expander ball is?

    Also, what does the I.D. of the case mouth measure after re-sizing?

    The brass will spring back a little.

    IIRC, the inner diameter of your sized case mouth should only be about .001" to .002" smaller than bullet diameter.

    A few tools needed, IMHO, for reloading should be a good micrometer, that reads to ten-thousandths, a good set of dial calipers, and a set of small hole gauges.
     
  7. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    IIRC the only brass i've ever had problems with is 5.56 nato brass stamped PPU. also i've had problems with that head stamp for my 308 win.
     
  8. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    I don't like repeat steps. I usually size, then trim. Then I do the inner and out chamfer. I do this mainly because my trimmer indexes off the shoulder. If I don't size, I won't have the correct shoulder placement for trimming.

    Do you have the same results regardless of brass in the same caliber?
     
  9. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Nope you didn't miss it. These dies were new when I bought them so I know they haven't been abused or modified.

    .218" expander ball
    .218" ID after sized

    Yes. It happened with every.single.piece.of.brass.
    :mad::mad::mad:

    There is a good amount of neck tension but it's not overkill. I run a very light crimp afterward.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  10. Rick4070

    Rick4070 Central Oregon coast Active Member

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    .006" sounds like a lot of neck tension to me.

    Searching around, it seems common to have .001" to .002" difference....

    But, reducing the diameter of the trim pilot, if it works for you, great. :)
     
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  11. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks @Rick4070, I'm going to look into this. I mean I'm not shooting this rifle as a bench rest gun, just loading plinking ammo.

    I measured some of the other calibers and they were .001" smaller than the caliber size.

    There must be something with the die set.

    I'm going to contact RCBS for a replacement expander. I will measure the size of the replacement and then monitor from there.

    Some googleFu searching shows that I'm not the only one who has had this problem. One person went from .221 to .218 in 75 cases. RCBS stated their expanded are hardened. Possible culprit would be carbon left on the case after firing, since I size before cleaning. This could be a possible culprit. If so I will need a new trimmer pilot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  12. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I trim with my L.E. Wilson trimmer after sizing. Then chamfer and debur. I first deprime everything on a Lee universal depriming die, then clean brass in a Thumblers Tumbler with stainless steel media and dry in an old food dehydrator. After that, I size everything. Keeps my dies a lot cleaner that way.
     
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  13. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Part of my process is in Flux after realizing that some of my brass was O/F MG (sticking in the chamber). Finding-out where the new short-base dies will fit into a normal process....

    Since sizing elongates the brass.....trim after.

    Citric-Acid wash & dry, lube, de-prime, (short base or full length sizing), trim, chamfer, remove crimp, load, tumble in corn media.

    Seems that "Full Length Resizing Die" is more of a noun than it is a verb or adjective :rolleyes:

    Probably not related to OP'S challenge, but I've seen where new Winchester brass being marketed for 7.62x39 is actually .308 ID; so they need to be resized to .310.................... only in my 3rd year of the hobby, and I should "clam up".

    :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  14. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I don't own ammo
    But if I did I would note that 30 cal was easier than 223 to tumble/load
    Small base re sizing is a good insurance policy.
    if you can afford carbide dies then buy them.
    Also keep your dies clean at all times to avoid unsightly build-up....
    Never trust internet babble
    Never submit to a DNA test, either
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
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  15. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    BTW I had seating problems that crushed my shoulder on about 30 rounds of 223 despite great care in reloading
    I figure it's case thickness, even though I reamed it X2
     
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  16. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    IMAG0889.jpg IMAG0889.jpg IMAG0889.jpg
    I do the same time as you.
    I'm trimming with this. What are you using?
     
  17. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    Wow
    Sorry for the 3X pictures
    Damm phone!