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Trim cases, how often?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by IheartGUNS, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    How often do you trim your cases(rifle)? Also do you trim to the min. length or???
     
  2. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the case, depends on the load you are using, depends on your sizing method. Some cases stretch more than others just as a result of their geometry. Hotter loads tend to make cases stretch faster. Full length resizing tends to make cases stretch more than just neck sizing. In short it depends on your situation. Throw some calipers on your cases before you intend to reload them. If they are .010" longer than the minimum length, trim them back. The danger of having your rifle cases too long is that when you chamber the round with the bullet seated the excess case length can run into the end of the chamber and cause an unwanted and dangerous crimp on your bullet. This condition will likely cause pressure increases, the longer the case, the higher the pressure. Leave it long enough and it may be the last time you make that mistake. I usually check my cases every other time I reload them for length, but I usually neck size and shoot well below maximum loads.
     
  3. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Only when you need to. I clean my rifle brass than I measure each case. When they are within a few thousands of 'max length' according to the chart
    they go into my 'need to trim' pile. You have to take into account that the brass will stretch a few thousands when sized. Example 30/06 lists
    2.484 trim length and 2.494 max length. When the unsized brass measures 2.490 or greater it goes into the trim pile. You only trim rifle brass.
     
  4. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    not true. you also trim anything you want a consistent case length on, including pistol brass.
     
  5. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I started reloading 357/38 s in 1976. I used a RCBS Rock Chucker c-clamped to our dinning table. Now I have been loading on my 550 Dillon for at least 15 years.
    I reload for 9 mm, 45 acp, 357/38, 44 mag, 30 carb. ,308, 30/06 , 223, 8mm and 7.5X55 Swiss. I reload many thousand rounds of pistol ammo every year. I have never
    trimmed a pistol case. For pistol ammo I generally use mixed cases. No effect on accuracy. Mixed cases work fine.
    But for rifles I separate brass by manufacture and sometimes weight.
     
    SPU and (deleted member) like this.
  6. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    Certainly there are a lot of steps you don't need to take, to make a functional cartridge. I like consistency in my reloading. I think it leads to repeatability, & I think that leads to accuracy. An example, 44 magnum. I like a consistent crimp line on my cannelure. I think it helps with consistent pressure. Show me ONE reloading manual that states you don't need to trim pistol brass. Or check it for uniformity of length. I have a good friend who has been reloading since before I was born. He doesn't own a set of calipers. He has never cleaned a primer pocket. It doesn't make it right. It doesn't mean I can't do better.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For me, I trim ALL Rifle brass after each shooting. It just fits into my inspection/prep process so easily that for me it's no big deal.

    I like the idea that I have a nice, true to the case axis, case mouth that's chamfered and deburred. An RCBS trimmer II with carbide 3-way cutter makes it a piece of cake.

    For my .223 cases I use the Dillon Rapid trim and again, all cases get trimmed with a pass through my 650 press set up to de-prime, size, and trim.

    The only one I don't bother with is 9mm. I've found that the 9mm cases hardly grow in length at all. After a couple dozen loadings they split before the length becomes an issue.
     
  8. bmgm37

    bmgm37 Coos Bay Active Member

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    Yeah, exactly what DS2 said, I do the same thing.
     
  9. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I trim my pistol brass once, just for uniformity. It's amazing how much difference there is even in new brass.

    I tend to trim rifle at every reload, except in my one high volume caliber (223/5.56). My reloading volume for most rifle cartridges is low, usually <25 to do an OCW run or something. Easy to trim just a few.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Time to look at a Dillon RT1200. They even work fine on a single stage press. Size and trim, all in one operation.
     
  11. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    Only rifle that I reload for is 30.06 (Garand)...I trim each time.
     
  12. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I find I don't get much stretch on my 5.56 cases, so I don't feel the need to bring them back to minimum each time. When I do trim them, I use a Little Crow trimmer to blow through them pretty quickly.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You still have to size as a separate operation though. The RT1200 sizes and trims all in ONE operation.
     
  14. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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  15. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for replying guys.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The RT1200 uses a very high speed motor and a super sharp cutter bit. I find that there is no discernible burr on either inside or outside edges when trimmed with this trimmer. Since I use it on high volume loads I find that my BT bullets just slip in fine with no shaving of the jacket. For my low volume, precise loads, I use an RCBS 3-way carbide cutter. Unlike the Gracey or Giraud trimmers, I can adjust the amount of chamfer both inside and outside edges. I can also do it independently rather than having to use a tool with a fixed "notch" in it. Even putting the price difference aside, I feel the Lathe type trimmer with 3-way does a better job and I'm more concerned with quality than quantity with the cases I trim on it.
     
  17. tcs#1

    tcs#1 oregon Member

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    I hate trimming cases but it is a necessary evil that we have to deal with and I check the length on my rifle brass every time and trim as needed...with new brass I FL size and fire once before checking the length and trimming to a length usually in between the min-max....I have 2 custom chambered barrels one in 17K hornet and the other is a 25-3030 wildcat, these chambers are tight and cases have to be trimmed each time......I use an RCBS power trimmer for quanity trimming and the Lyman manual trimmer for the smaller lots of brass, The Lyman is great as it has a universal chuck (case holder) and one doesn't have to buy extra shell plates/holders it easily handles my 17K or my 300 win mag so it has me covered